Are you finally taking the plunge from Final Cut Pro 7? Or maybe you’re weighing Final Cut Pro X vs. the other NLE’s out there? Well this is the guide for you. Getting your head around Final Cut Pro X’s interface and editorial philosophy are often the greatest challenges to getting the most out of it. But if you stick with it and spend some time with these simple starter tips and tricks, you’ll realize you can do post-production faster and with better quality than ever with this application. So, let’s get started:
Step 1: Get Final Cut Pro X.
You’ll find Final Cut Pro X for $299 directly from Apple on the Mac App Store. Alternatively, you can download a 30-day free trial here. The free trial is a nice option if you’re not really sure that you want to go with Final Cut Pro X. It’s not limited in any way other than the 30 days and any projects you create with the trial can be continued without interruption with the paid version. So, it’s pretty much risk free to try.
Step 2: Download the Manual.
You probably don’t want to read the entire manual cover to cover (though it would be great if you did). But it’s very handy to search for help on a specific topic. Also, having the full PDF is generally a lot faster to search through than using the online help menu within the application. You can also put it onto your iPhone or iPad for light reading while away from your computer. You’ll find the Final Cut Pro X PDF manual (along with many others) here.
Step 3: View Some Video Tutorials.
There are a lot of paid and free tutorials out there. You can invest a lot or a little in training. Here are some of the tutorials that are mostly worth your hard-earned dollars and will save you literally hours and hours of feeling your way around in the dark. They say FCPX is easiest for folks coming in from iMovie or Aperture due to some similar commands and concepts. But if you’re coming say, from Final Cut Pro 7 or another editing application, you might find yourself banging your head against the wall trying to figure out where everything went.
So, save yourself a lot of time and frustration and go with one of these courses instead. Larry Jordan has a great series here and you can see a lot of it for free here. Steve Martin over at Ripple Training also has a comprehensive training course for Final Cut Pro X, featuring great tutorial footage to play with. You’ll find Ripple’s Final Cut Pro X Training here. You’ll also get a lot of insight into how other editors are using FCPX by listening to Chris Fenwick’s FCPX Grill. Finally, Peachpit offers an official training book and eBook that can not only get you up and running in FCPX, but you can even attend a class in person and receive an official training certification from Apple.
Step 4: Ask For Help.
You’ll find a great online community of fellow FCPX users at all levels who are more than happy to share their knowledge and help you out.Some of the best places to ask for help include: the FCP.CO forum and the Apple FCPX Techniques forum on Creative Cow. Over on Facebook, try the Final Cut Pro X Editors group. Finally, Apple’s own Final Cut Pro X community is a good place to check for basic troubleshooting tips.
Bottom line: the best advice we can give is to treat Final Cut Pro X as a brand new application and leverage its strengths. Learn what it’s best it: world-class automated media ingest and organization, lightning fast editorial workflows, and a huge library of pre-built effects and titles- to name a few qualities. FCPX can be a bit daunting at first but we think it’s well-worth the effort to master it, just like any professional tool. Take a peek at this reel showcasing work completed in FCPX (it was also edited in X) and you’ll see that anything is possible. Of course, FCPWORKS is here to help with system sales and workflow training. Please drop us a line if we can help and never give up!