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Converting NTSC to PAL or PAL to NTSC

UK-based editor, Ben King, contributed a series of thoughts on the best options to consider when you need to convert NTSC video to PAL, or PAL to NTSC. This short article is a quick discussion of your options, along with suggestions on where to go for more information.

Converting Compressed Audio Files into AIFs

Final Cut does not like, in fact, it HATES, putting compressed audio files (MP3, AC3, AAC) in the Timeline. They sound awful. Instead, you need to convert your compressed audio to AIF before importing them into Final Cut Pro. This technique describes how.

Converting Markers to Subclips

Subclips allow you to break up a longer media file into much more manageable chunks, without needing to recapture. However, creating subclips can be tedious — unless you know this secret technique.

Converting Audio Files For Final Cut Pro

Why doesn’t MP3 audio play nicely with Final Cut Pro? The answer is because Final Cut Pro was invented to support only uncompressed audio files. There are only three audio formats that Final Cut supports: AIF (and AIFF), WAV (and Broadcast WAV), and SDII. All compressed formats (like MP3 and AAC) need to be converted into an uncompressed format before you can edit them.

Converting a 16:9 Sequence into a 4:3 Video

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

Making Compressor Multi-processor Aware

One of the new features in Compressor 3 is its ability to harness all the processors in your computer to speed video compression. But, you have to turn this feature on before you can use it. Here’s how.

Compressor Not Resetting In Final Cut Studio 3

When using Compressor on Final Cut Pro 7 and multiple users are using the same computer using different log-ins, if editor one submits a batch through Compressor, waits for the job to finish, then logs out, when the second editor logs in and submits a job to Compressor, they will get a “Share Failure” error.

DV, Color Sampling, and Chroma-Key

DV provides outstanding quality, until it comes to compositing and chroma-keying. This article discusses the differences between 4:4:4, 4:2:2 and 4:1:1 color space and how it affects DV video.

Changing Column Names in the Browser

This article explains how to create custom column headings in the Browser.

Setting Color's Scratch Disks

Color uses an interface unlike any other Final Cut Studio application. When you use Color you must set your scratch disks to point to your second drive. However, the user manual doesn’t describe how to do this. This article shows you what you need to know.

Color Shifts with Still Images

Have you ever created a still image, only to see the color or gray scale shift when you imported it into Final Cut Pro? This article explains what’s going on and how you fix it.

FCP 7: A Fast, Easy Method of Color Correction

The most common use of color correction is to correct for cameras that didn’t white balance properly. This article gives you a seven-step process to help make your images look great.

Picking a Codec for HD

There is no one “perfect” video codec (compressor/decompressor), but some codecs are better than others. This article helps you make a better choice.

Choosing the Right Codec for Capturing SD Video

While there is no one perfect codec, this article can help you improve your capture image quality, while reducing file size, when capturing SD (non-DV) video.

Thoughts on "The Cloud" — Interview with Peter Chang

There’s a lot of talk these days about previewing, accessing, storing, even archiving media in “the cloud;” a vast amorphous pool of storage on the Internet. But is this a good idea? And what are some ways we can take advantage of this? In this interview with Peter Chang, president of Oxygen Cloud, we discuss what the cloud is, how we can take advantage of it, and what some of the limitations are.

Deleting Clip Markers in Groups

Normally, you can delete one marker or all markers. This article shows you how to delete any arbitrary range of clip markers.

FCP 6: Chroma-keying using Motion

Chroma-keying, also called blue-screen or green-screen, is the process of making the background transparent so you can insert the foreground into a different shot. It sounds easy, but in practice, its tricky. This is because the chroma-keyer in Final Cut is, to be kind, sub-optimal. In this article, I’ll show you a better way to key — using Motion. Better yet, you don’t need to really know Motion to get great results.

Trade-Offs to Consider When Using DV for Professional Work

What are the disadvantages of using DV, rather than SD, video? This discussion also features comments from a variety of readers.

A Checklist for An Editing Project

Here is a series of ten questions that new editors can ask their producers to make sure everyone is on the same page at the start of a project. This is also a useful bidding tool.

Calculating The Rate to Charge For Your Time and Equipment

Editing is both a craft and business. Which means that, unless you are independently wealthy, you need to find a way to make money at it. This article describes how to calculate the rates you charge for editing, for the use of your equipment, and how to handle travel expenses. As well as provide a link to a tutorial I’ve created with more tips on how to grow your business.