… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1022: The Pen Tool

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Pen tool creates shapes we can use standalone or under text.

I have no idea what this it, but it’s kinda cute – and has a drop shadow.

Topic $TipTopic

The Pen tool allows us to draw shapes directly in the Program Monitor, fill them with color, add a border or drop shadow, then animate them. We are used to using the Pen tool as part of Effect Controls. But there is also the Pen tool in the Tools palette. We use this to draw shapes on-screen.

  • Put the playhead in the timeline where you want a shape to start, then, select the Pen tool from the Tools palette.
  • In the Program Monitor, click and draw a shape. Click to create a corner, click and drag to create a curve.
  • Re-click the starting point to create a closed shape, or don’t to create an open shape. (We most often use open shapes to create a curved line – it is a border with no fill.)
  • To move a shape, select the clip, then use the Move tool.
  • To adjust a shape, select the Pen tool, then, in Effect Controls, twirl down the Shape, and select Path.

NOTE: The shapes created by the Pen tool are vectors, which means they can be scaled as much as you want without losing edge sharpness.


The Shape controls, in the Effect Controls panel, provide:

  • Path. Redraw the shape, using the Pen tool.
  • Appearance. Change fill, stroke and shadow settings.
  • Transform. Change size, position and rotation, along with adding keyframe animation.

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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1023: Tricks of the Zoom Tool

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Zoom tool is the fastest way to zoom into a timeline segment.

The Zoom tool is located in the Hand menu. (Shortcut: Z)

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Hidden, but accessible with a keyboard shortcut, is the Zoom tool. This is often faster than using keyboard shortcuts to zoom into the timeline! As a certified keyboard junkie, it often hard to believe that anything with the mouse is faster – but the Zoom tool may be the exception that proves the rule.

Click and hold the cursor on the Hand tool, then select Zoom tool from the menu that appears. (See screen shot.)

NOTE: The keyboard shortcut for the Zoom tool is: Z.

While we can simply zoom into the timeline by typing + [plus] or [minus], the Zoom tool is faster when we want to get more specific. To zoom into a specific section of the timeline, select the Zoom tool, then drag a rectangle around the section of the timeline you want to see.

Poof! That region instantly fills the timeline!


The Zoom tool only works with clips in the timeline.

Type \ [back-slash] to fit everything back into the timeline again.

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1024: Moving the Anchor Point

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Anchor Point can be easily moved using the Move tool.

The Anchor point (red arrow) is set by moving the cross-hair icon.

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The Anchor point is that spot in an element around which it rotates or scales. Clips, shapes and text each have separate anchor points, but moving them is the same.

  • Select the clip who’s anchor point you want to move.
  • Select the Move tool.
  • In the Program Monitor, drag the small circle with the cross-hair to the position you want. The EXACT position is the center of the cross-hair.

If you need more precision, or need to match anchor points for multiple clips, select the clip, then, in the Effect Controls panel, enter the precise numbers you need for the Anchor point for the selected clip.


Here’s where to find the appropriate Anchor point. Using the Move tool, select the object in the Program Monitor you want to adjust. It will highlight in the Effect Controls panel.

  • Video: Effect Controls > Motion
  • Shapes: Effect Controls > Shape > Transform
  • Text: Effect Controls > Text > Transform

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1016: Caution: Color Flickering in FCP X 10.4.9

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

FCP X 10.4.9 seems to create color flickering during grading.

Topic $TipTopic

I have received multiple reports this last week from editors reporting color shifts or color flickering when editing camera native media in Final Cut Pro X 10.4.9. This problem did not exist in Final Cut 10.4.8.

As one editor reported:

We have found the following:

  • The jumpiness happens as the clip is being color corrected with or without a camera LUT applied
  • There is no difference whether the timeline is set to “Better Performance” or “Better Quality;” the color levels still jump around
  • Transcoding the media to “proxy” and working with the proxy files eliminates the jumpiness during color correction

I reported the problem to Apple and they are looking at it. For now, until they figure out what’s going on:

  • If you haven’t upgraded to 10.4.9, don’t.
  • If you have, consider doing your color grades in proxy mode until this issue is resolved.


Please add a comment if you’ve experienced similar problems. I will forward your comments to Apple.

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1017: Chapter Marker Export Option Missing

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The option to include chapter markers on export has disappeared in FCP X 10.4.9.

The Master File > Settings panel. The checkbox to export chapter markers is gone.

Topic $TipTopic

Another problem that surfaced with the 10.4.9 update to Apple Final Cut Pro X is that chapter markers can no longer be exported – at least on my system.

As you can see from the screen shot, when exporting a master file, there’s no checkbox to include chapter markers in the export. And, not surprisingly, if I include chapter markers in my project, they don’t export.

