Getting the Most out of Motion

12 Tips for Improving Motion's Performance

By Mark Spencer | October 27, 2008

One of the most enjoyable features of Motion is its ability to play back even moderately complex projects in real time - allowing for a type of interactive development process where you can add and animate layers while the project plays back. In fact, the real-time playback feels so intuitive and natural after only a short time that it becomes quite addictive - to the point where it can be really annoying when the performance begins to slow down. Read More


Fun with Motion Templates

By Philip Hodgetts | October 23, 2008

I love Motion Templates. Not only because I can pull a great looking effect out of my hat at a moment's notice, but they save me so much time, even when I create an original effect. Instead of recreating the same effect for a dozen videos, I create it once with the common elements embedded and drop zones for those shots that will change for each video. Read More


apple color grading training tutorial

Preparing FCP Sequences for Color

An instructional video on how to hand off files from FCP to Color.

By steve martin | October 21, 2008

You start your grading and color correction using Final Cut Pro's 3 Way Color Corrector. You now want to hand off your sequence to Color for finishing. In this tutorial, Andrew Balis of Ripple Training will show you the things you need to know in order to do this successfully Read More



Don’t Forget Apple

If you are looking for Motion training, Apple's own website is a great resource

By Mark Spencer | October 20, 2008

Apple has recently revised the entire Final Cut Studio section of their website, adding a large amount of descriptions, images, and video training on Motion. You can see some short videos on key Motion features here. Read More


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It’s All In the Cards

What's the best graphics card for Motion? Right now, the choice is clear.

By Mark Spencer | October 17, 2008

Motion is a GPU-based application, which means that the graphics card you choose makes all the difference in the world: the better the card, the better Motion's realtime performance. There are a myriad of cards on the market, but if you have a Mac Pro, your choice is a simple one: you want the Radeon HD 3870. It's quite simply the best card out there right now for Motion on a Mac Pro, it works on all Mac Pro models, and it's surprisingly inexpensive at about $200. Read More


fcp final cut studio music soundtrack pro tutorial video

Time Stretching Music

A video tutorial to make your music fit your video.

By steve martin | October 16, 2008

Have you ever needed your music to fit a specific duration? In this practical tutorial Steve Martin will show you how to use Soundtrack Pro's Time Stretch command to make your music obey. Read More


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Surround Patching

Steve Martin takes us step by step in this video tutorial

By steve martin | October 14, 2008

Soundtrack Pro 2 does surround mixing. Final Cut Pro will gladly handle your 5.1 mix, but you need to know a few things about making your sequence output 6 discreet channels. In this tutorial, Steve Martin will show you the importance of the Match Audio Outputs command. Read More



Dipping Your Toes into Motion

Some Tips on Trying Motion for the First Time

By Mark Spencer | October 13, 2008

So you've been working with Final Cut Pro for awhile now. And recently you or your organization upgraded to Final Cut Studio 2. You've heard about all these great new features of Motion, and you've been meaning to check them out. Really. But you're always on a deadline, so you fall back on doing your graphics in Final Cut Pro or After Effects or something else you are already comfortable working with. Well, it's time to take a look and see what this Motion thing is all about. Here are a few tips on how to create something snazzy in Motion without even really knowing what you are doing. Read More


fcp studio motion speed

Optical Flow Speed Effects

Steve Martin takes us step by step to changing speeds in Motion

By steve martin | October 10, 2008

If you want amazing slow motion effects, consider sending your Final Cut Pro sequence clips over to Motion to apply Optical Flow. Optical Flow is technology inherited from Shake and Steve Martin will show you why Optical Flow will help you avoid mushy-looking slow motion effects. Read More


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DVD Studio Pro: Leaving 4x3 behind for good

16x9 lovin'.

By Scott Bates | October 09, 2008

With the prevelance of flat screens and digital transition, it's time to stop worrying about 4x3. That statement might seem a bit lame, as many of us have already migrated to HD work where 4x3 SD really isn't our concern any more. However, when it comes time to distribute our work, documentaries, shorts, bah'mistzva's, whatever they may be, the good old DVD is still the most feasible means of distribution. The mandatory AACS fees for Blu-ray will keep legitiamte distribuion on BD out of reach for 95% of us (oh how I miss the, HD-DVD). So until the cost of blank BD media drops into the realm of sanity (likely still 18-24 months away) at which point you could distribute duplicated discs which dont require AACS, you are left bring your HD project back down to an SD world.It's happened a number of times now for me in the past year where I've had my head in HD and then sit down to design some nice DVD menus for a project and forget all about 4x3 title safe. So I've started forcing "16x9, 16x9 Letterbox" only for my DVDSP projects. For the feature this is not a big deal at all, but for menus and subtitles it has an impact.When a 16x9 project is displayed as native 16x9, the DVD player typically just spits out the 720x480 (or 720x576 for you PAL kids) anamorphic pixels unadultered, and lets your TV stretch out the composited image for so it appears correctly. However, in letterbox mode, the player will vertically squeeze the video by 25% and center it in the 480 frame. The issue arises that this squeeze is done to the video layer, not the composited image, so it happens before any graphics were involved. So if you have button overlays or subtitles, the video underneath them just shifted and thus they no longer line up in the correct position any more. Read More


