Join Abba Shapiro for an in-depth discussion in this video The four ways to drive Final Cut Pro, part of Final Cut Pro 7 Essential Training.
The good thing about Final Cut Pro is that there is four or five ways to do everything. The bad thing about Final Cut Pro is that there is four or five ways to do everything. In this lesson, we are going to look at four different ways that you can edit in Final Cut Pro. The first way is simply using pull-down menus. Now many of you are already familiar with pull-down menus. If you notice in Final Cut Pro, your pull-down menus are organized in different editing function, putting on effects, tools that you might need, things you will do in your sequence, how to modify a clip, editing effects.
Then within each of these pull-down menus, there is actually sub-menus for things you can do. So for instance, you can create a New and then within that, you see a sub-menu Sequence, Bin or Offline Clip. The other thing you'll notice is there is keyboard shortcuts associated with each of these menu items. And that brings us to our second way of editing within Final Cut Pro and that is using keyboard shortcuts. Now most editors like to use keyboard shortcuts, they are much faster and the nice thing about Final Cut Pro is if you start by using pull-down menus because you don't know the keyboard shortcuts, next to each item in the pull-down menu that has a keyboard shortcut, you'll see what the keyboard shortcut is.
The challenge is which symbol means what and it can get very, very confusing. So when it comes to keyboard shortcut, there is only four things you need to remember, Command, Control, Shift, and Option. But which of the four symbols represent those four different tasks? It's actually pretty easy once you've gotten to get your head wrapped around it. The most frequently modifier key is the Command key and the Command key is pretty easy to remember because if you look at your keyboard, to the left and right of the spacebar, you actually see the words Command, and you see the exact same icon on your keyboard that you do in the pull-down menu.
The next keyboard command that you would probably use would be the Option key. Now, I can never remember what the Option key is. So let's go down and find an Option symbol and a really good way to remember it. If I want to clear my in point, the keyboard shortcut is Option+I and if I look closely at this symbol, to me, it looks like an escalator. And if I'm on an escalator, I have an option to go down or I have an option to go up. So that's how I remember the Option key. The next key we are going to look at is the Shift key. Now the Shift key is a pretty easy key to remember, because it's simply an Up arrow.
So I can remember Up arrow, Shift, which leaves our fourth key, which is the Control key. Now, the Control key is a little tricky to remember at first, but when I was a kid, there was a game I used to play and whoever had the hat on was the leader. They were in control and to me, that little triangle is the hat. So if you have the hat, you are in control. So in this case, if I want to do Clip enable, I would hit Ctrl+B.Now one more thing about keyboard shortcuts. A lot of times you'll get a keyboard shortcut that requires two modifier keys.
In this case, Levels control uses both the Option, the escalator as well as the Command key. So if I want to use this keyboard shortcut, I simply would hold down Option+Command+L and by the way, when using keyboard shortcuts, I have seen a lot of folks try to hit the Modifier key and then the letter all at the same time. Trying to time all three fingers striking those keys at the same point. You don't have to work that hard. Simply hold down the one or in this case, two modifier keys first and then you can press the letter, and you will get the exact keyboard shortcut you are looking for.
The third way that you can work with the Final Cut Pro interface is simply with buttons. As you see we have a variety of buttons here in our viewer as well as in our canvas, as well as in our Tool palette. Now a lot of folks find it's really challenging to remember what that button does. If you notice, if you hover your mouse over any button, you'll actually get what's called a tool-tip and a tool-tip tells you what that button does, and also tells you what the keyboard shortcut for that button is.
So for instance, this button represents play into out, and the keyboard shortcut is Shift+Backslash. If you notice I can go over here to the tooltips, do the same thing, select Track forward. It's the T key. Now the Tool palette works a little bit differently than the other buttons. If you've worked in other programs such as your Word Processing program or Photoshop, you'll notice that if you click and hold on a Tool palette icon, you'll actually reveal other tools below the primary one.
In this case, we have Slip, Slide, and the Speed tool. If I go up to the Arrow and click and hold, it's my select track forward, select track backwards, both ways, everything forward, and everything backwards. But we'll get to more detail about all the tools in our Tool palette later on in other lessons. One more key thing to know about working with tools in the Tool palette is that they all have a keyboard shortcut to switch them. So if you notice, if I go over to the Selection tool, it says the A for arrow, will switch to that tool.
So I'm going to click on the A key and you will see that it's switched over to the selection tool. In the case of the keyboard shortcut, we saw earlier that T was for the Track Selection tool. S was for Slip. So a lot of times, if you have the wrong tool selected because you clicked in the wrong place, simply go back and click on the Tool palette, or use the keyboard shortcut that switches you back to ideally your Selection tool which is the Arrow and is letter A. The fourth way that you can edit within the Final Cut Pro interface is by right-clicking or Ctrl-clicking.
What Ctrl-clicking does is it opens up a context sensitive menu, which means wherever you right-click, whatever you can do in that section of the interface will be shown to you. So if I click on the Scrubber bar in my Viewer, I see things that I can do in that specific location, clearing in and out, marking splits, and marking in and outs. If I go over to my browser, do the same thing, by right-clicking or if you are on a laptop and don't have a mouse, Ctrl-clicking. You see these are different ways that I can view my browser.
In the same browser, if I right- click on a clip, I don't get the ways I can change my browser. I can find ways that I can modify that clip. A good exercise to learn more about what you can do in Final Cut Pro is simply right-clicking in different areas of the interface to discover what you might be able to do. For instance, clicking over here in a clip within the time line, can give me some functionality that I wasn't even aware of. So most new users to Final Cut Pro asked, so what way should I use when I edit within the Final Cut Pro interface? Should I use menus, should I use keyboard shortcuts, should I right-click, should I use buttons? Well, the truth is whatever works best for you is the way you should edit.
Now most editors like to use keyboard shortcuts because it's much more efficient and a lot faster. But if your hand is on your mouse, and you want to scrub through a clip, that may be a lot quicker than moving your hands over to the keyboard to hit J, K, and L, or if you are finding you are doing something you don't do a lot and you need to go to the pull-down menu, a lot of times that will be quicker than trying to remember the keyboard shortcut. The trick with Final Cut Pro is edit the way you are most comfortable, and you'll ultimately become a faster editor.
- 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