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TOPIC: jwrl's text-based tutorials

jwrl's text-based tutorials 5 years, 9 months ago #85049

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This thread is designed as a general summary of various illustrated explanations that I've given to users in the past. They aren't sorted in any kind of order, they don't pretend to be comprehensive, and any faults are mine exclusively, and not Editshare's. The explanations are usually quite wordy, but the operations themselves usually aren't complicated at all.

With the release of version 2020 there are significant changes in Lightworks. This will affect some of these tutorials so I will revise them as necessary. VERY IMPORTANT!! In particular, do NOT use the macros here until they are proven to work with version 2020. They could even crash Lightworks because of the changed keyboard assignments and renamed commands.

Because this is a locked thread I've created a separate thread just for feedback. You will find it here.

Tutorial 1: Simple sound syncing.
This is just one way of many to sync sound inside Lightworks. It also gives a fast way of starting an edit without having to create it separately and it shows how to make an edit act as if it was original media. And if that wasn't enough, you also get a technique for transferring and storing timecodes.

Tutorial 2: When effect nodes can save you layers.
Getting your head around node-based effects if you're already familiar with layer-based effect systems can be hard. This may help.

Tutorial 3: Masking an un-maskable effect.
Apart from the specific example given here, this tutorial explains how to combine any arbitrary group of effects to act as a single composite effect using the video routing panel. The example given shows the creation of a multilayer composite with just one video source.

Tutorial 4: Typing a title onto the screen
What it says, but it also shows you how to fade a title on and off.

Tutorial 5: Programming macros in Lightworks
This tutorial explains how to create macros for both professional and free users.

Tutorial 6: Foolproof exports
Have trouble getting decent exports? Your files are too big or too small? You need this.

Tutorial 7: A macro to remove un-needed black at the end of your edit
This is a simple macro which can be used by free and pro users alike.

Tutorial 8: Useful (to me) keyboard assignments
How to assign keys, with some alternatives to the default assignments.

Tutorial 9: Dissolve and transition issues
You have tried and tried to get a dissolve working, but Lightworks won't do it. Or, it does it, but instead fades out the video then cuts the new one in. This will tell you why.

Tutorial 10: Fast dialog scene cutting.
Here's a trick that I used to do in the early '90s when I was demonstrating Lightworks at trade shows. It still works in exactly the same way, and is a really fast way of cutting a "talking head" scene.

Tutorial 11: A macro to add a preset number of audio or video tracks.
This is a description of a macro to add 2 audio tracks to your timeline in one hit. It can easily be modified to add any number of tracks, audio or video.

Tutorial 12: Two macros to select or deselect all audio and video tracks in the timeline.
Tired of having to click the "All" button several times to get where you need to be? So am I. These macros fix that.

Tutorial 13: How to do the perfect green screen project.
Green and blue screen work has an undeserved name for being hard to achieve. Here are some guidelines for reliable green- and blue-screen work.

Tutorial 14: A quick macro for remaining on your source clip after an edit.
Lightworks always leaves you in your edit window after performing an edit. This macro addresses that.

Tutorial 15: A macro to remove un-needed empty cuts..
This really is no longer necessary since Lightworks allows you to remove redundant cuts more easily. So for historical reasons only here it is, courtesy of user hugly.
Last Edit: 7 months, 3 weeks ago by jwrl.
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Re: jwrl's non-video tutorials 5 years, 9 months ago #85050

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Simple sound syncing

This is just one way of many to sync sound inside Lightworks. I give two variants; one with non-timecode originals, and one with sync timecode. As with anything Lightworks, there many other ways to get the same result. This just happens to be one of the ways that I use.

Step 1:
First edit your video into a new edit, using the entire clip. To do this open your video in a source viewer, press "p" which will ensure that any marks are removed, then "a" which will jump you back to the start of the clip, then "b" which will create your new edit. If you have just imported your media and done nothing with it yet you can skip the first two steps and just press "b". Either way, you should now have an edit containing your video media. (By the way, this is a fast reliable way of starting a new edit, and can also be done using the console commands.)


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Step 2 (version 1):
This assumes syncing to a clapper or some other form of sound/vision match - I'll deal with timecode in the alternative step 2 below. In your new video edit find the point to which you want to sync your sound and park there. Open the audio that matches it into a source viewer and find the sync point in that and park. Press "p" to clear any marks if necessary, then press "b". You have now just edited your sound in sync over your video. Proceed to step 3.

