Edit On Final Cut Pro

Slide back into your favorite chair and prepare to use one of the most advanced, easy to use non-linear editing systems ever created. Designed to allow for desktop creation of fully realized, studio quality films, Final Cut Pro not only puts anyone willing to learn in the editing suite, but it also does so by incorporating a multitude of experience levels. Learning to edit on Final Cut Pro is a quick, painless process that only requires you have the equipment, software and footage. Learn the basic set ups required to begin capturing, importing and laying out a basic sequence to create your product.


1. Click the clapboard icon on your Mac’s dock and launch Final Cut Pro. When this has loaded you should see, from left to right, a browser window and monitor, and below the two, a timeline. The browser window is where you will place your footage, or cap files, that will later be dragged into the timeline to create a sequence. While you edit on Final Cut Pro, the monitor allows you to view your footage and scrub through; setting in and out points with which you can select the desired clips from the master file. If your footage is not already on your computer’s hard drive or another hard drive, meaning it is still on tape, you will have to begin by capturing the footage to your computer.

2. Connect your source material to the computer, either via firewire or through a capture card. You will need to click on the Final Cut Pro dropdown menu in the upper left hand corner and, near the bottom, select “Log And Capture.” This will bring up a capture window that will allow you direct access to your footage on whatever format you are using. The simplest way to capture is to select the capture now option from the capture window. Provided you have enough memory on your computer, this digitizes the entirety of your footage; allowing you complete access and the ability to edit on Final Cut Pro as you see fit.

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3. Press play on your source material, whether it is a deck of some sort or a camera with a digital output option. Next press the “Now” button on the capture window and your video will begin capturing.

4. Click on the yellow carrot in the video window. You will notice that this is how you scrub through your footage. Now, find a segment of footage you would like to make into a sub-clip. A sub-clip is a smaller section of a larger piece, or primarily a usable portion of your raw footage, that will then be placed into the sequence when you begin to edit on Final Cut Pro. To make the selection, you have to select the in and out points. Do so by pressing “I” for in and press “O” for out. Now press the open apple button and “U.” This will create a sub-clip, which will appear in the browser window and will be denoted by jagged edges on either side, meaning it is a sub-clip of the larger master file already in place. Name your sub-clip; using numbers like 001 is a good and rudimentary way to remember what the clip is and to differentiate it from both the master and subsequent clips.

5. Make several more sub-clips out of your master file, choosing the elements from the raw footage you would like to use to tell the story. At this point, don’t worry about chronology or placement. Simply become acquainted with recognizing story-telling elements in your raw footage and make the cleanest, most usable sub-clips. Remember, this is basic, raw editing; something that takes several passes and a great deal of refinement to get right. Simply make your basic choices now and the final elements will fall into place later.

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