Join Larry Jordan for an in-depth discussion in this video Importing images, part of Final Cut Studio 2: Moving on Stills .
Probably the best place to start is importing images, because we've got to get them into Final Cut before we can do anything with them. So in this section, I'm going to show you how you can change the import preferences and the import gamma settings for an image. I'll show you how and where to change video processing settings. Then onto something really fast and really easy: importing your files or importing your folders. And once we have got them imported, I'll show you how to change the image durations in the browser. So let's get ourselves started by switching over to Final Cut.
I have created a new project and then this image, which is called FCP 01 Image Start, and I set up a couple of bins, which don't show up here. Not to panic. Everything looks the same and works the same. This is an NTSC DV 4x3 image. As we can see here, this is 4x3 in both the Viewer and the Canvas. I have a project here called FCP Image Start. You will find it inside the Project folder, inside your exercise files. It's a DV NTSC 4x3 image. We can see the 4x3 image here in the Viewer and in the Canvas, but before we bring our images in, I want to talk about changing a couple of the Preference settings, and those preference settings are stored up in Final Cut Pro > User Preferences.
If we go to the Editing tab here, the very first line in the top left corner says, Still/Freeze Duration, and it has a 10 second default. Now this is actually two different numbers. The first is the Duration, that's the time, the distance between the In and the Out on a clip. The second is its Length. The length of a clip is the Media Start to the Media End. Well, when we import an image, it's given an In and Out, such that the duration is 10 seconds, but it's length is two minutes.
Well, it's actually two minutes in one frame. If you really want to be precise about it. Anyway, when I import an image, it's going to set that image to be a 10 seconds default. If I wanted to bring in an image sequence, so each image is a single frame, I would set this to one frame. If on the other hand, I wanted to bring in an image that was say 30 minutes long. I would set this to be 30 minutes. Not three minutes, no, no, no. That would be a mistake, we want 30. Here we go, 30 minutes, But what's actually happening is it's setting an In and an Out, such that the distance between the In and the Out is 30 minutes, and the length is two minutes and one frame longer, 32.01.
That's why you can adjust the In and the Out, even on a still image a little bit, and still have room. Handles in which to adjust it. For what we're doing today, a 10 second duration will be fine, but one of the problems I have had is let's say, I need a delay a super over an entire show that's 30 minutes long. What I have to do in the past is do Copy, Paste, Copy, Paste, Copy, Paste and have this clip just get repeated over. Well, now I don't have to do that. Before I import it, I'll set the duration to be the length that I want, and that Still Frame comes in at that length. Much, much easier. There's another setting on the same screen. Notice where it says Gamma Level Source.
If you're having a problem matching the grayscale level inside Final Cut with the grayscale level of the image that you created, say you created them all using Apple RGB, which has an image gamma of 1.8, then you would want to set this to 1.8, so that Final Cut knows how to adjust the gamma. Because we made a point to switch all of our images to SRGB, which has a gamma setting of 2.2. They are automatically ready for video, but that's not always the case, because not everybody has seen this training. Consequently you may need to play with the gamma setting, and this is only inside Final Cut 6.0, because this did not exist in earlier versions.
So for us, we're going to work with the Source gamma setting, and remember gamma controls the mid-tone gray of an image. Once you've set the Still/Freeze Duration to be what you want, a single frame for an image sequence, or 30 or 45 minutes or an hour and a half for something that you want to have stretched over into your program. Once you have set the gamma settings then we're done with this preference, but there's still one more preference you might want to consider, and that is over in the Sequence menu. Now to select the Sequence menu, you select the Timeline, go up to Sequence, go down to Settings, and notice there is a new tab here called Video Processing.
You want to make sure if what you're creating is going to DVD or to broadcast or to cable, that this is set to the Process the Maximum White as White. What that does is it takes all imported graphics and locks the white levels, such that it does not exceed 100%. If you're editing specifically for the Web, it will only go to the Web and you don't ever plan to put it on DVD or broadcast, then you can get a greater level of whites by setting this to Super White. But most of the time you're best off leaving this set to White.
Also just one another thing. If you're dealing with still images, processing an 8-bit YUV is a good choice. As you start to work with gradients or color correction, you might want to consider changing your rendering to high-precision. It's going to slow your rendering down, so there is a trade off here, but it will make your ultimate render files have a higher quality. What you might want to consider doing is leaving it set to Render in 8-bit YUV because it's faster for all of your editing, and then do one more render pass just before output and say, Render all YUV material in high-precision.
Your render files will be the same size, your render time will be increased, and your render quality will improve. Now that we have got this, we will just leave this for 8-bit YUV for what we were doing here, and you can practice and take a look and can see which are these looks better for you. If you can't tell the difference, then obviously leave it in 8-bit YUV, because it will be quicker. But I suspect, is epically if you start to get into color work, and into working Motion projects, and working with gradients, that you will see a difference and improvement in the quality of your images by rendering an high-precision.
Let's click OK here, and let's import our image. There is a variety at different ways of importing our image. The first is, we can select File > Import Files or File > Import > Folder, or we can use the keyboard shortcut Command+I. Now there is also another way we could do it. If you hold the Control key down, or right mouse click over here. We have Import Files and Folders. So we have three different ways of bringing our files in. So I'm going to go find our folder by going, File > Import > Folder, and I have copied my Exercise Files to the desktop.
I'll click the Exercise File folder, click the Media folder, click the Images folder, and I'll bring in all of Vertical images, just highlight that whole folder and click Choose. Notice that it's now brought in all of my images. I'll leave them with the letter V so I know that they are vertical images. This is the birdbath that we looked at before. Double click it. Yup. Yay, birdbath. Notice that the duration is 10 seconds, and if we open if this up just a bit, and I Control-click on one of these column headers, which allows me to see the hidden information that the Browser is keeping track of.
Notice under here, it says, Show Length, and there is our length. It's two minutes and one frame longer than the duration of the clip. So that when I open this up into the Viewer, there is my In, there is Out, but look at my Media Start and Media End. I have got lots of extra handles on that image. Now I can bring in another folder. I'll go up to File > Import > Folder, and this time I'll bring in the Horizontal Images, and bring those in. They're coming in their own bin, and there's our images.
If I wanted to bring in a single file, I could say, File > Import > Files, or I could type Command+I, but when I do that the files comes in at the highest level of the Browser. Let's say that I wanted to put an image inside a folder. Well, I hold a Control key down, or right mouse click, and say Import Files. And as long as I'm clicking on a Folder, it allows me to select a particular image, in this case the original of our Possum, and when I bring it in, notice that Possum is imported directly into that folder, what Final Cut calls a bin.
So I can import, type in Command+I for individual file or files. I can import a folder or by Control-clicking on a folder itself, I can put a specific file or files inside a folder that I'm Control-clicking on. Lots of flexibility and the nice thing is it's easy, I don't have to say it's a particular kind of file. I just say bring it in! And Final Cut brings it in, and figures out if it's a still image or a Photoshop document, an audio file or video file. Very easy, very straight forward. If you need to change the duration, double-click on it, and type in the duration you want this to be, five seconds, and that easily you have changed the duration of the clip.
All easy simple to do, and now we have got our files imported, the next step is to start to turn this into an actual sequence, and that begins with the audio, and creating our audio track is next.
- Preparing images in Photoshop
- Building an image sequence and synching to a music track
- Adding handles and transitions to images
- Adjusting scale, rotation, cropping, distortion, and other motion parameters in Final Cut Pro 6
- Understanding effective use of keyframes and Bezier controls
- Sending a project back and forth between Final Cut Pro and Motion
- Adding effects with behaviors or keyframes in Motion