Creative Storytelling w/Final Cut Pro X: Beginning the Process | Duncan Rogoff | Skillshare

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Creative Storytelling w/Final Cut Pro X: Beginning the Process

teacher avatar Duncan Rogoff, Video Editing & Motion Graphics

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (18m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Organizing Your Files

    • 3. Ingesting Your Files

    • 4. Interface Overview

    • 5. Pulling Selects

    • 6. Wrapping Up

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About This Class

For those without hours to spend who are looking for a quick, crash-course in FCP X.  This is just the beginning! In this class, we’ll dig into Final Cut Pro X. We’ll start the editing process and walkthrough the basics of organizing and ingesting your footage, using keywords, creating events and new timelines, and pulling initial selects from 3 categories: audio selects (crafting the story), associated video (portraying the story), and B-roll selects (advancing the story). This class is great for anyone who wants to learn how to use Final Cut. After 20 minutes, you’ll be ready to start editing in Final Cut.  Stay tuned for more classes on the rest of the editing process!

Also, please complete the project if you have time, and review the class if you like it. :-)


Meet Your Teacher

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Duncan Rogoff

Video Editing & Motion Graphics


Freelance video editor and motion graphics artist based in San Francisco, CA. Almost entirely self-taught and has spent many hours gaining knowledge from online tutorials on sites like

Check out my website:

Always looking for new, fun, creative projects, and to keep learning.

Clients include: Apple, Nissan, PlayStation, Charles Schwab, Visa, Salesforce, Facebook, Apple, WeChat, FICO, Slingbox, Marc Jacobs, Kat Von D, Sephora...

