… for Apple Motion

Tip #805: Control the Shape of Path Curves

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Curves are shaped by the white Bezier control handles revealed by the Edit Points tool.

Unlinked Bezier control handles changing the shape and smoothness of a curve.

Topic $TipTopic

Using either the Pen or Paint Brush tools, we can create paths in Motion. The Pen tool creates a path, while the Paint Brush tool creates a path then decorates it with a shape style.

The trick, as with all path tools, is in how you create corners. When using the Pen tool to create a path, click to create a corner, or click and drag to create a curve. However, what happens if you don’t like the shape of the curve? Change to the Edit Points tool, then Control-click on a corner dot in the path.

This displays a menu allowing you to convert a corner to a smooth curve, or a smooth curve back to a corner.

When a corner is converted to a smooth curve, two white lines appear with a dot at each end. These are called “Bezier control handles.”

Drag the dots closer together to change the smoothness of the curve. Change the angle to change the shape of the curve.

EXTRA CREDIT

  • Press Option and drag to just change one dot. This also disconnects (“Breaks”) the two dots even when you no longer press the Option key.
  • Press Shift to constrain the movement of a dot.
  • Control-click a white dot to Link or break a dot, as well as align the two dots back into a straight line.

Watch how the curve changes as you adjust each dot by itself.


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… for Visual Effects

Tip #810: Quickly Transfer iPhone Media

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Image Capture is fast, secure, flexible… and free!

Topic $TipTopic

In my weekly newsletter, last week, I illustrated a process to quickly and securely transfer photos or video from an iPhone to a Mac using Image Capture.

While many of us use AirDrop, Apple’s free utility, Image Capture, provides the following benefits:

  • Faster file transfers due to a direct, wired connection
  • More secure transfers. There is no risk you’ll send the wrong image to the wrong person.
  • Easier selection of multiple images
  • Directly transfer files to a specific folder, without transferring images to the Downloads folder first
  • Immediately delete media from your iPhone once it has transferred to your computer

I’ve used AirDrop, Preview and 3rd-party utilities. Image Capture beats all of them.

Here’s the link to my article.


… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #801: Change the Default Video Transition

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Any video transition can be set as the default.

Control-click any video transition to set it as the default transition.

Topic $TipTopic

I re-discovered this tip while researching a recent webinar covering the basics of editing in Premiere.

The default video transition is a standard cross-dissolve, but you can change this setting at any time. Here’s how.

  • In the Effects panel, find the video transition you want to use as a default.
  • Control-click the name of the transition, then select Set Selected to Default Transition.

That’s it.

NOTE: To quickly apply the default video transition, select the edit point, clip, or clips you want to apply it to, then type Cmd + D. (Windows type Cntrl + D).

EXTRA CREDIT

The default audio transition is a cross-fade. You can change the default duration for both audio and video transitions in Preferences > Timeline.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #789: The Floating Source Timecode Window

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Source Timecode window displays timecode for all project clips under the playhead.

The floating Source Timecode window.

Topic $TipTopic

Most of the time, we don’t need to pay attention to the specific timecode of the clips in a project. However, for those times when we do, Final Cut makes it easy.

  • Choose Window > Source Timecode to display a floating window containing the timecode of every clip under the playhead in the timeline.
  • Drag any edge to change the size of the display.

Control-click a clip to:

  • Copy just the timecode of the control-clicked clip to the clipboard
  • Copy the file name and the timecode of the control-clicked clip to the clipboard
  • Copy the file name and the timecode of all clips displayed in the window to the clipboard

NOTE: If a clip is selected, as “Barn in wheat fields” is here, it is highlighted with a gold box.

EXTRA CREDIT

Tip #788 discussed the floating Project timecode window.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #800: Reset Clip Effects Quickly

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

You can reset a single parameter, a section or the entire clip.

Click the “hooked arrow” to reset a section or a single parameter.

Topic $TipTopic

Have you ever wanted to reset a clip quickly; say, to remove an effect or position change? You can. That’s where these hooked arrows come in.

  • Click a hooked arrow next to a section name – i.e. Transform – to reset all section settings at once.
  • Click a hooked arrow next to a single parameter to reset that parameter to its default settings.

NOTE: If you need to reset all effects and settings applied to a clip, choose Edit > Remove Effects.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #802: Remove Attributes vs. Remove Effects

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Remove Effects is faster, Remove Attributes provides more control.

The Remove Attributes window. Blue checkboxes indicate applied effects or changed effect settings.

Topic $TipTopic

In the Edit menu for Final Cut Pro X are two options, both of which relate to removing effects. The key question is: what’s the difference?

