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Final Cut Suite
Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE


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Old January 7th, 2006, 12:46 PM   #1
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New to DVinfo.Net & FCP?

A gentleman by the name of Paul Farmer sent me an email asking the following -
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Derek-
Hi, I'm new to the board and new to digital and NLE. I've been shooting Betacam SP forever and editing linear with the UVW series machines. Now this old dog has to learn new tricks as my camera is getting to old to keep repairing. My question is: Assuming I know the basics of editing, how long can I plan on it taking to get up to speed on Final Cut Pro 5? I just got a PowerMac Quad with 4GB RAM and a 30" HD Monitor. So I've got the hardware but I'm going to keep the old machines around until I master NLE. Also, can you recommend the best tutorial for FCP whether in book form or DVD. Thanks in advance Derek!
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We agreed to post my reply here for the benefit of the DVinf.net community and so he could hear from other’s who had WAY more experience than I do.

Here’s my reply:

In my opinion, FCP is very intuitive. With your years of experience with shooting and editing, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with how quick you will feel at home in FCP. Depending on how much time you spend with it, I think you could get “up to speed” in as little as a weekend.

You are starting with the best equipment available with the latest version of OSX and FCP so that will make it even easier.

As far as books go:
I would get these two to start with and do the following. Read the first chapter of each and proceed with the one you feel the most comfortable with. OR, if you can find a bookstore with both, sit down with a cup of coffee, browse through each of them, and buy the one you like the best. One mistake I made early on was buying a bunch of books at once. That’s fine if you can go through them quickly and/or need them for references, but software changes so quickly today, you don’t want to buy 3 FCP 5 books, only have time to read one, and then see that FCP 6 was just introduced! –

Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Pro 5 by Diana Weynand

Final Cut Pro 5 Hands on Training (a.k.a. HOT) by Larry Jordan
This book is put out by Lynda.com, which is owned by Lynda Weinman. I’ve always liked her books. They flow very well.

So starting with one (or both) of these books would be a good beginning for the “book tutorial” route.

A Recent Option – On-Line Video Tutorials:
I like Lynda’s stuff, so naturally, I like her site an an on-line library of video tutorials (http://www.lynda.com). For $25 per month (there are other options as well) you can choose from a very complete library of software titles. Her FCP 5 title was just recently added. With your computer set-up, you can have the on-line FCP video tutorial going and FCP open as well. You can follow along at your own pace while doing the exercises on your own. I REALLY like learning from video, so this is my preferred route.

On-Line Forums – Like this one:
I would frequent this forum and watch what other people are posting. Another great thing to do is click “search” and type in something you may be interested in or have a question about. The great thing about forums is all of the excellent information that stays in place over time. It becomes a huge reference library for problem solving. Chris Hurd and the moderators here have done a great job on DVinfo.Net.

Other stuff I would recommend:
Experiment as much as you can in FCP. Cut, Edit, add filters, transitions, etc. You won’t break anything and diving in “by doing” will really teach you quick. Each of the books I mentioned above comes with footage and projects that you get to edit. First do what the author says, then do what you want!

I would buy a different mouse than the one that your G5 came with. Personally, since I have a Mac, I like to stick with the Apple Brand for everything I get (when I can). I like the “Mighty Mouse.” It’s not nearly as robust as some of the other mice on the market, but I’ve got two of them on two different G5’s and like them quite a bit.

I would also recommend a LogicKeyBoard (http://www.logickeyboard.com)
I’ve got the “FCP Apple Pro “G5” keyboard (LKBU-FCP-APG5-US)I. on both of my computers. All of those shortcuts are great. I tried one other brand and it did not work. The LogicKeyboard has worked perfectly and I’ve been using them both for well over 6 months.

I hope you (and others) find this helpful information. I also hope some other experience DVinfo.Net members add their opinions to this thread.

