FinalCutPro Blog Posts

October 20, 2020

Transparent Background in PowerPoint

While Apple makes it easy to create transparent movies from Keynote to Final Cut Pro, it's a bit tricky to get it to work with Microsoft Powerpoint.

Why use Microsoft Powerpoint?

PowerPoint has some unique transitions and effects that are not available in Keynote. If you have Microsoft PowerPoint installed it might be better to use that for some cool effects.

Using PowerPoint or Keynote might be better than using Apple Motion for simple tasks.

How to Export Transparent Background

To get a transparent background in PowerPoint you need to use the green screen effect. There is no way to control the export video type.

Example

This has all the transitions that are available in Microsoft PowerPoint. I used a green background and used the Keyer effect to remove that background in Final Cut Pro. (That’s how you remove the green screen. )

October 13, 2020

Trim Start and End

A common task that I have to do in Final Cut Pro is trim a clip. Usually, this is to just clean up the tail end of the clip that doesn't make sense to keep for the story, or when I need to end the clip smoothly.

The quick way to get this done is to use the "trim to end" short cut key:

Trimto Start Trim To End

How this Works

When you mouse over a clip in the timeline and use the above short cut, the clip will get trim from the point of the red mouse over and not the white preview line.

If you make a mistake, simply type in Command - Z to undo the last action.

Quick and Easy Tip

Once you start using this a couple of times, you'll see that this is such a time saver. This is so much better than adding a blade and then deleting the section.

October 6, 2020

Lower Third Overlay

If your building your own lower third from scratch, you may want to have an overlay guide to help you align text correctly.

I found the image overlay on Comedy Central to be very useful to properly laying out the lower third title. The image overlay has a logo placement helps to professionally align a logo on the bottom right of the screen.

Basically you add this image to your Title project and align your lower 3rd correctly. Once you are done simply remove it from your project.

Apple Motion Lower Third Guide

Steps to Add the Overlay in Motion

  1. Download the file from the Comedy Central's overlays website
  2. Open up any Final Cut Pro Title Project
  3. Import the overlay. (You'll see that the overlay fits perfectly into a standard 1920x1080 format.)
  4. You may need to move the Overlay layer below the text layer.
  5. Now adjust the text layer so that its below the lower third line.
  6. Hide the Comedy Central overlay image and continue working as normal.

Don't want to use the guide?

Simply turn on the ruler and look for the 200 on the left side. (See the above screenshot)

September 29, 2020

Apple Motion

Apple Motion is a powerful motion graphic toll that gives you - the creator - the ability to create Hollywood effects right from you computer. You can create cinematic 2D, 3D titles, fluid transitions, and realistic effects in real-time.

For about $49, you get a lot of power for not a lot of money. One instructor said, that "its highly under price for the capabilities that the application gives you."

There’s still a lot of things for me to learn about Apple Motion. Here are just some of the things that I learned so far.

Apple Motion Logo

Five Things I have Learned

  1. Apple Motion complements Final Cut Pro. They work very well together to help make powerful productive videos. Apple Motion does have a learning curve - just like Final Cut Pro.
  2. You can edit any Title, Effect and Transition in Final Cut Pro using Apple Motion. It doesn't matter if it came with Final Cut Pro or was purchased separately. Simply right-click on the object and select "Open a copy in Motion." This option is only available if you have Motion installed.
  3. Apple Motion is the only way you can create favorite titles. So if you like to use certain colors or text styles, you can save them in a custom Category so that you can reuse them over and over again. This is very useful when you won't use the same fonts or colors in all your videos.
  4. Apple Motion comes with 1,900 Apple-designed, royalty-free graphics. There's a lot of cool things you can do. With great powers come with great responsibility.
  5. Lynda.com Motion 5.3 Essential Training is a great way to learn about the application. I started learning the power of Motion by editing existing titles. Watching Ian Robinson really has helped me understand the capabilities of Apple Motion.
September 22, 2020

Color Correction Assistance for Final Cut Pro

My Olympus XZ-2 iHS doesn't handle white balance very well. I find that the videos that I take inside the church tend to be darker than the same video taken using the Nikon 5500 and the Sony DSC-HX200v. I am not exactly sure why this camera has problems.

The videos are good, just the colors are dark. They need to be touched up if I want to use the footage - and have the ability to use that camera in future shots.

Color Correction is a bit tricky in Final Cut Pro and I find that the "auto" balance color doesn't always work well.

