FCP X: 3 + 1 Productivity Power Tips
Here are three very cool FCP X techniques that I just discovered recently, plus one more for Motion that makes my life MUCH easier.
One of the things I love about Premiere and hate about Final Cut is that Premiere supports multiple keyboard shortcuts for the same function. If you’ve ever struggled to remember whether the Arrow tool was A or V, or the Blade tool was B or C, you know what I mean.
Recently, and I mean last week, I was stunned to discover that Final Cut, too, supports multiple keyboard shortcuts for the same function. VERY COOL!
Here’s how this works:
- Open Final Cut Pro > Commands > Customize (Shortcut: Option + Cmd + K)
- In the top left corner of the Command Editor, click the Default menu and duplicate it. (Assuming you haven’t created a personal set of keyboard shortcuts already. If you have, be sure it is selected in this menu.)
- In the Search box in the top right, search for the shortcut you want to duplicate. In my case, I’m searching for the Blade tool to create a second shortcut.
- At the top of the Command Editor, click the modifier keys you want associated with this shortcut. Here, I’ve clicked both Command and Option – see how they both are? This means that whatever shortcut I create will require pressing both Command and Option, plus the key, to invoke the shortcut.
- When you look at the keyboard, all the keys that are gray do NOT have a shortcut attached to them for that modifier key combination. For example, in this screen shot, 1, 2, and 4 have shortcuts assigned to them, 3, 5, 6 and many others which are gray, do not.
- Because, for my example, I want to assign a single letter to this shortcut, I turned off all the modifier buttons at the top.
- Then, from the Command list in the bottom center, DRAG the shortcut name on top of the key you want to create a shortcut for. In my example, I’m dragging the text Blade Tool on top of “C”.
Ta-DAH! In the Command List, I now have two keyboard shortcuts for the same Blade tool. Sigh… I’ve use FCP X since it was first released and I never knew this.
NOTE: You can only assign one shortcut per key combination. If you need to delete a shortcut that you no longer need, drag its name from the Key Detail list out of the Command Editor.
REPLACE MISSING AUDIO
Have you ever deleted the audio, or video of a clip, only to realize that you need it back? Yup, me too.
Here’s a blindingly fast way to replace the timeline clip:
- Put the playhead in the clip you want to fix; you can use the skimmer, but I prefer the playhead. You don’t even need to select the clip.
- Type Shift + F (This creates a match frame of the timeline clip in the Browser.)
- Type Option + R (This replaces the timeline clip with the clip in the Browser, but matching the In of the Timeline clip.)
Literally, you can replace missing audio in less than 1/2 a second.
It seems I’ve gotten lazy and always trim my clips by dragging the In or the Out. However, there is a much faster way.
- Put the playhead where you want to move the In and type: Option + [
- Put the playhead where you want to move the Out and type: Option + ]
- Using the Range tool (or set an In and Out) trim to the selected range, type: Option + \
OH, ONE MORE THING…
Of all the keyboard shortcuts that have ever existed in the history of the world, NONE have bothered me more than these two in Motion:
- A enables automatic keyframe creation
- Shift + S selects the Arrow tool
This shortcut combination has destroyed more student work than any other, as well as countless projects of my own.
What I learned today, as I was writing this, is:
- The current version of Motion supports changing keyboard shortcuts
- The current version of Motion ALSO supports two different shortcut command sets: Standard and Final Cut Pro.
Changing the Command set to Final Cut Pro, resets the Arrow tool shortcut to A. Or, if you want to use all the standard Motion keyboard shortcuts, you can reset just these two offenders.
NOTE: Changing shortcuts in Motion is the same as changing shortcuts in Final Cut Pro X.
Which I’ve now done:
- The Arrow tool is now: A
- The automatic Record Animation shortcut is now: Control + Option + Shift + Command + A
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