… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1451: Drop Zone Secrets

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Where you click a drop zone clip with the skimmer determines the In.

A drop zone, with a reflection, created in Motion, filled with an image in Final Cut.

Topic $TipTopic

A drop zone is an image placeholder, created in Motion, for use in Final Cut Pro. Drop zones can be added to titles, effects, transitions or generators.

To fill a drop zone in Final Cut:

  • Select the clip containing the drop zone.
  • In the Video Inspector, click the blue box around the drop zone you want to fill. (Some templates contain multiple drop zones.)
  • In the Browser, click the clip you want to put into the drop zone.
  • Click the blue Apply Clip button in the Viewer.

EXTRA CREDIT

Here’s the secret. If you use the skimmer to select the clip, where you click the skimmer in the Browser clip determines the In of the clip in the drop zone.


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… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1452: The Mysterious Red Box

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The red “slider” simplifies navigating a zoomed-in Viewer image.

The red slider appears whenever you are zoomed into an image.

Topic $TipTopic

You’ve seen it from time to time, the mysterious red box in Final Cut’s Viewer. What the heck is it?

The red slider appears whenever you are zoomed into an image more than the Viewer can display.

Drag the red box itself to navigate around the image.

EXTRA CREDIT

To display the red box, type Cmd + [plus] to zoom into the Viewer.

To make the red box disappear, type Shift + Z (or choose Fit from the View menu).


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… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1453: An Editing Keyboard Shortcut

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

These keystrokes determine what is edited into the timeline.

The small arrow hides this menu.

Topic $TipTopic

Anything that speeds the editing process is a good thing. Here are three keyboard shortcuts that simplify editing clips into the timeline.

Normally, when you edit a clip from the Browser into the Timeline, you edit both its audio and video. However, you can also edit just the video or just the audio.

  • Shift + 1: Edits audio and video into the timeline.
  • Shift + 2: Edits just the video into the timeline.
  • Shift + 3: Edits just the audio into the timeline.

These settings stay in effect until you change them.

NOTE: You can also find these in the small down-arrow to the right of the four editing icons at the top left of the timeline.


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… for Apple Motion

Tip #1377: Create a Reflection

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Reflections require a reflecting surface and a group that’s switched to 3D.

Reflecting surfaces can be any color or shape.

Topic $TipTopic

Philip asked: “How do I create a reflection in Motion?”

By default, all objects in Motion radiate light, meaning they can create a reflection. However, in order to see a reflection, you need a second object that catches the light from the first object and reflects it. THAT setting, to enable reflections, is turned off by default.

To enable reflections:

  • Create the object you want to reflect (the heart, in this screen shot)
  • Create a surface upon which you want the reflection to appear (the gold rectangle)
  • Be sure both objects are in the same group.
  • Switch the group from 2D to 3D by clicking the small icon of rectangles on the right of the group name in the Layers panel.
  • Select the rectangle.
  • Go to Inspector > Properties and enable (check) Reflection.
  • Adjust the angle of the rectangle to get the reflection you want.
  • Adjust the Inspector settings to get the look you want.

NOTE: 3D Objects do not create reflections.


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… for Apple Motion

Tip #1381: Precisely Control the Position of Anything

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Control Points provide precise position control for selected elements.

The Control Points settings for the Motion Path behavior.

Topic $TipTopic

Most of the time, when we drag objects into position in Motion they look fine. But, sometimes, you need more precise control. The Inspector makes that possible.

For example, when applying the Motion Path behavior, you may need it to be perfectly vertical, or go to very precise pixel positions. This is easy to do.

  • Select the object or behavior in the Layers panel that you need to adjust.
  • Depending upon what you have selected, go to Inspector > Behaviors or Inspector > Shape.
  • In that panel, at the bottom, you’ll find an option titled Control Points.
  • Twirl it down to see a list of all controls points needed to define or configure that object or behavior.
  • The left number sets the X position, the middle number sets the Y and the right number sets the Z. (If there are only two numbers, they represent the X and Y, with the X value on the left.)

NOTE: For horizontal objects or moves, the Y position should match. For vertical elements, the X positions should match.

Remember, the 0,0 position is the center of the frame, for movement, or the center of an element, for objects.


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… for Apple Motion

Tip #1382: Playing With Gradients

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Gradients can create the illusion of depth and/or roundness.

The Shape settings needed to create the 3D ball shape.

