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Old December 28th, 2006, 02:26 PM   #1
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Any recommendations on a good instruction manual for Final Cut Express?

I recently upgraded from my eMac, to an iMac with a nice 20" screen (yeah!). Along with my iMac, I included the Final Cut Express as part of the purchase. All I can say is 'wow!'. Both for the fact that I am in awe, when I compare it to iMovie, and am also in awe when I see just how much I need to learn about FC Express, before I can do some decent editing.

The manual that is provided via PDF is quite huge - over 1,000 pages. I am hoping to find something a bit more streamlined so I can learn how to use it properly a bit more quickly and efficiantly. The DV Tutorial that comes with it is nice, but not quite what I am looking for when I comes to instructions on all of FCE's particulars.

I'm a type of person that needs to go at my own pace, which can be fast in some areas, while crawling at a snail's pace in others. Upon some research at Apple's website, I ran across 2 particular instruction manuals:

Final Cut Express HD for Mac OSX VQG
Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Express

I really want to just purchase one of the two, or will gladly take suggestions if there is another book or learning tool out there. I like things shown to me step by step, or explained in detail. (bad brain accident years ago makes learning new things rather hard at times!) That's not to say I'm completely clueless, by any means. It's just that FCE, when compared to iMovie, is a whole 'nuther beast.

Thanks in advance!
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Old December 28th, 2006, 05:26 PM   #2
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I also bought the iMac with FCE HD and bought the video "Inside Final Cut Express HD 3.5" from Digital Media Training.

You should have had a Final Cut Express HD DVD tutorial included in the iMac box. This DVD is a stripped down version of the full DVD for $49.95. It helped me understand in a shorter amount of time and I am already ready for Final Cut Studio (which I ordered today). If you order, make sure it is the FCE HD 3.5 and not FCE 2 - I made that mistake but the company replaced it for me free of charge.

Hope this helps.

http://www.digitalmediatraining.com/
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Old December 28th, 2006, 05:35 PM   #3
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Yeah... I got the DVD tutorial. Very informative, but not in-depth enough, for someone as green as me. Sounds to me like I will be purchasing that book afterall. And thanks for the heads-up on the '3.5' clarification.
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Old December 28th, 2006, 07:00 PM   #4
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Another resource for training is Lynda.com.

They have a ton of online tutorials for novices and experts on a variety of applications. I highly recommend this site.

Although considerably more expensive you should also consider Total Training.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 01:52 PM   #5
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Watch some of the demo movies on the new Final Cut Pro Foundations tutorial disc. Although it is meant for Final Cut Pro - 99% of it applies to Express. http://www.dvcreators.net/final-cut-pro-foundations/
If you can hold off a few more weeks, an FCE version will soon be released. The only real difference is the hands-on project files, a few motion graphics lessons and the portion on how to use the Media Mangler...i mean Media Manager :)
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Old December 29th, 2006, 02:02 PM   #6
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I got the Apple Pro Training Series for my version of FCE by Diana Weynand and after going through it I haven't had a bit of trouble doing anything in FCE. There are still some functions that I don't use, and I'm sure that my speed could still improve, but I am completely comfortable after going through this book. The book has been upgraded and here's the link:

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL....8.25.7.11.3.3

It was laid out well and overall a good experience...

Hope you find a good solution for yourself and your work style...

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Old December 29th, 2006, 05:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for everybody's feedback. It's been very helpful. Seems as though I'm leaning closer towards the Training Series and/or the Inside Final Cut Express tutorial. It's kind of a toss-up right now. The opinions I've read on Amazon didn't help me reach any conclusion either.

Chuck... thanks for providing the link to the Lynda.com website. I'm definitely going to be using that down the road, but prob'ly not for the Final Cut Express. I wish I would've known about that sight long ago!

Guy... thanks for the info. I checked out the sample clips. I liked what I saw, but I'm not sure how much longer I can wait. ;-)

The feedback here has been great. Thanks much, and will look forward to further opinions.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 09:12 PM   #8
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"Editing Techniques with Final Cut Pro" by Michael Wohl, now in a second edition, offers an excellent introduction to editing, mixing the "how do I drive FCP" material with practical discussion of editing technique with just a little bit of theory to be useful. Not a manual, not a tutorial, but an excellent all-around book for learning to edit with Final Cut.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 02:26 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the suggestions - so, here's the game plan

Well, given the fact that I received a $50 gift card to a local shopping mall, I shall be purchasing "Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Express HD" by Diana Weynard (available at our local Borders). Since I am completely new to the Final Cut product, it would be best to start in something that takes me right from iMovie, directly to Final Cut Express.

Funnily enough, Tom Wolsky was a big help with a question I had in the Apple Discussion forum - Final Cut Express. Upon doing a search, I can see his name has been mentioned here in the past. A link to his site is: http://www.fcpbook.com/Home.html

If I feel I need more training/information, I will be probably purchasing "Final Cut Express HD Made Easy" when it comes out in February (http://www.fcpbook.com/FCE%20HD%20Made%20Easy.html)

I'm also going to sign up for some courses at Lynda.com. I think they can get a good $25 - $50 out of me!

Thanks again for all of the advice/suggestions. I will still be keeping all suggestions open for future considerations. :-)
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Old December 30th, 2006, 02:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Cochran
Watch some of the demo movies on the new Final Cut Pro Foundations tutorial disc. Although it is meant for Final Cut Pro - 99% of it applies to Express. http://www.dvcreators.net/final-cut-pro-foundations/
If you can hold off a few more weeks, an FCE version will soon be released. The only real difference is the hands-on project files, a few motion graphics lessons and the portion on how to use the Media Mangler...i mean Media Manager :)
I'm still going to keep this one in mind, Guy. Just didn't want to think that I swept your advice under the rug, so to speak. :-)

As I said, I'm still keeping all of the advice into consideration.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 10:14 PM   #11
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And.... on a side note *ermmmm!*

I had to place an order with Waldenbooks. They didn't have the book available. So, I will have to wait a week (at least)! *grumbles*
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Old December 30th, 2006, 10:41 PM   #12
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Big fan of the Final Cut Express for Dummies book. Written by Helmut Kobler (sp?) the guy who did the indie sci fi film "Radius". Well done and quite conversational. Works as a reference too as it is well indexed.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 10:43 PM   #13
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Yeah... I have a couple of the 'Dummies' books. 'Filmmaking for Dummies' (or something like that) is excellent.

But the Final Cut Express for Dummies hasn't been updated in a couple years, so it would be probably a moot point right now. But I did first think of them!
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Old December 31st, 2006, 01:42 AM   #14
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it's a good place to start, and it's not terribly out of date, most of the material hasn't changed, they've just added things to make it cooler.
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Old January 1st, 2007, 01:25 AM   #15
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Linda,
Glad you got a gift card that turned out to be useful, and to see that you're, at least for part of your self-taught endeavor, going with the Apple Pro Training book. It took me about a week and a half to go completely through it (more than a couple hours a day) but it was well worth it. I did have occasion to wonder at certain points why the book had you do A before B, but it all made sense in the end. Good Luck and sorry to hear that you've had to wait...

Happy New Year...

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