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November 2007 Archives

You can make your audio more dynamic in Final Cut Pro by panning sound effects from the left speaker to the right from within the Viewer Window. A sound effect, such as a passing car panning from the left speaker to the right, can add another dimension to your project and lessen the flatness of canned sound effects.

Before you try this, keep in mind that you only need a mono clip to perform this effect, so if you have a stereo pair, unlink the two and delete one of the tracks.

1 Double click on the audio clip to load it into the viwer.

2 Click on the channel tab in the Viewer Window.

3 Option click on the purple audio spread overlay in order to get the pen tool to create keyframes and drag the points of the line so that it looks like the diagram below. When you begin to move the purple overly you will see a pink line underneath it. It helps if you think of it in this way: think of anything above the pink line as being the right channel and anything below as being the left channel.

Now the audio in this clip will pass from the left speak through the right when played.


If you have ever had the chance to do some editing on another editor's workstation, you will have noticed how different editors have created their own personal interface set up specific to their own particular ease of use. If you look at the Final Cut Pro interface, you will notice that there are button wells located over all the work area windows, allowing you to place shortcut functions in each of them. This ability will aid you in customizing your own personal workspace.

This eables you to be able to place the Import Files Button in the button well over the Browser or add the Add Audio Transition Button to the Timeline Button Bar.


Creating a Shortcut Button in a Button Bar

1 Go to tools > Button List

shortcutmenu fcp.jpg

2 Drag an icon for the function that you desire from the list to the button well and release the mouse button.



If you are looking for some amazing 3D software with an intelligent drawing and animation system, take a look at Google's 'SketchUp' software.  It get's better.  SketchUp is 100% free and is fully functional.

Google also supplies a 3D Warehouse with hundreds of pre-built models that you can download or share with others.

This software is fantastic for Avid and Final Cut Pro users who want to be able to incorporate 3D animation into their video projects.  Better yet, the software is extremely easy to use.

The software even allows you to upload your own models to Google earch.

Of course, Google does have an upgraded version called SketchUp Pro for those who are serious about 3D design.




By setting a noise print in Sountrack Pro, you can pin point a particular noise in your scene for removal. Let's say that after filming a scene, you discover in post that the drone of road construction is competing with your onscreen personalities dialog. Let's face it, you can't always control what's happening in the background of a scene that's being shot guerrilla style. Soundtrack Pro will let you select the problem area, create a noise print, then go back and pin point that noise for reduction in your scene. This technique will take some practice due to the fact that it is possible to reduce the overall sound quality of the scene by performing a noise reduction.

Setting a Noise Print and Reducing Noise

1 Drag a selection in the waveform display that contains only the noise that you want to remove. Whether it be a pause between sentences or before the dialog begins, capture the ambience you are pin pointing for removal.


2 Go to Process > Set Noise Print.

3 Go back to the waveform display and select the entire effected area including dialog.

scene selected.jpg

4 Choose Process > Reduce Noice and the Reduce Noise Dialog Box will appear.


5 This is the part that will take practice. Move the Noise Threshold control to the left to lower the threshold and remove low signals or slide it to the right to raise the threshold and reduce high signals.

The goal here is to remove the unwanted noise without degrading the overall sound quality of the scene. This may call for you to add some bass back into the actors voices after you have made your adjustments. Play around with this functon to get the feel of removing problem noises from a scene.

You can also use SoundTrack Pro's Spectrum Analyzer to further reduce noise frequencies.

For all of you non linear editors out there, you'll deffinately want to take a look at the new Photoshop CS 3 application from Adobe.

The extended version of Photoshop CS 3 offers advanced compositing, 3D editing, and 'movie paint'. You can now open up movie files directly into Photoshop and apply filters directly to full motion video clips.






With previous versions of Photoshop, it was a somewhat difficult task to process video clips within Photoshop.  It involved using droplets and actions to import an image sequence into Photoshop. Now, with CS 3 extended, things couldn't be an easier.  Simply open your movie file directly into Photoshop and apply the filter(s) that you want.  Then render out the final movie.

Since there are so many unique effects and filters within Photoshop, this really opens the door for some advanced compositing techniques that may not be readily available within your favorite non linear editing system.

GeniusDV now incorporates Photoshop for Video training into the Avid Xpress and Final Cut Pro training courses. 

You have built an awesome 30 second spot within Final Cut Pro that is a definite eye-catcher and will stop anyone in their tracks! The client is overwhelmingly pleased, but requests one more thing of you. They need you to make a more compact version of that same spot that is 15 seconds long. Well, anyone who has been a commercial producer for any length of time can tell you that if at all possible, you don't need to re-invent the wheel. You will be borrowing the proper pre-edited clips from your original 30 second spot to provide the one two punch your client is looking for.

