Ben Balser, an Apple-Certified Trainer for Digital Media, sent me the following commentary on investing the time to get trained. By way of background, Ben is a long-time educator and trainer.
Ever needed to find what video you haven’t used in your edit? Here is a very fast technique you can use in Final Cut Pro that shows all your unused clips.
Deciding whether to upgrade to Final Cut Studio 2? Read this short note first.
A variable-speed clip is one that changes speed during playback; as opposed to a “slow-motion” clip, which remains at the same speed for the duration of the clip. There are two ways these variable speed effects can be created and this article shows you the technique.
What happens when you change Final Cut’s display background to any color except black? Much less than you think. Here’s why.
What’s the difference between 8-bit and 10-bit video and why should editors care? Well, if you are doing a lot of effects, you should care a lot and this article explains why.
Final Cut supports over 52 different video codecs, and this gets close to a hundred when you add a third-party capture card. How to do you choose which to use? This article explains what you need to know to select the best codec for your video.
Larry explains the somewhat intensive process of shooting digital video for use with FCP.
New with FCP 5 are render settings and video processing controls that help keep your video “broadcast safe.” This article explains how they work while giving you techniques for using them.
What’s the best video format for archiving materials? This is an easy question to ask, but a hard question to answer. Also, what’s the best way to preserve 1″ and 2″ master video tapes — especially since those machines are increasingly hard to find? This article gets you started in the right direction.
This article grew out of newsletter discussions over the last few months and features thoughts from experienced tape editors.
The View menu has changed in FCP-HD, making it easier to select how you want to monitor your audio and video. This quick article explains what you need to know.
Vignettes are a great technique for highlighting something or softening edges. This article explains how to create a vignette in Final Cut Pro, as well as some ideas on how to adjust it to create different effects.
While you can create watermarks in FCP, Compressor provides a much better alternative. This technique shows you what to do.
Dealing with shifting color temperatures during shooting presents a raft of problems during editing. This article describes what you can do during shooting to compensate for color temperature changes, as well as how to “fix it in post.”
Here’s a technique that can totally change how you think about sequences, nests, and the special effects you can create with them.
Final Cut Pro is a QuickTime editor. But what if you want to create WMV files? Well, you are not out-of-luck, but you will need different software. This article describes what you need to know, along with how to resolve problems when creating WMV files.
Dean Schweinler writes in to ask if he needs an AJA or a BlackMagic capture card to edit HDV. This article explains three options for capture.
Sometime between February and June, 2009, all broadcast television stations in the US need to convert from analog to digital transmission. However, this is NOT the same as converting from SD to HD – they are not, necessarily, related. While the current changeover timing is being debated in Washington, here are some answers to your questions.
XDCAM is generating a lot of interest for its high-def quality and small size. This discussion began with a question about using it for archiving – which spawned a lot of additonal thoughts.
Need to get a sequence from a later version of Final Cut back to an earlier version? Here’s how to do it — though, keep in mind, that not everything will transfer.
When you send a stereo audio pair to Soundtrack, STP treats it as a stereo clip. When you send a dual-channel mono pair to Soundtrack, STP treats them as two separate files. This article describes how to switch from one to the other.
As we move from the world of standard-definition to high-def video, understanding hard disk speeds and the data requirements of video formats can prevent a lot of problems. During my recent seminars, I spent a lot of time explaining hard drive speeds and video format requirements. This is a summary of what techniques I talked about.
QuickTime can make viewing 16:9 anamorphic video a bit difficult because it always displays video using square pixels. In this article, discover the secret to getting QuickTime to show your video correctly.
Video images are not the same as computer images — and what you don’t know WILL get you in trouble. This article explains what you need to know to keep your tapes from being rejected for technical reasons.
Canon’s new HV20 camera shoots a modified version of 24 frame video. Up until recently, Final Cut did not easily support this format. In this discussion learn how to capture video from this camera, as well as a short discussion of when shooting 24 fps is appropriate.
New with Final Cut Pro 7 are two shortcuts: Zoom In/Out at Playhead on Timeline. However, they don’t do anything until you assign them to a keyboard shortcut. But, what if you want to assign them to your mouse? This article shows you what you need to know to do it.
