How to Create/Delete FCPX Generator in Motion 5?

How to Create FCPX Generator with Motion 5?

How to Delete FCPX Generator:

Generators, effects, transitions, and titles that you create or modify in Motion are saved in your movies folder. The path is ~/Movies/Motion Templates. In the Motion Templates folder will be folders for generators etc. In order to delete generators etc. from FCPX simply delete them from the appropriate folder in Motion Templates. If you want to transfer them to another computer simply create the folder structure in the movies folder of the other computer and copy the files into the appropriate folder i.e. generators etc. The other computer does not have to have Motion installed but if it does then the file structure should already be there and you can simply copy the generator files into the existing folder. Sounds complicated but is quite simple to do.


How I Got My First Screenwriting Contract?

Two weeks ago, a Chinese woman sent me a message through Weibo (微薄,the Chinese twitter thing), saying that she needs to talk to me, and asked for my Wechat (微信,the Chinese What’s App) ID.

I gave it to her without hesitation, and it turned out that she is a film/TV producer, and a USC Annenberg alum.

She told me that she watched my documentary Drifting in Los Angeles, and thought that I am talented. She then asked me if I’m interested in writing a 30 episodes TV drama about Chinese people living in Los Angeles. I said yes, and sent her my writing portfolio, which includes:

1. a 30 episodes TV drama screenplay that I co-wrote with my father, who is  a university professor and a freelance writer;

2. a collection of 12 English writing that I did in a creative writing class at The University of Iowa;

3. a film screenplay for a short that I directed;

4. several non-fiction writings about my understanding and experience of American culture.

She liked them, and asked me to write a synopsis/treatment. She also sent me a draft of what she had, including the character settings and asked me to keep writing it.

I didn’t like what she sent me, so I wrote my own story, with my own characters.

I sent the synopsis to her, and despite the fact that it was different from what she has expected, she liked it a lot.

After three re-writes and a lot of drama between me and my father; my father was eventually on the soft sleeper train (软卧) to Beijing to sign the contract with her.

It was only until then that I knew I had so many competitors, including established writers in the industry.

I don’t want to tell you how hard it was when I was doing the “a writing assignment per week” in Iowa, or how frustrated it was for me to rewrite my screenplay ten times before production, or how disappointed it was when the previous TV drama that me and my father wrote didn’t get produced because of funding issues. All I want to tell you is that they all paid off eventually.

If I have never done the lists of writing above, I wouldn’t be able to get the contract.

How to Write for Television

This experience resonates with an idea that I read in Madeline Dimaggio’s book How to Write for Television: It can be done if you want it badly enough to work that hard. Here it refers to breaking into television writing, but really it can be anything: finding a job, finding a date, starting a business, traveling around the world and you name it…

The only reason that you are not yet successful is because you haven’t worked hard and smart enough, and the only reason that you fail is because you give up before you succeed. 


Edit the Active Cell in Excel for Mac

After double clicking on all the cells to edit text, I decided to do a research and find out how to do it faster with keyboard shortcut.

CONTROL+U is the new F2 when you’re using Excel with a Mac. If you want to edit the active cell use the keyboard shortcut CONTROL+U.

Unfortunately, Excel wouldn’t allow me to customize this keyboard shortcut. What a bummer! There are ways to do it with a third party plug-in though, but it’s too much of a hustle for me.

Edit Cell Shortcut Excel for Mac

Motion 5 Study Notes


Shift + Z = Fit in Window

Option + Z = Scale to 100%

Shift drag = Scale proportionately

Option drag = Scale around the center

Shift + Option drag = Scale proportionately around the center

F5 = Show/hide project pane

F7 = Show/hide HUD (Heads Up Display)

Command + 2 = Open library

Command + D = Duplicate

Shift+I = Move the playhead to the layer’s In point

Command + Option + I = Mark play range in

Option Drag behavior = copy behavior

Color Correction: FCP & Color

Color Correction in FCP

1. The first step in any color correction process is to set the black levels.

Get in the habit of setting the blacks first. If you make a change to the mids or whites first, and adjust the blacks last, the changes in the blacks will definitely affect the distribution of mids and whites, resulting in more fiddling around on your part.

2. Adjusting the blacks and whites to establish the contrast ratio of an image, and setting mood with the mids.

The distribution of mid-tones in an image goes a long way toward defining the feeling of a shot.

3. An image with a high contrast ratio may not necessarily be a high-contrast, low-key image.

The perceived contrast of an image is often dependent upon the amount and average levels of brightness and visible detail in the midrange of an image. It’s completely possible to have a relatively low-contrast image with a high contrast ration.

4. Contrast and Video Noise

The process of increasing contrast can also bring out certain elements of the image that you would rather conceal. Increased contrast can make the image appear more noisy, by accentuating its grain (with film) or noise (with video). You’ll have to strike a compromise between the level of correction you need to make and the amount of image noise you’re willing to tolerate.

5. Contrast Ratio

How much difference there is between the blackest black and the whitest white.

6. Color Balance

The relative amounts of red, green and blue in an image.

7. Luma and Chroma

luma, sometimes called luminance, represents the brightness in an image (the “black-and-white” or achromatic portion of the image). Luma is typically paired with chrominance. Luma represents the achromatic image without any color, while the chroma components represent the color information.

8. Ideally, color grading is an extension of the original cinematography

At other times, color correction may take the form of damage control, as one attempts to rescue footage that was shot under less than ideal conditions, or footage that was shot using an aesthetic that is no longer compatible with the project goals.

9. Color casts

Inappropriately strong color channels that tint an image.

Identify a color cast in a clip, correcting it to create a clean, neutral look, where whites are pure and blacks are solid.