Final Cut Pro Interview Questions & Answers

  1. Question 1. Can You Save Your Own Effect & Title Setups?

    Answer :

    You can copy / paste effects but you cannot save a custom filter after it has been tweaked to apply again via drag and drop as you could in FCP7. Title setups can be saved as Motion templates that will then be available in FCPX but there is no way to save a title created in FCPX to an FCPX event right in FCPX. Titles in FCPX can be opened in Motion and further tweaked and saved. One work-around I’ve done is to create a single project that I’ll often save titles into for later use.

  2. Question 2. How To Work With Multiple Sources Of Audio, Vo, Dia, Sfx, Mus.?

    Answer :

    Audio sources can be imported into an Event just like any piece of media. I would keyword each audio source with its specific type and create Smart Collections for each of them. You could then create an audio only Secondary Storyline which would help to keep each of them organized in the timeline.

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  4. Question 3. Are They Ever Going To Add Edl And Omf Support?

    Answer :

    OMF and AAF audio export is possible via Automatic Duck Pro Export FCP for $495. It works. Apple’s answer to EDL support (from the FCPX faq) is “not yet.” I would expect most of this type of support to come from 3rd party developers so there might be an additional cost.

    UPDATE: Try X2Pro Audio Convert for OMF out of FCPX. Try EDL-X for CMX3600 EDLs.

  5. Question 4. Smartsound Will Have Plugin For Fcpx As They Do For Fcp7?

    Answer :

    Not currently but they have addressed the issue on the SmartSound News blog.

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  7. Question 5. I Regularly Ingest Long Clips Of Archive Footage. In Fcp 7 I Would Select A Long Clip In The Viewer And Then Throw My Selections Somewhere On The Timeline. How Do I Handle This In Fcp X?

    Answer :

    You could work the same way in FCPX but the better way would be to use keywords and collections as they are the new organizational method in FCPX. You could have a keyword for selects and then all things marked as selects would appear automatically in that Smart Collection. Organization is one of FCPX’s strong features.

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  9. Question 6. Any Info On The Future Of Soundtrack Pro Now That More Audio Capability In Fcp X? What About Export To Sp From Fcp X?

    Answer :

    Soundtrack Pro is only now available as part of Logic Studio. There is no direct export from FCPX to STP.

  10. Question 7. Did You Say Fcpx Is Not Professional Enough For You To Change Over To? Are You Sticking With Fcp X And Are You Confident It Will Be A Solid Replacement For Fcp 7?

    Answer :

    In its current state I would not use FCPX in a professional, client heavy environment. At this time I don’t consider it an FCP7 replacement as it lacks so many features that I’ve come to rely on. It’s a brand new piece of software so it will take years to mature into the full featured application that FCP7 is … that is if Apple chooses to add back a lot of the features missing from FCP7. At this point in time I don’t know when / if it could replace FCP7 (or Avid Media Composer or Adobe Premiere Pro).

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  12. Question 8. Is It Possible To Set Your Export To 4 Channel Audio?

    Answer :

    No. FCPX does include surround mixing as the default audio setting but all projects must be either stereo or surround. I haven’t found a way to export any kind of split, 4 channel audio.

    UPDATE: Use Roles to export multichannel audio which is now supported in FCPX.

  13. Question 9. Do The Insert, Overwrite, Mark In, Mark Out, Etc, Keyboard Shortcuts Still Work In Fcpx?

    Answer :

    I and O are still IN and OUT (Apple now calls it Set Selection Start and End since I guess IN and OUT are too confusing) though the insert and overwrite commands have changed. Check under the Edit menu for the new editing commands as there are some brand new ways to perform an edit including Connect and Append which each have keyboard shortcuts.

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  15. Question 10. Can You Save Your Hotkeys?

    Answer :

    Yes there is a full keyboard command editor under Final Cut Pro > Commands > Customize or option + command + K.

