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The Top Ten Things After Effects Users Love and Hate about Motion

The Top Ten Things After Effects Users Love and Hate about Motion

By Mark Spencer | December 03, 2008

I teach Motion to a lot of After Effects users. Sometimes they end up in my class because they want to be there; other times their organization has sent them and they arrive kicking and screaming, ready for a fight. Either way, after clearing away a lot of misconceptions and getting them to actually use Motion for 3 days, I find almost every After Effects user comes away with a new respect for - and frustration with - this wonderful yet sometimes annoying application. Read More

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Tutorial - How To Get The Most Out Of Your Easy Setup Part 3

By Kevin P. McAuliffe | November 25, 2008

To round out my article series on the Easy Setup (ES), we are going to take a look at the last two tabs in the Audio/Video Settings, which are Device Control Presets (DCP) and the A/V Settings (A/VS). Afterwards, we are going to wrap everything up by looking at how easy it is to create your own ES for whatever purpose you might need it for. So what are we waiting for? Let's jump into the DCP.{C} Read More

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Why Pro Res Should Be Your Only Res & The AJA IoHD Part 1

Unboxing the AJA IoHD, and setting up

By Kevin P. McAuliffe | November 20, 2008

I thought that for this next article series, I would take a look at Apple's biggest addition to Final Cut Studio 2, and that is the inclusion of their newest QuickTime codec, Pro Res 422 (and Pro Res HQ). Most editors might think "Big deal, I can already edit in HD, so why would I use Pro Res?". Well, I'll tell you why. First of all, you get real-time HD capture across HD-SDI at 8 or 10-bit. You also get HD frame sizes at SD file sizes (in all major HD formats), you get a codec that gives you quality that is almost as good as codecs that you are currently using to edit HD with, and the best part is that you can edit in Pro Res 422 and Pro Res 422 HQ in the comfort of your own home on FireWire hard drives. Oh, and did I mention that because it's "Pro Res 422", you are working in a true 4:2:2 color space? Until Final Cut Studio 2, Avid has thrown in our faces the fact that they have great quality, compressed HD for their editors to work with, and Final Cut editors don't. Well, not anymore. The big advantage we have over Avid editors right now is choice. We can choose the hardware we want to use as our input/output device, and Avid editors really don't have the choice. So that brings up a very interesting question. How do you actually get Pro Res into your system and edit with it? High end post production houses use MacPros that you can install HD capture cards into for all your editing needs, but what about the rest of us? Now I know that some editors might think that editors who don't use high end MacPros aren't professional, and are only working on corporate and wedding videos, which is completely untrue. I am currently working on thirty webisodes of a show that I am editing in Pro Res that will be shown exclusively on the web, as opposed to on television. Let's take a look at how professional editors can edit anywhere with AJA's IoHD and Apple's Pro Res 422. Read More

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Keyframe Stretching in Motion

Scaling Keyframes to Retime Your Animation

By Mark Spencer | November 12, 2008

So you've created a great animation in Motion. You've tweaked every motion path, set each keyframe interpolation, and pulled and pushed on every bezier handle to get the timing and flow just right. Then your client tells you they love it but it needs to last 2 seconds longer. Before you pull your hair repositioning hundreds of keyframes by hand, check out this video for a quick tip on a handy keyframe editing tool that could save you load of time - and hair. Read More

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Reality TV Post with Final Cut

Media Management in a shared environment

By Steve Hullfish | November 11, 2008

In the first of a two part series on how Final Cut Pro is being used in two of the biggest reality TV shops in the country, Mark Raudonis, VP, Post Production for Bunim Murray talks about the challenges of posting up to ten hours a week of finished programming. With that much media moving through so many post-production steps, it's critical to understand media management and to have a simple standard operating procedure that is followed throughout the process. Raudonis shares his hard-won knowledge of how to take advantage of Final Cut's media management strengths and how to stay away from its weaknesses in this interview. Read More

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Make Custom Templates for FCP

Leveraging the power of Motion in FCP

By Steve Hullfish | November 07, 2008

Take advantage of all of the tools in Final Cut Suite 2 to make your work in Final Cut Pro easier and more polished. Customizing Templates in Motion is easier than you may think and it allows FCP to create drag and drop motion graphics that are easily changed from episode to episode. This simple video tutorial shows how even a "non-designer" can customize a great show graphic. Read More

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Tutorial - How To Get The Most Out Of Your Easy Setup Part 2

By Kevin P. McAuliffe | November 04, 2008

In the first of our three part look at the Easy Setup (ES) in Final Cut Pro, we took an in-depth look at the Capture Presets (CP), and really got in there and examined what each one of the settings did. For part two, we are going to look at what I think is the next logical step in the process, and that is the Sequence Settings, and then we are going to wrap everything up in part three by looking at the Device Settings, and how you can tie everything together to your advantage. Read More

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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