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Final Cut Express 4: Visual QuickStart Guide

Book Description

Here to ensure that users start taking advantage of Final Cut Express 4's powerful editing capabilities immediately is a thoroughly updated task-based guide to the program from best-selling author and digital video expert Lisa Brenneis. Users who are eager to make effective, compelling videos but don't want to invest heavily in training or equipment will welcome Lisa's simple step-by-step instructions, strong visual approach, and sound professional advice. In short order, they'll find themselves editing video; applying special effects and transitions; mastering the program's compositing, titling, and audio tools; and outputting their finished work. Readers will also learn about all that's new in this major upgrade: importing iMovie 08 projects, open format Timeline, built-in AVCHD and more.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Introduction
    1. Who should use this book
    2. What’s in this book
    3. How to use this book
    4. Learning Final Cut Express
      1. Basic theory
      2. FCE is context sensitive
      3. Keyboard commands
      4. Shortcut menus
      5. Buy a mouse
      6. Refer to the manual
      7. Check out the Knowledge Base
      8. The Web is your friend
      9. Where to find more information
      10. Go forth and experiment
  4. 1. Welcome to Final Cut Express
    1. Your First Final Cut Express Project: Start to Finish
    2. Touring Your Desktop Post-Production Facility
      1. Useful features
      2. Menus, shortcuts, and controls
      3. Customizable interface
      4. Onscreen help
    3. Editing and Effects Windows
      1. The Browser
      2. The Viewer
        1. The Viewer’s Video tab
        2. The Viewer’s Audio tab
        3. The Viewer’s Effects tabs
      3. The Canvas
      4. The Timeline
      5. The Tool palette
      6. The Voice Over tool
    4. Input and Output Windows
      1. Capture
      2. Print to Video
      3. Import and export options
    5. About LiveType
  5. 2. Installing and Setting Up
    1. System Requirements
    2. Hardware Selection and Connection
      1. Basic hardware configuration
      2. Recommended setup for DV/HDV
      3. Connecting a DV camcorder
      4. Connecting an external NTSC or PAL video monitor
    3. Installing Final Cut Express
      1. Where to install FCE?
      2. Registering and choosing an initial setup
    4. Optimizing Performance
      1. Settings
      2. Display
      3. Disk maintenance
    5. Troubleshooting
      1. You can’t establish a device control connection with your camcorder or deck
      2. You can’t control certain functions of your camcorder or deck
      3. You see a “Missing scratch disk” warning
      4. You don’t hear audio on your computer’s speakers when playing video from your camcorder or deck
      5. Video is not visible on an external NTSC or PAL monitor
      6. You notice dropped frames on your NTSC or PAL monitor during DV playback from the Timeline
  6. 3. Presets and Preferences
    1. About Easy Setups, Presets, Settings, and Preferences
    2. Using Easy Setups
      1. How to choose an Easy Setup
    3. Specifying User Preferences and System Settings
    4. Setting Editing Preferences
    5. Customizing the Timeline Display
    6. Specifying Render Control Settings
    7. Setting Scratch Disk Preferences
    8. Specifying Search Folder Preferences
    9. Specifying Memory & Cache Settings
    10. Specifying Playback Control Settings
    11. Setting External Editors Preferences
    12. Customizing Final Cut Express
    13. Creating Custom Screen Layouts
    14. Creating Custom Shortcut Buttons
  7. 4. Projects, Sequences, and Clips
    1. Anatomy of an FCE Project
      1. Project item types
    2. About Projects
      1. Viewing and setting project properties
    3. Using the Autosave Vault
      1. Setting Autosave Vault location and preferences
      2. Using Autosave to recover from a crash
