New Stuff - Cool Stuff
September 22, 2014
In This Issue
Become a Member
All Kinds of Cool Stuff
FCP X: Trimming the Edit
FCP X: Slip and Slide Trims
The Craft of Editing: 3D Moves on Stills
FCP X (v.10.1.2): Complete!
Top 3 Lists
Compressor 4.1 Training
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Larry Jordan Three new articles, an editorial and interesting Short Notes this week.

Our Distance Learning program for the Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE) is going really well. It is fascinating teaching students in high schools that are 800 miles apart; yet still in the same state! If you are affiliated with a school and would like to learn more about our educational programs, please send me an email.

Also, the folks at Boris FX have asked me to do a webinar on their latest software this week. Its free and you are invited! Details below.

I'm delighted to welcome a new member of our team - Megan Paulos joins us today. Between our on-line training, the Digital Production Buzz podcast, 2 Reel Guys webcasts and other projects we are planning, we need help getting our production house in order. Megan most recently was the media specialist for the Riverside, CA, Unified School District and we are very pleased to have her with us.


Generic newsletter bullet The team at Boris FX has asked me to showcase the 3D Text Extrusion and Image Restoration effects in Boris Continuum Complete 9. This FXPlug system contains hundreds of different effects and, now, its fully-integrated with Final Cut Pro X.

There are some very cool, in fact, down-right amazing effects in this package. I'm having fun playing with them as I prepare the webinar.

The webinar is free and lasts an hour starting this Thursday (9/25) at 1:00 PM EDT/10:00 AM PDT.

Click here to register:


A frequent request from young editors is for a way to get a basic understanding of editing in Final Cut Pro X, without investing in all our training all at once. Just for September, we created "Get Started."

Get Started with Final Cut Pro X is a subset of movies from our FCP X: Complete title specifically chosen to provide an understanding of media management and editing in Final Cut Pro X. This contains 32 movies - more than two hours of training  - all designed to get you up-and-running as quickly as possible.

Even better, this package has an incredibly low price of only $9.99.  If you are looking for an inexpensive way to start learning Final Cut, or deciding if our training is worth watching, this is a great way to start.

I'm excited to offer this bundle and, if you haven't purchased my training yet, urge you to add this to your system. This is for a limited time, so please act quickly.

Here's the link.


Generic newsletter bullet I must have received 20 links to Robert Hardy's article published by No Film School talking about the massive quality difference between Premiere and FCP X:

This article implies that Premiere does not have the same output quality as Final Cut Pro. This is probably not correct. The article compares oranges to tennis balls and fails to understand how Premiere or Final Cut output compressed images. The test is wrong, the implication is wrong and the conclusion is wrong.  Or, maybe, the conclusion is right. But not because of the screen shots they used to evaluate the images.

First, Premiere does not output an H.264 file. It sends all project media to Adobe Media Encoder (AME) for compression and output. So, the headline needs to read: "Adobe Media Encoder does not compress low-light media properly when using H.264." (Actually, since it was comparing H.264 output, Final Cut doesn't compress that format either. It uses the compression engine underlying Compressor. So, the article would have been more accurate to compare image output between AME and Compressor; but it didn't.)

Image quality varies as compression settings vary. My tests have shown that default compression settings on AME and Compressor vary widely. So, using the default settings will generally lead to different results between the two applications.

When outputting from Premiere or Final Cut, ALWAYS output as a master file at a quality that matches your project settings. Did the writer compare master file output?  Were the projects edited using the same source media? Was one project edited using ProRes and the other using H.264?  Differences in edit quality would affect image quality.

One other point. Adobe Media Encoder defaults to single pass encoding for H.264 files because this allows it to leverage the hardware acceleration built into most Macs for video compression. However, while 1-pass encoding yields faster speeds it also generates bigger files and poorer image quality.

What I would like to have seen were screen shots of the master file exported out of Premiere and Final Cut, where the same settings were used for the actual edit, then compare the low-light quality of the master file.

Compressor was infamous for creating gamma and color shifts during H.264 compression - an error that Apple corrected only this year. These errors were far more obvious than the minor artifacting pointed out in this article.

The test needs to compare between equals. Once we know the master file is good, or not, we can then make a second comparison between the compressed file. The author may be right in his conclusions, but, there are too many unknowns in this test to make the blanket statement that the output from one software is better or worse than another.


Chris Gregory
sent me the following note:

[Have you ever wanted to change the icon associated with a video clip? I did and here's how.] "Create a .BMP file with the image you'd like to use as your "cover" - let's say for your movie icon.  Once the image is saved, copy the image, select movie in the Finder and type Cmd+I to open the File Info box.

In the top left corner of the Info box, highlight the file icon until it glows, then paste your copied image over it."

Larry adds: I was able to get this to work by opening a file in Photoshop, copying it to the clipboard, then pasting it into the selected icon in the Get Info dialog.  This is a cool tip.

Small notes bullet Here's a trouble-shooting tip from Richard:

"I was having a problem. I set up a mask using the Fast Color Corrector in Premiere Pro CC 2014 on a short clip. When I began tracking, the tracking window opened but then it does nothing.

In case your clients have this problem, this happens when the window is set to color correction.  I had the YC waveform open on the bottom right.  You have to click on the wrench in that window and deselect "gang to program monitor." Then mask tracking works the way it is supposed to."


Generic newsletter bullet Last week, my webinar covered how to create moves on stills using either Adobe Premiere Pro CC or Apple Final Cut Pro X. Stills that move are at the heart of almost every documentary. Whether it is animating old photos, or creating excitement when only stills are available, we often need to make still images move.

