… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #566: Vintage Software, NLEs and Mac OS

Robert Withers – http://cinesouvenir.com

The best option for FCP 7 or Premiere CS6 is an older Mac Pro with older OS.

Topic $TipTopic

I decided to keep a vintage MacBook Pro running Mac OS 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion) so I can access FCP 7 and a vintage project edited in the first Premiere Pro CC (2013) It is too late to buy Premiere CS6, the last pre-rent Premiere; now a Creative Suite on Ebay sells for $2,000.

A friend is editing a experimental documentary on FCP 7 on a vintage machine, similar to what Bong Joon-ho did Parasite in 2019.

There’s one function that doesn’t work, which is the Project Manager, but I understand many have had problems with this in other versions.

On my 2018 MacBook Air Premiere Pro doesn’t really run but DaVinci Resolve 15 seems to require much fewer computer resources. It loads in a third of the time of Premiere and I can do basic cuts-only editing of pieces up to about 40 minutes.

I would like to get an iMac but B&H can’t tell you what OS is installed and I don’t want to test Catalina. I understand if you get a machine that was designed to run Mojave you can reinstall it from a drive.

Larry adds: Robert, you might consider getting an older Mac Pro – say around 2012 – which may come with an older OS and will run FCP 7/Premiere Pro CS6 perfectly. Option 2 is to convert your FCP 7 project to Resolve and edit it there. That would be done with a XML transfer.


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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #567: YouTube Compression Settings for Premiere Pro

Premiere’s YouTube presets are good – provided you first check H.264.

Key compression settings for YouTube in Premiere Pro CC’s Export Settings screen.

Topic $TipTopic

In Tip #561 I shared YouTube’s optimized compression settings. Here’s how they translate into Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Select the compression frame size that matches the size of your project. There’s no benefit to making the compressed frame size smaller, and scaling it larger will only make it blurry.

Premiere’s settings closely match YouTube’s recommendations. On the Export Settings screen:

  • Set Format to H.264
  • Pick the YouTube preset that matches the sequence frame size. In general, you’ll only need 720p, 1080p or 2160p.
  • Make sure the box to match frame rate is checked.

The audio compression settings are fine for both stereo and mono.


… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #574: The Power of Master Clips

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Changes to a Master clip affect all its clips in the timeline.

A blur applied to a Master clip in Premiere.

Topic $TipTopic

This article first appeared in MotionArray.com. This is an excerpt.

If you’re like most video editors, you chop little bits out of your main clips to add to your timeline. Sometimes, you end up using a few different bits out of the same file in various places on your main video. What usually happens then is that you make changes to each separate piece on your timeline. 

But here’s the beauty of Master Clip effects. You can make changes to the full original media clip, then when you drag a clip out of it onto your timeline, the changes travel with it. This is a huge time saver, as it means that you really only have to apply the effect to the original file instead of making multiple little edits on bits of pieces of the same file!

  • Simply double-click your video file in the Project Manager to load it into the Source monitor.
  • Next, drag the effects you want to apply from the Effects panel into the Source Monitor.
  • Switch to the Effect Controls panel and adjust as you normally would. You can watch your changes in the Program Monitor, if you select a clip in the timeline that is derived from that Master clip.

The changes will be applied across your project, to whichever clips come from that file – even if they are already edited into the timeline. Quick and easy! 

EXTRA CREDIT

To remove effects applied to a master clip, right-click the file name in the Project panel and choose Disable Masterclip Effects.


… for Codecs & Media

Tip #578: Media Codec Issues on Windows

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Windows Media Player has its own challenges in finding and playing codecs.

Topic $TipTopic

Windows Media Player includes some of the most popular codecs, like MP3, Windows Media Audio, and Windows Media Video. However, it doesn’t include the codecs required for Blu‑ray Disc files, FLAC files, or FLV files. If something isn’t working in Windows Media Player, you might not have the right codec on your PC. The easiest way to fix this problem is to go online and search for the codec you need.

How can I find out which codecs are installed on my PC?

