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Jared Cicon
Distor tool question
on Mar 3, 2012 at 4:30:23 pm

Hey Cowpokes,
I started this thread in the regular FCP forum, but thought maybe it was more appropriate here in the 'basics' forum.
Hope you can help out a slightly better than novice editor. I have a clip that I need to distort, but I need to distort just the top half of the image. Is there an option in Final Cut 7 to anchor part of a clip and limit the distortion/stretching to just part of the clip? As I understand it, normally there are only four corners/handles with which to utilize the 'distort' tool. Please let me know if there is a way to assign additional/variable 'handles' (for lack of knowing the correct terminology), to make the distortion a little more customized. Thanks in advance for the thought and time you all put into helping the community here at the COW.
Jared


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Distor tool question
on Mar 3, 2012 at 9:37:45 pm

Put a second copy of your clip on video layer 2. Turn off video layer 1 (green button on the far left of the timeline) so you can see what you're doing.

Double-click the clip on V2 to load it into the viewer. Go to the Motion tab and use the Crop controls to remove the bottom of the video. Now you can turn V1 back on add filters as needed to the top to create the desired effect. I'm not sure what the "distort" effect you're looking for looks like, otherwise I would offer a few suggestions.

If you want more control than the crop tool offers you can use the four or eight point garbage matte filters, which are controlled from the filters tab.


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Jared Cicon
Re: Distor tool question
on Mar 3, 2012 at 9:47:02 pm

Hey Jeff,
Thanks for helping out. I have tried to do what you are suggesting, the problem though, is that with no movement at all on the bottom clip it has a very disjointed appearance. Do you know of a free or very reasonably priced software that is Mac compatible that will help me do what I need? I love the HTML5 software by Timult (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hype/id436931759?mt=12), but since it was intended for web design, there is currently no way to export a FCP7 usable movie.
Jared


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Distor tool question
on Mar 5, 2012 at 5:39:36 am

If you're familiar with Motion - a part of Final Cut Studio - it has a record button that allows you to move things around and it'll make the keyframes for you. Sounds like what your HTML5 software is all about. You can take the video on V2, control-click on it and pick Send to -> Motion. That will send your clip into a new Motion project with the correct settings. You can press save, then go to Final Cut to render and view the results. Motion is a lot of application, but I'm not sure the results will be much different.


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Jared Cicon
Re: Distor tool question
on Mar 5, 2012 at 5:57:21 am

Hey jeff,
thanks for this suggestion. I'm on it. Not very knowledgeable about MOTION (though it's stared back at me from the dock for about 6 years now). I'll giver it a shot.
Jared


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Mark Suszko
Re: Distor tool question
on Mar 5, 2012 at 3:00:21 pm

Don't be afraid of it; Motion is like an easier-to-use version of AE, maybe a little more intuitive. You still didn't say what kind of "distortion" you're trying to do.


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Jared Cicon
Re: Distor tool question
on Mar 5, 2012 at 3:33:24 pm

Hey Mark,
It's actually only some (probably very, very simple) stick figure cartoon content. Problem is, it's for a competitive assignment on Poptent.net (a crowd sourcing commercial creative portal). The brand will award two creatives (purchase two spots), and even though it is simple animation, it can in no way appear to have been created by a rookie. So anything that smacks of 'just-getting-by' will greatly diminish my chances of picking up a payday. Though I am fairly competent at FCP, the following sentence will hint where I'm at relative to graphics software and special effects. "I don't know what AE stands for". LOL.
Jared


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Mark Suszko
Re: Distor tool question
on Mar 5, 2012 at 5:38:12 pm

"Adobe AfterEffects"

Look, just tell or show a still of what the distortion is that you're trying to get, and I'm sure someone here can tell you how achieve it. If you can't explain it well, draw it for us and save it as a jpeg. . Use the little upload image button just above your text response box, it looks like the front of a little still camera. Browse to your desktop or wherever your image is, upload it, copy the embed code that appears top left, paste that into your next next reply; we'll be able to see what you're talking about. There's probably multiple ways to get what effect you need, but it starts with communicating what you're doing and where you want to go... then we can really help you.