    4. Undoing Changes
    5. Reconnecting Offline Files
      1. Using the Offline Files dialog box to reconnect
    6. Deleting Media
    7. Project Maintenance Tips
      1. Editing in stages
      2. Restoring a sequence
      3. Tracking used and unused clips
      4. Removing a project from your drives
    8. Setting Up for Multiple Projects and Users
      1. File access
      2. Creating and saving files
    9. What’s a Sequence?
      1. Creating a new sequence
    10. Changing the Settings of an Existing Sequence
    11. Working with Multiple Sequences
      1. Creating nested sequences
      2. Copying and pasting from sequence to sequence
      3. Editing a sequence into another sequence
      4. Making changes to a nested sequence
    12. About Clips
      1. Format-based clip types
      2. Relationship-based clip types
    13. Viewing and Setting Item Properties
  8. 5. Capturing Video
    1. Anatomy of the Capture Window
      1. Preview section
      2. Capture controls
      3. Capture tab
    2. Setting Up for Capture
    3. Entering Information on the Capture Tab
      1. Selecting a capture bin
      2. Entering clip information on the Capture tab
    4. Capture Clip: Capturing Video with Device Control
    5. Capture Now: Capturing Video without Device Control
      1. Capturing analog audio
    6. Capturing HDV Video
    7. Capture Project: Batch Recapturing
      1. Preparing to recapture a project
    8. Using DV Start/Stop Detection
    9. Troubleshooting Capture Problems
  9. 6. Importing Digital Media
    1. Importing Still Images
      1. Setting the default duration for stills
    2. Working with Adobe Photoshop Files
      1. Preparing a Photoshop file for use in FCE
      2. Importing a layered Photoshop file into Final Cut Express
    3. Importing Audio Files
    4. Converting Audio to 48 kHz on Import with iTunes
    5. Importing an iMovie Project
  10. 7. Organizing Clips in the Browser
    1. Anatomy of the Browser
      1. Browser columns
      2. Browser window icons
    2. Using the Browser to Organize Your Project
      1. Sorting items
    3. Customizing the Browser Display
    4. Searching for Items in the Browser
      1. Using the Find Results window
    5. Working with Bins
    6. Working with Browser Items
  11. 8. Working with Clips in the Viewer
    1. Anatomy of the Viewer
      1. Transport controls
      2. Clip-marking controls
      3. Pop-up selectors
      4. View selectors
      5. Timecode navigation and display
    2. Working with Clips in the Viewer
      1. Playing clips
      2. Other ways to move: Jogging, scrubbing, and shuttling
    3. Navigating with Timecode
    4. Working with In and Out Points
    5. About Subclips
    6. Using Markers
    7. Adjusting the Viewer Display
      1. Changing magnification and window size in the Viewer or Canvas
      2. Viewing overlays
      3. Viewing Title Safe and Action Safe boundaries
      4. Viewing with different backgrounds
  12. 9. Basic Editing
    1. Basic Editing Overview
    2. Basic Editing Step-by-Step
      1. Specifying target tracks
      2. Moving the playhead
    3. Using FCE’s Many Edit Types
      1. Insert edit
      2. Overwrite edit
      3. Replace edit
      4. Fit to Fill edit
      5. Superimpose edit
      6. Transition edits
      7. Deleting clips from a sequence
    4. Performing Edits in the Timeline
      1. Performing split edits
    5. Shortcuts for Marking Sequence Edit Points
      1. Locating a match frame
  13. 10. Editing in the Timeline and the Canvas
    1. Anatomy of the Canvas
      1. Onscreen controls and displays
        1. Transport controls
        2. Clip-marking controls
        3. View selectors
      2. Timecode navigation and display
      3. Anatomy of the Canvas edit overlay
    2. Using the Canvas Window
      1. Creating and exporting still frames
    3. Anatomy of the Tool Palette
      1. Selection tools
      2. Edit tools
      3. View tools
      4. Image modifiers
