Final Cut Pro workflow overview

To give you an idea of the possibilities, the overall process for putting together a movie with Final Cut Pro is described below. You don’t have to do every step, and you might do others that aren’t listed. The workflow isn’t necessarily linear. You could, for example, go all the way through editing and adding effects, and then import more new media for your project.

Import your media into Final Cut Pro

To use Final Cut Pro, you need to transfer your media (video, audio, and still images) from your recording device to your computer or an external disk. You can import media from many kinds of cameras and other devices, or from other applications such as iMovie.

Organize your media

Final Cut Pro automatically organizes your imported media into events. An event is similar to a folder that can hold dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of video clips, audio clips, and still images, as well as projects. In Final Cut Pro, your media appears as clips, which link to the media files stored on a disk. You can reorganize your clips by creating or renaming events and moving clips between events. For example, you could create an event for all the media shot for a specific client.

As you review your footage, you can easily rate clips as Favorite or Rejected. These ratings make it easier to focus on your best footage. Final Cut Pro also offers other useful organizing tools, such as Keyword Collections and Smart Collections.

Create a project and add clips to it

Your project is the movie you create using clips from your events and from the Final Cut Pro media browsers. Start creating your movie by adding clips to the Timeline. You make all your edits in the project; your original media files remain untouched (this is known as nondestructive editing).

Arrange and edit your clips

Now your movie can really begin to take shape. To assemble a rough cut, rearrange and trim clips in the Timeline. You can also try out different clips using auditions. Use connected clips and storylines to add cutaway shots, titles, background music, and sound effects to your project. Create compound clips to group any combination of clips and nest clips within other clips. You can simplify a complicated project by creating a separate compound clip for each major section.

Add effects and transitions

Add special effects from the ample collection of video and audio effects in the Final Cut Pro media browsers. Give your movie titles and credits, and apply video or audio transitions. Adjust clip speed settings to create fast-motion or slow-motion effects.

To further polish your project, you can fine-tune cuts and transitions with the Precision Editor, keyframe video and audio effects, correct color, and composite motion graphics.

Share your movie

When your project is finished, you can publish your movie right from Final Cut Pro to the web, or send it to iTunes, iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Apple TV. You can also burn a disc to give to others.