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Recycle computers and electronics

-January 23, 2002-

FCP Chief Architect and Creator Randy Ubillos paid us a surprise visit this month and we invited him to sit down for a session of Stump the Gurus and show us what was new in FCP 3.0. And he did, and we are grateful.

This month we inaugurated the "Early Bird Special" where we brought in FCP Guru Terrence McCarthy to show us how to upgrade to 3.0. Since we needed 3.0 on our Mac, we felt it was a good idea to install it.
So Terry brought up "volunteer" Robin who was heard screaming "For the love of God, not me" from the lobby and talked her through the process.
Terry recommends you wipe your system drive clean before you upgrade and do a clean install of your OS. You dont HAVE to but it's a good idea.
Terry recommends you duplicate the old preferences file as it holds all your favorites. Drag that copy into you upgrade pref folder He even showed us how to create favorites
3.0 will NOT work with any OS less than 9.2.2 so you must upgrade to that. Also you must install QT 5.04 that came with the FCP 3.0 CD upgrade BEFORE you install 3.0.
Boris and the CGM plug ins are a custom install and are HIGHLY recommend that you install.
For a complete how 2 on installing the FCP 3.0 upgrade please read Phil Hodgetts article here at lafcpug <basic_upgrade3.0..html >
Very special thanks to Promax for donating to us a copy of the 3.0 upgrade

Stump the Gurus was up next with regular gurus Ken Stone, and Andrew Balis, this time joined by special guest Guru, FCP creator Randy Ubillos.
Prize was 45 raffle tickets this month if anyone "stumped the Gurus" but since Randy showed up there no chance of that happening. Next month it goes up to 50. Yikes!
Some of the questions asked and answered were:
Q.) How come I cant use the Film Grain filter that comes with QT in Final Cut Pro?
A.)Some of those filters do not produce the same repeatable result on any given frame, that is why they dont show up in FCP.
Q.) I use FCP 2.0 and I cant digitize anymore due to broken time code issues and there IS no broken TC and I am wondering if since I only have a G3 will upgrading to 3.0 produce more issues due to not enough hoarse power?
A.) FCP 3.0 address the broken TC issues and your G3 will work fine with 3.0
Q.) What kind of Mac do you recommend I get? A dual 800 or a single processor 867? A dual will always give you faster rendering times and more RT effects. If you are not interested in any of those then it doesn't rally matter what you get..
Q.) How can I best archive and trim off all the media I am not using?
A,) Media Manager is the best thing to use here to trim off all of the media you are not using. MM has been extended to include many of these things in 3.0
Q.) How can you do a speed ramp in FCP.
A.) You would have to cut up (razor blade) the clip and apply different speeds to archive speed ramp. Or use Twixtor.
Q.) Can you create markers in FCP that can be used in another application?
A.) If you export as a QT movie in FCP 3, there is an option for markers to appear as text tracks which can be read in other applications.
Q.) How do you put a TC window on the sequence
A. there is a TC Print Filter you can put on your clip. Also you can nest your sequence and apply the TC print to that. High end DV decks can also produce this result without rendering.
Q) I have a RT Mac card and I'm trying to capture old analog material but getting drop frames. Matrox says I would need a Time Base corrector and a black burst box to achieve this.
A.) Unfortunately there is nothing you can do about it except get a Time Base Corrector in the case of the RT Mac Card. A Sony DMVC-2 would handle this problem better. Another choice is the new Canopus converter.

DV Companion author Phil Hodgets was up next with this months Tip/trick of the Month.
This month we decided to talk a little about the "RT Hack" which has everyone buzzing. What is it? Well, its a FX script that can fool your Mac into thinking it's a more powerful Mac, thus allowing you to achieve more RT effects. Trouble is, there is no free lunch and Phil was here to show us why you may want to think twice before using this.
First and foremost it is NOT supported by Apple thus voiding your warranty.
It will give you inconsistent results and will most likely drop frames. Now if you do not care about reliability and drop frames, then go for it.
Phil showed us the result of this script on his iBook and was not able to achieve even a cross dissolve having hacked the script to tell FCP that he had a dual 800 Sure, it's an iBook but the results were less than impressive. Again, there is NO free lunch.
He also talked a little about Apples reputation if everyone decided to use it. Do you really want to drop frames continuously in front of Avid users?
Randy then got up to expand on Phils discussion and told us a bit about how indeed thy arrived at this reliability factor
Contrary to myth, Apple Marketing did not force the FCP team to put the numbers into this script to make you all go out and buy a dual 800. The numbers were a result of extensive testing for reliability and only after repeated and extensive testing on a lot of different machines did they arrive at a reliable number. Also once you drop frames in RT your audio/video sync is no longer guaranteed.
Phil then gave us a sneak peak at the next version of the DV Companion for FCP 3.0/OS9 which is due to ship at the end of January. It is VERY impressive and will feature over 3 and 1/4 hours of "do it with me" movies. You also have the option to choose text of video. Total pages of text will exceed over 600 pages.
It has a somewhat different interface and always floats in 2 different sizes over FCP. Version 3 for OSX is expected to ship in March. Simply a remarkable app and you can get it here at the lafcpug Store

