Here’s a neat little trick to add realistic background objects to your footage in Adobe After Effects. In this case, I wanted it to seem like the footage was taken in the lobby of the client’s office. This could work for things like posters, hanging artwork, or logo plaques. Check it out.
Cinemagraphs are little looping animated videos that are actually pretty simple to make, especially if there isn’t any movement in the scene.
In this quick tutorial, we’re going to add a video on a polaroid in about 10 minutes using Adobe After Effects. I’ve provided the source files to get you started.
Ok, so let’s get to it. First I took a picture of a Polaroid of my wife and I. I know, I know, we’re cute.
Next, I found the video that I wanted to use as the looping video on the Polaroid. I used a night timelapse that I shot last year of the Austin 360 bridge. Finding a reason to recycle old footage is always fun.
Next, import both of them into After Effects and make a new comp with the Polaroid image. You can do this by dragging the Polaroid image onto the “new comp” icon in the project window.
Next, with the pen tool, carefully draw a mask around the picture on the Polaroid. Add a slight feather of 10 to the mask. And expand the mask a bit with the “mask expansion” parameter.
Next, add your video under the Polaroid image layer and make the video layer 3D. The reason we do this, is so we can rotate it to match the angle of the Polaroid. Scale the video down and rotate it so it fits in the Polaroid. Notice how the guide box roughly matches the edge of the Polaroid.
Next, let’s add some depth of field and blur the edges so they look out of focus. You could do a couple things to achieve this. The way we’re going to do it is by adding a camera to the comp and use the built in “Depth Of Field” parameter on the camera.
So, create a new camera by going to “layer/new/camera” (option, command, C). You can use the 80mm preset since that matches the focal length that the actual image was taken.
Now, we need to enable “Depth Of Field” and set the focus distance to the timelapse layer. Twirl down your camera options in your timeline, or press AA to show them. And enable “Depth Of Field.”
Now, to automatically set your focus distance to your timelapse layer, we need to select both our camera and our timelapse layer, then go to “Layer/Camera/Set Focus Distnace to Layer.” Make sure both your camera and the timelapse layers are selected. You can select multiple layers by holding command.
Nice. Now, let’s adjust our depth of field to match our shot. By bringing up the “Aperture,” it will make the focus plane narrower. And by bringing up the “Blur Level,” it will increase the blur of everything that’s not in focus. Play around with these two parameters until it matches. I landed on Aperture: 960 pixels and Blur Level: 250%.
Now we’re rocking. To add some final touches, I added a “Vintage FX” preset to bring it all together. A GIF isn’t a real GIF without a vintage filter. I added this to an adjustment layer so it affects both the Polaroid picture and the timelapse video. You may have to brighten up the timelapse footage so you don’t loose too much detail in those shadows.
GIF’s are better when they’re short and when they loop seamlessly. Let’s make it 3 seconds long. And let’s adjust our timelapse video so it loops seamlessly at 3 seconds. Basically, split your timelapse layer at 1.5 seconds by going to “edit/split layer” (command, shift, D). Then drag your beginning layer to start at 1.5 seconds. Drag the other layer to start at the beginning. Then fade the top layer out so it fades into the bottom layer. And set your work area so it’s only 3 seconds long.
Boom! Now export it and convert it into a GIF. The easiest way (that I’ve found so far) is to use an online tool called “GIPHY.” But, you’re only limited to a few seconds and the converted GIF’s are tiny. If that’s ok with you, then great, use GIPHY! If you want more control, you can use Photoshop’s “save for web” tool. It’s kind of finicky, but it works.
That’s it! You just made a cinemagraph. Now make sure to show your friends and tell them you found a magic Polaroid from the Harry Potter world. I’m sure they’ll totally believe you. If you have any questions or maybe additional tips that would make this better, post them below.
In this quick video tutorial, I show how to add atmosphere in Adobe Lightroom. This is a technique that I often use when adjusting photos taken with backlighting from the sun. I do this by using the graduated filter tool in Adobe Lightroom. This little tool is powerful for adding a splash of style to a specific section of an image.