  1. On the Help menu in Windows Media Player, select About Windows Media Player. If you don’t see the Help menu, select Organize > Layout > Show menu bar.
  2. In the About Windows Media Player dialog box, select Technical Support Information. Your web browser will open a page that includes a lot of detailed info about the related binary files, codecs, filters, plug-ins, and services installed on your PC. This info should help you troubleshoot problems.

How do I tell which codec was used to compress a file and what format a file is in?

There isn’t a way to determine with absolute certainty the codec used to compress a file, but the following are your best options:

  • To determine what codec was used with a specific file, play the file in the Player, if possible. While the file is playing, right-click the file in the library, and then select Properties. On the File tab, look for the Audio and Video codec sections.
  • Use a non-Microsoft codec identification tool. To find one, search for “codec identification tool” on the web. You’ll find several tools as well as useful related info.

You might be able to tell the format of a file by looking at the file name extension (such as .wma, .wmv, .mp3, or .avi). However, there are limits to this approach. Many programs create files with custom file extensions. And it’s possible for anyone to rename a file without changing the file’s format. A file with an .mpg or .dvr-ms extension, for example, is usually just an AVI file that’s been compressed by using some version of an MPEG video codec.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #549: What Is Optical Flow?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Use Optical Flow for clips slower than 10%.

The video quality options in Final Cut Pro X’s Retime menu.

Topic $TipTopic

Optical Flow is a way to generate artificial frames to smooth extremely slow motion video. The ideal way to create extreme slomo is to shoot at a high frame rate, then slow it down. But, if you are editing after production is complete and no high-frame rate video was shot, you need to go to Plan B.

Optical Flow is Plan B.

When slowing a clip, you’ll get the best results by picking a speed percentage which divides evenly into 200. For example, 50, 33, 25, 20, 10, 5 and so on.

There are three choices for image quality:

  • Normal. Use this for speeds of 50% or faster, including fast motion/timelapse.
  • Frame Blending. Use this for speeds between 10 and 50%. This quickly dissoves between each slowed frame.
  • Optical Flow. This creates frames, what animators call “tweens” for very slow motion. Use this for speeds slower than 10%.

The problem is that optical flow often doesn’t work. By that I mean it generates strange artifacts, especially between foreground and background.

Over the years, I’ve found very few clips where optical flow works reliably. I tend to prefer frame blending with speeds at 20% or faster.

For extreme slow motion, the best option – and most reliable – is to shoot a high frame rate.

EXTRA CREDIT

To apply Optical Flow, slow a clip using the Retime menu, then choose Optical Flow from Video Quality.


… for Apple Motion

Tip #537: Add Curves to Keyframes

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Right-click any keyframe to reveal playback options.

Right-click a keyframe to display a hidden menu of keyframe options.

Topic $TipTopic

Apple Motion keyframes have a lot of flexibility in their playback options, if you know where to look. Here’s a quick tip to discover the secret.

When you apply keyframes to a clip, they will appear in the Keyframe section of the timeline, in the lower right portion of the interface.

NOTE: To display or hide the Keyframe Editor, type Cmd + 8.

Right-click (or Control-click) any keyframe to reveal a hidden menu.

Some of these options are:

  • Ease In slows movement going into a keyframe.
  • Ease Out slows movements leaving a keyframe
  • Ease Both accelerates and decelerates movement.
  • To change the shape of a curve, drag the white dot – called a “Bezier control point.”
  • Lock prevents a keyframe from being changed.
  • Disable turns off a keyframe, without removing it.

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #562: The Timeline’s Magic Wrench

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

There’s a lot of configuration options in this one menu.

The Wrench configuration menu for Premiere’s Timeline. Blue indicates enabled features.

Topic $TipTopic

In the top-left corner of the Timeline is a wrench icon. This contains a wide variety of configuration settings to enable the timeline to look the way you want for your style of editing.

As the screen shot illustrates, features in blue are enabled, those in white are not. To toggle a feature on or off, click it.

