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Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #42

Get a new countdown By Stephen Schleicher

Even though Final Cut Pro can place a countdown on your tape automagically for you, that same FCP countdown can get rather boring.  In this Final Cut Pro Quick Tip, Ill show you how you can use your own countdown with the Print to Tape command.

The option of using your own countdown with the Print to Tape command has been around for quite some time.  Why would you want to use a countdown other than the one supplied with Final Cut Pro?  If you are a company that has developed your own unique countdown, or if you are someone who is putting slate information in the countdown you will probably want to replace the default countdown.

Step 1:  With your sequence complete, you are ready to lay the contents off to tape.  Select your Sequence in the Browser window and select Print to Tape from the File Menu.

Before proceeding to the next step, you should already have your alternate countdown.  This could be one you created in an application like Motion, or one you have obtained from a stock footage library.  The countdown should be in QuickTime format.

Step 2:  In the Print to Video window, you can have Final Cut Pro place color bars and slate information for you.  All you have to do is place a check in the appropriate box.  Check the Countdown item and instead of Built-In, select File from the dropdown menu.

Step 3:  Navigate to and select the new countdown you wish to use. As a side, you dont necessarily have to use a countdown here.  While it kind of defeats the purpose of this, if you wish to put some canned bit at the front of all of your creative work, you could do it here just as easily.

Step 4:  Make any additional adjustment to the Leader information, and when you are ready to record to tape, press the OK button.

Final Cut Pro is very versatile in the way it lets you work.  As you continue to explore the application, you will continue to find ways that Final Cut Pro allows you to work in a way that is most comfortable and natural for you.

For a complete list of my Final Cut Pro Quick Tips, please visit my website at www.mindspring.com/~schleicher

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Stephen Schleicher has crossed the country several times over the last couple of years going from Kansas to Atlanta , Georgia, and Southern California. In his time traveling, he has worked as an editor, graphic designer, videographer, director, and producer on a variety of video productions ranging from small internal pieces, to large multimedia
corporate events.

Currently, Stephen shares his knowledge with students at Fort Hays State University who are studying media and web development in the Information Networking and Telecommunications department. When he is not shaping the minds of university students, Stephen continues to work on video and independent projects for State and local agencies and organizations as well as his own ongoing works.

He is also a regular contributor to Digital Producer, Creative Mac, Digital Webcast, Digital Animators, and the DV Format websites, part of the Digital Media Online network of communities (www.digitalmedianet.com), where he writes about the latest technologies, and gives tips and tricks on everything from Adobe After Effects, to Appleā??s Final Cut Pro, LightWave 3D, to shooting and lighting video.

He has a Masters Degree in Communication from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. As a forward thinker, he wrote his Thesis on how Information Islands and e-commerce would play a major role in keeping smaller communities alive. This of course was when 28.8 dialup was king and people hadnā??t even invented the word e-commerce.

And, he spends what little free time he has biking, reading, traveling around the country, and contemplating the future of digital video and its impact on our culture. You can reach him at [email protected]

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