… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1224: Interesting – and Unassigned – Shortcuts

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Exploring for unassigned keyboard shortcuts is one of my favorite passtimes.

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Here are several unassigned keyboard shortcuts that you may want to add to your toolkit.

Search for: Default


  • Apply Default Audio Transition to Playhead
  • Apply Default Video Transition to Playhead

Search for: Nudge


  • Nudge audio volumes up or down

Search for: Marker


  • Add Chapter marker

Plus, look at all the other existing marker shortcuts that you may not have known about.


Here are several exiting shortcuts you may also want to learn.

Search for: Trim

The one I find most useful is Toggle Trim Type (between Ripple, Roll and Trim). But the other six trim shortcuts are useful, too.

Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1219: Split the Viewer into Multiple Views

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Multiple views allow faster 3D work in Motion.

Two separate, stacked images. Top shows the active camera, bottom shows the scene from the top (like a floor plan).

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In the top right corner of the Viewer is an icon composed of small boxes (see red arrow in screen shot). This is actually a big benefit when working in 3D. Here’s how.

Click this icon and you are presented with a number of ways to create multiple independent screens in the Viewer. For example, in the screen shot, two independent views are stacked above each other.

And that’s the key word: Independent. You can view multiple views of the same project. In my example, the top box shows the active camera – the screen that will be output during export – while the bottom screen shows the Top view in 3D, which, for me, is the best way to position and animate lights and cameras.

By having both these screens open at once, you can work more quickly without needing to switch back and forth between views.

When the time comes to go back to one screen, which you select from this same popup menu, whichever image has a yellow box around it will be displayed.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1220: What is the Active Camera?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Active Camera is the shot that’s currently displayed in the timeline.

The Camera view menu with two different cameras applied to the scene.

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Apple Motion allows us to add multiple cameras to any project; which means we need to understand the “Active Camera.”

When you switch between views in Motion, the top option is called Active Camera (Shortcut: Control + A). If you only have one camera, this choice is all you need.

But, if you create a scene where you have two or more cameras, as the screen shot illustrates, you need more choices.

Active Camera is the shot currently displayed at the position of the playhead.

Other cameras are on stand-by, waiting for their turn in the spotlight. For example, here, I have two cameras: Front camera, recording this airplane from directly in front of the nose. Then, halfway through the project, I cut to a second cameras, presenting the image from the side.

NOTE: Using the new 3D shapes, multiple cameras make for a very interesting scene change.

In this camera view menu, I can choose:

  • The camera under the playhead; this is the default>
  • The front camera, whether it is active or not
  • The side camera, whether it is active or not

These camera selection options make it easier to align elements regardless of whether the camera is active or not

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1221: Interpreting the Alpha Channel

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Alpha channel displays transparency as shades of gray.

The source image with a drop shadow. The same image displayed as an alpha channel.

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The alpha channel represents the transparency of each pixel, the same way color channels represent the amount of color in each pixel. But, how do you interpret what the alpha channel display shows?

At the top right of the Viewer is a small color square, immediately to the right of the screen display percentage indicator. Click it and choose Alpha.

Instantly, the screen switches to black and white. (The screen shot displays the color image on the left, and the alpha channel image on the right.)

NOTE: Since transparency ranges from transparent to opaque, the alpha channel is represented in most applications as a black-gray-white image.

  • Black. This represents regions which are fully transparent.
  • White. This represents regions which are fully opaque.
  • Gray. This represents regions which are translucent. The brighter the gray, the more “solid” that region appears.

The image in the screen shot is a fully opaque pentagon, with a translucent (75%) shadow set against a transparent background. This means that if this shape is added to a video, the pentagon will be superimposed, along with its shadow, over the video.

Shadows are almost always translucent. However, chroma-keys need the foreground to be solidly opaque with the background fully transparent, with no shades of gray. Now, using the alpha channel, you can quickly spot and fix problems.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1195: Create a Watermark That Moves

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Watermarks are like a footnote in a book – used as a reference, not as the subject.

A sample moving watermark in Motion – tucked into the lower-right corner near Title Safe.

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We first looked at watermarks, a logo that’s added to a compressed video, in Tip #1191. Here, I want to explain more about how to create a moving watermark in Motion.

Most watermarks are stationary – a logo that sits quietly in the corner of your video to identify the source. Stationary watermarks are easy to create in Photoshop. But, a moving watermark is more visually interesting and might fit the style of your video better.

  • Create a Motion project at the same size as the video to which you want to apply it. Motion creates all projects with an alpha channel, meaning that any part of the background that’s black is transparent.

NOTE: Apple Compressor allows you to scale the watermark to fit the source file, but this changes its size, position and resolution, which you may not want.

  • Add whatever text and animation you prefer (see screen shot). Don’t add drop shadows or fine detail, watermarks are designed to be semi-transparent. Go for clarity, readability and non-distracting colors.
  • Export the project as a movie, not as a Motion project.
  • Then, following the instructions in Tip #1191, combine it with your video using Apple Compressor.


