… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1074: Timeline Title Secrets

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

These new timeline menu options provide fast access to common taks.

The timeline menu linked to the name of the currently open project.

Topic $TipTopic

A new feature in the 10.4.9 update to Final Cut is located at the top of the timeline. But it is not easy to find.

Starting with the 10.4.9 update, when you click, not Control-click, the name of a project displayed at the top-center of the timeline, five new options appear:

  • Duplicate project
  • Reveal Project in Browser
  • Project Properties
  • Close [project]
  • Close other projects
  • Duplicate project copies your project, but does NOT make any compound or multicam clips independent. This is not a good idea. Instead, use Snapshot Project, which is an option available to all projects by Control-clicking the name of a project in the Browser.
  • Reveal Project is self-explanatory.
  • Project Properties is the same as Window > Project Properties, or typing Cmd + J.
  • Close [project] removes it from the timeline (which means it takes up far less memory), but does not remove it from the Browser or Library.
  • Close Other Projects closes other open timelines, again releasing the RAM they use, but does not remove them from the Browser or Library. Unless you are switching between different projects, closing projects you are not using is a good idea.

Locating these options at the top of the timeline is an excellent timesaver, except for Duplicate Project, which should be avoided.


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… for Apple Motion

Tip #1061: Create HDR-compatible Projects in Motion

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Motion can easily create HDR projects. You just need to change two settings.

The Color Space menu in File > Share > Settings.

Topic $TipTopic

We can create HDR-compatible projects in Motion by changing only two settings. Here’s what you need to know.

You can choose between two basic color spaces in Motion: Standard and wide gamut HDR.

NOTE: Wide gamut HDR refers to a greater range of colors and color saturation. It does not determine pixel brightness.

To work in a wide gamut HDR color space, also called Rec. 2020, you must first configure two settings. First:

  • Select the Project in the Layers panel.
  • Go to Inspector > Properties and change Color Processing to Wide Gamut HDR.

Next, when the project is complete and you are ready to export:

  • Choose File > Share.
  • In the Settings panel, change the Color Space setting to either Rec. 2020 HLG or Rec. 2020 PQ – depending upon what your distributor requires.
  • NOTE: Don’t use Rec. 2020 – it is an outdated setting.

    This setting determines the color of images you see in the canvas, as well as the color space and appearance of your exported project (the output media file). “Use canvas setting” matches the current project. Instead, set render color space to HDR Rec. 2020 HLG or HDR Rec. 2020 PQ if you intend to export an HDR movie when you complete the project

    The color-processing setting may affect the appearance of your final render. For example, when the project is changed from Standard to Wide Gamut HDR, the effect of some filters or blend modes may change in appearance.

    EXTRA CREDIT

    Remember, we can not use computer monitors to view HDR material. We need to use external, HDR video displays. Computer monitors are not accurate.


    … for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

    Tip #1056: Move a Mix from Audition to Premiere

    Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

    Take the time to verify the technical quality of your mix using Amplitude Statistics.

    The four key fields I check for every exported WAV file.

    Topic $TipTopic

    Recently, when I was preparing my webinar An Overview of Adobe Audition, I was reminded of an important tip I learned a while ago.

    When sending an audio mix from Audition back to Premiere, don’t use Multitrack > Export to Adobe Premiere. Why? Because you don’t know what you are getting. There’s a better way.

    Instead, choose File > Export > Multitrack Mixdown > Entire Session.

    This displays a window where you can set various parameters for your exported mix. In general, for video, choose:

    • WAV
    • 48K sample rate
    • 16-bit depth
    • Stereo
    • Check Open files after export

    When the mix is complete, the exported file will be displayed in the Files panel. Double-click it to open it the Waveform Editor. This next step is the reason for this whole process: choose Window > Amplitude Statistics and click Scan in the lower left corner of the window.

    This analyzes your clip for a variety of technical parameters. Here are the four fields I ALWAYS check:

    • True Peak. This is the loudest level in your mix. This must be below 0.
    • Possibly clipped samples. This must be 0. Anything larger means you have distortion in your mix.
    • DC Offset. This should be at or very close to 0
    • LUFS. This measures the average level of the total mix.

    For broadcast, digital cinema and cable, LUFS should be -24 ±1. For the web, LUFS should be around -16. (LUFS is also referred to as LKFS.)

