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importing stills malarky

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heidi schrodingerimporting stills malarky
by on Aug 15, 2012 at 12:37:36 pm

Hi,
forgive me, I have not edited anything for years and it's all too new.
I am importing a lot of stills into FCP X for a project shot on an old PD150 ( PAL).
Some stills are very high res and I am thinking it would be better to fix them in photoshop first so they don't clog up too much space.
Trouble is I don't know what I am doing.
At all.
I just have Photoshop elements, so there is no option for converting to PNG as I have read is suggested, so am sticking to Jpeg.
I am documenting a period in time after a natural disaster so am relying on other peoples photos- which will be of all kinds of resolutions and qualities. At this stage I am just winging it, teaching myself FCPX as I go.

My questions for all you awesome folk out there are-
Do all my stills have to be the same size?
Is 200 dpi a good resolution to resize to?
What about cutting down the physical size- can it be like 20cm by 15cm or 60x40cm or must it be higher to look good? Or can it be random? Or does this depend on my final display size? ( a big flat screen telly in gallery setting )

I am sure I can sense you rolling your eyes- please forgive me, my talents lie elsewhere ;)

One other question, I have done quite a few dissolves on my stills sequence already and they look utter shite! Not smooth. elegant or subtle in any way shape or form. Not that keen on fade up/down from black either.
Is this FCPX or is it me?

Thanks so much in advance,
Heidi

'Getting back into making after a long time off'


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Eric SantiagoRe: importing stills malarky
by on Aug 15, 2012 at 7:34:34 pm

You can import JPEGs fine.
Work in Pixels not physical sizes.
Too hard for me to read ;)
It all depends on your final resolution.
If you are shooting for HD which is 1920x1080 pixels, then try to keep your images above that.
If you plan on doing any Ken Burns type of effects or zooming into a face, then you have to accommodate the image for that.
You can have a mix bag of sizes just as long as each one is higher than say 1024x1024 (thats width and height).
The dissolves part Im not sure about.
They all look like shiite to me ;)


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Jeff KirklandRe: importing stills malarky
by on Aug 16, 2012 at 8:18:20 am

FCPX willmworkmwith most anything you throw at it but if the images are too large it will slow to a crawl fairly quickly.

For best results, resize your images to as close to 1920 x 1080 as you can and still have it look the way you wanton screen. That's at 72dpi.

If then ransitions are looking doubtful check that you have the preview set to high quality rather than best performance in the preferences. And maybe check that the transition you're looking at has been rendered.

Cheers,
Jeff K

Jeff Kirkland | Southern Creative Media
video * audio * post * production
Melbourne, Australia


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heidi schrodingerRe: importing stills malarky
by on Aug 16, 2012 at 9:35:20 am

Thanks Jeff and Eric, very helpful.

From your help I realise that my stills are FAR TOO BIG for my project ( DV PAL) ... I have put many, many stills down, no wonder the computer is having a hard time- stuttering/ going out of sync in playback, dreadful looking dissolves etc.

I have a hell of a lot of very similar stills on my (1tb 7200 firewire) external HD, but only using some of them. I play around til I get one that works, thats why I have so many in the event library.

My new question is:
IS there a way of asking FCPX which images/still I have used in my sequences so I can export them to Photoshop elements and resize.

OR renaming each still so I recognise them in a file and then drag to photoshop for resizing.

OR do I have to ( cringe ) locate each file manually and drag them back to the internal HD, resize, re-import, then lay them over the sequence as new files?

I know I should have asked this question weeks ago, but back then I didn't know what I didn't know.

Thanks!
Heidi

'Getting back into making after a long time off'


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Russ HaskellRe: importing stills malarky
by on Aug 16, 2012 at 2:54:39 pm

It's been a while since I used Elements, but I was pretty sure that it can save as PNG. A search confirmed that it can. (So can Preview, BTW.) But I agree that FCPX will be quite OK with JPEGs.

Here is a short article on batch resizing in PSE that may be helpful. http://digital-photography-school.com/batch-processing-in-photoshop-element....

Russ


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Bill DavisRe: importing stills malarky
by on Aug 17, 2012 at 8:50:55 pm

Heidi,

To get a list of the photo names of the ones's you've used, call up the Timeline Index (the little icon that looks like a page lower left of the interface next door to the "reel" that brings out the Project Library.

That's a list of what's in your prroject. You can take notes or you can use any screen capture tool to grab images of it, at present you can't export it.

Next, you really want to "pre-size" graphics BEFORE you bring them into X. Particularly if you're copying imported clips and assets into your Projects (the Copy Files to Final Cut Events folder choice during import) If you do that' you've clogged your Final Cut Events - Original Media folder up with a lot of large and unnecessary stuff that will travel with your project - which is extremely unefficient.

The best practice is to prep graphics in advance. Many tools do this. I prefer Graphic Converter - a killer swiss army knife for graphcs manipulation with a lot of superb Batch processing features - but like a lot of powerful tools, it's not something you can just download and use in 10 minutes. It takes some exploring and learning.

You might search on "Mac Graphics Scale" and see what tools Google suggests. (Scale is the re-sizing command you're likely to use. And as others have said, resolutions over 72 DPI won't get you better resolution in a photo to video conversion and you'll want to pick a frame size that's bigger than your intended output resolution, but not many times bigger.

