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The Faculty Multimedia Center © Copyright 2005, The Pennsylvania State University - 1 - Faculty Multimedia Center 212 Rider Building II 227 W. Beaver Ave. (814) 863-7051 [email protected] Final Cut Pro 4.5 Basic Editing Tutorial 

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    The Faculty Multimedia Center Copyright 2005, The Pennsylvania State University - 1 -

    Faculty Multimedia Center212 Rider Building II

    227 W. Beaver Ave.

    (814) 863-7051

    [email protected]://

    Final Cut Pro 4.5

    Basic Editing Tutoria

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    Final Cut Pro Basic Tutorial Description

    Final Cut Pro Basic:Prerequisite(s): Familiarity with the Macintosh

    platform, have a basic understanding of video editing, and have used iMovie.

    Apples Final Cut Pro is a high-performance real-time digital video editing

    application. It provides users with a precision editing tools, and works with

    the widest range of input formats available. It can export video to a range of

    QuickTime formats as well as to iDVD and/or back to videotape.


    Import and edit media

    Add basic transitions, titles and effects

    Create a final movie

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    I. Basic Digital Video EditingA. SequencesB. How FCP Manages MediaC. Creating a Clip from a Master Clip

    D. Basics of the Timeline

    E. Inserts and Overlay Editing

    F. Creating New TracksG. Locking Tracks

    H. Creating Subclips

    I. Enabling Tracks

    J. Timeline Viewing Options

    K. Target TracksL. Close Gap

    M. The Razor ToolN. Basic Transitions

    1. Dissolves2. Fades

    O. Titles

    P. Using Effects

    II. Basic Digital Audio EditingA. Importing Audio Media

    B. WaveformsC. KeyframesD. VU Meter

    III. Final StepsA. Exporting Your ProjectB. Printing to Video

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    I. Basic Digtial Video Editing

    A. Sequences

    The sequence is the visual workspace in the Timeline where you place and edit all of your video andaudio. You can have many sequences within one project. Should you have more than one scene or have

    a long project that may need to be broken up, using more than one sequence is one of the many

    beneficial aspects of non-linear editing.

    1. To name your Sequence, double click the text of the name Sequence 1 (not the icon.) The

    name should become highlighted. Change the name to and hit Return.

    B. How FCP Manages Media

    As you work with your footage and media within the browser, be aware that as you create new clips andsubclips you are not actually adding or creating new media. Your project file is what you see when

    you work within FCP. As you work within this interface you are creating the instructions for the

    program on how to make your movie with the media that you have captured on your hard drive. (You

    can duplicate a 3 Gigabyte file that you have digitized 50 times within the Browser, but you are notmultiplying the amount of disk space that you are taking up on your hard drive.)

    C. Creating a Clip From a Master Clip

    In this section you will learn how to create smaller clips and subclips from your original footage. In

    doing so, you will also learn the basics of setting IN and OUT points that will make video capture more

    effective and efficient.

    1. To begin, double-click a captured clip to select it in the Browser. The clip will open in the Viewer.Note: The Viewer, Canvas, and Log and Capture windows have similar controls. As in most

    editing setups, there are shuttle and jog functions. In the Viewer, the Shuttle control is the left

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    slider bar and the Jog control is the right rolling knob. By sliding the Shuttle bar right and left

    you can fast forward and rewind, being able scan your footage. By placing your cursor on the Jogrolling knob, you can roll it to the left or right and go through your footage with much more

    precision - even go frame by frame - to ensure better accuracy and fine-tuning.

    2. In addition to using the Jog and Shuttle features you can also move through your clips by simplysliding the yellow playhead underneath the viewer.

    3. Use the mark in and out buttons to set in and out points of the video clip.4. A black arrow with a blue bar will appear on the viewer timeline. This is your In Point and is

    where this clip will begin to play. Now, go to where you want this clip to end and click the

    button on the right. Another arrow, reversed, will appear. You can click the markers and slidethe in and out points to play your clip from the In to Out points. Use the player button underneath

    the viewer.

    5. In order to name and save your captured footage, click and drag the clip to the name column in thebrowser. You will see two clips named with the same name. Go ahead and rename the one that ishighlighted.

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    6. You can change your clip name to whatever you want, but it is helpful to keep at least the first partof the name that of the master clip. Further on, should you have lots of media and clips, this willhelp you keep track of where your clips came from originally.

    7. Now that you have made a second clip from the master clip, you will notice that both clips havethe same in and out points in the browser. Next, open up the master clip.

    8. Remove your marker points by going up to the Mark > Clear In and Out. (Remember that youmust have the Viewer window selected for this option to appear in the pull down Menu.) You nowhave a smaller clip from the master that you can work with in the Timeline and Canvas, and youcan start building your project!

    9. To do so, you must get your clip into the Timeline. There are three methods of placing media intothe Timeline. The easiest and most accurate way of importing clips is by clicking on the clip in theBrowser and dragging to the Canvas window to either Superimpose or Insert.

    Note: Superimpose editsplace footage in the timeline by covering or replacing the footage and/or

    audio that is already there, or place titles or other clips on empty tracks. Only the topmost track

    will be visible after choosing to superimpose. Insert editsseparate the footage in the timeline at the

    point of insertion and displace the footage afterwards to the right in the timeline. With insert edits,no footage is overwritten or replaced, only moved. These basic edits can also be used to add an

    entire sequence into another sequence.

    10.The Source Track specifies which track will receive newly added video or audio clips. You canchoose which of your tracks is the Source Track by clicking in the middle column, as shownbelow.

    D. Basics of the Timeline

    When clips are in the Timeline, you will view them in the Canvas. The player buttons in the Canvaswork similarly to the Viewer. However, you can use the player bar in the Timeline to view and scroll

    through your entire project as well. As you make more edits, you will be able to see exactly all the parts

    of your project as the play bar plays through the project.

    1. If you double click the clip within Timeline, it will open up in the Viewer window. This ishelpful as you perform edits directly on the timeline, such as using keyframes to adjust audio andvideo, as they appear exactly the same in the viewer.

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    2. The clip will become highlighted and your arrow cursor will turn into two parallel arrowsfacing right and left.

    3. Click on the clip and hold down your mouse. Drag the end (or beginning) of your clip to the left orright to extend or shorten the clip.

    I. Enabling Tracks

    Another important feature that you will want to get used to working with are the tracks. You can turn

    any track on or off to be viewed or heard. You may want to do this if you have many audio tracks and

    want to hear just one track as you play the sequence. If you choose to turn off a track, you will lose all ofyour render files for that specific track. To do so, click the videobutton to the far left of the track.

    L. Close Gap

    To make sure there are no gaps between clips, select the timeline and choose Mark > Next > Gap.

    M. The Razor Tool

    One of the most useful tools for editing is the Razor Tool. It basically allows you to cut video andaudio tracks. The cut will split the clip into two clips exactly where the cursor is.

    1. First cue the sequence and place the Playhead at the point where you want to make the cut.2. Select the Razor Tool from the toolbar. Line up the Razor blade cursor with the playhead. Click

    your mouse. You will now see your clip separated and the cut line indicated by a line and two

    opposing red arrows. Picture! (?)

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    N. Transitions


    A common transition that you may want to use is a dissolve. A dissolve fades two clips together to

    create a subtle transition between the two. Dissolves are often used to end one scene and begin another

    scene. Another instance where a dissolve may be used is to show the relationship of one image to the

    following image.

    1. To create a dissolve, select the point between the two clips that you want to add a dissolve to.2. Select Effects >Video Transitions > Dissolve > Cross Dissolve. A dissolve tab will appear at the

    point between the two clips. In the Canvas, you will see the first clip into the second clip.

