Tag Archives: Final Cut Pro

Ken Stone: FCP’s Scopes and Waveform Monitor

Final Cut Pro

Another clear, screenshot-packed tutorial from the fine Ken Stone Final Cut Pro site.

Final Cut Pro offers some very powerful tools in its video scopes, not only to ensure that our finished projects are ‘Broadcast Safe’, but they are also critical when ‘Color Grading’ our footage to give it a desired ‘look’. To the uninitiated, the scopes can be very intimidating, even the terms ‘Broadcast Safe’ and ‘Color Grading’ can send some into hiding. But I promise you that this does need to be the case. Once you understand how the scopes work you will find that you will use them on a regular basis and to great advantage.

FCP Shortcut Button List

Larry Jordan is a true FCP guru
Larry Jordan is the real thing. (That’s him to the left.) His Monthly Final Cut Studio Newsletter always have lots of very useful tips for n00bs to veteran editors. I’ve linked to him several times before.

His latest has a head-slapping simple tip on quickly and easily finding keyboard shortcuts. We love the Button List In Final Cut, go to the Tools menu and choose Button List. The list comes up in a window with a disclosure triangle for each of the menus… so okay, you could go to the menus to find that. What’s excellent is the list is searchable. Type W to find all the shortcuts that use that letter; it’s a great way to make your editing go more quickly and learn the (daunting) FCP interface. Thanks, Larry!

Creative COW Final Cut Help Tutorials Podcast

Creative Cow - weird name, excellent resource

I’ve been on the Creative Cow email list for years now, and while The Creative Cow—Creative Communities of the World—deserves its popularity for providing support for the myriad video and multimedia development apps out there, it hasn’t always provided articles or tutorials that served my immediate needs. Today, though, I discovered their Final Cut Pro podcast and I’m bowled over at how the tutorials they’ve posted cover so many topics I’ve wanted help with: title animation in Motion, Photoshop-to-video, and more more more. I haven’t watched them all, so I can’t comment on their overall quality, but if they’re in the same league as their written tutorials then this is a valuable resource. Go for the Cow.

eventdv.net: TUTORIAL | Cut Lines: Using Apple Keynote as a Motion Graphics Tool

Export your Keynote presentation to any form of QuickTime - nice

While looking for information about DV Expo (will they offer one on the east coast next spring or summer? Don’t know yet), I discovered EventDV, “The Event Videographer’s Resource.” On the Table of Contents page for the current (July 2008) issue, right at the top, is this tutorial: Cut Lines: Using Apple Keynote as a Motion Graphics Tool.

In this installment of Cut Lines, we’ll look at a growing trend among Final Cut users: utilizing Keynote as a quick-and-easy motion graphics tool. Everything you can do with graphics in Keynote can also be done in LiveType or Motion or directly in Final Cut Pro, and those larger apps can do much more than Keynote. The value in Keynote is that what it can do is really cool, really fast, and really easy. I’ve found I can do some graphical elements in Keynote faster and easier than I can in any of the Final Cut Studio (FCS) apps. Even with its limited abilities in this area, it’s still a valued part of my video graphics arsenal.

This is a really good idea! An easy video editor, really, if for making how-to tutorials to post on the web, too – this gets me thinkin’. Thanks to Ben Balser and EventDV for the tutorial.

Color Workflows With Different Types of Sources

Color, Apple's color-correction application, part of Final Cut Studio

Ahh, formats. There are so many: still using DV tape? Or have you switched to a DVD-based MPEG-2 format? Maybe you use a hard-drive or flash-memory kind of camcorder? Whichever you use, do you know the ins and outs of what it takes to edit that format properly? You need to make sure your system is up to the task, but what about that codec, and I need to output to DVD and the web, but yikes everyone looks blue in that shot, and….

We don’t have all the solutions here, but Andrew Balis, a long-time contributor to Ken Stone’s site and major FCP maven, provides one piece of the puzzle as he explains Color Workflows With Different Types of Sources:

One of the most confusing issues that comes up frequently with new users of Color is how to get in and out of Color with different types of video formats. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to clear up the confusion by presenting the four main workflows Color can utilize, as well as how each format can be handled by Color. This article relates to users of Color version 1.0.2 or later. Well look at how to handle video formats captured via capture card, as well as how to work with “native” formats captured via FireWire such as DV, DVCPRO 50, DVCPRO HD and HDV.

Even if your footage is color correct from the word “Action!”, if you need some help understanding aspects of the different types of video, this article is worth reading and bookmarking.

Spring Brake

Lots of things to catch up on – I’ve saved several drafts I want to get back to, five just this morning, from sites I’ve found in the last week or so, since my last post – and I’ll take a break from the web for a day or two. I have to do email here at work of course, but the edit room and some overdue projects there call me. The biggest issue there is audio dropout in a multi-camera shoot. The tape with the two-shot of a conversation also has the main audio, and there are several places where words and parts of words just disappear, along with the time code, but there are no breaks in the video. Odd, and Final Cut just doesn’t like it. I’ve tried capturing with iMovie but FC doesn’t like to import those files either. I’ll keep at it and report back here.

And then I’ll finish updating the site, and catch up on the many many many drafts I haven’t posted, and keep up with my video projects, and work on more workshops, and continue to add features and fine tune the lab iMacs and MacBooks – including adding Windows via VMWare on one for a test case – and continue to learn more about Photoshop, add more storage to the XServe, and there’s always more which is good.