Red Giant QuickTip 29: Magic Bullet Colorista and Window Layouts in FCP

Uploaded by redgiantsoftware on 29.03.2011

Hi everybody, Simon Walker here. This QuickTip features the Window Layouts in Final Cut,
and how you can set them up to work faster when using Color Correction plug- ins like
Colorista. And it was inspired by a question I was asked
about how to adjust the Viewer window to reveal more of the interface when youʼre using a
filter. You may have encountered this... letʼs say
youʼre grading a clip using Colorista II. So in my case here, Iʼve got this shot featuring
a red scarf blowing in the wind, and Iʼm going to apply the Colorista filter to it....
Iʼm using a MacBook Pro, so Iʼm on a laptop, and this is the default window layout that
you get when you open up an empty Final Cut project.
My clip is at 720p, so Iʼm not able to view it at 100% size in the canvas window, because
of the reduced resolution of the laptop. On my MacBook Pro, the screen resolution is
smaller than on my desktop Mac, and Iʼve only got 1440 pixels width to play with. So
this means Iʼve got less space to stretch out all the Final Cut windows.
And this is a quite common situation when youʼe editing on a laptop, because weʼre
used to seeing our clips at a smaller size in the viewer and the canvas because itʼs
a comfortable trade-off, editing on a laptop also means we can edit on the go... youʼve
got a portable Mac. Well the question I was asked, was about the
filter interface in the Viewer Window. Because of the smaller resolution, Final Cut truncates
the widths of the columns in the viewer so it can fit them all into the smaller space.
The problem is that Final Cut also limits how wide you can drag these columns. The key
one I want to make wider is the Parameters column so I can see the colour dials in Colorista
and then adjust them. But Final Cut physically wonʼt let me drag this column any wider,
because of the limitations of the other windows. So, the fix for this is simply to make the
Viewer window wider. I can drag on the top bar of the viewer to move it around, and then
I can re-size it, and make it wider, by clicking and dragging the tab at bottom right hand
corner of the window. Then when itʼs wide enough, Iʼm able to
adjust the columns to reveal more of the filter interface.
Whilst this is fine as a fix in itself, it means that Iʼve ended up hiding the browser
window. I can reveal it again by dragging the viewer around, but moving these windows
isnʼt the most efficient way of working. I also like to change the Final Cut interface
depending on the task in hand. Sometimes Iʼll want to concentrate on the timeline, so Iʼll
need to stretch the timeline to fit the width of the screen, and sometimes Iʼll want to
see the content in the canvas at 100% size. So my aim for this QuickTip is to remind you
about the Arrange Items under the Window menu in Final Cut.
Instead of manually moving the windows around, I can very quickly reset them with a menu
item So if I want to do some colour correcting,
thereʼs a layout for that, which re-organise the position of the windows and brings up
the scopes. And if I want to concentrate on the audio,
I can choose the Audio Mixing layout, which brings up the Audio Mixer.
And using this layout shortcut is much faster than manually moving the windows around.
Haha... this reminds me of the iPhone app store advert...
But whilst weʼre here, let me just remind you how these windows work... you can tell
which is your active window by the light grey bar at the top of the window... whichever
window has the light grey bar, is your active window. And you can make a window active by
just clicking on it. And itʼs important to know which is your
active window, because the keyboard shortcuts, like SHIFT-Z for ʻfit to windowʼ, affect
the viewer and the canvas differently from the timeline.
And as well as being able to move these windows around, you can close them. But itʼs easy
to accidentally close a window, especially if youʼre used to using the CMD-W ʻclose
windowʼ shortcut. So if you do accidentally close one of the
interface windows, itʼs easy to to bring each it back.
Under the Window menu is the instruction to open or close a single window...and note the
handy shortcut reminder... each of the main windows has itʼs own shortcut for opening
and closing. But itʼs much faster to reset all the windows
at once. In the Arrange menu the CTRL-U shortcut is
a handy one to remember. In fact I think itʼs one of the key shortcuts to remember in Final
Cut, along with things like JKL for playback and SHIFT-Z to fit-to-window.
And donʼt forget you can also save your own window layouts.
Iʼve created my own window layout for when Iʼm working with Colorista on my laptop,
which uses all the height of the screen, so I can open up the Primary, Secondary and Master
sections all at the same time, and then I can jump between them by scrolling up and
down. Probably the question that comes up the most
when Iʼm training concerns the speed of editing, people often ask ʻhow do I edit faster in
Final Cut Pro?ʼ Well, one way to edit faster is to jump between
these different screen layouts when youʼre doing different tasks, to make the window
youʼre working on larger, and so itʼs easier to edit clips when youʼve got a wide timeline
that lets you see multiple layers at once. And itʼs faster to adjust effects when youʼve
got a larger viewer window, such as the ʻTwo Upʼ setting. In fact ʻTwo Upʼ is one of
the best settings for adjusting effects, as it has more space for adjusting the filter
settings, and the Canvas window is larger as well, so you can see your footage in more
detail. So I hope this tips helps, and speeds up your
editing and grading. But until the next time, good luck, and have