Final Cut Pro Hacks is a book for people who use Apple’s Final Cut Pro non-linear video editor, either on the Mac or under Windows. It is packed with clear instructions and plenty of screenshots showing you how to take control of your editing projects in FCP. The hacks are sorted into five chapters: Interface Hacks, Transcoding Hacks, Effects Hacks, Titling Hacks and Color Correction Hacks.
This is not an FCP book as such as it excludes some of the common topics covered in other books on the subject – chapter five for instance covers color correction but doesn’t go into detail about how to use Apple’s own Final Cut Studio package, which contains some very nice color correction tools. This book is about making FCP do more than it was designed to do, and in that respect it does a pretty good job.
How to speed up your editing process by using keyboard shortcuts
How to speed up your editing process by using keyboard shortcuts is a major topic in the book. Many of these hacks rely on customizing your keyboard to make them work, and this is another chapter that shows you how to take control of FCP.
The book’s main strength lies with its effects chapters, as it takes some pretty ordinary clips and transforms them into pieces worthy of broadcast TV using mostly tools and features built into FCP. For instance, you’ll learn how to create a cool glow and how to remove and replace actors’ faces – something which would require expensive dedicated software in other non-linear editors.
How to create a custom transition or effect
Another major topic is creating a custom transition or effect. The FCP effects library is a fairly limited compared to dedicated video editors, so this chapter shows you how to take features from other applications and build your own special effects.
How to use an open source noise removal plugin with Final Cut Pro
The book contains plenty of clear instructions on using an open source noise removal plugin with Apple’s own program, Final Cut Pro.
How to use a free video stabilizing plug-in
You also get to learn how to use a free video stabilizing plug-in that helps you refine shaky footage and reduce camera jitter. This is another great tool which is built into the FCP program, but which isn’t supported by Apple’s online help system.
How to use a free de-interlacing plug-in
The book also contains instructions on using a group of free video filters specifically designed for deinterlacing footage captured at standard definition (DVD or DV) resolutions. The filters convert standard definition footage into high-definition video, which is a common problem for most editors since the rise of HD.
how to split clip in final cut pro
There are several reasons why you want to split a clip, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. Most of the time, you’ll want to cut down large clips into smaller ones either so that they fit better within your sequence or so that you can use them as separate parts in your final product. There are two comprehensive methods for splitting a clip:
You can split a clip by positioning the playhead over the area you want to cut and choosing Edit > Split Clip (or press Option-W). Once you’ve done this, you’ll notice that your original video has been divided into two separate clips. You’ll also notice that there is no indication as to where the division between these two clips lies, so you’ll have to find this yourself. You can split a clip by positioning the playhead over the point you want to cut and choosing Edit > Split at Playhead (or press Option-Shift-W).