FCP Sequence.jpg

Sharing Clips Between Sequences by Copying and Pasting

1 Open the original project that you want to copy material from and select the clips you wish to copy from the timeline.

2 Press Command C to copy the clips(s).

3 Open the new sequence and drag it by its tab to a new location so that you are able to view it and the original sequence simultaneously.

4 Ensure that the Auto Select controls are active for the tracks in the new sequence you will be copying to.

5 Move the playhead to the area that you wish to copy the clip(s) to within the new sequence.

6 Press Command V and you will have shared clips between sequences.

You may find it convenient in the process of planning the workflow for your film to create a new sequence in FCP for each scene and later edit them together in a finished master sequence. This particular workflow could really help you in the render department by allowing you the fexibility of being able to render all of your effects intensive scenes in separate sequences.

1 Drag the icon for your current sequence from the Browser into the Viwer Window.


2 Go to File > New > Sequence.

3 Double-click on the new sequence icon that appears in the Browser to open up the new Timeline Window.

4 You can now set in and out points in your sequence that was previously loaded into the Viewer.


5 Edit the source sequence into the master sequence just as you would a clip with an overwrite or insert edit.


Keep in mind that you could have also drug the sequence icon from the Browser into the timeline or have drug the video from the source sequence, located in the Viewer, into the Timeline.

Here's another opportunity for all of you Final Cut Pro Artists out there to expand your filter library. Joe's Filters offers a set of 43 FCP plugins designed to enhance your video footage and to make the process of creating effects in Final Cut Pro faster and more efficient.

Final Cut Pro and Joes Filters.jpg

Here's a list of some of the plug-ins:

- Bevel and Emboss

- Drop Shadow

- Channel Blur

- Motion Blur

- Diffuser

- Noise Levels

- De-Interlacer

- Field Fixer

- Field Blender

- Time Bender

Try out the fully-functional demo version to see if these plug-ins would be a good addition to your collection.

Whether you're an Avid Xpress Pro or Final Cut Pro editor, time can either be your best friend or your worst enemy and unfortuneately, it is usually the latter of the two. With this being said, there are some things you can do within FCP that can make your effort spent more productive. For instance, how about during the capture process, you ingest the entire tape instead of reviewing it first then logging.


Ok, I know that you are probably saying that ingesting all of that footage takes a ton of space and that's true but, l if you were working with a limited number of tapes it could save you a lot of time. When you figure that one gig of space can hold five minutes of video, the price of storage is quickly becoming more economical than the purchase of tapes.

The next question you probably have is, after you have captured such a large file, how do you break it up into usable segments that you want?

Note: This method would only work if you have recorded your footage on a DV camera and pressed the record stop and start button in-between takes.

- After you have captured the entire tape, select that one large file in the browser window > choose mark from the main menu > select DV Start/Stop Detect. Your captured file would then be broken up into segments that signify the record stops and starts between takes. If you shoot with this methodology in mind, it can save you a lot of time.

- If your media was captured with something other than a DV camera, as you are reviewing the footage of the large file in the viewer, press M to place markers at the points you think you may want to use.

- Click on the arrow icon next to the large file in the browser window and your marked clips will show.

- Select all of those marked clips and drag them to the Name tab in the Browser.

- Give your individual marked clips descriptive names.

Ask questions and share Final Cut Pro tips with others right here.

You can easily manipulate a clip's motion path in the Viewer Window to achieve some impressive animated effects such as the Animated Filmstrip. This tutorial will only focus on creating a motion path for a single clip, but aftewards, if you feel comfortable with this is lesson, you should really try creating an Animated Film Strip.

1 Open up the clip that you wish to use in the Viewer Window by double clicking it in the Timeline.

2 Go to the View menu in the Canvas Window and choose Image and Wireframe.


3 You will be able to see the effect more clearly if you deacrease the scale of the clip, so go to the Motion tab in the Viewer Window and set the scale to 50.


4 Place the playhead in the Timeline at the first frame of the clip that you are animating, so that you can see it in the Canvas Window. Make sure Snapping is turned on in the Timeline

5 Make sure your selection arrow tool is active by clicking on it in the tool palette or by pressing A on your keyboard.

6 While holding down the shift key, click and drag the clip from its center towards the left side of the Canvas Window so that it is halfway off screen. Holding down the shift key constrains the movement of the clip, keeping it in a straight line as you drag.


7 While in the Motion tab, you will need to expand the window pane by dragging its bottom right corner to the right. Position the Window so that it is not covering up the Canvas Window.


