Starting in Earnest

Now that I actually have my official copy of Final Cut Pro, and its voluminous, ox-stunning manuals, I want to learn how to use the tool better than I have. I find myself wanting to jot down notes all over the place on things I should try, or things that work great (or don’t). I’m setting up this blog as a repository for those notes. The thing that’s kind of disturbing to me is how much I still don’t understand about how this immensely complex program works. Some of it – like keyframing – I’ve kind of stumbled into. But most of the editing tools on the timeline, for example, I have had no idea how to use. That’s gotta change if I’m going to use the tool effectively.

Anyway, for the first post-install project, I set the following goals for myself:

? Learn how to edit a project in Offline RT mode. ? Use at least one editing tool I haven’t used before. ? Apply at least one special motion effect.

Offline RT is going to warrant its own entry, later. Today I learned how to use the ripple delete tool (keyboard shortcut: rr), and the ‘magnify’ tool. If you’re saying to yourself “What kind of idiot has never even used the magnifying glass icon before?” the answer is “the kind of idiot that foolishly played with the stretchy and expandy scrollbar instead.” I also used the razor blade (shortcut: b).

As for special effects, I played with transparency between layers. I eventually ended up taking it out and just used the prerolled crossfade effect, but at least I see how it works now.

One thing I haven’t figured out is when it’s “better” to put a different video clip on a completely separate track versus when it should be on the same video track. It looks to me like to use the prerolled effects, it has to actually be on the same track. But maybe this is something I can figure out for next time.