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News Graphics Plugin from Idustrial Revolution

October 19, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , ,
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Here’s a news story about the XEffects News Graphics plug-in from our good friends over at Idustrial Revolution and FxFactory. You know exactly what these look like because you see them all day long on TV monitors in airports, restaurants, hotel lobbies and in the comfort of your own home. Check out this sample of what News Graphics ($49) can do:

News Graphics Timeline

This plugin makes short work of all kinds of ubiquitous news graphics standards including tickers, bugs, DVE, picture in picture and more.

Some specific features:

  • Six preset color palettes in every template or choose your own
  • Use any font, any color, any size
  • Build In & Out animations on templates to choose between cuts & adjustable animations
  • Many display options and positioning on every template
  • Shrinkback effect controls all video DVE moves without key-framing
  • Not locked in to a single template, layer many elements on top of each other
  • Color shaded background, transition & title wipe included
  • 4K Ready

We came up with this shot in just the first couple of minutes of playing around with the plugin:

News Graphics Output

You’ll find the Shrinkback effect in the FCPX Effects Browser:

News Graphics Effect

and everything else in the Titles Browser:

News Graphics Titles

Settings are very simple and easy to use:

News Graphics Settings

If you’re doing any sort of project that requires news graphics you want this plugin. I can see it being useful for corporate videos, news shows, online streaming and more. Sure you could make these kinds of things on your own in Motion if you really wanted to…

…. but why waste days of your time when all the hard work has already been done for you. Go grab XEffects News Graphics instead for just $49. There’s also a free trial and tutorials available here: http://www.idustrialrevolution.com/x7-news-graphics

Look out for a few free copies at the October 24th, 2015 edition of FCP eXchange too.


FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

FCPWORKS Noah Kadner

This blog post contains the personal musings of FCPWORKS’ Marketing Director, Noah Kadner. Prior to joining the company, Noah spent several years at Apple where he worked with internal Workflow and Editorial teams in support of Final Cut Pro X customers. Noah also directed a feature film available on iTunes called Social Guidance and wrote “RED: The Ultimate Guide to the Revolutionary Camera.” Noah’s ongoing career goal is communicating digital post-production workflows to experts and enthusiasts alike.You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter at @FCPWORKS.

FCPX Yosemite Needs a Frame Offset

November 26, 2014 Tags: , , ,
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We still live in a world where Video I/O boxes are necessary (although… we’ll see how long that is once HDMI 2.0 or the next Displayport rolls out). The bottom line is that if you want to work in 10 bit HDMI or use HD-SDI/quad SDI, there’s no way around working without a video I/O solution right now (the Mac Pro HDMI port is only 8-bit).

Now, while all of these boxes work just fine with FCPX, there’s one small problem. What if you want to watch the signal through your I/O box and have it be completely in sync with desktop viewer?

The short answer is that you can’t really do it currently without a complicated, clunky workaround. No matter what you do, FCPX running through Thunderbolt/Displayport/HDMI is going to be slightly ahead of what you’re seeing through your AJA/Blackmagic Box.

Now, while you can run multiple signals out through these boxes, and have a client monitor/2nd display be in sync out of your I/O box… I mean… wouldn’t it be nice if everything was running at the same speed… especially if you’re running your audio through an interface like the Apogee Quartet as I do most of the time?

Additionally, if you’re running your Mac Pro to a monitor over HDMI through the A/V out setting, you’ll probably end up being a frame off with that display as well, which can drive you a bit crazy until you realize what’s going on.

It’s why I’d love Apple add a frame offset either into FCPX or into the Mac OS X in general. While I’d love to live in a world where the Mac is driving everything, the truth is that we’re just not there yet… I can’t run three displays through the Mac Pro and have them all be completely in sync (or have any of it be 10 bit), and until I can get there, a frame offset is going to be something I want.

To complicate matters further, though, even if you are running your sound out of an I/O box, well, depending on which one you have, you might not be able to do certain things.

FCPX can monitor surround sound. This works great with the Apogee Quartet without an I/O box. If you have something from AJA, you’ll be in good shape too, as it has 6 analog outs that you can monitor from.

The problem you’re going to run into is if you’re a Resolve colorist and you have something like the Ultrastudio 4k, which only has a stereo analog out. Because of this, if you want to work with your BMD box and monitor surround in FCPX… you’re pretty much out of luck if you want things to be in sync.

While the Ultrastudio can feed out a digital audio surround signal through HDMI or HD-SDI, that signal is going to need to be de-embedded somewhere, so keeping that in sync with your 4k display connected directly to the the Ultrastudio becomes EXTREMELY difficult.

