Thursday, October 15, 2009

When Renaming Clips Goes Bad

Sometimes, and I have no idea really what the cause is, but FCP can essentially get a file's info "stuck", almost like there's a symlink between it and a particular clip.

For example, take a look at this:

You can see that clip 6 has the exact same duration as clip 10. Only it shouldn't. And FCP will still treat it as if it's that length by playing black past that point. What happened here is that clip 10 used to be named clip 06.

An editor came along and simply renamed clip 10 to clip 06 and for some reason FCP still thinks it's the duration of it's former self. I don't know if this editor used FCP's renaming function or did it in the Finder, however.

Either way, you can highlight the clip in the bin and then goto Tools>Analyze Movie>Clip and see that FCP knows the actual duration of the clip, but in the bin, in multiclips and in the timeline it will seemingly forever play it back with the wrong duration.

The solution is to treat the clip as if it were symlinked. So you have two options:

01) Delete the errant clip from the Bin. Then either...

02) Copy the clip in the Finder to another place or folder or drive, then copy it back to where it should be, overwriting (or after tossing out) the original file. Then drag it back into your Bin. Or...

03) Simply, (after deleting it from the Bin) move it to another location, drag it back into the Bin, confirm the duration is okay, then delete it from the Bin, move it back to where it should be, then drag it back into the Bin.

For me for one particularly stubborn clip step three was completely necessary. FCP kept thinking it was the wrong clip until I told FCP it was now here, then there in the Finder.

While I'm not sure what causes this behavior, it seems likely it's the result of a multiclip project going from Leopard to Snow Leopard with a renaming session in between.

Be Careful When Reconnecting/Renaming Multiclips

When you have a multiclip already in a sequence, be aware that if one of the clips (or more) was renamed since it was edited into the Timeline, FCP can get confused and attribute TWO file names to one clip.

This will result in all manners of strangeness. For one, even though all the footage in your bin will be properly connected, a multiclip in the sequence in your timeline may still report a red bar over it, and if you hover your mouse over the red bar you'll see FCP complaining that one of the clips is offline...but it's likely it just has two file names attributed to it. One of them being the old file name that's no longer available to FCP.

The solution is to 2nd click on the clip in the timeline, select Reconnect Media and then after connecting the properly named files, ignore the improperly named one(s). You should see the red render bar turn green nearly instantly.

This can happen if the files were initially named incorrectly and an editor renames them from within FCP or in the Finder late into a project's life.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

iaian7's Ratio Widget

iaian7 has a pretty nifty FREE Dashboard widget to help you quickly calculate screen resolutions. You can check it out here. It even has support for iFrames already.

Beware when buying an EXT HD to replace an INT one has a brief story on what's inside an external HD case if you plan on buying one and swapping it out with the SATA drive in your laptop for more capacity, higher speeds or what have you.

It turns out that some HD manufacturers are putting their own connectors on HD's that essentially render them useless for laptop swaps. Western Digital being one of them with their 1TB Passport Essential SE USB. The drive doesn't have a SATA connector but rather a USB Mini-B (or Micro-B, I always get them confused).

Tip to use older Firewire devices under Snow Leopard has an interesting tip on replacing a newer ktext file with an older one to get some older firewire devices to mount/work under Snow Leopard.

I haven't had any firewire devices that fail to work under Snow Leopard but this is good to know if you run into the problem.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Motion 4: May be unable to open projects

Here's a handy tip if Motion 4 refuses to open a project for you after installing Snow Leopard and FCS 09:

To address this issue, be sure Motion is not running. Then, open Terminal (located in ~/Applications/Utilities), and run the following command:

sudo touch /Applications/

The Knowledge Base article is here.

What's Touch do? From it's Man page:

The touch utility sets the modification and access times of files to the current time of day. If the file doesn't exist, it is created with default permissions.

Apple's iFrame Announced

Apple has announced something called iFrame in a Knowledge Base article.

What's iFrame?

The iFrame Video format is designed by Apple to speed up importing and editing by keeping the content in its native recorded format while editing. Based on industry standard technologies such as H.264 and AAC audio, iFrame produces small file sizes and simplifies the process of working with Video recorded with your camera.

So it's essentially:


iMovie 8.0.5 suports it. And only two camcorders. No word on when FCP will support it. has a representational image comparing frame sizes here. Their brief article is here.

Appleinsider has a more in-depth article here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Snow Leopard and Desktop Preview - Main

A few people (including me) have noticed quite dramatic artifacts when playing a project using Desktop Preview - Main under snow leopard. The artifacts look like quickly flickering horizontal lines which do not hold their positions when you stop and then start playback again.

I'm not sure what the exact combination of things causes the artifacts but it's something that appears for some people when under 10.6.1 but doesn't when booted from 10.5.8. Using either FCP6 or 7 doesn't seem to matter, it seems to be related to Snow Leopard.