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Apple Final Cut Pro X: In-Depth

Lesson 34 of 42

Simple Effects


Apple Final Cut Pro X: In-Depth

Lesson 34 of 42

Simple Effects


Lesson Info

Simple Effects

I want to just go through some simple effects to show you how stuff works uh jim and I were talking about this before we started and I could do cookbooks of effects like forever because there's just so many different things to choose from so my goal is to show you once that I find particularly useful or to show you a technique which applies to all effects that once you understand how you do this once it's easy to do multiple times for instance let's take a look at no see if I've got this let's go back to our project on let's grab the word color let's go back here and pasted him grab the front make it longer grab the un make it longer highlight this kind of a cool effect but we'll take the blend mode off by going to video go to the bottom set the blend mode to normal and let's pick a color that causes my eyes not tow water just by looking at it pick something cool and we'll add a drop shadow because in this case I don't want to use blend modes set this to ninety five drag the blurb it d...

ragged the distance a bit right about there really blurry it's not gonna work thistle work grab that clip okay I need to have a lighter background and now we can see the the background and we can see the word color in the foreground this is not bad except if you think about the way that lenses work, a lens would never give a foreground background object in focus at the same time there would always be a sense of depth of field and one of things that I would like to do, so I want to guarantee that people look at the word color and don't look at the sunset on the grand canyon. I would like to have the background go out of focus, so to do that we select our background clip as with all things the number one interface rule inside final cut is to select something and do something to it. So we're going to select the clip we've seen the generator browser that's this one we've seen the themes browser the titles bras of the transitions browser we haven't seen these three let me just touch on two of them when you click on the music and sound browser. This gives you access to all the music that's inside your itunes collection but it also gives you access to a whole flock of sound effects that are available for final cut but they don't download when you download final cut from apple instead you need to go up to the final cut menu and you need to go to download additional content downloading additional content will download about one point five gigabytes of sound effects and other effects which are available to you inside final cut it's free doesn't cost anything but it's a second step you don't get this automatically when you buy final cut is part of the op store, so to be able to find the sound effects, go to final cut pro download additional content justice we have access to both our sound effects that we get from apple and our itunes collection. The next browser over gives us access to all the images inside I photo here I'm of two minds I think I photo was a wonderful image management tool so his light room so it's aperture this gives us access to I photo and aperture does not give us access to light room, but I like having all of my media assets stored on my second drive. I don't like having a part of my photo I use I photo for personal things, but for business, I have all of my edited projects on the second drive first because I may not own the images they may belong to the client. Second, I want to be able to know what they are slight and back them up for me, having access to I photo is is sort of cool, but I never use it because I don't like having I photo control all of my images. So this is nice if that's the way you store your photos it's perfectly ok there's no bugs works great I don't use it because I like having more control over where my images are stored than I photo provides this gets to the effects browser you'll notice that the effects browser is exactly the same structures everything else we've looked at there's two categories video effects which were going touch on here and audio effects which we get to by scrolling down, which we'll talk about in the fourth section today bernard question just a quick question on the photo browser and the music browser when you choose like in a song from itunes or one of your pictures that you have in your foot photo or aperture there's a copy aversion eso it's contained or manage in the library or is it a link to where the file is on the I thought if you saw in the music and sound it's a link and with my photo it's just see real quick I don't think so let's find out I don't know the answer to that scale this this is a photo oh okay it's going to copy that photo into the library? I think I will double check it so it's not going to allow you to manipulate it we'll take the photo and cop o the rule is when I dragon image from the browser to the timeline whatever the current settings of my import preferences are those of the settings that replied to an image that's dragged from a photo browser to the timeline or from the finder directly into the timeline without being imported. So however, these settings are set is what will happen to that image took me a while to figure that out remember it, actually, so what I want to do is I want to apply an effect I want apply a blur effect affects our applied per clip and to apply a blur there's multiple blurs to choose from, but if you want to figure out what the blur is going to look like, hover your play head over the blur and you'll see all the select our clip there we go, however, your play head over the blur and you'll see the effect of the blur on your clip and really interesting thing is if you hold the option key down an option dragger option scale just option you don't even have to click the mouse just option move your cursor over the clip and it will show you the one parameter in this case the blur parameter you can say this is how it's not very blurred this is more blurred, I'm holding the option key down and dragging the mouse well, the truthful answer is, although all these blurs are quite just nice if you really want to blur something and have it look believable and soft and blurry gaussian blur is the fastest and the best choice I'm going to grab the effect and drag it on top of the clip if the clip is selected you could also apply by double clicking the blur with the clip selected go up to the inspector remember that's command before and go to the video tab and effects from the effects browser are always located always located at the top of the inspector this is important because effects process from the top of the inspector to the bottom of the inspector so the blur will process before color correction which will process before transform which processes before say image stabilization which processes before blend mode there's a stacking orderto how our effects get processed in a process from the top to the bottom to adjust the