Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Final Cut Pro Tips: Preferences and Mattes

FCP Preference files can become corrupt, which can cause frequent crashes. The same used to be true for Avid MC settings files. One important way to maintain good operation of FCP is to backup your User Data (Button Bars, Keyboard, Track, and Window Layouts), and delete FCP preference files so they can be rebuilt.

Ken Stone's Final Cut Pro Web Site gives a very good explanation of how and why to trash preferences.

For backing up and restoring preferences and settings, Digital Rebellion offers Preference Manager.  Best of all, its free.

If you want to keep your own backup copy of your settings, follow the image below. I copy my settings to a folder on my desktop.

One important caveat: when you trash your preferences you will have to reset your project settings (video codec, project frame rate) and your Scratch Disk. But this is essential to main good computer operation.

alex4d 8-Point Matte Plugin

I've found a matte program that is vastly superior to FCP's 4 and 8 point garbage mattes.  When you create a matte shape in FCP and need to track it during a shot, you have to move each point of the matte every time the image moves in the frame. Alex Gollner offers a free 8-Point Matte Plugin that allows you to create a shape, then move and resize that shape without having to reset each individual point on the matte. Best of all, its free. (But there is the opportunity to donate for the software if you use it).


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