Final Cut Pro X Training
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Final Cut Pro X Training

Learn the critical fundamentals of Final Cut Pro X with exercise driven training videos and project files.
4.5 (88 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,167 students enrolled
Created by John Lynn
Last updated 4/2016
Price: $20
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 5 Articles
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • The goal is to be able to edit an entire project within Final Cut Pro X by the time you finish this course.
  • This includes being able to edit, add sound, titles, effects and transitions to your project.
View Curriculum
  • A licensed copy of Final Cut Pro X software
  • A licensed copy of Motion 5.0
  • A licensed copy of Compressor 4.0

This Final Cut Pro X Tutorial will walk you through the key fundamentals of using Apple's Final Cut Pro X software.

PLEASE NOTE: Apple has changed the Final Cut Pro X interface as of 10.2.3, which means several functions are now in different locations from what is shown in the video lessons.

There are 68 lectures divided into 9 sections that include lectures on the interface, importing media, video editing, working with audio, creating titles, and adding effects.

There are also quizzes after certain sections to re-enforce critical concepts on How to Use Final Cut Pro X.

Lesson updates are provided for those running Final Cut Pro 10.1

There is also downloadable media so you can follow along.

Who is the target audience?
  • This training course is for those who are new to Final Cut Pro X
Compare to Other Final Cut Pro Courses
Curriculum For This Course
66 Lectures
Intro to Final Cut Pro X
5 Lectures 06:26

Before you begin this training there are a few things you should keep in mind.

The video modules are designed in a way that is most conducive to learning Final Cut Pro X efficiently.

All of the practice media now resides in Lesson 4.

A few quick notes about the downloadable media

  • The files are large, so please be patient if you decide to download all the media
  • After downloading the each file, you will need to unzip them.
  • If you can't wait to get started with some practice media, download the Extreme Sports media first, and then download the other files at a later time.

Please note: Because of file size limitations of the Udemy service, and the length of time it takes to download the media, the majority of the media is highly compressed. This was a sacrifice I had to make in order provide enough practice media for you to work with. I apologize in advance.

One challenging aspect of building this training series, is that your screen settings and preferences aren’t necessarily going to match the exact settings shown in the video lessons.

There is no ‘reset’ button for all the Final Cut Pro X preferences. Therefore, be sure to read the lecture notes under the extras tab that are specific to each video lesson.

The EXTRAS tab is important, because some of the quiz questions refer to content listed in the extra's column.

Please leave comments or suggestions under the questions tab. A prompt response from the author will soon follow.

You may find it odd that the ‘importing media’ section isn’t the first area of the software that is covered. That’s because it’s a relatively dry concept, and I've found it is a better learning experience to jump right into the software and accomplish something. Then you can go back and revisit the import / ingest process.

The video lectures aren’t necessarily designed to be watched in order. However, there is a plan to my madness.

Chapter 1: Intro to Final Cut Pro X
If you are completely 'green' or new to Final Cut Pro X, make sure you go through lectures 2 - 5 first. Please note, lecture 4 provides your first set of practice media. You may want to start downloading that ahead of time if you would like some media to follow along with.

Chapter 2: Final Cut Pro Events
At a minimum I recommend, you watch through lectures 6 - 9. These lectures provide critical fundamentals in understanding the Final Cut Pro X interface. Consider lectures 9 and 10 a bit more advanced.

Chapter 3: Importing Media
Importing media into Final Cut Pro X is a relatively dry concept, so feel free to come back to this chapter at any time if you need to know all the specifics about importing media. That being said, you may want to watch through lecture 13 if you need help on importing practice media for future lessons.

Chapter 4: Editing Techniques
This chapter covers the core editing features within Final Cut Pro X. I recommend that you have a strong grasp on all the concepts in lectures 19 - 26 before continuing forward. However, consider lecture 26 an advanced topic.

