… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #022: 2 Export Options You Don’t Need

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

These options have been puzzling editors for years.

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You are ready to export your final project, when you come face-to-face with two inscrutable checkboxes. Ever wonder how to set these options in the Export window of Premiere? We’ve got the answer.

  • Maximum Bit Depth. If you have a GPU, Maximum Bit Depth is irrelevant as you’re already getting that performance from the GPU, if it is applicable to your media. Turn this off.
  • Maximum Render Quality. If you have a GPU, this, too can be turned off. The only reason to turn it on is if you are scaling your images – up or down – and see jagged edges on clearly defined diagonal lines. As of this time, scaling is still CPU-based, and only effects calculated using the CPU are affected by this setting.

Now you know.

As you can probably guess, as Adobe migrates from CPU-based effects to GPU-based effects both of these options will become unnecessary and probably disappear.


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… for Codecs & Media

Tip #086: How to Create Custom Poster Frames

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Poster frames illustrate the contents of a movie clip in the Finder

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Ian Brown suggested this tip.

There’s a very fast way to create a poster frame for a QuickTime movie. (Poster frames appear in the Finder, and other locations, to illustrate the contents of a clip.)

  • Open the video in QuickTime Player
  • Move the playhead to the frame you want to use as a poster frame
  • Choose Edit > Copy (shortcut: Cmd + C)
  • Close the video
  • Select the file icon in the Finder
  • Choose File > Get Info (shortcut: Cmd + I)
  • Select the small icon in the top left corner
  • Choose Edit > Paste (shortcut: Cmd + V)

Done.

EXTRA CREDIT

Actually, anything you paste into that top left box will become the poster frame. It doesn’t need to be a still from your video – though it can’t be a video itself.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #055: When to Pick Optimized or Native Media

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Picking the wrong option will slow things down.

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Final Cut supports a variety of media for editing, not just codecs, but native, optimized and proxy media. Which should you choose? Here’s a simple guide.

NATIVE MEDIA

Native media is what your camera shoots.

Use native media in your edit when you are in a hurry, don’t need to apply a lot of effects or transitions, or when working with high-end log or HDR media.

OPTIMIZED MEDIA

Optimized media is native media that Final Cut transcodes in the background to ProRes 422; most often using the Transcoding options in the Media Import window.

Use optimized media in your edit for projects that have lots of effects, were recorded using very compressed camera formats such as H.264 or HEVC, require lots of exports for client review, require extensive color grading.

PROXY MEDIA

There’s a belief among some editors that editing proxies is somehow “weak.” Actually, virtually every film ever edited was created using proxy files – except they were called “work prints.”

Proxies are smaller files, great for creating rough cuts where you are concentrating on telling stories, because they don’t require as much storage, and you can easily switch from proxy to optimized/native media – retaining all effects – at the click of a button.

Use proxy files in your edit when storage space is tight, you need to edit on an older/slower system or when you are working with large frame size files (4K and above).

When you are ready to color grade and output, switch back to optimized/native.

SUMMARY

Optimized files are faster and more efficient to edit and, in the case of highly compressed native files, yield better color grading, gradients and effects. But they take up more space. Most of the time, the trade-off is worth it.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #090: A Faster Way to Create Audio Fades

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Apply fades using a keyboard shortcut.

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You probably know that you can add an audio fade to either the beginning or the end of an audio clip by dragging the small white “audio fade dot” at the edges of an audio clip.

What you may NOT know, though, is that there is a much faster way to add fades, but it isn’t enabled by default.

Here’s how:

  • Go to Preferences > Editing and enter the Audio Fade Duration you want to use as a default setting.
  • Next, go to Commands > Customize and search for “Audio Fades”
  • Set Apply Audio Fades to the shortcut you want to use. (In my case, I set this to Option + A.)

Now, whenever you want to quickly apply an audio fade, select the clips you want to apply the fade to, then type Option + A. Poof! – fades appear at the end of all selected clips.

EXTRA CREDIT

These fades are fully adjustable by dragging the fade dot. All you are doing with this shortcut is applying a standard audio fade quickly.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #103: Add an Audio Fade Without Using Keyframes

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

This is a fast way to add fades.

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In the Timeline, select an audio clip. Then, look very carefully at the edges.

Just above the volume control line you’ll see a small dot at each edge. This is the Audio Fade dot.

Drag the Dot to add a fade to the beginning or end of each clip.

To change the duration of the fade, simply slide the position of the dot left or right.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #125: Edit Vertical Video – Fast

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Edit vertical video the easy way in FCP X.