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1. Introduction: everybody. Duncan Rogue I fear for skill. Fair dot com Coming to You Live from San Francisco, California I'm really excited to hear teaching this class final Cut Pro X Before we get started, I'll tell you a little bit about myself. I'm a freelance video editor and motion graphics artists who's done work all over the Bay Area, both personally and professionally on a wide john or projects ranging from music videos and skate videos, too. Narratives, commercials, documentaries, movie trailers, you name it. A great place to start is with Fong Cup Pro X over the duration of a couple courses. I hope to take you through the entire editing process, starting with organization and folder structure to opening up the software, getting from you familiar with the interface. And the tools will be using all the way through the editing process through final touches, color correction and audio mixing and effects and all the way out. The other end, with rendering and file formats for final delivery on this class in particular will be covering just the basics. We'll get you started with organizing your files into a comprehensive folder structure that makes it easy to follow and understand. We'll open up final cut pro acts. Get you familiar with the interface and the tools you'll come across will ingest your footage. Organize it using keywords, project libraries and events. And they'll go through pulling our favorite audio clips and B roll footage into a select sequence to get us ready to edit. I'm really excited me here teaching this course, so let's drop right in. 2. Organizing Your Files: before we get started in final cut Pro X. I like to take a couple minutes to talk about something really important. And that's organization. Whether you're working personally or professionally, staying organized will be extremely helpful and will be a huge time saver in the long run. And if you do happen to be working in a professional context, we might be handing off your files to another editor. He'll be really happy to see how nice and organized your project is, and they'd be likely to call you back next time They need something. I've gone ahead and uploaded a bunch of footage I shot of amateur skateboarder Nico Haraga . So let's go ahead and open up the sit file. We'll double click and here you go. Now, inside this folder here we have a music track and all our footage in the MP four format. Now music and footage I like to put in a larger folder called Assets. Now the way we create a new folder is we go to file new folder. We can also hit Shift Command and on our keyboards, so we'll title this folder as it now with in our Assets folder We'll create a folder by hitting shift command, and it's really important to learn your key strokes and your quick commands on your keyboard. It'll save you a lot of time and we'll title this one music and we'll come back in here. We'll grab our music track and we'll put it on music folded. We'll create another folder and we'll call it footage. And if you're working on a multi camp shoot, it might be helpful to create two more folders, maybe for camera and camera B, and we'll take all our quips and we'll put them in there. And now Well, we don't have any other actual assets for this project. I just like to give you an example of other folders I like to create, say, a full. They're called images for all our photography before they're called Art, which will contain artwork from the client. Mainly, Photoshopped files in the form of PSD s or illustrator files in the form of A I files. Now, aside from assets, there a couple folders I like to create in our main higher like to create a folder called Documents, which might be scripts and storyboards, and now well, we don't actually need a project solder since Final Cut Pro creates a Projects folder on its own. I looked to have won anyway, just in case I happen to be working in other software. And the last folder will create here will call outputs which will contain all our final renders. And this is a great place to start, and now we're ready to open up the software and begin. 3. Ingesting Your Files: Now that we've talked about organization, let's actually open up final cut Pro X and talk about how to get your footage inside of it . We'll go down here to our dock and we'll find the final cut Pro X icon and we'll cook it, and that should open right up. Now, if you're like me and you don't have any libraries created, one will automatically be created for you right here in your library browser. And this is called Untitled and will go up here and we'll highlight that and we'll just press enter and we will title this. You go forever and on Event is created here with today's date. Events are really good way to organize all your media, much like the same way we created a folder hierarchy. Or since I've already created a solid folder hierarchy. I don't actually need to create multiple events for this, so I'll just go ahead here and quit this import media and now import window will come up and we can import directly from our facetime camera. And right here we see our main hard drive, and if I did have an external hard drive attached that would show up here as well, so we'll go ahead and will navigate to our desktop and we'll open up this skill share. Nico Haraga folder Well, Quick, our Assets folder And now we could just click import selected and everything will import. Now up here we have a couple options. We can add this to our existing event. With today's date, we could create a new event, entitle it whatever we like. And now here a couple options to be there. We've files in place, which means that the files will be left exactly where I have them currently on my death stop or I can copy them to the library which, as you see here, will create a new group of media in our users. Duck and Rogoff movies folded. Now another option here would be to create optimized media now final cut pro sees optimized Meteo as being anything encoded as Apple pro rez for 22 Now, this is really high quality media with a very high data rate, and if we want to go about it that way, we select this option. I've already created a bunch of media for you and you shouldn't really need to do that, but it is an option if you'd like to. A few other things we can do is we can create some keywords automatically. We can automatically have it analyzed the video to balance color or analyzed the audio, fixed any audio problems in encounters or to remove our silent channels. I mostly like to leave these options unchecked and kind of do everything manually, as that's easier for me. But the choice is yours. So we'll go here and we'll quick import selected. And here we go. Now we have our assets folder, which contains all of our footage as well as our audio track. Now, if you want to suggest the footage, we can click on footage and we won't have our audio. Or if you just want to see the music track, we can go into music and see it here. I really don't see the point of having this duplicate Assets folder so we can delete that by going up to file delete key word collection or by hitting commands. And now our footage is inside Final cut Pro X, and we're ready to familiarize ourselves with the interface, and the tools will be using to edit 4. Interface Overview: Now that we've ingested our footage, I'd like to take a little time to talk about the user interface, and some of the tools will be using as we start to edit. Now, as we've already found out. Over here is our library browser, which contains our libraries, events and projects. Now, right next to our library browser is our click browser. One thing that's really great about Final Cut Pro X is that we can skim through our clips without actually having to play them just by dragging our cursor over them like this. Now, if we do want to play them in real time, we can just hit the space bar and that quip will begin to play now. There are a few options here in terms of how we view our cliffs. We can view them in 32nd intervals. As we see here, we can view them as 32nd clips. We can drag this to the right and make the interval shorter so that we can see actually mawr of the quip as we scrap across it. Or if we want to see a little bit less, we can drive it to the left and we can see all two minutes of a quick and there you go. Uh, I like to keep it at the default right around 30 seconds. Seems good to me. Now we can click this icon here, which will change the appearance of the clips in the browser, and we can adjust the clip height, make them bigger or smaller to see more clips again. You know, probably about 1/3 of the way is good, and I also like to have the option selected to show our audio away form in case we want a marker in and out points later. This will make things a lot easier if we decide we want to see our quips in list view. We can come over here and click this icon, and this will list are clips by clip name. If we've already gone ahead and named them earlier, or if we have a lot of clips, this might be a more efficient way to browse through them. And we could quick on a clip here, and that clip appears up top over here and again we could scrub through it. It's