… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #162: Two Fast Ways to Change Project Properties

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Display Project Properties faster using these two shortcuts.

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Most of the time, once we create a project, we don’t need to change its properties.

But, all too often, I find myself needing to change something in a project after I’ve started editing.

While you could choose Window > Project Properties, here are two faster ways:

  • Type Cmd + J
  • Select the Project in the Browser

In both cases, the image you see in the screen shot appears in the Inspector.

Click the blue Modify button to display the Project Properties window. At this point, you can make whatever changes you need to make.

NOTE: You can change any project setting at any time except frame rate. The only time we can change frame rates is when a project is empty.


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… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #161: Final Cut Now Includes Sound Effects

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Hundreds of sound effects to choose from.

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If you are like me, you avoid using Photos or iTunes to store images or music.

Why? Because if you ever need to share or archive these files they are really hard to find. I find it much easier to store all project files outside these two applications.

However, what you may not know is that Apple changed the behavior of a Browser so that, while it still shows the contents of your Photos library, it also provides access to a wealth of royalty-free sound effects that you can use in your own projects.

To see what you’ve got, click the second icon in the top left corner of the Browser, select Sound Effects and listen away! You can freely use these files in any project without worrying about royalties or copyright.


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… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #066: Pick Your Fastest GPU

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Improve render speeds with this new feature.

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New in the 10.4.7 release of Final Cut Pro X is the ability to choose which GPU you want to use to render effects and export media. (If you only have one GPU, this option is grayed out.)

For example, if you’ve added an eGPU to your laptop or are using the new Mac Pro, you can select which GPUs FCP X can use.

To select these go to: Preferences > Playback and set Render/Share GPU to the fastest GPU on your system.

Apple’s release notes state:

  • Enhances graphics performance with support for multiple GPUs, including Radeon Pro Vega II and Radeon Pro Vega II Duo on Mac Pro.
  • Select which internal or external GPU is used to accelerate graphics processing.

NOTE: Larger numbers in the GPU name indicate faster performance.


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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #134: What Do These Video Track Header Icons Do?

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Track Headers provide control when editing a sequence.

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(See Tip 143 for an explanation of the audio track headers.)

Looking at the video track headers (located on the extreme left side of the timeline), here’s what each of these icons mean:

  • Blue V1 (far left). This icon indicates the “active track.” When you edit a clip into the timeline using a keyboard shortcut, the video goes into the track at the position of the playhead with the blue highlight. (Adobe calls this “Source Patching.”)
  • Lock. This locks a track so you can’t make changes. However, be careful with this because if you lock the video, but don’t lock the audio (or vice-versa) you can easily move the unlocked track out of sync.
  • Blue V1 (middle). When you copy a clip, the clip will paste into the LOWEST NUMBERED track with a blue highlight. Drag the blue to change track location, click it to turn it on or off. (Adobe calls this “Track Targeting.”)
  • Sync lock. Normally, when doing an insert edit, you want everything to shift down with the inserted media. This is the default setting. However, turning sync locks off means that when you insert a clip, any clips on tracks where sync lock is turned off will not move. This can be a powerful feature when you want to insert a video clip, but not break the audio tracks.
  • Eye (far right). This make the entire contents of a track visible or invisible. I generally use this when I’m working with a multi-layer composite and I want to see what’s underneath a clip.

BONUS

Watch what happens when you click one of these controls while pressing Shift, Option or Cmd. These modifier keys allow you to control groups of these switches.


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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #130: Edit Without Touching the Mouse!

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

The secret is in the Source Monitor.

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Alex Macleod, writing in the Nov/Dec 2019 issue of KitPlus, pointed out this super-quick way to review and edit clips.

First, keep these keyboard shortcuts in mind:

  • Shift + 1. Makes the Project Panel active
  • Shift + 2. Makes the Source Panel active
  • Shift + 3. Makes the Timeline active
  • Shift + 4. Makes the Program Monitor active.

Second, remember you can load multiple clips into the Source Monitor by:

  • Selecting the clips you want to open in the Project panel
  • Control-click one of the selected clips and choose Open in Source Monitor

Third, as you review these clips in the Source Monitor:

  • Press I to set an In
  • Press O to set an Out
  • Press period [ . ] to edit the clip into the active track in the Timeline.

