This morning Apple released a new version of Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2
Philip Hodgetts gives a nice rundown on what’s new in FCPX 10.1.2.
FINAL CUT PRO X - IN-DEPTH AND UP-TO-DATE
Larry Jordan is presenting an excellent, very in depth, 3 day course live on Creative Live right now. Really worth your time to tune in. Especially if you are less familiar with FCP X. Register now, it’s FREE during the live broadcast.
Here’s the link: final-cut-pro-x-depth-and-date-larry-jordan
Audio Organization Tip for Final Cut Pro X
By Braden Storrs
Organization is essential for complex projects. I will qualify this article by saying a lot of projects are simple enough that this tip is probably overkill. Please, enjoy your freedom from tracks. The magnetic timeline model though, I think, is only useful to a point when dealing with audio. If you are doing a feature or short film I don’t think the audio organization, or lack thereof, is conducive to efficient editing. So, here’s an idea to help. The screenshots are from a short film I created that I am editing now.
The roles system should be utilized first, especially when dealing with audio, as it will help when the project gets passed on to mastering. While you are working in FCP X though it is very helpful to have some visual guides (which is why I wish they would let you color code clips). A simple and effective visual way of organizing different kinds of audio is to use adjustment layers to neatly separate audio types. If you don’t have an adjustment layer here’s a free one available on the app store: Total Adjustment for Final Cut Pro It’s essentially just a blank title layer and is found in your titles browser. Normally you would put it above footage to add effects to part of or all of your project. For example, you could use it to add a widescreen matte to the whole project at once.
For this application slip it underneath the timeline and stretch it to the duration of the project. Then right click on and rename the adjustment layer with the appropriate label. Dialogue, Music, Foley, etc. Duplicate the adjustment layer as many times as you need to and rename those layers appropriately. Then, make sure and disable those layers. This guarantees that those layers won’t effect playback performance as title layers are prone to do.
Next, you just move the appropriate clips under the appropriate heading. It creates a simple visual container for the different types of audio. It’s a simple and very quick system to utilize.
Any other tips you utilize for timeline organization?
This is all in good fun :) Though I think it sums up nicely some of my feelings about the reaction FCP X got after it came out. Change is a constant for better or worse and attitude makes a world of difference. If you want things to stay the same you are in the wrong industry. Digital NLEs are still a comparatively young tool, I’ve never understood the line of thinking that they’ve somehow already perfected the editing tool or style. I expect in ten years that the programs I use will be very different, including this one. That being said, Apple could have handled the launch a lot better. Thanks for inspiring this meme John Kilderry.
Story is King
By Braden Storrs
In editing, the software is the tool, but the magic happens in the storytelling. It doesn’t matter what level of production you are at. From a home movie to a feature film, story is KING. You may “just” make corporate or wedding videos but if you can tell an engaging story while doing so you can create something people can really connect to. I’d much rather watch a 3 minute short film on Youtube, with an excellent story, that was edited with iMovie, then a 2 hour feature edited with Avid that is devoid of a basic story arc.
It’s not just a touchy feely art thing though. The likelihood of people hiring you again, or hiring you at all, can hang on how well you engage your audience and and get them invested in your stories. Try to remember this on upcoming projects. Instead of simply documenting, tell us something, take us somewhere. Have at least some sort of beginning, middle, and end. Even something as simple as a nature video, if done properly can inspire people. On the other hand the same subject can feel completely flat and pointless. It doesn’t matter how cool you think your camera is. People shouldn’t have to ask themselves why they are watching or if it is worth it to continue. If they are going into their “left” brain and just analyzing everything then you’ve lost them. Give them a good reason to check out of reality for a while. Now this is much easier said than done of course. Individual editing style choices, music, dialogue, etc all combine to tell a story. There is no magic fix, you just have to get out there and start working. Hopefully getting better and better. We just need to remember that is what we are, storytellers.