    3. To adjust the length of a dissolve selecting the dissolve drag either end of the dissolve to shortenor lengthen it.

    4. You can also adjust the length of the dissolve by double-clicking on the dissolve to open it withinthe Viewer.

    5. Here you have more details about the dissolve, including its exact length.

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    6. Audio is covered in the next section, but while on the topic of dissolves, it is important to knowthat a dissolve can be added between two audio clips to create a much smoother audio transition.


    Another transition that you may want to use is a Fade. A video clip will usually fade in from a blackscreen or fade out to a black screen. Sometimes you may want to fade from a color, but usually you will

    be working with black screens. Fades are traditionally used to indicate the beginning, end, or break in a


    1. To create a Fade In select the beginning of a clip in the Timeline which is not attached to anotherclip by means of an edit. Any clip that you place on the Timeline, is going be attached to blackon the timeline.

    2. Once you have the beginning of the clip highlighted, select Effects > Video Transitions >Dissolve > Fade In Fade Out Dissolve. An effect tab will appear at the beginning of the clip and

    will fade in from black.

    3. To adjust the length of the fade, just select and highlight the actual fade tab on the timeline, thenextend the clip TOWARDS the clip the distance that you want.

    O. Titles


    To make Titles, go to Browser > Effects Tab > Video Generator > Text or locate the titlesbutton in the lower right corner of the Viewer.

    2. When you click the button, a pull down menu will appear. Select Text > Text. A checkered textwindow will appear in the Viewer window with Sample Text written on it.

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    3. To change Sample Text to what you want your title to be, select the Controls tab in the Viewer.This tab allows you to change the attributes of your titles, such as Font, Font Size, Positioning and


    4. Once you have changed your text, select the Video tab to view changes made to the title.

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    5. It is important to make sure that your titles and image stay within the parameters of the screen youwill need to use the Title Safe feature. (This is important when saving video onto DVD.)

    6. Select the viewer window then select the View > ShowTitle Safe. You will see two blue squaresappear on the image in the Canvas.

    a. The outer square is your NTSC safe area. Anything outside of this square will be cut offwhen viewed on a TV monitor.

    b. The inner square is your Title safe area. When making any kind of title, you must makesure that your text is within this square. Make sure titles are within this square or they will becut off at the edges of the TV screen.

    7. When making a title, you are making a clip that you will need to bring into the Timeline.8. You should drag the clip into the Browser. Text will be the default title, change the default text file

    name to something more useful to you. In the example below, the name is (Text: My Cool


    9. The icon for a text file is the same as that of a video clip. Therefore, to help differentiate between atext file and a clip, it is helpful to add a label to the text file, which will color the file icon. First,

    hold the control key on the keyboard and select the text clip. Select Label > Good Take, from the

    menu.The text clip color will change to gold. The color labels can help organize your clips

    according to your preferences for your project.

    10.After saving the title clip in the Browser, drag the clip to the Timeline. If you want the title toappear over black, place it on the Video Track 1. If you want to have your title superimposed

    over another clip, place it on the Video Track 2 or whichever track is above the video the title is tobe over.

    Rolling Text

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    Select the titles button.

    1. From the pull down menu, select Text > Scrolling Text. A checkered text window will appear inthe Viewer window with Sample Text written on it.

    2. Change the text in the Controls tab. To make your text roll, type in your text and make sure thereis enough space in between each text line. Select the play button in the Viewer to see how it will

    look. Use the In and Out marker points to speed up or slow down the scroll rate. Extend the marker

    points to extend the clip and slow down the rate. Remember that this will create a longer clip

    and need more space on the timeline.

    P. Using Effects

    Many effects, such as dissolves and fades, work in real-time. Others, such as video filters and specialeffects, must be rendered.

    When the program cannot perform an effect in real-time, it must create a new video file that can perform

    the task specific to the effect that you are using. Because these video files are large and the effects are

    quite sophisticated, renders are required. The render process can take a good deal of time depending onthe render.

    1. Select a clip to add an effect in the Timeline. In the Effects pull down menu, select Video Filters> Distort and the effect you want.