Everything you need to edit your clips without once touching the mouse.

NOTE: Learn more about the KitPlus Magazine here.


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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #129: Hover Scrub Tricks

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

“Hovering” is the fastest way to view a clip.

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Hover scrubbing is most valuable for quickly previewing the contents of a clip before you edit it into a sequence.

To “Hover Scrub” a clip, move (but do not click and drag) the cursor across a thumbnail in the Program panel. You can see the entire duration of a clip when hover scrubbing thumbnails left to right. When you move the mouse outside the boundaries of the clip, or focus is set away from the Project panel, the thumbnail resets to the poster frame. No audio is played during hover scrubbing.

  • To turn off Hover Scrub, press Shift + H.
  • When Hover Scrub is off, you can press the Shift key to temporarily enable Hover Scrubbing.
  • Use the keyboard shortcuts I and O to set In and Out points for the clip while hover scrubbing.
  • While hovering over a portion of a clip, double-click the icon, and the clip loads into the Source Monitor where the pointer was hovering. With this technique, Insert or Overwrite edits can be quickly made to the timeline.

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… for Codecs & Media

Tip #107: Speed Test: Apple Compressor vs. Adobe Media Encoder

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

You need to get work done. Which is faster?

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In a recent series of tests between Apple Compressor (v.4.4.5) and Adobe Media Encoder 2019 (AME), I discovered that, in almost all cases, Adobe Media Encoder is faster at compressing a file into either H.264 or HEVC. (Both these formats are commonly used for social media.)

In fact, the speed differences averaged 38% faster for AME compressing files into H.264; as you can see in this chart.

The results were even more dramatic when compressing different codecs into HEVC. Compressor was 45% faster, on average, when compressing into 8-bit HEVC, but AME was 75% faster when compressing into 10-bit HEVC. In fact, Compressor was unable to successfully compress a ProRes 4444 file into 10-bit HEVC; consistently failing during multiple tests.

If speed is your goal, AME is generally the better choice.


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… for Codecs & Media

Tip #088: Where Should You Store Media

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Internal or external storage. Which is best?

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When it comes to storage and media, there are two essential questions: How much capacity and how much speed do you need?

Most current computers – and all Macs – use high-speed SSDs for their internal boot drives. These provide blazing speed but very limited storage.

So, as you are thinking about where to store media, consider this:

  • If you have a small project, using the internal SSD is fine.
  • If you have a large project, or need to move it between computers or editors, external storage is better.
  • For best results, store cache files (and Libraries in FCP X) on the internal boot drive or your fastest external storage.
  • SSDs are about four times faster than spinning media (traditional hard disks), but spinning media holds more and is much cheaper.
  • A single spinning hard disk is fine for HD, but not fast enough for 4K or HDR
  • RAIDs are preferred for massive projects, like one-hour shows or features, large frame sizes, HDR, or faster frame rates. They hold more and transfer data faster than a single drive.
  • Don’t store media on any gear connected via USB 1, 2, or 3 Gen 1. It won’t be fast enough. Howver, you can use these devices for backups and longer-term storage.
  • Servers are fine for storing and accessing media, but they won’t be as fast as locally-attached storage.
  • In general, if you are getting dropped frame errors, it means your storage is too slow to support the media you are editing. Invest in faster storage.

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… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #131: YouTube Share Settings Use Wrong Colors

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

4K files default to the wrong color space.

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As you can see in this screen shot, the project settings are 4K frame size using Rec. 709 color space. (The settings are displayed at the very top.)

But the Share to YouTube settings default to Rec. 609, with no ability to change them back to Rec. 709.

NOTE: While the color values used in Rec. 601 (used for standard-def video) are similar to those in Rec. 709 (used for high-def video), they are not the same. Worse, FCP X should allow changing from one to the other, except that it doesn’t.

The workaround is to export your project as a master file (File > Share > Master File), then compress it using Compressor; or the compression program of your choice.


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… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #095: Apply Keywords Faster!

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Adding Keywords doesn’t have to be a drag…

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A faster way to apply an existing keyword to multiple clips in the Browser is to select all the clips to which you want to apply the keyword, then, drag them on top of the keyword in the Library List.

Poof! Instant keywords.

EXTRA CREDIT

This also adds those clips to any relevant Keyword Collections.


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