… for Visual Effects

Tip #1208: I Need Your Help

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Inside Tips encourages reader-contributed tips. Please share yours with us.

We don’t know what we don’t know until we learn it from someone else.

Topic $TipTopic

I want to encourage you to submit a tip or two for “The Inside Tips.” We all benefit when we take the time to share what we know.

The Inside Tips for Visual Effects is a Tip Letter focused on visual effects. This is a vast topic – far more than any single person can master.

Each of us, during our career, has benefited by learning from others – sometimes in a formal setting, more often in the course of daily work.

For this reason, it would be great if you could contribute a tip or two from your own experience. The Inside Tips are read in every state in the US, as well as 50 countries around the world.

Even the “simple things” only seem simple after we learn them.

Click this link to submit a tip…. And thanks!


Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1209: I Need Your Help

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Inside Tips encourages reader-contributed tips. Please share yours with us.

We don’t know what we don’t know until we learn it from someone else.

Topic $TipTopic

I want to encourage you to submit a tip or two for “The Inside Tips.” We all benefit when we take the time to share what we know.

The Inside Tips for Codecs & Media is a Tip Letter focused on the technical aspects of media and compression. This is a large topic – far more than any single person can master.

Each of us, during our career, has benefited by learning from others – sometimes in a formal setting, more often in the course of daily work.

For this reason, it would be great if you could contribute a tip or two from your own experience. The Inside Tips are read in every state in the US, as well as 50 countries around the world.

Even the “simple things” only seem simple after we learn them.

Click this link to submit a tip…. And thanks!


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1193: New On-screen Controller for Compressor

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

This “map” is a fast navigational aid to moving around inside a larger image.

The Zoom menu (150%) and the navigation map (white rectangle).

Topic $TipTopic

I’m not sure when this feature first showed up in Compressor, but it seems relatively new to me.

Once you’ve imported a clip into Compressor, if you zoom into the image in the Preview monitor so that it is bigger than the screen can display, a small “map” appears (see screen shot).

The white field represents the entire image. The darker portion represents the portion of the image that’s visible in the Viewer.

Grab the small, dark icon inside the white rectangle and drag it to reveal other portions of the image in the Viewer.

EXTRA CREDIT

This is similar to the “red box” that appears in Final Cut Pro X when the image in the Viewer is zoomed larger than the Viewer can display.

In both Compressor and Final Cut, to fit the zoomed image back into the Viewer either:

  • Type Shift + Z
  • Select Fit from the popup menu displaying the zoom percentage of the image (150% in the screen shot)

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1212: What Does This Icon Do?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Workflow extensions extend Final Cut to seamlessly work with other software.

The Workflow Extensions menu in FCP X. This shows two extensions are installed.

Topic $TipTopic

In the top left corner of the Final Cut Pro X interface, you may see this icon (see screen shot). What does it do?

The icon indicated by the red arrow in the screen shot is the “Workflow Extension” menu for FCP X.

These are plug-ins that work inside Final Cut. Currently, Apple lists nine on its website:

  • APM Music
  • CatDV
  • EVC ShareBrowser
  • Frame.io
  • KeyFlow Pro
  • Primestream
  • Ripple Training
  • Shutterstock
  • Simon Says

Once an extension is installed, you access it from this menu.

Here’s a link to Apple’s ecosystem webpage to learn more.

EXTRA CREDIT

There are probably more extensions than Apple lists. If you know of others, please mention them in the Comments.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1213: Find & Delete Clips – Fast!

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Timeline Index is a fast way to find just about anything in your timeline.

Timeline Index > Clips section with a selected audio clip.

Topic $TipTopic

The Timeline Index is an underutilized feature of Final Cut Pro X. But, if you take the time to explore it, you’ll find all kinds of interesting things it can do. Here’s a quick list.

With an edited project in the timeline, open the Timeline Index (Shortcut: Shift + Cmd + 2).

Click the Clips tab at the top.

Select any clip in the Index. This also selects it in the timeline and places the playhead at the start of the selected clip.

With the timeline clip selected, you can:

  • Solo the clip (Option + S)
  • Play the clip
  • Delete the clip
  • Apply an effect to the clip

The Timeline Index is a fast way to jump to any clip, title, or marker.

EXTRA CREDIT

If you can’t find a clip, use the search box at the top to track it down.


… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1198: 6 Tips to Improve Audio Quality

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Please, for the love of humanity, stop using the camera mic for dialog!

Not a camera mic. (Image courtesy of Pexels.com)

Topic $TipTopic

This article first appeared in MotionArray.com. This is a summary.

Not much is more distracting than bad audio in an otherwise good film or video.

Great sound typically goes unnoticed by the viewer. It stays in the subconscious, but as soon as you bring it to the conscious, that’s when you start hearing words like amateur, low budget, B-movie, and student film.

