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Recycle computers and electronics

-November 26, 2002-

It was All Request Night and we took a look at Keyframing, the browser, and doing panning and zooming in FCP. Plus Stump the Gurus, Shoa and Tells, and World famous raffle

First up as usual was Stump the Gurus with lafcpug regulars Ken Stone, Andrew Balis and special Guest Steve Martin. Some of the questions asked and answered were:

Q. I'm thinking of upgrading to Jaguar. Should I partition, one for OS9 and one for OSX?

A. Well Jaguar ships with OS9 underneath so when you install you get both. There are some advantages to partitioning, one being when you boot up you can old down the option key and select which partition to boot into. But must you partition? No.

Q. I get drop frames when I play in to out on my timeline but get no drop frames if I just play that section without choosing in to out.

A. Tough one. Could be your machine is on the edge in terms of keeping up. There are so many reasons. Also could be drop frames warning could be bogus. Just turn off the drop frame warning. Doesn't matter if it's really dropping frames in the timeline. You only really need it when laying off to tape.

Q. How can I move a whole section of my timeline and drop it into another section of my timeline and have stay altogether?

A. Simplest way is to select the section you want to move and COPY it. Then put your playhead where you want and select paste.


Next up was FCP Trainer and Guru, Dean Godshall to talk all about FCP Keyframing which can be a bit daunting and somewhat murky when first getting started.

Now keyframing is what one does to change attributes and properties of video and audio over time. Mastering it and you can do very powerful things.

Dean opened up some audio in the viewer and turned on the timeline overlays to show the audio waveform. By grabbing the pen tool, Dean marked a few keyframes on various places on the timeline to begin the process of keyframing. He then selected one of those keyframes and pulled down, giving an example of adjusting the audio volume. This is very handy in mixing and is all done in real time assuming you dont have a gazillion tracks of audio. Mixing in the timeline can be a bit tough on the eyes so if you are going to play with your audio, best to do it in the Viewer. Much bigger and much more control.

Dean then took a bit of a side track to show us a very powerful tool and opened the QuickView window which many new to FCP 3 forget exists half of the time and showed how you can make adjustments to transitions, in this case, a cube spin transition, practically in real time without rendering. The Quickview will give you a few second preview of your adjustments almost on the fly as you make them. No stopping to playback to see what you have just done. Dont like the transition you put between your clips? Well grab another and drop it in and watch it go before your very eyes. Talk about a timesaver. Of course you cant see this on an NTSC monitor but, who cares. Too bad you can't keyframe transitions.

Dean then dropped a filter onto a high res picture, still with QuickView opened and keyframed the still in the Canvas window using the Wireframe overlay and again the QuickView updated almost instantly. Works on slow machines too but not as well obviously.

Keyframing filters and picture in picture and flying objects, etc is a most enjoyable way to learn this art. No waiting around and you see what you get almost instantly.

More info on keyframing can be found in this excellent article by Ken Stone

First show and tell of the night came from Barry Goch, editor at New Wave Entertainment who showed us clips from the DVD RollerBall, The Incredible Mr Limpit, and Clash of the Titans as well as a very groovy sound design he created in entirely with FCP.

Barry spent time explaining to us the process of incorporating the many graphics given to him as well the many instances of why he chose the clips that he did.

These were al very different and excellent examples of not only work flow but the creative process.

Barry also gave away a 4DVD set of Lord of the Rings to a lucky person who paid attention to his preso and answered a question.

Next up was one of lafcpugs favorites, Steve Martin, this time to talk all about the Browser which on the surface sounds about as exciting as watching an Oprah rerun, but in the hands of Steve Martin it is very much exciting. Well, it's at least useful to know how to organize your media in the browser to keep you sane and thats what Steve was here to teach us.

Now you all know about Bins, right? Well by option + double clicking on any bin, it will automatically dock it for you and give you your own tab to work with. Works with 3.0.2 and above only and very handy. It's called Better Bins.

You can change the column layout by simply dragging the column to where you want it to go. Handy if you want your NOTES column near the beginning and not a half mile down the layout. You can also SAVE your column layouts into a separate file anywhere on your Mac to use again and again.

You all know that you can drag a clip into another bin and it will copy right? Well how about dragging a clip into another bin where the word "copy" doesn't appear with your copied clip? Easy, just hold down the option key, drag the clip to the new bin and let go of the option key and drop the clip in. No word "copy" at end of clip file name.

You all know that you can sort the columns, right? Lets say you went through all your clips and marked the GOOD takes in the Takes column. By clicking on the top of the Takes column you can bring all your GOOD clips in mass to the top. BUT, did you know you can also sort secondary to your primary sort? Lets say you have all your GOOD clips where you want but now want to sort by duration in relationship to those GOOD clips. Easy. Hold down the SHIFT key and click on the duration column.

