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Final Cut Pro 7: January 2010 Archives

lock_and_load_icon.gifIf you've ever wondered if there's an alternative to using the Smoothcam Filter in Final Cut Pro, there is:  it's called Lock & Load, and it's available from CoreMelt.  This week's featured plug-in takes your hand held shaky camera footage and makes it usuable footage.  Just select the clip, analyze it in seconds and playback the smoothed clip; even on clips with complex rotational motion or camera zooms.  Compared to other stabilizing filters, Lock & Load only analyzes the section of the clip between the in & out points, and is up to 12 times faster.  It also analyzes in the background so you can work on other clips while it's working; so no more waiting.

Lock & Load also features advanced tracking techniques which allow transitions to be added without having to re-analyze.  It also features intelligent adaptive zoom, so it will automatically compensate for differing levels of movement and zoom in to remove edges.

Once downloaded, Lock & Load can be found under the Effects Tab in your Browser window.
lock_load_filter.gifYou can trial the plug-in and see for yourself.  But in comparison to smoothcam, Lock & Load is much faster, and well worth the money spent! 

Every movie and TV show today has them:  credits.  It's important to know how to create the most basic kind of scrolling credits in Final Cut Pro.  Once you have your sequence finalized in the Timeline, you can then start to create your credits for the end of your video.

Step by step is after the jump...

fcp_icon.pngThe Matchframe function is one of the most useful functions we have as editors. Don't forget to use the Matchframe function when dealing with text. If you have a recurrent text item, chapter headings for example, you can use Match Frame to load them into the Viewer.

After creating a text object it is always a good idea to immediately bring it into the Timeline, and then load it into the Viewer. This way if you load something else into the Viewer, you won't lose the existence of your text object. The other benefit to this workflow is that if you are parked over the text object in the Timeline, you will be able to see the image in the Canvas as you make changes to it in the Viewer. If you have any question whether what is in the Viewer is source material or from the timeline, one easy way to know is to look at the Scrubber Bar. If there are what look like film sprocket marks in the Scrubber Bar then it has been loaded from the Timeline, but if the Scrubber bar is clean it is Source material.


By default it would seem that you can't use Expose and have certain Final Cut Studio keyboard shortcuts. To keep things simple we typically recommend to disable Expose for the most efficient operation of Final Cut. If you are a fan of using F9 - F12 as the Mac Expose, there is a solution. Instead of disabling Expose, you can choose remap the Expose functions to a different keyboard command.


When you are about to click on an F key, hold down a modifier key first, then click the modified F key to reassign the keyboard shortcut to the new modified keyboard shortcut.

zoom_buttons.gifFinal Cut Pro 7 has some terrific new shortcuts making editing life easier.  Today we'll look at one that may have gone unnoticed, the Zoom In/Out On Playhead In Timeline Buttons.  If you go to the Tools Menu > Button List (or Option+J) and type Playhead into the search bar you will see the two new navigation buttons Zoom In and Zoom Out on Playhead In Timeline Buttons. 

button_list_zoom.gifTake both of those buttons and drag them down into your Button Bar above the Timeline.

zoom_in_buttons.gifThese two new shortcuts are really useful when you need to zoom to a particular section of your Timeline.  The cool thing is, if I wanted to zoom in on a clip in the Timeline, and I click on this button that says Zoom In On Playhead in Timeline, it keeps the playhead centered, so as you're zooming, notice how the playhead stays centered in the Timeline.  This feature helps the problem that when you have a clip selected and you normally zoom in, it actually zooms to the thing that's selected, which can be really annoying.  But with these buttons, it doesn't matter what is selected, it still zooms on the playhead.

Most Final Cut Pro editors know the power of nesting multiple clips into a single sequence, but they often overlook the benefits of nesting a single clip into itself.

By making a nest of a single clip, you wrap up any changes that you've made to that clip, and the nested clip behaves like a brand new, unmodified piece of media.  For example, imagine you have a shot whose horizon is a little crooked. If you increase the scale of the clip and rotate it, you will be able to use it.

The issue is that now, the clip's attribute values will be different than most other clips.  If you were to paste attributes from one clip to a set of other clips including the clip that has been enlarged and rotated, it would effect the enlarged and straightened clip differently. It would not be easy to figure out the exact attribute values to make all of these clips look the same. If you nested the clip after making the changes, the nest would act like a clip, and would have reset attribute values. It will act like a sequence/nest, so you will want to remember to use the return key to load it into the Viewer, because double clicking will open the sequence.


compressor_repair_icon.pngEver get Compressor errors, or Compressor won't start encoding, or just plain refuses to Compress?  There's a handy little application that's designed to fix Compressor when it develops problems, Compressor Repair, by Digital Rebellion. 

