5. February 4, 2013

Final Cut: making your finished project the best it can be

Opening Items

  • EYMF
  • iStop Motion Update 2.0 (free, I think)
  • Next Project LIVE meeting at CGEC; optional free work session
  • iVIE deadline is March 15; better to be early, just in case...

Film Featurette:

  • Bullitt 
  • Winner of Academy Award for Best Editing, 1968 (Frank Keller)
  • Prototype of all modern car chases


You are going to make the corrections below to the iMovie Project I had you download. If you didn't do that, make a copy of a current or former project and use it to try the corrections below. Use the tools called for so you get a feeling for them.

  • General: Show Advanced Tools
  • Browser: Always Show Clip Durations and Show Fine Tuning Controls

Important: Be sure to use the Zoom sliders to zoom in or out as needed; this is especially important when making fine adjustments.


  1. Use the Precision Editor on clips 1 and 2 to
    1. Change duration of transition to 1 sec (double-click on the transition)
    2. Preview edit (Play current Edit)
    3. Re-position edit until satisfied with results (and none of Kim’s audio is clipped)
  2. Use the Clip Trimmer on clips 2, 3, and 4 to
    1. Preview entire clip (not just portion already showing)
    2. Decide where the best section is
    3. Adjust In and Out to cover that section for EXACTLY 5 seconds (so each of those clips is 5 sec. long; look for clip duration on clip)
  3. Use Precision Editor (between clips 3 and 4) on Green Screen clip to
    1. Engage Show Extras
    2. Zoom in
    3. Move clip to start at beginning
    4. Use Arrow Keys to step over edit to be sure 1st frame includes background and green screen clips.
    5. Don’t change anything to background clip
  4. Use Clip Trimmer to adjust end of green screen clip to end just as she snaps her fingers. Preview edit until effect is optimum.
  5. Select Sunset picture, and then
    1. Choose the Crop Tool
    2. Reverse the Zoom so the zoom is in towards sunset
    3. Change the End to look directly at sunset
    4. Change the Start so it’s only a little bigger than the End so there’s a slow zoom into the sunset
    5. After finishing Ken Burns, double-click on clip and change duration to 7 seconds
  6. Select EUSD picture and then
    1. Choose the Crop Tool
    2. Change from Ken Burns to Fit
    3. After changing Ken Burns, double-click on clip and change duration to 8 seconds
  7. Add title at end of project that
    1. Says “The End”
    2. Change duration to 7 seconds
    3. Use the Fine Tuning Controls to make the title background 6 seconds
    4. Make sure project is exactly 1 minute long
    5. You should see the waveform of the music track glide to a stop, not a fade out
  8. Fix Audio
    1. Lower the music track to about 90%
    2. Make a selection on the music track coinciding with the beginning and end of Kim’s talking (look at the waveform)
    3. Lower this selection until you have a good balance between dialog and music (with dialog the most important)
    4. Adjust clips 2, 3, 4 so they are at a good ambient audio level
    5. On the green screen clip
      1. Lower overall volume to 50% (so you can still identify the “snap” in the waveform)
      2. Make a selection around the snap and raise it to 200%
      3. Lower to 0% to the right and left of the snap (so the snap is all that’s audible)
  9. Color Correction
    1. Double-click on the first clip to open the Inspector; click the Video tab
    2. If necessary, re-set the shadow and highlight sliders in the Histogram
    3. Try adjusting the Contrast and Saturation sliders to see if you can get a better looking image
    4. Use the Revert to Original button if you get off track
    5. Use the Revert to Original button, and then ⌘-Z to Undo for a before/after look
    6. Continue with clips 3 and 4
    7. TIP: If the clip has a good look at something that should be white (or gray or black), move the cursor into the picture and click on it; this should neutralize any color casts (e.g. by adding yellow if there’s a blue color cast). Watch the color wheel in the Inspector and watch there as you click; notice in which direction it moves. If you think it over-corrects, drag the little white puck back towards the center a bit.