Final Cut Pro 6 Workflow

with Frank Rohmer
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Final Cut Pro 6 Workflow
Video duration: 0s 7h 25m Intermediate


Final Cut Pro 6 Workflow was created and produced by Frank Rohmer. We are honored to host his material in the Online Training Library®.

Designed with the editor in mind, Final Cut Pro 6 Workflow explores the nuts and bolts of this software with concise and thorough tutorials. Instructor Frank Rohmer covers everything from setting up a new project to working with effects and color. He walks through how to create and edit a project in Final Cut Pro 6 from beginning to end, including how to animate photos, filters, and mattes; manipulate audio features; and mix HD and SD formats. Frank also offers advanced tips and tricks that every editor should know.

Topics include:
  • Working with HDV
  • Customizing the keyboard
  • Using Chroma and Luma keying
  • Understanding ProRes 422
  • Using the SmoothCam feature
  • Logging and batch capturing
  • Keyframing the audio volume
Final Cut Pro

Introduction to the interface

Hello! I'd like to welcome you to the Final Cut Pro training lessons that you will find on this disc. My name is Frank Rohmer and I'm an Apple-certified Final Cut Pro instructor. Before we begin with the introduction of the interface, I'd like to take a brief moment to talk to you a little bit about how the lessons work. Well, first of all, for every lesson I do follow a guideline as to every item that I want to hit while going through each lesson. Now I don't want to sound robotic, so I'm not following a script at all. As a matter of fact, the overall goal of this training is to help you feel comfortable throughout all the lessons.

As a matter of fact, I want you to feel like I'm sitting right next to you. And in order to do that I simply follow a bullet list of items that I must cover for every training lesson found on this disc. I think that you'll feel very comfortable throughout the training because of that workflow. So with that in mind, have fun with this training, and I really feel that the very end--or at least when you take any of the lessons, whether it's one or all of them--that you'll vastly improve your editing capabilities using this very powerful application called Final Cut Pro.

Well, the first thing I'd like you do is locate this Training Media folder found on the training disc that was supplied to you with all the lessons. You'll need to take this folder off the disc and drag it onto your desktop, like I've done here. All of your media for all the lessons is located in that folder and you'll need to dip into that folder periodically throughout the lessons. Well, the first thing I want to talk to you about is how do you launch Final Cut Pro? Well, of course, you have to have it installed to begin with.

Once it's installed, there are actually a few ways to show you, and I want to show you at least two of those ways. The one way is if you navigate up to your system drive in the upper right-hand corner of your Desktop, simply double- click on that hard drive icon, and locate these three button options to view the contents of the hard drives. I'd like you to mouse-click and select the Column option, and when you do that, I'd like you to locate the Applications folder. Click on that.

And then I'd like you locate the Final Cut Pro icon, which is this little red Hollywood slate with the words Final Cut Pro to the right. You can simply double-click on this icon and that will launch Final Cut Pro. The other way to launch Final Cut Pro is to locate your Dock. Now your Dock is sitting here on the Desktop. Mine happens to be at the bottom. So if I navigate my cursor down to the bottom, the Dock will appear and at the very bottom there, you will see the exact same icon, the Final Cut Pro icon. In fact, mine has a black pyramid underneath, indicating that it's already open.

If it's not open, then you can also click on this and that will also open Final Cut Pro, and there it is. Now Final Cut Pro is actually a very simple program with very powerful features. And what I mean by that is the simplicity of the design is very welcoming, and when you first see that you may think, oh, this isn't that powerful, but it really is. Underneath the hood it has a lot of power that will enable you to do just about anything, as you will see throughout the lessons on this disc.

Well, the first thing I'd like to do is introduce these four different windows to you, and as you can see, they all have slightly different items within them, and I'd like to talk to you first about the Browser window. The Browser window is the window that contains all of your projects. I happened to have an untitled project here with a blank timeline sequence icon. More on that later. But when this project is full, beneath this you'll see clips--video clips, audio clips, graphics, maybe multiple timelines. They'll all line up straight down from top to bottom in this column.

Now behind this Project tab is the Effects tab. If I click on that then you will notice that I have Video Transitions folder, Video Filters folder, Video Generators, Audio Transitions, and Audio Filters. In fact, if I navigate to the triangle to the left and I click on this to make it point down, it reveals all the different categories of transitions. All these dissolves, if I click on this, that will reveal all of the different dissolves that we have available to us. I would recommend, when you get a chance, you might want to shop through these transitions and shop through these filters, and what I mean by shop is, after you get an idea of how these work, you can actually get a good feel for what you think you may want to use in a project, because you already know what's there, because you've taken the time to go through these.

I hope that makes sense to you. So I am going to click on the Untitled Project tab to bring that forward and I am going to zoom back out and put the Browser window back. Now every time you click on one of these windows, you may notice that the top part illuminates. That simply means that you've turned that window on. You've activated that window. For instance, now that I'm not in the Browser anymore, notice how the top portion and even the word Browser is a darker gray. That means it that is basically turned off and that the viewer is now on. And you can see that the word "Viewer" with the word "Slug," which I'll tell you what that is in just a little bit, appears here at the top, indicating that it is now activated, and I can begin to work within the Viewer, and that's how Final Cut Pro really works.

