This serves as a reminder that there are so many things about FCP that I just don’t know about. Here’s one that I’m sure ALL the Avid people would love to know, because I liked this feature in the Avid.

If you add effects to clips in an Avid, and DO NOT render them, the footage will play back fine, just without the effects. VERY handy when you make changes and want to see how the cut works without spending a long time rendering and re-rendering.

Now, I felt this feature was missing in FCP…because when I made a change and then hit play, UNRENDERED lit up the screen in all it’s RED glory. This forced me to render it before I saw it, or hit OPT-P and play through it slowly…which doesn’t work when trying to look at a cut creatively and in context with the story.

So I bitch about this to a friend of mine who says “Oh, just turn on PLAY BASE LAYER ONLY. That will do what you want.” Sure enough, in the RT menu on the timeline, there is that option. If the clip has a filter on it and it is rendered, it’ll play the rendered clip. But if the clip has a filter on it and ISN’T rendered, then it will play the base clip without filters. THAT, my friends…is cool. To me it is anyway.

I’d sure like to take credit for knowing this, but…I can’t. The friend I bitched about this to is Patrick Sheffield, a regular on the Apple forums. The credit goes to him. He mentioned that he discovered it pretty early on, and that it was the most “Avid-like” feature of FCP that he’d seen.