  16. Question 11. How Do You Insert A Gap With The Magnetic Timeline?

    Answer :

    Use the new Position tool to drag clips in the timeline as that can leave a Gap Clip (basically a black video clip) or use the Edit > Insert Gap command to insert a 3 second Gap Clip.

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  18. Question 12. How Do You Do A J Or L Cut? With Audio, Can You Do Split-track Editing?

    Answer :

    You can separate the audio from its video clip (either permanently or temporarily) and edit them independently of each other to create a split edit.

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  20. Question 13. Do You Feel Fcpx Is Conducive To Quick Onlocation Cutting? How Does This Software Handle Stills/photos – Or Is This Simply A Cuts Only Software?

    Answer :

    FCPX’s ability to handle native media like DSLR H.264 would make it a nice on-set tool for quick review and basic rough editing to view on a laptop. Stills can be imported and animated so it is more than cuts only.

  21. Question 14. Can You Cut/paste Between Events? (from One Event To Another)?

    Answer :

    No but you can drag clips from one Event to another.

  22. Question 15. So All The Individual Clips Are Only In The Event Library? There’s No Way To Organize Individual Clips Within The Event??

    Answer :

    Organizing within an event is done by keywording, collections and Smart collections. It’s actually a rather powerful way to organize for an edit. You might end up with a clip or parts of a clip appearing in multiple places since more than one keyword can be assigned to a clip or part of a clip. It will be important for the editor to be organized to take full advantage of FCPX keywording.

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  24. Question 16. Can You Rate The Clips 1-5 Stars Similar To Iphoto? I Saw A Smart Filter That Sorted By Rating.

    Answer :

    No. Even though the FCPX interface has a star icon those are for marking a clip or part of a clip as a Favorite or unrating a clip.

  25. Question 17. Is It Possible To Set A Destination Track?

    Answer :

    No. There are no more tracks in the FCPX timeline but you can choose to edit only audio or video into the timeline.

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  27. Question 18. Where Is The Slip Tool? Is There One?

    Answer :

    Yes, both the Slip and Slide tools are technically part of the Trim tool. When a clip selected with the Trim tool you’ll see the cursor change to reflect the operation. In the middle of a clip it changes to the Slip tool, option to change to the Slide tool. At any point you can also hold down the T key to temporarily change to the Trim tool.

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  29. Question 19. How Does This Read Timecode. Can You Assign Timecode To Dslr Footage?

    Answer :

    FCPX does read source timecode (see the image of question 14) but you can’t modify a clip to assign a custom or auxiliary timecode as you could in FCP7.

  30. Question 20. How Do You Set Visibility Priority For Connected Clips, Secondary Storylines, Etc.? Is The Last Clip Added Always On Top, Or Can You Drag Clips Up Or Down To Shift The Layer Order?

    Answer :

    It is possible to change the layer order of clips in the timeline by dragging them below or above each other. That’s especially important if you’re using blend modes.

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  32. Question 21. Is Motion 5 Backwards Compatible With Fcp7?

    Answer :

    No, there is no roundtripping between FCP7 and Motion 5. In fact there’s no roundtripping of clips in the timeline as we remember from Final Cut Studio. Only effects, titles and generators can be roundtripped between FCPX and Motion 5. But apparently you can import Motion 5 projects into FCP7 according to this forum.

  33. Question 22. Could You Show How Final Cut Pro Manages The Fonts?

    Answer :

    There is no direct font management in FCPX. It uses your installed system fonts which can be managed by the Font Book application.

  34. Question 23. Can Photos Be Imported Directly From An Aperture Library?

    Answer :

    Yes. iPhoto as well. This discussion forum post talks about videos from an Aperture library not showing up even though they are supposed to (according to the post).

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  36. Question 24. Are You Constantly Having Issues Resizing Windows In Your Workflow?

    Answer :

    I’m not having resizing issues but I do seem to resize windows a lot since you can’t save custom window layouts.

