Final Cut Pro blog postings

Final Cut Pro Postings - Page 1

Earliest: July 7, 2020Latest: November 24, 2020Total: 21
November 24, 2020

Blade Tool Tricks

Sometimes when I am editing, I want to do a complete scene cut. That includes multiple videos and audio tracks. In the past, I would use the blade tool on individual clips. Wasn't the best method - it would result in a long time editing the video.

There is a better way.

Blade Tool

Cut All Clips at the Skimmer

To do a "super" cut off all the clips at the current skimmer point. This is useful when you want to make a drastic change to that moment in time. Use the short cut: Shift-Command-B

Cut Certain Clips

It's super easy to cut specific clips at the current skimmer point. This is useful if you need a simple cut from two similar scenes. Simply select the clips or audio and then use the shortcut: Command-B to add a cut at the current skimmer point.

Useful Tips

I have been using Final Cut Pro for several months and this is the first time I hear about this shortcut.

November 17, 2020

Multiple Displays

Final Cut Pro is so much better with multiple monitors. You don't need two similar monitors, just two good ones. This is the layout that I have on my home computer:

Final Cut Pro Displays

The 20-inch Apple Cinema Display is a ten-year-old monitor, and it works perfectly well for me.

Setting Up Final Cut Pro

Here's all you do to get Final Cut Pro to use two monitors:

Connect a second monitor to your computer. (That's pretty obvious.)

Under the 'Window' Option you'll see a "Show in Secondary Display" this is where you select the content to display on the second monitor. When you select this the item is removed from the primary display.

You have 3-options:

Browser - This is all the media files in your project. Use this option when you're starting the project and trying to figure out what clips to put in the timeline.

Viewers - This is the preview window. I usually have my second display always set to this. Having this on the second display makes navigating the timeline so much easier. This is especially true when you have multiple clip layers.

Timeline - This is the video timeline. Useful if your second display is a wide screen.

FCP Second Display Selection

Quick Shortcut

In the top of the main window there is an icon that shows two computers. You can toggle using two displays simply by clicking on this icon. (Its the green box in the above screenshot)

I have found this to be a quick way to display Final Cut Pro to use the second monitor when I want to do something outside of Final Cut Pro, such as browse the internet or check email

November 10, 2020

Adaptive Limiter

One of the things I have learned is that using Normalize is not the best way to fix audio that might be too soft. Normalize is available in audio applications like Fission and Audacity.

The problem is that if your audio clip has one large pop, then Normalize won't work.

Apple's Logic has a powerful way to balance the audio and that's something called: Adaptive Limiter. Apple included the functionality in Final Cut Pro

Adaptive Limiter

Feature Description

Adaptive Limiter is a versatile tool for controlling the perceived loudness of sounds. It works by rounding and smoothing peaks in the signal, producing an effect similar to an analog amplifier being driven hard. Like an amplifier, it can slightly color the sound of the signal. You can use Adaptive Limiter to achieve maximum gain without introducing unwanted distortion and clipping, which can occur when the signal exceeds 0 dBFS.

Things I Learned

This can be found in the Effects section, check for Audio then Levels.

Simply drag and drop Adaptive Limiter to the audio that you wish to enhance and the audio will be enhanced.

If you want to make further Adaptive Limiter adjustments on the clip, go to the audio section of the clip, scroll down and look for Effects. You should see the Effects section.

You can make whatever adjustments you want, I would recommend maling slow adjustments and test the clip peaks and valleys.

There is an Advance Effect Editor UI for those audio pros. This is a powerful audio tool to play around with.

At the End of The Day

Using applications like Fission and Audacity is great for simple audio files. The audio functionality in Final Cut Pro is pretty powerful. There are a lot of audio effects built - 109 to be exact.

You shouldn't have to use a third party to fix audio issues. In most cases, it can be professionally cleaned in Final Cut Pro.

November 3, 2020

Lower Third

Today is election day in the United States and tonight many people will be glued to their TVs watching election results. You'll likely see lots of lower-thirds graphics. I thought looking at lower-thirds would be a good topic this week.

Lower-Thirds is a text graphic used most commonly on TV news stations. This is usually used to inform the viewer of the speaker or location that they are watching.

Example of a Lower Third

Lower Third Examples

One of the nice things about Final Cut Pro is that you can?t define a default lower third. What this does is any time that you want to use that template your simply type in the shortcut: Control - Shift - T

Final Cut Pro uses the default lower third when you apply the short cut, but it's really easy to change that.

Change the Default Lower Third

  1. Go to the Title and Generator Sidebar: Option - Command - 1
  2. Find a tile that you want to apply with the keyboard shortcut. (Note: It doesn't have to be a lower third, it can be any title.)
  3. Right click on the image and select "Make Default Lower Third"
October 27, 2020

Jump Cuts

When you have a long boring scene it might help spice things up by using jump cuts. They seem to be in all the rage with YouTubers. They seem to be very popular with Rebecca Zamolo YouTube Videos.

What Are Jump Cuts

Jump cuts are when you remove a set of frames with the intent to make the scene go quicker. In Final Cut Pro, you have the option to easily skip 3,5,10,20,30 frames. The more frames you remove the bigger the effect it has.

How to apply Jump Cuts

F C P Jump Cuts

In Final Cut Pro, you define Jump Cuts with markers.

  1. Simple mark where you want to apply a Jump Cut
  2. Select the "Retime" pop-up menu just below the viewer - the icon looks like a dashboard speed gauge. Then go all the way down and select Jump Cut.
  3. Note: If the Jump Cut option is not available, it is because you didn't select the clip to apply the jump cut to.
  4. Then select the number of frames to remove. I have found that "20 frames" works best in most cases.