Here on the blog and in the Final Cut Pro X Editors Facebook group we obviously put a lot of emphasis into software techniques and how-to stuff. That’s one thing though that is a benefit of FCP X. It usually gets out of your way and lets you tell your stories instead of having to constantly be pining over the software. In short it is FAR better to be a Craftsman Storyteller then a Software Technician. Technical mistakes, while obviously not desirable, can be often forgiven by viewers if the story stays engaging.
I highly recommend reading some good books on storytelling and getting a good understanding of that side of your craft. Alex Nibley is a Professor of Film Production Analysis and has two excellent little books out that can help get you going: Good Stories Well Told Volume 1 and Short Film Cheap Tricks. Also, I really like the book Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft. It is more geared to writing literature but many of the principles of storytelling carry over. Other great books on editing are In the Blink of an Eye and Behind the Scene.
Here’s something else to help you get going. It’s a good look at some editing techniques that can aid in storytelling and make your videos more powerful. Follow the link below:
FCP X Quick Tip: Troubleshooting Compressor 4.1
In the picture above you’ll see two compressor sessions encoding the same file. The file is a 2 ½ hour 1080P h.264 .mp4 file. The first time I did the conversion it took 17 hours, 35 minutes, and 37 seconds. OUCH. The 2nd time I did it it took 22 minutes and 22 seconds. WOW!!!
What was the difference? I had previously contacted Apple via their compressor feedback page about another batch encoding session in which the encoding just seemed to stop. Compressor didn’t crash, it just stopped encoding (or seemed to). They got back to me. Yes, it does happen. They’ve helped me a number of times with various bugs that pop up. They sent over a troubleshooting link and some suggestions of how to resolve the issue. It turned out to be very easy and the first thing they suggested resolved it.
Here’s the fix if you’ve had a similar issue. It’s #9 on the troubleshooting guide:
Removing the Apple Qmaster folder will allow it to be recreated the next time Compressor is launched.
- If Compressor 4 is running, quit Compressor by choosing Compressor > Quit Compressor.
- In the Finder, hold down the Option key and choose Library from the Go menu.
- In the Library folder that opens, open the Application Support folder. Move the Apple Qmaster folder to the Trash.
- Restart your computer.
I followed the instructions, restarted the computer, and retried the session and it finished a 2 ½ hour 1080P file in 22 minutes. I’ve never seen any program encode that fast.
Here’s the link to the full Troubleshooting Guide: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3894
Hope this helps.
mObject - Revolutionary 3D plugin for Apple Motion and FCP X
The ever innovative motionVFX has done it again. This is a huge step up for the Apple video production plugin sphere! The highly anticipated mObject was released today. It allows for the import and animation of true 3D objects and text. I was a beta tester for them and it really does allow for smooth, realtime, 3D object manipulation and playback without rendering. mObject has it’s own interface in which you import and edit your 3D object as well as create your text before importing to Motion 5 or FCP X for animation. One of the biggest advantages Adobe After Effects has is its extremely rich plugin ecosystem that does so much to add functionality to the program. Element 3D being the AE counterpart to mObject. Motion has really been lacking in that department. This plugin though is a big step in the right direction. Combined with Motion 5’s superior playback engine the plugin will be a powerhouse. Now if Red Giant would just take the time to port Trapcode to Motion 5 we’d really be in business. I’m so excited to see what people will create with this tool. Oh and motionVFX, if you feel like sending me a copy of mObject to review I wouldn’t complain…
Here’s more info directly from motionvfx.com:
Real 3D Text and Shape
- - real 3D extrusion - real textures
- - custom fonts and text formatting support
- - .SVG shape import support - true bevel
- - custom texturing and mapping - bending
Import Real 3D Models
Import .OBJ made in popular 3D software. Animate and render in Motion 5 & FCP X.