I do a lot of technical directing in my church’s productions. I also have the privilege of teaching newer directors the basics of directing.
I figured I would share the 3 main tips that I teach all my new new directors. This article is great for new directors, and also good for experienced directors who just like to read random people’s rambling articles.
3 tips for Video Technical Directing in a live church production
When working in a live church production, there are many roles required to pull everything off. One of the most important roles in the video department is that of the technical director. The technical director is the person calling shots and putting up the camera feeds on the big screen. They’re kind of a big deal, so it’s very important that the director is trained and always on-point with the flow of the service.
The point of a live video production is to convey the worship atmosphere to anyone watching the video. The viewer needs to feel like they are part of the live congregation and get a similar worship experience. So, how do you, the director, accomplish that?
Before we dive deeper into directing, we need to get a few things out of the way first, and this is very important. Your camera operators need to be trained and comfortable behind the controls. I understand, your camera ops might be volunteers, but they still need to know how to operate and do their job well enough to be able to use their creativity. They need to be able to compose and frame a shot without being told exactly how to. They also need to be able to “keep up” with director’s lingo during the service. This will all make your job, as the director, much easier.
That being said, there are three simple tips that I tell new directors to always keep in mind.
1. Always be thinking ahead.
This is one of the most important and obvious things that a director needs to know. As the director, it is your job to know what is happening before it happens. If there is a solo coming up, you need to have a camera ready on the soloist BEFORE they start the solo. If someone is about to speak from stage-left, get a camera on them BEFORE they start speaking. You need to always be one step ahead and think about where your cameras need to be to capture the moment.
Although your camera ops need to have the same mindset and be ready for the next move, it is ultimately your responsibility not to fall behind the action. Run-throughs and rehearsals are crucial for directors. When watching rehearsals, you get to see where everything is happening and how to best capture the moment. When I direct, I have a service order in front of me for the entire service. That way, nothing sneaks up on me.
Usually, you will have access to the worship set before show-time. This will give you a chance to listen to the songs and give you a good idea of how they will be played. Knowing where the verses and choruses are will help the flow of your directing and help you think ahead.
Always having a “fallback” shot will definitely help with this as well.
A “fallback” shot is basically a shot that you can fall back to in any situation. If you have all of your cameras pointed at a singer, what happens when the singers stop for an instrumental break? Or what if the band decides to throw in a last minute bass solo, and you don’t have a clear shot of the bassist yet. In situations like that, it’s a great idea to go to your “fallback” shot. Wide shots usually make good “fallback” shots. Drum shots also make great “fallback” shots because the drummer is almost always doing something interesting. Always having a “fallback” shot will save you whenever the action stops or something unexpected happens.Remember to always asses where each of your cameras are and make sure you have a “fallback” shot for any situation.
2. Be specific.
What does this mean? Here is an example: you’re directing and you see a guitar solo coming up after this chorus, and you know you need a guitar shot. Most new directors just naturally say, “Somebody get the guitar.” Then, every camera gets the same guitar shot. Now, all of your cameras are redundant and not usable.
Be specific on which camera you are talking to. If you are trying to tell camera 2 to slow down their zoom, don’t just say, “slow down.” Say something like, “Camera 2, slow down your zoom.” Adding a few extra words eliminates confusion for your camera operators.
If you see that cameras 1 and 2 have identical shots, be specific on which camera needs to change their shot. Don’t say, “Cameras 1 and 2, you have the same shot,” because both camera ops are likely to change their shot. Instead, say “Camera 1, change your shot.”
Remember, you have a bird’s eye view of the entire situation and every camera angle, your camera ops don’t. Let them know exactly what you are thinking when directing.
3. Don’t micro-manage your camera operators.
This one is tricky. As a director, it is your job to direct the camera ops and give them guidance and instruction. But, at the same time, don’t micro-direct them. Let them do their job. You don’t need to waste your time telling them how to get every single shot.
