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Applying effects to enhance story elements

From: Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X

Video: Applying effects to enhance story elements

Like the Wizard of Oz behind his giant screen, storytellers also have magic up their sleeves. In the editing stage of a project, the storyteller can apply an effect to one or more images, and even to sound to literally direct or certainly influence how an audience might perceive the words and images in the project. But it's important to be mindful of what affect the effect has, and not to get swept up in the blustery cartoon aspect of Mr. Oz, unless of course that's what you're going for. In the Project library, let's open the Effects project.

Applying effects to enhance story elements

Like the Wizard of Oz behind his giant screen, storytellers also have magic up their sleeves. In the editing stage of a project, the storyteller can apply an effect to one or more images, and even to sound to literally direct or certainly influence how an audience might perceive the words and images in the project. But it's important to be mindful of what affect the effect has, and not to get swept up in the blustery cartoon aspect of Mr. Oz, unless of course that's what you're going for. In the Project library, let's open the Effects project.

This is the project that we worked on in an earlier movie where we combined still images into a compound clip, and then we added the Ken Burns motion effect in order to create a focus on what we wanted the audience to see in that image. Certain effects can add to that, they can help us focus your audience on what you want them to see. So let's take a look at the effects that we might be able to choose from. First we'll click the Effects button in the Media browser area, and notice that there are video effects and different effect categories, and audio effects and those categories.

Let's look at the video category called Stylize. Now in order to preview an effect, you want to make sure that you have selected the clip in the timeline. In this case, we can actually apply a clip to the entire compound clip. Now if you wanted to apply it directly to a single clip, to just one of these clips, you would of course have to double-click the compound clip and open a timeline and then apply it to a single clip there. But we're going to apply an effect to the compound clip. So we select the clip in the timeline, and then move into our Styles area and simply by skimming across a style thumbnail, we see that style previewed over the clip selected in the timeline.

Bad TV, Film Grain, Half Tone. So there are different ways that you can change the look of this image; some of them may not help you tell the story of this, and some may. For example, if you skim over the Photo Recall effect, that has an interesting effect and it seems to add to what we are trying to create here. We are trying to create a focus around the individual children and the groups of children in this community, and this helps us do that.

So to apply this effect, let's double-click it. Notice the orange line as it's being rendered into the effect. With it selected, let's open the Inspector and take a look at some of the parameters. Notice in the Video tab, we see the Photo Recall effect. Now if we want to see or change, modify any of its parameters, click the disclosure triangle, and you see a combination of faders and selections from pop-ups that we can adjust. An interesting way to look at this is through the style.

Right now, we're seeing the Classic style, but let's see what happens if we change it to Instant. Now we are looking at a snapshot, almost like an old Polaroid image. With the circle in the middle of the image, you can change the position, and you could use this to add additional information. Then use this extra space to put bullet points up to reinforce either what Paul is saying or to create more information about the education and that sort of thing, or we can just reposition this clip back to the middle. Let's do that, and we get the nice crosshairs to help guide us into that center position.

If we want to change the size or the amount of the frame, this lets us change that. If we want to adjust the Blur, we can allow the background to drop out even more, if we create more of a blur. And the Separation will allow us to create more separation by keeping the original color inside the frame, but losing or adjusting it on the outside. Again, you might want to play with this, play with different aspects of it, but it does have an affect of helping us focus on what we're zooming into.

Let's take a look at a couple of these images. (Video Playing) Now sometimes you can combine two effects together and that can even heighten what you're trying to do. In the Video tab, let's collapse this Photo Recall, and down in the Styles, let's go to the Looks category, and scroll to the top, if that's not already where you are, and let's just skim over the 50's TV look.

This applies sort of a black and white, it sort of washes out some of the images, let's go ahead and apply that by double-clicking it. Notice the second effect appears beneath the first one. The only thing you can do here is adjust the amount, 0 takes you back to normal, and 100% takes you into a zone that you may not want to go. And if you want to get back to the original, simply click the disclosure triangle on the right, and from the pop-up menu, choose Reset Parameter. Now if we take a look at this. (Video Playing) You could make an argument that by removing the color from these still images, the viewer focuses more on the faces.

That's where my eye goes when I'm not looking at what someone is wearing, or the color of their hat or the color of their dress. I'm looking at the faces in these images. It depends on what you want the viewer to be focused on. Effects can turn your familiar footage into lively eye candy, but keep asking yourself, can the effect impact your story? Does it bring you and your audience closer to what you're trying to say, or does it push you away? Can an effect help you tell your story? If yes, use it, but if not then reconsider applying it.

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This video is part of

Image for Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X
Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X

39 video lessons · 11902 viewers

Diana Weynand
Author

 
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  1. 5m 54s
    1. Welcome
      1m 20s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 34s
  2. 16m 21s
    1. Exploring different types of storytellers
      7m 9s
    2. Identifying story elements
      5m 9s
    3. Finding the essence of the story
      4m 3s
  3. 15m 6s
    1. Organizing footage into folders
      5m 29s
    2. Creating a disk image as a contained workspace
      4m 51s
    3. Importing folders and stills as keyword collections
      4m 46s
  4. 22m 52s
    1. Adding keywords to make clips accessible
      3m 33s
    2. Using favorite tags to call clips into action
      7m 16s
    3. Making notes to capture observations
      4m 1s
    4. Performing a complex search
      2m 28s
    5. Prepping clips for editing
      5m 34s
  5. 28m 47s
    1. Finding the meat of the clips
      5m 11s
    2. Don't be puzzled over your first edit
      4m 27s
    3. Creating project versions and developing story diversity
      5m 16s
    4. Putting story threads in order
      7m 25s
    5. Sculpting the story within the timeline
      6m 28s
  6. 46m 5s
    1. Trimming distractions from a story
      6m 48s
    2. Compounding thoughts into one primary story project
      9m 52s
    3. Evaluating the project for story content and pacing
      7m 1s
    4. Fine-tuning the edits in a project
      7m 36s
    5. Refining the primary sound bed
      7m 55s
    6. Organizing separate story segments into independent storylines
      6m 53s
  7. 24m 11s
    1. Storyboarding a narrative script using placeholders
      7m 22s
    2. Recording a narration track to explore script ideas
      4m 40s
    3. Changing pitch in a temporary narration track to identify different characters
      5m 27s
    4. Adding sound effects to create depth
      6m 42s
  8. 41m 2s
    1. Embellishing the story with cutaways to B-roll footage
      9m 3s
    2. Finessing cutaways to enhance the story
      5m 3s
    3. Editing and arranging a still-image storyline
      6m 22s
    4. Applying the Ken Burns effect to still images
      6m 33s
    5. Altering your story's "look" using the Color Board
      8m 4s
    6. Applying effects to enhance story elements
      5m 57s
  9. 28m 57s
    1. Retiming to lengthen or shorten music and clips
      6m 48s
    2. Adding freeze frames to end or start sections
      6m 40s
    3. Video finishing touches
      8m 6s
    4. Audio finishing touches
      7m 23s
  10. 1m 7s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 7s

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