blur you grab the amount slider and you just simply drag the blur to the amount that you want you can grab and say I wanted to be blurred horizontally or vertical on dh I see this is like an accelerator for the blur haven't ever played with that before it's nice to share it with you share cool notice that as I move into these parameters there is a diamond on the right hand side just a seiken set key frames for audio justus aiken said. Key frames for transform aiken set key frames for any effect inside final cuts him this sketch into something that you and I were talking about during a break, which is, can I ke frame anything you can keep frame any parameter of any effect except transitions, which are not key frame bubble, and some generators, which are not key frame a bull, but just about everything else whenever you roll next to a parameter, if you see this diamond shape its key frame bubble, which means you can animate it. So let's, say that I wanna have this blur fade in as the clip comes in, set up a play head at the beginning and click a key frame for amount I've set a blur will set that zero, and we'll just have it go to about here, said another key frame, and we'll set that to be the blur that we want right about there and notice now, as we play the clip, it goes out of focus because it starts in focus, and the key frame forces that to go out of focus. This is what we use key frames for animating a change in a parameter blurs or something we use constantly. We've got text in the foreground, we want to blur the background, to make it easy to read the text. Another thing that we can do is go to delete a filter to temporarily turn it off click the blue check box that enables there disables the filter to remove the filter highlight the name hit the delete key and it's gone another thing that we can do just another simple one to play with is under distortion these distort the image for instance here we've got background squares that sort of give us a look and feel to the just a different something different you may not know what that is and you want to just sort of play with it there's filters that take a lot of setup color correction is one of those how there's just sort of drop on see what it looks like here's another good one I use this when periodically I'm going to do a search for spotlight I got a select all because it's not in the store category grab spot drag it on let's do this for this one I could grab the center dot grab the outer ring and we can feather it which changes the softness we can say just add the spotlight down here at the spotlight over there just the opposite of a spotlight again highlighted hit the delete key the opposite the spotlight is a vignette of vignette allows me to focus everything at the center all right then what we'll do here is with the vignette decrease the size there's our center spot we'll put it right over here on bill decrease the size of the fall ofthe will not make it quite so dark on the edges increase the background blur and now when we play this it's a little obvious, but sometimes you want that I would not necessarily have a heavy black line going through the sky, but I could easily see that as part of a crime drama circle around the body kind of thing. See vignettes air good again, highlight the clip. I like the name. Delete the name we have old. This is an interesting one. Watch this it's going up on five dancing on and on this is a nice little dance piece she's dancing on a bridge in toronto where she is and it's not bad, but it could use some life over here so let's, go find a category called light let'sjust drag artefacts on here, and what it does is it adds, a bunch of light leaks on the right hand side will change the color of the light leak to sort of a light blue blend mode is screen will make the opacity just a little less now cool. Just add some more energy so this side of the frame isn't quite as bad. We could change the color of that to be whatever you want to make it more or less obvious. We can also add a drop shadow now drop shadows are easy to add to text but let's say that we want to add a drop shadow to this image here and we'll just use the razor blade tool to cut this select the clip and I'm going to reduce the size using the transform command will reduce the size to say forty percent pick an arbitrary number put my mouse in here and turn on transform and drag it over to there looks just wonderful it's clearly a picture and picture but would be useful if I had a drop shadow with it drop shadow is in the effects category used to be in final cut seven and emotion category but it's in the effects counter or select all a nurse drop shadow one of the really nice things about drop shadows we have a whole lot more things we can do with it inside final cut if I select the clip go to the top and have the drop shadow toilet open we can have it be a standard drop shadow just click and hold on there's a drop shadow interesting but bohr and let's try something different let's have it be a perspective to the back and now notice that the drop shadow itself extends out and I could determine the angle let's have it go back from the graphic this way I can now have the drop shadow in response to the sun or I could have the drop shadow be perspective to the front because the sun is in fact behind it I could have the drop shadow fall forward now we've got the drop shadow falling forward though it probably should not fall on the mountains in the distance if we want to have this thing be falling forward for heaven sakes larry you need to pay attention details like this or we could just grab the image and drag the images while it's moving the drop shadow we can change its blur we can change its position the drop shadow could be applied to any clip anywhere in the frame but if it's full screen you're not going to see it because the drop shadow it's going to get blocked because it's not part of the full screen image there's all kinds of stuff we could talk about and I just barely got started with affects human it's time to wrap up can you have any questions and we gotta do mork there's more stuff we could talk about today yuri I would like to know can I save in effect as my own effect in the final cut pro ten library no in final cut yes in motion motion is how you save stuff great I'm being so short that's a short answer know that I think every love short answers everything is created and modified in motion for final cut final cut is the playback engine motion is the creation engine for all effect great eso. How about seeing some keyboard shortcuts to guy seventy questions you doing okay, alright, this case. Keyboard shortcuts coming right up there's, not a lot of keyboard shortcuts with effects command five toggles, the effects browser, open and closed. Command five is the on ly keyboard shortcut that works with any of the seven browsers. The rest will have to be opened with the mouse shift. F matches the frame and the timeline to the same frame in the source clip. In the browser, option, f creates a freeze frame and command for toggles. Thie inspector open and closed.

