June 18, 2007
Final Cut Pro 6
Professional Editing in Final Cut Studio 2
Apple Pro Training Series - $54.99 By Diana Weynand
Review by Steve Douglas
For those who are just becoming familiar with the complexities of Final Cut, for those who wish to review, or for those who have intentions of becoming Apple Certified for Final Cut Pro, this is the must have book. From the very beginning through to the end, all that would be covered in the Apple Certification exam can be found in here.
Using entirely new footage taken from the USA Network's television series 'Monk', Seaworld's 'Belief' documentary and BBC's 'Living Color' the Final Cut Pro 6 book is a real update from the Final Cut Pro 5 version. Arriving with 631 pages and the tutorial media DVD, there is a great deal of information to be covered and Ms. Weynand provides a thoroughly comprehensive tutorial book.
Since this manual is part of the Apple Pro Training Series and is meant to bring the student editor up to date and running with Final Cut, it naturally starts at the beginning with basic video editing tools and techniques and progresses smoothly interchanging the supplied media footage, as needed, in order to demonstrate the plethora of skills required to edit with Final Cut Pro. However, no editor that I know of uses all the diverse options that Final Cut Pro offers and, it has been my experience that when one hasn't used a tool or technique in a long while, it is often forgotten or simply left undiscovered. Thus, if you consider yourself an intermediate or advanced editor do not think that this book as little to offer. On the contrary, with the more skilled editor having a solid grounding in Final Cut Pro, various techniques and options will be easier to understand and accessed more frequently. Final Cut Pro 6 is divided into several sections, 'Creating a Rough Cut', 'Refining the Cut', 'Supporting the Process', 'Completing the Cut', and 'Adding Effects and Finishing'. Each of these sections is separated into chapters according to its relevance and, be assured, that what you need will not be overlooked.
Like its predecessor, there is a heavy emphasis on learning and using the keyboard shortcuts while, at the same time; alternative methods for utilizing any number of the myriad tasks and tools are also provided. In fact, that is one of the major strengths of the book. Alternative options or at least the awareness that there are options, have proven time and again to speed and make more efficacious a workflow. When used with the media disc, each chapter provides a tutorial for using each of the many alternative techniques.
For those who intend to become Apple certified, at the end of each chapter are a series of review questions confirming what you have learned in that chapter. Many of these questions are the same or similar to those that you will find when you take the Apple certification test making this book all the more valuable.
The Final Cut Pro 6 book is written in a very straightforward manner, the exposition clear and precise. Tasks and techniques are written with a step-by-step approach. The graphics are in real world color and are easy to see and read. While the Smooth Cam filter has no mention, and very little attention paid to the mixed formats ability of Final Cut 6, should you start the book from the beginning, by the end, you will find yourself familiar and comfortable with most everything you need to know. I would strongly recommend that you copy the media from the supplied disc to your hard drive rather than run it off the disc. It will play back considerably smoother for you and you can pace yourself however you may like.
Awhile back I took the previous version for Final Cut 5 and, just for the fun of it, worked with it from cover to cover. I found it beneficial in a number of ways. There is always something to learn or be reminded of. The Apple Pro Training Series for Final Cut Pro 6 is heads and tales better than working with the manual that comes with Studio 2 and I look forward to seeing the complete series as they are released. And there you have my bottom line.
Steve Douglas is a certified Apple Pro for Final Cut Pro and underwater videographer. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver of the Year', Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis production, and a recent History channel MegaDisaster show. Steve is one of the founding organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition and leads both underwater filming expeditions and African safaris with upcoming excursions to Kenya, Bali & Komodo, & Lembeh Straits in Indonesia in 2007, the Coco Islands, Costa Rica & Vietnam in 2008 and safari in Africa for 2009. Feel free to contact him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of these exciting trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com
copyright © Steve Douglas 2007
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