Book Image

Final Cut Pro Efficient Editing - Second Edition

By : Iain Anderson
5 (1)
Book Image

Final Cut Pro Efficient Editing - Second Edition

5 (1)
By: Iain Anderson

Overview of this book

Elevate your video editing skills with Final Cut Pro 10.7.1, the ultimate tool for efficient and professional editing, offering powerful new features to enhance your workflow and give your videos a stunning look. The second edition of this comprehensive guide covers exciting new features in FCP, teaching you how to streamline your workflow with customizable workspaces, shortcuts, and advanced trimming tools. Explore best-in-class titles and a comprehensive suite of visual effects in Final Cut Pro for dynamic videos, create a great-sounding mix with Final Cut Pro's audio tools, and utilize the magnetic timeline, multicam editing, and advanced color correction for every project. Whether you're creating content for social media, YouTube, or Hollywood, Final Cut Pro Efficient Editing, Second Edition is your ultimate guide to professional video editing. Get your copy today and take your video editing skills to the next level.
Table of Contents (23 chapters)
PART 1: Importing and Organizing
PART 2: Rough Cut to Fine Cut
PART 3: Finishing and Exporting

A brief history of editing

Cinema has been around for a little over 100 years, and for a long time, the editing process was straightforward. Each frame of film was a single image on a continuous strip of celluloid, and, to combine multiple shots in a sequence, the film was physically cut and then taped to another piece of film. Every cut took real physical effort and time, and revisiting your earlier edits could be difficult, expensive, or impossible, depending on when the decision was made. And then, the arrival of video in the 1980s made it more accessible, but also worse.

Tape-based editing meant that an editor didn’t have to physically cut film, and because it made the process much cheaper, an entire generation of teenagers could explore movie making on a budget. However, images recorded on magnetic tape cannot be easily reordered. To rearrange shots A-B-C to B-A-C means offloading the whole sequence to a second tape, then placing them back on the original tape in a different order, often with a degree of quality loss. Linear editing surely democratized the industry, but it came at a cost.

Computer-based non-linear editing changed it all for the better, giving editors the low cost of tapes, the ability to change an image without chemicals, far easier access to special effects, and, thankfully, the return of easy clip reordering. Today, this is normal and natural, and a new video editor need not consider how things used to be done. Still, most Non-Linear Editing (NLE) applications work in a way that’s driven by the tape-based metaphors of the past. For example, the common Overwrite and Insert operations come straight from video tape decks.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with these operations (and, indeed, they exist in FCP), they come from a paradigm with a heavy emphasis on tracks, and a linear timeline structure. Just as with tape, nothing moves unless you explicitly tell it to. These linear methods make sense if you grew up with them, but there are better ways today. While many other NLEs have incorporated concepts such as ripple edits while retaining a default linear timeline, FCP defaults to a non-linear magnetic timeline, which makes rearranging clips easy.

If you’re new to editing, you’ll be totally fine; it makes sense. But if you’ve edited with another NLE, you might struggle as you try to mash the square peg of your existing knowledge into the round hole of the Magnetic Timeline. While you can make it work, it’s going to be much easier to pretend you know nothing and start afresh.

This is easier said than done, and in the wider professional video world, the traditional paradigm is still dominant for many reasons. Firstly, most high-end productions still use the first computer-based editing app their editors learned about: Avid Media Composer. It’s deeply embedded into many expensive workflows, it works, and a change would cost money. Secondly, there’s a large pool of people who already know how to edit, and many of them would rather not relearn the basics — fair enough. Thirdly, FCP X (back when it had an X) was missing key features at a poorly received launch, and this faulty public perception will take a long, long time to change.

Does it matter if you use the same software as most production companies? Well, if your goal is to get a job at a production house, maybe. But if your goal is to make great videos for yourself or your clients, not at all. Apple aimed for a non-traditional video editor, and while I’m sure they’d love more professionals to take another look, they’ve made many FCP users happy so far.

If you’d like to learn more about the launch of FCP X, please watch the excellent film Off the Tracks by Brad Olsen. There’s a free version and a longer paid version on offer at, and it’s absolutely worth your time (not just because I’m in it!).

But enough background on how we got here. Let’s take a bird’s-eye view of FCP and see how things tick.