After you apply the Jump Cut, you'll see a green bar on top of the clip, this is the Retime Editor. If you want to add additional Jump Cuts, you still have to follow the above steps. There are no keyboard shortcuts to add Jump Cuts.

October 20, 2020

Transparent Background in PowerPoint

While Apple makes it easy to create transparent movies from Keynote to Final Cut Pro, it's a bit tricky to get it to work with Microsoft Powerpoint.

Why use Microsoft Powerpoint?

PowerPoint has some unique transitions and effects that are not available in Keynote. If you have Microsoft PowerPoint installed it might be better to use that for some cool effects.

Using PowerPoint or Keynote might be better than using Apple Motion for simple tasks.

How to Export Transparent Background

To get a transparent background in PowerPoint you need to use the green screen effect. There is no way to control the export video type.

Example

This has all the transitions that are available in Microsoft PowerPoint. I used a green background and used the Keyer effect to remove that background in Final Cut Pro. (That?s how you remove the green screen. )

October 13, 2020

Trim Start and End

A common task that I have to do in Final Cut Pro is trim a clip. Usually, this is to just clean up the tail end of the clip that doesn't make sense to keep for the story, or when I need to end the clip smoothly.

The quick way to get this done is to use the "trim to end" short cut key:

Trimto Start Trim To End

How this Works

When you mouse over a clip in the timeline and use the above short cut, the clip will get trim from the point of the red mouse over and not the white preview line.

If you make a mistake, simply type in Command - Z to undo the last action.

Quick and Easy Tip

Once you start using this a couple of times, you'll see that this is such a time saver. This is so much better than adding a blade and then deleting the section.

October 6, 2020

Lower Third Overlay

If your building your own lower third from scratch, you may want to have an overlay guide to help you align text correctly.

I found the image overlay on Comedy Central to be very useful to properly laying out the lower third title. The image overlay has a logo placement helps to professionally align a logo on the bottom right of the screen.

Basically you add this image to your Title project and align your lower 3rd correctly. Once you are done simply remove it from your project.

Apple Motion Lower Third Guide

Steps to Add the Overlay in Motion

  1. Download the file from the Comedy Central's overlays website
  2. Open up any Final Cut Pro Title Project
  3. Import the overlay. (You'll see that the overlay fits perfectly into a standard 1920x1080 format.)
  4. You may need to move the Overlay layer below the text layer.
  5. Now adjust the text layer so that its below the lower third line.
  6. Hide the Comedy Central overlay image and continue working as normal.

Don't want to use the guide?

Simply turn on the ruler and look for the 200 on the left side. (See the above screenshot)

September 29, 2020

Apple Motion

Apple Motion is a powerful motion graphic toll that gives you - the creator - the ability to create Hollywood effects right from you computer. You can create cinematic 2D, 3D titles, fluid transitions, and realistic effects in real-time.

For about $49, you get a lot of power for not a lot of money. One instructor said, that "its highly under price for the capabilities that the application gives you."

There?s still a lot of things for me to learn about Apple Motion. Here are just some of the things that I learned so far.

Apple Motion Logo

Five Things I have Learned

  1. Apple Motion complements Final Cut Pro. They work very well together to help make powerful productive videos. Apple Motion does have a learning curve - just like Final Cut Pro.
  2. You can edit any Title, Effect and Transition in Final Cut Pro using Apple Motion. It doesn't matter if it came with Final Cut Pro or was purchased separately. Simply right-click on the object and select "Open a copy in Motion." This option is only available if you have Motion installed.
  3. Apple Motion is the only way you can create favorite titles. So if you like to use certain colors or text styles, you can save them in a custom Category so that you can reuse them over and over again. This is very useful when you won't use the same fonts or colors in all your videos.
  4. Apple Motion comes with 1,900 Apple-designed, royalty-free graphics. There's a lot of cool things you can do. With great powers come with great responsibility.
  5. Lynda.com Motion 5.3 Essential Training is a great way to learn about the application. I started learning the power of Motion by editing existing titles. Watching Ian Robinson really has helped me understand the capabilities of Apple Motion.
September 22, 2020

Color Correction Assistance for Final Cut Pro

My Olympus XZ-2 iHS doesn't handle white balance very well. I find that the videos that I take inside the church tend to be darker than the same video taken using the Nikon 5500 and the Sony DSC-HX200v. I am not exactly sure why this camera has problems.

The videos are good, just the colors are dark. They need to be touched up if I want to use the footage - and have the ability to use that camera in future shots.

Color Correction is a bit tricky in Final Cut Pro and I find that the "auto" balance color doesn't always work well.

Photolemur 3 to the Rescue

When I ran into this problem last week, I decided to export a frame of the video and put it through Photolemur 3.

What's Photolemure 3?

Photolemur is an absolutely automatic photo enhancer that uses Artificial Intelligence to apply all the enhancements your image needs, on its own. All you have to do is to import your image to the app, and the photo enhancer does everything else automatically from there.

My theory was to let the artificial intelligence tell me how the image should look. Then I can use the Final Cut Pro color adjuster to get the video to look perfect.

The results:

Color Correctoin Final Cut

The left side shows Photolemure 3 and the right shows the original image. You can see how the colors on the church's alter stands out in Photolemure than the original photo

When I select the "auto color correction" in Final Cut Pro it doesn't look like the left side.

You can learn all about how to adjust the color in Final Cut Pro in Apple's Use color correction tools in Final Cut Pro X and Motion document