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May 2007 Archives

It is easy to tweak effects in Live Type to achieve a particular movement or look once you have applied a prexisting effect to text, but keep in mind that creating a custom effect from scratch is an option as well!

1 After you have placed text in your timeline, add a blank effect track by clicking once on that text track to select it, then pressing Command E or go to Track > New Effect. You will see that a blank effect track without keyframes have been placed beneath the text you have created.


2 Name the effect by going to the Effects tab in the Inspector Window and double clicking on "New Effect."


3 Position the playhead were you want the effect to start in the blank effect track.

4 Press Command K to insert a keyframe.


5 Change a parameter from within the Inspector Window, whether it be a change in style, size, tracking, opacity, etc. Now, when you playback your text with the effect, you will see that the parameter changes you have made are represented by the keyframe.

When you have text on a track in LiveType, you can manipulate a single character on that track to give it a unique movement and look all of its own.


1 Add text onto the track.

2 Go to the Text Entry Field and select a single character from within the text you have written. You will see a bounding box appear around the character in the Canvas.

3 Manipulate this one character by either dragging it to a new location, rotating it by dragging the handle in the upper left corner of the bounding box, change its size by dragging either inward or outward from the right handle.

4 You can even go to the effect tab > pick an effect > and click apply to add it to the selected character.

If you're experiencing beeping in your Final Cut Pro audio track while building a project, chances are you have exceeded your real-time audio capability. While in Final Cut Pro, go to the main menu and select Final Cut Pro > User Preferences. A dialog box will open and you will see, by default, that the Real-time Audio Track Mixing option is set to 8 tracks. Keep in mind that any filters you add to an audio track counts as an additional audio track. For example, if you had 5 audio tracks, each with 2 filters, then you essentially have created 10 tracks.

Realtime audio.jpg

You can set the Real-Time Audio Mixing value to any number that you like, but that doesn't mean that your hardware can handle it! Be mindful of your hardware limitations before changing this value. If you're working on fast drives, you could well exceed the default 8 tracks.


Nero, leaders in digital media technology, announced today that Nero 7 is the first multimedia suite to be certified for both authoring and playback of the Advanced Video Codec High Definition Standard (AVCHD), allowing users to create and enjoy their AVCHD content in one solution. AVCHD is a new recording format introduced by Sony and Panasonic that uses an MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) video codec that allows for greater compression efficiency and higher quality audio and video capturing.

If you are cutting a Documentary on a historical topic, you can just about count on having to incorporate still images into your timeline either via scanner or various storage media. It is to your advantage to know how to change the duration of a still image clip so it can be synchronized with the appropriate voiceover.


When you import a still image into Final Cut Pro, the default duration is 10 seconds and there are several ways to manipulate its length:

1 Go to Final Cut Pro > User preferences, then choose the editing tab.

2 Type a new value in the Still/Freeze Duration Field.

You can also:

- Double click the duration column in the Browser window and enter a new value.

- Double click the clip in the browser window to open it in the Viewer, then enter a value for that clip in the duration field.

- Choose a clip in the browser, click edit > item properties, then choose the timing tab and enter a new value.

- You can simply import the image into the browser window, then either perform an overwrite or insert edit to place it into the timeline, place the cursor at the end of the image and drag to adjust the duration of the image.

When working with transitions in Final Cut Pro there are a couple of tricks to help you along the way including how set transition favorites to hot keys, and how to add multiple transitions all at the same time.

When you utilize the matchframe capability of Avid Xpress Pro, you are calling up the frame that the blue locator bar is currently parked over in the timeline, from the original clip, which may be burried deep within a bin under many other clips. Perhaps you are looking for different framing of the shot you that you currently have in your sequence. Match Frame keeps you form having to manually dig through a sea of clips to find the original file.


If you find yourself using a particular clip over and over again, keep in mind that each time you perform a Match Frame the previously set in and out points for the clip will be erased. There are two things you can do to prevent this from happening:

After you have set the in and out points for the clip that you have added into your sequence, go back and replace those points with locators.