When you click on a window, it activates it and you begin to work. Okay, so as we go through the training, you will get a little more familiar with how that works as well. So the Viewer window really is what I like to call our preview window. In other words, we would simply take a video clip from the Browser, drag it into the Viewer, or we would double- click on a clip in the Browser and it would open up in the Viewer, and once that clip opens up in the Viewer, we can work on the video, as indicated with this tab here, or we could click on the Audio tab and work on the audio.

We can add a filter. If we click on the Filters tab, we can manipulate that filter. And we have motion control. We can rotate the clip. We can scale the clip. We can crop it or distort it. There are all kinds of options within these four tabs, and sometimes additional tabs will appear based on what you're doing or what you've added to that clip, but most of the time you'll see these four tabs here. Well, back in the Video tab, if you click on that, you'll notice that there are timecode windows. There are two of them here.

We will be definitely talking about how this Timecode windows work, not only here in the Viewer, but in the Canvas window, and then of course across the top here there are additional View buttons that allow us to view certain things within the Viewer. Down below, of course this large black area is the actual preview area where the video will be playing. And we have VCR-type controls down here at the bottom that allow us to shuttle through the video, quite effortlessly actually.

Then there are other buttons down here on the bottom part of the Viewer that allow us to add or do certain things to the clip that is sitting in the Viewer. We will definitely be talking about those as well, and then there are few more over here on the right. Well, as we move our way across to the right to the next window, I'll click on it. This is our Canvas window. Our Canvas window actually will show us what is down on the Timeline. Basically, I like to call the Canvas window the Program Monitor or the Client Monitor.

Basically, whatever you see here is really what would be out on to tape or what would eventually be going out to DVD. So basically, the Viewer window is your preview window that shows you what the clip may look like before you edit that and bring it down it to the Timeline, and the Canvas window shows us what the finished clip or clips will look like once you've assembled your movie down on the Timeline. It shows you this over here in the Canvas window. Now you may already notice that there are similarities between the Viewer and the Canvas window.

In fact, both of these windows are almost identical, with the exception of the Canvas window shows you the final output of whatever is on the Timeline. We still have the same three buttons here, the same timecode windows, the same shuttle buttons. There are a few different buttons over here on the bottom left-hand side that will allow us to automate editing down to the Timeline, and we will definitely be talking about these a little later on. You may notice that we have these green outer boxes here within the Canvas window, and actually the Viewer will also allow us to show that.

But I just wanted to have this one on, because we really need to understand how this works. And briefly, I just want to explain that this inner box indicates action-safe for video, meaning anything on the outside of this box where my cursor is now may not be seen on some older-fashioned tube monitors. And we'll talk about that as we go through our editing process in a later lesson. This inner box is our title-safe, meaning any title that is within, in other words, beyond this box in the region where my cursor is now, if I were to place a title in this region, it may not be seen on some older-fashioned tube monitors.

And again, more on that as we go through our editing. Well, let's move down to the Timeline. I am going to click on the Timeline to activate it and of course it illuminates just like that. And our Timeline is actually quite simple. It basically has three sections that I want to bring to your attention. It has the video section, which is where my cursor is now. All the video above this center divider would reside in tracks, straight up, the top layer taking precedence over any layer beneath it.

In other words, if I had two video clips sitting here, the top layer would hide the bottom layer, or the bottom layer, and you'll see that a little later on. Beneath this center divider is where all the audio goes. And I can have as many as 99 tracks of audio, by the way, and I can have as many as 99 tracks of video. So I can actually build quite a powerful little layered Timeline if I want to. I don't believe you'd probably ever go above maybe 20 or 30, but if you ever do, that's going to be quite a project.

The third portion that I want to talk to you about, the Timeline, is over here on the left. In fact, I'd like to zoom into that to show you that these buttons indicate not only the layers for audio and video, but these buttons here, if I mouse-click and drag, also designate destinations of the video and audio that are sitting in the Viewer. For instance, if I had a video clip and an audio clip sitting up here in the Viewer window, I would have one button here representing the video sitting in the Viewer called the Source, and I would have--if there was audio with that video in the Viewer--I would have these buttons indicating the audio sitting in the Viewer that I would eventually bring down to the Timeline. And they could go at any track that I'd want them to by simply mouse-clicking and dragging these up and down.

More on that a little later on, and I think you'll understand once we get to that, especially if you practice how these work. And you'll see a few other buttons here, like a lock button or an Audible/Mute button or a Viewable/Visible On or Off button, which basically turns the tracks off. We will come back to all these a little later on. In fact, all of these buttons down in here we'll talk about a little later on. One last thing that I do want to bring to your attention are these other items over here, which is our toolbar and our Audio Meter bar.

Both of these are actually quite important. As a matter fact, we will be spending a lot of time using buttons in this toolbar. And we will also pay attention to our audio levels in this bar that indicate how loud the audible portion of our movie is, and we want to pay attention to how those levels go throughout our editing. So other than that, that is the introduction to the Final Cut Pro interface, and let's continue on to the next lesson.

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