Step 2 (version 2):
This alternative deals with timecode syncing. Open your sound file as above then click on the little down arrow beside the timecode at the bottom left of your edit. A drop down window with a range of timecodes will appear. Position your mouse over the source timecode, left-click and drag the timecode away.

You should now have "torn off" your timecode from your video source. With the left button still held, drag your mouse across to the timecode display in your source viewer. Position your "torn off" timecode with the little yellow arrow head at the bottom left inside your source timecode window. If you're inside the timecode window the yellow arrowhead should turn light blue. Tap the right mouse button, then release both. Your source will now be at the matching timecode to your video. Press "b". You're done.


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Step 3:
You will now most likely want to be able to use your synced up edit as if it was a clip just like any other. In Lightworks there is a very simple technique for doing this. Click on the cogs icon at the top right of your edit viewer, then "Make", then "Sync". You will have a new clip with the same name as your edit. At the top left of the thumbnail the flag will be a sort of pale fawn color - that indicates that it isn't really a clip, but references existing clips in your project. If you delete those clips this new "clip" will go off line. In all other respects this can be handled as if it was original media.


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You may have breaks in either the sound or the video - for example, your sound recordist may have stopped and started during your video shoot and you've needed to sync the individual sound files. In that case instead of "Make > Sync" you will need to use "Make > Print". In all other respects the workflow is the same.

Because this is a locked thread I've created a separate thread just for feedback. You will find it here.
Last Edit: 3 years, 5 months ago by jwrl.
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Re: jwrl's non-video tutorials 5 years, 9 months ago #85053

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Masking an un-maskable effect
This can be used as a guide to combining single effects to create compound effects. It illustrates the use of nodes and video routing in Lightworks.

In this example we want to add khaver's water effect to a small area of the screen. The only parameters in the water effect are Speed, Waves and Strength. To operate on a specific area you will need to add some form of masking. I've chosen to use another of khaver's effects for this - one of the PolyMasks.

Having opened the effects tool, add the effects that you wish to use. In this particular case the order in which you should apply the effects is Water, then PolyMask. Once you've done that your video will have a black box over it, generated by the PolyMask. It isn't what you want, but don't worry, it will be fixed later.

Right click on your timeline, and from the drop-down menu that appears, choose Effects > Settings. Adjust the PolyMask settings to include just the area that you want the water effect. Once you're happy with that, click the "Invert" box. This is very much easier to adjust as a black box over the background, which is why we invert it last.

Open video routing from the Settings window. You'll see that there's a button to do just that at the bottom of the settings window. When you open routing you should see something very like the following.


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From the second node on the input media (here called V1:Lamp Composite) drag a line across to the bg input on the PolyMask. You do that by left clicking on the semicircular lump under the line from the media to the water effect, and dragging across to the bg semicircle. You should end up with this.


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Close the routing panel and adjust the Water settings. Once you're reasonably satisfied with what you've got, close that panel as well. If you need to you should also fine tune your PolyMask settings at this point. You're done.

Plan B
Of course, as with most things in Lightworks there's more than one way to do this. Alternatively you could adopt this approach.

Once you've set the mask up but before you invert it you should open the routing panel and set the routing up as shown. Drag from the second output on the water effect to the bg on the PolyMask, then drag the connection to the fg off and replace it with a second input from your media. You will then not need to invert the mask at all.


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Close the routing panel and adjust your water effect as desired. Fine tune the mask if necessary, then close the settings panel.

NOTE:
In both versions the order in which you do these operations is important - if you get it wrong you may lose one or both of your effects and have to start over.

PS: You can also get the same result by using two video layers with the same video on both. This can get messy if you need to adjust your edit after setting up the effect. This way is much cleaner and more reliable.

Because this is a locked thread I've created a separate thread just for feedback. You will find it here.
Last Edit: 3 years, 5 months ago by jwrl.
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Re: jwrl's non-video tutorials 5 years, 9 months ago #85055

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Typing a title onto the screen

This one's just a quicky. If you're creating the title in Lightworks and you want it to type on, you can do that from within LW's titler. After you create your title, click on the "Effects" tab in the settings window, and select "Typewriter".


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When you do that you will be given a delay parameter, "Frames per character". As the name suggests, this will set the delay between individual characters appearing. It defaults to a 2 frame delay, but you can make it anything from 1 to 10 frames.


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As you will see from the drop down menu above, you can alternatively fade the title on should you so wish. You can also use the titler effects to fade the title out, too. You just can't make it type off.

