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Final Cut Pro 6 with Photoshop CS3 Integration

with Frank Rohmer

Video: Introducing the Photoshop interface

Combine two powerhouse applications to create practical and useful titles and graphics in a Final Cut Pro project.
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Final Cut Pro 6 with Photoshop CS3 Integration
Video duration: 0s 2h 22m Intermediate


Check out the free training on the new Apple Final Cut Studio suite released July 2009. Final Cut Studio Overview includes three free hours of tutorials on Final Cut Pro 7, Motion 4, Color 1.5, Soundtrack Pro 3, DVD Studio Pro 4, Compressor 3.5, and Final Cut Server 1.5

Photoshop is one of the most popular applications in the world, and editors and designers have embraced it. In Final Cut Pro 6 with Photoshop CS3 Integration, Apple Certified Trainer Frank Rohmer offers an easy-to-follow set of lessons demonstrating how to combine two powerhouse applications to create practical and useful titles and graphics for a Final Cut Pro project. Frank teaches how to apply multiple Photoshop tools to create tack-sharp graphics, 3D titles, layered PSD file animations, FCP filter effects, relationship techniques, and much more. This training series will catapult anyone’s graphics capabilities virtually overnight.

Topics include:
  • Creating a corporate logo
  • Creating elegant text openers for final video production
  • Using keyframing to mark sections of a file
  • Setting Photoshop preferences to work best with Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro Photoshop

Introducing the Photoshop interface

I'd like to welcome you to this training series titled Photoshop for Final Cut Pro. My name is Frank Rohmer and I'll be taking you through all the lessons found in this training series. So why don't we go ahead and get started with the first lesson, which is an introduction to the Photoshop interface, and I have already launched Photoshop, and if you would like to launch Photoshop, you can balance between the lessons and go right into Photoshop if you'd like, or if you simply just want to watch these lessons, that will work too. Well, Photoshop is launched. I'm running Version CS3 and it almost looks like Photoshop is not launched, because you can still see my desktop.

Well, don't let that fool you. Number one, it is launched; number two, it's a very powerful application that looks very timid and Adobe has done a great job of designing something that us editors love to use on a daily basis. And I'm certain that after you've taken all the lessons found in this training series that you will feel the same. As a matter of fact, I feel that the items that I'm going to teach you will enhance your production value. Okay. So, while I'm explaining the interface, I want to open up a document to help me explain how the interface works. I'm going to navigate down here at the bottom right-hand side of my screen and click on a document that I created here in Photoshop and I'll probably touch on this and a few other things as we go through the introduction.

Well to begin with, I'm going to start over here on left hand side. There is a toolbar within Photoshop, zoom into that and these are tools that we'll be using throughout these lessons. Now we may not use all of these, but we'll use a lot of them. And as you can see whenever my cursor is hovering over a tool, it more or less lights up. You will also may notice that there is a little triangle on the bottom right-hand side of a lot of these tools and if you mouse click and keep your finger down on the mouse of one of these tools then Photoshop will reveal additional tools just like that.

And when you get a chance if you want to go through and just make yourself or get yourself familiar with the additional items that could be hidden, I'll call that they are hidden, it's probably not a bad idea. Now we don't have time to go through all of these, but as you can see here only a couple of these do not have that triangle. This is one of them, the Move tool, which happens to be, I'm going to say, the most popular tool in Photoshop. Now if you wanted to expand the toolbar to a single row you could simply click on this Double Arrow here and it does that. See how that works? Or you click on it or at the top portion actually of the toolbar to make it into a dual row.

So we'll be touching on this throughout the lessons here in this training series. What about this top portion of the interface where my cursor is now? Well, basically, when you select a tool, for instance, I'll mouse click on the Type tool, notice how this area changes and basically any tool that you select is going to change your options here at the top portion of the interface of Photoshop. And basically, when we select a tool, we'll more or less use these items up here to manipulate that tool and create cool items like you see I have done here in this Canvas window. More on this Canvas window in just a moment.

So, I'm going to mouse click on the Move tool to bring that back. And this top portion of the interface is really on all of our menu options. We'll be diving into a lot of these. For instance, if you mouse click on the word File, we can create a new document, and we could save our document, we can import items. So these items up here are areas that we're going to be jumping into throughout all of our lessons. Okay. What about over here on far right-hand side of the screen? Well, these are the palettes or the palette and I can expand certain portions of the palette by clicking on the Minimize or Unminimize button within the each section of the palette window.