8 The timeline idicator within the Motion Window will be parked over the first frame of the clip that is in the Timeline area. You should see a slightly highlighted range in the keyframe area representing the clip on which you are performing the animation.


9 Locate the center parameter within the Motion tab and click on the Keyframe Button to insert a keyframe for your current clip position. You will see that two keyframes are placed at the location of indicator bar in the Motion tab.


10 This step is a little confusing and I will explain why in just a moment. Move the timline indicator in the Motion tab and snap it to the end of the highlighted range representing the clip and press the back arrow key on your keyboard once to move the indicator backward one frame.


The white barrier in the keyframe area representing the end of the clip that we are working on is actually the first frame of the proceeding clip, this is why we had to move the indicator back one frame.

11 Go to the Canvas Window and Shift-drag the clip to the right of the screen. You will then see a motion path, representing the path that the clip will move along.


12 Play the clip from the beginning in either the timeline or the Canvas to review the effect.

When you are in the Color Corrction toolset within Avid Xpress Pro and have finished making adjustments to a clip, you can save the color correction parameter to use later on a similar clip.

1 After you have finished color correcting the clip, control click for Mac or Option click for PC the C1 bucket to save the adjustment parameters.


Keep in mind that when you end your Avid Session these saved parameters will not be retained. Create a color correction bin and drag the icon from the C1 bucket to the bin to save it.

Take a look at this segment editing technique in Avid Xpress Pro!

Let's say that you have created the popular white flash effect for your Avid project via the Fade to Color Effect located in the Effects Pallete. For consistency, you may want to save the effect that you have already created for repeated use throughout the program. That way you wouldn't have to keep recreating the effect everytime you wanted to use it, you could just tweak the one you have already made or use it as is.

Storing an Effect

1 After you have tweaked the Fade to Color Effect in the Effect Editor and applied it to an edit point in your sequence, Notice the icon representing that effect at the top of the Effect Editor Pallete.


2 Activate the Bin window by clicking in it and Press Control N for a PC or Command N for a Mac to create a new bin and name it Effects.


3 Simply drag the effect icon from the top of the Effect Editor into the new bin. Now at any point in your sequence when you need this pre-tweaked effect, all you have to do is drag this icon from the Effects bin you have made and place it into your sequence.


As there are with many functions in Final Cut Pro, there is more than one way to delete items in the timeline, such as the individual selection of items or in groups, and even selecting a range with in and out points in the canvas or timeline. Knowing the right method to execute for your given situation can save you a lot of heart-ache as well as a lot of time.

Perhaps you are editing a thirty second commercial spot for television and after you have built the timeline discover that a four second clip located in the center has become irrelevant. In this case you might find that a lift delete may work better than a ripple delete. It's all personal preference and the the keyword is preference. Don't let your options in a project be dictated by what you DO NOT KNOW.

FCP Timline.jpg

Performing A LIft Edit (deleting one or more items leaving a space in your sequence):

1 Perform one of these options:

- Select an item or items by clicking them.
- Set in and out points in either the timeline or the canvas

2 Perform one of these options:

- Choose Sequence > Lift.
- Press Delete.
- Choose Edit > Cut (or press Command-X)

Performing A Ripple Delete (collapsing the space in your sequence):

1 Select item or range to delete, then perform one of these options:

- Choose Sequence > Ripple Delete.
- Press Shift Delete.
- Control-click the item or range you want to delete, then choose Ripple Delete from the Shortcut menu. You must manually select items in order to use this method.

To create a PIP effect in Avid Xpress Pro, you must first have two video tracks with the desired footage placed over top of one another. You could perform the PIP effect with just one video track if you desired, but remember that the video in the track would then be placed on a black background. For this example, make sure you place the footage that you want to appear in the PIP effect on top of the footage that you wish to serve as the backdrop.

1 Open the Effects bin and under the Blend options select Picture-in-Picture.


2 Drag the PIP icon over the video clip in track 2. You will then see the effect in the Composer Window.


3 Click the Effects Mode icon effect-editor-icon.jpg and you will see a bounding box surround your PIP effect. Click in the middle of the bounding box to move it and use the handles to change its size. In the Effect Editor Palette you will be able to further manipulate the PIP effect.


