Compositing & Effects
Most of our clients that choose to use FCP over a simpler program such as iMovie do so to take advantage of the powerful effect and compositing tools in the program. Final Cut Pro has been advertised as "Premiere plus half of After Effects" in the past, referring to the great level of control you have from within the program to modify any media you are working with.
- Learn how filters and transitions are applied
- Learn how to tweak transitions and filters
- Begin to understand compositing
Simple Filters and Transitions
The most basic special effects are simple predefined filters and transitions. Filters change the look of one whole clip, while transitions change how two clips are blended together where they meet in the time line.
Both video transitions and video filters are available under the Effects menu in FCP. You can select either a clip or the joint between 2 clips and then select the filter or transition that you would like to use. You will then be able to move the playhead to any point in the clip to see what that frame looks like, but you will have to render (found under the Sequence menu) the clips you have changed in order to see what they look like while playing. Rendering can take a great deal of time, depending on how complex the transition or filter is.
Most filters have many options that can be changed to make different effects. These can be modified by double clicking a clip with a filter in the time line to move it into the Viewer. Once it is in the Viewer, you can select the Filters tab, and modified many aspects of how the filter is set. The interface is rather complex, and is intended for the advanced user only.
The only main Special Effect that clients often want to use that is not a filter or transition is to change the speed or direction of a clip. This is done by selecting a clip, and then selecting Speed from the Modify menu.
Compositing is the process of combining multiple clips of video and graphics together to create a visual effect. An example of compositing is the little almost-transparent logo you see at the bottom of a TV screen to let you know what channel you are watching. Another example is Blue Screening in witch an actor works in front of a blue screen, that you then make transparent later, so that you can place the actor in front of any other clip. Photoshop Layers are an example of compositing non-moving material. Final Cut Pro deals with this concept over time.
Creating clips that are ready to have compositing work done to them can be tricky.