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Making the First Edit in Final Cut Pro X 10.1

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In this excerpt from Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Pro X 10.1: Professional Post-Production, learn how to add and rearrange clips within a primary storyline; Ripple, Roll, and Slip trim clips; blade, replace with gap, ripple delete, and join through edit; perform connect edits; create and edit in a connected storyline; adjust audio levels; and share the project to a media file.

Note: This excerpt does not include the lesson files. The lesson files are available with purchase of the book.

This chapter is from the book

After importing and organizing, the story elements sit as clips in the library, ready for editing. The editing phase of the post-production workflow involves crafting a story from the library clips into a project or timeline.

The first edit, or rough cut,of a project involves some or most of the major tasks from the remainder of the post-workflow. An edit of the project is created; it's trimmed down for timing, pacing, and conciseness; additional elements such as music may be added; and then the project is shared out of Final Cut Pro for client or producer approval.

You are ready to embark on the post-workflow with the Lifted project. In this lesson, you will assemble the interview sound bites and the helicopter B-roll to form the story. You'll trim the edits to remove any extraneous content, and then add a music clip. Lastly, you will export this first edit of the project as a file that is playable on a Mac, PC, smartphone, or tablet.

Reference 4.1 Understanding a Project

The editing phase occurs in a project—a timeline-based container of sequentially arranged clips that tell a story. Projects are simple or complex timelines depending on the technical depth of the story.


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Finished project for Lesson 4

Projects are stored within individual events in a library: the super-container of your Final Cut Pro editing project that makes loading/unloading and transporting all your clips, events, and projects for a show, client, or movie much more convenient.

Events may contain as many projects as you need. For example, a news editor may need three projects for the VO (voiceover), the package, and the teaser. A documentary editor could easily use 10 to 30 projects when breaking down an edit by segment, creating a variety of video news releases, posting online teasers, and developing various versions of the documentary based on running time and/or content.

You already have the Lifted library with two events of clips. Let's edit.

Exercise 4.1.1 Creating a Project

To start the first edit, you must create the project. A couple of clicks and you've got yourself a starting project.

  1. In the Lifted library, Control-click the Primary Media event, and from the shortcut menu, choose New Project.


    The Project Properties dialog opens to the default automatic settings.

  2. For the Project Name, enter Lifted Vignette.
  3. Click the In Event pop-up menu.


    Click to view larger image

    In Event specifies the event in which to save the project you are creating. The pop-up menu displays the events available in the open libraries.

  4. Ensure that the In Event pop-up menu is set to Primary Media, and click OK.

    The project is created and saved in the Primary Media event.

  5. If necessary, in the Lifted library, select the Primary Media event.


    The project appears at the top of the Browser.

  6. Double-click the project to open it in the Timeline.


    The project displayed in the Browser.


    The project open in the Timeline.

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