… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1213: Find & Delete Clips – Fast!

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Timeline Index is a fast way to find just about anything in your timeline.

Timeline Index > Clips section with a selected audio clip.

Topic $TipTopic

The Timeline Index is an underutilized feature of Final Cut Pro X. But, if you take the time to explore it, you’ll find all kinds of interesting things it can do. Here’s a quick list.

With an edited project in the timeline, open the Timeline Index (Shortcut: Shift + Cmd + 2).

Click the Clips tab at the top.

Select any clip in the Index. This also selects it in the timeline and places the playhead at the start of the selected clip.

With the timeline clip selected, you can:

  • Solo the clip (Option + S)
  • Play the clip
  • Delete the clip
  • Apply an effect to the clip

The Timeline Index is a fast way to jump to any clip, title, or marker.

EXTRA CREDIT

If you can’t find a clip, use the search box at the top to track it down.


Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1212: What Does This Icon Do?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Workflow extensions extend Final Cut to seamlessly work with other software.

The Workflow Extensions menu in FCP X. This shows two extensions are installed.

Topic $TipTopic

In the top left corner of the Final Cut Pro X interface, you may see this icon (see screen shot). What does it do?

The icon indicated by the red arrow in the screen shot is the “Workflow Extension” menu for FCP X.

These are plug-ins that work inside Final Cut. Currently, Apple lists nine on its website:

  • APM Music
  • CatDV
  • EVC ShareBrowser
  • Frame.io
  • KeyFlow Pro
  • Primestream
  • Ripple Training
  • Shutterstock
  • Simon Says

Once an extension is installed, you access it from this menu.

Here’s a link to Apple’s ecosystem webpage to learn more.

EXTRA CREDIT

There are probably more extensions than Apple lists. If you know of others, please mention them in the Comments.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1193: New On-screen Controller for Compressor

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

This “map” is a fast navigational aid to moving around inside a larger image.

The Zoom menu (150%) and the navigation map (white rectangle).

Topic $TipTopic

I’m not sure when this feature first showed up in Compressor, but it seems relatively new to me.

Once you’ve imported a clip into Compressor, if you zoom into the image in the Preview monitor so that it is bigger than the screen can display, a small “map” appears (see screen shot).

The white field represents the entire image. The darker portion represents the portion of the image that’s visible in the Viewer.

Grab the small, dark icon inside the white rectangle and drag it to reveal other portions of the image in the Viewer.

EXTRA CREDIT

This is similar to the “red box” that appears in Final Cut Pro X when the image in the Viewer is zoomed larger than the Viewer can display.

In both Compressor and Final Cut, to fit the zoomed image back into the Viewer either:

  • Type Shift + Z
  • Select Fit from the popup menu displaying the zoom percentage of the image (150% in the screen shot)

… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1200: Filmic Pro Adds 10-bit Dolby Vision HDR

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Filmic Pro has become an iPhone movie-making standard.

Image courtesy of NoFilmSchool.com.

Topic $TipTopic

This article first appeared in NoFilmSchool.com. This is a summary.

Filmic Pro is a versatile tool that is a must-download for any mobile filmmaker who wants more manual control over the native cameras found on smartphones. With v6.12.7 of the iOS app, it now supports 10-bit Dolby Vision HDR on the iPhone 12 series.

Whether you’re just starting out creating content or looking for a low-budget way to shoot your next short, FiLMiC Pro has the essential tools to help dial in your image. The intuitive app has options to adjust white balance, focus, exposure, resolution, frame rate, and even aspect ratio. Want to shoot 2.76:1 or 2.39:1? No problem, the app can do both.

If you’re looking for more advanced features, it has options for focus peaking, a histogram, zebra lines while supporting flat/Log gamma curves, anamorphic lenses (like the Blue Flare lens from Moment), gimbals from DJI, Movi, and Zhiyn, and Bluetooth microphones. You can even record using a clean HDMI output for livestreaming or to an external recorder. So, yeah, it’s versatile.

Dolby Vision is supported by Netflix, Amazon, and Apple iTunes, so it didn’t come as a big surprise when it was announced the iPhone 12 series supports it. The drawback to creating Dolby Vision HDR content is that you need a compatible display to watch it, so at the moment, not everyone is going to see your punchy blacks and sweet highlights. But at least as a creator you can start learning the benefits of HDR as an image pipeline.

The update is free to existing users. For new users, the app has a $15 price tag.

EXTRA CREDIT

This article includes several videos showcasing Filmic Pro, along with a variety of supporting links.


… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1199: Video Creativity: Casey Neistat

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

“It doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.”

Casey Neistat (Image courtesy of PremiumBeat.com)

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by Jourdan Aldredge, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This is a summary.

In this in-depth review and interview with YouTube vlogger Casey Neistat, Jourdan takes a look at the philosophy, gear and perspective of this highly-successful digital creator who, at his heart, is just another filmmaker and content creator trying to turn his creativity into art.

Jourdan: What sparks your creativity in today’s world of video content?

I find so much inspiration in how diversified YouTube is becoming. … Overall, it’s seeing creators really lean into what they’re passionate about rather than trying to conform to what some might feel is necessary to succeed.

What have you recently been shooting your videos on?

I’ve recently switched over entirely to Sony. It was a hard process because I think Canon makes fantastic cameras. For years, including my entire vlog series, I shot on Canon—I love the image straight from their cameras, love their color science—but when Sony launched the ZV-1, I really felt like it was the perfect camera for a YouTuber. Then, when the a7S III dropped with the articulating screen, it closed the deal for me.

Take us through your editing workflow and process for your videos?

