Simon Walker is an Adobe Certified Master Trainer, and trains industry professionals in the full range of Adobe Creative Cloud video tools. More info about Simon...






Well, we have a new toy to play with, or rather, we will have in June. Until then we have to survive on information released by Apple, and the interpretation of what the demonstrated features mean for the future of Final Cut. Plus any juicy titbits that the NDA encumbered few let slip (which actually, is very unlikely).

As I'll be training in FCPX over the summer (FCP is the founding block of software that is at the core of my film-making, graphics, editing and compression courses), I'll be adding thoughts, tips and interesting information to this site as they become available.

I'll also be adding links to the thoughts and reactions of the industry peers I look up to: particularly good is the piece on and there's a great rundown of the new features on I also like fellow Apple trainer Jonathan Eric Tyrrell's thoughts at I've added my own initial reaction to the FCPX presentation here.

Of course, I also demonstrate and train in the use of grading and graphics plug-ins by Red Giant Software, so I'll be uploading techniques and video tutorials that feature FCPX in the near future.

Here's looking forward to June!


Tutorial: Using vignettes in Magic Bullet Looks

I'm a vignette user, and I'm not ashamed! In this video I share why I think vignettes are amongst the most understood of all grading tools. Well, maybe not, but everytone still uses them (even if they say they don't...)

Red Giant QuickTip #42: Using Vignettes in Magic Bullet Looks from Red Giant Software on Vimeo.

In this tutorial, Apple Certified Master Trainer Simon Walker shows how he uses the Vignette and Edge Softness tools in Magic Bullet Looks, and how he applies them to color correct images, change the mood of shots, and shows how vignettes can be used to tell a story.


How to navigate faster in FCP

Save your mouse arm! Here's another Final Cut QuickTip, this time about navigating faster in FCP, which was inspired by my efforts towards achieving pain-free editing. 

In this Tutorial, Apple Certified Master Trainer Simon Walker will show you how to navigate faster on the FCP timeline, and how you can combat muscle ache and tendon burn by replacing mouse movements with keyboard shortcuts. This is especially useful during grading, whilst switching between clips to check color consistency.

And yes, I'm spelling color without a U these days (as in Technicolor - thanks @MostonLane ;-)



Training: Grading in Final Cut Studio with Magic Bullet Plug-ins, in London June & July 2011

I'm proud to announce that I've been invited to join the International Colorist Academy as an instructor. As part of this I'm running a Final Cut Studo based course on grading in Final Cut, Color and using Red Giant's Magic Bullet Suite of plug-ins.
The International Colorist Academy (ICA) offers worldwide specific Colorist training, and favours a “hands on, not watching” approach. I'm running the first two of a series of grading courses at Ravensbourne in London in June and July 2011:
Grading in Final Cut Studio with Magic Bullet Plug-ins
Tutor: Simon Walker 

This two day course takes you through colour correcting and grading HD video footage with Final Cut Pro and Color, whilst also highlighting workflow and speed improvements achievable with Red Giant Software’s Magic Bullet Suite of plug-ins.

Simon will combine training in colour theory with technical methods for applying primary and secondary grades, which will help you identify how to treat clips to convey a variety of moods to the audience, and how to add emotional impact to shots. This is a hands-on practical course, with time to practice grading techniques.

He will cover workflows for FCP and Color, practical advice for shooting with the grade in mind, strategies for colour correcting, technical advice regarding when to use Color and when to use FCP, as well as providing creative recipes for popular looks and grades. 

He’ll also be comparing grading techniques in Color with the professional keying and masking capabilities of Colorista II, investigating time-saving slider-based grading with Mojo, exploring the tools and presets in Magic Bullet Looks, and showing how these plug-ins can work together to making grading more interactive and efficient on the Final Cut Pro timeline.
Day One (FCP & Color)
• Colour theory: how our eyes see detail and colour, and how it affects grading
• FCP: sequence set-up, colour correction filters in Final Cut
• Color: workflow, set-up, approaching a grade, primary corrections
• Color: secondary corrections, using keys and vignettes
• Color: creating custom masks and tracking footage
• Color: applying looks and styles in the FX Room
• Color: rendering, roundtripping, sending clips back to FCP
Day Two (Magic Bullet Suite)
• Colorista II: primary and secondary corrections, keying and power masks
• Mojo: applying popular film looks, keeping skin tones accurate
• Magic Bullet Looks: using the tools, applying looks, setting up presets, 
• Denoiser, Grinder: strategies for increasing quality and reducing rendering times
This course is for people who want to:  
• develop skills in colour correcting and grading in Final Cut Studio
• identify which controls to use to adjust different areas and colours in an image
• increase the visual quality of highly compressed footage
• apply film-like treatments to footage shot on popular formats (HD SLR, XD CAM)

Managing Filters in Final Cut Pro

It's Final Cut Friday! Here'a a tutorial about how to manage multiple filters on multiple clips, and how to avoid how to do too much clicking when you've got lots of shots with filters on the timelline.

Red Giant QuickTip #38: Managing Filters in Final Cut Pro

During grading, itʼs usual to apply several filters to clips on the timeline, when adding color corrections and looks to shots, so in this tip Apple Certified Master Trainer Simon Walker shows how to manage multiple filters on clips more efficiently.


Speeding up your editing in Final Cut Pro

Here's a video of my recent presentation at the UKFCPUG meeting in London, where they asked me to share some tips about editing faster in FCP. I cover keyboard shortcuts and editing techniques as well as using your own footage to drive animations without using keyframes.

I mention a couple of Red Giant Software plug-ins in the presentation, Knoll Light Factory and Red Giant Warp, and also, here are links to more in-depth tutorials on how to animate a Knoll Light Factory lens flare (using the Luma Key filter in FCP to track the sun through a shot), and also how to use add light flourishes and glow effects to video, again without using keyframes.


Here's the link to the article over on the website:

Simon Walker, Final Cut Studio Master Trainer: How to speed up your editing in Final Cut Pro, sharing tips not only about how to make your workflow more efficient, but also how to avoid having to use those evil keyframes!


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