Photolemur 3 to the Rescue

When I ran into this problem last week, I decided to export a frame of the video and put it through Photolemur 3.

What's Photolemure 3?

Photolemur is an absolutely automatic photo enhancer that uses Artificial Intelligence to apply all the enhancements your image needs, on its own. All you have to do is to import your image to the app, and the photo enhancer does everything else automatically from there.

My theory was to let the artificial intelligence tell me how the image should look. Then I can use the Final Cut Pro color adjuster to get the video to look perfect.

The results:

Color Correctoin Final Cut

The left side shows Photolemure 3 and the right shows the original image. You can see how the colors on the church's alter stands out in Photolemure than the original photo

When I select the "auto color correction" in Final Cut Pro it doesn't look like the left side.

You can learn all about how to adjust the color in Final Cut Pro in Apple's Use color correction tools in Final Cut Pro X and Motion document

September 15, 2020

Adding Favorites Folders to Import

You can easily add your favorite folder to the side menu of the Import dialog box. This will make it easier to connect to common folders that you may frequently use.

For example, it would be useful to put the "Download" folder in the Favorite section.

Apple doesn't really provide clear instructions on how to add folders to the favorite. Not exactly sure why that it.

Import Favorites

Steps to add a Folder to the Favorite Section

  1. Open up the Import dialog.
  2. Select a folder from the main listing and then drag it to the word "Favorites" in the sidebar.
  3. When the folder is over the "Favorites" text, the background color of Favorites should change.
  4. Release the Mouse to add it to the Favorites section.

Unlink from Sidebar

To unlink a folder, simple Control-Click on the item, and a popup menu should appear to "Remove from Sidebar."

Big Brother Watching?

One of the things I noticed was that when I performed the action, the light next to the FaceTime camera went on. I tried this a couple of times with different folders and saw the same results. I used some additional security software and can confirm that the microphone is also enabled.

This happens when you add or remove an item from the favorite sidebar.

What is going on? Why would the simple act of making a folder to a favorite cause the FaceTime camera to snap a picture and the microphone to record the audio?

September 8, 2020

Slow Motion Video

Question: When I take Slow Motion videos on my iPhone, how do I take advantage of the features in Final Cut Pro?

Quick Answer: When you put a clip that you know has a higher frame (240 fps), simply click on the clip in the timeline and then set the speed to "Automatic Speed." This will allow you to see the Slo-Mo effect as it was intended on the iPhone.

Retime F C P

iPhone Slo-Mo

When you record a Slo-Mo video on the iPhone, the first 3-seconds and last 3-seconds are normal speeds. The remaining time will be at 30% speed.

This is useful to know when recording a Slo-Mo clip. To get the best effect, start recording at least 3-seconds before the event and then stop it at 3-seconds after it's over.

ReTime

The menu "Retime" is short for Real-Time - it gives the Producer the ability to adjust the speed of the selected clip.

The "Automatic Speed" setting keeps the speed as intended on the iPhone.

The ReTime popup menu option is available below the viewer and in the Modify menu.

September 1, 2020

Bump Basic Title

Recently I was looking around at some different text plugins for Final Cut Pro X. I saw one that someone had that blurred out the background and had text in the foreground. The effect made the text stand out and the whole effect took about 8-seconds.

I thought it was a really cool way to present text in front of a video.

I decided against buying it, but bookmarked the website so in the future, I would get it.

It was a good thing that I waited. Turns out there's a built-in effect that works perfectly well for my needs. It's called, "Bump Basic."

Example Video

In this video, the "Worcester Express Train" is using the text effect that I was looking for. This is called "Bump Basic" and located in the Social Category.

Look Around the Text Options

One of the things I learned from this, is to play around more with the text options. I did search for "blur" thinking that it would be under that name.

There are more than 150 built-in titles to choose from. Each one having the ability to change the font style, color, and location on the screen.

August 25, 2020

Computer Setup

There's been a lot of talk on the Final Cut Pro Facebook group on the computer setup. As this is vacation week for me, I thought I use this time to highlight my computer setup.

This setup has worked very well for me. It seems to be the perfect computer setup.

Final Cut Pro System

Computer Details

ComputeriMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2019)
Processor 3.7 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i5
Memory 40 GB 2667 MHz DDR4
August 18, 2020

Getting Live Photos

Did you know that you can use Live Photo videos in your Final Cut Pro projects? Each Live Photo contains a 3-second video clip. This might be all you need to help describe some events/places. It’s also useful if you want to create a montage of some event.