Rendering is the bane of an editor’s life. Waiting for the computer to calculate an effect can seem interminable. What can be done to speed rendering and what causes it to slow down in the first place? This short article answers these questions.
This powerful technique can quickly bail you out when you need to match shots from the middle of a clip, rather than the In or the Out.
Adding DVD chapter markers to a QuickTime movie is reasonably easy. But how do you do this for H.264 compressed video. This article describes what you need to know.
You’ll find that you can retouch images directly in Photoshop. You will need Photoshop Extended CS3 or CS4. In fact, I created a video tutorial that shows you how.
The problem with reverb is that the effect needs to continue after the clip ends. While Soundtrack Pro has some great audio filters, often there just isn’t time to move your project from Final Cut to STP. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use nesting to create a reverb effect inside Final Cut that can last long after the clip itself is over. Best of all, this is both quick and easy.
You know the drill. The client didn’t have the money for makeup when they were shooting the video, then is horrified to discover in post that their star/kid/sweetie has a humongous zit that spoils all the close-ups of the video they dumped in your lap to edit.
get is the new kid on the block — an almost magical piece of software that searches your audio files looking for words you type into a typical text entry window. If you know “you’ve got the file around here somewhere,” but haven’t a clue where it is, get is for you, as this product review explains.
NewBlue is new to the Mac, but not to creating effects. They’ve been producing video effect for Windows users for years. This product review takes a look at several of their new plug-ins for Final Cut Pro/Express/Motion. Featuring a very easy to use interface, there is a lot to like.
Adobe Premiere can create text transcripts of your media files. prEdit takes those transcripts and allows you to edit a rough cut for either Premiere or Final Cut just using those transcripts. For editors wading through a ton of material trying to find just the right quotes, this software can make your life VERY easy, as this product review explains.
Transcriptize is a new piece of software that takes the text transcripts automatically generated by Adobe Premiere or Adobe Soundbooth and formats them so people, rather than computers, can read them. PLUS, it allows you to a great trick to import those text transcripts into Final Cut Pro to speed your editing.
Ganging two movies together in Final Cut Pro means that you can easily compare, frame-by-frame, two different movies. One in the Viewer and the other in the Timeline. This has been a feature of Final Cut for many years, but its hard to find. This article explains how to do it.
Trashing your Final Cut preference files also deletes all the entries in your Effects > Favorites folder. Which can be a bummer. This technique provides a fast and easy way to backup your Favorites prior to trashing preferences so you don’t lose a thing. Cool.
Down-converting HD to SD using Compressor provides better image quality than using Final Cut Pro. This article shows you why.
Understanding how to read the Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope are essential to getting the best possible pictures out of Final Cut Pro. This article gives you an overview of how to read them and what they mean.
Until version 5.1.2, the scopes in Final Cut were notorious for being almost, but not quite, accurate. That all changed with 5.1.2. and they’ve been enhanced in FCP 6. This article provides a more technical discussion on the quality of Final Cut Pro’s scopes, especially in regard to Color.
The video scopes in Final Cut, while accurate, don’t show the entire picture. If you use the scopes in your work, you need to read this warning.
Trying to figure out the best way to setup scratch disks is very confusing. In this dialog with Lachlan Coles, I explain ways to minimize problems. This isn’t the same thing as having Final Cut do what you want; but it does mean that your system will be both reliable and smooth.
Moving horizontally in the Timeline is easy. Moving vertically is easy, too, once you know the secret. Here’s how.
The number one interface rule for Final Cut is “select something, then do something to it.” Well, I’ve discovered that virtually no editor knows what these selection tools can do. Which is a shame, because once you understand how these work, they can make a real difference in speeding up your work. This article explains how.
Confused about all the options available in Sequence Settings? Well, this article can help. It may not explain ALL the different choices, but it will help you focus on the ones that are the most important.
In this article Larry handles a question regarding whether a series of continuous time code cuts will translate into the OMF or be ignored.
Sheffield Softworks creates filters specifically designed for video retouching. They have a suite of products – Electronic Makeup Artist, Digital Coverup, and Look Sweet – which make the process of fixing your video much simpler, In this article, we take an in-depth look at each of the three, illustrate how it can best be used, and show you how to use it.
Still images, especially when you move on them, create weird shimmer, or moiré, patterns. This article describes what they are and how to fix them.