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Final Cut Pro 7: May 2010 Archives

post_haste_icon.pngI discovered a great organization tool for Final Cut Pro called Post Haste.  It's an app you can download for free to help you set up your asset folders and project files.  Here at GeniusDV, we highly advocate setting up your project folders/files ahead of time, and this handy little app does essentially the same thing with a little "kick start".

Post Haste simply asks for some user defined input such as project number, client, date, editor, etc, and makes a copy of the template folder to either a pre-defined or your choice of location, and renames both the project folder and any files with the name "Template" with the input collected earlier.
post_haste.pngpost_haste_project.pngWhat's nice about Post Haste is the ability to customize it to your own needs.  When you first open the application, you will see a dialog box asking if you wish to customize the template.  Choosing Customize will open up the template folder and allow you to reorganize the folder structure, or copy your own into this folder.  Preferences also allow you to choose how many fields to prompt, provide defaults for any of the fields, auto-format the date field, and more.

The key here is keeping your project files organized, whether you're using Post Haste, or your own media management system; it's going to save you a lot of time and help you to be a more efficient editor.




Taking Screen Shots to be used in Final Cut Pro is a common practice for many. To take a screen shot of the full screen is done by using the Command, Shift, and 3 keys. To select just a section of the screen use Command, Shift, and 4 keys, and click and drag over the desired area. One more way to take a screen shot is to use the Command, Shift, and 4 keys like you would to do a screen shot of an area. After using the Command, Shift, and 4 keys, you hit the spacebar, and you will see a camera appear. the camera becomes your cursor, and whatever window you park over, and then click on, will be copied.

Regardless of what method you use, the screen shot appears as a .png on the desktop. These screen shots/.png's are now ready to be used in Final Cut Pro just like any other image.
You can save a lot of time in Final Cut Pro by scrubbing through the thumbnails in your Browser window to see what a particular clip contains, without having to load it into the Viewer.  First of all, in order to see your thumbnails, right-click in between the columns at the top of the Browser window titled, Name, Duration, In, Out, etc and you will see a whole list of options.  Choose Show Thumbnail

show_thumbnails.pngNow you have a new column of Thumbnails, which shows a picture icon that represents the first frame of media that was captured.  You can change the thumbnail icons to represent a different frame if you want.  Now you can scrub through the thumbnails by clicking on one, holding the mouse button down, and dragging your mouse left and right to scrub through the clip without having to load it into the viewer.
thumbnails.png
It is important to note that when you have the Thumbnails column in your browser, you cannot double-click on the thumbnail to load it into the Viewer.  The thumbnails are just there for preview purposes, but using them for scrubbing can be a huge timesaver and a great organizer.


The Mark Audio Peaks function in Final Cut Pro is a great way to quickly find all of those little "problem areas" in your timeline where your audio is peaking.  It's often an overlooked problem, missing those "hot spots", and an overlooked simple tool you can use to fix them.  To get started, make sure your Timeline is active, and all video and audio clips are unselected.  Navigate to the Mark menu and choose Audio Peaks > Mark.
mark_audio_peaks.pngNow let Final Cut do all the work!  It automatically scans your Timeline and places a mark over any hot spots.  If a section of audio has a peak that lasts longer than a frame, the marker will show a "tail" spanning the duration of the problem area.
audio_peaking_markers.pngBe sure to check out our 4 day Final Cut Pro class to learn more ways to speed up your workflow. 

idustrial_revolution_icon.png5 new free plug-ins for Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, Motion and Adobe After Effects called Freebie Pack1 were updated and made available this week from Idustrial Revolution.  The plug-ins include World, MultiSpace, iSight Live, Rack Focus, & Opposites.  Personally World is my favorite; it's a sun lit earth generator in 3D space fully equipped with clouds and city lights which you can toggle on or off.


freebie_pack1_controls.pngMultiSpace puts two inputs into 3D space with global & independent XYZ & rotation.  Planes can intersect too.  The only way to animate two images or movies to move together in 3D space in Final Cut Pro!  Anti-Aliasing added also for smoother edges when rendering.  iSight Live lets you get a live input on your timeline in Final Cut Pro, Express, Motion, or After Effects.  Rack Focus racks the blur from one input to the other with one parameter.  Both blur values for each input can be independently set.  Opposites gives you two input basic parameter linking; move one left, the other goes right.  Rotate one clockwise, the other one goes anticlock.  Complete with customizeable font selection, color and drop shadow parameters.  You can get the free download from their website

Flip_video_final_cut_pro.png

Using the video shot on Flip video cameras in Final Cut Pro is a very simple workflow. Flip cameras offer flexibility rivaled only by lipstick camera. I recently purchased a Flip Video camera to be able to have an underwater shot in a production. For less than $200 I was able to purchase an HD Flip Video camera with an underwater housing, and a mini tripod. Personally I am very impressed with what the camera can do, as well as how convenient it is to have with me at all times.