To get the video from a Live Video is a bit tricky. Once you get it, then it's just a matter of following the processes in the future.

Once you get the video clips, you treat them just like any other clips. These video clips will be in the 1440x1080 aspect ratio. Depending on your project, you will likely have to trip the clips so they fit in the aspect ratio that you are using.

Getting a Live Clip

There are three ways, that I know of, to properly get Live Photos from your iPhone into Final Cut Pro. Note: Live Photos movies will not export if you use AirDrop.

Using Apple Photos App

You can export videos from Live Photos in Apple Photos, but it has been done using a particular method.

After you select the images that you want to export, go under File and then Export, and then select "Export Unmodified Original..." This is important because if you used the "default" Export Photos option, you won't get the movies.

Pro Tip: Create a Smart Album for Live Photos, so that you know what you have available on your computer.

Photo Live Export

iMazing

iMazing is a great way to add/remove files from your phone. iMazing allows you to export the movie portions of the Live Photos, so your not missing out on the photos effects.

When you export a Live Photo image that has a movie connected to it, you'll get notified that there's a live photo. Simply check the "Include video files." to transfer the files.

iMazing Live Photos
Exporting Live Photos in iMazing

Just keep in mind that the "Include video files" is not checked by default.

Google Photos

Since March 2016, Google Photos properly saved Live Photos on backups. This means that you can access the video portion of a Live Photo.

When you download the Live file, the movies come along for the ride! To find all the Live Photos that you have backed up, a simple search for "Live Photos."

If you have used Google Photos for a while, for fun, search for "Live Photos 2016" to see all the old Live Photos.

Unzip the download and you'll see a Movie file along with the photo of the Live Picture. Simply add the movie to your

Sample Clip

This a quick clip that I put together from various Live Photo’s taken last year at the Encore Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts.

August 11, 2020

Ultimate Transitions Pack

I have been checking out various add ons for Final Cut Pro. There are a lot of great third party options for transitions, titles, and audio. The Ultimate Transitions Pack from ajstudio.shop is a great collection of transitions at a great price.

Apple's Final Cut Pro comes with 95 high-quality transitions. With the 203 transitions in this pack, you can expand your available collection to 295 transitions. Now you'll have lots of options to make the video look awesome.

There are many "basic" transitions that I have been looking for that I used in Wondershare Filmora: Smoke, Warp, and Zoom. I have found all the transitions to be excellent quality and easy to configure. Most of the time, just a simple drag and drop works perfectly fine.

UltimateTransitionPack_thumb.jpg
Click on image for a larger version.

Check out the page on ajstudio.shop for some animated gifs of all the transitions that you get with the package. There are some transitions that I don't see using: Shape Whipe, Comic, and Fire. But the overall package is still a good deal.

Pack Features

  • 200+ High End Transitions
  • Choose from 21 different Categories
  • Easy to edit in Final Cut Pro X or Apple Motion
  • Simple Drag & Drop
  • Up to 4K Resolution
  • Variable length
  • All values and colors are editable
  • Compatible with Final Cut X 10.3 or newer
  • Compatible with Motion 5.3 or newer
  • Works with Videos and Images
  • Video tutorials included

Limited Time Deal

The website is promoting the package deal for $23, or $.11 for each transition - certainly seems like a good deal to me. (Regular Price is $89) I would recommend getting it because you never know when you want a particular transition to help spice up a video.

The sale seems to occur every day. So I don't think you to rush to get this. Also, I notice that "The Ultimate Transitions Pack Final Cut Pro X"" also appears in the Videohive.net website for $35. This appears to be the exact same package deal.

August 4, 2020

Final Cut Duration

When editing clips, sometimes it's helpful to know what the length of a clip is. This information is presented in the info panel of the clip - along with other useful information.

Getting the duration of a Clip

  • Select a Clip.
  • Type in Command - Option - 4 to open the inspector - select the ‘Info Inspector' icon
  • You'll see the ‘Duration' as one of the fields on the left.

You can't change the value here, but you can in the timeline.

Info Inspector Duration

When You Modify a Clip

When you modify a clip, you see two values:

FCP Quick Clip Help

The left value is the current duration of the clip, and the right value is the increase/decrease of the modification that your making.

