Posted on by Larry

I get emails almost every day from readers suggesting tips and tricks for Final Cut Pro X. Most are questions about how to do things, which form the basis of the articles I write for my newsletter every week.

However, every so often, someone sends in a short, cool, tip that deserves to be shared with a wider audience. So, here are some of the recent entries, along with some Compressor things I discovered recently myself.



Logic Pro X lets you import and export Final Cut Pro X XML to enable collaboration between the apps. This means you can send a Final Cut Pro X project to Logic Pro X for additional audio work, then export the finished multitrack project from Logic and import it into Final Cut Pro X. Also, Logic Pro X supports AAF interchange so you can work with third-party apps like Avid Pro Tools.


Dan Winckler sent this in:

I’m writing you to share a tip about the behavior of the skimmer in Final Cut Pro X that I’ve noticed accidentally before, but only just confirmed how to do.

Most of the time, the skimmer’s red line stretches from the top to the bottom of the timeline, and what you see in the Viewer is what you would see during normal playback. However, when an editing tool besides Select is used, the skimmer’s line changes to the vertical height of the clip over which it’s hovering, and skim just that clip.

For instance, if there is a secondary storyline above the primary, obscuring it, and I skim over a clip in the primary storyline beneath the secondary while using the Blade tool (or Trim or Range), the skimmer will play back only that clip in the Viewer, not the secondary storyline above it.

I’ve found this especially useful when doing a match edit of some kind. I didn’t find this in a quick search on your site so I thought I’d sent it along.


Dan Smith emailed me this:

When I get a green frame or the alert that an error occurred at “Frame number xxxxxx” I go to Preferences and change the timecode display to display in frames.

Then, I go back to the edit and go to the suspect frame. I highlight the clip there, press Shift-F to match it with the source clip in the Event Library, then drag the clip as defined in the Event Library back onto itself in the edit and Replace. This has always fixed it for me.

I’m guessing that what I’m really doing is forcing FCP X to create a new render file for that clip. It’s my guess that the render for that clip has become corrupted. Guess or not, these actions fix it for me.

Larry adds: In the 10.0.9 update, Apple added fixes to minimize green frame errors. If you are having problems, be sure to update to this version.


It comes as no surprise to any of us that media files redefine the word gigantic.

File Catalystwww.filecatalyst.com – is a company that specializes in speeding file transfers of very large files. Recently, I spoke with Alan Atkinson, VP of Business Development, to learn more about their products.

The software uses UDF as its file transfer protocol. This provides greater speed than FTP due to its stream-lined communications, without compressing files prior to transfer. In other words, your files are delivered in exactly the same state as you created them.

This is client/server software. The server software can be installed on either a Windows or Mac; this is, in fact, a perfect application for a Mac Mini. The client software is free and doesn’t require any special hardware.

Pricing is based on bandwidth and starts around $2,500. They have a variety of options depending upon the number of clients and files you need to support.

If you have more files to send than you have time to send them, FileCatalyst can make files fly a lot faster.

Here are links to relevant product information:


There is a neat feature I discovered in Compressor as I was researching my video training on Compressor 4: You can attach different compression destinations to individual compression settings.

What this means is that when you apply a compression setting to a clip, you can also automatically apply a destination at the same time. Here’s how:

After you’ve created a compression setting, click the Actions tab.

This allows you to specify any existing destination for that setting. (If a destination doesn’t exist, create one using the Destinations tab in the Settings window.) There is no limit on the number of destinations you can create.

This makes it easy to apply multiple settings to a clip and have one version go into a web folder, another into a YouTube folder, and a third into a DVD folder, for example.

Best of all, once you set this for a compression setting, you never need to worry about it again.


Jon Pittaluga sent me the following email.

Let me introduce our product: “It’s AVA” is an Advanced Video Assistant created to solve some specific editing tasks and help editors and their collaborators (producers and directors):

Larry adds: The software is currently in beta and you can learn more here: www.itsava.com.


Dick Walters wrote in a while ago asking about compression settings for Vimeo.

Vimeo offers compression suggestions for FCP7, but not FCPX.  Comments are the FCPX share option for Vimeo is lame and there does not appear to be any way of changing the parameters in Share from the presets.

Larry replies: Dick, FCP X doesn’t describe the settings it is using for Vimeo, so I went to the Vimeo website to look up their specs: http://vimeo.com/help/compression.

While they don’t have a tutorial for FCP X, I checked the Vimeo settings in Compressor 4 and they look like a perfect match for what Vimeo needs.

NOTE: As always, I recommend exporting a Master File, then compressing that, rather than trying to export and compress in a single step.

Here are the steps I recommend:


If you looked at the Mask filter when FCP X was first released and gave it up as a bad job, its worth looking at again. I don’t know when Apple made the changes, but you have a few more options that can bail you out of a tight spot.

You can now apply the mask to clips in the Primary Storyline.

And you can drag corner points as much as you want. Plus, in the Inspector, you can add soft edges, rounded corners; and invert the mask.

While this is still pretty limited given all the path and shape tools in Motion, this is a whole lot better than it was.

As always, I’m interested in your comments and suggestions — and tips. Feel free to write.



  1. Andreas says:

    Hi Larry,

    thanks for the article. What is unclear to me how to roundtrip with Logic. I mean going back and forth and so on. Going once into Logic and coming back seems to work as you describe.

    Could you explain?


    • Larry says:


      At this point, there is no “round-trip” between FCP X and Logic X, except by using Import/Export. The general idea is that you only move files to Logic when you are ready for the final mix.


  2. Leo Hans says:

    If you select View->Clip Skimming, you have the same “in clip” skimming mentioned in the first tip, but with all tools.

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