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Moving an image frame by frame in final cut pro

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Trevor Coats
Moving an image frame by frame in final cut pro
on Apr 24, 2013 at 4:19:18 pm

I am editing a Lip-Dub for my school that we shot last week. The problem is, there were a group of students on one side "twerking. For those of you who are unfamiliar with 8th grade fads. It is a dance you do with your bottom. Since this is un-appropriate and because our principle said it had to be edited out I would like to put a black bar over the twerkers that says"CENSORED". We have Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects. But I have never used them and every one is eager to see this ASAP so we are in a HUGE HURRY to get it done. I would like to add a black bar in perhaps by just uploading a jpeg file. I need someones help to tell me how to move it frame by frame. We cant "cut this out because it has to be one whole continuous shot. I dont mind to do this frame by frame because the section of the dancers is very short. So it wont take very long. Can someone tell me how to move an image frame by frame in Final Cut Pro 7? I would appreciate any help. And I will be sure to give you credit.

Thanks, Trevor


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Mark Suszko
Re: Moving an image frame by frame in final cut pro
on Apr 24, 2013 at 8:51:19 pm

Trevor, this is not hard to do. Make your "censored" black rectangle with lettering on it in Photoshop, save it out as 32-bit with alpha channel, in .tga, .tif, .png formats.... I assume you already know how to do that.

Load the graphic into your bin in FCP.

Set the duration of the graphic to be as long as the problem scene. Add the graphic to a second video track above the first main track. At this point, it should just be stuck somewhere near the center of the screen as the acton goes on underneath it.

Double-click the graphic to select it. Now in your left-hand screen you see tabs like video, stereo, filters, motion. Click the "Motion" tab. Use the "scale" slider to adjust the size of the sign to cover the problem areas. Use the rotation control, just below the scale control, to rotate a little if needed.

In the "Motion" tab, see the third line called "Center"? This is where you will move the graphic around.
When you hit the little plus sign there, it activates a red crosshair on your program screen and your mouse moves the graphic into the position you want. Click the round green button in the "center" panel to set a keyframe there, and you'll see a black diamond-shaped dot appear on the little timeline to the right. Advance the program a few seconds, use the center red + again to move the graphic around to the next position, repeat this process and the graphic goes where you need it to.

The most efficient way to keyframe a job like this is to keep dividing the timeline in halves. You start at the very first and very last frames. Then you add a keyframe in the middle of the clip. Then you add one in the middle of the section between the center and the end and the center and the beginning. Keep that up. Only add a keyframe to correct the computer if the drift goes too far off target. This method makes the machine do most of the position math for you so you do the minimum number of key frames needed to keep it clean.

You can grab those keyframe diamonds and drag them to make adjustments, or to highlight and delete a bad one. Or copy/pate a good one where you need it.


Good luck. At least you're not throwing gallons of milk around on camera, that's even stupider than "twerking" or whatever. :-)


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Trevor Coats
Re: Moving an image frame by frame in final cut pro
on May 1, 2013 at 12:57:46 pm

Thanks it worked!! Also I have one more question, whenever I try to super impose an circle from the shapes it says "insufficient content for edit".

Thanks, Trevor


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Mark Suszko
Re: Moving an image frame by frame in final cut pro
on May 1, 2013 at 8:17:37 pm

You're welcome!

As far as your circle, I don't have enough clear info to be sure, but it sounds like you have a transition like a wipe or fade or dissolve that requires more frames than are available from the clip. First try a shorter transition rate like 5 frames instead of 15 or 30. Try changing the transition alignment from "centered" to "ends on edit" . You do that by highlighting the transition symbol, then hitting right click

A couple ways to cheat that are: extend the duration of the problem clip, if it's just a still. Or make the last frame of the clip a freeze frame of about a one second duration, and make the transitions something less than a second, like around 15 frames. Or change the speed of the clip from the top menu "Modify>change speed" options.

Good Luck!


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