In this webinar, I illustrated how to size stills for video, how to animate stills using keyframes in Premiere Pro CC. Then, I showed the same process of keyframe animation in Final Cut Pro X, following by a detailed look at creating the Ken Burns effect. Then, I included a special Photoshop technique that adds depth of field and 3D movement to stills which creates some amazing results!

Download the webinar here.

And, remember, subscribers can watch any webinar FREE at any time in our Video Training Library. Save money and subscribe today. 


Generic newsletter bullet This week, we look at Masks and Keys in Motion 5. Masks remove portions of an image, while keys superimpose two images to create a new image. Final Cut is really weak in creating masks, especially when you consider the power that exists in Motion. But, Motion is often intimidating and hard to learn.

So, this week, I show how to use the Bezier and B-spline masks in Motion to create masks and images that are impossible to do in Final Cut. I'll also look at the different keys in Motion; including the amazing built-in chroma keyer for green-screen effects.

Registration to the live show is free. Sign up here.


Generic newsletter bullet Our recent webinar on Editing as Storytelling was so popular that I created a second, follow-on webinar entitled: Timing is Everything.  This is another look at the craft of editing and story-telling.

This session will fill quickly, it has a limit of 100 seats - so please register now. Here's the link.


Buzz newsletter bullet This week's Digital Production Buzz was all about IBC 2014.

Both Buzz Producer Cirina Catania, and reporter Philip Hodgetts were reporting from the scene, and Philip was able to get an exclusive interview with the After Effects Product Manager, Steve Ford, and Alissa Johnson, Product Manager for Adobe Anywhere. If you want to know what's new and what's coming in After Effects, you need to hear this interview.

Listen to Steve and Alissa's interview here.

Listen to the entire show here.

Thanks to the folks at Take1 Transcriptions, you can read, as well as listen to each show. Read this week's show transcript here. (You'll also find show transcripts on each Buzz show page.)


Generic newsletter bullet Three new articles this week. Two look at trimming in Final Cut Pro X. The third, a video excerpt from last week's webinar, shows how to create 3D "moves-in-depth" using a still image. While I illustrate this using Final Cut Pro X, the technique is exactly the same for all versions of Premiere Pro as well as Final Cut Pro 7.

Plus, as always, I've updated our Top 3 lists.  Have a great week!

Trimming the Edit 
This article grew out of an email conversation I had with Lydia Robertson about trimming in Final Cut Pro X vs. Final Cut Pro 7.

FCP 7 offered extremely flexible trimming, especially when compared to other editing software out there at the time.

Final Cut Pro X implements all those trimming techniques, then adds a few more new ones. I show you virtually all of them in this article.

(Well, to be truthful, it took me two articles. The second article is below...)

If you are looking for faster, better, or just plain different ways to trim, you need to read this article. And, the next time someone says that FCP X doesn't trim like FCP 7, let them read this.

Slip and Slide Trims 
This is the second part of my two trimming articles.

The first article looked at how to trim the edit point. This article looks at how to do a slip and slide trim; which is also called a slip or slide edit. These trims don't adjust the edit point - they adjust the clip itself.

I will confess that, while I use slide trims almost never, I use slip trims in almost every project. They can quickly bail you out when you are trying to get B-roll to match a talking head.

I show you both options in this article.

Create 3D "Moves-in-Depth" on a Still Image 
Stills are an essential part of many projects.

In this short, nine-minute video, I show how to create the illusion of depth and 3D movement on a still image.

While I illustrate this using Final Cut Pro X, the exact same technique works for Premiere Pro CC and Final Cut Pro 7.

If you use stills a lot, this one technique can leave your client's jaw on the floor.

This title contains everything you need to learn Apple's
Final Cut Pro X v.10.1!
This title includes both:

* FCP X: Workflow & Editing

* FCP X: Effects


All in one place, for one great price!


Start with initial setup and media management to editing, effects, and output, there's no finer training on the market.

* Need to get started in a hurry? We condensed everything you need into one chapter.

* Need to learn just the new features? We've got you covered.

* Need in-depth training on everything you need to know to become a video editing pro? Start at the beginning and work your way to the end.

You'll be amazed at how much you learn!

(It is also current for the 10.1.3 release)

Over 200 movies, more than 22 hours of training! Each movie is laser-focused to get you the information you need exactly when you need it. (The average movie length is about seven minutes.)

One title - everything you need - available right now.

Here are the most popular articles, webinars, and audio interviews for the past seven days across all my websites.


This list expanded to the Top 4 to add some variety:
For an index of all our articles, visit here.



This list is based on the webinars watched most often by our monthly subscribers. For a list of all our webinars, visit here.


Digital Production Buzz Audio Interviews   

For a list of all Buzz audio interviews, click here. 

Learn Apple Compressor 4.1
Apple continues to update Compressor with an all new interface, improved compression settings and better monitoring. This application has some much new stuff inside that we went back and re-did all our training for the new version.
  • Better organized
  • More informative
  • Tighter focus on making your images look great.

These days, everything we do ends up on the web.
Which means that if we don't know how to compress our video to make it look good, all our work during production and post is wasted.

In this in-depth video training, Larry Jordan shows you how to make the most of Apple Compressor 4.1.x.

Whether you are a new or experienced, this training will help you make your media look and sound great!

We are committed to providing the highest quality training at the lowest possible price and distributing it as widely as possible.

From subscriptions to individual downloads to free techniques and articles -- we've got your back.  And there's lots more to come.


Larry Jordan
Larry Jordan & Associates
P.S. I always love hearing from you. Feel free to write.