In this article, the author looks at how to improve audio recordings:

  1. Use a Dedicated Microphone
  2. Get Your Microphone Close to Your Subject
  3. Don’t Clip Your Audio
  4. Location
  5. Get a Dead Cat
  6. Capture Room Tone

It includes a details on each subject, along with a seven-minute tutorial video.


… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1199: Video Creativity: Casey Neistat

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

“It doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.”

Casey Neistat (Image courtesy of PremiumBeat.com)

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by Jourdan Aldredge, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This is a summary.

In this in-depth review and interview with YouTube vlogger Casey Neistat, Jourdan takes a look at the philosophy, gear and perspective of this highly-successful digital creator who, at his heart, is just another filmmaker and content creator trying to turn his creativity into art.

Jourdan: What sparks your creativity in today’s world of video content?

I find so much inspiration in how diversified YouTube is becoming. … Overall, it’s seeing creators really lean into what they’re passionate about rather than trying to conform to what some might feel is necessary to succeed.

What have you recently been shooting your videos on?

I’ve recently switched over entirely to Sony. It was a hard process because I think Canon makes fantastic cameras. For years, including my entire vlog series, I shot on Canon—I love the image straight from their cameras, love their color science—but when Sony launched the ZV-1, I really felt like it was the perfect camera for a YouTuber. Then, when the a7S III dropped with the articulating screen, it closed the deal for me.

Take us through your editing workflow and process for your videos?

I only edit my YouTube videos on a computer using Adobe Premiere Pro. …I only edit chronologically—start with the first frame of the video and don’t stop or review until I’ve made it to the end. Then, I backtrack and can rearrange and all that. I find editing scenes first to be confusing. I love discovering the story by forcing it to reveal itself this way. …Rather than cover up any scars or evidence that this video was made by one person, I embrace those flaws—often embellish them. Leaning into the imperfections is a way for me to say to my audience that I am not a pro, I am just a regular guy trying to tell a story.

What’s the single best way to create engaging videos?

I don’t know the answer to this but going back to the first question about what excites me; I think that being true to your passion, abiding by an unspoken understanding that if YOU find it interesting that someone else will also find it interesting, that then you will ultimately find your audience.

EXTRA CREDIT

The article has links to several of Casey’s videos, analysis of his answers and much more. It is quite in-depth and well-worth reading.


… for Visual Effects

Tip #1201: Get Started with Nuke

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The hardest step is getting started. Here’s a 10-video series that can help.

(Image courtesy of Foundry.com.)

Topic $TipTopic

Nuke is an industry standard compositing, editorial and review tool for single artists to full VFX houses. The hardest part of learning effects software is getting started. Foundry, the makers of Nuke, created the free “Nuke Studio for Beginners.”

This 10 video set takes just over an hour to watch and will get you started with basic editing, compositing and exporting in Nuke Studio. Designed for complete beginners and those new to Nuke, these tutorials describe the steps to make a simple project in Nuke Studio.

Nuke is different from more traditional effects packages found in most NLEs because it is node-based. As such, it takes some effort to shift our thinking into the possibilities that nodes present.

Both the tutorials and a trial version of Nuke are free. Here’s the link.


… for Visual Effects

Tip #1202: BorisFX Sapphire Tutorials

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Interviews, showcases and tutorials to get you started with BorisFX Sapphire.

(Image courtesy of BorisFX.com.)

Topic $TipTopic

Sapphire plug-ins, published by BorisFX, let you create stunning organic looks unmatched by any host native effect tools. Key features include over 270 effects and 3000+ presets, a powerful Effect and Transition Builder, and integrated tracking and masking with the Academy Award-winning Mocha. Sapphire’s superior image quality, control, and render speed offers massive time-savings.

BorisFX has compiled a series of artist interviews and product tutorials that showcase Sapphire and provide an orientation to how it works.

Here’s the link.


… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1181: How Color Match Works

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

I find that Color Match gets me close, then I can tweak using the color wheels.

The Color Match section of the Lumetri Color panel.

Topic $TipTopic

Color Match allows fast color matching between timeline clips in Premiere. It’s been in the Lumetri Color panel for a while, but you may have overlooked it. Here’s how it works.

  • Put the playhead on a clip in the timeline who’s color needs adjustment.
  • Switch to the Color workspace, then reveal the Color Wheels & Match section (see screen shot).
  • Click Comparison view. This displays a second window in the Program Monitor to the left of the timeline image.
  • Drag the slider under the Comparison View until you find a frame who’s color you like.
  • In the Lumetri panel, click Apply Match (see screen shot).

Instantly, the color of the timeline clip shifts to match the overall tone of the frame in the Comparison View.

EXTRA CREDIT

No automated color tool works perfectly all the time. I find this technique to be a fast way to get a clip close to the colors I want. From there, it is easy to tweak it to its final look using the Color Wheels.