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Media Production Lab

Everything you need to know for using Pearsall Library's Media Production Lab.

Storage of Media

To Begin:

1. Log into the iMac using the Media Lab's password located on the desk in the work space. If you have problems logging in, try restarting. If you still have trouble, contact a library staff member.

*REMEMBER that everyone in the Media Lab shares the same account, so it is crucial that everyone uses it responsibly.

2. Once the desktop appears, access the library's external hard drive named "NCWCLibrary." 

3. When you log in for the first time, create a project folder on the library's external hard drive. Name your folder using "Last Name_First Name." This is where all of your personal media and projects will be stored. 

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Importing Your Media

For images, music, or anything else stored on a personal drive or online:

1. Copy files into your personal project folder.

2. If downloaded the from internet, delete them from the Downloads folder on the iMac.

3. Open Final Cut, go to File, click on Import, then click on Media. When the window appears, go to your appropriate device listed under Devices, and choose those files from your folder to be brought into your project. Once you have selected all of the clips you need, click on Import Selected.

For videos taken on the memory card camera:

First take the memory card you recorded on (either memory card A or B) and insert it into the back of the iMac. Next you have a few options:

Option 1:

1. Open Final Cut, go to File, click on Import, then click on Media.

2. Click on the SD card you inserted. This will show all the files on the SD card.

3. Select all of the clips you need and hit Import Selected.

Option 2:

1. Open up finder and click on the SD card you inserted.

2. Click on the folder titled "PRIVATE."

3. Click on "AVCHD" or "XABCHD" file which will allow you to view all of the clips on the memory card. Most recent clips will be at the bottom.

4. Double click on the clip you want. This will open the video in QuickTime Player.

5. Go to "File," then "Save as" and save it into your personal project folder.

6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 for each clip you want to use in your project.

7. Open Final Cut, go to File, click on Import, then click on Media. When the window appears, go to your appropriate device listed under Devices, and choose those files from your folder to be brought into your project. Once you have selected all of the clips you need, click on Import Selected.

*MAKE SURE when you are finished importing that no files are being stored on the computer's internal hard drive.*

*Keep the external drive plugged in at all times!!*

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Editing Your Project

Table of Contents:

Libraries, Events and Projects

Timeline

Selecting Clips for Project

The Playhead

"Select" and "Blade" Tools

Audio

Properties Window

Effects

Libraries:

To begin editing, create a library and title it your name.

Your library will contain all of your events and projects in the same location.Your imported footage, audio files, and images will be stored there as well.

See image under Projects.

Events:

An event is like a folder. It can hold projects as well as all of your video clips, audio clips, and still images. When you select an event in the library, the media it contains appears as clips in the browser.

See image under Projects.

Projects:

Projects are stored in events. These are the videos you are creating and editing. To begin editing you create a new project. Once you have done this, you will need to import your media.

 

AT EVERY STEP OF THE WAY, use the folders within your project in Final Cut strategically. Using these folders strategically will keep you organized. You can separate your media content, and even more than one editing timeline, based on what is best for keeping the workflow of your project streamlined and efficient. Some projects can get quite large, and separating media content can be helpful!

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Selecting Clips for Project:

Click once on a clip you want. Drag the yellow lines on a clip's borders to the left and right to select what section you want, and drag it down to the timeline below. If you want the entire clip, just drag it down to the timeline below.

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Timeline:

The timeline is where you arrange your clips.

1. Each clip is a point on the timeline. The further you go to the right, the further into the future you go. You can drag the ends of a clip back and forth to cut out the beginnings or endings of the clip.

2. You can change the size of your timeline by pressing "COMMAND" and "+" to make it bigger or "COMMAND" and "-" to make it smaller if you want to zoom in or out on a particular frame of a video clip or you can do it on final cut like this:

 

 

3. The timeline is also where you can speed a clip up or slow it down.

 

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The Playhead:

There is a vertical line going through the timeline called the "playhead." Drag the playhead located at the top of the timeline to the right and left to bring it where you want to watch, and press the spacebar to play it.

 

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"Select" and "Blade" Tools:

1. "Select" and "Blade" are the two most important tools you need for editing your media. Select allows you to click on items within your timeline, and blade allows you to cut in the middle of an item and divide it in two. You can find these mouse tools and shortcuts at the top left corner of your timeline window.

 

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Audio:

1. Every video clip with sound has the sound embedded into it, and you can raise or lower the volume by raising or lowering the volume bar that runs through the entire clip.

2. You can also make the audio fade in and/or out by dragging the points at the beginning and end of a clip.

3. These are your audio levels:

Make sure your sound is around -12 dB and that your music is around -20 dB so that it doesn't overtake the actors. 

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Properties window:

1. Here is where you will be able to adjust elements such as the size and perspective of a given clip, especially when you want to use one clip on top of another.

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Effects:

1. To apply an effect, choose one from the effects menu at the bottom right hand corner of the screen, and drag it onto a given clip.

2. You may need to go to effects in the video window, or apply further effects, to adjust your effects further. Remember, an effect can be as subtle or intense as you want to make it to fulfill your vision!

3. There are many other menus to explore near the effects menu as well! Click HERE to see a few tutorials on quick editing tricks!

Examples:

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After Editing

Done for the day?

1. When you are finished editing for the day, close your Library (it saves automatically throughout editing), close any programs you are using, and eject any PERSONAL external media or drives connected to the computer. *Keep the external drive plugged in at all times!!*

2. Not ejecting connected media can seriously damage media on a Mac computer. Once the drive(s) disappears from the desktop, make sure all of the programs on the iMac are closed, and logout of the media lab account. Then press sleep.

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Special Effects Tutorials

Distribution

When your project is finished, format is everything -- Who will be your audience? Where will they be watching it? Will your content be exclusively-accessed or will anyone be allowed to watch it? What kind of video quality are you hoping for? These are just a few of the questions you will have to think about to maximize the response to whatever content you create.

Final Cut offers many options for exporting your project into a final format for viewing. If you would like to create a copy on DVD, that is possible as well, but an important fact to keep in mind is that digital content, or the storage of videos online rather than on physical media like DVD or Blu-ray, is the way of the future. Many producers are skipping television and theaters altogether to release content immediately on the Internet.

1. Before exporting, make sure the timeline is selected.

2. To export your project, click on File. Then go to Share. Next, click on Choose a Destination.

3. If you are exporting your final product to an account on YouTube or Vimeo, choose one of those options from the list that appears.

4. Choose your video settings, and click on Next.

5. Input your online account's username and password. If you do not know how to set up an online account for the website you want to upload your video to, ask a library staff member and they will assist you. Once this is done, click on Next again.

6. Read the Copyright Tips in the window.

7. Upload the video. Wait until you get a "Share Successful" notification from the website in the top right hand corner of the screen before continuing. The larger your project is, the longer this part of the process will take.

8. Open Safari at the bottom of the screen. Log into your account on the website you exported your video to.

9. Go to your video list on your account and adjust the rest of your settings accordingly!

10. Congratulations. Your work is ready to be used -- where it goes now will be up to you!

 

NOTE: To save your project as a QuickTime video file that you can keep with you wherever you go, share your project as "Master File."  You will need your own flash drive with sufficient space.

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Media Lab Attendant

Ali Cucinotta's picture
Ali Cucinotta
Contact:
I am in the Media Lab Monday through Thursday evenings to help you make your visions come to life! My hours are posted the home page and also on the front door of the Media Lab.