Yes, there will be times where you want exactly a certain type of shot, and that is fine to tell them that, but don’t do it every time. You need to give the camera operators creative freedom to make cool stuff happen. You’d be surprised at the awesome stuff that comes from camera operators when you just let them do their job and use their creativity.
How would you feel if your boss was always looking over your shoulder tell you how to do your job. Bosses are there for guidance, they’re not there to do your job for you. It’s the same with directing camera operators.
Newer camera operators might need a bit more guidance then seasoned camera operators, so if you know you have a new volunteer on a camera, be patient and direct them for shots, but still let them figure things out on their own.
Bonus tip: Don’t be afraid to cut.
When I first started directing, I would always use the fader on the switcher, especially during worship sets. I would never cut between shots, because I was afraid to. It is simply much easier to mix between shots because it doesn’t take much timing or thought, and it’s just easier. But, I soon found out that, if you want to get good at directing, and properly convey the emotion and energy from the live worship environment, you have to cut sometimes.
You need to find a good pacing of the songs to cut to. For new directors, it’s usually easiest to simply cut on the beat of over measure or two, but, eventually, it’s good to cut both on and off the beat.
During a high-energy song, if you are only doing slow dissolves between shots, you are absolutely killing the energy that is happening on the stage. There are times to dissolve, and dissolves are very powerful when used correctly. But, using dissolves for EVERY transition, is not using them correctly.
Cutting is especially appropriate for dialogue scenes. If you are transitioning from a wide shot to a tight shot of someone simply talking or praying, a dissolve usually looks weird. Whenever I transition between cameras with people just talking, I always cut.
You will only get better.
Knowing these tips will not make you the perfect director, but they will help you along your way. You will only get better with experience. Every director develops their own unique style of directing over time. Remember to be patient, and let the flow of the service happen.
Tim Bullock tweets and asks:
I’m adding floating Dust Particles in AE for a Music Video. Should I grade before or after VFX? @cineblur #decisions
— Tim Bullock (@Tim_Bullock) January 31, 2013
Color grading after visual effects are added will make the effects seem like they are seamlessly integrated in the scene. You might have to correct your VFX a bit before the grade to match the original footage’s white balance, exposure, etc, but when you add a visual effect such as particles or flares, adding an overall color grade after they are added will make them seem more realistic and lifelike.
Vignettes are a nice stylized way to color grade a clip. But, unfortunately, there are no pre-installed vignettes inside of Premiere Pro.
You could transfer your clips to After Effects, or use an application like Magic Bullet Looks to add some vignettes, but if you want to create a vignette right inside Premiere Pro, you can use the “circle” effect and tweak the settings.
I get asked alot how to trim a song to a desired length. Instead of just trimming the end down and fading it out, this is a tip that uses “markers” in your song to seamlessly cut sections out, or add section in.
The goal of a cinematographer is to bring the audience INTO the story and make the viewers feel so connected, that they cry or laugh when something happens, feeling as though it’s happening to them at that very moment.
While watching “The Hunger Games” for the first time, I was completely absorbed in the story and the plot and for the most part, I LOVED the camera work, and kept finding myself complimenting certain aspects of the cinematography. There are just a couple things that I found that should be obvious no-no’s. Things that stood out to me as I watched, and did not keep me immersed in the story. Things that are basics in film class and should be taught first semester. Things that the director should do everything in his power to reshoot and fix.
I’ll explain 2 scenes with “errors” that I noticed in this film that should have been addressed.
1. The camera crossed the line of action, and broke the 180 degree rule.
The 180 degree rule is basically this: imagine a line going through your scene that the camera cannot pass. To abide by the 180 degree rule, the camera must stay on 1 side of the line and on one side of the action, keeping the character in relative position to the camera. Look at the picture below for an illustration.
The subject on the left should remain on the left throughout the entire scene, even with different camera placements. This is to not create confusion in the scene. Even slight, subconscious confusion will take the viewer’s emotion out of the scene.