  • Remove Attributes
  • Remove Effects

Here’s the difference:

  • When you select Edit > Remove Effects, all effects settings applied to all selected clips are instantly removed. This is the fastest way to reset one or more clips to its default (native) settings.
  • When you select Edit > Remove Attributes (screen shot), you are presented with a screen where you can select which effects you want to keep or remove from all the selected clips.

Remove Effects is the fastest way to totally reset a clip. Remove Attributes gives you more control over what is actually reset.

NOTE: It is important to note that both of these menu options can apply to one or more clips. Simply the select the clips you want to reset before choosing one of these two menues.


… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #766: Faster Ways to Import Media

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

I knew these tips – once – but over the years I forgot them. Here they are, again.

Double-click in an empty area of the Project panel to open the Import dialog.

Topic $TipTopic

As I was researching last week’s webinar on Adobe Premiere, I re-discovered two tips for faster imports and easier clip organization. It was good to relearn these, because both can save you time.

TIP #1

I’m a keyboard junkie, so I long ago developed the habit of typing Cmd + I to import media.

But, sometimes, the mouse is even faster: Double-click anywhere in the dark gray area of the Project panel (red arrow) to open the Import dialog.

TIP #2

I’m a fan of organizing media as much as possible on my hard disk before starting a project. Specifically, I create a single master folder for project media, then create subfolders. This could be subfolders for each camera card or stills or audio or whatever grouping makes sense to you.

Then, when it’s time to import, I select all the subfolders and Premiere imports each folder into its own bin; as you can see in the screen shot.

EXTRA CREDIT

These folders are not dynamic. That means that if you add clips to a Finder folder after importing, Premiere does not automatically update the bin with the new media.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #778: Delete Render Files to Save Space

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Render files save time – but take space. Delete them whenever you need more space.

The “Delete Generated Media” dialog.

Topic $TipTopic

Final Cut Pro X creates render files whenever you apply an effect to a clip, or change a setting in the Inspector. This is not bad, in fact, its a good thing – because it allows FCP X to play even the most complex effects at full speed and resolution. However, these render files take space. They are as big as a “normal” video file – in fact, they use the same codec, frame size and frame rate as your project.

While you need them for any clips in your project, FCP X does not erase them when you remove a clip. Why? Because it assumes you may want to use that same clip and effect somewhere else in your project. So it saves the render files to save you time later.

This means that render files accumulate, taking up a lot of extra storage space. Fortunately, it is easy to get rid of them, here’s how.

  • Select the Library, if you want to make a global change.
  • Select an Event, if you want to delete render files only for the elements in an event.
  • Select a Project, if you only want to delete render files for a specific project.
  • Choose File > Delete Generated Media.
  • Choose Delete Render Files > Unused Only.

All unused render files will be deleted.

EXTRA CREDIT

You can delete “All” render files, but as soon as you reopen a project, any needed render files for that project will be re-created; this means you don’t really save much space by deleting all renders. A better choice for active projects is “Unused only.”

When a project is done, though, feel free to delete all render files to save space. In the event you delete render files that Final Cut needs, no problem. FCP X will simply re-create them. No problem.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #786: Get Rid of Multiple Markers – Fast!

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Timeline Index makes it easy to delete multiple markers.

The Timeline Index, with five markers highlighted.

Topic $TipTopic

I use markers in all my projects, for chapters for navigation or to help me remember something. However, all those markers need to be cleaned up before I export the final project.

While we can’t copy or paste multiple markers in Final Cut Pro X, we can select multiple markers and delete them. Here’s how.

  • Open the project containing the markers you want to delete into the timeline.
  • Open the Timeline Index (Shortcut: Shift + Cmd + 2).
  • Click the Tags text button.
  • Select the markers you want to delete.
  • Press the big Delete key.

Gone.

EXTRA CREDIT

It may help to click either the Marker or Chapter Marker buttons at the bottom of the Timeline Index to make it easier to isolate markers from other timeline elements.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #788: The Floating Timecode Window

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The project timecode window displays the current project playhead location.

The floating Project Timecode window.

Topic $TipTopic

There are two floating timecode windows in Final Cut Pro X: one for projects and one for source media. Here’s how to use the Project Timecode window.

  • Choose Window > Project Timecode to display the floating window.
  • Drag a corner to resize it.
  • Control-click in the window to copy the currently-displayed timecode.
  • Drag the window to move it.

I use this window for most of my edits, just to help me remember where I am.

EXTRA CREDIT

Open the Commands window, search for “timecode” then assign keyboard shortcuts to:

  • Toggle the project timecode window open or closed.
  • Copy project timecode
  • Paste project timecode

Tip #789 illustrates the Source Timecode window.