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by PVC Experts

Written by a collection of the best writers in the industry and covering topics ranging from editing to motion graphics to live production. This channel features an incredibly diverse collection of authors and articles. Find out more about each of them...

In third grade, Richard Wirth was already reading anything he could find about television while dreaming of becoming a professional in the world of television and film production. Stops on the life timeline at American Forces Television, the Motion Picture Association, several mid-western pr...

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ProRes: A Closer Look

An in-depth examination of ProRes

By Gary Adcock | March 03, 2009

The largest issue in post production is maintaining the highest quality for compositing, graphics, effects and delivery; whether that content is used in broadcast, theatrical or direct to DVD release. Camera native codecs are amazing for their ability to capture light at the highest quality, yet this "native" camera data was never meant to work directly within the editing process, only within the manufacturers proprietary camera hardware.This intermediate codec, called ProRes, was designed specifically to maintain full colorspace and 10bit workflow throughout the post process allowing Final Cut Pro to finally take its place as a truly professional editing platform. Read More


Setting Up Soundtrack Pro  For 5.1 Monitoring

Setting Up Soundtrack Pro For 5.1 Monitoring

You'll be surprised how simple it is.

By steve martin | February 24, 2009

In this short video, Steve Martin will show you how to set up and configure Soundtrack Pro for surround (5.1) monitoring. Read More


Editing in Motion Part 2

Editing in the Timeline

By Mark Spencer | February 20, 2009

In Part 1, we looked at how Final Cut Pro users can perform some basic editing operations in Motion, including rough editing, trimming, and a sequential edit. All of these edits can be performed using just the mini-Timeline. But by opening up the full Timeline, you can perform additional edits, like insert, overwrite, and ripple edits. You can even slip clips in Motion. Let's see how. Read More


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Editing in Motion Part 1

It's not like Final Cut Pro, but it's easier (and more powerful) than you think

By Mark Spencer | February 17, 2009

Introduction: Why Edit in Motion?Many motion graphics projects are built around a video edit which is then enhanced with effects, titling, and graphical treatments. Think of a the structure of a typical car commercial: a series of wide and close-up beauty shots of a vehicle intercut with interior shots, a close up on the happy driver, and perhaps a closing wide shot of the car driving away. This series of cuts is then augmented with color treatments, speed changes, and graphical elements in combination with animated text layers. Read More


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Composite Modes in Final Cut Pro

How an FCP editor can quickly create those rich, blended looks that motion graphics artists conjure.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | February 12, 2009

The job of an editor is usually to spin straw into gold: Take hours of raw footage, edit it into a cohesive story, and - depending on the skill of the camera and lighting crews that were employed - color correct to enhance or unify the original footage. The biggest problem comes when you're stuck with inherently boring footage: You need to come up with ways to add excitement or drama to grab and keep the viewer's attention. Read More


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RED+FCP: ProRes Clips from Log and Transfer

If you Log and Transfer to ProRes422 HQ, you "bake in" a gamma space: here's how to deal with it.

By Adam Wilt | February 12, 2009

In my previous RED+FCP article I looked at importing RED clips using Log and Transfer, and focused on using REDCODE-native files in FCP and Color. This time, after clearing up a nagging question, I'm going to concentrate on working with ProRes422 clips created with Log and Transfer, and fixing tonal scale issues caused by the camera's View setting. Read More


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3 Ways to Get RED Footage into Final Cut Pro

RED Workflows with Final Cut

By Scott Simmons | February 12, 2009

The RED camera and its proprietary .R3D, file-based workflow has been a subject of much discussion, speculation and frustration for many in the post-production industry since it began shipping. It has also made a lot of shooters and camera owners into post-production people since they are choosing to do (or attempt to do) a lot of the complex post-production themselves. There has been much discussion on from day one on how best to edit RED camera material. Early on RED had an exclusive deal with Apple and that made Final Cut Pro a choice for most. FCP's QuickTime based architecture makes it a natural choice since RED supplies (for free) a QuickTime component for download from their website. Read More


Choose Apple’s Spanish keyboard, even if you only type in English

Choose Apple’s Spanish keyboard, even if you only type in English

Apple's Spanish ISO keyboard is the absolute best tool, even if you write exclusively in English