Topic $TipTopic

This tip started with me wondering: “Um, what happens if I change this?”

I started by drawing a circle.

  • In Inspector > Shape > Style, I switched the color fill from Color to Gradient.
  • Twirl down the Gradient triangle (to the left of the name) to reveal a whole flock of additional controls.
  • Set Type to Radial.
  • Change the Start and End positions to move the highlight off center.
  • Boost feathering a little bit to make the ball seem a bit more rounded.

Ta-DAH! A shape that looks a LOT more like a 3D ball than a simple 2D circle.

NOTE: Gradients which have only two colors work the best for this. Feel free to experiment with changing colors and see what looks best for you.

EXTRA CREDIT

You can keyframe the Start and End positions to make it look like the lighting around the ball is moving.


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… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1386: Drop Zone Secret

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

When adding clips to a drop zone, where you click the skimmer determines the In.

Drop zones displayed in the Video Inspector.

Topic $TipTopic

I discovered this tip while researching a recent PowerUP webinar introducing Apple Motion 5.5.

One of the Motion effects I created for this webinar involved combining multiple drop zones into a single “quad split,” where four different images were combined into one.

NOTE: The benefit of creating this as a Motion template is how easily it can be reused, rather than create each effect uniquely in Final Cut.

What I didn’t know till this week was that when you add a video clip to a drop zone, where you click the skimmer (Shortcut: S) in the Browser clip determines the In of the video.

In the past, Final Cut would use the actual start of the video clip. Now, with the Skimmer setting the In, you can use any segment of a clip that you prefer.

Very cool – and a huge time-saver.


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… for Apple Motion

Tip #1364: Change the Motion Background

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

For full-screen projects, set the background to a solid color.

Background settings in Project Properties. Transparent is the default.

Topic $TipTopic

By default, the background in Motion is transparent, though it is displayed in the Viewer as black. However, you DO have options.

Also by default, the background color is black. This means that the Viewer displays black behind all elements, BUT it does not export this color.

To change the background, type Cmd + J, this displays the Project Properties panel.

  • Transparent. The background color does not export, though it does appear in the Viewer.
  • Solid. The background color appears in the Viewer and is exported as a solid color with your project.
  • Environment. The background color appears in the Viewer, exports with your project and interacts with elements in your project, for example, using blend modes..

EXTRA CREDIT

To change the background color in the Viewer, change the background color setting in Project Properties.


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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1357: Customize the Timeline

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Wrench icon – in any panel – is the key to customization.

The timeline customization menu. Blue indicates active elements.

Topic $TipTopic

The Timeline Wrench icon provides many ways to customize the timeline in Premiere. Located in the top left corner of the timeline (see screen shot), blue elements are active.

Those labeled “Show” affect the display of elements in the Timeline.

The two “Customize” options determine which icons are displayed for video and audio tracks. (By default, all icons are visible.)

Tip #1358 discusses the Save and Manage Preset options.

EXTRA CREDIT

The easiest way to see what the “Show” options do is to uncheck them and watch what happens. Changing these has no effect on your media, edit or project; they only affect the display of objects in the timeline.


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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1358: Save & Manage Timeline Presets

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Track height presets only change the height of tracks, which can also be assigned keyboard shortcuts.

The Manage Presets window. Accessed using the timeline Wrench icon.

Topic $TipTopic

One of the challenges in any large edit is seeing what you’ve got across all the tracks you are working with. Track Height presets make this easy. Here’s how.

There are a variety of ways to change the height of tracks:

  • Type Shift + [plus] to maximize all track heights
  • Type Shift + [minus] to minimize all track heights
  • Type Cmd + [plus]/[minus] to change video track heights
  • Type Option + [plus]/[minus] to change audio track heights
  • Drag the horizontal line between tracks in the track header up or down

CREATE A PRESET

Let’s say that you like minimizing all tracks EXCEPT V1, A1 & A2, which you want taller for dialog editing.

  • Configure the track heights as you wish.
  • Then, click the Wrench icon in the top left corner of the timeline and choose Save Preset.
  • Give the Preset a name and click OK.

You can assign keyboard shortcuts to these by searching for “Height” in the Keyboard Shortcuts window.

NOTE: Saved presets appear in the timeline Wrench menu.

MANAGE PRESETS

Go to the timeline wrench menu and choose Manage Presets (see screen shot).

Here you can reassign keyboard shortcuts, as well as delete any presets you no longer need.


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