… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1289: Top Ten Tips of 2020 for Codecs & Media

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

It is fascinating to see what readers find interesting!

Topic $TipTopic

During this last year, The Inside Tips published 975 tips and techniques covering six subject categories:

  • Adobe Premiere
  • Apple Final Cut Pro
  • Apple Motion
  • Codecs & Media
  • Random Media Weirdness
  • Visual Effects

Here are three “Top Ten Tips Lists:” The first shows the most popular tips covering Codecs & Media. The second list shows the Top Ten most read tips across all categories. The third list shows the highest rated tips across all categories sorted by votes.

TOP 10 INSIDE TIPS of 2020
FOR CODECS & MEDIA

  1. Tip #474: DNxHR vs. ProRes
  2. Tip #957: Apple Supports VP9 in macOS Big Sur
  3. Tip #416: Closed Caption Formats for Social Media
  4. Tip #561: Optimize Compression Settings for YouTube
  5. Tip #746: What is HDR Rec. 2020 PQ?
  6. Tip #458: Video Compression Settings for YouTube
  7. Tip #883: Don’t Turn Your Hard Disk Into a Camera
  8. Tip #866: A Better Way to Upscale Media
  9. Tip #591: In-Depth Overview of USB
  10. Tip #508: Pick the Best Audio Format for Editing

NOTE: Tips are sorted by views, most views listed first.


 

TOP 10 INSIDE TIPS of 2020
(Sorted by Views)

  1. Tip #479: Copy and Paste Masks in Premiere
  2. Tip #283: AAF vs. EDL vs. OMF Export
  3. Tip #413: Mask Multiple Clips with an Adjustment Layer
  4. Tip #474: DNxHR vs. ProRes
  5. Tip #329: Blurs and Mosaics are No Longer Safe
  6. Tip #592: Make Zooms More Interesting
  7. Tip #957: Apple Supports VP9 in macOS Big Sur
  8. Tip #1135: Boost and Smooth Dialog Levels
  9. Tip #715: How to Reset FCP X to Fix Problems
  10. Tip #342: Uses for Emoji in Final Cut Pro X

NOTE: Tips are sorted by views, most views listed first.


TOP 10 INSIDE TIPS of 2020
(Sorted by Ratings)

  1. Tip #742: The Best Advice to Keep Your Cool
  2. Tip #614: What is the Alpha Channel
  3. Tip #580: The History of Storyboards
  4. Tip #911: The Skin Tone Line is Your Friend
  5. Tip #515: Using the Active Camera Menu
  6. Tip #631: Get Freelance Work From Video Marketplaces
  7. Tip #1056: Move a Mix from Audition to Premiere
  8. Tip #624: Not All Captions Look Alike
  9. Tip #581: Create Colorful Lighting for 3D Text
  10. Tip #398: Use Watch Folders in AME for Automation

NOTE: Each tip was rated 5 out of 5. They are sorted by the number of votes each tip received, with most votes listed first.


Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1290: Top Ten Tips of 2020 for Adobe Premiere Pro

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

It is fascinating to see what readers find interesting!

Topic $TipTopic

During this last year, The Inside Tips published 975 tips and techniques covering six subject categories:

  • Adobe Premiere
  • Apple Final Cut Pro
  • Apple Motion
  • Codecs & Media
  • Random Media Weirdness
  • Visual Effects

Here are three “Top Ten Tips Lists:” The first shows the most popular tips covering Adobe Premiere Pro. The second list shows the Top Ten most read tips across all categories. The third list shows the highest rated tips across all categories sorted by votes.

TOP 10 INSIDE TIPS FOR 2020
FOR ADOBE PREMIERE PRO

  1. Tip #479: Copy and Paste Masks in Premiere
  2. Tip #283: AAF vs. EDL vs. OMF Export
  3. Tip #523: What is Multicam Flattening?
  4. Tip #948: What’s a Rectified Waveform?
  5. Tip #621: Color Management Secret in Premiere
  6. Tip #737: 5 Interesting Audio Preferences
  7. Tip #470: Improve Chroma-keys in Premiere
  8. Tip #911: The Skin Tone Line is Your Friend
  9. Tip #803: Optimize the Audio Meters
  10. Tip #511: Relink Missing Media in Premiere

NOTE: Tips are sorted by views, most views listed first.


