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Edit Well: Final Cut Studio Techniques from the Pros is the book that in-the-trenches editors have been waiting for. It offers a holistic approach to using the tools in Final Cut Studio for those who are responsible for a variety of tasks beyond just straight editing. Written by the preeminent experts and practicing professionals in their fields, contributors include Kevin Monahan, Mary Plummer, Mark Spencer, Tom Wolsky, and Alexis Van Hurkman, to name a few. Each chapter features each pro’s own insight on a particular tool in the Studio, whether it be Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, Motion and its 3D capabilities, or Color, a ground-breaking addition to the Studio for professional color grading.
Inside the book you’ll find:
• Practical, step-by-step techniques that cover the complete digital video workflow: editing, effects, motion, audio, color correction, and DVD authoring.
• Hard-to-find techniques on using Color and the 3D capabilities found in Motion.
• Expert insight and commentary by top professionals and trainers.
• Best-practice methods in editing, with tips on when and how to use a particular tool in real-life scenarios.
• Keyboard shortcuts to help you simplify your workflow.
• References to video tutorials and audio interviews of top Final Cut Pro editors around the world, available for free on the companion Web site.
Posted June 10, 2010
I'm a huge fan of Larry Jordan.
As a major Final Cut guru and lecturer, Larry is always entertaining, very witty, informative, has a great free newsletter, and his book: 'Edit Well, Final Cut Techniques from the Pros', is an excellent compendium of tips, tricks, and knowledge from some of the best pros in the field.
Every section is written by a knowledgeable practitioner, and there are great accompanying clips and demo projects that can be downloaded from the Peachpit website.
Even though I am at best, a dim bulb when it comes to Final Cut tech, Larry really lays everything out clearly and concisely. However, you should be somewhat familiar with Final Cut Pro to get the most out of this book - otherwise, there are several other tomes available that cover all the basics.
I'm admittedly on the edge when it comes to my personal skill-sets, but my head literally exploded with new-found knowledge and skills after I finished this book.
There are a wide range of essential topics covered.
Part one introduces some basics, like customizing the Final Cut interface to other basic Editing skills: such as exporting stills, removing pull-down frames, and archiving.
The second Part covers Effects - an area that I am still a beginner - but I quickly picked up on setting composite modes, as well as creating masks and mattes - even though I always thought a garbage matte was something out by the dumpster.
In Part four, the very concept of learning Motion has been somewhat nauseating to me, but I actually grasped the basic intricacies of 3D in Motion.
Part five - for sound and the Soundtrack Pro segment - has great info on cleaning your audio and mixing, and the sixth Color section really blew me away - because I finally exported to Color for the first time, followed the program, and learned tons about an incredibly powerful tool that I had previously been in sheer terror of tackling.
An additional section revisits the lovely, recently-demised Live-Type, as well as some great info on DVD Studio chapter programming.
Included within the Peachpit web info are a series of very entertaining interviews with a broad spectrum of Final Cut users, from high-end TV and Feature pros, to musicians, retirees, and even foreigners! I was surprised how much I enjoyed listening and learning from all these different users - and they often include a very useful tip or two (c'mon - it's disarming to hear someone wax poetic about T+T+T+T) - so it is worth the listen.
And Larry's interview style is surprisingly akin to a subdued Yoda.
I thoroughly enjoyed cruising through this book and interacting with the exercises.
It is an essential tool for any Final Cut Editor who wants to vastly improve a wide range of skills, and I cannot recommend it enough.