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Author: Flash Kit Staff

Final Cut Express users, we haven't forgotten about you. All of these tips work for FCE, except for the second tip, on time remapping. That's because FCE has no time remapping feature.

Limiting Effects
Sometimes you don’t want to apply a filter to a whole clip. Sometimes you just want it to start at a certain point in the clip and then ramp up and maybe ramp down again. That’s easy enough to do, but if the filter is applied to the whole clip, even if the filter value like Gaussian Blur is set down to zero, you still will have to render the whole clip. So how do you apply the filter to just a section of the clip. There are a few different ways:

  • With nothing selected in the Timeline mark In and Out points. The filter gets applied to just the portion of the clip under the marked region.

  • Use the Range Selection tool (GGG) to select a section of the clip in the Timeline.

  • Once the filter is applied you can also reduce the section of the clip it’s applied to in the keyframe graph of the Viewer. At the ends of each filter in the keyframe graph are two, thin, vertical lines. These can be grabbed and dragged in to adjust the duration the filter is applied to. You can also grab the area between the vertical lines and drag it left and right to slip the selected region.

Exporting for Time Remapping
The way Time Remapping works is to look at all the available media for a clip. If you only want to Time Ramp a short section of a clip, or even of a subclip, then application will look at all the frames available in the QuickTime file to use for the speed change. This can not only make it very difficult to use the tool, it can also produce unexpected and unpredictable results. The simplest way to avoid this is to export a self-contained QuickTime Movie for the section you want to Time Remap; then, re-import the exported file and apply the function to that clip. It will also be easier and much less likely to get into trouble if you have to media manage your project.

Clip Visibility
Sometimes when you’re working on animations some layers get hidden by the layers above. To see the underlying layers it’s necessary to switch off the visibility for some layers in the sequence. Rather than switching off the visibility for an entire track, which will lose your render files if you have any, simply switch off the visibility for a single clip. You can do this by using the Clip Enable function. Either use the shortcut menu or the keyboard shortcut Control-B. Another option is to Solo just the clip you want to see and switch off the visibility for other clips. You can do that from the Sequence menu or with the keyboard shortcut Control-S, which will toggle soloing on an off. The good thing about these controls is that though the render files in that immediate area under those clips will be lost, the render files for the rest of the sequence will not.

Applying Filter to the Multiple Copies of the Same Clip in the Timeline
If you have a Color Corrector setting that you want to apply to a number of clips in the Timeline, set the filter for the first clip, and then copy it. In the Timeline, use Command-F to search for all the clips with the same name. Type in the name of the clip in the search dialog box, and click Find All. This will select all the clips in the Timeline with the same name. Hold the Command key, and click on the first clip that has already been color corrected to deselect it. With the remaining clips selected, use Paste Attributes (Option-V) to paste the filter settings to all the other clips with the same name.

If you have the filter settings for the first clip open in the Viewer you could also drag and drop the filter from the Viewer to all the selected items in the Timeline without having to do Copy and Paste Attributes.

Controlling Sliders
Because there is so little travel in the Scale slider’s useful range, I use it while holding down the Command key, which gives smaller increments of movement. The Command key works like this in many drag movements in Final Cut, such as dragging clips to lengthen and shorten them in the Timeline, or changing audio levels. It’s only in the color hubs of the Corrector tools that the Command key will key up.

Also, if you hold down the Shift key, you’ll get increments up to two decimal places. Also try using your scroll wheel to move the sliders, which is a great function for controlling the color corrector luminance sliders.

Tom Wolsky is the author of five Final Cut instructional books, and a trainer with Class On Demand.

» Level Intermediate

Added: 2009-01-29
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