Kiarra here. Final Cut Pro has many great features for professional editing, and i want to highlight my personal thoughts about key frames, text editing, the Pleasantville effect, and the white balance corrector. Using key frames easily gives one the ability to crop any video clip of choice. You can create your own transitions by making the video clip crop on screen from left to right, top to bottom etc. This is a very unique effect to apply. If you want to show a series of multiple shots and angles on one screen, this can easily be done with proper key framing of spacing and timing. The cropping key frames option is available in the motion palette located in the viewer slug screen and provides many options. One can key frame color, distortion, scale, position, rotation, crop, opacity, center, drop shadow, monitor blur, and time ramp. Final Cut also has a very simplistic way of applying text to your video. From the viewer window, you can click the letter “A” to access it quickly. There are also many adjustment options available to the editor, such as leading (pronounced ‘led-ing’), size, style, color, origin, tracking, and aspect. Like the motion palette, you can set key frames for each option available. One helpful thing within the software is the ability to correct white balance during editing, accomplished by selecting the “Color corrector 3 way” filter located under the video filters. This filter works well when using two different cameras that have inconsistent color, or if one cameraman forgets to white balance. You can also use this to intentionally add a colorful tint. You can play with this by clicking the auto balance color eyedropper tool, and selecting the area on screen that should be white but is not (do this in the window where your sequence on the timeline is being played back). It’s interesting to be able to make a specific object standout in color while the rest of the screen is colored in black and white. All it takes is a little bit of work and preciseness. First, select the color corrector 3 way filter, click the bottom left triangle, select eyedropper tool on right side of screen and click the color you want to standout in the playback window, decrease the upper saturation bar to zero, uncheck the two boxes with check marks and the color you want to stand out should appear completely in gray. Click the black triangle box and the video should be shown in black and white with the item you selected in full color. If the item you selected is not completely in color experiment with extending the color ranges.
As great as Final Cut is, there are some things that I wish were different. Final Cut is only compatible with Mac computers, and the software is quite costly. Final Cut is also very picky about the video formats that it likes. It does not tend to like Quick Time or AVI formats very well, and these are two formats that students use on a regular basis. When editing audio that is separately linked to video, Final Cut will not always keep audio and video aligned correctly, causing unwanted audio portions. Newer versions require a large amount of processing power that an older computer may not have, and therefore may not be compatible. Even older versions can lag a computer down without costly graphics cards. This can be very annoying when you want the video to be stopped at specific point on the timeline and instead get a spinning wheel. Over all I think Final Cut is a great program and recommend it to students and professionals alike.
(Kiarra is an intern at I’AMedia and currently studying Flash and Video Production.)