… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1826: What is Range Check?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Range Check flags excessive white levels or chroma (color) saturation.

The View menu, top right corner of the Final Cut Viewer, showing Range Check options.

Topic $TipTopic

Have you ever wondered what “Range Check” does in the View menu? It’s actually really useful – it flags excessive white and chroma (color) saturation levels. Here’s what you need to know.

If you are posting media to the web, virtually any gray-scale or chroma value will be fine. The web is very forgiving.

But, not so broadcast, cable or digital cinema. Here, because of technical constraints, white levels can not exceed 100% and chroma levels can’t exceed certain amounts of saturation for SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) media.

What Range Check does is flag – using a moving series of red lines (red arrow in screen shot). These indicate areas in the frame that exceed white level limits (Luma), excessive saturation (Chroma) or both (All).

To fix this problem, either adjust your color grading or apply Effects > Color > Broadcast Safe.

EXTRA CREDIT

Tip #1827 explains how to use the Broadcast Safe filter.


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… for Apple Motion

Tip #1802: Change the Height of Layer Elements

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

This hidden control changes the height of elements in the Layers panel.

Enable Layer sizing by clicking the rectangle icon (bottom) when the Timeline is open.

Topic $TipTopic

There’s a very useful setting in Motion that only appears when the Timeline is open – even though it has nothing to do with the Timeline!

When the Timeline is displayed (F6 toggles it open or closed), a magnifying glass and rectangle icon appear immediately above it.

Click the rectangle icon (bottom red arrow in screen shot) to reveal a new control (top red arrow).

As you drag this control left or right, the size of the layers in the Layers panel will increase or decrease.

What’s interesting, to me, is that the Timeline needs to be open for this Layers panel control to become visible.


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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1796: Move Multiple Clips with One Shortcut

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The ability to move clips as a group makes it easier to adjust segment timing.

Selected clips moving using keyboard shortcuts.

Topic $TipTopic

Premiere provides a fast and easy way to move multiple clips at the same time: the Track Select Forward tool. Here’s how it works.

From the toolbar, select the Track Select Forward tool. (There’s no assigned keyboard shortcut, but you can add one in Premiere > Keyboard Shortcuts.)

Click in the timeline. All clips that exist at that frame in the timeline are selected, even if it’s only the tail end of a clip.

NOTE: If you find yourself selecting clips that you don’t want to select, move the cursor past the end of the clips you don’t want to select.

  • Type Cmd + [left / right] arrow to move all selected clips one frame left or right.
  • Type Shift + Cmd + [left / right] arrow to move 5 frames left or right.

EXTRA CREDIT

In the tool bar, click the small arrow next to the Track Select Forward tool to choose the Track Select Backward tool. It works the same way, except that it selects all clips BEFORE the position you click in the timeline.


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… for Apple Motion

Tip #1782: Apple Updates Motion to v5.5.3

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

This update provides bug fixes but no new features.

The new version screen for Apple Motion.

Topic $TipTopic

Last week, Apple updated Motion to version 5.5.3. This update provides bug fixes but no new features.

Here’s Apple’s list of changes for Motion 5.5.3, released July 8, 2021:

  • Improves stability when exporting with certain macOS Language & Region preferences.
  • Improves stability when playing H.264 or HEVC media.

Here’s the complete list of Motion release notes for this and previous versions.


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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1780: How & Why to Change Label Colors

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Menu colors can also be sorted, helping to group similar clips.

Labels displayed in the Project panel (left) and Preference > Labels panel.

Topic $TipTopic

A menu preference that I skip over ALL the time is “Labels.” However, these can be really useful – especially to help organize larger projects.

Label colors are assigned to different media types by default. These default colors are set using Preferences > Labels. (See screen shot.)

However, you can change these colors to something that works better for you.

NOTE: One reason where changing label colors might help is color blindness. Or, you may have preferred colors that help you organize media.

An added benefit to using colors is that you can sort on them in both Project and Bin panels. To sort on color, click the empty column header just above the colors. Click a second time to reverse the sort order.

NOTE: The sort order is actually based on the color order of a spectrum – from red to violet.


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… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1772: The “Invisible” Quick Export Button

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

One click speeds your project on it’s way.

The Quick Export menu (yours may look different) in the top right corner.

Topic $TipTopic

Hidden in a corner of the Final Cut Pro interface is the Quick Export button. This is a fast way to get your projects out of Final Cut using just the mouse.

As the screen shot illustrates, in the top right corner of the Final Cut interface is the Send icon.

Click it to display the list of all current export destinations.

Using this menu, you can export the current project in the timeline using a single mouse click.

EXTRA CREDIT

To change the options displayed in this menu, either choose Add Destination from the bottom of this menu or go to: Final Cut Pro > Preferences > Destinations.


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… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1752: More Keyword Tips

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Keywords can organize hundreds of clips much more flexibly than building them into a timeline.

The Keyword Editor showing keyboard shortcuts for the first 9 keywords.

Topic $TipTopic

Keywords are a very flexible way to organize clips and clip segments. They are also very, very fast.

Tip #1751 presented the basics of creating keywords. Here are some more tips.

  • To add the same keyword to multiple clips, select the clips then add the keyword using the Keyword Editor (shortcut: Cmd + K).
  • To delete a keyword from one clip, select the clip, open the Keyword Editor and remove the keyword from the top line.
  • To delete a keyword from all clips to which it is applied, select the keyword in the Library List, then type Cmd + Delete.
  • To replace one of the keywords in the Keyword Editor, simply enter the new keyword in place of the old one.
  • To find all clips that contain at least one of multiple keywords, select multiple keywords in the Library List (this performs a Boolean “OR” search).
  • To apply keywords using keyboard shortcuts, make sure the keyword you want to apply is listed in the Keyword Editor (shortcut: Control + 1 – 9).