You CAN change the size of your text or fonts displayed in Final Cut Pro, such as in the Browser, Effects, logging bins, & etc.  It's sad that it's necessary for us older kids, but nonetheless, if you find yourself squinting a lot, or you've run over to the local Walgreens to pick up a pair of +2.0 readers, or if you've been working on your system all day and your eyes are just really tired, maybe trying out this simple little trick will help.
change_font_size.pngIt's as easy as navigating to the View menu, scrolling down to Text Size, and choosing Small, Medium, or Large.

view_text_size.pngOR, you can also change your Browser text size under the Final Cut Pro User Preferences:
browser_text_size.pngSo give it a try, and give your peepers a break!  Be sure to check out our Final Cut Pro class schedule and learn to edit with a contemporary workflow.


Thumbnail image for revert.pngOf all the Final Cut Pro functions Revert is one of the most misunderstood. The Revert function will take your Final Cut Pro project to the configuration it was at the last time it was saved. Too often Final Cut Pro users confuse the Revert function for the Restore function. When Final Cut Pro unexpectedly closes from power outage or unknown factor, and then is reopened, the Revert function is not available, because the project opens in the last saved configuration. This is the time to use the Restore function.

Saving Final Cut Pro frequently is something that everyone who has every lost any work knows they could have done more frequently. Command S should be a reflex action, and after every set of edits we should be letting that reflex happen. The time that you don't want to save is when you have an "idea" that you want to try. If you save before trying your idea, you will be able to Revert if it doesn't work out. That is a great way to use the Revert function.


Being efficient in Final Cut Pro is all about keyboard shortcuts. This is secondary, or in conjunction with keyboard shortcuts for the Mac OS. Two of the top keyboard shortcuts to being efficient with the Mac OS are bringing up the Spotlight with Command+Spacebar, and using Command+Tab to bring up the Application Switcher.

spotlight.gif

Remember back in the days of Fit-to-Fill Edits?  The newer speed controls nowadays give new solutions to old problems.  Check out this update about the new speed controls in Final Cut Pro 7:

In our 5-Day Final Cut Pro class, our students always got frustrated by the way Final Cut 6 handled speed control. While changing a clip's playback speed was easy enough if you wanted a constant rate of slow- or fast-motion, common tasks like accelerating or decelerating a clip were painful: unlike Avid's velocity-based time graphs, Final Cut's position-based time graphs were anything but intuitive. Unless you were a whiz at high school calculus, visualizing the relationship between position graphs and acceleration (its second derivative, calc whizzes)
took a heap of effort.

Speed Change Dialog

The new speed controls poke their heads up in a few places.  For starters, the basic "Change Speed" dialog box (Modify -> Change Speed or Cmd+J) has a shiny new look: in addition to the old percentage-based and duration-based speed controls, you can instantly add eases to the speed change.  These quick-and-easy controls let you avoid a lot of the reasons you'd formerly need to use a Time Remap graph: to smooth out speed changes, for example, simply adjust the clip's speed then use one of the curved ease options for the clip's Start and End interpolations.

The Speed control dialog box also introduces a "Ripple Sequence" option, which allows you to toggle whether or not the remaining clips in your sequence automatically adjust to fit your new clip.  It's on by default, which is normally the behavior that you expect -- but if you've already got a sequence edited to an audio track, this little option could save you some headaches.
Here is a really simple trick to reveal text in Final Cut Pro by using the Crop Tool, and without having to go into LiveType or Motion.  Let's say you have a piece of text you want to superimpose at the beginning of a clip, but you don't just want it to flash on and flash off...boring.  Let's give it just a little "umph" without taking up too much of your time. 



  1. In the Viewer window, click on the generators button and scroll down to select Text. 
  2. Make sure your alpha channel (or checkerboard) is turned on.

text_generator.gifmore step by step to follow...


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about.this

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

Final Cut Pro 7: April 2010 is the previous archive.

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

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