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Changing duration of multiple still images in FCP

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John Ranta
Changing duration of multiple still images in FCP
on May 12, 2010 at 12:15:14 pm

We are having a problem. My students are working on Stop Motion projects. They have imported hundreds of still images to the timeline. They set the still image duration for the project in Preferences to 00:00:00:05. Now they've decided that they want to further shorten the duration of some sections of their film. They select 50 (or so) still images on the timeline, and right-click to change the duration of these to 00:00:00:03. When they click "okay", FCP "bonks" (makes a weird error sound) and the duration for all these still frames reverts back to 00:05. If they make the duration change one still frame at a time, it works. Why can't they change the duration for multiple frames? Do we have something set wrong? Thanks, John Ranta


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Matt Lyon
Re: Changing duration of multiple still images in FCP
on May 12, 2010 at 3:47:36 pm

I'm pretty sure you can't batch change the duration of stills. The quickest solution is to delete the items in question from the project, change the default still duration, then re-import.

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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John Ranta
Re: Changing duration of multiple still images in FCP
on May 12, 2010 at 5:50:14 pm

Actually, you can do it, but it's intermittent. By which I mean that some students are able to select a bunch of stills on the timeline of their project, then change the duration in the properties window for that batch of selected stills and see it immediately change the length of all those stills. But this does not always work, and we can't figure out what to do when it won't. We've looked at the Preferences settings and these do not seem to make a difference. Which makes me wonder if there is some setting in RT or other odd place that somehow effects the duration settings on stills. Any ideas?


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Matt Lyon
Re: Changing duration of multiple still images in FCP
on May 12, 2010 at 10:51:31 pm

Oh hey you're right! It is working fine on my system too. Strange that it is intermittent for you. But fcp sometimes seems to lose its mind. Maybe there are transitions or other overlapping clips on the timeline that are preventing the operation from working? Could you try copying the clips to a new timeline, batch changing the durations, then copying back?

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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John Ranta
Re: Changing duration of multiple still images in FCP
on May 13, 2010 at 1:08:05 am

We tried copying all of the photos to a new video track within the same project, and then trying to change the duration of those selected photos. We got the same "bonk" error message. But again, only some of our students are seeing this behavior. Others can change the duration for a bunch of selected still photos just fine, whether they are part of a larger track, or on their own isolated track. They say consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, but I'd love to see some consistency here (or figure out what setting we have to fix on the offending machines).

is this a bug, or a feature :) ?? Thanks for looking into this - JR


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Matt Lyon
Re: Changing duration of multiple still images in FCP
on May 13, 2010 at 5:53:54 pm

Sounds like a bug to me! I don't think you'll find a software setting that will fix this, so I guess it's time to troubleshoot. Is it confined to certain machines, or certain projects? Can you open the problem projects on a different box and change durations?

Can they batch change the duration of just a couple clips? Maybe it is a problem with one or two media files in particular.

You should also probably try the usual things: update all the machines with the latest FCP patches, trash preferences, etc...

Good luck!

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Jeff Maday
Re: Changing duration of multiple still images in FCP
on Jun 7, 2010 at 4:21:17 pm

I'm having a similar problem. I am producing videos of presentations that were given using powerpoint or keynote slides. I am inserting the slides manually into the video (and shrinking the presenter into the corner and the slides into the opposite corner so that the slides are easier to see). The problem that I have is that the time period for each slide is limited to 1-minute, 10-seconds. This makes it a huge hassle to edit the video, because I have to put multiple copies of the slides back to back and reformat (resize and reposition) every single one of them independently.

So my question is: Is there a way to extend the time for still photos beyond 1:10?

P.S. I'm using fce.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: Changing duration of multiple still images in FCP
on May 12, 2010 at 5:27:35 pm

Hey, the easy way to do this is with Quicktime Pro:

Go to Quicktime Pro, go to File >> Open Image Sequence. Select the files you want to use and click on Open. It prompts you to set your frame rate. It runs from 10 seconds per frame for say slideshows to 60 (or 30 or 24 or 29.97 or 23.98, etc) frames per second. I'd set it to 60 FPS and save as a linked movie file in Quicktime (no compression) using File >> Save As... and change to "Reference Movie." This is useful if the images are really large (my most recent example was a series of still time lapse frames from a Canon T2i). You can also just do File >> Export and save as a video file and change the image sizes there. Depends on what you want to do with the final. If you plan to make changes to the sequence, then link it all together as a movie for a fast fix. If you plan to conform footage for film later, this option might work better. If you plan to just make a video in the end, don't bother with huge image files and trim it all down to a nice simple video file using Apple ProRes or a similar format.

Then open the linked movie file in FCP and use the time shifting in FCP rather than messing with still frames in FCP - you can easily keyframe the time changes for sequences that need to change their timing for a single movie sequence. This option will be much faster than single frames in FCP.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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David Bark
Re: Changing duration of multiple still images in FCP
on Dec 12, 2010 at 6:03:15 pm

I know it's late in the game, but for the next guy:

Drag the group of still passed everything else in the timeline. (Select the group, shift-Z, and take them to the end.) When they're sitting on top of something else, it seems you can make them longer, but not shorter. I grabbed my group of stills and took it all the way to the end, right clicked on the group, went to duration and set the new, shorter time. Then I just moved them back to where they belong.

David Bark
Lightshine Productions


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Anton French
Re: Changing duration of multiple still images in FCP
on Sep 9, 2011 at 1:45:36 pm

I always take take take so thought i had better give something back this is my first post

Select all the images on the timeline, ctrl click the row and navigate to duration. enter your desired length and hey presto all images at the same length.


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Wendy Kohn
Re: Changing duration of multiple still images in FCP
on Jan 11, 2013 at 5:54:37 pm

Since this was helpful info to me, thought I'd add in my two cents to this thread, long after.
I was able to change the duration of a row of still images by selecting and right-clicking and changing the duration. FCP 7 changed the duration, but gave me the "bonk" sound as well, because I had a second row ABOVE the row of still images that had some titles (I had selected both rows). The duration of both rows was changed, but the top row was not "compressed" (moved left) with the first row, so the titles were shorter but were no longer in their desired locations. Simple fix, I just moved them to where they needed to go. :-)

Wendy Kohn, Kwamba Productions
http://www.kwamba.com


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Catarina Fernandes
Re: Changing duration of multiple still images in FCP
on Jan 3, 2014 at 8:08:48 pm

Adding to the thread:

Well, we know that by default, every time you add a still image to your timeline, the duration is going to be 10 seconds. I also got the "bonk" every time I wanted to batch shrink the images. A way of solving this was to change this value in FCP:

Go to 'Final Cut Pro'-> 'User Preferences'.
Choose the 'Editing Tab' and type a new value into the 'Still/Freeze Duration Field'.

Of course, than, every time you import it will be at that specific duration, however, it may help you at some times. It surely helped me!


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Cat Martino
Re: Changing duration of multiple still images in FCP
on Mar 6, 2015 at 12:26:40 am

Hi there! I am trying your suggestions here, but I changing the duration in the preferences does not seem to affect the picture time for me. Any thought, really want to get into this stop motion piece;)? Thanks!


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