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Share your favorite multimedia production tip...

Rep: 141
Colin Mulvany July 9, 2010, 5:51 p.m. permalink

Here is one of my timesavers...

I am a serial unlinker.  Being able to move audio and video separately is one of the great benefits of professional video editors like Final Cut Pro. I was constantly mousing over to the button bar to click the link icon. That motion is a time waster. 

I had recently transitioned to using the keyboard shortcut of shift-L to turn linking on and off. But a another way I found is, with linking turned on, to just hold my option key down and click, lets say the end of a audio clip, then right click the highlight to add a cross fade. Or I can option click between two video clips to highlight then right click to add a cross dissolve. I’ve read a lot of Final cut books, done to death, but somehow missed this little time saver.  

Rep: 91
Peter Huoppi July 12, 2010, 7:18 a.m. permalink

Keyboard shortcuts seem like the best way to save time. My favorites are the comma and period keys to nudge segments left or right one frame at a time, and the audio level shortcuts ctrl-[ and ctrl-] for plus and minus 3dB and ctril and the plus and minus keys for plus and minus 1dB.

Another big time saver, though only really applicable to time lapse sequences, is the ability to nest one sequence inside the other. We've done a bunch of time lapse videos using the built-in intervalometer on the D2H or D3. The aspect ratio of a still camera is not 16:9, and cropping each image in the motion tab or in an external editor would take forever. What I learned to do is to set default image duration in the preferences to your best guess, and then drag the entire folder of images right onto the timeline. Then create a new sequence, and drop sequence 1 onto sequence 2. Your sequence of images will now be one video segment. You can now change the speed of your time lapse by right-clicking and picking speed or duration. You can drag the segment into the viewer and use the motion tab to zoom, crop and recenter, and you can drop a color corrector filter on the segment to tone all the images at once.

Rep: 38
Kevin Wellenius July 12, 2010, 7:34 a.m. permalink

Production is a lot easier if you start with decent raw material. The one thing that's caused me more grief than anything else is audio with noisy backgrounds. Do everything you can to minimize them; it's nearly impossible to get a clean final product if deleting an "um" or "uh" means chopping a bird in mid-squawk, or biting a half second out of a passing car. (Murphy's Law as applied to audio means the bird will squawk and a car will buzz by just as the most important words are being spoken.)

The most hair pulling project involved music playing in the background: you can tell where the segments were pulled from depending on which song you can hear.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals July 12, 2010, 3:52 p.m. permalink

If I don't slow mo in camera I've always loved adjusting the clip speed in FCP.  Many times it is just not smooth enough to look good so I use Motion 3 and the optical flow setting and 8 times out of 10 it really looks good.  It would take forever to explain it so here is the link to how it can be done.

Of course nothing beats doing it in camera :-)

Rep: 141
Colin Mulvany July 13, 2010, 4:24 p.m. permalink

Have an audio clip that has really low levels? Don’t jack the audio levels up to the point of hearing hiss. Instead highlight the clip and duplicate it, several times if necessary, until it builds the sound back up to a decent level. To duplicate, highlight the clip, then hold the “option” and “shift” keys and click and hold the mouse at the same time. Drag the clip one track below. Let go of just the mouse key to place the clip. 

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