Wednesday, 8 April 2015

5 FCP X Tips to Make Your Life Easier

I have to admit it: I’m a Premiere editor. I started editing in the wonderful world of Final Cut Pro 7 and switching to Adobe Premiere in college was a complete nightmare, but once I got used to Premiere, I completely fell in love with it. And I’ve been in a committed relationship with it ever since.

However, you probably already know that if you work in the media production field, you need to keep up with technology. And that includes not only the latest cameras or equipment, but also keeping up with different softwares and their updates.


My relationship with Final Cut Pro X started about a year ago, and it wasn’t easy. Everybody kept telling me how wonderful and intuitive it was, how I just needed to give it a try, but I wasn’t buying it. It took a lot of research through forums, keyboard tantrums and headaches to get to where I’m at today. And hey, I’m still learning!


So, to save you some pain, here are 5 Final Cut Pro X tips that will - hopefully - make your life easier:

1. Get used to the new terminology. 

I know this one is a bit tricky. But you have to wipe out your brain and start over in order to avoid any confusion. Here are a couple of handy “translations”:

If FCPX says…
It means…
Library
Project file
Event
Folder/Category that contains imported media
Event Library
Media browser
Project
Sequence
Primary Storyline
Main timeline
Compound Clip
Nest clip
Share
Export media

2. Make sure your background rendering is ON.

One of the sweetest advantages of FCPX is that there’s no need to render manually. Instead, you can go to Final Cut Pro + Preferences + Playback and make sure the Background Rendering option is checked. You can even set it to start after X amount of seconds. This way, the software will automatically handle the rendering -very quickly- while you’re cutting your piece. This will also make your export process a lot faster, since everything will be already rendered and good to go.


3. Take advantage of your magnetic timeline.

 Everything that falls into your “Primary Storyline” or “Main timeline” is magnetic. There are no video tracks or audio tracks whatsoever. So, if you move or cut any of the clips that are part of your storyline, everything else will automatically adjust or drag according to that magnetism. This could be very helpful when you just want to cut + drag a clip, or extend a clip while moving forward/backwards the rest of your timeline.

However, I know the whole magnetic deal can be a real hassle. To avoid any storyline craziness, I would recommend to just Insert a Gap (Option + W) into your Primary Storyline and lift up your clips, so you can cut and edit them while they stick to their proper place in the timeline.


4. Learn how to use the Audio Analysis tool. 

FCPX brings to the table a practical audio tool called Audio Analysis, which has made quick audio fixes a LOT easier. Audio is my editing nemesis, so this was a BIG PLUS for me.

Select your audio clip + Go to your Inspector + Audio + Audio Enhancements + Click on the arrow right next to Audio Analysis. This will open up the Audio Enhancements Inspector.



The Audio Analysis tool will literally analyze your audio in terms of Loudness, Background Noise and Hum, giving you a green checkmark if everything seems to be alright, or a yellow alert if the software has encountered any issues with the clip. You can play around with each one of these enhancement tools while listening to your audio clip, to see if there are any improvements or adjustments needed. Personally, the Background Noise Removal is one of my favorites. Just beware of the amount you add to avoid nasal or robotic results.

5. Import your Compressor settings.

I’m a big Compressor fan, which means I usually export outputs out of my editing software, and then go through Compressor to get a nice and crisp compression using my custom settings. FCPX and Compressor work together: you can import or add your Compressor custom settings into your FCPX sharing settings, so exporting and compressing your video can be accomplished in one single step!

Go to Final Cut Pro + Preferences + Destinations + Add Destination + Compressor Settings + Select the setting you want to add (either a Custom or a Built-in setting). You can also add many other Destinations such as Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook or even customize your own through the Export File option.


Then, when you’re ready to export or “share” your video, go to File + Share + Select your added destination. And BOOM! You’re done.


This is it! I hope you found these tips helpful! For more info, here are a couple of links that can be very useful when in need of some FCPX guidance, plug-ins and more!


So tell us, are you a Final Cut Pro X fan? Do you have any other tips or tricks that you would like to share with us? Please, leave your thoughts and comments in the section below or tweet @Swagger_Media!

¡Hasta la pr√≥xima!






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