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Final Cut Pro 7: November 2009 Archives

When keyframing in Final Cut Pro you have the ability to choose to have the animation be either constant or variable. By right clicking on a keyframe you can choose to select Smooth, which will change the animation from constant to variable. You will also now see what is called a velocity handle. These handles can be adjusted to increase the amount that animation eases in or out.

This is a great way to soften the way an effect happens. Color effects for example will happen in a more gradual manner with a smooth keyframe at the begining. The best example is this, imagine if you were animating a tire swing hanging from a tree. As the swing reached it's highest point, it would slow to a stop, then speed back up as the swing started it's decent, instead of maintaining the same speed at all times.

This weeks' plug-in features a cool confetti-like transition from NewBlueFX.  Confetti turns the first scene into bits of three-dimensional confetti that blows off the screen to reveal the second scene. 

NewBlue has a 3D Explosions pack of plug-ins that injects explosive energy into your videos with ease.  13 different transitions introduce creative new ways to blast a scene into pieces.  Here's another one called 3D Box Explode, which I thought was pretty cool too.

You do have to purchase the plug-ins, but you can also use the trial version before you decide.  I thought it was well worth the money, especially if you are doing a lot of montage work or weddings perhaps.  I also found that with this plug-ins pack, it was the easiest install I've come across yet.  Sometimes you have to go hunting for your plug-ins, or they're not where they're supposed to be; but with NewBlue, they popped right up and were easy to find.

Changing something as simple as a clip's opacity can be an effective tool for creating visual effects in Final Cut Pro.  Opacity meaning the level of a clip's transparency.  You can do this in two different places; as a function in the Motion Tab, and also directly in the Timeline.

Click on the Toggle Clip Overlays button located in the bottom left corner of the Timeline window.  The button looks like a mountain peak:

clip_overlays_image.gifTurning on the clip overlays enables you to easily control a clip's opacity directly within the Timeline.  After you click on the Toggle Clip Overlays button, a black line appears at the top of all the video clips within the Timeline window.  You can drag the black clip-overlay line until you achieve the desired opacity level. 

clip_overlay_adjusted.gifContinue reading and see some examples...

rolling_pin.gifI know it seems pretty obvious, but someone asked me the other day, "What do you mean by handles?"  Handles in Final Cut Pro are basically the extra frames of unused video or audio that are on either side of the In & Out points in an edit.  Think of it like a rolling pin, where you have those 2 handles on either side of the actual part you use.  More of a shooting technique than an editing technique, but in a lot of cases you are performing both jobs; and if you're not, you want to make sure your camera person is doing this too.  Recording an amount of tape before the action starts and after the action ends is essential for creating those "handles".  A good rule of thumb is at least 5 seconds on either side.  You really need these especially when you're using cross dissolve transitions, or a fade in or out before or after your clip.  If you start recording right when the action starts, you won't have enough footage to "fade in from black".

Understanding Handles is important before getting too deep into trimming clips.  In order to extend a clip in the Timeline to a longer duration, you need to have that extra media available.  An easy way to check if you have enough media to trim is to double click on a clip that is in the Timeline.  You can see the available header and tail areas that you can use for trimming purposes by loading the clip into the Viewer.  This means you can extend the clip beyond its edited length within the sequence.  Once you have determined that a clip has enough material to trim, you can extend the clip by the duration of the available handles.


Note that the sprockets here means it is a clip from the Timeline.  Keep reading for another tip...

final_cut_assistant_image.gifFinal Cut Assistant is a freeware program available from Apple to help you make the most out of your Final Cut Pro system.  All the little annoying things you have to mess with in Final Cut Pro are all put together in a nice little package for you.  Functions included are listed here.


New Empty Project lets you avoid Untitled project files and unnamed sequences in your projects.  Use it everytime you start a project to name it.

Reset Final Cut Pro is like trashing your preferences.  Reset gets your user preferences back to their original state.

Restore from Backup allows you to choose from any of the available earlier versions of your User Settings.

