Creative Communications

6 April, 2009

Configuring a Contour Shuttle Pro for Final Cut Pro – Part 2 – Rough Cut Assembly

Filed under: Final Cut / Video,Uncategorized,Work Adaptations — Tags: , , , , — Sean Canton @ 12:34 pm
Final Cut Pro

Image via Wikipedia

One of the most important parts of any machine interface is it’s ability to generate muscle memories, laid down over thousands of repetitions, which is why having a dedicated controller for audio & video can be very productive, if utilized correctly. The buttons you use become an extension of your mind, and you can operate your software in a more efficient manner. It becomes very tao, as you learn to act without thought. So, it’s important that the button layout be consistent and not change often.

Yet, the workflow of video editing requires several different modes, which requires several different configurations for the shuttle pro. So, careful considerations must be made when planning (yes, the P word), your software configuration to make sure that the buttons you choose are related between the settings.

For this workflow, we will investigate what I call Rough Cut Assembly, which involves parsing through hours of footage and culling out what might be usable shots. Mostly you’re working in the Viewer window and doing very little on the timeline. The objective here is to turn long footage captures into smaller chunks.

The relevant FCP commands:

  • Make SubClip – Takes In-Out and Creates a Browser entry with it
  • Add Marker – Hit twice when stopped to add a name for the clip.
  • Extend Marker – Helps to define a marker over an area
  • In / Out (of course) – Bread & Butter for Editors
  • Next / Prev Marker (shift up + down) – Hint, assign a button to shift
  • Insert/Overlay – For assembling a rough edit
  • Toggle Windows – Switch between Viewer / Timeline

Of course, you should find what works best for you. For shorter projects, that go right to the timeline, I use this workflow.

  1. Open clip in viewer
  2. Mark in/out
  3. Insert
  4. Toggle Windows (from Timeline to Viewer)

Otherwise, if your project is a little more involved you’ll want to mark save to sub-clips and name them appropriately to find later. You will have to trim the out point with this method, but it’s the fastest way I can think of to chop up a lengthy clip into usable, named chunks.

  1. Do a quick pass, stop and add marker at the in point (hit 2x to name)
    Edit Marker
  2. Select markers in Browser
    Multi select
  3. Create SubClip (Modify > Create Subclip , or cmd-u)

If you really wanted to be a pro, you could edit the order of your clips by manipulating the alphabetical sorting when making your markers. That way you have a rough cut before even touching the timeline! Just drag your clips, en masse to the timeline, and the sort order in the browser determines how they are laid out.

For configuring the shuttle, you might want to horizontally flip my suggestions if you use it right handed.

Top-left, outer – Add Marker
Top-left, inner – Extend Marker
Top-right, inner – Insert
Top-right, outer – Toggle Windows
Mid-left – Up Arrow (Or Shift – Up if you only want to scan markers)
Mid-center – JKL
Mid-right – Right Arrow (Or Shift – Down)
Left – In
Right – Out
Bottom Upper Right – Shift ( If you set the mid-left and right to arrows )
Bottom Lower Right – Make Sub Clip
– The next two are rarely used, because it’s a wrist tweak or a thumb under
Bottom Upper Left – Freeze Frame / Play in-out / play around (or whatever else is useful)
Bottom Lower Left – Switch Settings

We covered jog/wheel settings in Part 1.

Ok, that’s it for this installment. If this was of help to you, or if you have any useful input, I would really appreciate a comment. Seriously, the primary motivation for this was because someone left a comment on the first post.

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