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Final Cut Pro 7: March 2009 Archives

The Distort Tool in Final Cut Pro, is a great tool that allows you to expand and change the edges of pictures to make some really neat effects.  For example, you can fit your footage into a picture frame that exists on another layer of video. 

First you'll want to set the Canvas to Image+Wireframe mode.
Thumbnail image for imagewframe.gifThe Distort Tool is found in the Tool Palette within the Crop Tool tray.  You can also turn on the Distort Tool by pressing the D key on your keyboard.

The Tool palette in Final Cut Pro has a few hidden gems that many people don't realize are there.  One in particular is the Hand Tool.  From the Tool Palette in the third from the bottom tool tray you can select the Hand Tool, or turn it on with the H key on the keyboard.


What the Hand Tool does is that it allows you to move the canvas around the viewing area of the canvas when it is zoomed in.  If you don't use the Hand Tool when zoomed in you will have to use the zoom sliders individually.  If you try to move the Canvas when the Hand Tool is not turned on, when you try to move the Canvas within the viewing area, you will actually move the top layer if the Image & Wireframe is turned on.  If Image & Wireframe is not on, nothing will happen.

The Hand Tool allows you to move the Timeline back and forth within a sequence, if you have a Mighty Mouse, you can achieve the same function by rolling the scroll wheel left and right.

Timecode is the set of numbers assigned to each frame of video. Timecode is usually measured at 30 fps (frames per second), and looks like 00:00:00:00, translating to Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Frames

Suppose someone hands you a tape full of footage and needs it cut and returned the next day; you decide to capture the whole tape as a single clip, but unfortunately you find out it has a ton of timecode breaks.  The main reason we get timecode breaks is because the person filming was watching playback in between takes.  If you do not stop the tape while there is still timecode, the time will reset and you get a timecode break.  To avoid this during filming, try "Blacking out" the tape first.  Simply record the entire tape with the lens cap on; this will lay out the timecode for the entire tape.  Then rewind and film as if it were a brand new tape. 

So, if you just learned this little trick and still have Timecode Breaks while you are capturing, you can tell Final Cut Pro to either Warn after Capture, or to Make a New Clip each time it encounters a timecode break.  You can find this setting under Final Cut Pro's User Preferences and under the General Tab.  On the right hand side, half way down you will see On Timecode Break: and then you are given the choices, Make a New Clip, Abort Capture, or Warn after Capture.
timecode.gifBy choosing Warn after Capture, you can avoid the separation of clips and get a full tape as a single clip.  By choosing Make a New Clip, it will create a new clip each time a Timecode Break is encountered.  Some users prefer one over the other, but it's really a matter of preference.

Bezier curves are used to adjust keyframed effects and to create curves in motion paths.  In Final Cut Pro, when the Image+Wireframe mode is turned on within the Canvas, a visual path displays based on keyframes that have been created.  Small green dots within the path represent keyframes.  Note that the default path is somewhat rigid when moving around corners.  You can smooth out those  corners by using Bezier Curves.


You can turn on Bezier Curves by right clicking on a green dot and choosing either Ease In/Ease Out or Linear from the contextual menu.  You are now able to drag the Bezier curve handles to create a curved path.  Notice that both handles move together.


There are several ways to adjust your audio and volume levels within the timeline in Final Cut Pro.  Today, we will discuss using the Pen Tool.  You can use the Pen Tool in the timeline when Clip Overlays is turned on to create keyframes.  Keyframes allow you to change the volume in any point in a clip.

To adjust the audio levels of clips using keyframes, first turn on the Clip Overlays feature.  Clip Overlays is found in the lower left corner under the timeline.  This will display the pink lines within the clips of your sequence.
Thumbnail image for clipoverlays.gif

Next, activate the Pen Tool by using the keyboard shortcut, the P key.  You can use the Pen Tool to add a series of keyframes within the clip.  To add a keyframe, move the cursor over the audio level line until it changes from an arrow into a Pen icon.  Click on the mouse to add individual keyframes.  The keyframes will be shown by pink diamonds on the audio level line.  If you have linked tracks, the keyframes will show up in both tracks.


If you need to create a stand alone still image file from video in Final Cut Pro, it is an east process. You don't even need to create a Freeze Frame to export a Still Image. Just make sure the quadrant of the Final Cut interface that is displaying the image you wish to export is highlighted, go to the File menu, select Export, and choose Using Quicktime Conversion.

From the Tools Menu you can select Keyboard Layout, and then Customize. The keyboard short cut to customizing the keyboard is option H. To make changes to the keyboard layout, you will need to unlock the keyboard, by clicking on the lock in the lower left corner. Next you will want to select the keyboard combination. At the top of the keyboard layout are the modifier combination's. These tell us what modifier keys need to be depressed with the operative key to cause a result. We see that under the no modifiers tab the only unassigned key is the Y key.


Non-destructive simply put means that anything that you do to a file/clip in Final Cut Pro will not affect the source file. For example if I apply a sepia filter to a clip in Final Cut, it will not affect the actual Quicktime file in the Finder. To have the Quicktime file in the Finder affected by the applied filter, you would have to output a new Quicktime movie.

The same non-destructive relationship exists between the clips in the File Browser and the clips in a Sequence. If you apply a filter to a clip in a Sequence it will not affect the source clip in the File Browser. However you can make a change to a clip in the File Browser, those changes will stay with that clip the next time you access it from the File Browser. For example if you had a 15 minute interview clip that you were going to be using numerous clips from, and the clip needed color correction. You would perform the color correction to the clip in the File Browser instead of having to apply it individually to the numerous references in your Sequence. 
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This page is a archive of entries in the Final Cut Pro 7 category from March 2009.

Final Cut Pro 7: January 2009 is the previous archive.

Final Cut Pro 7: April 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.