 

TOP 10 INSIDE TIPS of 2020
(Sorted by Views)

  1. Tip #479: Copy and Paste Masks in Premiere
  2. Tip #283: AAF vs. EDL vs. OMF Export
  3. Tip #413: Mask Multiple Clips with an Adjustment Layer
  4. Tip #474: DNxHR vs. ProRes
  5. Tip #329: Blurs and Mosaics are No Longer Safe
  6. Tip #592: Make Zooms More Interesting
  7. Tip #957: Apple Supports VP9 in macOS Big Sur
  8. Tip #1135: Boost and Smooth Dialog Levels
  9. Tip #715: How to Reset FCP X to Fix Problems
  10. Tip #342: Uses for Emoji in Final Cut Pro X

NOTE: Tips are sorted by views, most views listed first.


 

TOP 10 INSIDE TIPS of 2020
(Sorted by Ratings)

  1. Tip #742: The Best Advice to Keep Your Cool
  2. Tip #614: What is the Alpha Channel
  3. Tip #580: The History of Storyboards
  4. Tip #911: The Skin Tone Line is Your Friend
  5. Tip #515: Using the Active Camera Menu
  6. Tip #631: Get Freelance Work From Video Marketplaces
  7. Tip #1056: Move a Mix from Audition to Premiere
  8. Tip #624: Not All Captions Look Alike
  9. Tip #581: Create Colorful Lighting for 3D Text
  10. Tip #398: Use Watch Folders in AME for Automation

NOTE: Each tip was rated 5 out of 5. They are sorted by the number of votes each tip received, with most votes listed first.


… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1281: Larger Frame Sizes Protect Projects

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Frame sizes will continue to increase, here’s how they benefit current projects.

Topic $TipTopic

We are in the middle of determining the “optimum” frame size for video projects as frame sizes continue to scale up. New projects are consistently shooting in 4k frame sizes, with cameras pushing up to 8K frame sizes and beyond.

First, while it could be argued that we can’t actually SEE 4K in most situations, that hasn’t stopped distributors from requesting it. However, even if we are creating HD projects, there is a value in shooting larger frame sizes. Recently, Jason Boone wrote a blog about the benefits of scaling larger frame sizes to fit smaller projects.

  • Reframe a shot. 4K provides so many extra pixels to choose from, you can convert a wide shot into a close-up. However, cutting into the frame won’t change depth of field, so the image won’t look the same as if you had zoomed in.
  • Use the same take multiple times. Using the same take for both wide shots and close-ups makes it seem as though you have two cameras. The benefit is that where talent is looking change. The disadvantage is that background and depth of field won’t change either.
  • Create camera moves. Using keyframes you can create movement where there was none in the original shot. However, like moves on a still, elements won’t change position as they would if you used a dolly on set.
  • Stabilize your footage. This is powerful. Stabilization always zooms into a shot. By having lots of extra pixels to work with, the image won’t lose detail or sharpness.
  • Adjust the image for graphics. There’s nothing worse than graphics you can’t read. 4K gives us extra pixels for scaling and repositioning.

4K may not be visible to the eye, but it can be a BIG benefit in post. And the same holds true for larger frame sizes yet – provided your storage is fast and large enough to hold it!


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1251: Add & Resize Emojis

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Emojis convey emotions – why not use them in your projects?

The Emoji picker, Smileys category – featuring Mrs. Claus.

Topic $TipTopic

This holiday season, add some emojis to spice your visuals. Here’s how to add, adjust and size them in your next project.

  • All emojis are text. So, start by adding a text clip to the timeline.
  • Place your cursor in the text clip where you want an emoji to appear.
  • Type Control + Cmd + Spacebar.
  • Double-click any emoji icon to add it to your title at the position of the cursor.

Just as with text, select an emoji and adjust its size using the Font Size controls. These will still look good at 400 points!

NOTE: Press and hold any emoji to see variations on that character (see screen shot).

EXTRA CREDIT

Emojis are much more than smiley faces. There are thousands to choose from. Scroll through the different categories to see what’s available.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1276: Quickly Reverse or Flip a Clip

Lawrence Sobczak

The Flipped effect is faster, the Transform settings provide more control.

These Transform settings flip a clip vertically.