Class Description


  • Import media into Apple Final Cut Pro X
  • Use its media management tools to organize your files
  • Explore the endless possibilities for creating amazing video effects and dig into audio.
  • Sharpen the skills you need to edit, trim, and combine clips to create a dynamic, engaging final cut.


Apple® Final Cut Pro® X has been rocking the film editing world since its initial release in 1999. Today, eleven upgrades later, the video editor's users number in the millions and its editing tools have powered major motion picture and small screen edits. Join Larry Jordan to learn what makes this video editing software so powerful, versatile, and indispensable.

Now an industry standard video editor alongside options like Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro X encompasses pro-level editing tools for Mac. Final Cut Pro is a Mac-only program with professional tools that blow the free video editing software and budget video editors like iMovie, Adobe Premiere Elements, and Movie Maker out of the water. The video software can handle everything from 360-degree video to Hollywood-level productions. But navigating those advanced editing tools is a daunting task for beginners. Pretending Final Cut Pro is an intuitive, beginners program will only leave you frustrated and missing the biggest features.


Whether you are brand new to editing, self-taught, or a seasoned pro, this course will take your editing skills and Apple Final Cut Pro X mastery to a whole new level, from upload to save.

Apple Final Cut Pro X


Larry Jordan is an internationally-renowned consultant, digital media analyst, and trainer with over 35 years of experience as a television producer, director, and editor with national broadcast and corporate credits. He is recognized as the foremost trainer in both Apple Final Cut Pro (Mac) and Adobe Premiere Pro (Mac and Windows) where his informative and entertaining teaching style provides video editors around the world with unique resources to increase productivity and enhance their skills. Jordan is on the faculty at both USC and Video Symphony and the host of the DigitalProductionBuzz.com weekly podcast.


  1. Introduction

    Larry Jordan says a majority of the Final Cut Pro X technical help questions he answers stem from jumping right into editing without understanding how the software works. In the first lesson, learn what to expect in the class and why, when you edit videos, you start with organization.

  2. Key Terms

    Video editing tools are often confusing for newbies because of the terminology. Walk through the jargon you need to know and key concepts for Final Cut Pro to get started on the right foot.

  3. System Configuration and RAID Storage

    Final Cut Pro X can run on any Mac except for the Mac mini. Here, learn the best system set up for video editing and learn how to make your budget go the farthest when setting up a computer for video editing, and why storage, not the computer is most important.

  4. Q&A with Creating an Efficient Workflow

    Video editing with Final Cut Pro is just as much about the actual tools as it is about creating an efficient workflow. In this lesson, find the answers to some of the biggest questions in the workflow.

  5. Interface and Media Management

    Understanding the Final Cut Pro X interface helps you navigate through the program from one step of the workflow to the next. Explore Final Cut's single window interface and the three broad sections, as well as where to find the hidden windows and what they do.

  6. Importing Media Part 1

    Final Cut Pro will import any videos supported by your computer, from files that already exist on a hard drive to videos from a camera's SD card. Walk through the import process and options, from basic options to marking favorite locations, when working with files that already exist on the hard drive.

  7. Importing Media Part 2

    Final Cut Pro will also import your media for you from a camera. Larry walks quickly through what's the same when importing from a camera and points out the important differences when using different import methods.

  8. Ratings and Keywords

    Creating a video often means working with multiple, long video files. This lesson walks through organizing video clips to make finding the exact clip you need easy. Larry then walks you through creating the actual project and getting started in the video editing process itself.

