The world of video editing has benefited greatly in the past few years from huge forward strides in software development. As a result of the rapid progress and constant improvements being made, it can be challenging for even a very experienced video editor, to stay on top of all the latest features and shortcuts – much less take advantage of them on a day-to-day basis. And those new to the video editing scene often won’t even be aware of some of the basic shortcuts, and thus will be doing things the hard way every single time.
This is why it’s so important to learn about all the tricks of the trade that the professionals use to make life easier.
First of all, you want to make sure you’re using video editing software that is straight forward and easy to use, and yet powerful enough to achieve the highest possible standard of output. Final Cut Pro X for example is perfect for anyone starting out, and has a wider range of plugins than competing products. Thanks to third party developer FCP Audio, this includes an extensive library of editable Final Cut Pro Music. This alone can save you huge amounts of time as you no longer have to search through endless music library to find something that might fit your project.
Here are just a few other tips and tricks that can save you time.
It’s amazing how much time keyboard shortcuts can save you over the many hours you’re likely going to have to spend editing your film project.
We’re going to touch on a few essential key shortcuts later on, but you can find a full list from Apple themselves here.
Once you have a good understanding of the many shortcuts available and have identified those you think will be most useful based on that way your work or type of project, you can actually customise them to suit your personal preferences because Final Cut Pro X has a shortcut editor. Simply go to ‘commands and then select ‘customise’. Now you can edit any of the shortcuts to suit your keyboard or way of working.
Shortening a clip is one of the most basic and common actions of all. ‘Dynamic Trimming’ simply means trimming in the edit window using keyboard shortcuts while the footage is actually playing, rather than in the timeline in the more traditional way.
Here are some of the key shortcut to help:
Shift + x
To add an edit
Command + b
To start the clip from the position of the playhead:
To end the clip from the position of the playhead:
To trim to either the start or end depending on whichever is closest to the playhead:
To extend the edit
Layers will be a familiar concept to users to a lot of Adobe software. In Final Cut Pro, they are an excellent way to add effects an alterations to a layer that sits above your footage, rather than altering the footage itself, which remains unchanged underneath the aye rin question. This makes experimenting and also tweaking effects much more fluid. You can create your own adjustment layers using Final Cut presets, or download all sort of adjustment layers from various sources online.
Turn on background rendering
Final Cut Pro X actually allows you to render in the background while you continue to work, which can save you lots of time at the tail end of your project. Simply select ‘playback’ from the ‘preferences’ menu.
These are just some of the many ways that your workflow in Final Cut Pro X can be simplified or accelerated through shortcuts and often overlooked features. It is well worth reviewing the full list of shortcuts from Apple detailed above, and also following blogs from professionals who use the software who can share not just practical insights, but real project examples and video tutorials.
Keep on top of the latest developments, tips and tricks and do your research as it could save you days in the long run! Good luck!