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100 Final Cut Pro X Questions Answered

These are questions asked before, during and after recent FCPX webinar

By Scott Simmons | July 17, 2011

34) How does this read timecode. Can you assign timecode to DSLR footage?

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.

35) Can't change the timecode of a sequence??? Really???

Really. But apparently "Customizable sequence TC in FCPX for master exports coming soon."

36) 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?

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.

37) I think it is really insulting that he is not using any real footage to work with. he is essentually (sic) that this cannot be used to tell story but just make home movies of trains and your back yard

I'm sorry that the demo footage was insulting to you but it is often impossible to obtain permission from clients to use their footage (which very often includes human talent) in something broadcast on the Internet. Internet broadcasts can be illegally recorded and distributed and people often don't want their likeness or their material distributed outside of their intended video project. Even though people can legally buy the webinar many clients still don't want their footage distributed outside of its intended use since they have NO CONTROL over how that footage would be used. Plus their terms for using talent doesn't include giving the footage away for any other purpose. I asked a couple of current clients if I could use their footage in this webinar but they declined. Sorry you didn't enjoy the model train footage. I thought it was rather fun for this type of purpose.

38) Is motion 5 backwards compatible with FCP7?

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.

39) Could you show how final cut pro manages the fonts?

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

40) Can you change the stacking order of applied effects?

Yes you can drag in the Inspector to change the order of applied effects.


Drag effects in the Inspector to change the stacking order in which they are applied.


41) Does this have 3d transformations.

No. There doesn't seem to be a built-in fake 3D transform filter either.

42) can photos be imported directly from an Aperture library?

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).

43) Is undo historical or per clip?

Undo is apparently limited to 500 events but undos are more "historical" remembered when switching from one timeline to another and then back.


As you can see under the Edit menu both the Undo and Redo commands show what those last commands were.


44) Are you consistently having issues resizing windows in your workflow?

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

45) Does color correction mask have a feather?

Yes, drag the outside line of a mask to adjust feathering.


Drag the outside line in a color correction shape mask to adjust feathering.


46) May I keep all my files on an auxiliary disk or does FCP X automatically place everything on my main drive?

Yes. By keeping projects and events on auxiliary disks and choosing NOT to copy files to the Final Cut Events folder you can keep media off a system drive. You should get to know this FCPX preference very well:


47) Can you still drag and drop clips into the timeline or within the timeline?


48) Are there bezier controls for the animation keyframes?

Bezier controls are available to control the motion path of an object but not directly that I can find on keyframes in the keyframe editor, for example opacity.


I can't seem to find Bezier adjustments in the Video Animation editor.


49) Is there a action safe/title safe overlay option on the canvas? is title safe available in the viewer?

Yes, in a pop-up menu in the top right of the Viewer (they don't call it a canvas anymore) you can choose to Show Title/Action Safe Zones:


50) While you can't move order of windows, can you adjust scaling of windows within the layout?

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

51) Does your knowledge of FC7 help or get in the way of learning FC10?

That's a great question. I'd almost say it gets in the way as FCP7 uses long established editing paradigms that work very well. In some aspects FCPX is trying to reinvent the wheel. Where there are some great things in FCPX there's other instances where, IMHO, the wheel doesn't really need to be reinvented because it works so well.

52) Audio Syncing like Plural eyes?

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.

53) Any limitations/problems in video importing? Such as flipcam?

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

54) May I capture video from a firewire HDV camcorder?

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

55) Can you lock a "track"? How do you lock a clip?

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.

56) can I turn off the magnetic timeline?

No but you can use the Position tool to more freely move clips without all the shifting around that happens in the magnetic timeline. The Position tool will also allow you to move a clip and overwrite another.


The Position tool in effect "turns off" the magnetic timeline as you move clips using the Position tool.


57) Where is The Razor?

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.

58) does it have a multi-camera editing

No, though Apple has said this is a priority for the future in their faq.

UPDATE: Multicam editing was added in FCPX update 10.0.3 and we did a webinar on just that.

59) what kind of machine are you using for the demo?

MacPro 2.66 Quad Core with 7 gigs RAM, Mac OsX 10.6.8 and NVIDIA Quadro 4000 for Mac GPU. I have also installed FCPX on a Macbook Air running ProRes media off a USB drive. It was not pretty though once I turned the dropped frame warning off it was "usable" thought I would never want to do any real editing on it other than maybe on an airplane as a last resort.

60) Show us how to create a secondary story line please.

To create a secondary storyline you select adjacent clips in the timeline (not clips that are stacked), right + click and choose Create Storyline.


Select clips, right + clip and choose Create Storyline. Clips must be on the same level/layer to make this work.


61) How does FCPX interface with DVD Studio Pro?

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.

62) How do you add a basic dissolve?

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

63) how does the magnetic timeline handle a music video where the main audio should be locked permanently?

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.

64) What about match frames?

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

65) do you have log and capture ability?

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.

66) How will you organize Projects and Events on your drives?

I'll organize my footage in a dedicated directory, by project basis on my media drive. When possible I'll organize into sub-folders within and import those as Keyword Collections as an option in the Import preferences.

Next Up: Questions 67 - 101

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THX1965: | July, 19, 2011

@ Scott - are there keyboard shortcuts for the Range Selection IN an OUT points? I know that R brings up the Range Selection tool? But after that you have to use the mouse, am I right?

Scott Simmons: | July, 19, 2011

You can use I and O to mark with the Range Selection tool as long as your mouse hovers over the clip or storyline were you want to set an IN and OUT. When using the keyboard with Range Selection tool FCPX will select in the clip or storyline you’re hovering over.

THX1965: | July, 19, 2011

I see. So with the Range Selectoin tool the skimmer determines where your in and out points are going to be. You could use JKL to find your in and out, but you’d still have to move the mouse/skimmer to where the playhead is parket and hit I or O…

The skimmer is a great tool, but maybe not for audio editing…

Thanks for clearing this up, Scott.

John Paul: | August, 11, 2011

Regarding question 94, on Xsan compatibility:

As of now, project and event folders can’t reside in an Xsan volume, as they won’t be shown in FCPX’s event and project library.

However,  media on those volumes can be imported with the “Copy…”  preference disabled. This way, FCPX will make aliases of the files on the Event folder and the media will be kept in the Xsan volumes.

The same behavior occurs with all other non HFS+ volumes, including network ones.

According to this post ( Apple will make FCPX fully compatible with Xsan. I would imagine something like Final Cut Server’s check-out feature, where an editor could check-out a project or part of it and it would then become locked until checked-in again.



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