Chapter 5: Working with Audio
These lectures 28-31 are relatively straight forward. Nothing too complicated here.Please note, there is practice media in lecture 27 that is designed to go along with these lectures.

Chapter 6: Adding effects to a Commercial
These lectures focus around using various Final Cut Pro effects to finish a commercial. You'll learn all sorts of key features within Final Cut Pro X that include using filters, transitions, multiple video layers, sound effects.

Chapter 7: Optional Video Lessons

This chapter wraps up several odd and ends in regards to color correction, customized effects, advanced interface concepts, mapping the keyboard, and multi-cam editing,

Chapter 8: Bonus Final Cut Pro X Lessons
You may notice, that these bonus lessons are all free! I felt it was important to give everyone a feel for what can be accomplished within Final Cut Pro X.

Chapter 9: Apple Motion
Since Apple Motion is a critical software companion for Final Cut Pro X, enjoy these free Motion training lessons.

Intro to Final Cut Pro X online Training

A good lecture to watch first, is the Interface Windows lecture. That being said, if you already have media imported into Final Cut Pro X, your interface windows may not look the same as the ones in the video tutorial. In particular, the Event Browser and Timeline may have different views depending…
Event Browser Views

IMPORTANT: To ensure media is compatible with those who are unable to upgrade to the latest version of Final Cut Pro X, you will need to update the disk image file for the 'Guns Vs Hoses' commercial.

To do that, download the file, and double click on it to mount the volume.

Then within Final Cut Pro X, navigate to the file menu and choose 'Upgrade Projects and Events'. You can delete the old volume.

Practice Media Files

Author Notes:

This lesson is essentially the same, as lecture 5 but it makes a subtle reference changes in Final Cut Pro 10.1. In Final Cut Pro 10.1, Events and Projects are now wrapped within something called a Library. Therefore, there is no longer a separate Project Library window. Projects now show up directly within Libraries, which is demonstrate in this video.

Interface Windows

Interface Windows
4 questions
Final Cut Pro Events
6 Lectures 14:09

Author Notes:

The key part of this lesson is to understand relationship between the Event Library and the Event Browser.

You may find this video lesson to be a bit overkill in terms of how events and clips can be organized, but as long as you understand the concept of an Event, you should be good to move onto the next lesson.

Remember, the Event Library references clips on a hard drive.  The clips that it references will appear in the Event Browser window.

In the screenshot above, notice that the individual Events reference clips that are shown in the Event Library window.

If you are new to the software, I recommend that you keep the Event Library clean from unnecessary clutter. 

This is accomplished by using the Action pop-up menu to configure how you your events are sorted.

Within the Action Pop-up menu, I recommend that you check 'don't group events by date.'  This will make the Event Library easier to read.

Event and Browser windows

Browser Appearance

Author Notes:

Within the Browser Window, the critical features to learn in this lesson are:

  • The difference between flimstrip view and list view
  • The shortcut to toggle audio scrubbing on/off is Shift S
  • Master the shortcut keys for playing through clips (J, K, and L)

Shift S will disable audio scrubbing, but you will still see be able to hear the audio during playback.  I find it's best to work with the audio scrubbing turned off, and then toggle it back on when you need scrub audio.

A few extra notes regarding the J, K, and L keys.
Pressing the 'K' key or the spacebar will stop playback.
- If you press the J or L keys multiple times, it will increase or decrease the playback speed.

The screenshow above shows the icons for changing the clip appearances within the Browser Window to either filmstrip view or list view.

List View

Author Notes:

This video lesson should be fairly straight forward.  Make sure the appearance for the Event Browser is set to list view if you are following along.

The important concepts in this lesson are:

  • Adding or hiding columns
  • Adding customized content such as 'notes' to a column
  • Sorting columns in ascending or descending order
  • Resizing columns
  • Re-arranging columns

The screenshot above shows the Event Browser configured in List View in order to see the columns.