For more powerful searches, use the Search Filter. Here’s a tutorial from my website that illustrates this in more detail.


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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1743: Adobe Cleans Up the Header Bar

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Adobe’s on-going interface cleanup continues in the Header Bar.

New Premiere Pro header bar. Left side on top, right side on the bottom.

Topic $TipTopic In the beta release of Adobe Premiere Pro last week, Adobe cleaned up the Header Bar. While the big news surrounds the new import and export workflows, the newly-cleaned-up look of the Header Bar is also worth mentioning.

NOTE: Beta software, by definition, is unstable and likely to change. You can install the beta version without losing access to the current release of Premiere. However, use beta software only for exploration and experimentation; because there is always the possibility of losing your work due to a software bug.

THE HEADER BAR

Starting with the initial Creative Cloud release several years ago, Adobe began the process of cleaning up the Premiere interface. Because, frankly, there were so many icons, controls and widgets it was almost impossible to figure out what you needed to tweak to accomplish even simple tasks.

The latest beta release continues that trend. Once you create a new project – or open an existing one – you’ll see a lot fewer icons at the top of the interface.

Adobe calls this the Header Bar and it now divides into two sections. On the left (at the top of the screen shot) are:

  • Home. This brings you back to the opening screen where you can choose which project to open or create.
  • Import. This opens a new approach to importing media and creating a new project.

NOTE: You can by-pass this window by clicking Create in the lower right corner.

  • Edit. This opens the editing window with the familiar Premiere interface.
  • Export. This opens a new approach to exporting projects.

NOTE: I’ll cover both import and export workflows in future tips.

On the right (lower portion of the screen shot) are icons to:

  • Quick Export. This expands on the Quick Export option in the current release version of Premiere.
  • New Features. This, not surprisingly, displays a “What’s New in Premiere” screen.
  • Feedback. This speeds sending feedback to Adobe during the beta process.
  • Workspaces. Rather than listing all workspaces across the top of the screen, they are now consolidated into this menu. Their function is the same, however.
  • Maximize video output. This displays video in the current timeline full screen.

Adobe concludes: “We’ll be rolling out these new experiences on a timeline starting with this public Beta to ensure that our customers can provide feedback, explore the changes and continue to use Premiere Pro to its fullest potential. These changes are additive and not a replacement to current workflows. We understand how important muscle-memory is and we don’t want to disrupt your flow in any way.”

Here’s a link to Adobe’s blog with more details on all the changes.


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… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1734: Use Color Indexing for Animation

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Indexed colors are best for animation, not photos.

Create an Image Sequence (top), color indexing settings (bottom)

Topic $TipTopic

(I discovered this tip while researching my recent PowerUP webinar illustrating New Features in Apple Compressor & Final Cut Pro.)

This new feature in Apple Compressor is specifically targeted at folks creating graphical animation. It reduces image file size without compressing the media. It’s called “Indexed Colors.”

What this does is, rather than storing the full range of colors in a file, it only stores the actual colors used. This can reduce file size 80-90% per frame without compression!

To create this:

  • Create a new compression setting and format it as an Image Sequence (see top screen shot).
  • Select the Image Sequence in the Settings sidebar.
  • In the General tab of the Inspector (lower screen shot), change Image Type to PNG or GIF.

NOTE: PNG is uncompressed, GIF is compressed.

  • Select the number of colors in the image in the Color palette menu. (The fewer colors, the smaller the file.)

NOTE: “Not indexed” uses all available colors.

  • Global shares the same color pallette across all frames. Local uses a new color palette for each frame. Local is faster, but global will yield more consistent results.
  • Color dithering: If you have more colors than you are indexing, turn on Color dithering. (Sierra 2 may produce a smoother image.) If the number of colors in the image equals the index number, set this to None.
  • Animated: Available when Image type is set to PNG or GIF, exports a single, animated file containing all frames (rather than a collection of individual files for each frame).
  • Playback: Available when Animated is selected. Playback specifies how many times the animated GIF or PNG loops during playback. Select Continuously, or enter the number of times you want the animated image to play. (Not all web browsers will recognize this option.)
  • Create unique output directory: Available when Animated is not selected. Select this checkbox to create a folder to hold the output files; the files saved will be named “frame-0,” “frame-1,” “frame-2,” and so on.
  • Add leading zeros to frame numbers: Available when Animated is not selected. Select this checkbox to have Compressor add leading zeros to output filenames (“filename-000000,” “filename-000001,” “filename-000002,” and so on).

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… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1734: Change Starting Timecode in Compressor

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Changing timecode only affect compressed media.

The Timing section of the Job Inspector.

Topic $TipTopic

(I discovered this tip while researching my recent PowerUP webinar illustrating New Features in Apple Compressor & Final Cut Pro.)

Compressor got a surprisingly large number of new features in it’s latest update from Apple. One of which is the ability to change the starting timecode for compressed clips.

NOTE: This does not change the timecode of the source media.

To do this:

  • Select the clip (not the compression setting) in the Compressor Batch panel.
  • Go to the Job section of the Inspector (see screen shot) and change the starting timecode

EXTRA CREDIT

You can also use this section to change the In for the compressed media or its duration, should you not want to compress the entire movie.


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