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Quick Tips: Final Cut Pro 7 basics



When you watch videos, even the very shortest ones, do you think about just how much work actually goes into making them? The long hours of shooting, editing footage to make it look perfect, going over audio and video over and over again until it’s burned into your brain, so that every time you hear a certain song all you can think about is your video project? Making videos is a lot of fun, but it also takes a lot of time, practice and patience. There is a lot you have to learn about Final Cut Pro 7 before you can just jump right into creating your very first masterpiece!

What I want to do today is just provide a little bit of basic information about getting started with FCP7… Something to get you going on your way to knowing the program like the back of your hand, using swipes, shortcuts and tricks to edit your video footage into a high quality finished project!

#1: I know it sounds incredibly simple, but the first thing you have to do to start your project is open FC. Like a lot of programs, there are a few ways to do this. You can click the icon on your Dock. Can’t find the icon there? Double click it in your Applications folder! Not there either? Simply double click on your project file (if you have one already). Now you’re ready to go!

#2: So now the program is open… But you don’t have any clips to work with yet! Click on the File drop down menu… Import is right there and ready to use!

#3: Once you’ve got all of your clips imported, they could possibly (probably) look pretty scattered and unorganized. This will make for a lot of frustration later on when you’re trying to locate a previous clip, find a new one to use, etc., so it’s really best to create some kind of organization before you go any further. For this you will use bins. As with opening FCP7, there are several ways to go about creating a bin as well. You can choose “New Bin” from the File menu, choose “New Bin” in your browser area, or, if you would rather become familiar with the (awesome) keyboard shortcuts FC lets you use, you would use ‘Command-B’. You can now rename your bins and clips to create categories (or whatever you like) to group everything together and make your clips more accessible.

#4: You’ll probably want to tell your clips where to start and end… So you will be marking “in points” and “out points”. You have options, yet again! You can either click “Mark In/Out” in your Viewer or, much more simply, press I/O on your keyboard.

#5: When you get some good stuff going, it’s SO important to save save SAVE! There is almost nothing more frustrating than the application closing on you and losing everything you’ve been working on for the past hour, trust me! The classic ‘File > Save’ is always there, but ‘Command-S’ is a quick little keyboard shortcut for saving… It’s simple, becomes habit after a while, and will completely save your sanity!

This barely scrapes the top of the barrel when it comes to everything that you can, and will, learn and need when you use FCP7, but it’s a good stepping stone in working your way further into this great program!

Until next time, and happy editing!