- - user your 3D software for modelling and finish your work in Apple Motion
- - textured objects support
- - no polygon limit
- - real-time rendering
- - UV or custom mapping
- - .MTL support
- - import your own textures, edit options and create stunning materials
- - built-in HDR-like environmental lighting
- - Diffuse, AO, Transparency, Bump and Specular Maps
- - Real-Time Environmental Reflection (non-raytraced)
Motion 5 & FCP X Integration
- - work directly in Motion’s space environment
- - created with FxPlug technology
- - use Motion’s built-in tools to manipulate
- - publish elements for FCPX usage
Advanced 3D Scene Creation With Additionally Available Content
Import your own models or ready to use packs.
- - Advanced Shaders Pack (104 custom shaders)
- - Sport Model Pack (43 sport models)
- - Music Model Pack (44 music models)
- - Military Model Pack (49 military models)
- - City Model Pack (88 city models)
Present Your Images in a New Beautiful Way
- - map models with your pictures or images
- - use custom DropZones with QuickTime files
- - use them as a Diffuse, Reflection, Bump or Specular Maps
- - discover infinite possibilities
UV & Custom Mapping
- - UV Mapping support
- - Planar, Sphere, Cube and Cylindrical Mapping
- - Mapping transformation
- - Map individual model’s elements
Advanced OpenGL Renderer
- - Real-Time Environment Reflection (non-raytraced)
- - Real-Time dual environment lighting
- - Depth of Field
- - Use Motion’s Lighting (no shadows)
- - Wireframe and Points rendering
Everything is Easier
- - Real 3D Objects
- - Custom shaders and textures
- - Beautiful Renderer
- - works inside Motion 5 and FCPX
Features Available in the Upcoming Free Updates
- - 3D shatter
- - replicators support
- - particles support
- - more video formats for DropZones
- - advanced multi-bevel and custom text styles
- - OBJ’s animation sequence support
- - advanced extrude
- - refraction
- - fog
- - and much more…
mObject - $149
Artist Bundle (mObject+Shaders) - $199
Pro Bundle (mObject+Advanced Shaders+All Model Packs) - $399
Individual Add Ons
Advanced Shaders - $99
4 Different Model Packs - $99 each
To purchase and for more in depth info and tutorials visit mObject at motionVFX.com.
The Final Cut Pro X Editors Facebook Group reaches 2500 Members!
The Final Cut Pro X Editors passed 2500 members today! It’s great to see so many people learning about and using this software! There have been a ton of FCP 7 editors finally making the switch. The vast majority are finding they love it :)
FCP X Quick Tip: Capturing Footage Via Firewire
Final Cut Pro X will automatically create a new clip every time it senses a break in the footage. This is usually fine if the source was a newer/cleaner camera. It’s a big problem when capturing from an older source. I’m converting some old family VHS videos and whenever the tracking gets a bit off it will cut it into a new clip, seemingly at random sometimes. Unfortunately the cut is not seamless there are frames lost. The new 10.0 version of iMovie works the same. The 9.0.9 version of iMovie, however, does not do this :) It will import your tape as a single video clip (which is what I prefer). Though you can also start and stop importing at will so you end up with multiple clips. You can then just go into the iMovie event and grab the clip/s and put them wherever you want for your use. iMovie captures to a DV format though. The capture format makes very large files and FCP X DOES NOT LIKE THEM! I highly recommended transcoding the files before you use them or have FCP X create optimized media as playback will be rough otherwise. Even though if it is SD resolution.
FCP 7 is a better alternative to use if you own a copy. It gives more control and captures to Quicktime format, cutting out the transcoding step.
FCP X Quick Tip: RED Raw Proxy/Optimized Media Workflow
The above warning is what will appear if you have already created your proxy or optimized media files in FCP X for you RED Raw clips but then you try to go in to the inspector and click on the button that says:
To make any changes to your RED Raw files FCP X will have to delete the transcoded files files and then re-transcode them again if you want them back. The same thing happens if you modify the R3D files outside of FCP X.
Moral of the story is if you want to make any rough changes to your R3D files do so before editing! Then transcode and edit. If you are doing the color work in FCP X and will be modifying the R3Ds you can then do so. It will delete your transcodes and you can work strait with the Raw files.