Final Cut Express - help

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Final Cut Express - help

Postby Anicsi » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:01 am

Hey! I've finally got Final Cut Express but still have some problems to deal with (even though I've read (almost) the whole guide that comes with it)
I've already experiences with wmm, Sony Vegas and iMovie, so I know the basics already.

1. One thing I've always had problems with, is the final format... FCE doesn't have that much settings to begin with. Cause it's mainly a program for editing videos you have taken on your own, you can only choose between DV-PAL and DV-NTSC (and another format) and several audio settings.
But you cannot chose the final video dimensions on your own. So if you choose DV-PAL the video will always have a size of 720x480. Or am I mistaken?
My material has a size of 704x400 and I would really appreciate it, if I could keep it that way. Because right now FCE always adds a black bar at the top and at the bottom of the video and if I load it up somewhere it doesn't have widescreen anymore...

2. It is VERY important to cover the subtitles of my videos somehow. But how? In imovie there's an effect called 'cinema effect' (or something like that) and I can choose the range of the black bar very freely until it fits perfectly . Now there's only a tool called 'widescreen'. The problem is, that it resizes my picture instead of covering the subtitles with a black bar. Is there any other tool that's appropriate to get rid of those annoying subs? Or do I have to use the tool in a different way? I just tried to change the aspect ratio but there's a huge gap between 1,85:1 and 2,35:1 if you can follow me (2,00:1 or something would be nice)

Well, I'd be really grateful to you if you could help me with that :)
Greetings
Anicsi
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Re: Final Cut Express - help

Postby Athena » Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:33 pm

Uhm.

First off, DON'T EDIT WITH FANSUBS IN ANY EDITING PROGRAM.

Second, you can crop in programs like MPEGStreamClip or SimpleMovieX etc, before you even put footage into FCE.

Third, I am fairly certain FCE has the ability to do custom settings. You definitely can in FCP. Under Audio/Video Settings choose a setting template you know you absolutely won't use. Go to Edit, change everything you want to fit your project. I think that should work.
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Re: Final Cut Express - help

Postby Anicsi » Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:43 am

Kionon wrote:Uhm.

First off, DON'T EDIT WITH FANSUBS IN ANY EDITING PROGRAM.


1. Oh, yeah of course. Then let's just pretend that I use DVD footage. It wouldn't make any difference, would it? It doesn't matter if its fansub footage or dvd subs. I just can't get rid of it. I don't speak japanese so I won't buy the raw material.

2. I like working with subtitles, or well, it doesn't bother me, cause sometimes they are really helpful in my videos to underline something. Moreover there are a lot of scenes without subtitles, fighting scenes for example. That's why I don't intend to crop the whole series.

3. I've already tried what you suggested. It's the way I described above. There's (apparently) no way to change the video settings the way you like to. I can change the final video size before exporting the video but the black bars are still there and this way the whole picture is resized.

Thanks anyway... Is there nobody who has already worked with FCE? ó.o
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Re: Final Cut Express - help

Postby Athena » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:29 am

Actually working with DVDs that contain subs vs. fansubs is a very different process. Utena has hardsubs on the first two discs in some places. But you still have to go through properly cleaning up your DVD source, which would make cropping the clips with subs very easy. Since you do not seem to be following any pre-processing, then, yes, I can presume you are using fansubs downloaded from the internet, and can clearly state it DOES make a difference.

And I don't think what I described sounds anything like what you were talking about. Perhaps a screen shot of the audio/video settings menu might be a good place to start.

And just because I am rather strict on the subject of using downloaded footage, doesn't mean I am picking on you. As the resident mac person I genuinely wish to help you solve your problems. Now it is true that I have not used FCE, since it is a mid-range editing suite, and I have always used high-end video editing suites, but I hardly think that FCE could fail to allow for specification of custom settings when iMovie is a low-range option and it does. If you post a screen shot of where you are trying to go, I might be better able to point you to the appropriate menu.
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Re: Final Cut Express - help

Postby longbourn » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:53 pm

Final Cut Express has 4 basic settings (well, there are more, but these four are the ones I most often use). Right-click on the "Sequence" icon in your media browser in Final Cut, and select one of these four sequence presets.

DV PAL FULLSCREEN
DV PAL ANAMORPHIC (widescreen)
DV NTSC FULLSCREEN
DV NTSC ANAMORPHIC (widescreen)
48 kHz sound, etc.

You convert your clips to DV MOV (or use the .dv extension if you prefer) in MPEG Streamclip ( http://www.squared5.com ) and select the aspect ratio for your source video. It sounds that since your source clips are 704x400, that your aspect ratio is 16:9, aka anamorphic or widescreen. Click on the "Options" button in MPEG Streamclip and select "16:9." Then your DV file will show up as widescreen when you open it in Final Cut Express. If you have set up your project to also be anamorphic (widescreen, aka 16:9) you won't get letterboxing of any sort.

If you want to crop off the top or bottom of your video, you can either zoom in on the clip in the canvas to crop off whatever you like. Or, you can export your finished video out of Final Cut Express as uncompressed MOV (or a DV MOV if you like) and then crop it in another program (like—again—MPEG Streamclip).
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Re: Final Cut Express - help

Postby Anicsi » Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:01 am

Here we go again. I'm sorry that I haven't answered earlier but I was really busy... ^^'

@athena: Yeah, I know that you can normally remove dvd subs. The thing is that it's quite hard to get those dvds here (I live in Germany). I would prefer dvds but sometimes... it's just not possible and I love editing videos, so I won't give it up because of that ^^
And other Mac editing suites are just a bit too expensive for me, so I had no choice I guess :)

@longburn: Ok, thank you very much that helps a lot! I didn't know that anamorphic was wide screen cause the final size was the same ^^" Stupid me xD Well, I will try what you just suggested! Thanks ^^
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Re: Final Cut Express - help

Postby aquastar831 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:16 pm

longbourn basically has nailed it down pretty well. I'm actually a FCE user, and my first AMV I edited completely in FCE. I actually chose the NTSC Anamorphic widescreen for mine since I was working with either all WS footage or DVD sources. All of my source clips I converted to DV MOV (using the DV25 setting in MPEG Streamclip), and it worked very smoothly in FCE without the program having to re-render clips. I finally have some time to do a new AMV, and I was going to reference Shazzy's (http://www.ishtori.net) guide, but the site seems to have disappeared. Anyone happen to have the guide on them?

In this new AMV problem, I have the problem of dealing with both fullscreen and widescreen material. Some of it is PC game movie footage and the rest is from DVDs. In my last AMV, I did have one fullscreen clip in my version 1, which I was able to deal with, but I don't remember how exactly I did it so it would still conform with the rest of the clips. I ended up later getting a widescreen version of the same episode which worked out.
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Re: Final Cut Express - help

Postby Anicsi » Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:37 pm

Nice, one more FCE user xD Well, I am now more comfortable with the suite, although there are still some things that aren't going very well.

Hm, I don't really know what guide you mean, but about your fullscreen/widescreen problem: I'd suggest you just using the 'scale' function (don't know how it is called in the english version). If you zoom in on the clip until the right and the left side fit to the screen it should be fine.
There is not really another option if you don't want the aspect ratio/proportions to be wrong. I prefer cropping rather than having it resized :-/

I normally don't convert my footage because I use very different animes/clips and that would be just too much x.x It would be interesting, though, if it is possible to avoid a quality loss in the end... I've made the experience that the quality of my footage worsens extremely when converting it. The footage in FCE however looks very nice. Until I export it, at least. The final video isn't that good anymore although in FCE it seems to be alright.
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