… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1057: What Does this Blue Button Do?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

By default, sequences are edited as nests – but you can change that with a click.

This button determines how sequences are treated when they are edited into the timeline.

Topic $TipTopic

I’ve been using Premiere for years and have never paid attention to this blue timeline button. Here’s what it does.

When this button is blue, inserting or overwriting a sequence from the Files panel into a different sequence in the Timeline edits it as a nest.

When this button is white, inserting or overwriting a sequence from the Files panel into a different sequence in the Timeline edits it as a separate clips. (That is, it deconstructs the sequence into its component elements.)


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… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1052: Two Key XML Conversion Utilities

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

These two utilities are essential for moving files into or out of Final Cut

XToCC logo (top) and SendToX logo (bottom).

Topic $TipTopic

As long as you can create XML, you can move your data from one media application to another. However, the XML Final Cut Pro X uses is not compatible with many other applications. While some applications – KeyFlow Pro, Kyno and Axle.ai – support the current version of XML used in Final Cut Pro, most others, including Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite, do not.

Because XML is a core language for moving data between applications, there are two essential utilities that solve this compatibility issue:

  • SendToX. This converts older XML files into a form that FCP X can read.
  • XtoCC. This converts FCP X XML files into a form that older applications can read.

As with any migration, common elements – such as media and edits – transfer with no problems. However, proprietary functions – such as color grading or effects – may or may not transfer successfully.

As with all things in media, do a test using your own workflow to determine what works best for you.

EXTRA CREDIT

Here are links for both apps:


… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1036: Rough Cut Interviews in 6 Steps

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

These six steps keep the chaos at bay while editing interviews.

(Interview image courtesy of Pexels.com.)

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by Joe Frederick, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This is a summary.

Editors on interview projects face an overwhelming task: reducing hours of footage into just minutes for the final cut. Eliminate that stress with these six steps.

1. Transcription. Getting your interviews transcribed is the best piece of advice I have for anyone cutting these types of videos. There are many, many advantages to getting your interviews transcribed. If the director suddenly wants to find a particular soundbite from a particular interview, you can easily search the transcription for particular key words or phrases. You can also skim through the interviews when away from the edit suite. The benefits are endless.

Before the transcription, it’s worth forming your multicam clips first, if you’ve filmed from multiple angles, so you can drag the multicam clip into your timeline and export the audio from there. That way, the timecode on your transcription will match the timecode of your interview timeline. This is vital if you want to keep your process efficient.

2. Highlighting. Read all the transcripts from beginning to end, highlighting anything and everything that might possibly be used in the edit. I usually open the PDFs in Preview, which allows you to use different colors when highlighting.

3. CreateGood Content.” Back in your NLE, go through all your interviews, cutting out any of your highlighted segments from each interview into a new project/sequence. Essentially you are building an unorganized selects reel. Put a text slide before each clip with the content of the sound bite. By now, you should have a sense of the organizational structure you are aiming for.

4. CreateGood Content Ordered.” Rearrange the selected sound bites into an order that makes sense.

5. CreateContent Cut.” Duplicate your project and rename it “Content Cut.” Because your footage is now in order, you’ll be able to see when you have repetition in what’s being said and can quickly delete it. Then, get busy deleting and whittling down your cut until it’s the length you want your final piece to be.

6. CreateRefined Content Cut.” Duplicate your project file once again and rename it Refined Content Cut. This is where the final finessing takes place.

By taking your project in stages, it helps you feel more in control which allows you to focus more on your story.


… for Apple Motion

Tip #1045: Bug Fixes in Two Recent Updates

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Motion update is free and available in the Mac App Store.

Topic $TipTopic

Two recent updates to Motion 5 fixed a lot of bugs. Here’s what’s fixed in these two updates.

10.4.10 UPDATE

  • Fixes an issue in which XAVC media from the Sony PXW-FX9 camera is not recognized.

10.4.9 UPDATE

In addition to adding 3D Objects and the new Stroke filter, this Motion update:

  • Adds square and vertical presets to the Display Aspect Ratio Snapshots in the Project Inspector.
  • Fixes an issue that prevented image masks from responding to opacity changes made to a source object.
  • Improves performance when working with particle emitters.
  • Fixes an issue with the Align To behavior and scrolling text.
  • Fixes a stability issue after switching to Cinema Layout.
  • Fixes a stability issue during playback with Dynamics turned on in the Advanced Pane of the Shape Inspector.
  • Fixes an issue in which still images might be exported with the incorrect color space.
  • Fixes an issue in which the Spirals Generator rendered incorrectly.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1047: Create a Vertical Video Project

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Square and vertical video require custom settings in Project > Properties.

The Inspector > Properties settings you need to change for vertical video.

Topic $TipTopic

Since the beginning of television, video used a horizontal aspect ratio. Since the beginning of cell phone photography and video, mobile users shot vertical video.

Sigh…. Drives all us old-school video people nuts!

Still, you gotta change with the times. Here’s how to create a vertical video project in Motion.

  • Create a new project using the Motion Project Browser. Since Motion always creates images at the highest possible quality, it doesn’t matter which setting you pick.
  • Once the project opens, select Project in the Layers panel (It’s named “Project.”)
  • Enter the Width and Height values, in pixels, of the new project. (These will generally be 720 x 1280 or 1080 x 1920.
  • Make sure Pixel Aspect Ratio is set to Square.
  • Set the Duration to whatever length you need.

