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Final Cut Pro tutorial, this video will focus on how to use Final Cut Pro well part 1/4.
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How to Use Final Cut Pro Part 1/4
Hello, everybody. This is Eric Meek from www.finalcutstudioschool.com and this is the beginning of the Final Cut Pro 6 work through DVD.
I want to take you from the beginning to end and hopefully along the way, you’ll learn how to use this wonderful application from Apple and maybe become quite proficient in the process.
So let’s go over a quick workflow or at least let’s look at my workflow in Final Cut Pro. The first thing you always want to do is plan. I can’t stress it enough how important it is to plan. Make sure you know what you want to do or at least in a round about way, know where you’re going to get your projects elements, how you’re going to get your project elements and maybe even sort of a rough draft idea of what you want to do.
Planning is always the first step not just in editing but in anything that you’re going to do in life. Next, you want to collect all your media together, whether it be still frames, JPEGs, tip files, .movie files, HD clips, HDV clips whatever it may be, collect all of your media before ever touching an editor.
Then you want to kind of build your story, after you’ve collected all your media you want to kind of build the story in your mind. Get a rough draft of what you want to take place and what you want the story to be about. After you figure that out, you need to organize your story and that means putting your clips together in the rough way that kind of makes it nothing carving stone, just kind of a little organization to your thought.
The next step after organizing your story, before you trim your video, you want to complete the organizational process. This is having everything on how you want it in the timeline, in the order that you want it in the timeline.
So you can go on to the next step which will be to trim your video, and trimming your video is of course editing. Putting this shot here, that shot there taking a little bit off here or add a little bit there. And then after you got your edits together, this is when you want to add your transitions. Always have transitions before you had effects and text, always. That’s just my rule of thumb.
I don’t have a specific reason for it, but I just find that it always works best for me. After you add transitions, you want to add effects and text. Effects and text should be one of the last things you do because it can get in the way of your final project if you try to do it beforehand. Some people have to turn their text to audio, some people have a lot of time their effects to text and if you don’t know at the end and both at the same time you could get disorganized and I just like to do it that way.
And the last step, finish the audio if there is any at all. Some people have projects that don’t have any audio but 85% of projects out there do have audio and audio is the last thing you want to do.
And of course, after you finish your audio, you want to export and archive your file. That’s when you want to go into color and do a color correction stuff after you finish editing your video but we can get it in to that later. We’re going to focus on the Final Cut right now. So lets’ get in to Final Cut a little bit, look at some of the user preference windows, show you what’s going on and how to set it up before we get in to editing too much. I know you guys want to play and you’re curious to start pushing some buttons and editing and doing all the sexy stuff but let’s set up our project at first, set our Final Cut system at first. Then we’ll be good to go. So that’s next.
Now, we want to take a look at our preferences and settings. I’ve went over my Final Cut Pro workflow with you, now before we get in and start doing this sexy stuff, let’s look at our settings.
So go to Final Cut Pro and you’ll see user preferences, system settings, easy setup, audio and video settings. First of all easy setup, it just lets you pick the settings for your sequence. I have mine set to all formats and a custom setup but as you can see you have all these different formats that you can use. And the reason that it won’t list them all is because I have mine set to custom setup. If I had set it to something else, there would be a huge list of stuff. So I’ll just use all formats, all frame rates and I use my own custom settings and we can talk about my custom settings later. I just use DV NTSC with 48 kilohertz of audio, so that is all your easy setup does. It lets you setup your sequence.
Now if you go to user preferences, this has got some pretty interesting tabs, some pretty useful tabs but we’re just going to fool with the first four. Levels of Undo, pretty self-explanatory, the more levels of undo you have the more memory is going to take. I have mine is set to 99, a lot of people leave it to about ten or so.
Real time audio mixing, 8 tracks, that’s about good for most people. Audio playback quality, don’t freak out if it is low. This just means it’s going to render faster and stuff like it’s just going to play that drop and frames better. You can take it to the high or medium and low because on export it will be the best it can be.
