February 20

Learn Final Cut Express Video Editing


These two free video tutorials will help you learn to edit video using Final Cut Express, or any video editing software package really. The first is more basic, the second shows more advanced techniques like using the motion tab and adding filters. Watch them in order for best understanding of the video editing software Final Cut Express, which is no longer on the market.

I am demonstrating on Final Cut Express, but so much of what I show is fairly universal, no matter what editing program you are using.

If you are new to video editing, and particularly if you are interested in Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro, watch these two tutorials, (one is about ten-minutes, the other about 7). They will show you how the programs are laid out and how they work.

Final Cut Express is an inexpensive option for anyone wanting to dive into professional-level editing without spending much.  FCE is now $199, compared to Final Cut Studio which is $999. (UPDATE, IN 2011, FCE WAS TAKEN OFF THE MARKET)

If you desire a high level of control over all the details of your video, then a program like Final Cut Express is what you want.  It’s got a fairly steep learning curve, but once you get the basics down, it’s not that hard at all. In fact, I find it a lot of fun and a very creative outlet.

I cover all the basics in these videos.

Final Cut Express and its big brother Final Cut Pro are really not that different.  On a creative level, Express can do about 90% of what Pro can do.  The single biggest difference in the two programs in what they come bundled with and how many file formats they work with.  Pro works with more professional formats that Express can’t handle.

Unless you are working in a professional situation, that probably won’t be an issue since Express takes the majority of common formats and Apple has already worked AVCHD into Express’ capabilities.

Final Cut Express is a great program for editing video and this free tutorial will get you started with it.  But like I already said, even if FCE is not your program of choice, this tutorial will teach you a lot about editing in general.

Thanks for reading VPT

Lorraine Grula


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  1. Hi Lorraine, I like your tutorials & info, but they take so long view due to them continually stopping and starting, stopping…Can that be fixed? Keep up the great work…Thanks, Joan

  2. HI Joan.
    Geez, that’ll drive you nuts, won’t it? I am sorry. Sputtering, stopping and starting happens because the video file is too big to download as quickly as it plays. To “fix” it, either the video files need to be smaller or your internet connection needs to be faster. I try to keep my video files small, but I could probably do better. Another alternative is to let it download before you actually try to play it. Let it buffer and stream in. Then, you can play it and the file is already downloaded so it will not sputter. I hope that makes sense. I know it is frustrating as heck.

  3. Aaaarrrrggghhh… I know I’m missing something obvious, but I can’t figure out how to get these Veeple videos to go full-screen! It’s hard to follow along with this tutorial in such a small video size 🙁

  4. Hi Deb.
    I am sorry. I should make them larger size videos. The details do get hard to see. To put it in full screen mode, click the little “menu” button on the bottom right. Then a little thing will pop up so you can click full screen.

  5. Hi, Lorraine,

    just finished watching the second video on here and thanks for making me feel more at ease about taking the leap to Final Cut from iMovie. I’d actually like to use them in conjunction as I feel I’ve “mastered” 🙂 iMovie ’09 to make quick, internet videos, but a lot of the time it can be frustrating with constant crashing and cutaways not working right, etc.
    Some things that I LOVE in iMovie are: extreme ease of use, Events, and KEYWORDING! Is there anything similar to events and keywording in Final Cut? It makes my tons of video footage easily manageable and I think I’d be lost without it 🙁
    Lastly, is there anywhere else you’d recommend for some easy video tutorials besides here and Apple’s own website?
    Thanks again, Deborah

  6. Hi Deb.
    I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed the tutorials. Final Cut Express is a fantastic program and can do a lot iMovie can’t. If you are having lots of crashes though, then I would say something is wrong as iMovie is not prone to crash. Does your computer have enough RAM? Is it too full? Crashing issues will continue in FCE is that is the case. I do not think the functions of events and keywording are in FCE as they are in iMovie. Sorry! At least in the version of FCE that I know well. Maybe they added it. To answer yoiur third question, I bet there are some good tutorials on You Tube although I have never looked. Good luck and thanks for visiting VPT.

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