  9. Reviewing Clips for Edit

    Time to dig into editing -- but where do you start? Reviewing the available clips to see what to include is a good place to start. Larry walks you through the process, from the keyboard shortcuts, to marking a clip.

  10. Importing Clips

    Once you've identified some clips to work with, it's time to actually add them to your timeline. Jordan walks through the different options from using keyboard shortcuts to mark the in and out to using a simple drag and drop to the timeline. Whichever option you use, Jordan says, don't worry too much about getting it exact because you can fine-tune further later on.

  11. Editing an Interview Demo

    In this essential lesson, see a finished clip and walk through how the interview was assembled. Larry outlines the fundamentals of assembling an interview -- using techniques that work with any type of video edit -- in Apple® Final Cut Pro® X.

  12. Replace Edit and Timeline Index

    Continue to work with the timeline with tricks for replacing clips. Larry walks through simple methods, like using a drag and drop, to more advanced options like the three-point edit, as well as timeline tricks for working with chroma-key. Learn replacement edits along with other timeline tricks in this lesson.

  13. Compound Clips and Auditions

    Compound clips and auditions are specialized functions inside Apple Final Cut Pro. An audition allows video editors to compare clips easily. A compound clip is a project inside of a project. Walk through the how, why and when for these advanced features.

  1. Editing Review

    Jump back into video editing with the editing review that launches day two of this three-day class. Larry reviews the first part of the class and gives you insight into what's next.

  2. Trimming Part 1

    The way clips are assembled in the final video plays a big role on how the final video influences the viewer's emotions. Larry mixes the art of clip trimming with the tools inside Final Cut Pro.

  3. Trimming Part 2

    Trimming isn't always adjusting the beginning and end of a clip. Larry walks through the process of creating a slip trim, as well as tricks like trimming multiple clips at once.

  4. How We Hear

    Jumping into audio, learn the basic terms to audio editing, how we hear, and get started on understanding audio tracks inside Final Cut Pro.

  5. Audio Key Terms with Q&A

    Continue unraveling audio editing with key audio terms that aren't specific to Final Cut Pro. Learn how sound is visually represented and how to set levels for the best sound.

  6. Audio Basics, Meters, and Inspector

    Work with levels and audio inside the Final Cut Pro timeline by diving into the video editor's basic audio tools. Larry walks the class through levels, audio meters, keyframes and more. Learn how to eliminate a cough from the audio, how to reset parameters and more.

  7. Audio Q&A

    Audio is a big component to understanding video editing. Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions with this quick lesson using questions from students just like you.

  8. Dual System Sound and Audio Analysis

    Video and sound are sometimes recorded separately -- often when the mic built-into the DSLR or GoPro used to record the video isn't great at capturing audio. Larry walks through the process of syncing audio to the clip with double system recording along with the audio analysis tool that allows Final Cut to conduct an automatic analysis and fix some audio problems.

  9. Multicam Editing Part 1

    Editing video shot with multiple cameras is a common task in the video industry -- and Final Cut Pro has tools designed just for the task. Larry walks through the basics of multicam editing and getting started with the multicam feature. Learn how to group the cameras, create a new multicam clip and adjust the order using the angle editor to prep the workspace for working with videos from multiple cameras.

  10. Multicam Editing Part 2

    Once the footage is grouped and ready, follow Larry through the process of finessing those multiple feeds into a cohesive video. Start with setting the audio to a single camera, then move into switching the camera angles with a simple click and more advanced multicam tools.

  11. Transitions Part 1

    Transitions help make moving from multiple cuts a smooth experience. Learn the keyboard shortcuts for transitions, timing transition adjustments, and adjusting a transition with a roll trim.

  12. Transitions Part 2

    Creating transitions is an art -- learn the three main types of transitions, when to use them, what emotions transitions bring, and working with transitions in Final Cut Pro.

  13. Formatting and Animating Titles

    Titles reinforce key pieces of information, Larry says. Learn how to use titles, how long to leave titles up, where to place titles, and how to format titles in Final Cut Pro.

  1. Additional Effects

    Titles aren't the only type of special effects you can create inside Final Cut Pro. In the first lesson of the final day of the class, get a peek at what's up ahead, including how to add video stabilization, correct rolling shutter, work with images and create special effects like the Ken Burns effect.

  2. Editing and Trimming Review

    Recap the editing and trimming essentials to review what Larry says is the most essential thing to understand on using Final Cut Pro. Larry puts all the editing and trimming together in a final look at the process.