You can also hold down the ALT key for a PC or Option key for a Mac and click on Match Frame icon to preserve your in and out points when you recall that clip. If you do not have the matchframe icon assigned to your timeline toolbar, simply go to Tools > Command Palette > Other > Match Frame and drag the icon to a button you least use in the timeline toolbar to replace it.


By utilizing the Command Palette, you can assign the Option key modifier to the Match Frame icon so that this process will be automated. Go to Tools > Command Palette > Other > Add Option Key and drag it to the Match Frame icon in your timeline. You will see a black dot at the foot of the icon to signify a modifier has been added.


If you are unable to apply a transitions or change the duration of a Cross Dissolve while working in Final Cut Pro, chances are their is not enough pad on each clip to allow for it.


When I say 'pad', I'm talking about pad, I'm talking about having enough media at the 'head' or 'tail' of a clip in order to add a transition.  

A good way to double check things is to double click on the incoming and/or outgoing clip to make sure you have enough room left over for a transition. This will load that clip into the Viewer window. 


If your in or out points are at the edge of the clip, you'll need to trim up the clip a bit in order to add your transition.

Example: if your original captured media clip was 8 seconds long, when you set your in and outs for the clip, the in point should be marked somewhere around 3 seconds into the clip. It doesn't really matter where the in point begins Just don't place it at the very beginning of the captured media. The same goes for the end of the clip. Don't place your out point at the very end of the captured media, unless you know that you are definitely going to perform a straight cut into the next clip. The room that you are leaving at the beginning and end of clips is what FCP will use to perform the Cross-Dissolve.

You can read more about why Final Cut Pro will not allow dissolves or transitions by clicking on this link.

What are some of the critical settings within Avid Xpress or Media Composer that you should be aware of?

There are many different settings within the Avid software. At last count there are roughly 40 different categories of settings within Avid Media Composer, and that doesn't count all the various settings within each category.

We've compiled a list of common 'critical settings' that you might want to check before launching the software.

There are several ways to output your finished sequence. The term output can mean several things. For some of us, you may never intend on outputting back to tape. The most common output format is to output to a DVD. Other choices include outputting back to tape, or to a multimedia format.


One quick way to crank up audio levels in Final Cut Pro is to click on the Toggle Clip overlays icons at the bottom left of the Timeline Window >


park your cursor on top of the pink rubberband overlay in your audio tracks > click and drag the rubberband upward.


You can adjust specific areas of your audio by option clicking on the rubberband to set keyframes or nodes and pull selected areas up and dragging others downward.


If your QuickTime movies have poor quality playback, it may be because you haven't turned on the 'use high quality video setting' within QuickTime Pro. Final Cut Pro users often complain about low quality rendering of graphics or titles, when in fact they simply aren't viewing the full resolution QuickTime movie.

Take a look at this sample title that was exported as a QuickTime movie blown up 500% using the standard DV-DVCPRO codec. You'll notice the quality is fairly decent, considering DV is compressed 5:1.


If you are encountering poor quality playback with QuickTime movies using the DV-Codec you need to make sure the high quality video setting is turned on within QuickTime Pro.

LiveType makes it quite simple to copy and paste effects, keyframes and tracks between projects. This is excellent for saving you the time of having to recreate effects you have made from scratch.

Copying and Pasting Keyframes Between Projects

1 After you have opened the project that you want to copy a keyframe from, choose the keyframe by clicking it once, then Press command C to copy it. Keep in mind that if you were copying an entire track or effect you could have simply Control Clicked or Right Clicked with a two button mouse on a track, to copy a track or to the side of a keyframe, to copy an entire effect.


2 Open the project that you will be copying to and position the timeline indicator over the area where you wish to paste, in the effect track that you have laid down in the new project, and press either Command V or Control Click the track and select Paste from the menu.


