Final Cut Studio: November 2009 Archives
If you are an Avid Media Composer or Final Cut Pro user, you may find it necessary to send files back and forth between a Windows based PC and your Macintosh computer. There are many different ways to network a Windows based PC with a Mac. One method is to map a network drive letter to your PC for easy access to your Macintosh computer.
For this article, I will focus on networking a PC so it can see the files on a MAC in a very simple network environment. (i.e., a PC and a MAC hooked up to your local home network).
Here's a quick step by step tutorial on how to map a drive letter so you can access your Mac OS X user folder.
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.
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.
Click on the Toggle Clip Overlays button located in the bottom left corner of the Timeline window. The button looks like a mountain peak:
Turning 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.
Continue reading and see some examples...
[User Home]/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Templates
The Final Cut Pro Master Templates that install with Final Cut Studio are in a similar Application Support folder, except at the root (Macintosh HD) level of the disk:
/Library/Application Support/Final Cut Studio/Motion/Templates
Each Master Template package, as you'll notice, consists of a folder corresponding to the Master Template's Theme, plus up to three Master Template files sharing the same name. The .motn file is the actual Motion project, while the .mov and .png files correspond to the preview thumbnails you see in your Motion Template Browser.
The cool thing about Master Templates, in case you didn't know, is that they separate motion graphics content from the motion graphics software itself. Build a lower-third once in Motion, and you or your FCP editors can update it per package directly in Final Cut Pro.
After the jump, workflow strategies for using Master Templates ...
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...
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.
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.
When you play back a DVD with layered menus on a computer-based DVD player (but not in DVD Studio's Simulator), and you try to navigate the menu using your mouse, you have to click a button once to "select" it, and then click it again to activate it.
The menu behaves normally:
- in DVD players, and
- in most software, when you use the arrow keys rather than the mouse to navigate it.
After the jump, the explanation ...
The term 'interlaced video' may cause chills to the seasoned video editor. There are a variety of ways to 'deinterlace' video, but depending how you go about the process may lead to inferior results.
Today, you'll mostly likely encounter an 'interlacing' problem when viewing 'standard defination' mini-dv video on the web, or viewing a QuickTime file playing SD media on a computer screen.
I stumbled upon a free program called 'Deinterlacer' by JES Schotsman. So, I ran through a quick test using it's default parameters. Here are the results. Wow!, I'm sold.
This is a typical example of what an interlaced frame looks like from an interlaced SD or HD video source. Notice how the image looks blurry from displaying both fields of video on a single frame.
Notice the difference, after the video has been deinterlaced. You'll also notice that 'JES Deinterlacer' also runs a color correction algorithm to automatically for color contrast.
Read on to use the duplicate function...
Read on to find out more about this cool transition...
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!
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...
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.
The Build Process is basically only creating the VIDEO_TS folder. You can choose the location where the VIDEO_TS folder is created. If you want to emulate or test your project on your computer by using the DVD Player, using the build process only will save you time without having to format it and find out you have mistakes to fix. Where the correct workflow is to first test your project in Simulator, then Build your project, then test the VIDEO_TS folder you built in your computer's DVD player, then format your project and test it in a tabletop DVD player and also make sure your disk plays on your computer, you could essentially do it all in one step.
The Format process takes a VIDEO_TS folder you already have created and writes it to a DVD recordable drive. The Build/Format option simply combines these two tasks of creating the VIDEO_TS folder and writing it to a disk, in one step. So why even bother with the two-step process, you ask? Well there are a couple of advantages with performing the Build process by itself first.
One advantage being the fact that you can preview your project by playing the VIDEO_TS folder on your Apple DVD Player, and avoid burning any mistakes onto a disk. Well why can't I just preview my project in Simulator? You can; however the Apple DVD Player will allow certain functions that Simulator will not, for example, fast-forwarding. You will get a more realistic point of view by playing your project on the DVD player than in Simulator. Another advantage to using the Build step separately is the ability to choose what VIDEO_TS folder you want to burn.
But for all practical purposes, most authors will use the Build/Format option for most projects. Check out our upcoming schedule for 1-day DVD Studio Pro training to learn all the necessary skills for authoring a fully functional DVD!
It's time to revisit the popular Carbon Copy Cloner program that allows you to create an exact copy of your source machine onto an external hard drive.
I recently tested this by backing up my Mac Book Pro running Snow Leopard. It took about 1 1/2 hours to back up 80 Gigs to my portable pocket drive running at 5400 RPM.
The latest version also allows you to create incremental backups that can be scheduled. You can even back everything up to a remote Mac on a Network. To create a backup of your entire sytstem, just hook up an external drive and set it as the target. That's it!
To test the copy, you can boot your Mac directly off the external drive by holding down the option key while you restart your Mac. This will allow you to choose your external drive as the new Boot Drive.
Okay, so how must does this software cost? Guess what, it's free! Yes, you read that correctly. Bombich Software makes this very clear by running an occasional banner within the software program. I recommend that you donate to Bomich Software for this amazing program.
If you plan on cloning several machines using Carbon Copy Cloner there's one catch. Keep in mind those machines will be EXACT copies of each other. This means, they will inherent all the same user names and passwords. They'll also have all the same programs with the same serial numbers. This means, you may have reset the serial numbers on certain software products that have license restrictions.
Final 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.