Learn about the FCP X editing environment.
- [Instructor] Final Cut Pro X is certainly one of the most unique editing platforms there is. In this course we'll spend lots of time exploring why, and it'll be my goal to get you up to speed on everything you need to know to begin successfully editing. But before getting into the details on how the software works, I want to talk about some under the hood info that's good to know before launching into the main event. Again, this is all general file structure information. We're just planting a small seed for what's to come, and I promise everything will begin to make more sense as we continue through this chapter and this course.
But let's first talk about files in the editing environment. In short, there are two major groups of files that we need to talk about, media files and then clips and projects. Media files are the raw video and audio files that come from recording footage on a video camera or another device. These files are generally quite large and you don't actually change them at all. They remain whole and untouched, living somewhere on your system. Your clips are the reference files that live inside of the Final Cut environment and they essentially point to your larger media files.
Then you take your clips and you edit them together, combining your video, images, audio and other types of media, and this edited program is called a project. So as we can see, there are multiple things working together to make editing possible. Now, there are a couple of options about how this media and project data actually live in the Final Cut environment, so let's break this down a little more, and I want to focus on this part, our clips and our projects. So your clips and projects all live together inside what's called an event.
You can have one event or many events. An event can be as broad or as narrow as you need it to be, but essentially you just use events to organize your clips and projects the way that makes sense for you. Now, where do events live? Events live in libraries. Libraries are at the top tier of this organizational structure, and you can create as many libraries as you need. Because of the way libraries store all of your assets, they are certainly one of the most useful organizational tools in video editing today.
Now, libraries can be stored anywhere on your system or any hard drives that you have connected. Not only that, but they are portable. You can hand off your library to a collaborator, and everything will be self-contained and easy to work with. And because you're not limited to the number of events that you store in a library, you can organize them however you want, again making them as broad or specific as you like. Libraries can be opened, closed, or backed up at any time, so you only have to worry about working on what you need at any one time.
Now, I want to briefly go into the software so you can see what all of this looks like inside of Final Cut. So I want to start with the topmost part of that hierarchy, which are libraries. And I have one library here, it's called Project RELO Final Cut Pro X Essential Training. So my library contains everything, inside of that are my events, there's also a Smart Collections folder which is an organizational structure inside each library. We'll get into that a little bit later, but for now let's go into our events. I have Assets and Exercise Files, and then inside of my events, take a look over here, I have my clips and projects.
So here is a lot of video and graphics and audio files all living together inside of my Assets event, and then I have another event called Exercise Files where I have some clips as well as projects, which again are my edited programs. So that's the general structure, I have libraries and then I have events, and then I have my clips and projects living inside of there. Now, I'm going to hide Final Cut and I'm going to look at all of this at the finder level, because things are quite different here.
So I'm just going to look at my Project RELO Final Cut Pro X Essential Training library, and you can see that we have our library symbol here. But you'll notice that I can't actually see any of my events or my clips or my projects inside of the library if I just click on it. This is a fairly common observation of beginners. They download the Exercise Files from the site and they see this library file, and then they say, where are all my clips and projects that I'm supposed to follow along with? Since you're following along now, here's the low-down, you don't actually see the clips and projects unless you are in the software.
But for the sake of demonstration, I'm going to take you on a sneak peek inside the Final Cut library to show you that yes, they are actually in here. I recommend that you actually not follow along with me here, just please sit back and watch because you really don't want to go inside your libraries unless you know what you're doing. But I'm going to right click and choose Show Package Contents, and then you can see that I have several folders here, this one should look pretty familiar, Assets, and Exercise Files. Again, these are the events that live within my software.
Inside of those I have additional folders, for example, inside of my Original Media folder I have a whole lot of files, and these happen to be my media files. And if you remember from the very beginning of this movie I talked about media files as being the other half of the equation, my large video and audio files that remain untouched, but which make editing possible. And of course we do all of our editing inside of the Final Cut environment. So we'll learn a lot more about libraries, events, clips, and projects as we continue in this chapter and in chapter two when we set everything up from scratch, and then especially in chapter three and beyond when we actually begin editing and working in the Final Cut environment.
For now I just wanted to introduce you briefly to this file structure so you had an idea of what's going on under the hood before we really delved into the editing process.
- Ingesting and organizing your assets
- Editing and refining
- Basic audio editing
- Additional editing and organizational techniques
- Multicam editing
- Working with effects
- Color correcting footage
- Project and media management
- Sharing and exporting video
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 11/22/2017. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover what’s new in Final Cut Pro X 10.4, including how to work with the color correction tools and Compressor.
Q: This course was updated on 06/06/2018. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover what’s new in Final Cut Pro X v. 10.4.1, including updates related to closed captions, the export settings interface, and exporting stems using roles.