The Find window is very powerful and many dont use it. Use it says Steve. For example, lets say you want to find all the clips with the name "John" in the clip name or notes. Bring up the Find window from the EDIT Menu and type in John and all the clips with John in the name and notes come up in it's own window. Lets say you want to show the clip(s) you find in the browser. Just select the clip in that new window and click on SHOW IN BROWSER.The clip is highlighted in the browser. Or you can select several of the John clips and label them a color so all of the clips are now visible by color in your browser. Cool.

Steve went on to show us much more, such as list view, large icon view, etc but space doesn't allow me to write about it here. For more information on the browser read the manual or buy this months DVD. It's got great tips and tricks.

Next show and tell was from Filmmaker Daniel Foster of Eye Awake Studio and it was a exceptionally fine piece of moviemaking titled "Airborne," about those strange balloon people you see hovering and flapping their "arms" above Car dealerships and in front of Store openings. Heck they're everywhere now it seems.

Expertly shot on DV and narrated by Daniel with soundtrack by Moby and effects by FCP and Studio Artist it is surprisingly touching for all of it's silliness. This one should be seen, not written about.

Twas gobs of info to absorb so we all wandered out into the lobby for a break to visit with each other and gaze upon the groovy toys Promax brought to show off.

Larry Jordan, a favorite now of lafcpug was up next to continue on the theme of making things move in FCP and make them move in the way you want them to move.

Larry covered pans, tilts, zooms and dissolves on still images to create the
illusion of movement (i.e. Ken Burns) and so much more.

Lets start with image size why dont we. Here are the rules folks. Ain't no getting around them.

1. All images are 72dpi
2. NTSC DV Image size: 720x480
3. NTSC Beta image size: 720x486
PAL DV image size: 720x 576
HD 720i/p image size: 1280x720
HD 1080i/p image size: 1920x1080

However these numbers dont work if you're creating graphics in say, Photoshop for import into FCP. More on that go here.

Larry says "figure out what you want to do, scan your image in RGB color space, set resolution to 72dpi and use 24bit color, import into FCP, create your movement, THEN add transitions, and THEN filters and color tweaks." Got it?

Larry then brought up a photo to pan left to right and, remember since we scanned the pic at 72dpi we got lots of resolution left to make this pic wider or longer and not mess with the resolution quality. Larry likes simply to multiply the width or height or both by a factor of 1, 2 or 3 if you want to zoom, or Pan. By golly it works.

Larry then went into showing us actually HOW to pan and scan using keyframes and you can get the jist of that here.

Larry then finished off with a small project that showcased what he'd just spent 30 minutes talking about.

To sum up here are Larry's Top Tips for making things move in FCP:

-- Resolution is ALWAYS 72 dpi
-- Ignore resolution -- count pixels
-- Correct for non-square pixels
-- Set color to RGB, let FCP convert
-- Zooming into 100% images pixelate
-- Images must be larger than screen size for moves
-- Use ease-in/ease-out for slow moves
-- Continue moves thru dissolves
-- Try to avoid creating whiplash
-- Don't overuse key frames
-- Preview transitions using QuickView to save time
-- Give yourself permission to experiment!

Last show and tell of the night was from filmmaker Scott Peterson who showed us a clip from his upcoming documentary on professional Scrabble players with the apt name, "Scrabylon"

This particular clip follows a scrabble player named GI Joel who has a myriad of diseases related to his Gastro Intestinal tract. He's the kind of guy who shouldn't be playing scrabble yet does.

Shot with a VX1000 and XL1 using available light it takes us deep into the world of tournament Scrabble and it's a lot more interesting than one would think.

World Famous Raffle was up next and lafcpug thanks the following for their generosity.

2 FCP Keyboard Keycharts - Neotron Design
2 Royalty Free Stock Footage CDs - ThinkStock
3 OSX T-Shirts - Apple Computer
1 copy of Peak 3.1 - Bias-Inc
2 Boxes of Pencils with an Apple logo on them -
Apple Computer (Grand Prize)
Free FCP 101 class
- Digital FilmTree
5 $20.00 Gift Certificates -
Poquito Mas Restaurants (Hey, we gotta eat)
DV Companion for FCP 3 -
Intelligent Assistance
TroubleShooter for Final Cut Pro - Intelligent Assistance
2 Royalty Free Stock Footage Cds - RocketClips
DVD Companion Pro Pack - Recipe 4 DVD
1 copy Audio Postproduction for Digital Video - CMP Books
2 copies "Color Correction for Digital Video" - CMP Books
2 copies "Producing Great Sound For Digital Video" - CMP Books
1 T-shirt -

Special thanks must go to Chris Rogers, for taking tickets. Ken stone for taking pics. Mark Havener for doing the lights and Dan Brockett for taping the show, and of course Promax for footing the bill.

Michael Horton,