      5. Keyframe tools
    4. Using the Tool Palette
    5. Anatomy of the Timeline
      1. Onscreen controls and displays
        1. Sequence controls and displays (Figure 10.25)
        2. Timeline track controls (Figure 10.26)
        3. Timeline display controls (Figure 10.26)
        4. Timeline scaling and scrolling controls (Figure 10.26)
        5. Clip controls and displays (Figure 10.27)
      2. Color coding in the Timeline
    6. Customizing Timeline Display Options
      1. Timeline scaling and scrolling
    7. Navigating in the Timeline
      1. Positioning the playhead in a sequence
      2. Navigating with timecode in the Timeline
      3. About snapping in the Timeline
      4. Using markers in the Timeline and the Canvas
    8. Working with Timeline Tracks
      1. Mapping Timeline target track assignments
      2. Making a Timeline track invisible
    9. Working with Items in the Timeline
      1. Selecting items in the Timeline
      2. Selecting items with the track selection tools
      3. Linking clips
      4. Using linked selection
      5. Moving Timeline clips
      6. Finding and closing gaps
      7. Copying and pasting clip attributes
      8. Making multiclip adjustments
      9. Changing the playback speed of a clip
      10. Working with keyframes in the Timeline
    10. Searching for Items in the Timeline
  14. 11. Fine Cut: Trimming Edits
    1. Types of Trimming Operations
    2. Selecting an Edit for Trimming
    3. Anatomy of the Trim Edit Window
    4. Using the Trim Edit Window
    5. Trimming Edits in the Timeline
      1. About through edits
    6. Trimming Edits in the Viewer
    7. Correcting Out-of-Sync Clips
  15. 12. Audio Tools and Techniques
    1. Locating Audio Tools in the FCE Interface
    2. FCE’s Audio Formats
      1. Modifying audio channel formats
      2. The Browser’s audio format columns
    3. Anatomy of the Viewer’s Audio Tab
      1. Onscreen controls and displays
    4. Using the Audio Tab
      1. Scaling and scrolling an audio file
      2. Setting edit points on the Audio tab
    5. Editing Audio in the Timeline
    6. Editing Clips with Multiple Audio Channels
    7. Recording Audio with the Voice Over Tool
      1. Anatomy of the Voice Over tool
      2. Transport controls
      3. Status display
      4. Audio File area
      5. Input controls
      6. Headphones controls
      7. Voice Over tool setup checklist
    8. Mixing and Finishing Audio
      1. Setting audio levels
      2. Monitor levels and mixing
      3. Adjusting levels and pan on the Audio tab
      4. Adjusting the pan position
      5. Adjusting stereo spread
      6. Real-time audio level and pan adjustment
    9. Adjusting Audio Filters
  16. 13. Creating Transitions
    1. Adding Transition Effects
    2. Working with Default and Favorite Transitions
      1. About transition edits
    3. Editing Video Transitions
      1. Using the Transition Editor
      2. Editing transitions in the Timeline
    4. Modifying Audio Transitions
    5. Rendering Transitions
  17. 14. Compositing and Effects Overview
    1. Basic Building Blocks of Effects Creation
    2. Locating and Applying Effects
      1. Onscreen effects controls
    3. Using Keyframes
      1. Keyframe navigation shortcuts
      2. Precision control of a keyframe’s positioning
    4. Working with Keyframes in the Viewer’s Effects Tabs
      1. Working with basic keyframe commands
      2. Smoothing keyframes
      3. Using keyframes to set a single parameter
      4. Setting keyframes with timecode entry
      5. Working with keyframes in the Timeline
    5. Saving Effects Settings as Favorites
      1. Customizing the Effects Menu Display
  18. 15. Motion
    1. Setting Motion Properties
      1. Locating x,y coordinates
    2. Using Wireframes
      1. Wireframe keyframe indicators
    3. Using Motion Properties to Change a Clip’s Appearance
      1. Positioning clips
      2. Scaling clips
      3. Rotating clips
      4. Cropping clips
      5. Distorting a clip’s shape