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Jared Cicon
Re: Distor tool question
on Mar 5, 2012 at 6:21:31 pm

Hey mark,
Here is a link to the first commercial spot the brand used in the campaign. They are hoping to continue the series. As a creative, I am charged with copying the exact type of animation but with my own original storyline. My spot will be a lot less action, yet I still need to manipulate similar to this first commercial.





Jared


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Mark Suszko
Re: Distor tool question
on Mar 5, 2012 at 8:31:35 pm

I looked at the sample commercial.

My first choice to make a spot like this would be to buy Toon Boom studio and do it right.

You could get away with using the home edition and feeding the results into FCP for further manipulation and layering.


A second choice would be to find a shareware cel animation program and use a wacom tablet with either of these. You might even be able to use Blender 3D and just render using a 2-d cel shader rederer.

If you are good with pencil and paper, I would maybe buy the stop-motion software from Boinx, and use it's "onion skin" feature, with an overhead camera and a well-lit tablet, to create this the old fashioned way.

To hand-animate exactly like the spot you referenced, in FinalCutPro, would be very time consuming, it's not really the rigeht tool. Apple Motion would be a *little* easier, but again, not really the right tool for this. Adobe After Effects could maybe handle it, but again, not the most efficient way to do it.


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Jared Cicon
Re: Distor tool question
on Mar 5, 2012 at 8:57:30 pm

Hey Mark,
Thanks for taking time to provide this specific information. I am going to look into Toon Boom. I hope it's not to cost prohibitive, since I'll likely not use the program again for another five years . You know how that is. Buy a plug in, use it once, eat up hard drive space and deplete the wallet etc. etc.. What I'm attempting is a merge of live action (what I usually shoot), and the characters of MONDAY, RAVIOLA and GARLIC BREAD. Since the time/dialogue will be split more or less evenly, the workload of drawing characters will not be as involved as the video you watched. I might be able to get away with drawing out the frames myself (old school), as I have been doing. After four or five days of this, I think I know how the students of the golden age of the Disney era felt. The deadline for the project is -6 days now so I'll keep pushing forward on this little journey of discovery and use whatever tools I can to get the job done at the highest level possible. As i admitted before, I know it's not smart to cut teeth on something with which you are competing against experienced pros. When I've cut the final I'll post it here for you to check out if you'd like.

My specialty is live action comedic commercial production. Here is my reel: http://www.jaredciconfilms.com

Thanks again for all your help, and if you have any other input you think could help, I'd be very grateful to receive it.

Jared


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Jared Cicon
Re: Distor tool question
on Mar 11, 2012 at 6:39:10 pm

Hey Mark,
Finally got this project done. Whew! 190 hours. Even if I win the award from the brand, I'll have paid myself a wage below that of the average Journeyman plumber. I ended up doing everything by hand using PENCIL to draw stuff with my mouse (not as an image sequencer). Exported the files to folder and then into FCP. Very tedious stuff. If you're curious, here is the final cut. It is password protected. (password: pencil).
http://vimeo.com/38283995
Thanks for all of your advice on this.
Jared


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Mark Suszko
Re: Distor tool question
on Mar 13, 2012 at 2:25:18 pm

Looks pretty good. I didn't know about Pencil; I'm going to have to try it out soon.


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Jared Cicon
Re: Distor tool question
on Mar 13, 2012 at 7:08:46 pm

Hey Mark,
Again, I don't want to mislead. I only used 'Pencil' as a way of drawing new key frames. I couldn't figure out how to get multiple frames to play over a sequence. From what I've read, it takes a little getting used to. But it definitely helped me to create individual key (and in between) frames.
Jared


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