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Alex: November 2011 Archives

FCPX's Import Camera tool makes it stunningly easy to import video from your camera and jump right into editing.  This brief walkthrough illustrates just how easy that can be, whether you intend to import all of the video from a camera, some of the shots, or even selected portions of shots on the camera.  Enjoy the video, and see the bonus protip after the jump...

UPDATE: I've got some bad news for Windows fans who were hoping Final Cut Pro would run on a Windows operating system.  With the introduction of Final Cut Pro X, it's unlikely you will ever see a version that will run natively in Windows.  Apple has rewritten FCP using more than just modern coding techniques like 64-bit programming.  The new Final Cut Pro X is built on technologies exclusive to Apple's Mac OS X operating system.

If you're committed to editing on a Windows machine, Adobe Premiere is the most direct alternative to Final Cut Pro.  Avid Media Composer also runs on Windows.  It's popular in high-end workflows, but more expensive and more difficult to learn.  We teach Adobe Premiere and Media Composer classes for both Windows and Mac.

The good news is that moving to the most popular editing software in the industry is cheaper and easier than ever.  Even an entry-level MacBook Air ($999 at time of writing) will run FCPX, albeit slowly—and the price of Final Cut Pro has plummeted to just $299 for a license good on every Mac you own or use.  There's even a free, full-featured trial available for your Mac if you want to test drive Mac OS and Final Cut.

Final Cut X does away with sequences, which, in previous versions, provided an unlimited number of "Timelines" within a single Final Cut project.  Each sequence's Timeline could contain a completely independent set of clips and other sequences.  Editors would depend on multiple sequences per project for two main reasons: tracking older versions of sequences and "nesting" sequences into other sequences.  This nesting process made it easier to organize long, complex projects.  The editor could assemble all of the hundreds of pieces of an individual scene or segment in its own sequence, then the editor could assemble those larger sequence "chunks" into a master sequence.

Screen shot 2011-11-08 at 4.07.10 PM.png
Screen shot 2011-11-08 at 4.07.21 PM.png
The "old way" in Final Cut Pro 7

At first glance, FCPX only provides one Primary Storyline per project.  That would seem to break both the versioning and the nesting uses of multiple sequences.  Indeed, you can't simply duplicate your "master sequence" to keep a copy of it as you may have before (although you can still duplicate your entire FCPX Project, and as Lion's file versioning system catches on, you'll probably use it to manage your FCPX projects too).  But for the second use case–nesting chunks of a project for organizational purposes–Final Cut Pro X has introduced a whole new type of object: the Compound Clip.

Discussion and examples after the jump ...

Learn how to create an Audition within Final Cut Pro.

fcpx_training.pngWith its magnetic timeline, FCPX locks each clip in position relative to other clips rather than relative to a specific point in the Timeline.  This means some parts of the creative process come more naturally—like testing out takes of a particular shot in the context of the surrounding shots.  Final Cut smooths that process with an advanced clip type called an Audition.

There are several ways to create an Audition, but the simplest starts in the Event Browser.
  1. Select two or more clips that you want to try out in an Audition.Screen shot 2011-11-07 at 4.34.52 PM.png
  2. Right click either clip and select Create Audition (or press Command+Y).Screen shot 2011-11-07 at 4.35.00 PM.png
  3. A new clip appears in the Event Browser, with a spotlight icon in the top left corner.  This icon always represents an Audition clip type.  Edit this clip like a normal clip.  For example, we've edited the Audition clip into the Timeline between two other shots in this sequence.
    Screen shot 2011-11-07 at 4.45.08 PM.png
    Screen shot 2011-11-07 at 4.41.10 PM.png
  4. To activate the Audition, click the spotlight icon at the top right corner of the shot in the Timeline.  An Audition window appears, with each of the takes side by side in a Cover Flow arrangement.  Click on any shot to swap it out in the Timeline.  Notice that the neighboring clips slide down in the Timeline to make room for timing differences between Audition shots.  Also, the name of the clip in the Timeline changes to reflect the shot that's currently selected from the Audition.Screen shot 2011-11-07 at 4.41.25 PM.png
  5. You can also swap between Audition clips using Control+Left Arrow and Control+Right Arrow while the clip is selected in the Timeline.
Learn all about this and FCPX's other advanced clip types in our four- and eight-day intensive Final Cut X courses.  We teach them monthly here in Orlando, and the rest of the time, our Geniuses are traveling to studios just like yours for fully customized on-site training and consulting.
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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Alex in November 2011.

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