The Power of ‘Final Cut’

DMiP ~ Week Four

Digital Media in Practice in week four, was a valuable lesson in the basics of using the fabulous editing program; ‘Final Cut’.  We will be working with this program a lot over the next few years and like any other multi faceted suite, one needs instruction to benefit from the full potential of this powerful piece of software.

In this workshop we were given instruction about the correct settings involved when inputting footage, with hundreds of possible options and not the foggiest clue as to what most of them mean (as is always the way when familiarising with a new program), it was very interesting to hear various key settings and features being explained in such a lucid and informative way.

The session also served as a good insight into to some very nice Mac keyboard shortcuts and tools such as the Capture feature. By pressing Command + Shift + 4 and then hitting the space bar, a cross hair pops up which enables you to select any separate dialogue box and capture an image of it (saved as a .png) with the camera icon. Sweet feature! As an example I have captured this dialogue box for the Standard Video Compression Settings in ‘Final Cut’.

We were asked to import a short film and use the footage to develop a little experience in the use of various tools in ‘Final Cut’, such as the Razor used to cut and splice footage and the Pointer to move material up and down the time line. There are some excellent ways to elongate or shorten the time line as one may do with sound waves in a program like Cubase.

We edited the 30 minutes of footage to get used to using the tools and also learned how to add titles to it. We also received instruction on compressing the footage to be exported to a destination on the hard drive which could then be uploaded to You Tube (for an example) or attached to an email etc.

The emphasis when exporting is on the correct aspect ration, the settings you can see above are for a standard wide-screen ratio. Even though the footage was not shot in wide-screen, the Letterbox setting ensures that the picture will not get stretched but instead be filled in with black bars. I have exported my edited clip on to You Tube, to see how successful my attempts at exporting and transferring would be.

A journey of a thousand miles, begins with one step. Our first step into the world of ‘Final Cut’ is complete. Only another 1,999,999 steps to go!


About Roulette Revolver

Currently a first year undergraduate in Film & Media Studies.
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