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Final Cut Pro 7: June 2009 Archives

Sometimes you will find a spot in your sequence where the content doesn't exactly start or end at just the right point in the space you have to work with.  You can use a trimming function called Slip to adjust a clip's in and out points without changing it's duration or position in the Timeline.  We refer to it as slipping because you "slip" a pair of In & Out points inside the available footage.

To perform a slip edit:

  • Double-click on your clip to load it into the Viewer
  • Move the playhead to the frame where you want the shot to start
  • Select the Slip tool by the keyboard shortcut, S
  • Position the pointer over the In point.  The pointer changes to the Slip tool.
  • Click and drag the edit point to match the position of the playhead
It is important to remember that to slip a clip, it must have handles on both sides, meaning there must be additional media available on both the head and tail of the clip.  If you are having trouble slipping a clip, check to make sure that the clip has handles on both sides.

Trimming in Final Cut Pro is like fine-tuning your sequence.  The point is to make you a quicker and more efficient editor.

To become efficient with Final Cut Pro there is one thing you need to do.  Use keyboard shortcuts. One study showed that using keyboard shortcuts saves you up to eight hours a week. Here are two great ways to condition yourself to use keyboard shortcuts. The first is to use an Editor's Keyboard. These keyboards have the default unmodified commands printed directly on the keys they're assigned to, which encourages you to reach for the keyboard vs clicking on menus to activate a function.

The second and most important way to learn keyboard shortcuts is more psychological than anything. When you get to the point in a menu where you are about to click on a function, STOP, read the keyboard shortcut, click off the menu, and use the keyboard shortcut. By actually performing the keyboard shortcut, you will remember it easier than by just reading the keyboard shortcut next to the menu function, and thinking "I will use it next time". This is a very effective way to condition yourself to use keyboard shortcuts.


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The Audio Mixer in Final Cut Pro is the main tool for mixing more than one channel of a program's audio in real time.  The Audio Mixer has faders, panning sliders, and solo and mute buttons for each track in your sequence.  There are also master meters for each audio output channel in your sequence depending on your audio output presets.  As you make level and pan changes in real time, you can record your changes as keyframes, allowing you to automate your mix when you play your sequence back.  After you record audio level and pan keyframes, you can tweak them in the Timeline or the Viewer using the Pen Tool to adjust the clip overlays.

To open the Audio Mixer, go to the Tools menu > Audio Mixer.

What is Audio Scrubbing?  Simply put, Audio Scrubbing is the bits and pieces that you hear when you drag the playhead across your clip, depending on how quickly you move the playhead.  This way, Final Cut Pro lets you monitor audio as you look at non standard frame rate picture.  Scrubbing through audio is helpful when you are trying to find a particular spot in your clip, for example, in a music track.  However, for some people, that "scrubbing" can get very annoying.  There is an easy toggle shortcut to turn on and off scrubbing.  Shift+S will turn on and off audio scrubbing.  You can also turn it on and off by going to View > Audio Scrubbing; the checkmark notates scrubbing is On, unchecking it will turn scrubbing Off.
Another great effect found within the Generators menu in Final Cut Pro is by using the Render category which gives you some interesting choices of background effects such as, clouds, custom gradients, noise, and the lens flare that I've used as an example below.


Using the Crop Tool in Final Cut Pro and then using the Edge Feather Slider to soften the edges can create a really nice effect, especially if you have more than one image you're using for a frame.  In this example, I have 2 images I want to use at the same time showing the viewer what's going on under the water and above the water. 

Did you know there are lots of great tools for Final Cut Pro found right in the Tools Menu?  One of them being the Button Bars Function.  Every window of the Final Cut Pro interface has a Button Bar.  We can place buttons for just about any command in these button bars.  Buttons for the button bars are created from the Button List found in the Tools Menu.  The Button List is an index of every menu command in Final Cut Pro shown with corresponding keyboard shortcuts and button icons.  You can search through the commands grouped according to the menu in which they come from or in collections of relative items.

buttonlist.gifYou can also type the command into the search bar at the top of the Button List window.

Yesterday, we talked about working within the Filters Tab in Final Cut Pro.  Today we will discuss the fact that once you have applied filters to a clip, you can copy and paste that clips' attributes to another clip, or to multiple clips.  Using this simple concept allows you to build complex sequences that require a minimal amount of effort. 

To Copy & Paste Filter Attributes:
  • Right-click on a clip within the Timeline that contains a filter and choose Copy from the contextual menu.  This copies all of the filters that have been applied to that particular clip.

The Filters Tab in Final Cut Pro is where effects for a clip appear and where their parameters can be adjusted and keyframed.  All Final Cut Pro filters are found within the Effects Tab.  The Effects Tab is a separate window with a tab at the top of the Browser window.  Within the Effects tab, you will see a list of different types of Effects.  The Filter category contains separate folders for the different types of filters.  Each type of filter can also be opened up by clicking on the disclosure triangles to see each type of a particular filter.  For example, by twirling down the disclosure triangle for Blur, you will see that there is more than one kind of Blur to choose from.

Markers in Final Cut Pro have so many uses; basically they are just points of reference in clips and sequences.  They can be placed directly in clips or in sequences in the Timeline ruler.  But did you know you can change the durations of these markers?  If you wanted to mark a specific amount of time, like 15 seconds of something in your Timeline, and make a comment on special instructions about that mark, for example, bring down the audio in this section; you can change that duration, or extend it so that it spans multiple frames.  Markers with duration can be used to precisely define subclips in a clip.  You can use them to mark an entire area of a clip or sequence with notes for tweaking.

To extend a marker's duration to the Playhead's location:
  • Move the Playhead to the right of the Marker
  • Go to Mark > Markers > Extend
  • An extended duration marker appears in the scrubber bar

extendmarkers.gifNote that you can also snap to the edge of an extended marker.

Adding unique glyphs to your project is quite simple with the Character Palette, but you need to have it set up, to use it easiest. If you do not have an American (or possible other) flag in the menu bar of your Mac, you will need to check a box in the International settings within System Preferences. Under International category of the System Preferences there is a tab named Imput Menu, and within that tab there is a check box next to Character Palette. By checking this box, the flag will appear in the menu bar.


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This page is a archive of entries in the Final Cut Pro 7 category from June 2009.

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

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

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