Keep in mind that, while color is more interesting, be careful to pick colors that don’t clash too severely with your main movie.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1196: Replicators Can Use Multiple Shapes

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Replicators duplicate selected objects into geometric shapes, then animate them.

A group of elements, each with different color and movement, all replicated.

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Replicators are a great way to duplicate an element. What you may not know is that replicators can contain multiple elements.

To create a replicator, select it, then click the Replicate button in the top right section of the Motion interface.

Select the Replicator element in the Layers panel, then, adjust it using Inspector > Replicator. Basically, change something and watch what happens.

However, the key point is that a replicator is made from whatever you first select. If you create a group – as I did in this screen shot – then, select the group, all the elements in the group are then replicated.

Plus, each element in the source group can have its own style, position, color, and movement applied to it.

This makes replicators far more versatile than you might at first think.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1197: Stay Oriented in 3D Space

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The key to 3D space is to stay oriented. Top view, and tracking the grid, help.

These are the nine views when working with cameras. Top is my favorite.

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When I first started learning Motion, I got hopelessly lost when exploring 3D space. (I still remember how frustrated I felt when 3D in Motion did not equate to the 3D in my normal life…)

The 3D world opens up when you assign a camera to a project (Object > New Camera). While explaining how 3D space and cameras work requires at least a chapter in a book, there is a cool orientation tip that helps me stay oriented.

Once you’ve applied a camera, the View menu in the top left corner of the Viewer provides nine different perspectives on how to view your scene.

  • Active camera shows what Motion will output; in other words the finished view.
  • Top, for me, is the best way to create a 3D effect because it emulates an architectural floor plan – and I’ve been looking at set designs all my life.

So I use Top to determine position and movement, then tweak based upon what Active Camera shows the results to be.


In the Standard keyboard command set:

  • Active Camera uses Control + A as it’s shortcut.
  • Top can be assigned a shortcut using Motion > Commands.

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1188: Keyboard Shortcuts for Pasting Clips

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Six tips that move a clip from where it is to where you want it.

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Warren Nelson suggested this tip:

I need to copy and paste a clip from the timeline to a layer above the timeline.

  • Using Cmd + V inserts the clip in the timeline.
  • I finally dug around and discovered that Option + V pastes the clip, copied from the timeline, at the playhead position above the timeline!

Cool tip, Warren! Here are four other shortcuts you can use to move clips from the Primary Storyline to a connected clip above it:

  • Edit > Lift from Storyline (Shortcut: Option + Cmd + Up arrow)
  • Edit > Overwrite to Primary Storyline (Shortcut: Option + Cmd + Down arrow)
  • Edit > Select > Up (Shortcut: Cmd + Up arrow) Selects the clip under the playhead on the higher layer.
  • Edit > Select > Down (Shortcut: Cmd + Down arrow) Selects the clip under the playhead on a lower layer.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1175: Apple Updates Motion to v5.5

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Apple updates Motion to support Big Sur and the switch to Apple silicon.

The spiffy new Motion 5.5. logo.

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Last week, Apple updated Motion to version 5.5 to support macOS Big Sur, along with the upcoming switch to Apple silicon.

Even more, the app got a spiffy new icon! (See screen shot.) In addition to support for Apple silicon, the Motion 5.5 update includes:

  • Export HLG high-dynamic-range projects with Dolby Vision 8.4 metadata for optimized playback on Apple devices.
  • Improves stability when clicking in an empty canvas on on a Mac Pro with two AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo GPUs and a Blackmagic eGPU Pro.
  • Improves stability when manipulating groups of keyframes selected across multiple parameters.
  • Improves stability using the Stroke filter when selecting a stroke type in the HUD.
  • Fixes an issue in which the Poke filter center is offset from the onscreen control.
  • Improves stability when deleting layers after removing a marker.
  • Includes built-in support for Avid DNxHR® and Avid DNxHD® decoding and playback.

NOTE: Here’s a link to the Motion Release Notes from Apple.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1177: First Look: The New Motion

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Everything you know about Motion still applies – but with bugs fixed and Apple silicon support.

The new icons in the Motion Project Browser.

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The most important note about this update is that it can be installed on macOS Catalina. The operation of Apple Motion remains pretty much the same, aside from supporting Apple silicon and Big Sur – which is quite a lot, actually.

Still, the Project Browser has a new look (see screen shot). As well, here’s what I noticed during a quick look-around the v5.5 interface:

  • Lots of new backgrounds – Goo, Lab Wall, Misty Light – while some of the more egregious backgrounds have disappeared.
  • The number of behaviors and filters seem to be the same.
  • It seems like there are more shape styles, but most of the rest of the content in the Library is the same.

The interface seems pretty much untouched. No new buttons, or major changes to the look of the application that I spotted on this first look.

Everything we already know still applies – except with more speed, Big Sur support and that exciting step into the future: Apple silicon.