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Old July 17th, 2012, 08:29 PM   #1
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Giving credit where it's due - excellent keyer!

I had a difficult piece of green screen footage to key and I was having trouble getting it exactly how I wanted it with After Effects. I decided to try it in FCP X (following a tutorial in Lynda.com) and got a terrific result straight away. Problem solved!

So I've got to give FCP X credit. I still don't feel it's ready for prime time (purely on my own experiences and opinion) and will continue to use other NLEs for my work (FCP 6 and Prem Pro) but, in this instance, I've used it on some paid work for the first time and it acquitted itself beautifully. It's earned its first piece of respect from me (because, until now, I'd relegated FCP X solely to my wife to edit the family videos with).
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Old July 18th, 2012, 07:43 AM   #2
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Re: Giving credit where it's due - excellent keyer!

I rarely have call to use the keyer in editing but a couple of weeks ago I had the need to place some subjects against a stock footage background. The filming was in a studio with even lighting but there were shadows on the blue wall. Amazingly, the keyer filter did the job instantly and cleanly, no adjustments needed. In other programs the shadows would have to been adjusted out. The footage was recorded directly to ProRes so it was very clean to start, I would be interested to see how footage from HDV or AVCHD works. Still, this is another plus to FCPX.
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Old July 19th, 2012, 11:47 AM   #3
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Re: Giving credit where it's due - excellent keyer!

FCP X needs a lot of work arounds for certain things, misses a lot of functionality (still), and is still immature software in many respects.

But a lot of the things that it does, it does very well. I hope it can grow a lot in a short period in features (because competition is fierce, and it has a lot of catching up to do, both in features and in reputation) and in stability and performance.
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Old July 20th, 2012, 05:10 AM   #4
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The Ken Burns feature is excellent too!

I was given over 200 stills photos at 8:30 p.m. last night (big rush job) and was required to turn out a movie (animating them with Ken Burns effects and dissolves) by 10:30 a.m. this morning.

There was no way I could animate the stills with keyframing in FCP 6 and make it in time so, flushed with success from using the FCP X keyer, I thought I'd try the Ken Burns feature in FCP X.

It performed really well and I was able to get everything done in time. I also liked how it made a very intelligent first guess concerning the start frame and the end frame. Even though I still tweaked at least 90% of them, it was nice to know that it started me off with a tasteful selection each time.

So, that's twice in one week I've turned to features in FCP X and found them to be 100% satisfactory and have gotten the job done. I'm still going to edit my next job in Prem Pro, but kudos to FCP X for what it can do!
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Old July 21st, 2012, 11:05 AM   #5
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Re: Giving credit where it's due - excellent keyer!

It was at a similar job btw (animating a lot of pictures with the Ken Burns effect) that I tried FCP X for the first time after hating it in the beginning.
I started to warm up for the program after that, and used it since for a couple of minor jobs, always ending with a big hate-love feeling. ("some of the way it worked was fantastic, other things were awful!")
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Old July 21st, 2012, 12:33 PM   #6
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Re: Giving credit where it's due - excellent keyer!

Now when I go back to FCP7 and start missing FCPX features, I know I have turned the corner.

BTW, FxFactory has a free plug-in that has more control than the Ken Burns feature in FCPX. Since I have not needed it yet I have only read the instructions and seen the how to video but you might find it very useful.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 10:04 PM   #7
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Re: Giving credit where it's due - excellent keyer!

Thanks for that tip, William. And the clip which I applied the key to was originally XDCAM EX (1080p25) converted to ProRes.

And Mathieu, I completely understand that feeling!
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 12:51 AM   #8
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Re: Giving credit where it's due - excellent keyer!

Hmm, the only thing I see in FX Factory's Freebies is for FCP 7 only.

Another option if you really need to work fast - FCPEffects.com has a Quick and Easy Ken Burns effect that offers presets for basic pans and zooms. They can be adjusted and customized. It's a huge time saver if you don't need to get too artsy - $39 but they offer frequent sales if on their email list.
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 07:00 AM   #9
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Re: Giving credit where it's due - excellent keyer!

It's called "Pan and Zoom" so, of course, I couldn't remember the name.

Free Pan and Zoom plugin for FCP, Motion and AE
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