Saturday, October 6, 2007

CalDigit Hard Drives

If you're in the market for a new HD for FCP CalDigit drives are getting some good reviews.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

QuickTime Pro Export Bug

Apparently QuickTime Pro has a bug where when you export with it it may leave lots of little (and by little I mean huge) temp files scattered all over your HD like bras during Mardi Gras.

If you do a lot of exporting from QuickTime Pro -- even the latest versions -- you might want to check your system for a large number of hidden temporary files that didn't get erased. This problem shows up even if your QuickTime Pro export is successful.

You can read about the bug here and how to eliminate the temp files which involves the terminal which mean someone will write a free app and put it on Macupdate right about 8mins ago.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Free Plug-Ins & Tips

Here's a site with some interesting plug-ins for FCE and FCP and well written tutorials on how to use them.

FCE Counter Display is a freeware Generator that displays a counter to be used in a clip
FCE Timecode Display is a freeware Filter that displays the frame Timecodes of a clip
Reflections is a freeware Filter that creates a Front Row like reflection of a clip
Quarter PIP is a freeware Filter that shrinks a repositions the video of a clip
Time Remap NEW! is a freeware Filter that emulates the Time Remapping function of Final Cut Pro
Clone NEW! is a freeware Filter that clones an area of the clip into another area of the same clip
Frames is a freeware Generator that displays simple frames to be used in Final Cut Express (ex Shapes)
Field Selector NEW! is a freeware Filter that displays selected fields of a clip

Thanks to PieroF for mentioning these.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Renaming Clips

FCP 6 has a feature you may find handy from time to time.

From within FCP if you 2nd click on an item in the Browser you'll see in the contextual menu that pops up the option to Rename the clip. You'll see two options:

Clip to Match File - which renames the clip based on what the media is named in the Finder.
File to Match Clip - which renames the media in the Finder based on what you've named it in the Browser.

Why would you want to rename a clip this way? I can think of a couple of reasons:

1. You've been handed a project that's needs work and isn't very organized. Maybe there are a dozen "untitled" clips or pictures that are named like "DCN_0934.JPG" and you want to get things organized. For a project I had about 12 out of 100+ images needed work that could be done in a batch to I renamed them with my "needs work" appendix and in the finder I could grab all of them en masse and batch repair them since they were spread out among hundreds of other images.

2. You've organized your footage and media in the Browser to your liking and since you may hand the project off to someone else you think they could take advantage of having things named in a sensible manner.

3. You're archiving your project and want it to be organized in case you need to come back to it later or know you will for possible updates and need to know what file is what.

Knowledge Base - FCP Drop Zones Bug

Final Cut Pro: Drop zone content is lost if project is moved to another computer.

If you use Master Templates in Final Cut Pro which utilize drop zones, the content that you place in those drop zones may be lost if you move the project to another computer.

Digital Heaven's VideoSpace & More

VideoSpace is a free widget for Mac OS X Tiger which calculates the disk space required for a given duration, codec, frame rate and audio setting. It works in both directions so you can calculate time to space or space to time as indicated by the direction of the arrow between the two input areas.

Check it out here.

Not only that but they have some video tutorials and some free plug-ins. Be warned though, for some of you out there their video tutorials auto-play so if you're speakers are turned up....

Monday, October 1, 2007

More Free Plug-Ins

Too Much Too Soon Plugs.

Eureka! Plugs

Hard Drive Formatting Tip

It's an obvious tip but make sure that you format any new HD's you buy and use with your FCP system.

Make sure they're formatted for Mac if you're using them with FCP. Journaled is optional and up to debate (I don't journal my media storage drives but they are RAIDed for back up) but make sure they're not formatted as FAT16 or you'll end up with captured files that end in -av1 -av2 -av3 etc...which can be a huge hassle later on if they're not handled carefully. They also can't store files larger than 2GBs.

Oh, and don't buy External USB drives, either.

No means a Keyboard Command

Just in case you didn't know, hitting Command + N when you're presented with a dialogue box that has a "No" option will select "No". I'm not sure that Command is actually needed but I hit it anyway.

Custom Text Templates

Here's a fairly simple way to make a custom text template if you need to use the same text formatting or cards or whatever across multiple projects.

01) In your current project or in a new one, make a new Sequence by highlighting the Browser by either clicking on it or tapping Command + 4. Name it something that will help you like Text Template or whatever.
02) Open that new sequence and build your text card the way you want it. Save the project (you have to).
03) In the Browser 2nd click on the text template's sequence and select Export > XML... and give it a name and save it to someplace you'll remember.
04) Now, in some later project when you need your template 2nd click in the Browser and choose Import > XML... (or in the menubar choose File > Import > XML...) and let FCP do it's thing.
(yeah, I know there's no default key command for Importing an XML file...)
05) You'll see a new sequence appear in your browser named Text Template or whatever you named it when you created it.
06) Treat it as a normal clipping even though it's a sequence (actually, it's a nest). Drag it to your timeline and you have your template already built and ready to be modified.
07) To modify it, double click it in the Timeline and edit away. It'll even retain any keyframing you've done ;)

Note: The XML file doesn't contain any actual media, (it's a text file) so anything that your template links to should be available for it when you use it, meaning images or special fonts, etc...

And if you're anything like me, right about now you're going, "Hey...that could be used for..."


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Super Fast Lower Third Name Bar

I've seen people jump through hoops to get a simple lower third that looks decent, nothing fancy but just good enough. Here's a super fast way to make a basic lower third.

01) Drop a text element into the timeline on V3. Set it up however you like it.
02) In the Effects window (or the effects drop-down in the lower right of the Viewer when you have the Video tab active) go to Video Generators > Matte > Color Solid. Bring this into the timeline under the text element and set it up with whatever color you like.
03) With the Color solid highlighted, tap C on the keyboard to grab Crop tool and drag the cropping of the color solid so it's a thick line near the bottom of the screen. However you prefer it to look.
04) In the Effects Window and under Video Filters > Matte > Soft Edges grab it and drag it onto the color solid element. With the color solid element highlighted, hit Enter to load it into the Viewer.
05) Monkey with the Soft Edges filter until you get the look you like. Drag Left or Right all the way to the edge and then drag the opposite one say 70 or so for a nice faux gradient.

Now you're ready to add in what ever you like on V1 to spice it up a bit. You don't have to use a color solid either, feel free to use any piece of video. And to make the text stand out a little more if it needs it give it a drop shadow value of 1.

Coloring Your Buttons

Here's a quick one:

Right click on any buttons that you have in any windows and you can label them with color labels.

QuickTime Player's Color vs FCP's

You may have missed this but Apple added a helpful option to QuickTime Player's preferences. At the bottom of the player's prefs you'll see "Enable Final Cut Studio color compatibility" which does nothing more than show you video without ColorSync's correction so you'll end up seeing (in theory) the actual gamma of your file.

Try it on and off with some files and you'll see what it does.