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Final Cut Pro 7: October 2009 Archives

Recently we talked about creating multiclips in Final Cut Pro.  Today, we'll take it one step further, and talk about how to actually edit that multiclip we created.

Assuming you already have your multiclip ready in the Browser, double-click on it to open it up in the Viewer.  The active angle is highlighted in a blue/green box.  Now click on the View pull-down menu and click on Show Multiclip Overlays.  This is so you can see each clips' angle number, name, and timecode. 


Now suppose you want those camera angles positioned differently in the Viewer; you can Command+drag any of those angles into another position.  So if you wanted your main camera angle to be in the number one position, just command+drag that main clip into the the first window; the clip that was in that position will simply move into the new arrangement.  If you have a lot of camera angles to organize, just Cmd+drag each clip into whatever position makes the most sense for you.

Now, click on the Playhead Sync pop-up menu in the Viewer.  Select Video.  This will allow you to switch between just the video sources, and you can use just one of the the audio clips from whichever angle has the best sound.  If you were to choose Video + Audio, you may have uneven sound levels between clips or even audio "popping" between edits.  Now notice once you've changed your Playhead Sync to Video only, and click on the number 2 postion, the blue/green box separates.  The green represents the active source your audio is coming from, and the blue highlight box switches to the active video angle.

playhead_sync_video2.gifContinue reading to edit your multiclip...

gs1.pngIf you've watched the weatherman on your local evening news, you know what a green-screen or blue-screen does.  The chroma keying process is the most popular way to extract talent or props from a moving image and composite them into another image -- like an animated weather map, or a virtual set.  Chroma keying allows your software to cleanly and automatically separate subjects from the background, while retaining their full range of detail.

Final Cut ships with a simple but powerful set of tools for pulling keys from green screen footage.  The keying tools in Final Cut Pro work based on the same engine as the tools in Motion, so you're free to work in whichever environment you're more comfortable with.

In today's article, a quick two-part guide to shooting reasonably good green screen footage and pulling the key in post.

Here's a short video tutorial on a creative way of using green screen.


fcp_icon.gifFinal Cut Pro 7 has made some improvements recently when it comes to Multicam editing.  Now you can cut multicamera footage just as quickly as if you were switching in real-time.  You can view and cut multiple sources by using the 1, 4, 9 or 16-up display and group up to 128 sources into multiclips; and now you can prepare multicam projects faster thanks to the new features in markers.  Retain markers on multiclips when you switch angles and add marker notes to make multicam projects more efficient.  So let's take a look at creating multiclips.

First of all, a multiclip is basically a virtual container from more than one source of clips or angles in which you can actually playback up to 16 at a time.  We said that you can group up to 128 clips into a single multiclip, but, very importantly, each of those clips must use the same codec, image dimensions, and frame rate; otherwise, you're gonna have a lot of headaches down the road.

Read on for a quick tutorial on creating Multiclips:

When you are not having sound coming out of your Final Cut system it can be a number of things. Lack of audio can too often be something that makes you say "Duh". Like  Is the volume muted? Or are there a pair of headphones plugged into the system?  I t could also be that there is no audio associated to a clip. 

Here are two troubleshooting techniques:

1. Do you see the audio meters moving when the clip plays?

2. Load a clip into the Viewer window.  Click on the audio tab at the top of the Viewer window.   Do you see an audio waveform?

 If you answered "no" to either of the last two questions, you're not hearing any audio, because there isn't any.


expose_icon.gifA few weeks ago, I wrote an article about disabling Expose' for the purposes of Final Cut Pro.  However, if you're currently not using Final Cut Pro, Expose' can have a lot of benefits to you just within your Mac OS X.  Let's take a quick look at what Expose' can do for you!

If you're like me when working on your Mac, you have several files and different applications open on your desktop at one time.  With Expose' you can cut through the clutter and find things on your desktop quickly.  By hitting the F3 key on your keyboard it activates Expose', and displays all of the open windows on your Mac so that you can quickly find the one you're looking for.