I only edit my YouTube videos on a computer using Adobe Premiere Pro. …I only edit chronologically—start with the first frame of the video and don’t stop or review until I’ve made it to the end. Then, I backtrack and can rearrange and all that. I find editing scenes first to be confusing. I love discovering the story by forcing it to reveal itself this way. …Rather than cover up any scars or evidence that this video was made by one person, I embrace those flaws—often embellish them. Leaning into the imperfections is a way for me to say to my audience that I am not a pro, I am just a regular guy trying to tell a story.

What’s the single best way to create engaging videos?

I don’t know the answer to this but going back to the first question about what excites me; I think that being true to your passion, abiding by an unspoken understanding that if YOU find it interesting that someone else will also find it interesting, that then you will ultimately find your audience.

EXTRA CREDIT

The article has links to several of Casey’s videos, analysis of his answers and much more. It is quite in-depth and well-worth reading.


… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1198: 6 Tips to Improve Audio Quality

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Please, for the love of humanity, stop using the camera mic for dialog!

Not a camera mic. (Image courtesy of Pexels.com)

Topic $TipTopic

This article first appeared in MotionArray.com. This is a summary.

Not much is more distracting than bad audio in an otherwise good film or video.

Great sound typically goes unnoticed by the viewer. It stays in the subconscious, but as soon as you bring it to the conscious, that’s when you start hearing words like amateur, low budget, B-movie, and student film.

In this article, the author looks at how to improve audio recordings:

  1. Use a Dedicated Microphone
  2. Get Your Microphone Close to Your Subject
  3. Don’t Clip Your Audio
  4. Location
  5. Get a Dead Cat
  6. Capture Room Tone

It includes a details on each subject, along with a seven-minute tutorial video.


… for Apple Motion

Tip #1197: Stay Oriented in 3D Space

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The key to 3D space is to stay oriented. Top view, and tracking the grid, help.

These are the nine views when working with cameras. Top is my favorite.

Topic $TipTopic

When I first started learning Motion, I got hopelessly lost when exploring 3D space. (I still remember how frustrated I felt when 3D in Motion did not equate to the 3D in my normal life…)

The 3D world opens up when you assign a camera to a project (Object > New Camera). While explaining how 3D space and cameras work requires at least a chapter in a book, there is a cool orientation tip that helps me stay oriented.

Once you’ve applied a camera, the View menu in the top left corner of the Viewer provides nine different perspectives on how to view your scene.

  • Active camera shows what Motion will output; in other words the finished view.
  • Top, for me, is the best way to create a 3D effect because it emulates an architectural floor plan – and I’ve been looking at set designs all my life.

So I use Top to determine position and movement, then tweak based upon what Active Camera shows the results to be.

EXTRA CREDIT

In the Standard keyboard command set:

  • Active Camera uses Control + A as it’s shortcut.
  • Top can be assigned a shortcut using Motion > Commands.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1196: Replicators Can Use Multiple Shapes

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Replicators duplicate selected objects into geometric shapes, then animate them.

A group of elements, each with different color and movement, all replicated.

Topic $TipTopic

Replicators are a great way to duplicate an element. What you may not know is that replicators can contain multiple elements.

To create a replicator, select it, then click the Replicate button in the top right section of the Motion interface.

Select the Replicator element in the Layers panel, then, adjust it using Inspector > Replicator. Basically, change something and watch what happens.

However, the key point is that a replicator is made from whatever you first select. If you create a group – as I did in this screen shot – then, select the group, all the elements in the group are then replicated.

Plus, each element in the source group can have its own style, position, color, and movement applied to it.

This makes replicators far more versatile than you might at first think.


… for Apple Motion

Tip #1195: Create a Watermark That Moves

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Watermarks are like a footnote in a book – used as a reference, not as the subject.

A sample moving watermark in Motion – tucked into the lower-right corner near Title Safe.

Topic $TipTopic

We first looked at watermarks, a logo that’s added to a compressed video, in Tip #1191. Here, I want to explain more about how to create a moving watermark in Motion.

Most watermarks are stationary – a logo that sits quietly in the corner of your video to identify the source. Stationary watermarks are easy to create in Photoshop. But, a moving watermark is more visually interesting and might fit the style of your video better.

  • Create a Motion project at the same size as the video to which you want to apply it. Motion creates all projects with an alpha channel, meaning that any part of the background that’s black is transparent.

NOTE: Apple Compressor allows you to scale the watermark to fit the source file, but this changes its size, position and resolution, which you may not want.

  • Add whatever text and animation you prefer (see screen shot). Don’t add drop shadows or fine detail, watermarks are designed to be semi-transparent. Go for clarity, readability and non-distracting colors.
  • Export the project as a movie, not as a Motion project.
  • Then, following the instructions in Tip #1191, combine it with your video using Apple Compressor.

EXTRA CREDIT

Keep in mind that, while color is more interesting, be careful to pick colors that don’t clash too severely with your main movie.


… for Visual Effects

Tip #1203: What is OFX?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

OFX: Improve interoperability, reduce support and development time.

The Open Effects Association logo.

Topic $TipTopic

OFX. Many visual effects tools reference this – but what is it?

The OFX Image Effect Plug-in API, is an open standard for 2D visual effects or compositing plug-ins. It allows plug-ins written to the standard to work on any application that supports the standard. It is widely used for visual effects and video processing and is supported by numerous hosts, including Assimilate, Blackmagic Design, Digital Anarchy, FXHOME, NewBlueFX, RE:Vision Effects and more.

Bruno Nicoletti of The Foundry created it in 2004. The OFX API was established because each developer had its own proprietary interface, so developers at different companies couldn’t work together or share code very easily. Developers had to create their own method of porting their plug-ins into each host, which, as you can imagine, can be expensive and time-consuming.

Out of this confusion, the Open Effects Association – and OFX – was born.

Here’s an article from ToolFarm with more details on which software supports it and what plug-ins are available.