Browser Columns

Author Notes:

If you are new to Final Cut Pro X, this video lesson may seem a bit awkward or unnecessary at first glance.

If you are migrating from a traditional video editing system, it’s important that you understand the concept of marking favorites and rejecting areas within clips.

Highlighting a clip and pressing the delete key will reject a clip area.  It does not delete the clip. To delete a clip, press command delete.

To mark an area of a clip as a favorite, press the F key.

To clear rejected or favorite areas within a clip, press the U Key.

Marking favorite areas is similar to marking in-out points.  In addition, you can mark multiple favorite points within the same clip.

Notice the marked favorite sections within the Event Browser.  The favorite areas are marked with a green line above the clip.

Clip Ratings

Author Notes:

In Final Cut Pro 10.1 events and projects are now self-contained within a library file package. Please review this .pdf if you are running Final Cut Pro 10.1

Final Cut Pro X (10.1) Users Only
4 pages

8 questions
Importing Media
9 Lectures 28:09
If you already have media imported into Final Cut Pro X, you may want to skip past some of the lectures within the Import Chapter. The settings for importing media are critical within Final Cut Pro X, but you may find some of the concepts a bit overwhelming if you a new to the software.  In particul…
Importing Video Into Final Cut Pro X

Author notes:

This lesson is relatively simple.  If you are new to Final cut Pro X,  I recommend that you leave all the import options unchecked until they are covered in the next lesson.

By leaving all the import options unchecked, Final Cut Pro will point to your media from where it was imported from.

Referencing Media

Transcoding Media

Author Notes:

This lesson re-enforces the importance of Copying files to the Final Cut Pro Events folder.  If you leave this option unchecked, Final Cut Pro will reference the original location of your media files.

Symbolic Links

Author Notes:

This video is intended for those who have updated to Final Cut Pro 10.1. If you are still running Final Cut Pro 10.09 or earlier, there is no need to watch this video lesson.

Consolidating Media (10.1) Users Only

    Author Notes:

    Final Cut Pro X (10.1.2) adds the ability to consolidate media or ingest media into a folder that is separate from the library package. Watch this short 'update' tutorial on how to do this.

    This functionality is important, because it allows easy access to your raw content if you need to send it off somewhere. A good example would be if you need to send your media to a colorist, or off to an After Effects artist.

    Just make sure you store both the library package and the media folder for archival purposes. You will need both of them if you want your project to see the referenced media.

Consolidating Media in Final Cut Pro X (10.1.2 update)

Author Notes:

It's important to take note that you can analyze media after the import process.  In most cases, I recommend that you leave these options unchecked during import.

You can always highlight your clips and perform the analysis when needed.  This is because these features require quite a bit of processing power.  The analyze process will occur in the background,  and you may find that it hinders the editing process until the analysis is completed.


Analyzing Media


Capturing from Tape

Importing Media
6 questions
Editing Techniques
9 Lectures 25:13
Author Notes:

Use the keyboard shortcut 'E' to append a clip to the end of your timeline.

After you have clips in your timeline, you'll notice the Viewer window will change to display the content from within the timeline if you skim through your clips in your project.

If you are running Final Cut Pro 10.0.6+ you can enable a second viewer window that's called the Event Viewer.

The Event Viewer will only show clips from the Event Browser. 

This configuration is similar to many traditional editing systems where you have a source window, and a program window.
Append Edit

Author Notes:

It's very important that you master the concept of the Select tool vs the Position tool before continuing onto the next lesson.

The default tool is the Select tool.  The select tool allows you to re-arrange cilps within the timeline window.

Use the Position tool to move clip(s) to a specific place within the timeline.
Select and Position Tools

Insert Editing

Authors Notes:

The key lesson here, is the trim tool allows you to perform a rolling trim.  It's important to note that a rolling trim will never decrease or increase the length of your project timeline.

To perform a rolling trim just park in the middle of an edit point and drag to the left or right.