Because this is a locked thread I've created a separate thread just for feedback. You will find it here.
Last Edit: 3 years, 5 months ago by jwrl.
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Re: jwrl's non-video tutorials 5 years, 9 months ago #85056

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Programming macros in Lightworks

NOTE: VERY IMPORTANT!!! The macros given here have not been tested for use with Lightworks version 14 and up and may not work in those versions. You should use them with very great care. Some have already been proven to crash Lightworks because of the changed keyboard assignments and renamed commands. The techniques for creating macros will still work, though, and can be used with total confidence.

You can create macros in Lightworks, which will help if you have a series of repetitive operations. The Macro example that I give here consists of operations that would normally be carried out with three keys. They are "i", right arrow key, and "x". It does nothing more than delete a single frame where you are currently parked.

Macro programming the easy way
But you don't have to type those keys to create the macro. First launch the "Key Assignments" panel.


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Once you've done that it's a simple five-step process to create your macro.


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So how did I know what commands to assign? Simple. When you click on "Add" an "Add Command(s)" window appears. Simply scroll down the list of commands until you find the one you need. Click on it and repeat as needed.

Having built your macro, skip down this page for instructions on how to map it to a key.

Programming the hard way
You can also program macros outside Lightworks. First, get the names of the commands that you wish to use from the "Keyboard Assignment" panel first. Be careful - mis-spelling can be fatal here. Now shut down Lightworks.

You will need to create your macro by hand in Notepad or a similar text-only editor. This is important. Don't use Word or any other word processor unless you're confident that you know how to save as text only. To duplicate the above macro type the following:

Name=Delete current frame
Description=
Commands=Unmark(1),Mark(1),Forward Nudge(1),Delete(1)

Save that file as DelFrame.LwMacro to C:\Users\Public\Documents\Lightworks\Preferences in Windows 7 or higher. In Linux you should save it to /usr/share/lightworks/Preferences, and for OS-X it should go in /User/USER ACCOUNT/Lightworks/Preferences. Actually you can call it what you like, as long as you use the .LwMacro extension.

Adding the macro to your commands
This is the same for both the manual and pro versions. Launch Lightworks and open your keyboard assignments. In that panel scroll down towards the bottom of the list. You should find your brand new macro there. Click on it to highlight it, then click on the "Assign Key.." button. If it doesn't appear, check the note 3 below.

A new window called "Choose Key" will appear. Press Shift-D (you can really use whatever you like as long as the key is free. In this case Shift-X would probably be more sensible). You should see something like the following.


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If you don't see (Unassigned) under the 'D', choose another key combination until you do. Once you have sorted that out, simply press the "Add Key" button then close the keyboard assignment window.

Now every time that you press Shift-D with your edit viewer or timeline selected you will delete one frame at your current position.

NOTE 1:
Whatever key combination you pick to assign your macro to, it isn't smart to overwrite existing key assignments. This has the potential to create great confusion.

NOTE 2:
The (1) after each command in the text version is an optional repeat parameter. Strictly speaking it isn't necessary when you're only using a command once. I included it here for clarity. You can choose to include it or not - it will do no harm.

NOTE 3:
If your operating system hides file extensions, turn that function off. DelFrame.LwMacro will work, DelFrame.LwMacro.txt won't. In Windows a clue to the latter situation is that you will see a text icon if the file is actually called DelFrame.LwMacro.txt. Other OS's should do something similar.

Because this is a locked thread I've created a separate thread just for feedback. You will find it here.
Last Edit: 7 months, 3 weeks ago by jwrl.
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Re: jwrl's non-video tutorials 5 years, 9 months ago #85459

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Foolproof exports.

So you have created your masterpiece, and now you want to export it. What's this? the file is huge!! Or possibly it's minute, under 1 K in size. We'll deal with the huge file case later, but a very small file is usually caused by exporting something other than your video edit. You must first click on the cogs icon at the top right of your edit viewer.


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Choose "Export" and the following drop down menu should appear. If you're a free user you only have the options of the Youtube and Vimeo presets. Pro users will have a range of additional export options. At the moment we'll deal with YouTube.


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This will give you an MP4 file which can be up to a maximum size of 720 pixels high (pro users don't have this limitation). If you don't have a Youtube account and/or you don't want to upload to Youtube you should make sure that the upload option isn't selected.


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You should also confirm that you don't have the "Use marked section" box checked too.

If you follow that workflow you should get an MP4 export of your entire edit timeline. You should be able to play that just about anywhere.

