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Final Cut Express Twins

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Final Cut Express Twins

Bewitched. The Brady Bunch. Friends. Gilligan’s Island. What do these shows have in common? Fake twins.

With Final Cut Express you can make twins too. And it’s probably a lot easier than it was in the Bewitched days. All you need is a stable place for your camera – and a copy of Final Cut Express. You could use Final Cut Pro too, but if you have that you probably don’t need to read this post.

Final Cut Express TwinsHere’s what you do: Set up your camera and film your subject while they’re positioned on the left side of your frame. Film them for as long as you want your scene to last. With the camera still rolling have the subject move over to the right side of the frame. Make sure there’s a neutral zone between the two sides that is never crossed from either end. Film the same duration on the right side as you did on the left.

It’s important that the camera is very stable. In the end product any camera shake will only show in half your shot – diminishing the effect. That’s why Murphy lets the camera keep rolling while the subject moves from one side to the other – to ensure the camera doesn’t move. You can easily cut the portion where the subject crosses over later.

In Final Cut Express you’ll cut that middle portion out, then place your right-side footage on the first track and the left-side footage above it. You crop half the top track out and feather it a little. Boom – Samantha and Serena.*

One of iMovie’s strengths is its simplicity. Final Cut Express has a longer learning curve, but the possibilities for creative editing are limitless. Murphy is still working with Final Cut Express 2, not the HD version. But FCE2 still allows up to 99 tracks for one video. If you’re frustrated by the limitations of iMovie you should take a look.

The software is essentially the same as Final Cut Pro – with certain features removed in exchange for a greatly reduced price. Click here to save $20 at Amazon over the Apple Store price.

Download the QT video created in the screencast.

* Corrected as per comment below.

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2 comments to “Final Cut Express Twins”

  1. “Boom – Samantha and Sabrina.”

    Um, Elizabeth Montgomery and Melissa Joan Hart don’t look enough alike to be mistaken for twins. :-) I think you meant “Samantha and Serena”.

    Craig S. Cottingham, whose two Macintosh laptops are named “Samantha” and “Tabitha”

  2. Ha! I was wondering why nothing came up in Google for Samantha and Sabrina. I’ll have to fix that!

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