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In spite of all our hopes, vertical video is here to stay. Not to worry, Final Cut makes editing vertical video easy. When the time comes to edit, transfer the video to your editing computer, then:

  • Choose File > Import Media (Shortcut: Cmd + I) and navigate to the footage. (You can transfer media directly from your iPhone if it is connected.)
  • Next, create a new project and use the Automatic settings. (This is the screen where the button in the lower left reads: Use Custom Settings.)
  • MOST IMPORTANT: don’t change any project settings. Make sure that the text: Video: Set based upon first video clip properties is visible. This is what makes configuring vertical video easy.
  • Next, edit a vertical clip into the empty, new project. This is important, even if this isn’t the first clip you want the audience to see, because FCP X uses this clip to configure the project settings.
  • When that first, non-standard video clip is edited into the timeline, a dialog appears asking if you want to change the project settings to match the video.
  • Click YES and FCP X will automatically configure the timeline to match your media. After you edit a couple more clips into the timeline, you can delete that first clip that you used to set Project settings.

After that, edit as normal.

When it comes time to export the final project, choose: File > Share > Master file to create a high-quality master file for compression later.

NOTE: Make sure that the aspect ratio of your final export matches the aspect ratio of the original media. Both 1080 x 1920 and 608 x 1080 match for aspect ratios.


… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #007: Magic Markers

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Five Marker Tricks That Help You Get Organized

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To add a marker, position the playhead in the timeline where you want to locate a marker and type M. This adds a Cue marker at the position of the playhead.

  • Shift + M jumps the playhead to the next marker
  • Shift + Cmd + M (Windows: Shift + Cntrl + M) jumps the playhead to the previous marker.
  • Option + M deletes the selected marker.

To convert a marker to a range marker, double-click the marker icon, then give it a duration.

Once you create a marker press – / [forward slash] – this selects the marker name in the Marker panel so you can quickly rename the marker. If the Marker panel is not open, press – / – twice.

EXTRA CREDIT

The default marker name can be changed in Preferences > Markers & Metadata


… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #041: Optimizing Premiere Transition Preferences

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Premiere’s defaults aren’t bad. But they aren’t very good, either.

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Preferences are exactly that – YOUR preferences on how the software should work. This means that you can set your preferences however you want. But, as a starting point to your own modifications, let me share some of my preferences with you. Use or modify these in whatever ways seem good to you.

Preferences > Timeline

The hidden “gotcha” with the transition settings are that they use frames to determine durations. Which is fine – until your frame rates change. At which point, all these durations need to change as well.

  • Video. I prefer transitional dissolves that last 2/3 of a second; a one-second transition just hangs on screen for too long. However, I also shoot mostly 60 fps material. So I change this to 40 frames (40/60 = 2/3).
  • Audio Transition. Most of the time, I like a 1/4 second fade-up, while for fade-outs, I prefer about one second.  Sadly, Premiere only allows me to pick one so I generally leave this at the default.
  • Still image. Here’s a cool tip. If you are building a still image montage set to music, figure out the duration between beats, then import all your stills to match that duration. This means you can edit stills into the timeline without setting an In or an Out.
  • Timeline Playback Auto-Scrolling. It takes more CPU power, but Smooth Scroll looks nicer. Use Page Scroll on slower systems, as it uses less CPU overhead.
  • Timeline mouse scrolling. Vertical allows you to quickly scroll up in projects that use many stacked clips. Most of my edits are five tracks or less, so I change this to Horizontal, so I can quickly move around the timeline.

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #076: Save A Custom Search (Part 4)

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Smart Collections are simply “saved searches.”

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A Smart Collection is Apple’s way of saying “saved search.” In other words, you are saving the search criteria to use again in the future. Saving a search has two big benefits:

  • It is dynamic. As additional clips are added to the the library, the results of this search will update include those clips as well.
  • It is reusable. Smart Collections show up at the top of the Library window for each project. Once you create a Smart Collection, all you need to run it again is to click it.

To create a Smart Collection, open the Custom Search window, enter your search criteria, then click New Library Smart Collection.

Final Cut will save the search criteria, then, over in the Library List, prompt you to name it. Give it a name that makes sense to you.

Poof! Instant, reusable and highly-complex searches at your fingertips.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #018: Export Multiple Segments or Clips at Once

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

A hidden trick that makes exporting multiple segments even faster.

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While it’s true that you can only have one In and Out in the timeline, that is NOT true for the Browser. Clips in the Browser support selecting and exporting as many segments as you want.

To select more than one section in a clip, drag to set the In and Out for the first section, then press the Command key and drag to set as many additional sections as you want!

NOTE: To delete a selected range in the Browser, select it, then type Option + X.

With the ranges you want to export selected, choose File > Share and note that this menu now displays the number of segments you have selected.

BONUS

You can also use this technique to select and export multiple clips in the Browser, not just segments inside a single clip. As well, you can use this technique to select and edit multiple clips or segments into the timeline at once.