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Motion Tip: Blend Modes and Pass Through

When Motion Forces a Group to Precompose

By Mark Spencer | October 06, 2008

When working with blend modes in Motion, it's important to understand how groups of layers interact with each other so that you get the result you are looking for. Read More


after effects motion motion graphics

Motion Quick Tip: Cleaning Up With Crop

Getting Rid of Those Dirty Edges

By Mark Spencer | September 30, 2008

When you blur elements in Motion, sometimes your edges can become "tainted" - here's how to fix them quickly and easily. Read More



Animating Photoshop Layers in Motion Redux

A follow-up video with some more tips

By Mark Spencer | September 29, 2008

If you missed my original video tutorial that shows you how to take a multi-layered Photoshop file, quickly and easily spread the layers out in z-space in Motion, and then animate a camera through the layers, check it out here. I had a few follow-up questions from viewers, so this video provides a few more tips that I hope help everyone out. Read More



Troubleshooting Motion

What To Do If Motion Starts To Misbehave

By Mark Spencer | September 23, 2008

Has it happened to you? You are chugging along great, working on a cool project. Then one morning you fire up Motion, and something goes wrong.Perhaps it freezes or crashes; or your project presets are missing; or your filters or missing; or perhaps your entire Utility Pane (which contains the File Browser, Library, and Inspector) has just vanished and you can't seem to make it come back. Many folks never run into any of these issues, but if you do, over on I've compiled a list of common problems and solutions to help you get back up and running as quickly as possible.You can see them all here. Read More


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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Easy Setup Part 1

By Kevin P. McAuliffe | September 21, 2008

Any editor who works on FCP, no matter what version, is familiar with the Easy Setup. You simply select the Easy Setup that is most suited to your workflow, and you're all set to go. For example, if you are working with a DV camera, you would choose DV-NTSC. {C} Read More



Offline To Online For An HD Project

After you get over completing your first "online", you will be finishing all your projects in record time.

By Kevin P. McAuliffe | September 07, 2008

I thought that for this next article, I would take a look at a growing trend for editors these days, and that is the "One Man Shop". What I mean by that is that these days, with systems coming down in price, independent business owners/editors are wearing many hats, and one of those hats is that of the offline/online editor. Let's take a look at how an editor can offline a 1080i HD project, and then carry it through to the online. {C} Read More


dvd duplication final cut studio training tutorial

No Jacket Required

Using Jacket Pictures in DVD Studio Pro 4

By steve martin | September 03, 2008

Jacket pictures are images your DVD player throws on the screen whenever you stop video playback. Jacket pictures are a way of branding your dvd with a company logo, graphic, or a picture of the dvd box itself (or jacket image).Keep in mind that some DVD player manufacturers support this feature and some do not. The ones that don't, generally use their own jacket picture when the DVD is stopped. My feeling is, why not create one anyway? The file takes up so little room on the disc, and the players that do support it will display your logo (or whatever) whenever playback is stopped. Read More


The Future of Visual Effects

The Future of Visual Effects

Automatic matte extraction, touchup and rig removal?

By Mark Spencer | August 26, 2008

Some very smart folks in the University of Washington's Computer Science department are cooking up some pretty amazing procedures that could well revolutionize the process of creating visual effects. Read More


The Magic of Conform in Soundtrack Pro 2

The Magic of Conform in Soundtrack Pro 2

This feature allows editors to make as many changes as they want, with little or no impact on the mix.

By Kevin P. McAuliffe | August 23, 2008

One problem that audio engineers run into all the time is sneaky editors who make changes to their "locked" offline while the engineer is doing their mix. Then, a major "patch" job ends up happening where the mix that is currently being working on, needs to be married with the new, revised audio that the editor has just output. Needless to say, it's a major headache. Well, not anymore. With the awsome new Conform feature in Soundtrack Pro 2, editors can make as many changes to their edit as they want, with little or no impact on the mix that is being done in Soundtrack Pro. Let's take a look at how this works. Read More


Remove the Jitters

Remove the Jitters

Learn the ins and outs of Final Cut Pro's SmoothCam filter

By steve martin | August 20, 2008

Remove unwanted camera movements from your shots using technology inherited from Apples' Shake. Read More