Now, of course, rules are made to be broken. In alot of action films, or scenes with alot going on, you’ll notice that the “line of action” gets crossed quite often. That’s ok, because there is alot going on and it’s ok in that scenario to show different perspectives like that.
But, in “The Hunger Games,” that line was crossed during a very simple dialogue scene. Two characters, face-to-face, Primrose (the younger girl) on the left, and Katniss (the older girl) on the right. Then, on a close-up of their hands (at 20 seconds), they were all of a sudden flip-flopped, with Primrose on the right. WHAT!?
Watch the video below to see what I’m talking about. First, is the original, how it was shot. Second, edited to show how it SHOULD have been shot.
During the over-the-shoulder-shots, Primrose was always on the left. So, I could only assume that on the close-up of their hands, she would still be on the left. When I watched this for the first time, I was honestly puzzled for a few seconds. I wasn’t sure who’s hands I was looking at, and it is VERY important to understand what is happening in the scene at that time.
In scenes like that, it is VERY important to maintain the 180 degree rule. As a director, make sure you are always thinking about where the camera should go, and how it affects the scene.
2. The camera cut from a “shaky” shot to a “steady” shot.
It was another simple dialogue scene where two characters were talking face-to-face. The angles were similar, over-the-shoulder shots going back and forth to each character. The problem was, that one character’s angle was handheld, and the other’s was completely steady, not making for a smooth cut between the two.
Watch the video below. First, is the original, how it was shot. Second, edited to show how it SHOULD have been shot.
It’s a subtle difference between the two cameras, but it’s enough to bug the viewer and take their attention from the emotion. It makes much more sense to just run both cameras handheld. There is no justifiable reason to switch it up in a scene like that. Most of the shots in this scene were handheld, I think that’s why the sudden “tripod” shot was so distracting. Sometimes, it’s not a problem going from a handheld, “shaky” shot to a locked-off, “steady” shot, but in this case, it was.
Everything has to serve a purpose to help tell the story. If the “steady” shot would have helped to convey an emotion, such as the character feeling calm and steady, or coming to a certain intelectual realization, that would have been ok. But, that was not the case. As the director or cinematographer, try to keep that in mind when shooting a scene with multiple, similar angles. Make sure your cameras don’t distract your audience from the story.
I’m not sure why they decided to shoot the two over-the-shoulder shots differently, but it could have been very easily avoided.
Have you ever wondered what exactly a polarizing filter does and how it effects your footage? Here is a great article by Shane and his team describing the many uses for pola filters. He includes examples and tests that really show the difference a pola filter adds.
Polarizing filters are filters that you can rotate to block out certain light. This can achieve things like blocking reflections, or bringing up saturation for certain colors.
Here’s one test showing the difference it makes with the reflections on skin.
As a cinematographer, it’s easy to get caught up in using fancy camera moves with jibs and sliders. Depending on the content of the scene, an elaborate camera move would only be distracting and pointless. That’s why it’s important to remember the little guys; the static camera shot. A static shot is basically a shot that does not have any tilts, pans, dollies, or trucks. Sometimes, we forget how important a simple camera shot can be. If used correctly, the static shot can be very powerful.
Every shot in this short piece was filmed static and straight on at the subject. Yes, they are hendheld, but there are no dramatic pans or tilts.
So, when you’re shooting a wedding or a spec commercial or whatever it may be: don’t forget about the simple shots.
Simple, a shotgun mic is a microphone that has a directional pick-up pattern. The microphone itself is known as a shotgun microphone, due to the “shotgun” type of polar pattern. They can also have cardioid and super-cardioid polar patterns. They are the most common type of mic on a film or tv set.
A boom mic is any microphone that is at the end of a long, extended pole, also known as a “boom pole.” It doesn’t matter what type of microphone you use, if it’s on an extended pole, it is a boom mic. It is the technique of using the microphone, rather than the microphone itself. A boom pole is used to get the microphone in as close as possible to a subject, without getting in the camera shot. Most boom mics are used with shotgun mics.