Sometimes you can fix the problem by Verifying Disc Permissions and Repairing Disc Permissions, but if that doesn't help, try this handy little app.  Because Compressor relies a lot upon Qmaster, Compressor is unable to submit batches if Qmaster fails to launch.  But with Compressor Repair, it checks for problems that could be preventing Qmaster from operating correctly.  It checks for missing files, incorrect permissions, invalid hostname, and attempts to manually start the Qmaster process.  More about Compressor Repair after the jump...

fcp_icon.pngWith the Standard Window Setup or Arrangement in Final Cut Pro, it can sometimes be confusing and not so intuitive to new users.  So, here's an alternative window arrangement that may help beginners understand the relationship between windows.

Here's what the Standard window arrangement looks like...after the jump you can see another alternative...

noise_industries_icon.pngThis weeks featured plug-in comes from one of my favorite plug-ins providers, Noise Industries' FXFactory.  You all know how much I love transitions for Final Cut Pro, and I was so tickled to find this one.

It's basically a particle generator that can make for some amazing effects and motion graphic elements.  If you're like me, and not quite the Motion graphics wizard yet, creating particle systems can be difficult.  But Particle Metrix takes all the guesswork out of creating those particle motion effects.  Keep reading to learn more about the Particle Metrix plug-ins...

video_audio_patches.gifEver wonder what these little symbols mean on the left side of your Timeline in Final Cut Pro?  It's called the Timeline Patch Panel, and what it does is it determines which elements from the clip in the Viewer edit to the Timeline.  The Patch Panel lets you edit video-only or audio-only into the Timeline and it lets you determine the tracks to which you edit a clip.  But it only works when editing clips using the functions such as Insert or Overwrite and dragging them into the Canvas.  If you drag a clip directly into the Timeline, you can override the Patch Panel.

The Patch Panel has two sides:  the left side, labeled with a lowercase letter, v for video, a for audio, representing the clip in the Viewer.  The right side, labeled with an uppercase letter V or A, representing the tracks in the Timeline.  The left side of the Patch Panel looks at the clip in the Viewer and only displays the tracks that are there.  If there is no audio with a video clip, there won't be an audio patch on the left.  Think of the Patch Panel as showing the source of the clip on the left and the destination of the clip on the right.  Keep reading for some examples...
auto_select_icon.pngWhen applying a video effect or filter to a clip in Final Cut Pro, you don't always need to select a clip in the Timeline.  You can use the Auto Select button within the Timeline to tell Final Cut Pro which video layers will be affected when you apply a video effect from any of the Final Cut Pro menus.  This includes effects that are applied from using a shortcut key.  But you have to make sure you have the playhead indicator parked over the clips that you want affected.

Most of the actions that you take in Final Cut involve applying some kind of change to some specific target region or piece of media.  Final Cut tries to save you time: if you don't explicitly pick the target for your action by clicking to select it, Final Cut will try to guess what you want to change.  The Auto Selects help Final Cut guess better by giving it hints about what video or audio tracks you're interested in working with.

The default keyboard shortcut to manage the Auto Select is CMD + track number.  For example, CMD + 2 toggles the Auto Select for V2, and to toggle the Audio use OPT instead of CMD.  But remember, this only works when using the numeric keypad and not the numbers above the QWERTY portion of the keyboard.

toggle_auto_select.pngIt's important to note that you're toggling the correct Auto Select buttons on or off before adding a favorite effect that has been mapped to a shortcut key.  The default setting is for all the Auto Select icons to be turned on.

If you're only working with one video track, you can basically forget about Auto Select; however, if you're using functions such as Matchframe, Revealing Master Clip, or Mark clip, between several tracks, using the Auto Select buttons do become helpful.  The number one instance for using the Auto Select Function is when you copy and paste to different tracks.

fcp_icon.pngSo how many of you out there got a new Mac for Christmas or are starting off the New Year at work with a new Mac?  Lucky you!  So maybe you're selling your older Mac or even giving it away to someone, but what you don't want to do is give away your Final Cut Studio.  So in order to save you a lot of time, there's a really easy way to delete the Final Cut Studio System ID number. 

You will find this information by following this path:  HD >Library >Application Support> ProApps >Final Cut Studio System ID

fcs_system_id_path.gifThen basically just delete the file or move it to the trash.  Anytime someone tries to open up the application, it will prompt the user to input a new serial number.
fcp_licensing_dialog.gifYou might ask, "Why not just uninstall the applications?"  For one, it could take some time.  Also, it might be a situation where the person you are giving your old Mac to already has a license.  Why make them go through the 4 hour install process when all they need is their serial number.

It's also important to note that when upgrading Final Cut Studio, you won't need the original serial number, just the number for the upgrade.  But you will need the original serial number if you've entered a new system ID.

Got a new Final Cut Studio for Christmas or the New Year and don't know where to start?  We have an awesome 5 day training class in Final Cut Studio.  Class sizes are small and you get a lot of one-on-one time with your instructor.  Why not check out our schedule and call to book your class today!  Can't come to Orlando?  No problem!  Our instructors will come to you; call us to find out more about our Onsite Training.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Final Cut Pro 7 category from January 2010.

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

Final Cut Pro 7: February 2010 is the next archive.

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