Notice the two filmstrip icons to the left and right of the trim tool, indicating that this is a rolling trim.

If you double click on an edit point, that will take you into the precision editing mode.

The precision editor is nice, because it will show you the amount of media available for your incoming and outgoing clips.

To close the precision editor, double click on the edit point.

Rolling Trim and the Precision Editor

The key thing to remember about using the ripple editing feature, is you can perform the ripple edit with either the select tool or the trim tool.  Either tool will work.

Then pay close attention to the filmstrip icon to the left or right of the trim arrows when you are parked on a transition.

The filmstrip icon indicates which side you are trimming.  In this example above, you would be trimming the outgoing shot.
Ripple Edit and the Precision Editor

Author Notes:

Here's a review of the fundamental conepts in this lecture. 

- Selecting a clip and using the keyboard shortcut Control D will show you the duration of a clip within your timeline.

- Using the standard Replace function will change to duration of your project.

- Using Replace from Start, or Replace from End will not change the duration of your project.

Replace Edit

Author Notes:

Here's a review of the fundamental conepts in this lecture. 

- Selecting a clip and using the keyboard shortcut Control D will show you the duration of a clip within your timeline.

- Using the standard Replace function will change to duration of your project.

- Using Replace from Start, or Replace from End will not change the duration of your project

- You can now drag a clip within the primary storyline without dragging any connected clips attached to it.  To do this, activate the position tool by pressing the 'P' Key.  Then hold down the 'tilde' key on your keyboard while you drag your clip.

Connecting Clips

Author Notes:

Performing a slip edit is a very important editing concept.

To perform a slip edit, make sure you select the trim tool from the list of editing tools.

Also, for detailed trimming feedback within the viewer window, make sure you check the preference for showing detailed trimming feedback.

Slip Edit

Author Notes:

This lesson includes media from a short film called Legacy.   GeniusDV has received special permission to provide you an entire scene from the movie.

Please note, the media for this lesson is located in Lecture 4, and is divided into two sections ( Legacy 1, and Legacy 2) because of the file size.  Please be patient while downloading.

I had to compress the files using the H264 codec, which is a non-optimized format for Final Cut Pro X.   Therefore, you may want to create optimized media to enhance playback performance.  Creating optimized media is covered in Lesson 13.

The audition function is a great feature when editing a narrative story so you can try out a variety of different shots or angles.

Creating an Audition

10 questions
Audio Levels
3 Lectures 12:15
Author Notes:

Make sure you set the clip display option within the timeline to show larger waveforms when adjusting audio levels.

Also,  it's good practice to zoom into the timeline area that you are adjusting. 

That being said, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Command +/- to perform the same function.

Don't forget, you can use the audio-fade handles so your audio fades in and out.

Audio Levels

Author Notes:
There are a couple of key things you should get out of this lesson.

When adjusting audio levels, remember to click on the audio meter icon within the timecode display box. 

This will bring forward your audio meters.

This audio meters will then appear off the to left of the timeline window as shown above.

To create audio keyframes, you can simply select a range within the timeline, and then drag the audio level either up or down. 

Audio keyframes will automatically be created at the beginning and end of your range.

If you need to add an audio keyframe manually, hold down the option key and click on the audio volume graph.

Audio Keyframes

Author Notes:

Final Cut Pro X does a good job of alerting you to audio problems.  Remember, you can access the audio EQ parameters by navigating to the audio inspector.

Also, don't forget there are a number of equalization presets that you can use.

Fixing Audio Problems

Audio Mixing
4 questions
Adding Effects - Commercial
7 Lectures 15:31
If you are comfortable with being able to get clips to the timeline, this next chapter focuses on adding visual effects to your project. I recommend that you download the media and project information that is found in the next lecture. This will you will be able to De-construct and/or rebuild sectio…
Author Notes: Adding effects to a commercial

Picture in Picture

Video Filters

Keyframing a graphic

Compound Clips

Author Notes:

 It appears in Final Cut Pro X version 10.0.5,  you no longer need to worry about setting transitions to 'use available media'.  Please disregard that portion of the video of you are running Final Cut Pro 10.0.5.

