Dynamic Trimming in FCPX – Video Tutorial

With all of the negativity around FCPX, I figured it was time to really look closely at how trimming can be performed in FCPX and Avid.  This walkthrough of using the trimming commands during playback shows that maybe FCPX isn’t so bad after all.  Look forward to another video coming soon on how similar trimming is in Avid to FCPX.

Dynamic Trim in FCPX from Chadwick Shoults on Vimeo.

Shortcut References:

shift + x = extend edit (edit during playback, dynamic)
; and ‘ = go to prev and next edit
[ and ] and \ = selects the type of trim operation (single roller, dual roller)
, and . = nudging 1 frame (use shift to x10 the change)
option and [ = top edit
option and ] = tail edit
command + b = add edit (cut)
t = only really used for slip and slide (not changing durations)
x = selects range between 2 cuts

DropSync for Shuttle Drives


If you’re anything like me, then you use many computers during the course of a week.  You also might use many different hard drives.  I recently found this cheap $10 app that makes working across different computers and external hard drives a LOT easier.  It is called DropSync.

This app allows you to synchronize folders across drives of your choosing.  So how is this useful?

Scenario 1 – You want to take a project home with you on a shuttle drive.  You make changes.  Maybe make some new files (or delete some) then need to copy back only the changes to your work machine when you get in the next day.  This does that!

Scenario 2 – You want a backup of your Lightroom photos and catalog backups?  This does that with ease.

Scenario 3 – Let’s say 2 editors start out with 2 identical drives but are working together on a single project.  At the end of each day you can do a right to left, then a left to right sync and both editors will be caught up with all of the new files they created each day.  Pretty awesome.

You can manually run the sync operation by running the app.  Also, another cool option available with the r sync functionality is to have the backup copy be created immediately when the original file is created.  This assumes your backup drive is mounted of course.  Give it a shot, it’s cheap and pretty powerful.  Credit goes to Kanen Flowers for introducing me to this great little too.

Playing with the Canon 70-200 F4 L

I had the pleasure of having a relaxing, family oriented weekend just recently so I thought it would be fun to try out my new Canon 70-200 in my studio.  So far, I’ve only made a few hundred exposures with this lens and an hour or so of video, but I love it!  It is one of those less talked about 70-200 lenses, but offers incredible image quality.  Here is an example –

Canon T2i/550d with the 70-200 F4 L lens.  1/200th second, f/10, at ISO 400, 109mm.  Shot on tile board with 2 off-camera flashes.
Hangin' Out

Philip Hodgetts on FCP 7 to X

Although I did a quick tutorial on how to use the software, Philip did a run through and I always think it’s always best to hear about products from the developers themselves.  Here it is from LAFCPUG.

Final Cut Pro 7 to X

Probably the biggest thing missing in the stock version of Final Cut Pro X is the ability to bring in old projects for revisions or repurposing.  Philip Hodgetts at assistedediting.com and his team built an amazing little app that converts your old legacy projects into the current version (10.0.3).  While I’m still confused how apple hasn’t purchased this software from them, I’m glad a small shop can leave such a huge impact on our industry.  Here is the link.

Take 2 minutes and see how easy it is to move old shows forward with FCPX.

Build a DIY Backdrop Stand for Photography and Video

Let’s face it, it’s freakin cold out in the winter.  And when it’s cold out, who wants to spend a lot of time shooting outside?  Hmmm, not me.  If it’s below freezing the only way I’ll be outside is if I have some skis strapped to the bottom of my boots.  That is what led me to build a studio in my warm cozy basement.  The total cost of building this backdrop stand was about $40 at the Home Depot.

Supplies Needed:

  • 2 – 3/4″ steel conduit (10 foot sections).  Use one as top crossbar at full length and cut the other one in half.
  • 1 – 1″ steel conduit (10 footer).  Cut it in half.
  • 2 – 8 foot 2×4’s
  • 2 – 3/4″ steel conduit corner pull elbows.  These join the vertical conduit to horizontal conduit.
  • 4 – 1″ conduit wall mounting brackets.  This secures the vertical conduit to the wood base.
  • 2 – 3/4″ conduit wall brackets.  This is the height adjuster.
  • 24 – Wood Screws to hold both bases together (12 each).



Stand Base

To make full use of 2 cheap 2×4’s, I cut them for the base feet like this.  32″ front to back with 12″ cross legs at the ends.  It has a 16″ vertical support and about an 11″ 45 degree cross support making it more rigid.  2 wood screws are drilled into each joint which makes the stand pretty bomber.  Slide a 5 foot section of the 1″ conduit into each base.  The conduit is held by 2, 1″ wall mounting brackets.

Backdrop Stand Angle

Adjustable Height

Here you can see why I used a 3/4″ and 1″ diameter conduit.  The 1″ sits below and the 3/4″ slides inside it like a sleeve and you can adjust the height as needed.  You lock off the height by tightening down the 3/4″ wall bracket and it will act as a stopper.

Corner Pull Elbow Joint

Finally, the long 10 foot 3/4″ cross bar is connected with what is called a “corner pull” elbow.  They are built specifically for this 3/4″ size and tighten down with supplied screws.

Backdrop Stand Front

The final stand is probably as strong as you can get without shelling several hundred on a pair of C-Stands.  It is 10 feet wide and can easily go up to 9 feet tall.  I have had toddlers running crazy in my basement with no fear of anything falling.  Now, I have no more excuses for not creating awesome visual content and neither do you.

Make something awesome!

X-Games vitaminwater Spots

I finally got to play with some high frame rate (300 fps) Red Epic footage this past month. With the aid of the Twixtor Plugin for After Effects we created some new snow slang at CP+B for vitaminwater. You can catch them here now or on ESPN throughout the weekend: