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FCP 7: Resizing 16:9 Video to Fit a 4:3 Frame

If you’ve ever had to convert a 16:9 sequence into a 4:3 letterbox video, this explains how to do it.

The World-Famous Unknown Thingy

Larry finally gets the chance to answer the question he’s been waiting for : What is the “Color Thingy”?

Understanding Handles

Handles are critical for transitions and trimming. In this article, discover what handles are and why they are necessary.

Understanding More About Blu-ray

The best way to display HD video is using a Blu-ray Disc. However, the Mac OS does not support Blu-ray Disc playback, and to create a Blu-ray Disc takes an external burner. This article describes what you need to know to create a Blu-ray Disc. (Keep in mind that this technology is changing constantly – after this article was published, FCP 7 was released which provides limited support for Blu-ray Discs.)

Shooting 4:3 to look like 16:9

Here’s a great technique you can use if your camera only shoots 4:3, but you want it to look like 16:9. This works for any standard-def video format; you don’t need it when shooting HD, because HD is already 16:9.

Trouble-Shooting Your Final Cut Pro 7 System

Having problems with Apple Final Cut Pro 7? This article provides dozens and dozens of techniques you can use to optimize your Final Cut 5, 6, or 7 system; plus trouble-shooting tips to prevent problems.

Trimming Your Edits with Ripple and Roll

You can trim everything using the Arrow tool. But you can trim faster and more accurately using the Roll and Ripple tools. This article shows you how.

Using Traveling Mattes to Reveal Portions of an Image

This is a great technique when you have a large image, but only want to display portions of it moving around the frame.

Travel Mattes: Blurring a Face to Protect the Innocent

Travel mattes are a fascinating multi-layer effect with countless uses. Here, we use a travel matte to blur portions of an image to prevent identification, or to draw attention to the portions that are in-focus.

The Case of the Trapped Data

It’s frustrating! You buy a hard disk only to discover you can’t move your data from one drive to the next. Here’s a personal case story, along with options on how to fix this problem.

Transition from Analog to Digital Television

The National Association of Broadcasters sent me the following memo, which I am posting as it has relevance for all of us involved in media production.

Questions on Transcoding Video

In this answer to a newsletter reader’s question, we look at the process of transcoding (converting) video from one format to another. We specifically talk about what is the right format to transcode into.

Creating Trail Effects

With the release of Final Cut Pro v5.1.2, Apple added 53 new filters. Here’s an article that shows you how to create interesting “trail” effects.

Tracking My Time

A subscriber writes in requesting info on a program that would be able to track time by client, as well as project and function. Larry refers him to a pair of very useful suggestions from other subscribers.

Richard Townhill Interview About Final Cut Studio (3)

The afternoon that Final Cut Studio (3) was released, July 23, 2009, I spoke with Richard Townhill, Director of Video Application Marketing for Apple, and the public face of Final Cut Studio. In fact, Richard is responsible for all the ProApps in Apple, including Final Cut Studio, Aperture, and Logic Studio. Probably no one in Apple has more direct control over the future of the product than he does. For this reason, it was good to get his take on the latest release. This article is based on our conversation.

There’s A Fiber Optic Connection Built Into Every Mac

You may not know it, but there’s a fiber optic audio connection built into every Mac. This article describes what it is, where it is, and how to use it.

What Does It Take To Speed Up Rendering?

It would be great if we didn’t have to render. But, since we do, what can make it go faster? This article explains what you can do to help and what won’t make any difference.

Dealing with Timecode Breaks in Multicams

An editor, Gene Thomas, faced a problem with a timecode break when a pair of clips he was recording stopped capturing in the middle. In this article we take a look at timecodes, how multiclip reads them, how to manually change them, and other fun stuff.

Viewing Thumbnails in the Browser

Here’s a very quick tip that describes how to display thumbnails in the Browser, how to create poster frames for a thumbnail, and how to scrub around inside a thumbnail.

How to Delete a Through Edit

Through edits are marked by red “bow-ties” which indicate cuts in a track where there’s no change in video or audio. This brief technique provides three different ways to get rid of these edits.