Topic $TipTopic

Lawrence Sobczak shared a very quick way to flip or invert a clip in Final Cut Pro. He writes:

When you want to mirror image, or invert, a clip in Final Cut, there are two ways to do it:

  • Apply Effects > Distortion > Flipped.
  • Go to Video Inspector > Transform > Scale and enter a negative number for Percent.

NOTE: Enter Scale X = -100 mirror images the clip. Enter Scale Y = -100 flips the image upside down. It’s also possible to scale and flip a clip, by making X a negative number while keeping Y as a positive number.

Cool tips! Thanks.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1277: Trim – With More Options

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

“Crop & Feather” is more accurately called “Trim & Feather.”

A cropped & feathered clip, with the settings I used to achieve this effect.

Topic $TipTopic

I create a lot of picture-in-picture effects in my projects. Recently, I discovered a way to make this process faster. Here’s how.

We often trim a clip to hide portions of the image so we can see the image beneath. Trimming (which Photoshop calls “masking”) hides part of the image without changing its size.

NOTE: Cropping on the other hand, removes portions of the image, then changes its size to fill the frame.

The Crop & Feather effect (Effects > Distortion) both trims a clip and adds feathering – either to the inside or out – of the trimmed clip. This means we don’t need to use a separate effect simply to feather the edges of a trimmed image.

In the screen shot, I trimmed the image to focus on the tree, then feathered the edges to the inside.

The screen shot shows the settings I used to achieve this.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1288: Top Ten Tips of 2020 for Apple Final Cut Pro

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

It is fascinating to see what readers find interesting!

Topic $TipTopic

During this last year, The Inside Tips published 975 tips and techniques covering six subject categories:

  • Adobe Premiere
  • Apple Final Cut Pro
  • Apple Motion
  • Codecs & Media
  • Random Media Weirdness
  • Visual Effects

Here are three “Top Ten Tips Lists:” The first shows the most popular tips covering Apple Final Cut Pro. The second list shows the Top Ten most read tips across all categories. The third list shows the highest rated tips across all categories sorted by votes.

TOP 10 INSIDE TIPS of 2020
FOR APPLE FINAL CUT PRO

  1. Tip #1135: Boost and Smooth Dialog Levels
  2. Tip #715: How to Reset FCP X to Fix Problems
  3. Tip #342: Uses for Emoji in Final Cut Pro X
  4. Tip #778: Delete Render Files to Save Space
  5. Tip #437: Secrets of the Skimmer
  6. Tip #837: A Simply Useful Shortcut
  7. Tip #601: FCP X: Color Wheel Secret Tip
  8. Tip #816: A Baker’s Dozen Better Shortcuts
  9. Tip #870: Change the Look of a Dissolve
  10. Tip #438: Secrets of the Precision Editor

NOTE: Tips are sorted by views, most views listed first.


 

TOP 10 INSIDE TIPS of 2020
(Sorted by Views)

  1. Tip #479: Copy and Paste Masks in Premiere
  2. Tip #283: AAF vs. EDL vs. OMF Export
  3. Tip #413: Mask Multiple Clips with an Adjustment Layer
  4. Tip #474: DNxHR vs. ProRes
  5. Tip #329: Blurs and Mosaics are No Longer Safe
  6. Tip #592: Make Zooms More Interesting
  7. Tip #957: Apple Supports VP9 in macOS Big Sur
  8. Tip #1135: Boost and Smooth Dialog Levels
  9. Tip #715: How to Reset FCP X to Fix Problems
  10. Tip #342: Uses for Emoji in Final Cut Pro X

NOTE: Tips are sorted by views, most views listed first.


 

TOP 10 INSIDE TIPS of 2020
(Sorted by Ratings)

  1. Tip #742: The Best Advice to Keep Your Cool
  2. Tip #614: What is the Alpha Channel
  3. Tip #580: The History of Storyboards
  4. Tip #911: The Skin Tone Line is Your Friend
  5. Tip #515: Using the Active Camera Menu
  6. Tip #631: Get Freelance Work From Video Marketplaces
  7. Tip #1056: Move a Mix from Audition to Premiere
  8. Tip #624: Not All Captions Look Alike
  9. Tip #581: Create Colorful Lighting for 3D Text
  10. Tip #398: Use Watch Folders in AME for Automation

NOTE: Each tip was rated 5 out of 5. They are sorted by the number of votes each tip received, with most votes listed first.


… for Visual Effects

Tip #1271: How to Setup Network Rendering

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Network rendering speeds output, but setup can be tricky.