First Show and Tell of the night a DVD project from editor and Producer Phil Ohler who did a really cool demo reel for Johnson and Murphy Productions here in Los Angeles. Phil showed us two versions of the DVD project, one in which he did everything himself and the other version where he actually gave the project to a designer and let that person fiddle with it. Quite a contrast and no did at Phil here.
From plain and simple menus in Phil's creation to motion menus with loopable music and "Wow" graphics, and transitions in the 2nd version. Very impressive and what a difference.
Content was cut on FCP and authored using DVD Studio Pro on a 867. Really fine work and nice to see a first draft and the changes.

What everyone came to see was up next and we were honored to not only have Randy with us but Paul Saccone who those of you who read the lafcpug forum, know as "Paul from Apple" We took a look at 3.0 on OSX on a dual 800
First thing they showed us was the color correcting tools and gave us a bunch of tips on how to use it and what all these scopes do.Really impressive if you have not seen it. They showed a very bad clip with very bad white balance and unsafe colors and turned it into usable media. You can save CC settings to and copy and paste those settings You can also select multiple clips and apply that CC favorite to all of them at once. You can also take the CC settings you created and with one click set them to go to the next clip and/or the next one after. Selected CC allows you to select a portion of the clip to deal with without affecting the other parts of the clip. Lets say you want to change the color of the sky, but not affect the trees below. You can do that now.
We also took a look at the RT effects that ship in 3.0. The more powerful your mac, the more RT you get.
You need a G4 500 or better or faster to get the RT effects but a slower machine will run 3.0 new features just fine. A G3 B/W 350 or better is all you need.
Quick View is a very cool tool that allows you a sort of Ram Preview of all of your effects.
You can, by using any mic record VO directly to the timeline. To many cool things you can do with this to go into here.
3.0 allows you to do split edits by hitting the X key assuming you have the playhead in the gap.
The browser allows you to save and customize the layout. You can view as icon or larger icon.
Media Manager is enhanced. It now shows you how much media you have on your mac as well as how much you have used in your project and so much more.
They showed us how to capture Offline and DV. The difference between an offline image and a DV image are not that significant I might add.
New preferences include the ability to save at different times oft the day and you can revert to that saved project or any saved project you choose. You can choose to include PS as you image editor, and integrate the programs with FCP seemlessly.
Time code overlays show you TC over the canvas AND Viewer windows and any TC that match is shown in the same color. Aux TC is the same as 2.0
Mar to Markers is cool. If you put the playhead between any 2 markers you can now get a in and out point between those two markers hitting control
Audio Peak will automatically scan your timeline for Audio Peaks and put a marker on it. so you can adjust your levels. Same with drop frames.
Much more was shown and questions were taken, but all in all this release is worth every penny of the $299.00 you are asked to pay.

Next Show and tell was from David George who showed us his latest "Sister Beatrice Explores...." Starring Brian George and written and directed by David it is a biting parody of the PBS series Sister Wendy Explains... Seems Sister Beatrice finds as much sexual significance in the paintings and sculptures she shows us as Sister Wendy does.
Brian George is Sister Beatrice and performs a dead on impersonation of our favorite art critic.
Shot with a GL1 and edited on FCP 2.0 it is a very entertaining short and you can see it here.

Promax's Cawan Starks was up next to show us how you might be able to install and run 2 copies of 3.0 on OSX at the same time. Now before you go " Oh Wow" know that this is not supported by Apple nor is it particularly beneficial. In fact it's a bit frivolous but since we like frivolity, we thought we'd show you how to do it, in case you ever wanted to have a little fun. Besides, it's cool.
First you need a Dual 800. This wont work on anything less. Then install 2 copies on your OSX partition by installing one on your desktop and the other in the OSX applications folder. Now open both of them. Edit and render to your hearts content.
Cawan actually had both apps rendering at the same time. It WAS cool, although we dont recommend you do this as you have each app stepping over the same preference file. You are bound to break the app sooner or later and both copies are using both processors so your speed is cut in half, but lets face it. It's a very cool trick and gives you a glimpse into the power of X and multi task processing.
Again, this is NOT supported by Promax or Apple.