Where did all the black come from?

Finally, you may find that you have a heap of black at the end of your edit. This will give you a surprisingly large export for an otherwise small edit. There are two ways to get rid of that. The first is not to create it at all.

When you start editing, simply park on your first clip at the point you want to pick up your first video, press the "p" key to clear any marks then press the "b" key. You will create a new edit containing the video and audio from where you are on that clip to the end of the clip. From that point on you can edit into that as you would with any other edit. There will be no default black length applied as the edit is created.

There is an alternative method in version 12.5 and later. This uses the "Make source into edit" command. This isn't assigned to any shortcut key by default. I've assigned it to Shift+Ctrl+B, and it's now my preferred method of starting an edit. Try both - you will soon work out what is best for your workflow.


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If you've already got this problem though, the second is the one for your needs. You just delete all the left over dross, which is also a simple operation - if you know how! Make sure that all tracks are turned on in your edit timeline and jump to somewhere in the black at the end. Press the "]" key to mark the black, then press "x". That will remove all of it.

To make things even simpler, a macro that will do this for you is in the next tutorial.

( The "]" key is a cool one to remember - it marks the entire clip that you're parked on. The "}" is similar, but will mark just the end of the current clip that you're on. )

Because this is a locked thread I've created a separate thread just for feedback. You will find it here.
Last Edit: 3 years, 5 months ago by jwrl.
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Re: jwrl's non-video tutorials 5 years, 9 months ago #85495

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A macro to remove un-needed black at the end of your edit

NOTE: The macros given here have not yet been tested for use with Lightworks version 14 and up and may not work in those versions. The techniques for creating macros will.

This macro is designed to be one part of a two-step process, because if you don't have black at the end it could delete your last clip in the timeline. For that reason you execute this macro, then once you've checked that you're actually on black, you press the "x" key. If you need to learn how to program a macro, check the tutorial "Programming macros in Lightworks" above.

If you program the macro using the user interface, it should look like this.


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For those who are comfortable programming macros outside of Lightworks, the text version of the macro is shown below. You can highlight the text in the window and copy and paste it into your own macro file.

Name=Mark last clip
Description=This macro helps to remove any trailing blank space from the timeline.
Commands=Toggle V1,Toggle select all tracks,Toggle A1,Toggle select all tracks(2),End,Unmark,Mark,Left

Copy this into a text file (use Notepad or similar) and save it as MarkLastClip.LwMacro to C:\Users\Public\Documents\Lightworks\Preferences in Windows 7 or 8. In Linux you should save it to /usr/share/lightworks/Preferences, and for OS-X it should go in /User/USER ACCOUNT/Lightworks/Preferences. If your operating system hides file extensions, turn that function off. MarkLastClip.LwMacro will work, MarkLastClip.LwMacro.txt won't. In Windows a clue to the latter situation is that you will see a text icon if the file is actually called MarkLastClip.LwMacro.txt.

So how does this work? Well, after the first four commands which make sure that all tracks are enabled we jump to the end of the timeline (End), clear all marks in case there are any out marks set (Unmark), put our own mark there (Mark), then jump back to the end of the last edit (Left). Simple when you know how!

Now launch Lightworks and open your keyboard assignments. Scroll down towards the bottom of the command list. You should find a macro called "Mark last clip" there. Click on it to highlight it, then click on the "Assign Key.." button.

A new window called "Choose Key" will appear. Press any key or key combination that means something to you as long as that combination is free. In this case I used Ctrl-P. You should see something like the following.


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Note the word "(Unassigned)" in the window. If you don't see that it would be smart to choose another key. If everything is as you want it, click the "Add key" button and close the key assignment panel.

To use it, press Ctrl-P, then if and only if what you see is a blank section of timeline after the red cursor, press "x" (lowercase x). You will reliably and safely have removed any trailing black.

[EDIT 11 Jan 2015] It was pointed out to me by user schrauber that on some systems the previous version of this macro didn't work. The problem was that I originally used the "Mark segment end" command. This has always worked for me, and is the form of the macro that I still use. The revised version above should address that compatibility issue. Thanks, schrauber.

[EDIT 31 Jan 2015] In a PM to me, AndrewGuo highlighted the fact that if you don't create the black at all this problem doesn't arise. Here's a little of what he had to say:

"I think you can add one more way to eliminate the blank video:
Right click the timeline icon in the toolbox > New Edit Settings > Change the Tracks Length(minute) to 0

There will be no blank video any more."