    2. You will notice that a red bar appears over the clip in timeline. This indicates that the effect thatyou have chosen must be rendered. (For audio renders, you will hear a beeping as you play the

    track in addition to seeing a red bar)

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    3. The clip with the effect will not show if played. You can see the effect if you scroll with the playbar or if the player is stopped on a frame.


    Effects can be added from within the Browser.

    5. In the Browser window, select and open the Effects Tab.

    6. Click and drag the icon up to the viewer. Unlike the Timeline, the clip will play in preview mode,though it will play fragmented and slow.

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    7. If you open up the Filters Tab in the Viewer, you will see an assortment of options that you canadjust specific to that filter. In this tab, you see all the attributes that apply to that filter. Hopefully,

    you will not have to use a lot of effects and filters, so you probably will not be working with this

    tab too much, or at all until you are more familiar with the program and have begun to experiment.

    8. To render the effect select Sequence > Render Selection. An estimated time bar will appear onthe screen indicating how long it will take to render.

    9. After the render is complete, play it in your sequence. Note that if you move the clip around withinyour Timeline, you may have to re-render the effect. Therefore, it is best to add effects after the

    clips are in their final position on the timeline.

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    IV. Basic Digital Audio Editing

    A. Importing Audio Media

    1. Import audio from a CD.2. Double click on the CD. (In this example, we will be using Traveling Without Moving.)3. The CD track names will open in a Finder window as .aifffiles. (You can use other kinds of files

    such as .wav, .mov., or .mp3. However, you may have to render these files once they are on the

    timeline.)Note: AIFFfiles are the least compressed audio files and sound the best. Therefore,

    they are recommended over other formats.


    Keep this window open. Navigate to your project folder and create a new folder and name it Imported Music. Click and drag audio tracks from the CD to the Imported Music folder; youwant to save them for use in your project. You can now eject your CD.

    5. Go back into FCP. From the File pull down menu, select Import > Files. A Finder window willappear. Navigate to the track to import and select Choose. The file will appear as a speaker icon in

    the Browser with the name of the file. Audio clips and subclips are created in the same manner as

    video clips, therefore, you may want to label this clip master as well.

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    B. Audio Waveforms Explained

    1. Double click on the audio clip to open it in the Viewer. It will appear as an audio waveform. Theaudio waveform is the visual representation of a captured sound wave.

    2. In the example below, there are portions of the waveform that are shorter and portions that arehigher representing softer and louder portions of the sound, respectively. In this example, thebeginning of the song and the middle of the song are softer than the rest of the audio.

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    Audio Clips and Subclips

    1. To create Audio Clips and Subclips you must click and grab the grabby hand located at the topright of the Viewer:

    2. To see the waveform up close, use the Slider Scroll Bar at the bottom of the Viewer window.You use this bar just like the gray bar in the Timeline. The more that you zoom in, the wider the

    waveform becomes, allowing you to see fully the sound wave moving up and down.

    3. Go ahead and play through a section of your song looking at how the waveform corresponds to thesound of the song.

    C. KeyframesA keyframe is a point of reference that you can work with within a track. When working with Audio,

    keyframes are an important tool for manipulating sound levels. Below are some examples of how

    keyframes can be used.

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    1. To create a keyframe, select the Pen tool from the toolbar.2. In the Viewer, click on the red gain (volume) bar. It will make a red dot, which is a keyframe.3. Click the red bar a few more times. In order to see how a keyframe works, you must have at least

    two keyframes.Now drag one of you keyframes up or down. Then move it right or left.

    4. Play the audio. Notice that the volume of the audio is softer or louder according to your keyframes.5. Continue adding keyframes in the viewer and experiment with changing the audio levels.6. After you have finished editing keyframes, click on the grabber hand and drag the clip to the


    7. You can also make any fine tune adjustments when the audio is in the Timeline. Many times, it iseasier to adjust the levels within the Timeline especially when layering many different audio

    tracks. For example, if you have both a narration and a music track you can determine audioadjustments much easier by working with your levels within the Timeline,

    8. To delete a keyframe, hold the control key on the keyboard and click on the keyframe that youwant to delete.

    Note: Use the same method to create audio sub clips as you did for creating video sub clips.

    d. VU Meter

    The VU Meter is a simple tool to monitor audio levels.

