Creating a video using final cut – Part 3 – Adding effects

Last time we talked about making simple cuts and creating a basic timeline out of footage you have. But sometimes you have footage that you want to change something like the color or the way it appears on the screen. Final cut has an extensive list of effects built into it. By using these on their own or mixing them together you can create some very interesting visual effects.

You can get to the effects window by clicking on the icon at the top of the lower right quadrant of the screen that looks like a frame of film with a square sitting on top of it. The effects are split into audio and video and then split up into smaller categories. I’m going to be talking about the video effects.

First of all there is the ALL category witch is good if you just want see all the effects in one place. To apply an effect to a scene click and drag it onto the scene.

Next we move onto BASIC these are very simple effects but if used correctly they can make bland footage look very powerful. You can change the color, hue, saturation, or the contrast of your clip. You can also make your clip black and white or sepia. You can preview each effect by letting your mouse sit over it. What ever effect your scrub bar is sitting on will be rendered with the effect on it.

BLUR effects are great for adding distortion to a scene or even a little drama. Any effect can be tweaked or manipulated once it’s been added to a scene by double clicking on it and brining up it’s options.

DISTORTION effects can really make a scene interesting although possibly harder to see or discern what’s happening. You can make it look like an earthquake, flip your footage upside-down, give your footage an underwater look, or make it look like rain is pouring down your lens.

KEYING allows you to put masks over your footage in a small variety of shapes and styles, but the actual keyer effect and the luma keyer are extremey useful when using a green screen.

LIGHT effects can make your video look as if it’s being effected by a good variety of light biased effects, glares, sparkles, flashes and auras can all add a dreamy or a glitzy feel to a video.

Changing a scenes LOOKS can greatly change it’s feel. Make a scene feel colder or hotter, even turn day into night or bring out the orange and the teal in that sunset shot. The possibilities are limitless when you add one effect on the same scene as another.

You can STYLIZE a scene to look like it’s shot from a different kind of camera, or from a different era, even like it’s being shown on a very old television or projected from an old film projector. These are my personal to play and experiment with.

TILE effects let you make copies of your scene like it’s being shown on a wall of televisions or it’s being looked at with a kaleidoscope.

Remember all the effects can be combined but doing so will increase your render times. Experiment until you get the look that you want.

Next time I will talk about properly exporting your video and making sure you end up with a quality video project when everything is said and done.