So… anyway, if you’re a day to day editor who doesn’t have a degree in physics, and you want to work in 4k in FCPX, monitor in surround sound, and have a color accurate image you can color correct, I recommend you do either of the following:

– Run a dual monitor setup (see my Eizo blog from the other day for some good recommendations on this) with your viewer on a second monitor, monitoring surround sound through the Apogee Quartet, and then running your client monitor through FCPX’s A/V out, and just be okay with being a frame off sync-wise.


– Run a single monitor setup, buy the AJA IO 4k, running your surround sound through the analog outs, and your video outs powering both your second display and client monitor… and you’ll need to be okay with your desktop being between 1-4 frames out of sync.

Sadly… there is not a good scenario that I can recommend that will run with the BMD Ultrastudio 4k at the moment for playing back 4k and monitoring in surround with FCPX… but you can certainly get away with the AJA scenario if you just need stereo.

And while I’m certainly able to get done what I need to get done with any of the above, none of this would be necessary if I just had a frame offset in FCPX or in Mac OS X.

Know How To Do Your Assistant’s Job

September 22, 2014 Tags: , ,
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Sam here…

Don’t shoot the messenger, but I was listening to a recent podcast of FCPX Grill with Austin Flack who is a professional Avid editor, and he’s talking about what he does and how he does it. There came a point in the interview when he literally said that (and I’m paraphrasing) “he has no idea how his assistant does his job and how his files get prepped”.

I’ve been on a lot of those jobs where the editor I’m working with doesn’t know how his assistant does what they do or even really how to turn their computer on. They only know how to cut and trim. It’s going to become harder and harder to find jobs where that’s going to be acceptable. The budgets just aren’t there to have a “creative” editor who doesn’t know the how the tools they’re working on fundamentally work… or even worse, the rates for those jobs of “creative editors” are going to drop dramatically. They’re going to become commoditized as editing continues to become demystified for the masses and turnaround on the typical job continues to shrink..

I will admit that one of the primary advantages of being an Avid editor is that once you figure it out, you get to do the Wizard of Oz thing a little bit because there is such a steep learning curve with the app. It’s hard for producers or directors to check your work, and people tend to be a bit at the mercy of the editor they’re working with as they can’t actually make the changes themselves. Rates stay higher for Avid editors on many jobs as scarcity persists, and the status quo stays enabled.

The main problem with all of this is that directors are figuring out how to edit, and so are grandmothers. The standard excuses of why things are taking so long or why certain things can’t be done are not working as well anymore.

For me, the number one thing that allowed me to get clients/jobs that I had no business getting with FCP7-Color was the fact that I was able to do the whole widget. I could bring the media in, put it together, edit it, color it, do some GFX, and even a basic mix… and if there was a hardware problem, I could even replace the RAM in my Mac Pro if I had to… I was able to be a one stop shop where I could reasonably deliver an entire piece for a client from beginning to end, and do each of the parts of the job as a reasonably high enough level where they could just let me do the whole thing. I’d make more money and they’d spend less. It was a win-win.

That was a few years ago, where that type of service was a bit of a bonus. Now, I think it’s largely expected. For most projects, especially new media/internet, it will be expected of the editor/filmmaker/whatever to be able to get the shoot done, put together an edit, do the basic mix and color, and if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll be able to bring it to someone else to do a polish and some of the finishing… producers/clients/companies will be/are expecting post to deliver more in dramatically less time. If you’re only able to do one thing really well… you’re not nearly as useful anymore.

The truth is that between the FCPX-Resolve ecosystem, and what can be done with the cloud apps, there’s really no reason that a producer shouldn’t expect this anyway. The tools are that good now. The question is simply whether the producer has had the opportunity to work with people who know what’s possible with these tools… and once they find someone like that, that person is going to keep all of that client’s jobs.

The era of the specialist is coming to a close. For most projects in the future, I think the average editor is going to be expected to know how to do a little bit of everything. The strange thing though is that while the “jack of all trades-master of none” quote still rings very true, because of how great the post production tools have become, it’s way easier to master a whole lot more things these days. You’re no longer limited to only having time to become really good at one thing.

Instead of being a master of editing… you can now become a master of post production… and I think that’s what clients are going to be looking for from the people they hire… or at least, that’s what they’ll be looking for out of the people they’re willing to pay a lot of money.


Sam Mestman

Sam Mestman, FCPWORKS.

This blog post contains the personal musings of FCPWORKS’ Workflow Architect, Sam Mestman. Sam’s also a regular writer for fcp.co and MovieMaker Magazine, teaches post workflow at RED’s REDucation classes, and is the founder and CEO of We Make Movies, a film collective in Los Angeles and Toronto which is dedicated to making the movie industry not suck. If you’ve got any FCP X questions or need some help putting together a system, drop him an email at workflow@fcpworks.com and you can follow him on Facebook or Twitter at @FCPWORKS.

Image Sequences and Workflow

September 18, 2014 Tags: , , ,
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Sam here…

Does anyone know of a modern application that can rewrap Image Sequences in a quicktime wrapper (reference movie) the way Quicktime 7 used to?

Here’s a link to a macbreak studio episode that kind of explains what I’m talking about (go to around the 5 minute mark):


I’m trying to make Quicktime 7 EOL in my workflows and this is really the only thing left that I’m still using Quicktime 7 for.

Anyone out there know of anything that can do this?

If Edit Ready from Divergent Media did it, I’d just break down and get it already as it seems like a really useful piece of software that I can’t quite convince myself to buy yet (I already own Compressor that does most of what it does), even with the recently added MXF functionality. Ironically, Divergent Media has another piece of software called ClipWrap that will “wrap” other codecs, but it doesn’t look like there’s anything like that for Image Sequences.

Anyway, if anyone knows a good way to do this on a non-extinct piece of software, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!


Sam Mestman

Sam Mestman, FCPWORKS.

This blog post contains the personal musings of FCPWORKS’ Workflow Architect, Sam Mestman. Sam’s also a regular writer for fcp.co and MovieMaker Magazine, teaches post workflow at RED’s REDucation classes, and is the founder and CEO of We Make Movies, a film collective in Los Angeles and Toronto which is dedicated to making the movie industry not suck. If you’ve got any FCP X questions or need some help putting together a system, drop him an email at workflow@fcpworks.com and you can follow him on Facebook or Twitter at @FCPWORKS.

Resolve Workflow Tangent Element Update

September 17, 2014 Tags: , , ,
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Sam here…

Yet another reason to get a Tangent Element. A long running problem has been the bizarre mapping of the Tangent Element buttons with Resolve and how you couldn’t modify any of it. This was the Resolve team’s fault, and was a continuous source of angry forum threads and conspiracy theories.

Anyway, they finally gave the Element Mapping a once over and some much needed love with the 11.1 release of Resolve and it’s a HUGE improvement. Some of my major gripes have been addressed, like being able to now quickly switch from the Primary to Log tabs right from the Element. It’s a pretty big timesaver.

While I still really wish Resolve allowed for custom mapping… the latest update fills in a ton of holes and was much needed.

When you throw this in with the fact that the Element also supports FCPX and Premiere mappings now (but not sliders and color wheels), if you’re an editor looking to buy a control surface, it’s clearly the one to own (BTW, shameless plug, but FCPWORKS is a reseller for all Tangent and Blackmagic Design products… and buying them through us helps keep the lights on and these fingers typing… and gets your support questions answered).

On a side note, I just did a custom element mapping for Motion as well, and I’m getting ready to update the FCPX one for the element. If you get your element/have purchased your element through us, I’ll send those your way. More details on that custom mapping over at FCP.CO.

I can speak from experience… having a control surface with mappings for all your commonly used commands is a huge timesaver with the only real drawback being if you’re stuck on a machine that doesn’t have a control surface… you really start to miss it.

Anyway, thanks Blackmagic. The 11.1 Resolve release made me really happy.

Resolve Workflow 11.1 – FCPX Workflow = awesome

September 16, 2014 Tags: , , ,
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Sam here…

So, looks like the BMD guys with the latest Resolve update have filled in some MAJOR holes in the FCPX-Resolve workflow and it is now approaching “I’m not really too worried about it” roundtrip status which, I think, as a colorist, I don’t think I’ve ever said out loud about any 3rd party color roundtrip workflow.

We’re almost there with FCPX-Resolve now, so hats off to the BMD team. It’s kind of awesome what they’ve been able to do.

With the Resolve 11 Beta, I wrote a revised list of what was/wasn’t working on FCPX-Resolve roundtrip here:


The basic takeaway was that things were getting really close, and I was pretty blown away with how much work they’d been able to do with speed changes… and my only real major complaints were with synchronized clips.

Anyway, I just ran those exact same XML’s through the same roundtrip in Resolve 11.1 and everything worked pretty much perfectly (except for the usual suspects that have never worked like color and Ken Burns).

Synchronized and multicam clips came in without issue. Sync N Link clips came through fine once I added the media into the media pool directly. Even the Speed changes that I was having difficulty with previously imported without issue (although I did need to fix a few things on roundtrip).

The point is that my ins and outs for everything came in correctly, and I didn’t was able to get all of my footage from FCPX to Resolve with all kinds of effects and craziness largely without a problem.

I’ve been a colorist doing this stuff since FCP7 was in its heyday, and I’ve never been able to get a timeline in and out of an application with such a small amount of conforming.

This is a pretty huge accomplishment by the Resolve team. On behalf of editors/colorists everywhere – thank you. You’ve made our lives easier.