In fact, I have a double-arrow here on the left and right-hand side. If I wanted to minimize my palette to the smallest that it would go then I would click on that. Notice how, if I want to open up say, for instance, the layers portion of this palette, then I would get just my layers. More on the Layers in just a moment. But if I want to keep these open then I would simply click on the double-arrow just like that and they would be revealed. Now you will see that there are tabs within palettes of the interface of Photoshop and these tabs basically will give us more information, visual information of the document that we are creating.

For instance, when we click on the Layers, by the way this is one of the tabs we would probably be using a lot more than others, it will reveal the layers of our document. And basically our document here has three layers. We have a bottom layer with an eyeball to turn it on or off, see how that works by clicking on the eyeball, or the word My, or the word Pimp, and we can rearrange these layers too by mouse clicking on one layer and dragging it straight up. Do you see that? Now this giant title block is above in front of the word My and this is very similar to have Final Cut Pro works. Final Cut Pro does the same thing and notice when they click on the layer I can drag it up or drag it down to change the arrangement of how they are stacked within my document.

And of course, the top layer takes precedence over the bottom layers, just like Final Cut Pro. It's pretty cool. One other thing that I want to bring to your attention before we move on is if you click on this double-arrow over here to expand, you will notice that we have a History tab, which is pretty cool, and this will allow us to step back and actually see what our steps were to get to a particular point while we are creating something within Photoshop and we can delete that, which is a very cool feature that you will probably use a lot more than you think.

So the middle portion of the interface has a canvas where we'll create documents or graphics or titles that will eventually end up in Final Cut Pro. And this particular document has some important features and I want to bring to your attention. Number one, the basics are the title, which is right here. The RGB format that we are working in. The name of course is there as well. And the areas that surround this document, for instance the ruler here which is showing pixels. That's important. The checkerboard background which reveals a transparent background, which means I can take this item, this title, this document into Final Cut and float it on top of video. In other words, you would see the video on the background, which is very cool.

Document size down here on the bottom left-hand side and I can expand this document by clicking on this yellow button here of course or I can mouse click on the bottom right-hand side of this document and enlarge it that way or push the Command key on my keyboard and the Minus key to shrink it down or to blow it up and basically when I do that, you will the percentage sign is changing and most of the time, I'm going to ask you to try to keep this percentage at 100, because that will reveal more accurate information as we are creating our document.

And that's the introduction to the interface to Photoshop. As you can see, it's pretty straightforward, fairly easy to use and so I hope you enjoyed this introduction of the interface to Photoshop. We are now ready for the next lesson.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Final Cut Pro 6 with Photoshop CS3 Integration .

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Q: In the "Creating a Snapshot Effect" lessons, when the author imports a still image freeze frame from Final Cut Pro into Photoshop, he resizes the image before doing any work. Then he resizes it again to the original dimensions before sending it back to Final Cut Pro. Why must the images be resized at all? Also, in his example, the author uses NTSC DV footage. What should one do to resize the image if using 1280x720 HD footage?
A: The images must be resized and converted in Photoshop because of the different kinds of pixels being used. When working with standard video in Final Cut Pro, the pixels being used are round pixels. Photoshop, on the other hand, works in a square pixel environment. When mixing square and round pixels, distortion can occur, causing a squeeze effect. Therefore, a conversion must take place, either by the software or by the user. Newer versions of Photoshop will now automatically change the pixel aspect. 

If using CS3 or later, simply select the matching preset to your FCP project resolution size. 

If working with CS1 or older the process might require a manual change to the resolution sizes.

If working with 1280x720 make a new Document then simply select the Film and Video preset, then select the appropriate size from the "Size" option, HDV/HDTV 720 within Photoshop. 

Work in that Document then save it and open it in FCP.
Q: I am attempting to complete the exercise in the “Creating a snapshot effect pt. 3” video, but I cannot get the timeline to open up separately when I double click on the PSD file in the timeline. So I can't see both layers of the PSD file in order to complete the animation.
A: Final Cut Pro will only open layered PSD files into a separate Sequence if there are truly multiple layers.
Open the PSD file in Photoshop to test the layers, then save. Then open that exact file in FCP.





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