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Prepping clips for editing

From: Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X

Video: Prepping clips for editing

So you're almost ready to begin editing and here's what's going to happen. You're going to want to throw some clips together and listen to them. But when you throw in xylophone music or some audio that's screaming at you, you might be a little shocked and won't enjoy the fruits of your editing labor. To ensure there are no surprises waiting for you in your first project viewing, let's weed into the screening process, the extra step of prepping your clips. As you screen and organize clips in the browser, you're going to become aware of certain things.

Prepping clips for editing

So you're almost ready to begin editing and here's what's going to happen. You're going to want to throw some clips together and listen to them. But when you throw in xylophone music or some audio that's screaming at you, you might be a little shocked and won't enjoy the fruits of your editing labor. To ensure there are no surprises waiting for you in your first project viewing, let's weed into the screening process, the extra step of prepping your clips. As you screen and organize clips in the browser, you're going to become aware of certain things.

For example, this is a clip of Ben. Let's just listen to him for a second. (Video Playing) Ben: The farmers of Peace Kawomera grow what's known in the world of coffee as a Bugisu Arabica. Diana Weynand: While this may sound fine to you, take a closer look at those audio levels. I see some yellow and I see a few red peaks in there. So it might be worthwhile to take a closer look and go ahead and get that audio at a level that you know won't be overpowering when you add it or include it with other clips. Another example might be in the music.

Let's take a listen to the music kids. (Music Playing) Well this might be a great shot to use even for the music if not for the video, but let's take a closer look at the audio. The way to do that is to click our audio meters and make sure they appear in the Timeline, now we can stretch those out to make them a little bit wider if we like, and let's listen to this clip again. (Music Playing) So obviously, this is a pretty hot clip.

The audio is pretty hot and typically for something like this, the director of photography gets what they can on this, but the audio sometimes is not always controllable in these situations. So if we want to drag the audio down on this in the Event Browser, we have to open the Inspector. When we open the Inspector, click the Audio tab, and watch this clip as I drag left on the Volume fader. So now I've gotten rid of the yellow and the red portions, the peak portions of the audio, and let's listen to it again.

(Music Playing) So what we were seeing, if you look at the audio meters down on the Timeline, (Music Playing) you see that the volume was up above -12 to -6. Well, typically, if you're listening to something at full volume, you want to aim for more like -12. And if you wanted this music to be in the background, you'd want it to drop down to about -18 or so.

So let's lower that volume even more, so that it becomes a little bit more of a background level for us. And when I've dragged the Volume fader, you see the number changed, so now it should be at about -20. So let's listen to that. (Music Playing) So what we've done is lowered the volume -20 from its original level. We were not setting the dB level, but we were lowering it by that amount. And in fact, it does sound like a nice background level.

So when we edit this clip, we know that we'll be able to just see it in context with the other clips, and it won't come out and hit us over the head, because it's so very loud. Now we can do a similar thing with narration. In reverse, is the narration loud enough to hear it, or will we have to stop and raise the volume along the way? (Audio Playing) Narrator: Yet as we hand our dollars to our vendors, we rarely think about the farmers who are our partners in supplying our caffeine libation. Diana Weynand: When you look at the audio meters, you see that they are just barely snugging up to -12.

It might be great if we could raise the volume of that particular clip a little bit. Let's raise this volume a couple dB, and let's listen to it again. (Audio Playing) Narrator: Yet as we hand our dollars to our vendors, we rarely think about the farmers who are our partners in supplying our caffeine libation. Diana Weynand: So this is the kind of thing that you'll want to do just to get your clips a little bit more friendly, to be able to play together when you put them together in a timeline. Now do you have any clips that have a need to be color corrected? Well if we go into our Stills category, remember there was an image of a boy carrying a little sibling, and it's a lovely picture, and the picture on the boy's face is quite lovely.

But notice all the green in this picture, and there's green in what appears to be the clothing. We don't know if we can get rid of that or not, but why not try to get rid of it. And we can do that very simply by clicking on the Video tab for an image and clicking in the Balance enable box. Simply by clicking that box, we've removed that green colorcast from the image. And now it makes that image even more desirable to use. So you may have thought that clip was not usable, because it had a colorcast to it.

Before you make that decision, just take it through the steps of maybe cleaning it up a little bit to make sure that it is looking and sounding as good as it can be. So trust me, once you've edited a few clips into a project, you'll want to kick back and enjoy what you've put together. But if out-of-whack audio or video levels surprise you, you'll have to spend time adjusting those levels inside the project in the Timeline, which may put a damper on getting to enjoy and respond positively to the first pass of your story.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

39 video lessons · 11746 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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