… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1779: Export Caution: Match Source Settings

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The default Match Source export settings always uses H.264.

A Match Source Quick Export setting. Note that it uses H.264.

Topic $TipTopic

There’s a potential “gotcha” when using the default Match Source export settings that can trip you up. The screen shot illustrates the Quick Export menu in the top right corner of the Premiere interface and the Match Source settings.

Normally, I export sequences from Premiere using my own export settings. However, while I was exploring the Premiere beta, which revises the entire export process, I discovered a problem with the Match Source setting that affects both the beta and the current shipping version.

Specifically, even though it is supposed to “match the source,” it actually uses the H.264 codec. This is fine for distribution, but NOT fine for any sequences you expect to work with again.

NOTE: In fact, H.264 is the default codec for all export presets.

Instead, when exporting any file you expect to reuse, reedit or recompress, avoid ALL the preset export settings – which all use H.264 – and select an editable codec like ProRes, DNx or GoPro Cineform. The files are bigger, but you’ll avoid image degradation and artifacting.


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… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1769: Fix for FCP Crashes in Big Sur

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Most often, frequent crashes means something is out of date.

Topic $TipTopic

David M. reports:

FYI, I updated to Big Sur & FCP 10.5.2. I got continuous crashes on opening FCP until I uninstalled all Core Melt apps.

Everything is now fine. Didn’t lose any work.

Larry adds: Thanks, David, for the heads up.


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… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1750: Render Neat Video Effects Faster

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Neat Video renders very slowly. Here’s how to speed it up.

Topic $TipTopic

Neat Video makes an effect that removes video noise, which occurs when shooting in low-light situations. The filter creates amazing results, but takes forever to render.

This workaround was suggested by Brian Galford.

The Neat Video filter will render the entire duration of any clip it is applied to. So the key to faster rendering is to only apply the effect to those portions of a clip that need it.

For example, if you apply the filter to a ten second clip, but five seconds are covered by B-roll, cut the underlying clip containing the effect at the start and end of the shot above it. That way, only the visible part of the clip will render.

As well, if you’ve applied the filter to the entire underlying clip, be sure to remove or disable it from those portions that are covered by another clip.


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… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1730: Final Cut Pro Bug Workarounds

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Two workarounds for apparent bugs in Final Cut Pro.

Image detail courtesy of Pexels.com.

Topic $TipTopic

Scott Newell reports on two workarounds for Final Cut Pro.

BROKEN RENDERS

Just wanted to share two FCP X stories with you. I was trying to output (share) a fairly complex video with lots of various video sources and found it stopped at 94% each time. Online searches said it could be a corrupt file somewhere and many suggested trashing preferences. Nothing worked.

So I rendered out a section at a time to see where the problem was. Turned out to be a plugin from Pixel Film Studios near the end and it was in a very dense portion of the timeline.. I’ve used many of their plugins successfully before, but it must have been taxing my system beyond its capabilities. Removed the effect and it rendered without a hitch.

My takeaway (which I suspect is something you already do) is to look at 3rd party plugins first when there is a problem like that.

LARRY ADDS: The two biggest issues that cause renders to fail are corrupt stock media and broken plugins.

MISSING SHORTCUTS

One other question that doesn’t involve plugins. Sometimes when I start a new project and copy and paste from another project to start things going, the enlarge and shrink keyboard shortcuts (CMD+ and CMD-) don’t have any effect. I have to go to the appearance icon in the top right corner of the Timeline and move the timeline resize slider to enable the keystrokes again. Wonder why that is?

Just recently a friend called me to ask why his CMD+ and CMD- key combinations weren’t working and I knew exactly what he was talking about, so I must not be the only one this is happening with.

NOTE: Scott sent me this note before the latest FCP 10.5.3 update. I don’t know whether these were fixed in that version or not.


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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1681: A Cool – But Useless – Feature

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

This used to work great. Now, ah, not so much.

Adding keyframes in the timeline, using this menu, no longer works reliably.

Topic $TipTopic

There’s a long-time feature in Premiere that used to be really useful. Well, at the least, it was useful. But, now, it’s essentially useless.

Most of the time, when we want to create effects, we select the clip in the timeline, then go to Effect Controls and make our adjustments.

But, there’s a hidden feature in Premiere that, theoretically, saves a step.

Control-click a clip in the Timeline (see screen shot) and a hidden menu appears. Here, you can select a setting, say “Scale,” and a white keyframe line appears in the clip (see the red arrow).

Again, in theory, we can drag this line up or down, or double-click it to add keyframes, to adjust and animate the scale of the clip.

The problem is that line, there, at the bottom, is positioned for 100% scale. We can drag it to 0, or to a minimum setting of 119%; but nothing in-between. It’s positioned too low to be useful because we can’t drag it marginally lower; except to 0. Useless.

We rarely, if ever, scale clips larger than 100%. But we CONSTANTLY need to scale clips smaller than 100%. At least for scaling, this hidden menu option totally fails.

So, experiment on your own to see which of these features work. But, for now, you are better off ignoring this menu and continue to use Effect Controls.


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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1665: Align Titles in Premiere Pro

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Select just one text clip in the timeline to use these.

The text alignment tools in the Essential Graphics panel.

Topic $TipTopic

Here are some intriguing icons in the Essential Graphics panel that can simplify aligning text (even though two of them are wrong).