Being able to manipulate edit points so that you can tweak your finished project in Final Cut Pro is a must know and having multiple ways to do so is a plus! Perhaps you want to change the content of the clip without changing its duration or the duration of the entire sequence, then you want to perform a Slip Edit. Maybe you want to lengthen or shorten the in and out point of two adjacent clips, then you would want to use the roll tool. Today, we will discuss how to create a ripple edit.

ripple edit.jpg

Perhaps you are already familiar with the ripple delete, deleting a clip in the timeline resulting in the sequence collapsing to close the gap left by the deleted clip. Well, these two functions are very simililar in the way that they both effect the entire sequence duration by rippling their effect through to the out point. In this case, we will not be deleting anything, but simply adjusting the in and out points of a clip.

Ripple Editing In The Timeline:

1 The keyboard shortcut to activate the ripple tool is pressing the r key twice or you can activate it by going to the tool palette and selecting the Ripple tool.

2 With the Ripple tool selected, click near the edit point of the desired clip you wish to perform the ripple edit on. If you watch the ripple tool closely as you move near the edit point, the tooll will point in the direction of the clip boundary you are about to manipulate.

3 You can drag the edit point in either direction, making it longer or shorter, or simply start typing the number of frames you wish to move the point, preceeded by either a + (to add to the edit) or - (to subtract from the edit), then press the return key. This second option might seem confusing at first, because you are simply selecting the boundry you wish to manipulate then you blindly start typing a value into thin air. Don't worry, as soon as you start to type, with the boundary selected, a small box will appear so that you can see the value you are entering.

Your ripple edit has now been completed.

You may find that in the midst of a Final Cut Pro project, you may need to export a still image for promotional purposes or just to email to someone for approval.


Exporting A Still Frame From Your Project:

1 Within the canvas or viewer windows, place the playhead overtop of the frame of video that you wish to export as a still.

2 Go to File > Export> Using Quicktime Coversion

3 After selecting the location where you wish to save the still, select the Still Image option from the Format pop-up menu.


4 Select a file format for your still. You can select the Option button for further export control of the image.

5 Click Save when you are ready to export.

You can apply a mirror image effect to clips in Final Cut Pro simply by going to the Effects tab in the Browser Window > Going to the Perspective Folder and choosing the Mirror option. Double click on the clip in the sequence that you want to add the effect to in order to load it into the Viewer Window. Drag the Mirror Filter to the image in the Viewer Window and you will immediately see the effect applied to your clip. To manipulate the Mirror Filter, click on the Filter Tab in the Viewer Window and you will be able to see the changes you make to the image inside of the Canvas Window as long as the position indicator is parked over the clip in the timeline.


We have talked before about how trimming is the essence of editing and how having a firm handle on the various trimming techniques in Final Cut Pro can broaden your creative horizons, well here is another technique that you can add to your arsenal.

Slipping Multiple Clips Simultaneously

A slip edit only effects the in and out points of one clip, but in this example, we have multiple selections and will be changing the in and out points of multiple clips. Think of it as reframing the action that occurs in each clip, while maintaining their individual durations.

1 Press A on the keyboard to ensure that the selection tool is active.

2 Select more than one clip in the timeline on which to perform the slip edit. Keep in mind that these clips do not have to be adjacent to one another. You can hold the Command key and select any clips you like.

3 Press S to activate the Slip tool.

4 Type in a positive or negative time code number then press enter. It may feel weird to start typing in thin air, but just enter a value and the clips will be slipped by that amount. If for some reason one clip in your selection can not be slipped, none of them will be slipped. In this example, I have slipped the selected clips 5 frames forward.


You can use Apple Compressor to export a variety of video formats using various codecs. Unfortunately, some of the formats such as .avi's mp3's or wmv's may not have a pre-built preset. This means, you'll need to create your own customized setting within Compressor to access them.

To do this, navigate to the settings window within Apple Compressor and click on the settings tab.  Then click on the 'create new setting' icon which looks like a '+' icon.  The .avi, and .wmv codecs are located within the 'QuickTime Export Components' menu.













While using the JKL keys to preview edits that you have made, you can selectively choose which audio tracks you wish to preview while playing back your edit.

1 Go to Final Cut Pro > User Preferences > Click on the Editing Tab

2 Make sure that the "Trim with Sequence Audio" selection is checked, then check the option for "Trim with Edit Selection Audio (Mute Others)."


3 Double click on an edit point in the Timeline to activate the Trim Edit Window.

editpointfinalcp.jpg trimwinfcp1.jpg

4 Place the cursor point over the side of the Trim Edit Window where you want to preview the audio, either the incoming or outgoing clip, then use the JKL keys to play it back.

In step 3 you could have also selected multiple edit points by Command Clicking more than one. In this case, to play back a specific track, all you needed to do was go to the Track Pop Up Menu and select the track you wanted to hear while using the JKL keys.

multiplefcp.jpg trackselection-fc-p.jpg

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

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