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  38. Question 25. While You Can’t Move Order Of Windows, Can You Adjust Scaling Of Windows Within The Layout?

    Answer :

    Yes, different window sizes can be adjusted by dragging between windows and other windows will adjust accordingly.

  39. Question 26. Audio Syncing Like Plural Eyes?

    Answer :

    There is a Synchronize Clips command that will sync clips with similar audio. An audio analysis must be performed on the clips first but then it is very fast.

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  41. Question 27. Any Limitations/problems In Video Importing? Such As Flipcam?

    Answer :

    While I haven’t worked with Flip footage in FCPX it works just fine with iPhone footage.

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  43. Question 28. May I Capture Video From A Firewire Hdv Camcorder?

    Answer :

    Yes, Firewire HDV capture is supported via the File > Import From Camera command but it is live capture only with no batch capturing capabilities.

  44. Question 29. Can You Lock A “track”? How Do You Lock A Clip?

    Answer :

    Not really since there aren’t really tracks anymore. You can place a clip into the primary storyline and connect clips around that but you can’t lock a clip in place within a storyline.

  45. Question 30. Where Is The Razor?

    Answer :

    The Razor has become the Blade tool and defaults to the B key. You can also map the Edit > Blade command to the keyboard to add an edit to a selected clip at the playhead or the skimmer.

  46. Question 31. How Does Fcpx Interface With Dvd Studio Pro?

    Answer :

    It doesn’t though you can export a self-contained Quicktime and work with that in Compressor or DVD Studio Pro. You can also send an FCPX timeline directly to Compressor for MPEG-2 encoding.

  47. Question 32. How Do You Add A Basic Dissolve?

    Answer :

    By choosing Edit > Add Cross Dissolve, command + T or dragging one from the effects browser.

  48. Question 33. How Does The Magnetic Timeline Handle A Music Video Where The Main Audio Should Be Locked Permanently?

    Answer :

    My music video testing has found that I would create a synchronized clip with the master audio to place in the primary storyline and then connect all my angles to it via Connect to Primary Storyline. In theory that should keep them all in sync. Truth be told the inability to really lock a clip in place and lack of multiclips / group clips would make me look elsewhere for music video editing.

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  50. Question 34. What About Match Frames?

    Answer :

    Match Frame is now called Clip > Reveal In Event Browser. Keyboard shortcut is shift + F.

  51. Question 35. Do You Have Log And Capture Ability?

    Answer :

    No. The only tape support is Firewire based DV, HDV, or DVCPRO HD cameras and decks and capture is live “capture now” without the ability to log and then do a batch capture.

  52. Question 36. How Would You Apply A Transition To Clips On The 2nd Story Line?

    Answer :

    Just as you do in a primary storyline but clips MUST be in some kind of storyline before you can apply transitions between them.

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  54. Question 37. How Do You Find/use The Audio Sync Tool?

    Answer :

    Select the proper clips in an Event and go to Clip > Synchronize Clips or right + click and choose the same thing.

  55. Question 38. How Do You Export Out To Tape?

    Answer :

    You export a Quicktime movie and use a 3rd party tool from someone like AJA or Blackmagic. Or take that clip back to FCP7.

  56. Question 39. Can You Work With.h264 Files Natively For Editing And Color Correcting?

    Answer :

    Yes, though best performance will still be had from transcoding to ProRes. Transcoding can take place in the background. That said I keep a lot of what I’m doing in FCPX native H.264 since the option to transcode to ProRes LT isn’t there.

  57. Question 40. Must The Fcp Projects Reside On The Root Drive And Not The Media Drive?

    Answer :

    No. FCPX Projects can reside on any hard drive and should not be on a boot drive since renders are often saved into the project folders. An FCPX project folder can become very large. I was eight versions into a small edit and the Final Cut Projects folder had ballooned to over 6 gigs and that didn’t include the source media which resided on my media drive.

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  59. Question 41. Would The Architecture Of This New Fcp Be Able To Have Multi Cam(and Others) As An Add On?