Otherwise, it's critical that you adjust the setting to 'use available media' from the Preferences menu.
Adding a Dissolve

Transitions and Sound Effects
Additional Video Lessons
10 Lectures 37:47
Creating a Title

Author Notes:

Within the inspector window, click on the Add Color Mask button to choose you the color you want to isolate.

Then, move over to the viewer window, and hold down the mouse button while using the eye-dropper to select an area of color.

Then, to isolate a specific color using a mask, make sure you click on the show correction slider within the inspector window.

Then use the color board to alter the color within the masked area.

Color Masks

 Author Notes:

The keyer effect is located within the effects browser window.  You will find it within the Keying category.

The Chroma Keyer effect always goes on top of green screen clip.  The green screen clip should be on the top layer.

Then, select the green screen clip, and press Command 4 to bring forward the inspector window. Within the inspector windows you will have various controls that you can adjust to clean up your key.

Chroma Keying

Chroma Key Drop Shadow

Author Notes:

This video lesson gives a perfect example of why Motion 5.0 is so important when it comes to creating customized templates for Final Cut Pro X.

To start, right click on a filter or generator that you would like to customize.  Then choose open a copy in Motion from the contextual menu.

Inside of Motion 5.0, it's important that you publish each individual parameter so you can see those options within Final Cut Pro X.


Place Holders

Author Notes:

This particular video lesson focuses on finding people within your available content. Using the find people feature will give you a quick overview of your cilp contents, which may save you time from having to sort through all your media.

The key thing to learn about this lesson, is that Final cut Pro X can also analyze clips for other things.  Don't worry, the steps are the same as 'finding people'.

When you Analyze media  Final Cut Pro X can check for the following things:

  • Stablization and rolling shutter
  • Color Balance
  • Find People
  • Audio Problems
  • Silent Audio Channels

If you choose to perform an analysis of your clips, I recommend doing it after your media has been captured.

Finding People

Searching Clips

 Author Notes:

If you have one of the newer 'aluminum' keyboards, It's critical that you adjust your Mac OS X keyboard preferences, so your function keys work like real function keys.

Since the function keys also double for other functions, such as your ability to adjust the volume, and screen brightness, you'll need to hold down the FN key if to use them as standard function keys.

Mapping Keyboard Shortcuts

 Author Notes:

Please note:  The media for this lesson is located in Lecture 4.

If you plan on using the practice media for this lesson, you may want to import proxy media to provide for a better playback experience when working in multi-camera mode.

If you choose to do so, also make sure you also select 'use proxy media' from the playback preferences window.

Multicam Editing
Additional Final Cut Pro X Lessons
11 Lectures 26:14
Export - Sharing

 This bonus lesson uses media that you can download from Lecture 3.

Preview 01:41

 Author Notes:

They key fundamentals in this lecture are:

- How to read the video waveform display
- Using the color board
- Creating a color mask

Using color masks is an incredibly powerful feature within Final Cut Pro X.

Preview 04:23

Author Notes:

This video lesson may seem like it requires a lot of steps to accomplish something fairly simple.  Furthermore, there is a built in effect within Final Cut Pro X called Censor.  There are two limitations of using the Censor effect.  You are limited to using a circle, and you are limited to three 'censor' methods which are:

  • Pixilate
  • Blur
  • Darken

If you master the steps in this video lesson, you'll be able to use any shape with any filter combination. I also find it much easier to keyframe shapes and objects using the standard transform effect tool, instead of using the filter parameters.

That being said, if you need just a simple circle that is pixilated or blurry, you may want to consider using the Censor effect.

The Censor effect is located in the effects library within the stylize category.

