Join Damian Allen for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring the Final Cut Pro interface, part of Final Cut Studio Overview.
Now, let's take a look at the main interface. The interface comprises four main windows. The first is the browser, which provides access to all of the elements of your project, including video, audio and edited sequences. A new project is automatically created when you launch Final Cut Pro and it always includes one basic sequence. A sequence is the Timeline you edit your video clips into. You can add another blank sequence by choosing File > New > Sequence and you can create an entirely new project by choosing File > New Project.
Final Cut Pro allows you to have multiple projects open at the same time, which is a very useful feature, but one that can be confusing when you are getting to know the application. So you're better off sticking to just one project open at a time to start with. If you have more than one project open, just select the tab of the project you want to close and choose File > Close Project. Save as necessary. Now, in Final Cut Pro, you can separate your content into Bins. That's the editing term for folders and creates separate tabs for each Bin.
To create a new Bin, just right-click or Ctrl+Click in the browser and choose New Bin. Rename it as desired and then to create a separate tab for the bin, double-click it and then drag its tab header back into the main browser window. You can create as many bins as you like, here we'll create a second one for audio, double-click it, then drag it back into the main browser window and once you have created your bins, you can begin populating them with video, audio and stills.
Be sure to watch the lessons on importing for more information. Here, we have a project with footage already imported, populating our bins. To view clips as thumbnails instead of a list view, right-click and choose View as Medium Icons. You can then adjust the representative posted frame for clip, by holding down the Ctrl and Shift keys and dragging left and right. A final tab in the browser allows you to browse the various filters and transitions included with Final Cut Pro.
Let's look now at the second main interface window and that's the Viewer. The Viewer allows you to preview individual clips and set their in and out points by simply clicking I and O on the keyboard. It also provides a shuttle control and a jog control for quick accurate positioning of the playhead. These can also work in conjunction with third party Jog/Shuttle Hardware Devices. The third window is the canvas. Where the viewer allows you to preview a specific clip, the canvas previews the entire edited sequence you have created.
From the Viewer, you can quickly access any section of your sequence for playback. The canvas is also where you performed edits using an overlaid drag and drop menu which offers seven different edit types including automatic insertion of a favorite transition effect, such as a cross fade. Rounding off the interface is the Timeline. The Timeline is where you assemble your various video clips, audio and graphics to create a final edited sequence.
The canvas is essentially a display for what's going on in the Timeline. Consequently, the playheads in both windows are synchronized. To the right of the Timeline is the Tool palette, which contains the various tools used for editing and tweaking your sequence in the Timeline. Many of the buttons in the Tool palette contain multiple items. Access them by clicking the button, and pausing with the mouse held down. The default selection tool appears at the top.
Now while this is the standard layout, for Final Cut Pro, you can reposition the windows however you like. Here, we'll rearrange the canvas and the Viewer and also adjust the width of the browser window. In fact, using the Arrange menu, found under Window, you can load and save custom layouts and access additional preset layouts. Now at any time, if you want to revert to the default layout, just choose Window > Arrange > Standard.
A few other interface elements hidden in the Standard View are the Audio Mixer, reviewing and recording volume and pane automation with support for hardware control surfaces, the Frame Viewer for comparing frames and performing split screen comparisons, the QuickView window for fast, RAM based preview of complex composites. The Timecode Viewer, which provides a re- sizeable timecode window that's easy to read from across the room.
And then rounding out the additional tools in the Tools menu, Video Scopes for color correction tasks and broadcast legal monitoring and the Voice Over tool, for easy, direct capture of voice over right into Final Cut Pro and that wraps up our basic overview of the interface.
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