How to Match Shots in Final Cut Pro X

How to Match Shots in Final Cut Pro X

January 7, 2015

Learn how to match shots in Final Cut Pro X using its unique interface. Part 4 of this series on how to color correct in Final Cut Pro X.


How to Match Shots in Final Cut Pro X: The Tools

The Desert Island Final Cut Pro X Color Correction Challenge: Part 4

In this Desert Island Challenge, we’ve taken an in-depth look at the image processing pipeline of Final Cut Pro X. We’ve taken that understanding to help us understand how to attack our Primary Corrections. Remember…

Primary Corrections are about fixing overall image problems

Once we’ve gone ahead and fixed the ‘big problems’ (bad color temperature, improper exposure, etc) we then have to get our shots to match each other.

Shot Matching is about both ‘overall fixes’ and ‘targeted fixes’

In colorist parlance, when we match shots together we may be making broad Primary Corrections or much more isolated and targeted Secondary Corrections… or a mix of both.

But as we did in the first three parts of this series we first have to ‘firm up’ the individual shots and fix their overall problems before we can decide what mix of Primary and Secondary tools we need to get our shots to match each other.

What tools are available to help us Match Shots in Final Cut Pro X?

In this Insight, we’re going to focus on the built-in toolset of Final Cut Pro X… which is the fundamental rule for this Desert Island Challenge.

Of course, we’ll tackle how to use the automated Shot Match feature in Final Cut Pro X – but it’s a mistake to solely rely on that tool. Why?

Automated features (in any software) will always fail us, eventually

But in this Insight, we’ll explore all the tools available to us. I’ll share my thinking as I move through the shot matching process and in the next Insight, we’ll take a look at FCP X’s color match tool and how best to use it.

– pat

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  • Thanks Pat, I’m really digging this series!

    By the way, here are two quick tips for those not used to work in FCPX:
    – Pucks: once selected, you can finely adjust them using the arrow keys on your keyboard, or double-clicking on the pourcentage values (or color degree) to enter them precisely on the numpad;
    – Using skimming for ‘still’ purpose: you’ve disabled FCPX skimming function (probably to avoid to hear sound while moving the playhead). But once activated (shortcut S), when you move the cursor along the timeline without clicking, the viewer shows what is under the cursor, not the playhead. Here’s the thing: park the playhead on the shot you’re working on and make your adjustments in the colorboard. Then slowly hover your mouse in the timeline window above the shot you want to use as a reference (without clicking) and go back and forth from timeline window to the viewer window : this will mimic kind of a ‘reference still’ behavior. I love to use the skimmer that way when grading in FCPX.

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