July 28, 2020

Upload to Different YouTube Channels

If you manage multiple YouTube accounts under the same login, it can be difficult to setup up the Final Cut Pro export option. This is because when you set up the YouTube export option, there is no option on which channel to upload the video. The video will always get uploaded to the default account.

This is a common situation for people with branded YouTube accounts.

This is a problem if the intended video is for another channel. You can't move videos between channels. According to YouTube official instructions you have to download the video, switch to the other channel then re-upload the video.

Alternatively you could just export the video to the Desktop and then open up Chrome and YouTube and then upload the file to the channel of your choice.

You Tube Manage Permissions

Easy Solution

So the quick and easy solution is to assign a different email address to the channel that you want to upload to. This is a bit tricky to set up, so let me walk you through the steps.

Note: You can easily set up a secondary email account on Gmail, Yahoo, or any place else. You need a real account because you'll need to verify the email and permissions.

Set up the email first, before going through these steps. If you're not using a Gmail account, make sure to log in to Google first before going through all this.

Steps to assign a new user to a YouTube account:

  • Go to YouTube.com and click on your image on the top right of the screen, and make sure you're on the channel that you want to assign the new login. (If it's not using the "Switch Account" option to select your channel)
  • Then click on the image again, and select "YouTube Studio"
  • Click on Settings on the bottom left.
  • In the Popup window, select the "Permissions" menu item. You'll see a link where you can Manage Permissions. Click that link.
  • You may be asked to log in again - just Google adding an additional layer of security. Click on the "Manage Permissions" button.
  • You may be asked to login again - fun times.
  • On the Manage permissions dialog, click on the icon in the top right - it looks like a plus sign next to a person. This is how you invite new users.
  • Make sure the permissions are set to Owner or Manager - so they can upload videos.
  • After you click on the invite button, a confirmation email will get sent to the email address. Click on the link in the email.

Meanwhile Back in Final Cut Pro

Once this is all set up, you can now set up a new YouTube export option.

  • Open up Final Cut Pro Preferences (Command ,)
  • Select the Destinations in the top menu.
  • Click "Add Destination" in the left nav
  • Click YouTube
  • Sign in to your new YouTube account
  • Done!

Now you'll see two options to export to YouTube. There's no way to configure the name that gets displayed next to the YouTube icon. That might be a setting set up by YouTube.

July 21, 2020

Customize Browser List View

The Final Cut Pro browser window shows all the videos that having been imported into the currently selected library. You have the option of using the filmstrip and list mode.

The list mode seems the be the best mode to keep the browser view in since you can get more information on the individual clips.

Users can customize the view of the browser list view by adding/removing the columns.

Final Cut Browser Listing
My setup of the Browser Window

My Custom View

I recently update the view on my install so that I can identify some useful information. I added notes so that it would be easier to read the display.

  • I removed the Start and End Columns since they didn't add any more information to my clips.
  • Frame Size - I can now easily identify the 4k clips from the regular clips.
  • Frame Rate - This is important as clips that are using 240 fps are videos that are shot using Slo-Mo on the iPhone.
  • Codecs - Useful to tell the different codec the clips are in, and helps identify the different cameras that are being used.

What Prompted This Change?

I was trying to figure out a way to find video clips that I recorded using Slo-Mod on my iPhone. I thought that Apple would make it easy to find certain clip types. They didn't.

The Frame Rate is the right way to identify the perfect clips to change the clip speed. It will highlight the clip to use for this type of effect.

While you can apply the clip speed to any video clip, the higher frame rate will work the best.

This is why when shooting a subject, it's best to think about how you'll use the clip in production.

July 14, 2020

Normalizing Audio

In many audio applications, there are functionality to fix the audio so that it's the same tone throughout. That is, fix the audio where it's too quiet or too loud. Rogue Amoeba Fission's has this functionality and it works really well.

In Final Cut Pro, the easiest way to fix audio is to use the Audio Enhance Feature which is available under the Modify menu or simply use the Control Command A.

The key thing to remember is that after you apply the Audio Enhance Feature, you need to go under the clip Audio selection and check off the boxes:

Final Cut Audio Checkbox,jpg

Audio Demo

This week's demo is to see if it's better to use the Final Cut Audio Enhance feature or to do the audio editing using Rogue Amoeba's Fission. Listen to this clip, it's less than 3 minutes, and see for yourself which clip is better.

Side Note: This clip was translated off a TV broadcast that was recorded on VHS. I digitalized it about 17-years ago using Cleaner 5.