Learning Final Cut Pro

I am slowly working my way through the Getting Started book, using my own video clips. I decided to do a short movie featuring wildlife clips from Corkscrew Sanctuary, which we visited in January 2004. I found the CD of still images to supplement the video clips. I have two observations about my learning:

Sometimes things have to just percolate. I read the section on three-point edits a few times but just didn’t seem to get it. This morning, as I was writing, it came to me exactly what it was. Place in and out points on your clip, place at least an in point on your timeline, then use the buttons or the overlay to either insert or overwrite the clip into your sequence. I hadn’t been dreaming about FCP, which has happened when I am in the midst of a coding project, but I guess I just had the quiet time to let it sink in. And that’s what I’ve found after nearly six years of doing the morning pages. A lot of what I write is crap–to do lists, quotidian details such a laundry, the usual “diary” kind of stuff. But when I let the writing flow less self-consciously, I am sometimes able to access more deep knowledge and understanding that has been building even while I am involved in the daily grind.

The second observation has to do with figuring out how to do the Ken Burns effect in FCP. I love it in iMovie, really makes still images come alive. I tried searching the FCP manual but didn’t have much luck. So, I turned to the web. Found Izzy Video’s tutorial. It was very helpful although it took me a little while to understand how to set key frames. I kept looking for a marker on the timeline rather than the fact that the wireframe lines changed from white to green. Now, I know and am having lots of fun setting motion to my stills. What did I learn? I rely on the web community to help me learn. Another quick example from today: I am using an online wiki to write an article. The only problem…I need to be able to count words. So, back to the web. I found a Macworld article that reviewed Word Counter. It’s free, but I’m going to send a donation. What a handy tool!

So, basically, the point I’m trying to make is that even though it seems like I’m isolated in front of my computer screen, I am still learning in community.


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