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TOPIC: Absolute visual size and position

Absolute visual size and position 03 Aug 2020 20:20 #109102

  • MDavidBlythe
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I need to have many clips on screen at once that are of various sizes and aspect ratios, but clustered and aligned in an arrangement I've planned. To do this, I need to specify specific coordinates for each clip's viewport in the project's frame (1920x1080), and then control the trimming/cropping of each clip to best fit the portion I want to see in the viewport. But FCPX's transform/clip tools are hopeless for this task.

I suspect there's some handy plugin that might help here, but I've not found one. Anyone have suggestions?

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Absolute visual size and position 04 Aug 2020 03:44 #109106

  • Karsten Schlüter
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Welcome David to FCP.co :)

Oliver Peters wrote an article about this actually hyped 'zoom-look'…
digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2020/07/31/building-that-zoom-look/

… mentioning techniques, plug-ins etc.

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Absolute visual size and position 04 Aug 2020 04:39 #109107

  • MDavidBlythe
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Thank you, Karsten, for the quick reply. That is very helpful. Video Walls 2 plugin looks very interesting and may cover most of my need. For an irregular layout, I'd still be interested in something simple that lets me directly enter viewport coordinates and help crop a clip to fit that space.

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Absolute visual size and position 07 Aug 2020 10:49 #109154

  • Hypnoman
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I have the same problem as MDavidBlythe. It's very easy to do in ShotCut (FCP rival program) but next to impossible to do easily in FCP.

As a workaround, I overlay a block of solid colour, but reduce its opacity to about 40%. Then I trim this and position it to the exact location I want. Then I fiddle with the imported clip, adjusting the scale and the crop until they match the size of the colour block exactly. Finally, when I'm happy, I delete the overlay. It's a bit fiddly, but it's the best I can find.

I agree that it would be so useful if, in the Inspector, there were a way to see the pixel size a given clip takes up in the project. It can't be that hard, can it, Apple?

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Absolute visual size and position 07 Aug 2020 12:41 #109155

  • MDavidBlythe
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That's funny, because that was -exactly- the same workaround I came up with.

Given that FCP has such a rich ecosystem out there, I was hoping there was some plugin that could do it. My limited searching so far hasn't found one. It's got to be out there somewhere.

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Absolute visual size and position 08 Aug 2020 09:32 #109179

  • Hypnoman
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I just had an idea...

Overlay a block of solid colour of the precise size and shape you want, but instead of reducing its opacity, set the blend mode to Stencil Alpha. You can then see the clip you're trying to position through a 'hole' in the alpha mask. Adjust the picture to get its dimensions right, and get it looking okay in the frame, This doesn't have to be pixel-perfect, as long as it's bigger than the mask – the mask will trim it to the proper size you want.

Then it's simply a matter of combining the mask and the clip into one compound clip (which you can tweak further, if necessary).

Now why didn't I think of that three weeks ago?

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Last edit: by Hypnoman.
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