Blog Home Video Production Video How to Use Final Cut Pro: 15 Essential Tutorials

Learning how to use Final Cut Pro X is a craft that should be in every video editor’s skillset. Here are fifteen must-watch tutorials.

Thanks to the NLE’s robust built-in features and effects, Final Cut Pro X is a user-friendly application through and through. Of course, unlocking the full potential of FCPX takes time and patience. Fortunately, resources exist that can make the process easier.

With that in mind, here’s a list of a few helpful Final Cut tutorials.


1. Optical Flow in FCPX

Created by Brad and Donna.

Optical Flow is one of the most eye-catching features in FCPX. How you apply the effect is simple. After slowing down the speed of your clip, click on the speed icon, then go down to Video Quality and click Optical Flow.

This advanced speed effect will allow you to slow down your clip without causing the footage to look choppy.


2. FCPX Color Grading

If you want an introduction to how color grading works in FCPX, or maybe a refresher, or maybe even just to see how someone else approaches the workflow, look no further than this masterclass tutorial by Tyler Stalman.

Created by Tyler Stalman.

3. Importing and Applying LUTs to Log Footage in FCPX

Now, if you haven’t heard this term elsewhere, a LUT stands for a “look up table” and, to put it plainly, is a “chart” used by video applications to convert footage from one color profile to another.

Practically speaking, a LUT can convert desaturated, raw camera footage into whatever look you want. Think of it as a step to get your footage going in the right direction.

Created by Will Chidlow.

4. Learning the Interface

Created by Pixel Film Studios.

There’s nothing more intimidating than starting to learn a new editing program. The first hurdle to get over is the fear of simply opening it up and getting started.

If you have experience with any of the major programs out there, you should have a better idea of what to look for, but this rundown from Pixel Film Studios will help you dive right in.


5. Blend Modes in FCPX

Created by Ripple Training.

With light leaks, overlays, and more, this tutorial explains a few creative ways to use blend modes in FCPX. This tutorial goes over every option FCPX offers for blending overlays, clips, and assets for your footage.


6. Rendering in FCPX

Created by Motion Array Tutorials.

When it comes to rendering and exporting in FCPX, you’ll want to make sure you know how to get the best possible result from your edit.

In this guide from Motion Array, you’ll know exactly what to expect, and what settings will be offered when approaching your time to render out your video.


7. Muzzle Flashes in FCPX

There are few things more exciting and fun than simulating muzzle flashes in Final Cut Pro. While this tutorial may be a few years old, the process is super-simple and still effective, given the updates in FCPX.

What’s great is, now that you’re a pro with blend modes (right???), this will be a piece of cake for you.

Created by PremiumBeat.

8. Creating a Timelapse in FCPX

At some point in your career, you’ll more than likely encounter a client that hands you footage and/or images with the request for you to make a timelapse.

If this happens, don’t fear! The channel “How To” is here to walk us all through how you approach this workflow in FCPX.

Created by How To.

9. Working with Markers

A skill arguably more important than knowing the tricks and secrets of your editing program, is having good organizational skills. Younger me would have been so bored with now me for saying that. But, as I’ve evolved as an editor, the more I appreciate having a project laid out in a manageable, non-stressful manner.

Markers are a nice place to start for getting your clips and assets in order.

Created by Pixel Film Studios.

10. Animated Titles in FCPX

One of the best ways to make your project stand out is to have unique titles and animations throughout. When I say unique, you can only be so unique as the internet has a finite amount of assets available to editors. But, greater minds have made these products customizable, intended to fit whatever color scheme or branding you might need.

Film Bodega is a good example. Their recent hand-drawn fonts and symbols pack is a perfect way to start using assets in this “customize it yourself” way.

Created by Film Bodega.

11. Compound Clips for Music in FCPX

It’s our boy, Pixel Film Studios, back at it again to show us the benefit of using—and how to approach working with—compound clips in FCPX.

If you’re unfamiliar with compound clips, they’re essentially a clip that lets users place a certain number of clips into a “Folder” on their timeline. The contents of the folder can change, but any effects or edits applied to the compound clip will remain the same.

Created by Pixel Film Studios.

12. Managing Your Media

I thought about leading with this one, but I figured I’d save the best for twelfth. Media management is essential. Kind of like I talked about earlier with markers, organization is really your best friend, full stop.

This will help you not only keep everything in order, but if your client needs to be involved at some point, you’ll look like a well-put-together professional.

Created by Ripple Training.

13. Cinematic Color Grading in FCPX

What does it mean to make something cinematic? Well, its hard to say, but there are certainly specific looks that come with that term. Or, at least, certain ideas and visuals that come to mind for me.

In this tutorial from PremiumBeat, we’re taken on a ride to learn how you can push and pull certain colors in certain directions that will elicit a cinematic response from your audience.

Created by PremiumBeat.

14. 9 Beginner Tips for Using FCPX

Created by Shutterstock Tutorials.

Understanding all of the tools and effects in FCPX is the key to unlocking limitless creative possibilities. Did that sentence inspire you? Because, it really should have. Wow, I’m inspired just writing it.

While the previous video isn’t a tutorial in the traditional sense, it’s certainly educational and amazing and awesome, and I should know because I made the thing. If you’re a beginner or expert, this should be a good refresher for learning all the little nifty tools FCPX offers.


15. Using Green Screen in FCPX

You don’t have to be a Final Cut expert or master video editor to key out green backgrounds. The program’s built-in tools make it a breeze. This tutorial from Editors Keys shows you how easy it is to work with green screen footage.

Created by Editors Keys.

Hopefully this post gave you some insights on how to use FCPX. Remember, just because you’re not a master FCPX user doesn’t mean you wont get there eventually.

Be patient with yourself. Love yourself. Okay, I’m headed out. Good luck!


A few more FCPX tips, tricks, and advice for you:

Top image by NivCube.