This is obviously quite true, and it's something that beginners may not be aware of. However from time to time there will still be a need to remove trailing black or other trailing clips.

You can also avoid this problem by creating your edit with the first clip that you wish to use already in place, as outlined in the previous tutorial. With no edit open, just mark and park on your first clip then press the "b" key ("Replace" if you have a console). That will automatically create a new edit that contains just that marked section of your source clip. You can then continue your edit in the normal manner.

[EDIT 5 June 2015] To make this even simpler to use I've added the macro to select all tracks ahead of the mark and park commands. Regardless of the tracks you have selected or even if none are, all tracks will be selected ready for the delete command. For an explanation of how this section works see the description of the select all tracks macro.


Because this is a locked thread I've created a separate thread just for feedback. You will find it here.
Last Edit: 7 months, 3 weeks ago by jwrl.
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Re: jwrl's non-video tutorials 5 years, 8 months ago #86002

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Useful (to me) keyboard assignments

A little history: versions of Lightworks prior to 12 used the "v" key to insert a marked clip. Version 12 inserts the clip, then jumps to the end. To me this just isn't sensible. It's not what I'm used to, it doesn't match what the insert key on the console does, so I don't like it. I returned the keyboard assignments to the way that they originally were.

Then I thought that I would explore "improving" the key assignments a little. What follows is my admittedly idiosyncratic keyboard additions and alterations.

So first, open your keyboard assignments.


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I wanted to set the insert function back to the (to me) sensible way it worked previously. So scroll down to the "Insert & Next" command and select it.


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We want to get rid of that assignment, so click on the "Remove Key" button.


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It's a useful function to have, just not the way that it's currently assigned. Why not assign the Shift-V key combination to it? Click on the "Assign Key.." button to open the "Assign key" window. Press "Shift-V", then click the "Add key" button.


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Now scroll up to the top of the keyboard assignments and find the "Insert" command. Assign 'v' (unshifted) to that.

Here's a list of the current non-standard keyboard assignments that I use.

B
   Replace & Next
F
   Fit-to-fill
v
   Insert
V
   Insert & Next
Alt-V
   Insert (preserve track sync)
Shift-Ctrl-B
   Make source into edit

For completeness, here are the two macro assignments that I outlined above.

D
   Delete current frame
Ctrl-P
   Mark last clip

There are also some other macros that I'll list here, but I'll leave it to you to work out how to program them.

Alt-Del
   Ripple delete to clip end
Ctrl-Del
   Ripple delete clip start
Shift-Tab
   Join then simplify
A
   Add two audio tracks
Shift-Ctrl-D
   Delete previous frame
Ctrl-F
   Clipboard insert + next
Shift-Ctrl-F
   Freeze marked section then continue
Alt-p
   Delete last clip
Alt-t
   Select all tracks
Ctrl-T
   Deselect all tracks

I hope this triggers some ideas, but I'll also leave you a word of warning. Don't, repeat DON'T just wade in and start arbitrarily changing keyboard assignments. That can quickly make your system difficult if not impossible to use. Each of those key assignments were made after much thought. The rules that I use are simple.

  1. Always use a key combination that is consistent with LW defaults.
  2. Make shifted functions consistent. Shift-B and -V are "and next", above.
  3. Where possible, avoid overriding existing keyboard assignments.
  4. Multiple modifiers work - Shift-Ctl-Alt-A while clumsy, will function.
  5. Most importantly: you have to remember these, so less is more.

Go to town. Just remember, if you get lost you can always reset the keyboard assignments to their default values.

Because this is a locked thread I've created a separate thread just for feedback. You will find it here.
Last Edit: 7 months, 3 weeks ago by jwrl.
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Re: jwrl's text-based tutorials 5 years, 7 months ago #87535

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Dissolve and transition issues

"Help! I can't add dissolves" or "The effect adds but never works!"

The dissolve is the earliest transition written for Lightworks, and is nearly thirty years old. As such it's some of the most reliable and stable code in the software. There are only two possible causes of problems with dissolves, and both are user initiated.

The first and most likely is that you simply don't have enough media to make the dissolve. If you are trying to do a one second dissolve centred around your cut point there must be at least half a second of extra media available on your outgoing and incoming clips.

First, position the red cursor on the timeline on the cut that you want to replace with a dissolve. Right click on the track that you wish to apply the dissolve to, and from the drop down menu that appears choose "Add dissolve".


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If you have enough overlapping media you will end up with a timeline that looks like this after some reasonably self-explanatory dialog.