By Allan Tépper | February 05, 2009

Apple's wonderful Spanish ISO keyboard is the absolute best tool, even if you write mainly or exclusively in English. It is truly a case where you get all of the advantages, with none of the often "perceived disadvantages", as you are about to learn. Many people didn't know that Apple offers the Spanish ISO keyboard at no extra cost even in the USA, whenever you order a built-to-order computer on the Apple Web Store. Yes, the Apple Spanish ISO keyboards are available with the iMac, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and even the Mac Pro tower... and they won't cost a penny extra! Beyond that, but I have seen several cases where resale value of used Apple laptops earn up to US$300 more when they have the Spanish ISO installed. It is really a win-win situation. Oh, but I haven't even told you the advantages of the Apple Spanish ISO keyboard itself yet. Read More


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Discover DisplayPort’s untapped power for pro video

Apple is switching its outputs from DVI to DisplayPort. Understand its hidden potential.

By Allan Tépper | February 02, 2009

You've probably heard or read that Apple recently changed the video outputs on all of the new laptops from DVI to Mini DisplayPort, and has stated that all desktop models will begin offering DisplayPort outputs as they are updated. At first, some people think the DisplayPort just a nuisance and requirement to purchase another adaptor... but there is much more to it! Together with DisplayPort come additional capabilities, which in some cases will potentially eliminate the need to purchase an expensive peripheral device from AJA, Blackmagic Design, or Matrox, especially when the only goal is to achieve proper color evaluation on an external video monitor (not to capture or output to to high-end videotape formats). Read More


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RED+FCP: Native REDcode Importing

Using RED footage directly in Final Cut Studio 2, courtesy of RED's plugins.

By Adam Wilt | January 28, 2009

Last November, RED Digital Cinema Camera Company released an installer adding RED functionality to Apple Final Cut Studio 2:RED QuickTime Codec v3.7.0 (read-only REDCODE decoding for QuickTime).An FCP Log and Transfer plugin, v1.0.0, to read RED's compressed raw R3D files and import them as REDCODE-native or transcode them to ProRes422.A RED tab in Color's primary grading room, letting you tweak the RAW parameters of an R3D or MOV file using the REDCODE codec.A white paper telling you what to do with all this stuff.Let's look at how these additions enable using RED footage in Final Cut Studio, how you set them up, and how they can benefit you. Read More


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Do It Yourself 6TB Video Array on a Mac

Because you can never be too large or too fast...

By vittiPhoto | December 19, 2008

With high definition, multi camera productions and emergent video formats all the digital video rage, power video users are refocusing efforts on computer storage. Last year, Norco Technology approached this author to write an article building and testing a storage system around the Norco DS-1220, a 12 bay, port multiplier SATA chassis for the Do-It-Yourself Mac video community. A test regime to benchmark and field test using Final Cut Pro Studio 2 (FCP ST2) was devised. In August 2008, brought me on board to edit one of four 1 hour segments Read More


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Large Scale Final Cut Pro Installations, Part II

An Interview with Pie Town Productions

By Steve Hullfish | December 16, 2008

This is the second of a two part series on large-scale Final Cut Pro installations. Pie Town Productions currently produces nearly twenty TV shows, including Design on a Dime, Hammer Heads and (my favorite!) Color Correction. I spoke to Scott Templeton, one of the founders of Pie Town Productions and to Dana Besnoy, Pie Town's VP of Post. We discussed the workflows and standard operating procedures that allow Pie Town to pump out around 600 broadcast TV shows each year using about 100 seats (we have 30 bays, and a staff of about 75 people total. 100 seats is a high estimate) of Final Cut Pro running on a massive SAN.PVC: What's the key to media management with Final Cut Pro?ST: The key to us in media management is experience and knowledge. When you know the limitations of something, rather than yelling at the ocean because waves are crashing onto my beach, well, learn what those limitations are and how to work with that. In an operation like ours where we have such a lot of material that we deal with, it's really starting with the basics of understanding first and foremost how FCP handles new clips. Read More


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


aja apple iohd post prores

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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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


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


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


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.{C} 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


fcp final cut studio music 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