      6. Adjusting opacity
      7. Setting a clip’s opacity in the Timeline
      8. Adding a drop shadow to a clip
      9. Adding a motion blur effect
    4. Animating Clip Motion with Keyframes
      1. Working with basic motion keyframe commands
      2. Setting motion keyframes with timecode entry
    5. Creating Motion Paths
    6. Editing a Motion Path
      1. Adjusting motion path curves and corners
      2. Adjusting speed along a motion path
  19. 16. Filters and Compositing
    1. Using Color Correction Filters
      1. The Color Correction filter suite
      2. Using the Broadcast Safe filter
      3. Anatomy of the Color Corrector tab
    2. Compositing
      1. Setting Composite mode
      2. Using alpha channels
    3. Working with Mattes
      1. Travel mattes
  20. 17. Titles and Generators
    1. Generating Text
      1. Text generator options checklist
    2. The Wonders of Outline Text
    3. Using Animated Text Generators
      1. Creating scrolls
      2. Creating crawl titles
      3. Creating animated typewriter text
      4. Creating titles with Boris Calligraphy
    4. About LiveType
  21. 18. Real Time and Rendering
    1. About Real-Time Playback
      1. RT Extreme: Scalable software-based real time
    2. Controlling real-time playback quality
    3. Rendering
      1. Rendering protocols
        1. What needs to be rendered
        2. What doesn’t need to be rendered
        3. Rendering order
      2. Rendering indicators
    4. Using Render Commands
      1. Rendering audio
    5. Managing Render Files
      1. Specifying storage locations for render files
      2. Deleting rendered files
    6. Rendering Strategies
      1. Avoiding unnecessary rendering
        1. Disabling rendering
      2. Reducing rendering time
        1. Using draft mode
        2. Rendering in stages
        3. Batch rendering
      3. Preserving render files
        1. Salvaging renders with Undo
        2. Exporting to preserve render files
        3. Using nested sequences to preserve render files
  22. 19. Creating Final Output
    1. Using Tape Output Modes
      1. Setting up for recording to tape
    2. Recording Timeline Playback
    3. Printing to Video
      1. Print to Video settings checklist
    4. Exporting Sequences and Clips
      1. Exporting a QuickTime movie
    5. Exporting Other QuickTime Formats
    6. Exporting Audio Files
    7. Exporting for LiveType
  23. A. Online Resources
    1. Apple Computer Links
      1. www.apple.com/finalcutexpress/
      2. www.apple.com/finalcutexpress/resources.html
      3. www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/resources/devicelist.php
      4. www.apple.com/quicktime/
      5. www.apple.com/firewire/
      6. www.apple.com/support/finalcutexpress/
      7. http://search.info.apple.com/
    2. Online Users Forums
      1. discussions.apple.com/forum.jspa?forumID=936
      2. www.2-pop.com/
      3. forums.creativecow.net/viewforum/8
    3. Reference
      1. www.dv.com/
      2. www.adobe.com/
      3. www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/
    4. Mavens
      1. www.adamwilt.com/DV.html
      2. www.kenstone.net/
      3. www.digitalzoo.com.au/lunchtime/
      4. www.joesfilters.com/
      5. www.dvcentral.org/
      6. www.nonlinear4.com/
    5. FCP User Groups
      1. www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/resources/communities.html
      2. www.2-pop.com
      3. www.lafcpug.org
      4. www.sfcutters.org
  24. B. Keyboard Shortcuts
    1. General controls
    2. Opening application windows
    3. Selecting, cutting, copying, and pasting
    4. Navigation
    5. Finding items
    6. Scrolling
    7. Screen layout and display
    8. Projects and sequences
    9. Browser
    10. Timeline
    11. Logging and Capturing
    12. Playing video
    13. In and Out points
    14. Markers
    15. Tool selection
    16. Editing
    17. Output
    18. Compositing and special effects
    19. Quick Navigation Keys and Modifiers