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It can't be restated often enough: you will need media from both clips to perform the dissolve. If it helps you can visualise what's actually happening as being like this (NOTE: this is a simulation. It isn't a real timeline display that you will ever actually see).


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Although I've demonstrated this using a centre dissolve the same applies for start, end and marked dissolves.

The second thing that will stop you placing a dissolve is much less common. The symptoms range from not permitting a dissolve at all to dissolving out (often to an unexpected clip) then cutting to the next clip. It is caused by having two edits in the same track of your timeline at exactly the same place. The cut will look normal, but it very definitely isn't.

The most common way that this can happen is if you've trimmed a clip to zero length. You will then have one cut to the clip that you've trimmed, followed zero frames later by another to the following clip. This is much less likely with Lightworks nowadays as any such zero length clip will usually be automatically removed.

The fix is simple. From the timeline menu click on "Remove > Redundant cuts".


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This will remove any duplicate cuts and zero length clips from your timeline. Then, assuming you have enough overlap, you will be able to apply your dissolve or other transition.

Because this is a locked thread I've created a separate thread just for feedback. You will find it here.
Last Edit: 7 months, 3 weeks ago by jwrl.
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Re: jwrl's text-based tutorials 5 years, 6 months ago #89133

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Fast dialog scene cutting

Two-hander dialog scenes are used very commonly in drama editing. Here's a very fast way to get one together, which is also useful for fast news story cutting and similar "pressure" tasks. It's a trick that I used to do in the early '90s when I was demonstrating Lightworks at trade shows. (Note: this assumes a fair knowledge of terms used in the film and TV industry. They will not be explained here.)

We'll start by creating an edit dedicated to this scene - it can be cut into your main edit later. On your first clip, move to where you want to start the scene. Then, with no edit viewer currently open, press "b". This will create a new edit as outlined at the end of tutorial 6, but with that clip running to its end.

NOTE: As from version 12.5 the default behaviour will still allow you to start an edit this way, but there's now a config entry for turning off automatic edit creation. Add the line "create_edit_on_demand 0" to config.dat and you'll stop that behaviour. Although I really don't understand why you would want to. Additionally, there's now a command called "Make source into edit". I've mapped on my systems that to shift-ctrl-B. This functions in a similar way to the above technique, but will do it even if there's another edit in a viewer. It's arguably a better way to do it.

Now select your second shot and move to where you want to pick it up. On your edit, go to where you want to cut to shot 2 and again press "b". The part of shot 1 that you cut away from will now be in the clipboard.

Open the clipboard, and move to where you want to cut back to shot 1. Edit that into your timeline where you need it to be. You'll now have shot 2 in the clipboard. Repeat the process as needed.

This is a nice trick, I hear you say, but usually you will have more than two shots in a scene. Even so, this is still a useful way to get a simple base cut together. Once you've done that you can easily go back to the start of the edit and enhance it with any additional and/or alternative shots that you may need. Finally using trim mode you can quickly make it a real scene.

The speed at which this technique allows you to work can be impressive. Nothing gets between you and the cut.

But wait! There's more.

Most dialogue edits will need to overlap audio at some point, especially if it's a moment of high drama. There's a fast way to do this too. First, assign the "#" key to the command "Chequer". Press "#". You will have now chequerboarded your sound, and can easily trim overlaps as needed into your cut. (People using a UK keyboard will need to decide on their own shortcut key. Sorry).

Finally, for news and similar needs it's even simpler. Park on your first clip where you want to start and create your edit. On the edit shuttle down to where you want to make your next cut. On your next shot find the start and press "b". Repeat the park, select, park, replace process until you've finished.

NOTE: This assumes that there are no marks on either of the two clips that you use. If in any doubt press the "p" key to make sure. It also assumes that all tracks are enabled.

Because this is a locked thread I've created a separate thread just for feedback. You will find it here.
Last Edit: 4 years, 11 months ago by jwrl.
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Re: jwrl's text-based tutorials 5 years, 5 months ago #91246

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A macro to add a preset number of audio or video tracks

NOTE: The macros given here have not yet been tested for use with Lightworks version 14 and up and may not work in those versions. The techniques for creating macros will.

This macro was originally written to add 2 audio tracks to your timeline in one hit. The standard "add track" technique defaults to adding one video track, and while it's easily changed, this can be irritating. So here goes.

