Jan 14

Overcoming a Motion Template Tool Gotcha

I’ve been further exploring the ways to share projects between Final Cut Pro X (FCP X) editors (now made easier by the latest 10.1 release), and I recently ran into a gotcha when it comes to Motion templates. Hopefully, I can help some others avoid the head-scratching I went through trying to get this to work.

When you use a Motion template in your project, then share the project with another editor, you need to make sure they have the same template. If you’re making a custom template, such as a special lower third you designed, the other editor needs to install it in the exact right folder or FCP X won’t load it. And if FCP X doesn’t load it, you’re left staring at that red media offline warning again.

It’s a royal pain to tell your co-editor which folder to put the file in, especially if you’re organized like me and put everything into sub-folders by theme. “Put this in your /[user]/Movies/Motion Templates/Titles/My Great Project/ folder, okay?” Messy. And then multiply that by the number of templates you’re sharing.

So I was thrilled when I found Motion Template Tool (MTT), a great utility that installs the template files in the correct folders. If you, the originating editor, know where the template belongs, you can use MTT to make a zip archive that you hand off to your other editor. They then use MTT to open the installer file, and it puts your templates where they belong. Launch FCP X and you’re done. Right?

Well, not quite. I discovered a problem with MTT’s default settings while I was testing this for a project. Read More »

Posted in Blog, Editing, Tips and Tricks | Tagged , , | Leave a comment
May 30

What We’ve Learned Since Malfhok

It was recently brought to our attention that the new Computer character in Month of the Novel Season 2 is not unlike Malfhok in appearance. You remember Malfhok, right? He was the floating head who played a pretty large role in iSundae, plus he had a cameo appearance in iSundae II. We jumped through all sorts of special effects hoops to make him work, and we pretty much ended the iSundae films vowing never to do something like that again.

And yet, here we are, about five years later, doing something like that again. What have we learned? What’s different?

First off, the green screen is reversed, if you will. With Malfhok, we shot the character on green screen, then added him to the background plate in post-production.

Malfhok Green Screen Read More »

Posted in Blog, Movies, Special Effects | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments
Feb 24

Sharing Final Cut Pro X Projects

A lot has been written on the subject of how to share Final Cut Pro X (FCP X) projects. Some say it can’t be done. Others say it can be done, just with caveats. I’m here to tell you that after much experimentation, I have figured out how to make FCP X do pretty near precisely what FCP 7 does for media management.

Let me set up what I need to do. My upcoming project, Month of the Novel Season 2, is planned to be edited on FCP X by two editors, myself and my co-editor Ruth. We are both long-time users of FCP 7, and we used it to edit Season 1 of the show. Before we could switch to FCP X, I needed to find out if a few things were still possible. Here’s our workflow from Season 1 that we’re hoping to keep for Season 2:

  • Shoot the series in Georgia. While there, load the footage to Ruth’s computer.
  • I travel back to my home state, Illinois, with a copy of the project and media on my external drive.
  • Ruth and I share project files back and forth as we cut episodes and review each other’s work, making changes on either end.

Ruth and I are very collaborative editors. We often make changes to each other’s edits, and we tend to divide work according to individual strengths when it comes to creating additional media such as titles, visual effects, and so forth.

This posed a problem where FCP X was concerned. I had been led to believe from the sharing tutorials I’d found that it was impossible to add media to a shared project after initially copying the event. I didn’t want to deal with making a new event to send every time I added another file to the project, but that seemed to be the only option. But it’s not! I recently spent a few hours extensively testing how FCP X handles sharing, simulating two different computers with a couple of external hard drives that I could completely unmount. Here’s what I found out.

Read More »

Posted in Editing, Tips and Tricks | Tagged , | 4 Comments
Jan 16

Help Fund Month of the Novel Season 2

We’ve been posting up a storm lately over at the Month of the Novel blog. There have been interviews with the cast and crew, concept art designs, and now it’s time to post about our Indiegogo fundraising campaign.

This is new ground for the Phantom Moose crew. We’re doing a fundraiser for the first time. We’d appreciate it if you’d help make our first time great, because we are really excited about the possibilities added by some extra production budget. Check out the full blog post, then head over to our Indiegogo page to see how you can help us make our best production yet.

Posted in Blog, Movies | Tagged , | Leave a comment