First steps with Final Cut Pro X

My first editing system was an analog deck with three SVHS recorders, a mixer, tape deck and various monitors. Then came Final Cut Studio. I’ve never done much with iMovie until version 8 arrived. Nowadays I use both depending on the needs of the project. If I want to do split-screens, compositing or advanced audio, Final Cut Pro is my application of choice. iMovie is great for those clips which I would never get done otherwise. I have a box full of mostly uncut MiniDV tapes that I recorded over the last few years.

The new Final Cut Pro X is something in the middle. I can finish projects almost as fast as with iMovie, but can do more advanced stuff too. One thing that’s frustrating with iMovie is its inflexibility when adding titles. While there is a split screen feature in iMovie, videos like this are not possible:

I’m not using Multicam, EDL or Red camera import, features which FCPX lacks and editors are complaining about. I do find the single-window layout somewhat limiting as it doesn’t give me control about my work environment. Worse, Apple uses a variety of font sizes with most being bigger than the standard font size in Final Cut Pro 6. FCPX is also a more demanding application, I got more beach balls with FCPX than I ever got with FCP6.My first edited video with Final Cut Pro X shows my first class trip in Japan:

This is a very simple edit. It could be done in the current iMovie except for one split-screen part and the credits.

The next one is for the Takao Trick Art Museum. It shows one of the new title animations in FCPX (there is no LiveType for FCPX) which was a good fit for the “trick” theme. I liked that it’s possible to do much more editing in the timeline and the canvas/viewer. The credits show the kaleidoscope effect. The effect works, but I can not imagine using it more than once or twice.

While there are all kinds of silly effects and transitions, one thing is missing: audio transitions! Yes, there’s no way to fade two audio tracks into each other.

Actually there is way: Alex4d posted an extension that will do an audio-only transition. It won’t work between added background music, but it works with the audio tracks of the clips.

Mia Jaap

Journalist, developer and passionate about Japanese and Korean language. Japan is my #1 country for travelling, penguins my favourite animals.

One thought on “First steps with Final Cut Pro X

  • 13. September 2011 at 17:19

    I would like to know if you or readers of this blog are interested in writing about the way you have personnally experienced the Northeastern Japan Earthquake (if you know people who have experienced the earthquake in Japan, it’d be great if you coud let him/her know about this).
    Tokyo Room Finder Short Essay Contest is an online project to gather heart-warming experiences following the earthquake in Japan. We strongly believe that sharing those experiences will give people hope and revitalize Japan.
    We also offer 2 tickets for Tokyo Disney Resort to each of the winners.

    For more details :


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