Name=Add2audio
Description=Add two audio tracks to your timeline
Commands=Add audio track(2)

As previously described in Programming macros in Lightworks, copy this into a text file (use Notepad or similar) and save it as Add2audio.LwMacro to C:\Users\Public\Documents\Lightworks\Preferences in Windows 7 or 8. In Linux you should save it to /usr/share/lightworks/Preferences, and for OS-X it should go in /User/USER ACCOUNT/Lightworks/Preferences.

Of course, for those who (unlike me) prefer to do this inside Lightworks, use the steps outlined above and program it so that what you have looks like the following:


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Then it's just a simple matter of launching Lightworks (if you did it my way and thus haven't already) and assigning a key or key combination to your macro, as outlined earlier. I use "A" (Shift-a), but any key that you find appropriate (and can easily remember) can obviously be used. Also you can just as easily change the macro to add video tracks by changing the "Add audio track" command to "Add video track".

NOTE: If your operating system hides file extensions, turn that function off. Add2audio.LwMacro will work, Add2audio.LwMacro.txt won't. In Windows a clue to the latter situation is that you will see a text icon if the file is actually called Add2audio.LwMacro.txt.

Because this is a locked thread I've created a separate thread just for feedback. You will find it here.
Last Edit: 3 years, 9 months ago by jwrl.
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Re: jwrl's text-based tutorials 5 years, 4 months ago #91782

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Two macros to select or deselect all audio and video tracks in the timeline

NOTE: The macros given here have not yet been tested for use with Lightworks version 14 and up and may not work in those versions. The techniques for creating macros will.

As we all know, you can easily toggle the select state of all tracks via the timeline button. However this is a toggle, and isn't always what you want to do. For example, clicking the "All" button will always turn on all tracks EXCEPT if you have all currently turned on. If you need a known condition inside another macro this can be catastrophic.

Here are two macros that I use to work around this. The first deselects all tracks, regardless of their current state.

Name=Deselect all tracks
Commands=Toggle V1,Toggle enable all tracks,Toggle A1,Toggle enable all tracks

As previously described in Programming macros in Lightworks, copy this into a text file (use Notepad or similar) and save it as DeselAll.LwMacro to C:\Users\Public\Documents\Lightworks\Preferences in Windows 7 or 8. In Linux you should save it to /usr/share/lightworks/Preferences, and for OS-X it should go in /User/USER ACCOUNT/Lightworks/Preferences.

To do this inside Lightworks, use the commands outlined above so that you have:


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The second macro does the reverse operation. It selects all tracks regardless of their current state.

Name=Select all tracks
Commands=Toggle V1,Toggle enable all tracks,Toggle A1,Toggle enable all tracks(2)

Save it as SelectAll.LwMacro. Inside Lightworks, this should be:


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Then just assign suitable keys to those two new commands and you're done.

[EDIT 5 June 2015] There have been questions asked about how these macros work.

Step 1: This toggles the state of track V1. If V1 is the only track off after this all tracks will be turned on, otherwise at least one track will be off.

Step 2: This will turn all tracks on except if V1 was the only one off at the outset.

Step 3: Audio track 1 is toggled. This means that there will always be at least one track enabled and at least one track disabled regardless of whether step 2 resulted in all on or all off.

Step 4: Toggling all tracks once will turn them off, twice will turn them on.


Because this is a locked thread I've created a separate thread just for feedback. You will find it here.
Last Edit: 7 months, 3 weeks ago by jwrl.
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Re: jwrl's text-based tutorials 5 years, 4 months ago #91783

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How to do the perfect green screen project.

Green and blue screen work has an undeserved name for being hard to achieve. It really needn't be so. In fact with modern third-party software tools it should be, if not trivial, at least straightforward. Where problems can arise is during the shoot - if your images are bad, your key will be.

So here are several quick guidelines for green- and blue-screen work:

1. Put the green or blue screen back as far as possible from the subjects as you can.
Doing this will help minimise spill. "Spill" is the term used to describe key colour getting into the parts of the image that you want to keep. You will normally still get some, caused by both coloured light bounce from the screen and subject reflection of the screen colour. This will be much easier to control if you're not backed up against the screen.

2. If using a cloth screen, stretch it as smooth as you're able to.
If you need to make use of shadows in your matting, point 1 obviously can't apply. Point 2 most definitely will in that case. Even if you don't need shadows, wrinkles in your screen will make keying harder. If you're using a cyclorama instead, any spots or damage should be retouched and cleaned up.