  3. Changing Speed of a Clip

    The speed of a clip can create drama. Learn how to manipulate the timeline with techniques like freeze frames, variable speed, and slow motion. Decipher the retime menu and learn the tools for manipulating time.

  4. Inspector Effects

    The Inspector inside Final Cut Pro allows video editors to make changes, from adding video stabilization to adjusting the aspect ratio. Follow Larry through the Inspector Effects to learn the special effects hiding in this menu.

  5. The Effects Browsers and Generators

    Video editors can create their own videos directly inside Final Cut Pro using Generators, a tool that's helpful for creating backgrounds for infographics and other items. Larry walks through the Generators and how to use them, along with diving into the Effects Browser interface.

  6. Blend Modes

    Blend Modes originated in Photoshop, but introduce some interesting special effects for video editors as well. Learn how to use blend modes, change the opacity for regular clips and picture-in-picture, and more in this lesson.

  7. Effects Q&A

    Dive into the most frequently asked questions on special effects as Larry explores questions posed by students just like you.

  8. Simple Effects

    Final Cut Pro has a number of different special effects options. Larry walks you through the most useful special effects and how to use them, so that you'll know how to manipulate those oddball effects too.

  9. Intro to Color Correction

    Color correction is a big enough task that entire careers are dedicated to the task. Learn what you need to know on color correction basics to successfully create a color-corrected video inside Final Cut Pro.

  10. Video Scopes

    Final Cut Pro uses three main video scopes -- the waveform monitor, the vectorscope, and the histogram. Larry walks through how to use each tool in color correction.

  11. Color Correcting for Video

    Learn what colors are most essential to get right and how to manually adjust color in videos inside this lesson. Work with the vectorscope and waveform monitor to edit color in a video.

  12. Color Correcting Skintone

    If the skin color is off, the entire video looks off. Larry walks you through how to adjust skin tones. Every skin tone is different -- this lesson is designed to give you the tools and know-how to correct for every skin tone.

  13. Color Correction Q&A

    Dive into the most common questions on color correction with this short lesson taking questions from students.

  14. Audio Effects Part 1

    Visual effects are only half of the special effects equation. Walk through audio effects, from manipulating audio levels to creating a stereo mix.

  15. Audio Effects Part 2

    Continue digging into audio special effects with advanced techniques inside Final Cut Pro. Work with channel filters to mix voice and music and the limiter filter to correct audio that's too soft.

  16. Exporting and Sharing

    After all that editing, how do you share your video? Walk through the export process, from exporting an XTML and a master file to sharing to YouTube directly from Final Cut Pro. Learn about exporting to different file formats and video formats, including .mp4.


a Creativelive Student

Absolutely one of the best & easy to follow teaching / learning sessions for this product. Larry has a great approach & insight into delivering a wealth of information from his years of experience that budding video engineers will certainly benefit from with a product that is powerful & great to use. I'm enjoying the journey to better understand & use this great product, expanding my experience in producing awesome video presentations. Great work Larry, & also huge fan of creativelive Keep up the great work you all do to assist budding producers in mastering their skills. Noel Blake Melbourne Australia


Final Cut Pro with Larry Jordan has been of enormous help to me just stating in FCPX. Larry has a unique way of getting the message on the basics across in an easy to understand manner. I have not yet looked at the entire course as I am practicing the steps as I go through the course. Many programs of FCP are not presented in the easy to follow manner thatL array does so well. I am 100% delighted with my purchase. I am in Sydney, Australia, and, due to the time difference it is impractical to view courses live. So I had to purchase on trust which in this case was a good choice. It would be good if Creative Live could perhaps rerun programs so overseas folks could view them at a convenient time. The courses still need to be purchased as I find it best to run it on another monitor and put what is taught into practice. Well done and thanks for the special offer in July.

a Creativelive Student

Attending this class was really a life-changing experience. Larry is a wonderful teacher and clearly on top of the program and methodology, and the way he structured the course, did frequent reviews and constant technique reminders (naming keyboard shortcuts as he did them, for example) really added a lot to the presentation. The depth of the class was very much appreciated, and his command of a complex subject showed that it was possible. I have wanted to understand FCP for several years and have only gotten the beginnings of a handle on it in the last 6 months or so. This class was an exponential knowledge upload and I hope will allow me to do lots of things I've only wondered about. I thought Jim was a good foil for Larry and did a nice job keeping things together, even when there was a technical problem. The value for me of being able to sit through the class before deciding to purchase was huge, and I am very much looking forward to reviewing the videos as questions come up. The class was very thorough and I didn't feel anything was being left out. Thank you so much for making it available.