EXTRA CREDIT

We can’t save project presets, so you’ll need to do this for each project. However, you can save the entire project as a template: File > Publish Template.


… for Apple Motion

Tip #1048: What Does Publishing a Template Do?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Publishing a template is a fast way to reuse settings and media between projects.

A custom template displayed in Project Browser > Categories.

Topic $TipTopic

If you find yourself creating similar projects time after time, creating a custom template can save you time. The trick is to know what to save. Templates can include:

  • Project settings
  • Media
  • Behaviors and filters
  • Anything else you save in a “normal” Motion project

When you choose File > Publish Template, you can assign it a name, pick a category in which to store it, and, if you want to use it in Final Cut, you can publish it as a Final Cut Generator.

But, if all you want to do is create a file with basic settings and, say, logos or other common graphics:

  • Choose File > Publish Template
  • Give it a name and create a category to store your templates. My custom category is named “Larry” – because it is easy for me to remember.
  • Leave all checkboxes unchecked.

Now, as you can see in the screen shot, the template shows up in Project Browser > Compositions, but does NOT show up in Final Cut.

Creating reusable templates is a great way to save time when you are creating similar projects.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1040: New! Stabilize 360° Video

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

360° Video stabilization is a single button – nothing to adjust.

The Stabilization checkbox in the Video Inspector.

Topic $TipTopic

New with the 10.4.9 update is the ability to stabilize 360° video which involves clicking a single button – there’s nothing to adjust.

To stabilize your footage, select it in the timeline (you can’t do this in the browser), then go to the Video Inspector and check the Stabilization checkbox.

Done.

EXTRA CREDIT

Unlike normal film, 360° video can easily cause motion sickness, especially when an audience member is wearing a headset.

The best way to shoot 360 is to use a tripod. For those situations where you can’t, stabilizing footage is essential.


… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1025: RAW vs. JPEG: Which is Better?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

RAW is always better, but takes more time to get the image to look right.

(Image courtesy of NightSkyPix.com)
This illustrates what happens to a JPEG image when saved multiple times.

Topic $TipTopic

The folks at NightSkyPix.com looked at RAW vs. JPEG from the point of view of astrophotography. However, this also applies to shooting video more down to earth.

This is an excerpt.

Loosely speaking, a RAW image is the digital equivalent of a film negative. In reality, a RAW file is not an image that can be visualized with classic software, but must be developed before using RAW editors such as Adobe Camera Raw.

The JPEG image format is arguably the most common standard format for digital images, and the name stands for “Joint Photographic Expert Group”.

The JPEG format uses lossy and compressed image data to create an image file that is both lightweight and readily usable with any software and device able to visualize graphics.

JPEG is easier to use and view, but RAW is the better choice.

The article provides additional details, pros and cons, and illustrates these ideas with screen shots. It’s worth spending time reading.

EXTRA CREDIT

For us video folks, JPEG is similar to H.264, and RAW is similar to raw or log files.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1018: New! Adjust ISO for ProRes RAW

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

New ISO and white point settings are now available for ProRes RAW in FCP X 10.4.9.

Info Inspector > Settings. These new settings (red arrows) only appear for ProRes RAW.

Topic $TipTopic

A new feature in the 10.4.9 update to Final Cut Pro X is the ability to adjust ISO and, for some cameras, the white point. Apple now supports changing the ISO setting (essentially, video gain) and white point for ProRes RAW media when edited natively.

NOTE: These settings only appear for ProRes RAW media and don’t appear when FCP X is in proxy mode.

To access these, select a ProRes RAW clip in the timeline (not the browser), then go to the Info Inspector and switch the menu at the bottom left from Basic to Settings. The red arrows in the screen-shot indicate the new settings with this update:

  • Camera ISO. The ISO setting at which the media was recorded.
  • ISO. A menu allowing you to change the ISO setting from 50 to 25,600.
  • Exposure Offset. This slider provides finer control in adjusting the ISO. The range is one stop lower to one stop higher.
  • Camera Color Temperature. The white point setting at which the video was recorded.

EXTRA CREDIT

For some cameras, Final Cut also supports changing the white point. Here is the current list of cameras supporting these new features.


… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1006: NewBlue FX: Live-Streaming Software

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

NewBlue Stream is software designed to simplify live streaming with advanced graphics.

(Screen shot courtesy of NewBlueFX.com)

Topic $TipTopic

The folks at NewBlueFX announced a new program specifically designed for live streaming, with graphics integration: NewBlue Stream.

Here’s how NewBlue describes it: “Our philosophy with NewBlue Stream is simple – make it as easy as possible to produce live broadcasts, give you tools to make them engaging and interactive, and do it in one elegant solution that’s priced right. The result is a lightweight streaming and broadcast solution paired with dynamic, data-driven graphics that you won’t find anywhere else.”

NewBlue is a long-time effects developer – especially on Windows – with strong credentials for effects and titles.

“Cast stunning and technically sophisticated live video productions with multiple audio and video inputs, switching, and an unlimited number of programmable, data-driven, 3-D animated graphics, including lower thirds, crawls, motion bugs, transitions, titling, and more.”

The system provides image capture, content creation, and streaming; supporting Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Twitch, and any RTMP end point.

The software supports Windows and Mac. Pricing starts at $13.99 per month and a 14-day free trial is available.

EXTRA CREDIT

Here’s the link to learn more.