The Censor effect has effect has three methods that you can set, which are Pixelate, Blur, and Darken.  The default method is set to pixelate.

The screenshot above shows the censor effect filter applied to a clip.  Since you are working with a filter, you will need to keyframe the circle using the filter paramters.

Preview 02:24

Authors Notes:

This short video tutorial demonstrates how to use the Censor Filter effect. The censor effect is an easy way to blur or pixelate a person's face.

When using the Censor Effect, you are limited to using a circle for the masking component. If you need to use a shape other than a circle, review the Blurring a Person's face tutorial in Section 8.

Censor Effect

Author Notes:

The practice media for this lesson is located within Lecture 4.  Download the Carnival file and unzip it.
Importing Still Images

Author Notes:

The key fundamentals of this lesson are:

  • They keyboard shortcut Command B will break your cilp into two segments.
  • The X key will select the segment you are parked over.
  • Use the keyboard shortcut Shift H to create a hold frame.

Please note: In version 10.0.5, It is no longer necessary to change the preferences to use available media.

Preview 02:06

 Author Notes:

In order for the Ken Burns effect to look good, make sure the image that you are importing is larger than the resolution of your project. 

If you are working with an HD project, there are three primary sizes which are:

- 1920 x 1080,
- 1440 x 1080
- 1280 x 1080

Just make sure the resolution of your image exceeds the number of HD pixels so things look good when you zoom into your image.

Preview 01:41

Author Notes:

Learn how to create a simple mask to create a hold out mask to protect an area of a video frame.

Please Note: The Draw Mask effect is only available in Final Cut Pro 10.2.2 or later.

Draw Mask Effect

Slow Motion - Speed Ramp Effect
Bonus Motion 5 Tutorials
6 Lectures 20:22
Customizing Final Cut Pro X filters

Adding Effect Markers to Title Templates

Notes from Author:

This effect requires that you have a copy of Motion 5.0 installed.  If you don't own Motion 5.0, you can purchase it online from the App Store.

All of the Final Cut Pro transitions and filters and Motion projects, so Motion 5.0 plays a critical role in terms of Final Cut Pro X's funcationality with it comes to producing effects.

The key concepts in this video lesson are:

  • Creating a motion template for Final Cut Pro X
  • Using motion template in conjunction with the Transform effect within Final Cut Pro X
  • Adjusting keyframe graphs in Motion 5.0

A critical step when producing animations is Motion, it to double check the settings for your keyframe graph. 

For this video lesson, make sure the graph doesn't have a curve.  You want the graph

To change the graph from a curve  to a straight line right click on the first keyframe for parameter, and choose linear from the contextual menu.

Your graph should like similar to the screenshot above.  Notice how the animation graph for the X position no longer has a curve.

Preview 03:41

Learn how to create and animated 3D text within Final Cut Pro X.

Author Notes: It is highly recommended that you purchase Apple Motion 5.X when working with Final Cut Pro X. It will provide additional functionality when working with 3D text.

3D Text in Final Cut Pro
About the Instructor
John Lynn
4.2 Average rating
183 Reviews
3,719 Students
3 Courses
Certified Trainer - Owner GeniusDV

John has a Masters Degree from prestigious Florida State Film School that is now one of the top 5 film schools in the country. He has worked on a variety of national television shows, and has traveled the country teaching film and video editing. High profile agencies such as ESPN, NASA, Lockheed Martin, MTV, CIA, and other film/video organizations have praised his training expertise. John is one of a very select few that is an active certified Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Pro instructor.

John has taught over 1,000 individuals covering 46 states, and a large area of the Caribbean. His recent work includes a YouTube channel that contains hundreds of Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Pro Tutorials.   He is also a writer, and has published a book called 'The Portable Genius for Final Cut Pro.

John has been editing and teaching for 20 years.  He has an active Certified Media Composer and Final Cut Pro instructor. He is also available for on-site consultation and training.