    1. The VU Meter is divided into three colors - green, yellow, and red. While the audio is playing inthe timeline, the audio levels will rise and fall, extending high into the red or low into the green.

    The meter is also numbered with corresponding dB levels.

    2. The four images below show four different VU meter readings:a. Image A shows a general VU meter. Green indicates low audio levels. Yellow indicates

    medium range levels. Red indicates high-pitched audio levels.

    b. Image B indicates a good range (-6 dB) of audio levels. Your levels should enter the lowto medium ends of the yellow and occasionally go into the lower end of the red, but never

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    stay in the red. Notice the small orange lines. These lines indicate points on the VU meter

    where your levels peak. Usually, you try to maintain a constant sound level, butsometimes a loud, quick noise, such as a door slam, will cause the level to rise to a high

    point and fall quickly. This is peaking. The VU meter will indicate the point where the

    level peaked and place a line there. When viewing your VU meter, be careful to notice how

    many times you peak. If you continually peak at around the same point in both of yourstereo tracks, a small bar will appear in between the two tracks.

    c. Image C indicates low levels. Should your levels stay down in the green, your audio levelsare too low and must be fixed. To fix them, you will need to raise the gain, but doing sousually adds noise or a fuzz to your sound. It is always easier to make a sound quieterthan it is to make it louder.

    d. Image D indicates levels that are way too high. If you go into the red often and the levelreaches the top of the VU meter, you are over modulating. When this happens you are

    clipping the highest ends of the sound wave. When this occurs, you will hear unpleasantcrackles and pops in your audio. As you add more and more tracks to your project, you are

    adding to the overall level of the audio, so be careful as to how high your VU meter gets.

    A *B C D

    * This is how your audio levels should look in the VU Meter.

    V. Final Steps

    A. Printing to Video: Export to Tape

    1. Before you start to save your project to tape, make sure of you have done the following:a. Computer is connected to an export device, such as a VCR or DV camera, via FireWire

    and/or a Media Converter.b. If using a Media Converter, make sure that you have selected DV Out on the box.c. Set your VCR to Video and select the proper channel (Usually Line In).d. In the View pull-down menu, select External Video > All Frames. If you play your

    project in the Canvas or Timeline, you will see and hear it through the Video player.

    2. Select File > Print to Video. The Print to Video pop-up window opens.

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    3. The top portion of the pop-up box is the SMPTE Leader. The six items in the Leader box are thestandard protocol that SMPTE (The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) has

    designated to precede any video. You dont need to have all of the items listed, especially if youare not planning on airing the piece on television. Always begin with Color Bars and Tone (-12

    dB) followed by some Black that will then lead into your project (leader). You should also have

    some black at the end of your project (trailer). Make sure that Print: Entire Media is selected.

    Make sure that your options match this screenshot, then hit OK.

    4. FCP will now begin to prepare your project for Printing to Video.

    5. Once preparation is complete, follow the instructions on the screen. Make sure that you giveenough time for your VCR to start recording and get rolling. Click OK. Your Project will play on

    the computer screen and be mirrored on the video monitor. When FCP has completed Printing toVideo, the computer screen will return to the standard FCP interface. Hit Stop on your VCR then

    rewind and playback your project to make sure that it was successful. If everything is okay, you

    now have a video ready to play on any player!

    B. Export to QuickTime (for iDVD)

    1. File > Export > QuickTime Movie

    2. Settings: DV NTSC 48 kHzInclude: Audio and Video

    Markers: None (unless needed)

    3. CheckMake Movie Self Contained.

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    4. Name your video and select where you would like to save the resulting file.5. ClickOK.