    Once I verify that my audio meets all technical specs, I import it into Premiere and add it to the timeline as the final mix. The benefit to this approach is that I KNOW my audio is good, before final output, rather than HOPING it is good.

    EXTRA CREDIT

    Here’s a video that shows this process in operation.


    … for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

    Tip #1057: What Does this Blue Button Do?

    Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

    By default, sequences are edited as nests – but you can change that with a click.

    This button determines how sequences are treated when they are edited into the timeline.

    Topic $TipTopic

    I’ve been using Premiere for years and have never paid attention to this blue timeline button. Here’s what it does.

    When this button is blue, inserting or overwriting a sequence from the Files panel into a different sequence in the Timeline edits it as a nest.

    When this button is white, inserting or overwriting a sequence from the Files panel into a different sequence in the Timeline edits it as a separate clips. (That is, it deconstructs the sequence into its component elements.)


    … for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

    Tip #1058: What is the Events Panel

    Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

    The Events panel explains alerts and warnings in Premiere.

    An empty Events panel in Premeire.

    Topic $TipTopic

    The Events panel is located in the Windows menu. What does it do? Here’s the answer from the Adobe Support Community:

    The Events panel lists warnings, error messages, and other information you can use to identify and troubleshoot problems, particularly those associated with plug-ins and other components from third-party developers.

    An alert icon on the status bar notifies you of an error. Double-clicking the icon opens the Events panel, and clearing the associated item from the Events panel removes the icon from the status bar.

    Do either of the following:

    • Double-click the alert icon in the status bar.
    • Choose Window > Events.

    Then do any of the following:

    • To learn more about an item in the list, select it and click Details.
    • To clear the events list, click Clear All.

    … for Apple Final Cut Pro X

    Tip #1054: Be Careful of the Spell-Check Trap

    Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

    The Index does not display title content, only the label for that content.

    Correcting a spelling mistake for a title clip in the Timeline Index does NOT change the content of the title itself.

    Topic $TipTopic

    I fell into a trap this week, spell-checking titles in Final Cut Pro X. I thought I was correcting spelling, instead I was only correcting a list. Be cautious here! As I was finishing last week’s webinar on An Overview of Adobe Audition, I opened the Timeline index to proof-read markers and text titles.

    What I discovered is that you CAN use the Timeline Index to correct marker names. But you can NOT use the Timeline Index to correct titles. That’s because the Index displays the name of the title, not the content of the title. (See screen shot.)

    So, when I corrected the spelling of “slash” in the Index, it corrected the display in the Index, but NOT the actual text keyed into the video.

    So, while I thought I was being efficient in using the Index for spell-checking, in fact, I wasn’t changing anything that the viewer could see.

    EXTRA CREDIT

    This discovery meant I needed to reopen the show master, manually review each title in the Viewer, correct any mistakes in the Viewer, then reoutput the master file.

    A major pain in my timeline.


    … for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

    Tip #1035: Bugs in Automatic Scene Detection

    Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

    Scene Detection works reliably provided you don’t unlink audio from video.

    Scene detection options in Adobe Premiere Pro v. 14.4.

    Topic $TipTopic

    There are two significant bugs in the new automatic scene detection feature in the 14.4 update to Adobe Premiere Pro.

    Scene detection reviews a clip, then adds cuts where the scene changes. This is a big help when you need to deconstruct an already-edited piece, or need to chop up DV or HDV footage where multiple takes are contained in a single clip.

    NOTE: Scene detection can also create subclips or add clip markers, if that is your preference.

    However, in preparing my recent webinar on the “New Features in Adobe Premiere Pro” I discovered two significant bugs in this process.

    First, if you unlink audio from video for the clip you want to process, scene detection will fail more than 90% of the time. (If the clip is not unlinked, scene detection works reliably.)

    Second, if you don’t want the audio cut, Adobe says you can merge the audio back into a single clip after scene detection cuts a clip. However, when the audio segments are selected in the timeline, the Merge option is disabled.

    EXTRA CREDIT

    The best option, if you want to cut video and not audio, is to leave the audio and video clips linked, use scene detection to cut the clip, then, delete all the audio segment except the first one, then roll trim the first clip back to its original length.