3. Light the green screen as flat as you possibly can but don't over light.
This is very important. Over lighting will desaturate the screen colour, while increasing the amount of unwanted colour in the shadow areas of your subject. In extreme cases it can even cause colour shifts. Lighting that isn't flat will require trade-offs in the keying process, and can make what should be a simple process quite hard.

4. Make sure that any light hitting the screen is the same colour temperature.
This is something that is easily overlooked. I know a gaffer who uses fluoros to light blue and green screens and tungsten and/or LEDs for lighting the subject. Those can have quite different colour temperatures, but for him it works - he is careful to ensure that the subject lighting and screen lighting don't impinge. If you mix colour temperatures you can have yellow and/or cyan patches on your green, making getting a good matte more of a challenge. It's usually less of a problem with blue screen shoots, but it's still better not to do it.

5. For green screens avoid using LED lighting unless it is flat spectrum.
This is becoming quite problematic nowadays. "White" LED lights typically have a gap in their spectrum in the green region. I'm currently on a special effects project with a lot of green screen work. The green was lit with LED studio lighting. It has photographed cyan, even though to the eye it appeared green on set.

This would not be so bad, but one of the actors had wardrobe with significant amounts of cyan in it. In fact her leggings photographed almost the same colour as the green screen, even though the cyan of her leggings on set appeared to the eye to be almost blue. When you spend a week rotoscoping a running woman with motion blur in a shot that should have taken maybe half an hour to do you quickly become bored, let me tell you!

OK, that's enough to start with. Just one final point though. Always remember to light your subject to match the background into which they are being inserted. If the light on the background shot comes predominantly from the right it should on your green screen subject too.

Because this is a locked thread I've created a separate thread just for feedback. You will find it here.
Last Edit: 7 months, 3 weeks ago by jwrl.
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Re: jwrl's text-based tutorials 5 years ago #99826

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When effect nodes can save you layers.

Getting your head around node-based effects if you're already familiar with layer-based effect systems can be hard. You may not even see the point. It can save you a lot of time and trouble if used correctly.

A good example of how this can save you complexity in your edit is where you need to use 4:3 footage in a 16:9 frame, and you want to fill the unused edges of your frame with a stretched, blurred version of your centre 4:3 image.

One way of doing what you want is to use two copies of your clip on two consecutive layers. You stretch and blur the lower layer, then mask the upper layer to reveal the stretched image. Your timeline will look like this.


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This will work, but if you need to do it repeatedly, will quickly become painful. You can do the same thing using nodes by putting three effects on the one clip. Apply them in this order: DVE > Blur > 3D DVE. You will then need to open the video routing panel and adjust the routing to look like the following.


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You can adjust the DVE effect to stretch the image horizontally, then the blur to give the softening that you need. Finally crop the 3D DVE and adjust the edge softness to blend with your blurred image.

To give even more control you could also add a colorgrade effect and adjust levels and saturation to make the blurred section less dominant. Your routing will then look like this.


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This is now obviously a pretty complex effect, and you don't really want to be setting it up each time that you needed it. You don't need to. Down at the bottom left of your effect settings window there's a "Save as template.." button.


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Save your template then next time you need this, load the template onto your clip. Problem solved.

Because this is a locked thread I've created a separate thread just for feedback. You will find it here.
Last Edit: 5 years ago by jwrl.
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Re: jwrl's text-based tutorials 4 years, 10 months ago #103020

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A quick macro for remaining on your source clip after an edit.

NOTE: The macros given here have not yet been tested for use with Lightworks version 14 and up and may not work in those versions. The techniques for creating macros will.

A minor annoyance some people experience is that Lightworks leaves you in your edit window after performing an edit. This isn't always exactly what you need. This macro addresses that. First, as I usually do, here's the macro in source code form.

Name=Insert & Next (focussed)
Description=Maintains focus on the source window after an insert
Commands=Insert & Next,Switch

As previously described in Programming macros in Lightworks, copy this into a text file (use Notepad or similar) and save it as InsertNextSource.LwMacro to C:\Users\Public\Documents\Lightworks\Preferences in Windows 7 or 8. In Linux you should save it to /usr/share/lightworks/Preferences, and for OS-X it should go in /User/USER ACCOUNT/Lightworks/Preferences.

To do this inside Lightworks, use the commands outlined above so that you have:


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Fairly obviously you can use a similar technique with the Replace function.

Because this is a locked thread I've created a separate thread just for feedback. You will find it here.
Last Edit: 3 years, 9 months ago by jwrl.
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