Avid Marquee can be a mystery to many Avid editors. It's really a seperate application within itself, but yet tightly integrated with Avid Xpress and Media Composer.


The problem is, learning Marquee can be a daunting task. Marquee is an incredibly powerful program allowing for true extruded 3D characters with 3D lighting effects.

This short marquee training tutorial will show you how to create and animate a basic 3D title.

Another way to alter premade effects in Apple LiveType is to manipulate just one keyframe parameter, then apply the change globally to the entire effect.

1 Apply an effect to the text you have created. In this example, I have chosen the Dirst Stop effect under the Caricature menu.


2 Select the effect in the timeline.


3 Make a change to the effect by manipulating a property in either the Text , Style or Attributes tabs. In this example, I will be changing the XY scale larger under the Attributes tab.


Note: You can either select an existing keyframe in the effect by clicking on it or parking the locator bar over an area that does not have a keyframe and one will be made for you as you adjust a parameter.

4 Option click the LED next to the parameter that you have just changed to apply it to the entire effect. You will see that the X and Y parameters will be altered for the entire effect. LED.jpg


The ability to set specific behavioral parameters to targeted objects within an Apple Motion project can provide you with animation that is truly eyecatching! For example, the Vortex behavior is set to one object and has the potential to effect every object that surrounds it, but you can specifically target the elements on which the Vortex behavior will apply its force.


Setting Specific Objects To Be Effected By the Vortex Behavior

1 Apply the Vortex behavior to one element within your project that you wish for other objects to circle around. You can do this in the Dashboard or the Inspector windows.

2 The Behaviors tab will supply you a list of affected elements. From the Layers list, drag the specific items that you wish to be effected by the Vortex Affect to the affected elements list.

All objects that you have placed within the Affected objects list will now circle around the object that you originally applied the Vortex behavior to in step 1.

It is important to understand what each preference means, because each preference will affect the functionality of the Final Cut Pro software.

Understanding your Final Cut Pro system settings is critical before you jump into the software and begin editing. There are several critical settings you should check before beginning your first edit.


For all of you Avid Xpress Pro and Final Cut Pro artists who are looking for quality High Definition and Standard Def stock footage, Mammoth HD has recently released their unique June and July collections. London and NewYork headline the cities collection in HD and SD anamorphic while the Amazon River collections headline a robust International assortment of footage including Holland, Iceland, Taiwan, and the Sri Lanka Tsunami aftermath.

This is a great site for Royalty free stock footage including 3D animations and motion graphics in 1080i, 1080/24p, 720p, HDV and SD(480p) complete with thumbnail previews, and item descriptions.

Check it out.


There is an interesting trick for changing the duration for multiple Final Cut Pro clips all at the same time. The catch is, you can only add or subtract frames. However, this is still a very powerful feature.

A great example would be when you want to put together a montage of clips, and you need to experiment with different durations.

The task sounds simple. You have a job where you need to put together a quick 'montage video' or 'slide show' with a few hundred photos.

Here is the problem: With Avid Xpress or Media composer, How do you mark in-out points for all those clips at the same time? Plus, don't forget that you will need some handles in order to add all your favorite transitions.

I once had a nightmare job where I had to mark in-out points for hundreds of clips, and then the client kept changing their mind about how long each clip was supposed to be. Don't worry, there is an undocumented trick that will allow you to mark durations for all your clips in a few quick key strokes.

Each item that you import into Motion is referred to as an object and each object is placed on a parent layer. As you continue to build your motion graphics project, and have constructed many composite layers, you will find it beneficial to lock layers in order to preserve the integrity of an effect. This will ensure that as you are working, those individual objects will not mistakingly get nudged out of sync, disturbing the effect that you have created.


Locking Layers in Motion

1 Shift click to make multiple selections for the layers you wish to lock in the Project pane.

2 Go to Object > Lock or press Control L.

You will see a red bounding box appear around the selected objects in the designated layers you have locked.


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This page is an archive of entries from May 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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