This problem did not exist in the 10.4.8 version of Final Cut.

For now, if you need chapter markers, don’t upgrade to 10.4.9.


Chapter markers can be included in both QuickTime movies and MPEG/4 movies. I use them in all my webinar downloads and streams, not just DVDs.

I’ve contacted Apple about this problem and they are looking into it.

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1003: The Slide Tool – Relic of the Past

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Slip tool is essential. The Slide tool is a relic of the distant past.

The Slide tool moving the position of a clip, without changing content or duration.

Topic $TipTopic

Last week, I wrote about the Slip tool (Tip #986). Loren took me to task asking why I didn’t write about its cousin: the Slide tool. So, now, I am.

The Slip tool (Shortcut: Y) changes the content of a shot without changing its duration or location in the timeline.

The Slide tool (Shortcut: U) changes the position of a clip inside it’s track in the timeline, without changing its content or duration. It does this by trimming the Out of the clip before it and the In of the clip after it as you drag it in the Timeline.

The Slide tool was invented back in the earliest days of non-linear editing, when we only had one video track and one title track to work with. The Slide tool allowed us to slide clips along that single video track to find the best place to put a shot.


You can only Slide a clip as far as you have handles on the clips before and after it.

While I use the Slip tool all the time, I never use the Slide tool anymore, simply because it is easier to raise a clip to a higher track where I can move it as much as I want without altering the clips on the main track.

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1004: A Faster Way to Jump

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

We can jump to a specific timecode, or move to a spot relative to where we are now.

Click the blue numbers (bottom), then enter a new timecode to jump the playhead there.

Topic $TipTopic

As projects get bigger, finding faster ways to move around means you can get more done in less time. Here’s a cool trick.

Click directly on the blue timecode numbers at the bottom left of of the Program (or Source) Monitor, then enter the timecode where you want to move the playhead.

Press Return and the playhead jumps there instantly.


Enter timecode as HHMMSSFF, without punctuation.

Type +, followed by a number and Return, and the playhead will add that duration to the current playhead location and move right.

Type , followed by a number and Return, and the playhead will subtract that duration to the current playhead location and move left.

If you enter a number greater than your frame rate, Premiere will automatically calculate the correct duration.

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1005: The Vertical Text Tool

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Vertical text is hard to read, but, used sparingly, can be eye-catching.

Here’s the vertical text tool and what it can do.

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Adobe Premiere Pro provides the opportunity to create both horizontal and vertical text. Learn more.

  • Click and hold the Text tool to reveal the Vertical Text Tool.
  • Click anywhere in the Program Monitor to create text, the same as you would with the “normal” Text tool.
  • Format the text by switching to the Graphics workspace.
  • Select the text clip in the timeline, then click Edit, which is at the top of the Essential Graphics panel.


As you can see in the screen shot, vertical spacing between characters is even more obvious than horizontal kerning. You tighten spacing using the Kerning control in the Text panel.

When entering text, type words in reverse order. (Smile… you’ll understand why the first time you add a second word.)

Please remember that vertical text is very hard to read quickly. Use this effect very sparingly!

… for Apple Motion

Tip #990: Add Reflective Paint to 3D Text

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

3D text provides almost unlimited design options for customizing text to fit our story.

Distressed 3D text, with a reflective pink paint applied. A blue spotlight was added to highlight the texture.

Topic $TipTopic

As I was playing with distressing 3D text (Tip #989) I discovered another setting: Reflective Paint. Even if you never create your own lights – and especially if you do – adding sheen to the surface of 3D text can make it “pop” more effectively.

To apply different paint surfaces to your text:

  • Create a 3D text clip.
  • Select Inspector > Text and scroll down until you see the Material section.
  • Below the Material section, select Options:Basic > Add Layer > Paint.
  • From the Paint menu, choose a surface that appeals to you.
  • In the settings for that surface option, select different looks from the Type menu. Drag sliders and watch what happens.


In the screen shot, I applied a pink reflective paint, then added a deep blue spotlight from the side to highlight the texture of the text.

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #985: Hidden Sort Options

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Thumbnails can be sorted in far more than simple file name order.

The thumbnail sort options in the project panel.

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Hidden in the Project panel is a wealth of sort options for all the elements in the Project panel or a bin. Here’s how to access them.

  • Open the Project panel.
  • Switch to thumbnail view.
  • To the right of the slider that determines thumbnail size, is an icon of three stacked lines with a down arrow. Click it.

From this menu, you can sort thumbnails on over 30 criteria.


For you list junkies, the default sort is alphabetically on file name. However:

  • To sort on any column, click the column header.
  • To sort in reverse order, click the column header again.