    … for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

    Tip #1042: Multiple Bugs in Proxy Export

    Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

    For now, use proxies, but avoid using proxy export.

    The “Use Proxies” option in Premiere. My advice? Don’t use it.

    Topic $TipTopic

    New in the 14.4. update to Adobe Premiere Pro is the ability to export proxy files, instead of high-resolution camera masters. The only problem is, this doesn’t work.

    While Premiere has supported proxies for a while, new with this release is the ability to export proxy media. Prior, regardless of whether proxies were active or not, it would always export high-resolution media.

    While exporting proxy files is a note-worthy feature, this feature does not work in the 14.4 release. After working with this for three days, and talking with Adobe, I have never gotten proxies to export. Instead, regardless of whether proxies are active or not, Premiere always exports high-resolution media.

    For now, don’t use this function. Adobe acknowledges that their whole proxy workflow needs more work. I expect to see improvements to proxies in future releases.

    EXTRA CREDIT

    Compounding this problem, another bug in working with proxies is that if you create a custom proxy ingest setting – say to burn a watermark into the proxy media, Premiere will reject the custom setting due to enabling “Match frame size and frame rate.” However, even when these settings are turned off, Premiere still won’t accept a custom proxy ingest setting.

    And, if you create proxies outside of Premiere using Adobe Media Encoder, Premiere will refuse to link to them because AME changes the audio channel mapping, which Premiere needs to link the files.


    … for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

    Tip #1044: What Does “Clamp Signal” Do?

    Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

    Clamp scopes when doing creative work, unclamp when evaluating images technically.

    The Clamp Signal checkbox in the Lumetri Waveform Monitor.

    Topic $TipTopic

    The Lumetri video scopes have a “Clamp Signal” checkbox. As I was researching my recent webinar on “New Features in Adobe Premiere Pro,” I talked with Adobe about this.

    What the Clamp Signal checkbox does, when turned on, is compress, or clamp, any grayscale levels over 100 IRE or below 0 IRE that are displayed in the scopes. This means all grayscale values fall between 0 – 100 IRE.

    NOTE: These excess values are called “super-white” or “super-black.” Both are illegal values for broadcast, DVD or digital cinema.

    This clamping does NOT affect any clips in the timeline or browser display; or media being exported.

    In general, when doing creative work, turn clamping on. When evaluating your final project technically, turn clamping off, then make sure no values are above 100 or below 0.

    EXTRA CREDIT

    If your color grade is done, and you still have illegal levels, apply Video Effects > Color Correction > Video Limiter to clean them up.

    Here’s an older tutorial that explains what the limiter does.


    … for Apple Final Cut Pro X

    Tip #1038: Apple Releases Bug Fix Updates

    Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

    Updates fix most of the bugs introduced with the 10.4.9 update.

    Topic $TipTopic

    Thursday last week, Apple released bug-fix updates to Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and Compressor 4. Apple also updated the ProVideo codecs.

    The Final Cut update fixed the color flicker problem that first appeared in version 10.4.9, along with a variety of other bugs. It also, at least on my system, fixed the bug preventing voice-overs from actually recording.

    One bug that was NOT fixed is the inability to export chapter markers from FCP X. Apple is still researching this.

    Here’s the list of fixes from Apple’s release notes:

    Final Cut Pro

    • Fixes an issue in which XAVC media from the Sony PXW-FX9 camera is not recognized
    • Fixes an issue where brightness levels shift when switching between Better Quality and Better Performance in the viewer
    • Fixes an issue in which effect keyframes are not added correctly when using onscreen controls
    • Improves stability when using the transform tool with multiple clips in the timeline
    • Improves reliability when exporting an FCPXML that contains Compound clips
    • Addresses an issue which could prevent sharing at certain resolutions
    • Fixes an issue in which sharing a Compound or Multicam clip from the timeline was disabled.

    Motion

    • Fixes an issue in which XAVC media from the Sony PXW-FX9 camera is not recognized

    Compressor

    • Fixes an issue in which XAVC media from the Sony PXW-FX9 camera is not recognized

    EXTRA CREDIT

    Here’s the complete list of features and fixes in every version of Final Cut 10.4.

    Updates to Final Cut, Motion and Compressor are free and available in the Mac App Store. The ProVideo updates are free and available in System Preferences > Software Update.