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This is a very brief first look at the some of the key features of FCPX from the viewpoint of the professional editor. Not the data wrangler, not the media manager, not the one-stop shop, production-company-in-a-bedroom. The cutter.

(I have tried to avoid any of the features that have been previewed already such as magnetic timeline, auditioning, clip connections and compound clips and have dug a little deeper to find some of my essential top ten features that have not been seen, at least by me, until now.)

Despite all the rumours, I am delighted to say the editor’s tools are all there in spades.  So the message to all those guys and gals who cut, day in, day out, to tight deadlines at the highest level.  Join in the fun, this is awesome.

So here are a few of the features I looked for first as an editor.


1. Programmable keyboard.  Yes it’s there.  Of course, it had to be.



2. The instinctive shortcuts. The things you press thousands of times a day.

They’re all there.  No need to reinvent the wheel.


JKL, mark in/out/clip, shift-Z, previous/next clip, nudge left and right.

They are all exactly the same as FCP7. Of course they are.

Yes mark in and mark out!


3. Ripple Roll Slip Slide.

They are all there but with much easier intuitive functionality.

Many many ways to perform these functions.

Including a single button press to trim to playhead/skimmer (called top and tail).  Yowza!



4. Insert/ Overwrite/Replace. With the added bonuses of Append and Connect. Append places a clip at the end of the timeline.  A lot of editors I know keep a bunch of clips at the end of the timeline, just as a clip buffer.  They are going to love append.



5. Skimming?  Eh?  What is this skimming?

Just like iMovie?  Correct. And you can turn it off if you’d prefer to work with playhead and JKL.



6. Magnetic Timeline.  Can I turn that off please?


Yes you can. Select the new Position Tool; this effectively turns off the magnetic timeline and allows you to move clips and create gap clips. I guess this kind of replaces the functionality of the track tool. (Fans of the razor blade note you have not been forsaken.)


Above is a “gap clip”.


7. All those thumbnails in the timeline.  Can I turn them off?

Of course. There are six ways to view the timeline.



8. A much requested feature from Avid editors; can I see a list of all the clips in the timeline?


Yes you can (above), as well as markers/tags/to do notes (below).



9. Can I see my project clips in list form?  And not all those pictures.

Yes, although most of the screenshots I have seen have been with the filmstrip mode, there is also a list view (below).



10. Without the source/destination controls, how do you separate video/audio?


It’s all there and it seems pretty simple to learn and is not scary at all.

Don’t get left behind.


11.  Some other notable features that I have come across in the last eight hours. (wow extra value and a bit Spinal Tap - Ed.)


a. FCP X now has optical flow for speed changes.

You can also adjust the speed of a compound clip.

b. All the normal media management tools are there; consolidate, copy, move.

c. You can search for text in the timeline. (ie subtitles)

d. You can export to all manner of formats, including html for live streaming!

e. Edit DSLR footage natively.

f. And finally, Hitler was right.  This does mean an end to those pesky clip collisions.

This is not even the beginnings of a comprehensive list of features but my stress was eased considerably knowing that all the stuff that I thought had been whisked away is still there.


Alex Snelling

Apple Certified Master Trainer



Copyright ©2011 Alex Snelling/FCP.co


Final Cut Pro X

Motion 5


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