ARTC 4440 / 5440, Spring 2014
Advanced Digital Video Art
Heather Elliott-Famularo

Assignment #3:
Visual FX tests in Final Cut Pro

Due: Monday, February 3rd

Now that we have learned many advanced techniques in Final Cut Pro, you will create several tests to demonstrate your understanding of the techniques and expertise in FCP. You may use the plates you shot in Assignment #2, footage you shot in previous assignments, or you may shoot new footage. Your goal is to make these convincing OR aesthetically intentional, but not believable.

Create a NEW FCP Project. Copy all of your source files into the “CAPTURE SCRATCH” folder of your project. Then import your video plates from Assignment #2 into your FCP project. Create a new sequence for each of the following tests. Make them look convincing! They need only be 10-20 seconds long.

When completed, render out a quicktime movie for each test, naming them with your lastName_01, etc. Then copy ALL of the 10 .movs into the Class Homework folder. Upload your TWO BEST / FAVORITES to your Vimeo account, and link them to our group.

List of FX to try:

  1. Pleasantville Effect: Select a clip, and using the Color Corrector 3-Way method, desaturate the entire clip except for one thing (by using color). You may want to shoot something specific for this. BONUS: keyframe it to have the effect fade in or out slowly.

  2. Narcissistic Clip: Create a clip where multiples of you (or an actor) are in the same scene, using cropping (Motion tab) and/or the garbage mattes. BONUS: tell a little story with your sequence!

  3. In the Spotlight: Select a clip, and create a spotlight / vignette using a simple Mask Shape on a Slug. Highlight someone/thing in the video (either still image or video track). Fade it in/out using a Cross Dissolve, if needed.

  4. Marking the Map: Using a still image, animate a Vector Shape to draw a circle around something important in an image. Add a drop shadow and consider timing. BONUS: draw it over video.

  5. Using Speed to Accentuate Action:Choose a clip with action in it. Use the speed settings to slow down/speed up the movement for dramatic effect. Consider keyframing and converting to smooth for ease in / ease out. (hint: you may want to cut the clip with the blade to make it easier). BONUS:  Add a musical soundtrack.

  6. Composite Modes: Use one of the composite modes to blend two (or more) layers in FCP. See if you can create a “mood” with the composite. Have it fade in or out. Good explanations here: http://lafcpug.org/tutorials/basic_composite_mode.html BONUS: use several layers and several modes to create a sequence of changing composites that show a progression.

  7. Filters - with Intent: Choose one of the many FCP filters to create a unique look for a clip, but make it intentional, not filter abuse. Keyframe it to have it change from “normal” to “surreal.” BONUS: combine a couple of filters for effect.

  8. Sapphire transitions!:Transition between two clips with some of the awesome Sapphire plugin transitions. For descriptions, http://www.genarts.com/effects/sapphire. Be sure to play with the settings to get the “look” you want.  BONUS: Try several different effects with the same two clips, and compare.

  9. Lumakey Composite:Use some of the “elements” you shot and composite them onto a background layer using the Lumakey. Adjust as settings to key it perfectly, and use the color-corrector 3-way to color match the levels of the two clips. Consider adding shadows, etc. as needed. Try to make it convincing OR give it a motion graphics look (with intention). BONUS: composite multiple elements together on the background or try different backgrounds.

  10. Custom Travel Mattes: Create a travel matte (either text or an image mask). Remember this is the "sandwich" using three video tracks (with the mask in the center). Use it to make a cool title, or just a neat visual effect. For tutorial: http://library.creativecow.net/articles/biscardi_walter/FCPTravelMat1/video-tutorial. BONUS: animate the matte using motion properties. HINT: if you import a .psd file, you will animate the layer, not the whole file.

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