Last edited by Guest; January 7th, 2006 at 01:30 PM.
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Old January 8th, 2006, 04:58 PM   #2
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Location: new york city, new york
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sign me up...

derek-

i'm in a very similiar situation as paul farmer

i'm a writer/producer who over the past 4-5 years has been pressed into shooting much (not all) of my own footage (pd150 & dvx100a).

i just purchased an apple 2.0 dualie (8 ram slot version) and apple's finat cut suite.

your suggestions of books and video are quite helpful

but in the coming weeks, i will also need assistance in loading the software and configuring the system as i attempt to learn fcp.

i'm just hoping this site could offer a place for me to voice my concerns/questions as i tootle around fcp on my training wheels!

thanks in advance for your patience

(and thanks paul for asking the questions i was thinking of asking!)

be well

rob katz
harvest film
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Old January 9th, 2006, 11:53 PM   #3
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Pay the Money

If you live in a relatively urban are there are usually tons of great resources you can use. I (thought I had) taught myself FCP but decided to sign up for a couple of classes because my work would pay for them and it would be a cool way to spend a few days. I was blown away at how sad my editing technique was. The good thing about being taught by a pro is that it cuts out so much wasted time, still a valuable commodity I hear. Even if you know what you are doing you're guaranteed to learn new things that will make you faster and more efficient. In the bay area we have BAVC but I'm sure the equivalent exists in most major cities. Spare yourself the agony, you've already spent the money learn how to utilize the tools before your system is obsolete.ish. Good Luck, Jason.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 11:59 PM   #4
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Post Script

Get a card that supports uncompressed component IO with rs422 control. Beta is still the format of choice, for production, DV will be a memory in 3 years.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 11:12 AM   #5
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Sweet!

'Depending on how much time you spend with it, I think you could get “up to speed” in as little as a weekend.'

That makes me feels tons better! My non-linear experience isn't much, but I've got the hands-on and know-how from those here at work.

March 1st... FCP!
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Old January 11th, 2006, 03:41 PM   #6
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I've shot Beta and BETA SP on Sony 3s, 5s, 7s, 200s, 400s, and Ike 50 series.
Linear editing on the Sony machines, skills honed to a razor's edge.
Three years ago I got a job shooting DVCAM on an Ike-7A, and editing FCP3.

It took me a long time to get compentent on FCP3. I took training at an Apple certifed center in Dallas. Helped introduce me to Macs at least.
My brain just could not wrap around the concept. For the life of me I cant remeber what the dis-connect was. but it was severe (check my sig). I asked friends and bought the 'FCP fo Dummies' book, that helped the most. I spent untold weekends and after hours getting it right.
The folks on this board were great, knowledgeble and eager to share. Thier soultions and answers enabled me to stop the crying, cussing and wailing.

The happy ending is I got it.

After about 4 months it began to sink in and I quit fighting it. I love FCP and am using 4.5 now. The experience has also given me a working knowledge and vocabulary of computer terms and functions.
I am the other 50% of shooters, the non-tech guy.
I could care less about the hows and whys, I just want to shoot and tell stories, and now I can with incredible edit options before me.
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Old January 16th, 2006, 04:49 PM   #7
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Picking It Right Up

Derek,et.al.,

Thanks so much for the input. I got Diana Weynand's book with it's practice footage and it's the greatest! Picking up at least the basics didn't take long at all. I was making simple cuts and laying down audio within an hour or two. I can't wait to get started with my own footage . . . now if those darn HVXs would just ship a little faster . . . !!

Paul
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Old January 16th, 2006, 05:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Farmer
Derek,et.al.,

Thanks so much for the input. I got Diana Weynand's book with it's practice footage and it's the greatest! Picking up at least the basics didn't take long at all. I was making simple cuts and laying down audio within an hour or two. I can't wait to get started with my own footage . . . now if those darn HVXs would just ship a little faster . . . !!
You're welcome. Glad I could help. I've gained so much from this forum, I'm happy that I can contribute back. I'm with you on the HVX shipping.
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Old January 19th, 2006, 12:11 PM   #9
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Paul, I don't know where you're located, but there are quite a few FCP User Groups out there. They can be a great place to network with other users, and have a local contact to resolve issues. You can find links at the grandaddy of all FCPUG's, SFCutters:

http://www.sfcutters.org/

Look at the sidebar to the left for a listing of groups worldwide.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 05:28 PM   #10
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A few new books...

When I went to Amazon to purchase "Optimizing Your Final Cut Pro System," which I read about here:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=57875

I also ordered the following:
Advanced Editing Techniques in Final Cut Pro 5
Advanced Color Correction and Effects in Final Cut Pro 5
Producing 24p Video

I know, I know, I broke my own rule, but each book was about $20 less than the bookstore, and I wanted to make the cost of next day shipping worth while. If Murphy's Law is true, FCP 6 will be released this week!

All 4 books + shipping totalled $163.69. and they all look GREAT, and all four are nicely illustrated. Hope everyone is doing well.
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