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This course helps experienced Final Cut Pro editors understand new ways of performing traditional editing techniques. New terminology and new tools for performing editing functions are also clarified.
- Touring the X interface
- Running Final Cut Pro 7 and X on the same machine
- Importing and analyzing media
- New editing methods (including append and connected clips)
- Timeline editing (including ripple, roll, slip, and slide edits)
- Adding audio
- Fine-tuning with the Precision Editor
- Adding and adjusting transitions
- Creating titles
- Applying motion effects to clips
- Performing color corrections
- Archiving and collaboration
Skill Level Beginner
Before you can start editing we need to bring some media into Final Cut Pro. Now the way media is handled in Final Cut Pro X is in some ways radically different than in previous versions of Final Cut Pro, and in other ways is very similar. The first thing you need to do to bring media into Final Cut Pro is go to the File menu and go Import Files. Now the keyboard shortcut is a little different than you might expect. It's Shift+Command+I. Go ahead and select Import Files, and you'll notice this dialog window.
Now we can add our imported media to an existing event, which we've touched on a little bit earlier, or in our case we want to create a new event specifically for this footage. This will allow us to do two things. one easily organize a footage and two, we're going to target this footage to go to an external drive or in our case a scratch drive. I am going to click on Create New Event and I am going to call this event Additional footage. And as you can see I can save this to my original drive or at any external drive that is attached to my computer.
Now we cannot save this to a SAN. We can read from a SAN, or a Shared Area Network, but we can't write to a SAN at this point. Now let's go down the list and take a look at some of our options that we can check or uncheck when we bring our media into Final Cut Pro X. The first one is when we bring the media into Final Cut Pro X. Under Organizing there is a checkbox that says Copy files to Final Cut Events folder. If this is checked, whatever media you point to is actually copied onto the drive where you target.
Sometimes you want this and sometimes you don't. If you like the old way of working where you just created aliases of your media, simply leave this box unchecked and Final Cut will just point to whatever drive the media is originally stored on. Now there is an exception to this rule. If you're copying media off of a card, a CompactFlash card, an SD card, a P2 card, Final Cut will always copy that media into your events folder. The next checkbox is also important. This is Import folders as Keyword Collections. Now what does that mean? For instance, let's say you've already organized your media into folders, Music and B-Roll and what not.
Let's take a look at how our previously organized my folders. As you see I have a B-Roll folder, Interviews, Greenscreen, Music and so on. When I import this media, not only is it going to make aliases of this media but it's also going to attach specific metadata to it. So I'll be able to search and find all my graphics file, all my voiceover files, all my Jackie photos. I'll actually be able to search by either Jackie, photos or both. Let's go back to Final Cut and continue to look at our list. I'm going to make sure that Import folders as Keyword Collections is checked.
Now when it comes to Transcoding, you have a choice. With Final Cut Pro X you can either edit your footage in its native format. So if it was shot on a Canon 7D and H.264, you can edit natively. But a lot of times that's a lot of extra work for the CPU. So you may choose to actually transcode that media to either ProRes 422 or to ProRes Proxy. For now we are going to uncheck optimized media because I can always come back later once the file is imported, right- click on any file, and optimize it at that stage.
As we go down the list you see you can analyze for stabilization and rolling shutter. This is incredibly useful for these new DSLR cameras that we are working with, because a lot of times when you're shooting handheld with these cameras it's really hard to get a nice stable shot. Another thing these cameras suffer from is what's called a rolling shutter. The CMOS sensor on the camera actually gives you a wavy look if you do any kind of quick panning. Final Cut Pro can analyze and correct for this. Also if you happen to not have the right color balance on your footage, maybe it's too blue from the daylight or there was a light influencing, such as the footage we're looking at, will be people dancing on stage, which will be lit, and we want to make sure that we can balance the color, Final Cut can analyze that in advance and you can simply click a button and fix the problem. And we'll look at that in a later movie.
Now the next one really excites me. It's the Find people selection. What Final Cut Pro X can do is as it brings the footage in it can actually look at the footage and determine how many people are in a shot??one person, two people, a group of people??and it can actually create smart folders or smart collections which will break it up so I can quickly say, oh I need a two shot for this next scene or I need a wide shot or a close-up or a medium shot, and I don't have to dig through all my footage. Final Cut has already done that for me.
And finally if you look at the Audio section, Analyze and fix audio problems. What Final Cut Pro X does for you is it fixes those problems that you used to have to battle in Final Cut Pro 7. If there is hum in the audio, it can automatically fix. That's 50 and 60 cycle hum. It can also look for background noise and try to fix for that. One of my favorite new features in Final Cut Pro X is the ability to separate mono and group stereo audio. What does that mean? Well, it determines if it's a single channel, dual mono, stereo, or as you see for the last checkbox, perhaps you even left some channels empty and you used to have to delete those when you were editing.
Final Cut Pro does all this work in advance. Let's go ahead and click Import on our first folder. Now we have a couple of choices here. We are going to actually import both the 7D footage, and I am going to step back just a little further and we also have a folder called EDN additional media. This is the folder that I showed you earlier that had all of those subfolders in it. So let's go ahead click Import and see what happens. Immediately Final Cut points to all this footage and I can actually start editing while it's importing it and analyzing it.
Now if I want to see the status of what it's analyzing, I can go over to my HUD, and on the left side you see a spinning circle. If I click on that, it actually brings up a window for my background tasks. I am going to reveal the disclosure triangle and I can see the video that it's analyzing. Let's go ahead and close that window and take a look on the left side of our screen to the Event Library, and as you can see, there is our Additional footage event and in there are our smart folders. B-Roll, Graphics, Greenscreen, Interviews, and I can click on this and you see all my greenscreen footage is there.
In addition it is analyzing the footage for Group shots, Medium shots, One Person, Two Persons or Wide Shot. Let's go ahead, we'll click on One Person, and there we are. We have all of our single individual shots. If I want to see group shots I'll go over here and what it's already analyzed for the Group shots it has already found. Now remember, I only asked Final Cut to analyze for people when I imported the video. This doesn't limit me. If I want, I can go back and have it reanalyze this footage for other problems such as audio, color balance, or shake in my footage.
To do that I simply click on the main event folder. I am going to shrink these down so we can see them a little better. I can select any clip that I've already ingested. Right-click on it, select Analyze and fix, and go back and say now fix audio problems or in our case maybe balance for color. As you can see importing is quite different in Final Cut Pro X than it was in Final Cut Pro 7, but it's going to give you a lot more flexibility and make your editing that much easier.