easier to manage a lot of clips by showing them and equipped for you. Now, this gear icon over here allows us to a ranger clips by a variety of different functions or sort them. And if we feel like we need a little more room, we could come down and quick this aero to hide our library browser and just see the clip here. Now, if we realized later on or if we get some more media in that we need toe import some more media, we can either go up the file import media or hit command. I on her keyboard weaken quick. This arrow right here to import and that will bring up our import window. Now, over here in the middle is our main viewer, which shows the clips currently in our timeline. Now, since we don't have a time one, it might be a good idea to go ahead and create a new project. Now, we can either do that by coming up to file going to new project. We could hit command and on our keyboard, Or would you just come down here and quick this new project now, a new project is basically just a new timeline for us to drop our clips into. So let's go ahead and do that and we'll title this Nico Haraga and this will actually be our select sequence. Now I like to create a select sequence, which is basically just a sequence of all our favorite moments that we like, which will actually make things a lot easier in the editing process to have them all grouped in one area. And now, since we have nothing in our timeline, our viewer becomes black. But as soon as we take a clip quick and drag and drag it into our timeline, now we'll get this drop down dialogue now Final cut automatically recognizes the format. This clip is in and we can just select okay to match that. Or we can change the resolution to something smaller or the format ourselves and also our frame rate. Let's keep these as is now we have equipment, our timeline, weaken, scrub through that again without having to press anything, just dragging our mouse over it and we can see that quick play back and forth in the viewer . And now, since we have equipment, our timeline, we get all these nice options that come up over here. We won't get in those too much now. But this is how we actually make transformations to the clip itself. Within the practice, we have a video tab to make changes to our video, and we have an audio tab to make changes to our audio, including volume and pan. Now, if you look down in the bottom right, these air changes we can make to our media, including effects, titles and transitions. Now here's some basic video effects and filters. Another great thing about Final Cut Pro is that you can actually just drag your cursor over the filter to see how it would look in your viewer and maybe say we want to at an age film . Look, and we could just scrub over that and see how that would look. Think this is a really neat feature we can click on? This camera icon will get all the photos in our photo library or import directly from photo booth. We can click this music note to import from our iTunes library or another source. This, like on here, is our transitions, including cross dissolves and blurs and a whole bunch of other things which will get into later But again, we can drag it over to see what that transition looks like. This Big T is for titles. There's all sorts of titles that there's all sorts of title presets that they've created for you. Many good options. This is great for a lower third. Always something. It's always preference. We can click this tab, which are is actually video generators, which will create, which will create some video for us if we wanted some nice clouds or maybe a curtain, these air good things for backgrounds or other transitions. And this one here is themes somewhere to video generators. It'll create some images that you can use again for backgrounds or transitions. There's a lot more features which will get into later, but I think this is a pretty good place to start, and we can go ahead and start thinking about marking up our favorite clips, adding them to keyword collections and starting to pull selects into our sequence. 5. Pulling Selects: the last thing I'd like to talk about this class is going through your footage and actually making select now. Select as I mentioned earlier, are your favorite clips or audio quote that you want to use to tell your story. Now the final cut has a lot of tools already in it that allows to make this process much easier. For instance, we could click on this clip in the quick browser, and we could come down to this green star. Now this green star marks the entire clip as a favorite, and you can see here a green wine has been created across it. Now this blue line here means there's a keyword already associated with the quick. In this case, the keyword is footage, which you can see here now if we want to add more keywords to it. Say we noticed that this was shot at proof lab. Or maybe we could notice that he's on a vert ramp and we can come down and quick this key, and we can type in another key word. Let's call this proof lab and press enter and you could see as soon as we tagged that with the word proof lab. We've created a new work keyword collection over here in our library browser. Weaken! Quick on. We can see all the clips that were shot at this location. Come back into our footage here. Now, Say, we said maybe this clip isn't so good and we don't no longer wanted to be a favorite. You come down here to this open star, which is the clear favorite selection, and we can go ahead and click that and your nasty that that green line has been. Now, if we decide we don't like this clip at all, we can come down here and we've been quick this red X and we'll get this red stripe, which means we don't like it. Another shortcut for that. It's just hit the delete key. Now, this won't actually delete your clip from the project, but it will market for you. If you do want to delete it, you'll just have to push command delete on your keyboard. Once you've taken some time to go through a mark up your clips using favorites and keywords , it's time to start pulling in the select. Now select is a great way to narrow down the clips that you actually like and plan on using to tell your story. Now a good way to do that is to come up to your quick browser, and it's a good time to start cutting off heads and tails that you're not actually going to be using as well. Now we see that for this beginning portion of here, this kid rides buying a scooter, and we don't actually want to use that. So we don't want to start the clip until Nico is about ready. Drop it now. This year we want to set our in point in Order said are in point. We just press I on our keyboard now. There are other ways to do this through menus, but I like to use keyboard shortcuts as they're the most efficient. And it's a good practice to get used to. Now see well scrubbed through this here and we'll wait till he drops in and we see there's actually more to the slip. He grinds 50 50 grind down this rail and he drops off and that's the end. Now we just want a marker out point by pressing, you can see here this yellow border marks our selection, and we can just click this clip and drag it into our timeline. And there you go. We have now made a select. Next, you go through all your clips, finding the shots that you like and either favoring them, pulling them into your select sequence or rejecting them with the Red X. Now I have included one audio clip here, which is a short little interview of Shot with Nico. And again we can go through and we can mark are ins and outs of quotes we liked by pressing I and O on your keyboard. Let's go ahead and play that and listen to what he has to say. So now let's say we want to start are equipped here and we want to mark that as our first time I was on a skateboard was like when I was nine years old. I just but boarding, which is pretty sick, and I liked a lot like this thing flew aboard. Now say we want to end equipped there, and we could just press O on our keyboard. We can either drag that in like that or again. We can mark this portion that we've already selected as we're favorite, just by clicking the green key and you'll see appear that we've got this green bar, the highlighted section and not actually over the entire clip. Once you've gone through and marked your quips and added them to keyword collections and pull them into your select sequence, you're ready to begin the editing process. 6. Wrapping Up: everybody. Thanks so much for joining me on our first class of final cut Pro X. I hope you feel like you got a strong sense of the user interface and a good foundational knowledge to set you up to begin the editing process. Now, while these first steps may not be the most thrilling, they are really good foundation and will allow you to make the most efficient use of your time and put yourself in a position to succeed. Moving forward from here will actually begin the actual editing process by going through our select sequences and starting to pull our audio and video clips into our main sequence to build. Our story will go on to add titles and effects and do some basic color correction and audio mixing. And then we'll render out our final file for delivered. Thanks so much next time.