Show tool tips, bring all windows to the front on activation, open last project on application launch, now what this does is if you close your application your Final Cut Pro App that are still working on a project, it will open up that last project you are working on. If it is uncheck you can just open it to the black sequence every time.
Auto save vault, I have mine set to about every ten minutes but really I save about every two minutes most of the time but this is a good back up in case you can forget. You can save it how many minutes you want, how often you want it to auto save it and how many copies of the project you wanted to keep in a maximum numbers of copies. So you can have 25 projects with 40 copies of each project or you can have 10 projects with 10 copies per project. It’s really up to you.
This over here, prompt for settings on new project, prompt for settings on new sequence just ask you what your easy setup at the beginning I showed you, just ask you what your sequence is and your presets. So I like to have it prompt me in case I want to change anything when I started up. Some people do not lack the annoying box that pops up.
Sync audio capture to video source if present, yes leave that check. Report dropped frame during playbacks. This will warn you, “Hey, you haven’t dropped frames”. But I am pretty experienced and I don’t need that warning so I leave mine off. All these other stuffs, you want to leave on, we won’t worry too much about it.
Auto render, now auto render is important because it will start to render for you after so many minutes what you’ve set it to. Say that you’re in the middle of a project and something comes up, you got to get up and leave or you’re working on another project and you totally forget all about it. It will start rendering for you after this so many sequences, after so many minutes. In that way, in case you forget it will render in the background.
Now that is the general use tab, let’s go to our editing tab. Still/freeze frame duration, this is how long the direction of your freeze frame will be if you make one. Its factory default is set to 10 seconds and you can always change that in the viewer.
Pre roll, this is a preview. It will preview two seconds before you edit and a second after you edit. You can set it to keep looping the preview over and over so you can see what you’re working on. You can set this for five and three or whatever you want it on. The texture, don’t worry about that.
Imported still/RGB video gamma, leave in on source. And if dynamic trimming, yes I leave that on. Let’s see, leave all the others uncheck. I don’t want to go through and explain every single check box. I’m just showing you how I keep mine setup.
Warn if visibility change deletes render file, yes, this will let you know, “Hey you got to make a change and you’re going to render your clip. That way, it will let you know before you do it and so you won’t say “Hey, crap. It took me 45 minutes to render that.” And I click this button and now it is not render no more. This will warn you.
Record audio key frames, reduced pics only in all. I keep mine on reduced. If you put it to pics only, it will only record on pics. If you put it to all, it will record everything. So I leave mine on reduced.
Pin tools can edit lock auto mobilize, leave that uncheck. Always reconnect if turned on modified files, yes. Warn on to send to send track post clip and yes. It’s always good to have a warning when you’re working on something important. So that is your editing tab, under labels you can make them different colors, you can say blue, you could make it use clips or the red one. It could be bad clips so on and so forth.
Now we have our timeline which lets you select your starting time code, your track size, so I juts keep my mine small. Thumbnail display, this will display just the name of the track in the timeline, the name of the track plus a little thumbnail at the beginning or it will show a thumbnail for every frame which this filmstrip is really great. You can see every frame on your timeline but it is very processor intensive. So I’ll just use name plus thumbnail.
Track display, this shows you what is going to be displayed when you turn on your overlays and this over here, you don’t have to worry about. Default number of tracks, five and four is what I got mine set to. That means when you open up a bunch of tracks you have five video tracks and four audio tracks blink waiting for you.
So that is the main controls of using preference, there is also rendering audio clips, and we’ll talk about them later but I do want to put out master templates and motion projects quality. If you notice that your project is up to full specs is because it is not set to best, which means if you set to best it’s going to take a lot longer to render and it’s going to be real time played back. It is not going to be as good. So I leave mine to normal and on export it always goes best. But I always keep this check. I always use the best quality when rendering movies.
And we’ll talk about the audio later. So that is your user preferences tab.