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Final Cut Pro X:

Step-By-Step 'Basic Editing' 

Create Project: Go to file/new/project. Name it. You will see your bin in the upper left corner. This is where your footage will go.

Import Footage: You can drag footage from any location on the computer into your footage bin or directly onto the timeline. Also, go to file/import/media/select footage.

Select/Edit/Cutting a Clip: Drag clip to timeline and use the blade icon or (command 'b') in the tool bar at the top left of the timeline. Click where you see the curser and a drop menu shows.

Trim Clips: Drag front/back corners of clips left/right to shorten/extend clips. Or, you can use the blade to cut footage.

Zoom In/Out of a Sequence/Timeline: At the bottom of the timeline to the left you’ll see a + and – inside a magnifying glass. That is your manual timeline zoom. On a mouse pad, you can use the pinch/two finger control in /out.

Audio: Drag audio from any location on the computer, directly onto the timeline or into your footage bin. You can also go to the music note icon (iTunes/garage band) and select files there. NOTE: It is important that you create your own audio to prevent copyright issues on YouTube. 

Marking a Clip: (this is to cue footage timing with audio) Highlight audio clip and play audio. As you’re listening, hit “m” at the points where you want it marked. This will allow you to synchronize video edits with audio. More about attached video clip audio below/later in tutorial.

Effects: (altering your clip) at the top left of the toolbar click on the effects icon – it looks like 2 squares. Below you will see your options. Place play head over clip and click, highlighting the clip on the timeline, and highlight/click the effect you want to use. If you click the spacebar, you will preview the clip with the effect. Once you’ve selected the effect you want, drag it on top of the clip on the timeline. It is best to experiment to find what interests you.  

Photo: (takes you to iPhoto) The camera icon. This opens up photo file. Drag and drop to timeline. To edit the photo, place the play head over the photo clip click/highlight it, in the view panel at the bottom left, there is a crop icon – clicking it will show 3 editing options (transform, crop, and distort. Experiment! Most commonly, you will need to resize the photo to fit the screen size. Crop will assist you with this (resizing automatically) click done upper right corner of view panel. 

Transitions: (most common “cross dissolve”) The square icon next to the music note icon, top left on toolbar of timeline. It works the same way as effects. Drag selected transition between the two clips on the timeline. Adjusting the length of the transition by dragging the corners in/out. You can also adjust between the two clips with the “bowtie -2 opposite arrows” in the middle of the transition.

Titles: The “T” icon next to the transition icon, top left on toolbar of bin. Select title, drag it on top of footage, the beginning, end, or between clips on the timeline. Adjust length by dragging the ends in/out. To edit the titles, place the play head over the title clip/highlight, click on the second to last icon top left on toolbar of timeline (2 lines/2 dots) this will allow you to name/edit the title as you wish. To adjust the placement of the title, go to the bottom of the viewer window and click on the crop icon/transform. This will allow you to move the title anywhere on the screen. 

Generator Effects: Countdown icon top left on toolbar of timeline. Basic backgrounds –not used often.

Themes: Transition with “T” icon. Additional transitions. Cutesy/amateurish transitions.

Color Correction: Magic wound icon at the top left on toolbar of timeline. Click to see options: Balance Color – auto correct, Match Color – matching color from one clip to the next (place the play head, click/highlight the desired clip, move the cursor/click on clip you want to match), Show Color Board – manually adjust clip.

Slow/Fast Motion: Select entire clip or use the blade tool to cut where you want the motion to change. Then go to modify/retime/slow/50%, 25%, or 10% (or) fast/2x, 4x, 8x, or 20x. You can also manually once on the timeline by adjust speed by click/highlighting and dragging the ends of the clip in/out.

Freeze Frame: Click/highlight clip, place play head where you want the freeze, go to edit/freeze frame. You can manually adjust length once in the timeline by click/highlighting and dragging the ends of the clip in/out.

Change Audio Levels in Video: Place cursor over the thin black line/bar on the lower part of the clip/audio. You will see up/down arrows replacing your cursor symbol. Click/drag it up/down to adjust the volume. At the beginning/end of each clip (on the lower part of the clip/audio) is a dot, this is fade in/out. You will see R/L arrows replacing your cursor symbol. Click and drag it side-to-side to fade in/out.

Detach Audio: (extract audio from the clip) Right click/secondary click on the clip. Go to detach audio. This will separate video from audio, so you can work with each clip individually or delete audio all together.

Export: go to the Share button, the last icon at the upper left of the timeline toolbar or go to file/share/master file (default). A window will pop up. Go to settings, Format: audio and video. 2.) Video codec: Source Apple ProRes 422 – highest quality/huge file (or) H264 –smaller file (mp4), 3.) Resolution: 1280 X 720 recommended, 4.) click next. 5.) save/ location, 6.) after a few minutes, your computer will tell you the file is ready and if you want to view video.


To review a YouTube tutorial:

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