  • Show Duplicate Frame Markers displays a blue bar at the bottom of a clip who’s frames duplicate the same clip used elsewhere in the same sequence. (This is a holdover from the days of film, when there was only one original film negative.)
  • Show Audio Names displays the file name in an audio clip. This is useful when editing dual-system sound where the audio file has a different name from the video file.
  • Show Through Edits is covered in Tip #563.
  • Minimize/Expand All Tracks is a fast way to adjust the height of all tracks in the timeline.
  • Save/Manage Presets saves these configuration settings, then switch between them as needed.
  • Customize Audio/Video Header customizes the icons displayed in the Track Header.

These provide lots of interesting customization options that you can adjust at any time.


… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #563: What’s a Through Edit?

A Through Edit is a cut in the middle of clip with no changes on either side.

Use the timeline wrench to enable Through Edits, visible on the right.

Topic $TipTopic

There’s a hidden feature in Adobe Premiere that highlights unnecessary edits. But, it’s turned off by default. Here’s how to turn it on.

A Through Edit is a cut in a clip where there is no change on either side of the clip. Most of the time, they exist by mistake.

Still, it is good practice to get ride of them, if, for no other reason, than to avoid confusion over what’s a “real” edit and what’s a mistake.

To see them, click the Wrench icon at the top left of the timeline and enable Show Through Edits.

All Through Edits in the timeline now display a pair of white triangles, as shown under the red arrow in the screen shot.

To remove a Through Edit and rejoin the two sides of the clip, right-click the Through Edit and choose Join Through Edits.


… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #564: Master a Linked Selection

Linked selections keep audio and video in sync.

An enabled Linked Selection button in the top left of the Premiere timeline.

Topic $TipTopic

Most of the time, linking is a good thing. Except, ah, when it isn’t. Here’s a description of what it is and two ways to unlink a clip.

Most of the time, when we import a media clip, the audio and video come in together, in sync and ready to work. However, there are times where you may not want both. Perhaps you recorded audio using the camera mic and need to use audio recorded on a boom mic instead.

You could drag the audio volume of the clip to zero. But, that takes time. It would be faster to just delete the audio clip. But, every time you select the audio, the video gets selected as well.

However, the Linked Selection button shown in the screen shot, which is in the top left of the timeline, allows you to unlink the audio from the video. When this button is blue, synced clips are linked. When it is white, you are able to select the audio of a synced clip without selecting the video.

At which point, you can move or delete it.

EXTRA CREDIT

Except…. it is SUCH a hassle grabbing the mouse, dragging it all the way up to the top of the timeline and clicking it.

If only there was the option to select just one side of a clip. An option that allows us to choose just the video, or just the audio…

Smile… Well, there is. Press the Option key when clicking a synced clip and you’ll only select the side of the clip you clicked on.

NOTE: Windows users need to use the Alt key, but “Alt” is a lot harder to work into a joke.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #529: Add Keyframes with the Range Tool

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com
This tip originally appeared as an Apple KnowledgeBase article. This is an excerpt.

With Final Cut Pro, you can use keyframes to create simple changes to audio over time, such as fading the volume or an effect in or out in the middle of a clip.

NOTE: A “keyframe” indicates where a parameter, such as volume, changes. The minimum number of keyframes for any effect are two, which mark the start and end of the change.

You can also place keyframes at specific points in a clip to change the parameter value of an audio enhancement or effect at those points. For example, you can keyframe specific points for an effect such as reverb or distortion.

USE THE RANGE TOOL

When making volume adjustments to a clip in the timeline, you can use the Range Selection tool to add keyframes automatically across a selected range.

  • Click the Tools pop-up menu above the timeline and choose Range Selection (or press R).
  • Drag across the area where you want to adjust the volume or effect.
  • Adjust the volume or effect within the range by dragging the effect’s horizontal control up or down.

Keyframes are automatically created within the range.

EXTRA CREDIT

Tip #553 illustrates how to add keyframes to audio effects using the hidden Audio Animation bar.