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Edit Well: Final Cut Studio Techniques from the Pros

Book Description

Most film editors, whether they are working on motion pictures, broadcasts, live events, or video projects, all recognize that there is a process to editing. It involves planning, editing your story, adding transitions and effects, sweetening the audio, correcting the color, and creating the output. Apple has made it even easier to perform these tasks by combining their flagship nonlinear editor, Final Cut Pro, with other tools into a complete post-production package called Final Cut Studio.

Edit Well: Final Cut Studio Techniques from the Pros is the book that in-the-trenches editors have been waiting for. It offers a holistic approach to using the tools in Final Cut Studio for those who are responsible for a variety of tasks beyond just straight editing. Written by the preeminent experts and practicing professionals in their fields, contributors include Kevin Monahan, Mary Plummer, Mark Spencer, Tom Wolsky, and Alexis Van Hurkman, to name a few. Each chapter features each pro’s own insight on a particular tool in the Studio, whether it be Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, Motion and its 3D capabilities, or Color, a ground-breaking addition to the Studio for professional color grading.

Inside the book you’ll find:
• Practical, step-by-step techniques that cover the complete digital video workflow: editing, effects, motion, audio, color correction, and DVD authoring.
• Hard-to-find techniques on using Color and the 3D capabilities found in Motion.
• Expert insight and commentary by top professionals and trainers.
• Best-practice methods in editing, with tips on when and how to use a particular tool in real-life scenarios.
• Keyboard shortcuts to help you simplify your workflow.
• References to video tutorials and audio interviews of top Final Cut Pro editors around the world, available for free on the companion Web site.


Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Contributors
  3. Introduction
    1. What’s in the Book and at the Companion Web Site
    2. Taking It Further
  4. 1. Final Cut Pro Editing
    1. 1. Customizing the Final Cut Pro Interface
      1. Customize Your Workflow
      2. Window Layouts
      3. Button Bars
      4. Browser Layouts
      5. Timeline Track Heights
      6. Keyboard Layouts
      7. Don’t Lose Your Preferences
    2. 2. Techniques for Smarter Selection and Trimming
      1. Faster Selections
      2. Faster Trimming
        1. The Extend Edit
        2. Trimming by Numbers
        3. Trimming in the Viewer
        4. Slipping a Clip
    3. 3. Transitions: Beyond the Straight Cut
      1. Applying Transitions
      2. Changing the Default Transition
      3. Insert and Overwrite with Transition
        1. Adding the Default Transition to Multiple Clips on the Same Video Track
        2. Adding the Default Transition to Multiple Clips on Different Video Tracks
        3. Modifying a Transition’s Parameters
        4. Modifying a Transition’s Timing
        5. Adding a Custom Transition to Another Cut
      4. Organizing Custom Transitions
      5. Aligning Transitions
      6. Duplicating Transitions
      7. Swapping Transitions
    4. 4. Exporting Still Images from Final Cut Pro
      1. First Steps
      2. Removing Interlacing
      3. Sizing Your Images
      4. High-Definition Formats
      5. Resolution
    5. 5. Removing Pulldown Frames with Cinema Tools
      1. Understanding Cadences and Pulldown
        1. Cadences
        2. Determining the Type of Pulldown Frames
      2. Identifying the A-Frame
      3. The Reverse Telecine Process
    6. 6. An Archiving Solution for Final Cut Studio 2
      1. Finding the Hardware
      2. Preparing for Backup
      3. The Archiving Process
      4. The Restore Process
  5. 2. Final Cut Pro Effects
    1. 7. Blending the Light Away with Composite Modes
      1. Creating a Basic Composite Mode Effect
      2. Behavior of Composite Modes
      3. More Composite Mode Effects
        1. Toning It Down
        2. Pumping It Up
        3. Keyframing Mode to Mode
        4. Controlling the Area of the Mode
        5. Heavenly Blend
        6. Glow Effect
        7. Color Correction and Modes
        8. Blending Text with Modes
    2. 8. “Film It Up” with Composite Modes and Filters
      1. The Basics
        1. Dupe the Clip
        2. Blur the Top! My Favorite!
        3. Let’s Take a Shortcut!
        4. Soft Light Makes Everything Better
        5. Use Color Correction to Adjust the Image
      2. Using Composite Modes
        1. Vignetting
        2. Customize Your Gradient and Place It
        3. Build a Nest and Apply Travel Matte – Luma
        4. Try This at Home!
    3. 9. Using Masks and Mattes in Final Cut Pro
      1. Mattes Vs. Masks
      2. Matte Filters At a Glance
      3. Mattes, Masks, and the Alpha Channel
      4. Using Mattes
      5. Available Masks in Final Cut Pro
      6. Mask Techniques
        1. Travel Matte Luma vs. Travel Matte Alpha
      7. Animated Mattes and Masks
      8. Feather and Choker Filters
      9. Compositing Technique: Blurry Border
      10. Video-in-Text Effect
    4. 10. Adding Stability with SmoothCam
      1. Get Your Clip into Analysis
      2. How It Works
      3. Tweaking the Results
      4. Using a Compositing Technique to Improve Sharpness
  6. 3. 3D in Motion
    1. 11. Foundations of 3D in Motion
      1. 3D or 2.5D?
      2. A Little Terminology
      3. Stepping into a New Dimension
      4. Understanding the Anchor Point
      5. 3D Groups
      6. Your New 3D Friend, The Letter Q
      7. 3D Tools in the HUD
      8. Using the Canvas Controls
    2. 12. Using Cameras and Navigating in 3D Space
      1. Building a Set
      2. The 3D Overlays
        1. The 3D View Tools
        2. The Compass
        3. The Camera Menu
        4. Inset View
      3. Arranging a Set
      4. Adding Another Set
    3. 13. Animating Cameras in Motion’s 3D Space with Keyframes
      1. The Three Rules
        1. Rule 1: Make your starting camera position at 0,0,0
        2. Rule 2: Keep all your sets facing the same direction along the Z-axis.
        3. Rule 3: Keep the anchor point for each set group located within the bounding box for the group
      2. Animating the Camera: Keyframes or Behaviors?
        1. Camera Animation with Keyframes
        2. Adding Keyframes
      3. Moving the Camera with the Frame Objects Command
      4. Lather, Rinse, Repeat
      5. Polishing the Animation
      6. Taking It Up a Notch
    4. 14. Animating Cameras in Motion’s 3D Space Using Behaviors
      1. Preparing the Project: Using Markers and Clearing Keyframes
      2. The Camera Behaviors
      3. Fine-Tuning a Behavior
      4. Adjust Zoom Layer Framing
      5. Lather, Rinse, Repeat
      6. Using the Sweep Behavior
      7. Sweeping the Set 2 and Set 3 Groups
  7. 4. Soundtrack Pro
    1. 15. Clean Up Your Audio
      1. Where Do You Start?
      2. Understanding Audio Priorities
      3. Timeline Vs. Waveform Editing
        1. Editing the Waveform Content
        2. Editing Waveform Levels for Clarity of Sound
    2. 16. Sound Advice: Mixing
      1. Taking the Pane Out of Mixing
      2. May I Have the Envelope, Please?
      3. Recording Automation in the Mixer
      4. Using Busses and Submixes
        1. Take the Last Bus to Submixville
        2. Using Submixes
      5. Final Export
    3. 17. Media Management in Soundtrack Pro 2
      1. Anatomy of a Soundtrack Pro Audio File Project
        1. Managing Media Instead of Mangling It
        2. Reconnecting Media
  8. 5. Color
    1. 18. Setting Up Your Color System
      1. What Is “Real Time” Anyway?
      2. The Need for Speed—Get a Fast Computer
      3. Get a Fast Graphics Card
      4. Displays and Monitoring
      5. Get a Fast Hard Drive Storage System
      6. Control Surfaces—Are They Necessary?
      7. Setting Color’s Scratch Disks
    2. 19. Roundtripping with Color
      1. Buy a Roundtrip Ticket to Color
      2. Preparing Your Media for Finishing
      3. Preparing Your Final Cut Pro Project File
      4. Using Send to Color after the Project’s Prepped
      5. Render Before You Return
      6. Sending Your Project Back to Final Cut Pro
      7. Changing Grades After You’ve Rendered
    3. 20. Using Curve Controls in the Primary In Room
      1. How Can Some Wiggly Line Adjust My Image?
      2. Set the Overall Contrast
      3. Adding Even More Detailed Adjustments to the Curve
    4. 21. Adjusting Red, Green, and Blue Channel Curves
      1. Making Controlled Corrections Using the Parade Scope
      2. Which are Faster, Color Balance Controls or Curves?
      3. Creating Color Undertones Using Curves
    5. 22. Making Color Adjustments in the Primary In Room
      1. Using the Auto Balance Control
      2. Making Contrast Adjustments
      3. Color Balance Controls
      4. Saturation Controls
  9. 6. Additional Tools
    1. 23. Hidden Secrets in LiveType
      1. You Can Work in HD
      2. You Can Put Text on a Curve
      3. You Can Import a Photoshop Image
      4. You Can Matte Video Into a Shape
      5. You Can Deform the Shadows
      6. You Can Create Your Own Animation Using Keyframes
    2. 24. International Versioning and the Power of LiveType
    3. 25. Creating Stories in DVD Studio Pro
      1. So, What’s a Story?
      2. Creating a Story
      3. Defining Story Segments
      4. Programming a Story End Jump
      5. Conclusion
    4. 26. Final Cut Server: Ten Ways It Can Help Manage Your Media
      1. A Quick Overview
      2. Searching the Catalog
      3. Drag and Drop Simplicity
      4. Accessing and Enriching Metadata
      5. Remote and Mobile Edit System Workflow
      6. Annotating Video Clips
      7. Productions Are Virtual Folders for Assets
        1. Check-in/Checkout
        2. Export
        3. Archive Handoff
      8. Supports Both Macintosh and Windows Clients
      9. One Final Note
  10. A. Secondary Color Correction Using Vignettes
    1. When Are Vignettes the Most Efficient Solution?
    2. Do Your Primary First
    3. Getting Started: Turn on a Vignette
    4. Adjusting the Vignette
    5. Adjusting the Correction
  11. B. Scripting 101 in DVD Studio Pro
    1. What Is Scripting?
    2. Why Use a Script?
    3. Getting Started
      1. Defining the Mission
      2. Achieving the Mission’s Goals
      3. How Many Script Elements Will It Take?
    4. Creating the First Script Element: The Startup Script
      1. Defining a Name and Partitioning GPRMs
      2. Adding/Organizing Commands in the Script Tab
      3. Creating and Editing Commands
      4. Adding a New Script Command
    5. Scripts that Set the Menu Values
    6. The Decision Script
      1. Conditional Commands