… for Visual Effects

Tip #592: Make Zooms More Interesting

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Anchor Point affects both scale and rotation effects.

Image courtesy: Ed Greene and Greene HD Productions (www.greenehdtv.com/)
In Premiere, slide the circle (red arrow) to move the anchor point.

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All of us a familiar with how scaling works: as you scale an image it gets larger or smaller. But, there’s a little known setting you can tweak that will make your zooms or rotations much more interesting.

The Anchor Point, which exists in both Premiere and Final Cut, is the point in an image which determines the center of rotation and/or scaling.

By default, both programs put the Anchor Point in the center of the frame. But, you can modify the point, which changes how an image rotates and/or scales.

  • To adjust this in Premiere (screen shot) select a clip, in Effects Control click the word “Motion” to enable on-screen controls, then slide the circle. (See screen shot.)
  • To adjust the anchor point in Final Cut, select a clip and go to Transform in the Video Inspector.

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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #575: Work Faster with Pancakes in Premiere Pro

 Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Whichever sequence is highlighted in blue is the active sequence.

Two sequences stacked in the same Premiere timeline.

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This article, written by Jason Boone, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This is an excerpt.

Pancake Timeline was a term first coined by Vashi Nedomansky, ACE, of Vashi Visuals. The method derives its name from the vertical stacking of timelines within the interface. Stacking timelines not only speeds your workflow, but will also help you keep a bird’s-eye view on your work.

The pancake technique isn’t just for pulling good takes from raw footage. Let’s say, for example, you’re creating a demo reel. You open up multiple Premiere Projects at the same time, pancaking three to four timelines from varying projects. Then, you can quickly shuttle through numerous source sequences to pull clips for your reel. This technique will also be quite useful for sporting event highlights. Whatever the case, pancaking timelines is a powerful technique to add to your Premiere Pro tool belt.

Here’s a closer look at how to use this technique to quickly sort through a project’s raw footage.

  1. Prepare the sequences, as normal.
  2. Open both sequences into the timeline.
  3. Grab the tab of whichever sequence you want on top and drag it, inside the frame of the Timeline panel, until the top of the timeline panel turns purple, then release it.
  4. Edit from one timeline to the next. We can now easily bring clips from one sequence to the other, either via drag-and-drop or performing insert and/or overwrite edits.

NOTE: This process is identical to modifying workspaces by dragging panels around, except this time, rather than moving panels, we are moving sequences.

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #586: Reorganize Multicam Sequences

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Cameras are arranged in the order they were selected.

The Edit Camera window in Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

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There’s a hidden menu in Premiere that allows you to edit and reorganize multicam clips. After creating a multicam sequence, open it in the Source Monitor by double-clicking.

Click the Wrench icon in the lower right corner of the Source Monitor and choose Edit Cameras; near the bottom.

This displays the Edit Camera window:

  • Drag camera names to reorder them. (They are initially organized based upon the order in which they were selected.)
  • Uncheck On/Off to disable the display of a clip, without removing it from the sequence.
  • Change Cameras per page to increase the number of camera angles displayed when you are editing the multicam sequence.
  • When clips are organized to your satisfaction, click OK.

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #587: Easier Multicam Storytelling

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Editing a multicam in groups helps focus on different parts of your story.

This Page menu appears when there are more camera angles than can appear in the Multicamera Monitor.

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When editing multicam sequences in Premiere, we have the option of specifying how many camera streams we want to display during the edit.

In Tip #586, we learned about the Edit Cameras window. At the bottom of this window, we can choose the number of cameras to display during the edit itself. (The default is four.)

The majority of multicam edits are four cameras or less, which means, most of the time, we don’t need to change this. Still, there are two reasons why you might want to:

  • If you have a large computer monitor and more than four cameras, increasing this allows you to see more cameras onscreen at one time.
  • Decreasing the number of cameras you view at once allows you to concentrate on editing cameras in groups – for example, first edit wide shots for coverage, then go back and edit close-ups for emphasis. Since there is no limit to the number of times you can edit a multicam sequence, editing a sequence in multiple passes allows you to focus on different elements of your story.

The Page menu, shown in the screen shot, allows you to quickly switch between the different groups of cameras in both the Source Monitor and Program panels.

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #585: Hide Jump Cuts with Flow

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

For best results, don’t change the duration of the transition.

The Flow transition is located in the Dissolves category.

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The best way to hide a jump cut is using B-roll or a cutaway. However, when you don’t have those options, the Flow transition in Final Cut can bail you out of a tricky situation. Here’s how.

The Flow transition is relatively new in Final Cut. What it does is use Optical Flow technology to create new frames that blend the Out of the out-going clip into the In of the in-coming clip.

In doing so, it converts a jarring jump cut into a fast, smooth, 6-frame dissolve.

To apply, drag Flow from Transitions > Dissolves onto the edit point containing the jump cut.


According to the Final Cut Pro X Help:

  • Use the Flow transition with the default duration only. Any other duration will generate unexpected results.
  • The Flow transition duration is always set at 6 frames regardless of the duration set in the Editing pane of Final Cut Pro preferences.
  • The Flow transition is disabled (treated as a standard dissolve) when you apply it to a generator or still image.

… 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.

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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! 


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

… 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.

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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.


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.

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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.

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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?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

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.

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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.