Book Review - Final Cut Pro

August 9, 2004

Final Cut Pro HD (4.5) for Mac OS X
Visual QuickPro Guide

Published by Peachpit Press
By Lisa Brenneis

ISBN 0-321-26918-7
List price: $29.99 U.S.
766 pages

Review By Ken Stone
Book excerpt follows review.

As night follows day, each time Apple updates Final Cut Pro, Lisa Brenneis updates her Visual QuickPro Guide for FCP. The FCP 4.5 free update also know as FCP HD contains bug fixes, program tweaks, a few new features, changes to old procedures but is also about the inclusion of the new video format, DVCPRO HD.

The 'Final Cut Pro for Mac OS X HD' book jacket indicates that this book is for the Intermediate and Advanced user and not for people who are new to editing and FCP. For the beginner there is a tutorial that ships with FCP as well as a number of excellent beginner books and DVD tutorials to start you off. However, once you begin learning FCP and have started on your first project, you are going to need this book, even if you are still learning the basics. The first four chapters of this book are devoted to introducing you to FCP. There is a tour of the interface, installation and set up, hardware requirements, start to finish workflow concepts, presets and preferences, and very thorough explanations of all the terminology associated with FCP and video editing. The lessons (chapters) are laid out in a sequential fashion just as one would do a project. For a book that is not aimed at the Beginner it does an excellent job covering the basics.

Final Cut Pro HD (4.5) for Mac OS X is a reference book and therein lies it's power. The book is completely indexed and you use the index to locate any topic or procedure that you need to learn about. The book is written in the Peachpit Press "Visual QuickPro Guide" format and as such, is an efficient means of getting to the information you need quickly. The reference nature of this book means that the information and lessons are delivered in a simple and consistent format, starting with a definition and explanation of the topic, step by step instructions are provided to accomplish the task and often alternate methods are offered. There are numerous captioned illustrations of the FCP interface and informative dialog boxes run side by side with the instructions so that you are able to see both the process and workflow required to accomplish your task. In addition, keyboard shortcuts, "Tips", and "FCP Protocol" sidebars add additional information to help you further understand and accomplish the task at hand.

Okay, maybe you have the 'Final Cut Pro 4.0 for Mac OS X: Visual QuickPro Guide' and you are wondering if you need the FCP HD (4.5) book. Many things have changed in FCP, even from FCP 4.0. For example, since the release of FCP 4, the procedure for copy and pasting in the Timeline has change three times. You can't follow the game without a scorecard. (grin)

When I started out with FCP 4 years ago, Lisa Brenneis' first book was instrumental in guiding me through the complexities of this very powerful NLE. I have reviewed all subsequent versions of her book and in each review I stated that this is the only book that sits next to my FCP Mac. It was true then and it's still true today.



Book Excerpt from "Final Cut Pro HD for Mac OS X", pages 468 - 469. By Lisa Brenneis.


Using the Audio Mixer

You can purchase 'Final Cut Pro HD for Mac OS X: Visual QuickPro Guide' from the lafcpug store.


Review copyright © 2004

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