  • After creating a text clip in the Timeline using the Text tool, select the clip.
  • If you haven’t already, switch to the Graphics workspace.
  • Click Edit in the Essential Graphics panel. The icons illustrated in the screen shot appear about 1/3 the way down.
  • Click the left icon to center a clip vertically (even though the icon indicates it centers horizontally).
  • Click the second-from-left icon to center a clip horizontally (even though the icon indicates it centers vertically)
  • The next three icons move a clip to the top, center or bottom of the frame. The problem with using these is that they don’t take Safe Zones into consideration, which means you would need to manually move the text inside Action Safe, at a minimum.

NOTE: The center option in this group is the same as clicking the far left icon.

  • The three icons on the right move a clip to left, center or right side of the frame. Also, like the middle three icons, these icons do not take Safe Zones into consideration, which means you need to move the text inside Action Safe manually.

NOTE: The center option in this group is the same as clicking the second-from-the-left icon.

EXTRA CREDIT

These icons are nice, but because they don’t allow for Safe Zones, I find myself not using them very often.

Also, these won’t work if multiple text clips are selected; which means that you can’t use these to quickly align several clips at once.


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… for Visual Effects

Tip #1599: Does Foundry Support M1 Macs?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Progress continues, but full compatibility is a ways off.

Image courtesy of Foundry.com.

Topic $TipTopic

Here’s the latest update from Foundry on their support for Big Sur and M1 Macs.

The latest macOS version, Big Sur, is not currently supported across our Foundry product portfolio. Our product teams are testing this macOS release and looking to qualify it as soon as possible. 

Apple’s new processing hardware Apple silicon including the recently released Apple M1 chip, is due to be reviewed by each product and support will be planned based on the individual review results.

Here is the latest status of supported macOS versions across our Foundry products: 

Product macOS Catalina (10.15) macOS Big Sur (11.0) Apple M1 Chips
Nuke family 12.1v1 onwards 13.0v1 onwards Not supported
Modo 13.2v1 onwards 15.0v1 onwards Not supported (in testing)
Colorway 3.1v1 onwards Not supported (in testing) Not supported
Mari 4.6v3 onwards Not supported Not supported
Flix 6.3.6 onwards Not supported Not supported
Katana Katana is not available on macOS.

EXTRA CREDIT

Foundry updated this on April 22, 2021. Link.


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… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1572: What Is Range Check?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Safe video levels are essential for any video not posted to the web.

The Zebra or Herringbone pattern flags shadow or highlight levels that are illegal.

Topic $TipTopic

Range check is a special option in the Viewer > View menu that flags shadow or highlight levels that are “illegal” for the timeline video clip containing the playhead.

If you only post video to the web, you don’t need to worry about video levels, the web will play anything.

However, if you need to submit programs to broadcast, cable, DVD, digital cinema or many streaming services, such as NetFlix, you need to be SURE your video levels are within spec.

There are four options:

  • Off. This is the default setting.
  • Luma. This flags luminance levels that are excessive.
  • Chroma. This flags color levels (mostly saturation) that are excessive.
  • All. This flags all illegal levels.

Excessive luma levels are those above 100% IRE or below 0% IRE (for Rec. 709 media) .

Excessive chroma levels are those that are over-saturated. (Saturation levels will vary by luminance levels.)

EXTRA CREDIT

Range check simply flags problematic footage. You correct this using either one of the color grading tools or Broadcast Safe. (See Tip #1573).


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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1557: Caution When Using the Video Limiter!

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The default setting for the Video Limiter needs to be 100 IRE.

For safety, be sure to set the Video Limiter to 100 IRE, not the default of 103 IRE.

Topic $TipTopic

(I discovered this tip while researching a recent PowerUP webinar showcasing Advanced Color Techniques for Premiere Pro.)

The Video Limiter is an effect that clamps white and black levels to “legal” levels. This means no white levels over 100% or black levels below 0%.

However, there are two significant problems with the Video Limiter you need to be aware of:

1. The default setting is wrong. The Video Limiter defaults to clamping video highlights to 103%. This is wrong. You need to change this to 100 IRE to be totally safe.

NOTE: While some broadcast outlets may allow IRE values greater than 100%, this should be the exception, not the default.

2. Worse, the Video Limiter properly clamps levels adjusted using either Curves or Color Wheels. But it does not clamp levels using the Basic Correction sliders. This, too, is a mistake. The Video Limiter needs to clamp all adjustments to gray scale, no matter where they are made.

Just giving you a heads-up.

EXTRA CREDIT

The Video Limiter is not needed when posting media to the web. But it IS needed for projects destined for broadcast, cable, DVD or many streaming services.


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… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1558: Change Color Grades Within a Shot

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The key is a long slow dissolve to blend colors during the transition.

Lindsay walking from outside into the studio in a single shot.

Topic $TipTopic

(I discovered this tip while researching a recent PowerUP webinar showcasing Advanced Color Techniques for Premiere Pro.)

Let’s say you have a shot where the talent walks into an interior scene from the outside. Most cameras need to be white balanced for either daylight or interior and can’t adjust on the fly.

So, now you are looking at a shot in post that either starts blue and goes normal, or starts normal and goes orange. You can’t keyframe color settings, so how do you fix this?

Easy.

  • Cut the clip in the middle of the transition from outside to inside.
  • Color correct each side of the clip for the appropriate color.
  • Then, add a SLOW (4-8 second) dissolve between the two clips.

Because the action matches, the only thing the viewer will see is a smooth transition from an outside color grade to one for the interior.


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