Hope this helps.

Good luck with your project.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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heidi schrodingerRe: importing stills malarky
by on Aug 18, 2012 at 12:35:59 pm

I just tried the batch processing on new stills, a great tool! Thanks.

I've gone into just one 4 minute project of 6 in total, and written down the file names of the stills used. There is about 35 of them. So I figure I have about 200 huge high res files to find and resize in the project so far, in amongst perhaps 500.
That old proverb "A stitch in time saves 9" keeps coming into my head. Oh well, I know now.

I was wondering IF there is a way for me to either put these files that have been edited in, into a bin or folder and delete the other files not used in that event ( as I said, about 500- I whacked them all in as I have a big external HD- pure foolishness. FCPX is struggling with my sequences ).

OR can I change their names so they are more easily identified then export out to photoshop elements editor ( which I have because it- or more like I - was cheeeeeap!) and batch resize, then just replace into correct event, where they wil miraculously replace the stills on my timeline in my project?

Does that makes sense? Is it totally wishful thinking? I know changing names confuses computers a great deal... and people for that matter.

OR do I skip all that and trawl through Iphoto where I keep the originals ( hopefully), prepare them at the correct dpi and size, import them into FCPX and manually edit each one into its place in the project again?

Hope I am making sense. It's getting late plus there is a wombat under the house making a terrible racket, hard to think.
Cheers!
Heidi
;)

'Getting back into making after a long time off'


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Jeff KirklandRe: importing stills malarky
by on Aug 18, 2012 at 1:59:59 pm

You could duplicate or move the project and tell final cut to just copy the media used in the timeline. That would give you a new event folder with just the images that are in use.

Cheers
Jeff K

Jeff Kirkland | Southern Creative Media
video * audio * post * production
Melbourne, Australia


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Bill DavisRe: importing stills malarky
by on Aug 21, 2012 at 6:03:29 am

[heidi schrodinger] "I was wondering IF there is a way for me to either put these files that have been edited in, into a bin or folder and delete the other files not used in that event ( as I said, about 500- I whacked them all in as I have a big external HD- pure foolishness. FCPX is struggling with my sequences ).
"


Heidi,

Folders are a finder deal. X isn't a finder thing like Legacy was. You've got to stop thinking about X like you did about other NLEs. In X, folder organization is largely unnecessary. Instead it's orgizational powers (which is massive) is built around KEYWORDs.

Start paying attention to the Event Browser. Start reading about and beginning to understand how selecting ranges of footage and applying keywords to them is WAY more powerful than putting "clips in folders."

You can get the rudiments down in a week or two - but you'll still be finding incredible things you can do with keywords, keyword collections and new ways to leverage the work you do in the event browser over multiple projects. You just have to stop thinking of the video you're making as a "cut off thing" like it was in Legacy - and start to understand that in X, everything is interconnected. The relational database works ACROSS projects and edits and decisions - not just inside a "project" like it used to.

[heidi schrodinger] "R can I change their names so they are more easily identified then export out to photoshop elements editor ( which I have because it- or more like I - was cheeeeeap!) and batch resize, then just replace into correct event, where they wil miraculously replace the stills on my timeline in my project?"

Since X is a relational database, names and IDs are important. However, there are lots of powerful tools inside the program to let you tag and rename things to you liking. The general rule is that if you can double click on something in X and it lets you edit the name, it's safe to do so, but renaming things in the finder can cause you real problems. So I'd avoid that.

X is a bit of a closed system. It's built that way because it's doing some very sophisticated metadata handling under the hood. As to replacing clips in your projects there are quite a few ways. Explore "auditions" Explore drag and drop replace- one asset on top of another in a storyline.

It's pretty always a mistake in X to try to operate it like you operated other NLEs. It has it's own internal logic. The sooner you learn that - rather then expecting it to have features that work like other software - the sooner you can learn to use it's unique strengths and get over the frustration of how it's not meeting your older expectations.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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heidi schrodingerRe: importing stills malarky
by on Aug 19, 2012 at 4:04:14 am

Ok, so I have trawled through, trashed a heap of unused stills, and resized a whole bunch, then dragged them back into the External HD where they replaced the stills that were to big. All your instructions were extremely helpful.

I resized the stills as:
pixel dimensions: width: 1000, height 667
Document size was changeable but around 35 cm width, 23 height
Resolution 72.
And I stuck with JPegs.

Now suddenly I think I've messed up with the pixel dimensions. Is 1000 appropriate? Seems so small.
I am using PAL SD which is 768x576 I gather. So I tried to keep the pixel dimension just a bit higher than that, in case I was cropping the still in the sequence.

Can any one say whether I have I done the right thing or not?
I feel like I keep falling on my face.

Cheers.

'Getting back into making after a long time off'


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Bill DavisRe: importing stills malarky
by on Aug 19, 2012 at 5:27:17 pm

You're doing fine.

X "auto resizes" photos upon import into your storylines in order to display the entire image. So if they are essentially tall or wide, they can appear small at first. But the critical factor is whether they import with enough resolution so that you can enlarge them and still have them look sharp.

Use the Transform menu to increase the scale of the photos and position them into whatever size frame your Project is set up with, and if they look good, they ARE good.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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