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Learn how to build and refine your story with the redesigned editing toolset in Final Cut Pro X. In this course, author Ashley Kennedy focuses on getting you comfortable with each aspect of the editing process in Final Cut—from preparation and organization, to editing and refining, to audio and effects, to media management and exporting. Each stage of the postproduction workflow is explained thoroughly and concisely, and uses real-world examples from both narrative and documentary workflows.
NOTE: This course and its exercise files are not compatible with Final Cut Pro X v. 10.1 or later. If you are running v. 10.1 or later, please watch Final Cut Pro X 10.1.1 Essential Training instead.
Generator Effects are clips that you create from nothing, things like backgrounds and placeholder elements and number or time code displays. Let's take a look. I am going into 9.9. And as you can see, this is an empty project. I thought the best way to show you how to create something from nothing is to literally start from nothing. So, I am going to go ahead and open up the Generator browser which is this little 2 button here, and we'll open up the Inspector as well. And as you can see, same structure, we have the categories of effects over here on the left, and the effects within the categories along the right.
Let's go ahead and start by creating a placeholder graphic which is a clip that you create as a dummy piece of footage for something that hasn't been shot yet. It's actually a very cool little template. So, I'll go ahead and just drag this into the timeline. And when I do it wants to know what format it should create this new piece of media. If I was dragging it into a sequence that already has clips in it, it would just conform to that format. All right, so this sounds good to me. I will go ahead and press OK, and let's press Shift+C to fit this in.
Let's go ahead and choose Fit so we can see the whole thing. Now as you can see it starts off by showing a man and a woman on a sunny day. So let's change that. I am going to go to my Generator tab, and let's say that we're editing The Castles project, and there's a scene with Joseph and his boss on the beach which there actually is. So this would be true to life. So let's say we want to start off in the long shot so that's good. And there's two people, both are men, so we'll change this to 2 Men, and the background is the Beach, and it's a cloudy day.
Okay, we're all set. Now, if I wanted to provide some notes, I just come up to Text and then enter here, To be filmed next week, and then we would just need to check View Notes. And we can use this in our scene, even though we don't have the footage, so we have essentially created a clip from thin air. So now let's create a background. Let's go grab something from Textures, maybe the Natural background. Let's go ahead and just drag this in the primary storyline, and a lot of these backgrounds have various things that you can change about them, for this one, there aren't too many.
I can change the type, maybe I want it to be Banana Leaves, or maybe Wheat Grass. And then there aren't too many things I can add to it beyond that, I can change the Tint Color if I like, and bring up the Amount, like so. I'll pick another one of these textures just so you can get a sense of other options that you might have for various backgrounds. I am just dragging Grunge right on top, and just changing these various textures as you can see, like so. Okay? Let's go ahead and just tint this a little bit red, like so.
All right, any background that you want, you can sort of form from these various templates, and change some parameters, that's totally fine. Let's go ahead and actually put it behind our placeholder graphic. Let's just drag this down there, like so. And of course, right now, you can't see it, but a lot of times when you use a background in Final Cut, what you're going to do is key through your foreground so that you can see the background. And of course most of the time what you're keying through is some green screen footage, but we don't have green screen footage, so we're sort of simulating this with this placeholder example right now.
Let's go ahead and just add a key. We won't go into great detail about keying but I do want to show you how to actually use a background, so if I come into my Video Effects and Keying, I am going to apply the Luma Keyer, and because these are black and white values, this should work okay. So what I am going to do is just go in to the Video tab. So my Luma Keyer is going to allow me to replace anything of a particular luminance value which just means dark or light values with the background underneath.
As you can see, right now, it just has some blanket values, and you can kind of see underneath, but let's go ahead and adjust some of these parameters so that it looks a little bit cleaner. So, I am just going to drag the slider over to the left until it's keying out everything except the lightest values, like so. That background is not the best for this, so let's go back to Generators, and we can just swap it out. I'll take, maybe go to Backgrounds, and let's do Underwater.
I will just do a little Replace Edit here, like so., and now that's a little bit easier to see, we have our two guys under water. Very strange I know, but the possibilities are endless. And because we're creating something out of nothing, I just wanted to show you one, how to create a graphic, and two, how to create a background that can interact with that graphic. I'll try one more, Replace, like so, and we can come in to Generator and change anything we want about this graphic.
So thanks for bearing with me on that one, but again, I did want to show you A, how to create a graphic, B how to create a background and then C, how to actually interact between these two elements. There are also some numbers related generators you can use. Let's come into Elements and choose Counting. I'll go ahead and drag this on top. Now, we have three generators right in a row, and this is just counting numbers, counting numbers. So, if I just come into the Inspector, I have some various parameters that I can change here.
As you can see it's counting from 0 to 300. You can make that do whatever you want. So let's say I wanted it to count down from 10 to 0. My Start number, I can make 10, and my End number, instead of 300, can be zero, and my Minimum Digits, let's bring that down to one so that we don't have all these zeros in front of it, and let's see is there anything else we'd like to change, maybe not. So let's just go ahead and make this happen faster.
So basically it's counting down from 10 to 0, in this period of time rather than the longer period of time we had, and that's all there is to it. There is others things we can change, we can come in and change the color if we want and other parameters if we like but you get the idea. So definitely, feel free to play around with all the various Generator Effects so that you can become accustomed to all the options you have in creating something from nothing.
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