In this quick tip, I show you how to use audio in Final Cut Pro 7. The file type needs to be exactly AIFF, 48 Khz, and 16 bit to work natively in FCP. It only takes a few seconds to convert to this format.
If you are experiencing glitches or “pops” in your audio, this is your problem.
In this Final Cut Pro 7 quick tip, I show you how to copy and paste attributes to other clips. I also touch base on the “scale to sequence” command.
In my years of using Final Cut Pro, I’ve stumbled across the question myself, “Do I need to render before I export in Final Cut Pro?”
Short answer: “No.”
Now, I’m not going to get too deep into what rendering is, but rendering is basically FCP’s way of making preview files for you to view. Sometimes, you can’t view heavy effects or mismatched codecs in your sequence in real-time, so FCP creates render files that allow you to view the clip in real-time.
But, FCP does NOT need these render files to export. Yes, if you create render files, it will use them to speed up the export process, but if you do not create them, FCP will do so in the background while it is exporting.
I usually render everything for a final 100% real-time viewing, but there are rare occasions where I have no need for render files. Such as a 30 minute speech that I am not cutting, just simply placing text and graphics over the entire thing. The text and graphics, once placed on top, will show me that a render is needed to view in real-time. But I know I don’t need to watch the entire speech, so no need to waste time and render. Simply export (CMD+E) and everyone’s happy.
Here’s a setting that not many editors know about: “Unlimited RT”
It’s a setting found in the timeline, that forces FCP to play as many frames as possible when your effects exceed the processing power of your computer. Final Cut Pro does this by spending time to process some frames in real time while skipping others completely. It’s not available for all effects and codecs, but if it is available, I always enable it. As opposed to Safe RT, Unlimited RT will change your red render bars to orange, meaning that it will drop frames and quality during these segments to achieve real-time playback.
It’s a pretty cool feature. Depending on your system, you may get a pretty decent 12-15 fps playback. That’s enough to quickly check your effects without rendering. On an old MacBook Pro, playing full 1080p ProRes 422 files, I can only playback about 2-3 fps. So it’s not very usable in that case.
DSLR’s are awesome for video. They’re a great way to get great cinematic looks on a budget. They pack alot of power in a small package. These are cameras that we, as consumers, can purchase on our own, yet they are powerful enough to make Hollywood movies. The DSLR revolution has brought out tons of new filmmakers that are trying their hand at making some cool stuff. I bet that most of the videos uploaded to Vimeo are shot with a DSLR.
But, like all artforms, there are a few things that make the rookies stand out like sore thumbs. These are 3 simple problems that, as long as you think about them before you shoot, can be easily fixed.
1. Shaky Footage – DSLR’s have a poor center of gravity and they’re small, so they receive every tiny hand shake and amplify it. Seeing shaky, jittery footage usually makes me turn the video off before I get a headache from watching it.
How to solve this: Get some sort of support. I don’t recommend relying solely on a tripod, as you are limited and can’t walk around or get different angles. Monopods are great for keeping your camera steady, especially during long events. Monopods are a godsend when I shoot weddings. You can also invest in some sort of shoulder rig to go mobile, although it may wear you down after a long period of shooting with it.
People always try to cover up jittery footage with a stabilizer effect in post, but it usually looks horrible. So fix the problem in production so you don’t have to deal with it in post.
2. Too Shallow DoF – DSLR’s are awesome in the fact they they give you a super shallow depth of field. Depth of field is the plane that is in focus. The shallower the DoF is, the more blurred out the background will be. Deeper DoF will get more things in focus.
So the shallowest DoF is better, right? Wrong.
Yes, you want some nice DoF, but one the biggest problems that I see around the net, it too shallow DoF. A common mistake for newbies is to simply crank your aperture open all the way, so you get some “nice” bokeh and the burry “film-look.” This is a problem, especially if you are shooting an event, and have to pull focus as your subject constantly moves.
