Join Abba Shapiro for an in-depth discussion in this video Customizing the window layout, part of Final Cut Pro 7 Essential Training.
Earlier, we showed you a basic overview of the main window in Final Cut Pro. Let's look a little bit deeper into the interface and how it operates. First off all, how can you tell a window is active? One of the biggest challenges to a new user in Final Cut Pro is knowing which is your active window. It's actually pretty simple. If you look at the Title bar, you'll see that there is a light gray background with dark gray text. This indicates the active window in Final Cut Pro. As we move around the interface, you'll notice where it says Viewer.
It's actually kind of a dark gray background and light gray text. The contrast is not that great and I know that this is not an active window. To make a window active, simply click on it and you can click anywhere in a window to make it active. So, let's go over to the Canvas, I'm clicking right in the middle. We can go down to the Timeline and click the Timeline anywhere to make that active and once again go back to the Browser. To open or close a window in Final Cut Pro, notice that there are three circles in the left corner of each window.
The button on the far left of each window allows you to close that window. If the window is closed and you need to reopen it, you can use a keyboard shortcut and there is a keyboard shortcut of Command+1, Command+2, Command+3 and Command+4, I'm going to hit Command+1 to bring back our Viewer window and remember think of it as a clock. Command+1 is for the Viewer, Command+2 is for the Canvas, Command+3 is for the Timeline, and Command+4 is for the Browser. Now, this keyboard shortcut is also useful for selecting a window. For instance, if I wanted to select the Canvas window, all I have to do is hit Command+2 and now the Canvas window is active.
If I hit Command+2 again, while the window is active, it actually hides that window and if I hit it a third time Command+2, it brings that window back. So using this same analogy, let's take a look at working with the Timeline. Command+3 will select it, Command+3 again will hide it, Command+3 again will now make the window reappear. So, it's very easy to select, hide, or reopen a window using Command+1, Command+2, Command+3, and Command+4.
The second circle in our window, allows us to minimize a clip. So, if I click this in the Viewer, it will minimize the Viewer and place it into the dock. To get it back out of the dock, the easiest thing to do is go back to our keyboard shortcuts, and what is at 12 o'clock, Command+1 will now reopen that window. The third circle here is our Resize window. So, for instance, let's go over and select the Browser window and we're going to click that third circle and you'll notice that suddenly our Browser is no longer confined to the left-hand corner.
It actually utilizes the bulk of our screen space and this is nice because if I want to see more detail in any of my windows, I can simply click on that third dot and resize it. Now, if I wanted to reset my windows, I can simply go to Window > Arrange > Standard. The keyboard shortcut here is Ctrl+U. The next thing you may want to do is actually move a window around and to move a window you need to grab it by it's name and you can simply slide it anywhere around your desktop and this is really useful, if for instance, I have a document in the background, I want to copy something from or even if I want to drag Media in, to import it to my Browser.
Once again, I have messed up my windows. I'll go back to my keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+U. Finally, you'll notice as you move your mouse between windows, its icon changes from an arrow to two vertical lines. If you click-and-drag, you see you can actually manipulate the size of the windows and how they relate to each other. So, if I'm working in an environment where I need to see more of my Browser and don't need as much space in my Timeline, I can simply click on the edge and drag it down, giving me much more real estate here and once again to reset your windows, simple go back, Window > Arrange > Standard.
Now, you can control your windows in Final Cut Pro, instead of letting them control you.
- Preparing for an optimal Final Cut Pro editing experience
- Taking control of the Timeline by mastering the interface and learning the best keyboard shortcuts
- Learning the best practices for bringing clips into the Timeline
- Refining the Timeline with Ripple, Roll, Slip, and Slide edits
- Performing quick and easy color corrections
- Understanding and using the new markers features
- Importing video and audio files from tape, P2 media cards, and music CDs
- Understanding how to shoot and edit with multiple cameras
- Sharing a finished project on DVD, an MP3 player, or YouTube
Skill Level Beginner
Q: Is there a course in the Online Training Library that teaches more about burning Blu-ray Discs? Is Final Cut Pro a good tool for Blu-ray?
A: Final Cut Pro’s ability to burn Blu-ray Discs is very limited. Apple markets the functionality more as the ability to "create a Blu-ray screener." A good alternative to Final Cut Pro for Blu-ray authoring is Adobe Encore. If you want to author a more complex Blu-ray Disc, check out Chapter 17 of the Encore CS5 Essential Training, and the movie “About Blu-ray Discs and HD Video.”
Q: What is the quickest way to set up hardware with Final Cut Pro?
A: The easiest way to set up hardware in Final Cut Pro (version 7 and above) is, fittingly, the Easy Setup. Go to the Final Cut > Easy Setup and select the options that best fit the hardware being used.
Q: How does one open the exercise files that come with the course? When trying to import the files in Final Cut Pro, they are visible, but not selectable/grayed out. What is the reason for this?
A: The project files cannot be opened from within the application. The Import command is only used for media files. Simply double-click on the exercise files from the Finder to open the files in Final Cut Pro.
Q: When attempting to import the exercise file in the "Fit to Fill" video, the clip icon displays properly and the video appears in the canvas. However, after going to the beginning of the Timeline and attempting to play the video, it displays as "Unrendered" in the Canvas window. How can this be fixed?
A: Make sure Unlimited RT is checked in the upper left corner of the Timeline window. Unlimited RT will push the computer as hard as possible. Playback may have dropped frames. This is normal and OK. Clips will automatically render on export.
The clip can also be rendered by pressing Cmd+R and will play without dropped frames and full resolution.
Q: Is there a setting in Final Cut Pro that will enable the use of the Log and Capture function when importing video from a digital camera, specifically, a Canon 5D Mark II? Despite following the instructions in the Chapter 14 movie “Preparing for log and capture," the Log and Capture function does not work.
A: First off, when importing tapeless media, the Log and Transfer function must be used, not Log and Capture. See “The Log and Transfer window” video in Chapter 14. Secondly, the media must be connected through a card reader, not the camera, in order to import the video. Lastly, make sure to install the Canon Final Cut plug-in as well as the latest Canon 5D Mark II firmware, which updates some of the video functions.
Q: At about 1:40 in the "Taking control of your timeline" video, the author states that by holding the Command key and adjusting the track height, all audio or video tracks will follow. However, this doesn’t work for me, but works with the Option key. Is this a custom keyboard shortcut the author uses?
A: This is an error in the video. The Option key is indeed the correct key to use to adjust the track heights, not the Command key.
Q: The author asks us to reassign some commands, using system preferences. When using the Mountain Lion operating system, the Exposé window is not available. Is there a workaround for this operating system? Will I have these kinds of compatibility problems throughout the training?
A: Mountain Lion uses "Mission Control" in settings. F9 and F10 no longer need to be remapped and F11 and f12 can be. There should be no other foreseeable issues following along with the course.