(Image courtesy of Pexels.com.)

Topic $TipTopic

Toolfarm.com has created an in-depth tutorial on render farms, also called “network rendering.” (Link)

The idea of network, or distributed, rendering is to distribute your render over a network, or farm, of computers, to speed up your render times. This can be done in many different programs with a myriad of different setups, so it isn’t as straight forward and clear cut as I’d like it to be.

Creating the right storage and management can be a challenge but it’s important to get that in place first. There are tons of resources out there but I’m keeping this short and sweet so this will be a page of resources more than actual instructions.

Subjects include:

  • Setting Up a Network Rendering for After Effects
  • Network Rendering with RenderGarden
  • Cinema 4D Team Render
  • Autodesk BackBurner for Autodesk Maya, 3ds Max, Flame, and more
  • Chaos Group V-Ray Swarm
  • Pipeline
  • Pixar’s Tractor
  • Digital Rebellion Pro Render
  • Aeriform Ramma
  • Using your Plug-ins and Software on a Network Rendering Setup

The article linked above has much more information, plus links to more resources.


… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1266: Interpreting an Alpha Channel

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Alpha channels are the magic that make compositing and most effects possible.

Viewing the alpha channel: White is opaque, black is transparent & gray is translucent.

Topic $TipTopic

The process of adding an alpha channel to an image – at the developer level – is highly complex. Fortunately, we don’t need to understand how the channel is added to take advantage of it.

Just as the red, blue and green channels describe the amount of red, blue or green in each pixel, the alpha channel describes the amount of transparency in each pixel. An alpha channel provides a way to store images and their transparency information in a single file without disturbing the color channels.

Many file formats can include an alpha channel, including Adobe Photoshop, ElectricImage, TGA, TIFF, EPS, PDF, and Adobe Illustrator. ProRes, AVI and QuickTime (saved at a bit depth of Millions Of Colors+), also can contain alpha channels, depending upon the codecs used to generate these file types.

Alpha channels store transparency information in files in one of two ways: straight or premultiplied. Although the alpha channels are the same, the color channels differ.

With straight (or unmatted) channels, transparency information is stored only in the alpha channel, not in any of the visible color channels. With straight channels, the effects of transparency aren’t visible until the image is displayed in an application that supports straight channels.

With premultiplied (or matted) channels, transparency information is stored in the alpha channel and also in the visible RGB channels, which are multiplied with a background color. The colors of semitransparent areas, such as feathered edges, are shifted toward the background color in proportion to their degree of transparency.

Some software lets you specify the background color with which the channels are premultiplied; otherwise, the background color is usually black or white.

Straight channels retain more accurate color information than premultiplied channels. While premultiplied channels are compatible with a wider range of programs, such as Apple QuickTime Player.

Often, the choice of whether to use images with straight or premultiplied channels has been made before you receive the assets to edit and composite. Premiere Pro and After Effects recognize both straight and premultiplied channels, but only the first alpha channel they encounter in a file containing multiple alpha channels.

ProRes 4444 is a good choice when you need to create or transfer clips with alpha channels.

Alpha channels are supported in all NLEs, and there are dozens of articles on the web detailing how to work with them to create a variety of different effects.


… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1273: What is an MKV File?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

MKV files, like QuickTime or MXF, are containers that hold media files.

Topic $TipTopic

This morning, a reader emailed me a question asking whether MKV files are supported in Big Sur. That got me thinking about what an MKV file is.

According to HowToGeek.com, “MKV files are actually multimedia container formats. An MKV container can incorporate audio, video, and subtitles into a single file—even if those elements use different types of encoding….
MKV container files were designed to be future proof, meaning that the files would not become outdated.”

Features of an MKV file include:

  • Fast seeking
  • Chapter, menu, and metadata support
  • Different selectable audio and video streams
  • Online streaming compatibility
  • Subtitle (hard-coded and soft-coded) support
  • Error recovery, which allows for playback of corrupted files

The MKV container itself also supports almost any audio and video format, making the format highly adaptive and easy to use. However, while the MKV file may not become outdated, the players that support them can. For example, QuickTime Player does not support MKV files.

Here’s a list, published by Wondershare, of the top 10 MKV players for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices.

So, as for compatibility, if your MKV player runs on Big Sur, the MKV files should play as well.