How to solve this: Don’t shoot wide-open. Ever! Well…..very rarely shoot wide-open. On the Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens, if you have your aperture at 1.4, you’re liable to leave your viewers wondering what it is that they’re watching. If you’re shooting a person’s portrait at f/1.4, the tip of their nose may be in focus, but the bridge of their nose will be blurred out of focus. That’s too shallow. If I’m looking for shallow DoF, I usually tend to shoot at least a half-stop up from wide-open, if the subject is contained and not moving around much. If the subject is walking, I’d go at least a full stop and a half up. Yes, the shallowest DoF may make the background look ridiculously blurry and bokeh-y, but not at the expense of proper focus.
3. Poor Exposure – Another very common mistake by newlyweds to DSLR’s is bad exposure. Especially over exposure. It may look good to you on the tiny 3″ screen, but to the image sensor, it may be completely bown-out. When an image has spots that are too bright, it peaks and has no color information. Trying to color grade footage that is blown-out is a nightmare. So, once again, fix it in production so you don’t have to deal with it in post.
How to solve this: Watch you histogram! Before every shot, yes I said EVERY shot, check your histogram to make sure you are not peaking over the top, or suffering with too much lost at the bottom. This will help you to get proper exposure. Most DSLR’s can access the histogram by pressing the INFO button a couple times to overlay it over your video. But don’t worry, it’ll hide itself once you press record so you can see your subject.
Also, you will benefit greatly with an external monitor to simply show you a bigger picture of what you are shooting. External monitors will not only help with your exposure, but your focus and composition as well.
There are many more steps to becoming a great cinematographer, but these are 3 simple steps that can make your footage better.
Please note: this article is directed towards Final Cut Pro 7 editors, but the basic principle goes for any application.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll notice that I talk alot about using shortcuts. I love using hotkeys to speed up my workflow. I strongly encourage you to take just a few minutes and assign a few custom hotkeys to your most commonly used actions. I edit on both a Mac Pro and a Macbook Pro, both of which, have pretty compact keyboards. To access any of the alternative function keys on the top row (like insert and overwrite), you have to hold the fn key down. Using those becomes a huge hassel when you want to be fast at editing.
Since I personally use the top row function keys all the time (lock audio/video tracks, choose audio/video destination, insert/overwrite, etc.), I’ve switched from the default standard function commands, to those of the alternate commands. So I no longer have to hold the fn key to access the insert and overwrite actions. To do this, simply go into your System Preferences>Keyboard Settings>and uncheck “Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys.” This will take some getting used to because to access the usual things like volume, brightness, and expose, you’ll have to hold the fn key. But this WILL save time for the hardcore editor.
To view all of your shortcuts, go to tools>keyboard layout> customize, or simply press option H (yes, there is even a shortcut for the shortcuts window.) You need to know the normal and most-common hotkeys. These can get you by with most simple projects:
- Transport keys – JKL
- All of your tools – I cannot stress this enough. As a professional editor, you NEED to have ALL of your tools memorized and shouldn’t even need to have your tool palette on screen
- Zoom – command +/-
- Fit to window – shift Z
- Cut, copy, paste – command C, X, P
- New project – command shift N
- Open project – command O
- New sequence – command N
- New Bin – command B
- In and out points – I/O
To be a professional and fast editor, you need to not only know the common shortcuts, but the uncommon ones as well, and even create custom ones to fit your editing best. Here are a few uncommon shortcuts that I have found I use most. Some are more advanced than others:
- Trim – Use the brackets [ ] or comma/period. More on this can be found here.
- Log and capture – command 8
- Mark clip – X
- Extend edit – E. Select an edit, and press E to extend it.
- Add edit – control V (does the same thing as using the razor blade tool)
- Add marker – M or ` (tilde key~top left)
- Edit a marker with M again while on the marker frame
- You can also add specific colors of markers with shift 1, 2, 3, etc.