The "Backup" that you are restoring is created when you "Save User Settings..." The Backup contains Window, Keyboard, Column, & Button Bar Layouts, as well as Favorites and User Preferences. This is much easier than saving each of these settings individually. The Backup is a .zip file located @ User/Backup/com.apple.FinalCutPro. The file name can be changed to a user's name for example. On a system where multiple editors use the the same OS user, this is a great way to maintain multiple User Settings. Personally I intend on coping the zip file to my iDisc so I always have access to my User settings.

 Thumbnail image for final_cut_assistant.gif

Back Up Now backs up your User Settings

Deactivate Final Cut Studio allows you to deactivate it in order to move it onto another computer.  It removes licensing information without actually uninstalling Final Cut Studio.

Configure OS X for Final Cut Pro:  This is huge; sets your screen saver to never, and sets the hard disks to sleep never

The rest of the functions within the menu are pretty self-explanatory.  Even though all of these functions are available thru the Finder, it's nice to have them all wrapped up in a bow for you.

Once downloaded, Final Cut Assistant has it's own little icon in the Menu Bar for activation.


Final Cut Assistant is quite effective and will no doubt become part of your everyday editing process.

Today's feature is a free plug-in for Final Cut Pro that uses a wave to progressively distort a transition between clips.

Read on to find out more about this cool transition...

final_cut_pro_image.gifWhat I mean by Looping in Final Cut Pro, is during playback; when you turn looped playback on in Final Cut Pro, clips and sequences loop back to the beginning whenever the playhead reaches the end of the media.  The clip will play over and over again until you stop playback.  Seems like a silly little thing, but how quickly we forget some of those wonderful keyboard shortcuts.  To turn on looping you can go to the View menu to Loop Playback; but more efficiently use the shortcut Ctrl+L to turn looping on & off.


Be sure to check out our new schedule for Final Cut Pro classes in 2010.  Classes fill up fast, so call today to reserve your spot!

final_cut_pro_image.gifThere is more than one way of deleting items in the Timeline in Final Cut Pro, for example, selecting the item individually or in groups, or even selecting a range with In & Out points.  Knowing the right methods for the right situations can save you a lot of time.

In Final Cut Pro, we have 2 types of delete functions.  A Lift Delete, or a Ripple Delete.  Basically a Lift Delete will leave you with a gap in the sequence; a Ripple Delete closes the gap from the deletion by moving all subsequent clips to the left.  Performing a Lift Delete removes any selected items from the sequence and leaves a gap.  This is useful when you have a series of clips that are all synchronized to music and you don't want to move them.  But if you want to delete one or more clips from the middle of the sequence, the Lift Delete is the best option. 


Continue reading to the next section for performing a Ripple Delete...

Today we'll discuss part 3 of the Multiclip Editing Series by showing you some keyboard shortcuts and remapping your numerical keypad for another way to switch and cut your multiclips.

To make your multiclip editing more efficient you can assign commands and customize your keyboard shortcuts in the Keyboard Layout Tool, and you can find a list of keyboard buttons to use specifically for multiclips.  Go to the Tools pull-down menu to Button List and type in Multiclip into the search field next to the magnifying glass; now you will see a list of available buttons you can use as shortcuts when editing multiclips. 


final_cut_pro_logo.gifFinal Cut Studio only allows you to run one instance of the software on a particular network. If you have a production facility or classroom environment with multiple Final Cut Studio licenses, things can sometimes get confusing with multiple serial numbers.  It's important that each machine maintains its own unique serial number.

To prevent this you must purchase a volume license from Apple, which will allow multiple instances of the same serial number on a network. 

Without a volume license, you may run into an issue where more than one machine accidentally has the same serial number of another machine.  This will require that you delete the Final Cut Studio System ID from one of the conflicting machines and re-enter a serial number that isn't being used.

To do this navigate to the Mac HD / Library / Application Support / ProApps folder.


You can delete the ProAppsSystemID.  *In the previous version, this file is called 'Final Cut Studio System ID'.  The next time you launch any Final Cut Studio application, the system will ask you to re-enter your system ID information.



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

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

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

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