Final Cut Pro X

I feel the need to include this disclaimer for the video at the end of this post: I am, by no means, showcasing this video as part of my portfolio or as anything even close to my best work. It’s simply an artifact of my learning.

From the moment Apple released Final Cut Pro X in 2011, I was done. Not only is the interface completely different, but in my mind, being able to say you’re proficient in Final Cut Pro sets you apart in a major way, in terms of expertise. When they announced the new low price ($299.99 vs. $1,299.99 for the full Final Cut Studio 2*), it felt like such a step back. Making the interface look so much like iMovie made me think, “Now, what’s to stop someone from hiring an 11-year-old who’s proficient in iMovie vs. me because of my skill set with Final Cut Pro X? What’s the point of learning it?” In a nutshell, I was not happy (and I was not alone), and I just closed my eyes and decided to pretend that Final Cut Pro X didn’t exist. Eventually (I figured), Apple would get the hint and go back to the drawing board, increase the price, and make it “exclusive” again. But it’s been more than two years…

…and then I’m handed my new laptop at work with Mountain Lion installed, and I get this message when I go to install Final Cut Studio 2:

No more pretending. Eyes are wide open. So I enrolled in a three-day class at my favorite place for this kind of training: Ledet & Associates. As usual, I was not disappointed. I always have such an amazing experience there!

While I’m now very confident in my ability to efficiently use Final Cut Pro X, some of my “fears” and expectations were validated. My instructor (Chuck Trocino) said that it will probably take years to fully move over to Final Cut Pro X. He still keeps an older machine just to be able to run Final Cut Pro 7 (a component of Final Cut Studio 2), which is exactly what I’ve done (my iMac and older MacBook Pro both still run Final Cut Pro 7), since I have more than six years worth of video projects that were created in Final Cut Pro 7 and can’t be opened in Final Cut Pro X. That is not cool! With that said, below is the list of pros/cons for the software that I walked away with:

Pros Cons
Automatic background rendering while editing INABILITY TO OPEN FINAL CUT PRO 7 PROJECTS
Magnetic timeline Magnetic timeline
Smart collections Smart collections
More plugins available than with Final Cut Pro 7 Importance of primary storyline – I’m not sure how I feel about this yet.
Ability to start editing before clips are transcoded
Ability to preview effects by scrubbing over selected clip
“Undo” (⌘-Z) is now unlimited (as opposed to only the last 20 moves)
Ability to scrub through raw files during import process
Ability to mark in/out points on raw clips (but only if they’re coming from an SD card)
Color correction features
Built-in audio enhancements
Auditioning feature
Better Keyer
Ability to alter selected portion of text on the same layer

With this video, I just explored the basics: marking clips, transitions, titles, color correction, audio mixing, and exporting straight from Final Cut Pro X to Vimeo (another “pro”). The footage was all shot by a friend of my instructor’s.

[vimeo w=500&h=281]


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