- You can also immediately edit a marker if you add the option key to the combination above
- You can also extend markers with option ` (tilde)
- Go to markers – shift up arrow (previous marker), shift down arrow (next marker)
Set video/audio destination – F6 (video), F7 (audio 1), F8 (audio 2)
- example: to set the video destination to track 3, press F6 then 3.
- Lock video/audio track – F4 (video), F5 (audio)
- example: to lock video tracks 3, 4, and 5, press F4 then 345
- Insert/overwrite – F9, F10
- Play around current frame – \
- Add default transition – command T (video), command option T (audio)
- Go to edits – up or down arrows. You can also use ; (semicolon) or ‘ (apostrophe) keys
- Timecode entry – use the numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) to go to a specific timecode
- You can also use + and – to add or subtract from the current timecode
- Open text generator – control X
Those are the advanced shortcuts that I find myself using on every project. Again, not every editor edits the same, so these may not be as popular with your exact editing technique.
Once you’ve been editing for a while, you’ll notice actions that you use over and over. You need to apply these actions to hotkeys in order to save time. Here are a few custom hotkeys that I have found myself using the most. I assigned these because I found myself constantly going to the menu to find them. If you never use these, don’t worry about them. Custom shortcuts should be customized to YOUR editing style, not mine:
- Insert/overwright – , (comma) . (period)
- F9 and F10 also do this by default, but I found myself looking down for a brief second searching for the F9/F10 keys every time. Using comma and period is MUCH easier. You don’t have to move your hand from the JKL position. And since comma and period have the same default action as the bracket keys, you don’t lose the trim feature when you change them
- Audio: apply normalization gain – option N
- Send to Compressor – control option C
- Send to Soundtrack Pro audio file project – control option S
- Export using Quicktime conversion – control E
- Composite modes – control command 1, 2, 3, etc
Get familiar with your shortcuts. Glance at the keyboard shortcuts window (option H) from time to time, just to see what you can use. Force yourself to use them. It may take a few days or weeks to learn them, but once you do, you’ll be glad you did. It’ll make you a better editor. You’ll spend less time clicking through menues, and more time creating. The above shortcuts may only be for Final Cut Pro 7, but you need to get familiar with your NLE and figure out what custom shortcuts you need to make.
If you’d like to download my custom keyboard layout for FCP7, you can click here to download it. But, again, you should definitely take some time to figure out what YOU use most and apply those actions to YOUR customized keyboard.
It can be a hassle sometimes to search for a particular filter or transition in Final Cut Pro 7. Luckily, if you have favorites, you can put them aside and make them easier to find and use. This video tip shows everything you need to know about using favorites.
In the video, I use hotkeys to quickly add an effect. Below is a chart to help explain which hotkey corresponds to which effect. Click the image to enlarge.
Also, keep in mind, sometimes there is an issue where the order of the filters for the hotkeys gets mixed up. This also happens when adding multiple effects under a folder as one preset. If this happens, you may have to remove a few of the problematic effects from your favorites.
In Final Cut Pro 7, the ripple and roll tools are great to quickly adjust edits with a simple drag of the mouse. But, what if you only need 2 or 3 frame rippled out? It’s pretty annoying to have to zoom in, and use the mouse to roll 2 frames to the right, then adjust again if it’s off. Well, there’s an easier way to do this.
Select the edit that you want to adjust either by simply clicking on it, or by pressing V on the keyboard to select the nearest edit.
Decide if you want to roll or ripple. Press U on the keyboard to toggle through roll, head ripple, or tail ripple. You can jump to the next edit with the up or down keys on the keyboard.
Press the bracket keys on the keyboard to shift 1 frame at a time. Left bracket adjusts to the left, and right bracket adjusts to the right. Add shift and it will shift 5 frames at a time.
Another hint: after you make your edit, press backslash on the keyboard right next to the bracket keys, and it will play a preview around your current time indicator. If you loop the playback (control L), it will continually play that preview. While it’s playing, if your edit is still not quite right, you can use the brackets to adjust on the fly while the preview is still playing.