    Answer :

    Rumor has it that there is a new XML-like format that will allow for very tight 3rd party integration. Multicam will be a future update as Apple addressed in their recent faq.

  60. Question 42. Will Old Fcp Projects Translate Into Final Cut Pro X Easily? When Can We Expect Our Workflow To Even Out?

    Answer :

    No. There might be a 3rd party utility to address this someday but Apple has basically said this isn’t possible in their faq: “Final Cut Pro X includes an all-new project architecture structured around a trackless timeline and connected clips. In addition, Final Cut Pro X features new and redesigned audio effects, video effects, and color grading tools. Because of these changes, there is no way to “translate” or bring in old projects without changing or losing data.”

    UPDATE: Try 7toX for Final Cut Pro as this is the only option to move from FCP7.

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  62. Question 43. Will Motion, Soundtrack Pro, Compressor Be Supplied With Fcp X?

    Answer :

    Both Motion and Compressor are available for download from the Mac App Store for $50 each as there is no bundled or boxed application suite anymore. As of this writing Soundtrack Pro is only available as part of Logic Studio.

  63. Question 44. Will Fcp X Need A Convertor Application To Use Red Footage? Can You Edit R3d Files Without Transcoding?

    Answer :

    No to native RED editing as FCPX doesn’t support RED’s native .R3D file format as of this first version. You do need a convertor application to transcode so one can use RED’s free REDCINE-X application (among others) to convert to ProRes which FCPX does support.

  64. Question 45. What’s Your Favorite New Feature, And New Disappointment?

    Answer :

    Favorite new features are the many different background processes from rendering to transcoding to media management. Auditions is another strong new feature. Disappointment is the Magnetic Timeline and single Viewer that changes between source clips and the timeline.

  65. Question 46. What Types Of Snapping Are Available In The Timeline? How Much Control Is There Over Snapping?

    Answer :

    Snapping can be toggled on and off via a button in the upper right of the timeline or by the keyboard default of N. Snapping can also be toggled on and off as you are moving a clip.

  66. Question 47. What Are The Collaborations With Another Software? What Happen To Timeline When I Open It In Da Vinci Or Smoke? How Does Final Cut X Integrate With The Adobe Software Line Up?

    Answer :

    There is no direct integration or collaboration with other software (besides Motion or Compressor). To move an edit to other tools would require exporting a self-contained Quicktime (ProRes, Uncompressed) and importing that into 3rd party software. FYI there is no option to export a Quicktime Reference file anymore.

  67. Question 48. Is Fcp X Correction Tools Equal Or More Powerful Than Apple Color?

    Answer :

    Personally I don’t think it’s as powerful as Apple Color but it is much easier to use and understand with powerful features like secondary keys and masks. There is a free 15 part tutorial series online for color grading in FCPX. This post on Tao of Color asks Has Apple’s Color Been Merged Into Final Cut Pro X?.

  68. Question 49. How Will Fcpx Integrate Into A Shop That Has Continuous Post With Final Cut Pro 7 On Multiple Workstations And Shared Storage?

    Answer :

    FCPX is really an island unto itself so integration with other applications and workstations doesn’t exist in its current form. Quicktimes can be exported so you can moved finished work out via Quicktime export. You can’t export a piece of a timeline (like say a single shot) without sending the edit to Compressor and choosing an IN to OUT there.

  69. Question 50. Should I Partition A Drive With Fcp X On One And Fcp 7 On Another? Will I Be Able To Run Final Cut 6 And Final Cut X On The Same Hard Drive, Not Necessarily Running Together? Have You Experienced Any Problems In Running Fcp7 And Fcpx On The Same System?

    Answer :

    Apple recommendations for installing says this: “It is strongly recommended that you install Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, and Compressor 4 on a startup disk that does not have Final Cut Studio (2009) already installed.” I have FCP7 and FCPX installed on one computer for testing but for a mission critical work machine I would follow Apple’s advice.