A couple of other quick key commands are Cmd + 1 arranges the windows alphabetically, and Cmd + 2 sorts them by application name.  You can also use Expose' from the Dock to see the window of a specific application; so to see all of the open Safari windows, just click and hold on the Safari icon. 


To see the open pages windows, click and hold on its icon.  Expose' displays the windows on a grid on the desktop.  You can view a full size preview of any window in the grid.  Just hover over the thumbnail with the cursor and tap the space bar.  Customizing Expose' is easy by opening System Preferences and selecting Expose' & Spaces.  You can assign keystrokes or mouse clicks to display all windows as thumbnails, to view all windows in the application you're currently using, and to show the desktop.  It can also set up active screen corners to trigger expose functions just by moving the cursor to the corners of your screen.


By taking advantage of all the great features of Expose' in the new OS X version of Snow Leopard, you're able to stay more organized on your Mac.  Now if only they could do that for my house!

WAV_icon.gifI was a little confused today about the difference between WAV files and other audio files such as CD, MP3, and AIFF.  In case there are some "freshman" out there, it is important to understand the various issues that may come up when dealing with these different formats.  First of all a WAV file is basically an audio file for Windows used for storing audio on a PC, similar to the AIFF format used on a Mac.  It is the main format used on Windows systems for raw and typically uncompressed audio.  Both WAVs and AIFFs are compatible with Windows and Mac.  A WAV file can hold compressed audio, but the most common WAV format contains uncompressed audio. Audio experts use the WAV format for maximum audio quality, and WAV files are universally compatible with most audio editing applications.
Even though .WAV files are compatible with Final Cut Pro, it is best to convert them to an .AIFF format with a sample rate of 48k. This will save system resources when Final Cut Pro plays the audio files.  Otherwise, you may encounter dropped frames or an annoying beeping sound while Final Cut Pro plays your sequence

Here's a quick tutorial on how to convert audio files to 48k .AIFF files:

One of the newest tricks of Final Cut Pro 7 that I've discovered this week is the Reveal Affiliated Clips in Front Sequence command.  What's that all about?  Well, this is a great little trick to use if you ever need to find out quickly how many times you've used a clip in a sequence, say for color correction for example.  Let's suppose there are 10 different places in your project that you've used the same clip, but it needs a bit of color correcting.  You don't want to accidentally forget to fix one of those clips; believe me, someone will notice; so what you can do to make this really simple is select your clip in the Timeline and from the View Menu, choose Reveal Affiliated Clips in Front Sequence.


Now every affiliated clip will become selected in the Timeline.  Better yet, you can drop a color corrector filter on top of any of those affiliated clips, and the filter will be applied to all of them.  How simple is that!


If you just need some tips on organizing your media, check out this article on Finding Used and Unused Clips in Final Cut Pro.  And don't forget to check our class schedule to learn just about everything you can about Final Cut Pro!

Here's a quick video tutorial on how to create a countdown using a plugin from Too Much Too Soon.

Continue reading for a full text based tutorial on this same tutorial.

In Final Cut Pro, mixing resolutions and frame rates in the same sequence is actually quite common.  There are lots of different HD and SD formats and you will probably at some time receive media from a variety of different formats.  So your best bet is to mix everything to the highest format available.  If your final output is HD, you want the best quality when converting clips that are in SD.  Final Cut Pro fortunately does this for you, however you will need to specify some settings.

First, highlight the sequence in the Browser window and and right-click it to choose Settings from the contextual menu.  The Sequence Setting dialog appears.  Under the Video Processing Tab, click the Render all YUV material in high-precision YUV radio button.


clock_image.gifWe talk about it all the time; media management and organization.  Still, with some, it just doesn't seem to sink in.  We all want to become more efficient editors, but we're just wasting time by not having our media organized.  So let me give you a different spin today on organizing your media, but without ANY media at all.  Creating a project template in the Finder.

Do this BEFORE ever opening Final Cut Pro, or capturing any video.

Start out by creating a new folder called Project Template, then create subfolders inside it such as Video, Audio, Stills, Graphics. 

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

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

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

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