Took a well deserved break where half of us went into the lobby to look at all the cool DV Decks and Cameras the folks from Sony were showing off, and the other half raced over to Jack in the Box for tacos.

Wes Plate was up first after the break to show off his remarkable plug in with the really bad name called Automatic Composition Import FCP. I like to call it Automatic Duck. So what is Automatic Duck? Well after seeing it, it's magic that's what. This plug in allows you to seemlessly export your entire FCP timeline INTACT to AfterEffects, retaining all layers, keyframes, most filters, motion paths and what ever else you can think of throwing in there.
Wes, it's creator and designer showed us how powerful this thing really is, and oh my is it powerful.
Using very complicated time lines in FCP 3.O/OSX, he showed us how this things works. Before AD you would have to export each clip one at a time, without dissolves etc, export each clip separately, and rebuild them in AE with whatever notes you scribbled on a piece of paper.
With AD, all that is done for you. Just go up to the FILE menu and select Export> Automatic Duck OMF. Save it onto your desktop. The export is very fast and references the media without touching it. Open After Effects, and go to the FILE menu and select Import select your options and click OK. Up pops an exact copy of the FCP Timeline. Just to prove it he played this 4 layer sequence with dissolves and by golly they were all there.
He then did the same thing with a more complicated sequence with nested compositions in FCP. AD will export that intact too INTACT I tell ya. Its magic. You can also export with speed changes intact. Picture in Picture, rotation, motion paths are all supported. Doesn't support crops but who cares at this point.
This thing is nothing short of remarkable and is expected to ship in about a month for around $395 for both the FCP exporter and AE importer. That ought to pay for itself in one session. I cant wait.

Next Show and Tell was from lafcpug founding member R/Kaine Blaze who showed us clips from 3 DVD projects he did for Sony. Using trailers from various movies it featured very cool graphics and menus, complicated layering and compositing using tools such as Commotion, PhotoShop, Illustrator, After Effects, Flash, Peak DV, duck tape, spit and shoe polish. Much of it was cut in FCP and authored by someone else using who knows what tool.
As DVD becomes a greater part of our every day lives we are left with no choice but to learn all these motion graphic applications to achieve competitive results in a market that demands this "look." Time to get busy. There is a lot of apps to learn.

Pons Maar was up next with his movie aptly named "My First Job." It's a very funny look at Pons first real job as a sales clerk at the Wound and Wound Toy Co. Filmed by David George with a GL1 it strays from it's title midway through the film to feature the owner of the Store who seems to have less enthusiasm for his role than he did when he started 16 years ago. He ultimately fires Pons which is expected somewhat, but this viewer feels, given half a chance, Pons would make a very fine sales clerk in any Toy Co. One thing for sure. You are going to want to visit this store not so much for its very cool toys, but to visit with the owner.
You can view this short Here



World Famous Raffle was up next and we gave away a whole bunch of very cool prizes. Big thanks to all of you who were so generous to us this night.

HipFlics - Totally Hip Software
Live Slide Show 2 -
Totally Hip Software
2 QT Live bags -
QuickTime Live
2 QuickTime Live T-shirts -
QuickTime Live
FCP 3.0 T shirt -
Apple Computer
5 copies of Final Cut Pro 2 for Firewire DV Editing -
Focal Press
1 Free FCP 101 Training class at Moviola Hollywood -
Moviola Education
1 Ken T-shirt -
3 DVDs of past lafcpug meetings -
1 FREE FCP Training class (any) - Digital FilmTree
Gift Certificates to Poquito Mas Restaurants - Poquito Mas
Intelligent Assistant for Boris FX - Intelligent Assistance
2 copies of the book Nonlinear 4 - Michael Rubin and Ron Diamond
2 copies of "Night of Fire Drag Racing VHS Tape - Darren Purcell
2 copies of Speed Truck Challenge -
Darren Purcell
3 Speed Truck Challenge T-Shirts - Darren Purcell
Final Cut Pro Keyboard - Post-OP Video
Mau Mau Sex Sex - Ted Bonnit
Little Digital Book - Michael Rubin


Special thanks must go to Chris Horgan and Doug Lindeman for taking tickets. Ken stone for taking pics. Mark Havener for doing the lights. Dan Brockett for taping the show, and of course Promax for footing the bill.
Big thanks to Randy Ubillous and Paul Saccone from Apple for taking te time to visit with us

Michael Horton,