A couple quick workarounds that may help you if you run into problems:

  1. Detach audio from your FCPX sequence – Resolve still doesn’t do the audio thing so well. When you have a locked FCPX cut, duplicate your project (you should already be doing this anyway), then in the one set to go to Resolve, select all your video clips, detach audio, and then delete all the audio out of your timeline (you can also just disable all the audio from your clips in the patch panel from the inspector).
  2. For Sync N Link Clips – If you find they aren’t coming in correctly through direct XML import, add the original video media into a bin in the media pool directly and things should reconnect in Resolve automatically.
  3. Speed Change Roundtripping – If you see a speed change roundtrip into FCPX as a still frame… something weird happened, but your clip should actually be fine. In your roundtripped FCPX timeline, simply select the clip that is appearing as a still image and matchframe it. Your ins and outs should still be correct for the overall clips. Cut it back into your sequence, and just reapply your speed change, and things should be fine now (at least they were for me).
  4. Just send your video and don’t expect your effects to work – Expect to do some copy pasting of titles and paste attributes for effects when you roundtrip (although you might get lucky which is sort of awesome).
  5. Double check spatial conform settings on roundtrip – If you did some spatial conform work, double check stuff, especially when it comes to Sync and Multicam clips when you roundtrip. You may find that a clip may come back in incorrectly on roundtrip, but if you adjust the spatial conform setting, it will fix the problem.

Bottom line – This workflow is now rock solid and in my opinion is the best roundtrip workflow for any NLE-Color Software I’ve seen (even better than FCP7-Color roundtrip).

Things are really starting to come together in post, and it’s nice to see companies actively working together and improving things for the end user.

Resolve Workflow Test Results

August 6, 2014 Tags: , ,
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Hey guys,

Sam here. Did some pretty comprehensive FCPX roundtrip tests today using a whole bunch of different types of media in the new Resolve 11 Beta (#2)… tests were done in a 1080p 23.98 timeline… but so far, the results are really promising. At this time, there are only two major issues with the roundtrip:

1. Synchronized clips were not working at all.
2. Synchronized clips created through Sync N Link were also not working (might be part of the same problem).

If you’re using synchronized clips, the workaround right now is to use “Break Apart Clip Items” in your FCPX timeline and then send to Resolve. The only real issue about this is that you’ll need to reapply keyframes and transforms in your timeline after you do this if you want those to come through into Resolve, as they get wiped away when you break apart your sync clips. As always, before getting into the conform stage, you should duplicate your master timeline beforehand so that you can reapply anything you need to later by using Paste Attributes.

Anyway, while there was some other weirdness, this is pretty much ready for primetime on big projects for roundtripping so far as I can tell… and there are some MAJOR XML roundtrip improvements with the new version of Resolve 11. Here’s a quick rundown of what is/isn’t working:

Spatial Conform – Correct (although it doesn’t appear so right away as you have to set the renders back to Fill when you roundtrip into FCPX)
Markers – don’t roundtrip
Multicam – Works
Transform – works, even with keyframes
Crop – Ken Burns does not work… only exports with “end” animation
Primary Color – sort of works… Color tab mostly correct except for slight highlights adjustment, exposure tab works, saturation tab not accurate at all
Secondary Color – Secondary and masks don’t work
Effects – Didn’t translate/roundtrip correctly (settings went back to default on roundtrip)
3rd party plugins – The one i tried from Luca VFX actually works… even bringing over the adjustments I made to it. This was surprising
Titles – worked correctly, except that font didn’t carry over on roundtrip
Compound clips – kind of worked… compound clip came in as a single clip, but there were a whole bunch of inconsistencies inside it. In general, these probably aren’t too functional for color correction anyway. You should break apart before sending to Resolve.
Speed changes:
HUGE improvements here over previous versions. Here’s what I found-

Worked on import and roundtrip:

  • Fast speed
  • Slow speed
  • Reverse
  • Normal speed quality
  • Blade speed (variable)
  • Range speed (variable)
  • Custom speed
  • Ramp to 0
  • Ramp from 0

What didn’t work:

* Frame Blending and Optical Flow didn’t carry over (reset to normal on roundtrip and couldn’t determine what they were set to in Resolve). You should set these after the roundtrip in FCPX.
* Instant replay (combining a forward and reverse speed adjustment in the same clip)

Overall – the fact that the speed changes worked so well was HUGE, and most of the issues I described above are holdovers from the current XML implementation (although Spatial Conform works considerably better). Really, if the BMD team can get Sync clips (as well as Sync N Link versions of those) working, the FCPX-Resolve roundtrip becomes about as good as anyone can reasonably ask for… and I think it’s already better that what any of the other NLE’s can do as it currently is right now. Lots of progress here.