Online tutorials are great, but some people prefer a hard copy to learn from. We take a look a the best books for the Apple Pro Video Apps.
We haven't done an update to the normal annual Final Cut Pro book list for a while, so let's fix that with a fresh, updated look at the best way to learn Apple's video apps in print.
1) Final Cut Pro X Efficient Editing- Iain Anderson
Straight in at number one is Iain Anderson's 'door step' book on FCP, Final Cut Pro X Efficient Editing. He does more than just point out how things work in the interface, he goes through different editing situations where you would use the features. At over 700 pages long, this is a book for beginners to learn the basics right through to advanced users wanting to understand complex workflows.
You can read more from Iain on how and why he wrote the book in an FCP.co article that we published. He certainly filled the lockdown time in 2020!
Want to take a look inside? Iain has published the first chapter for free that you can read here. Hard copy and Kindle versions are available.
2) Final Cut Pro X 10.4 - How it Works - Edgar Rothermich
Although it hasn't been updated for FCP 10.5, Edgar's 'Graphically Enhanced Manual' Final Cut Pro X How it Works takes a slightly different approach to learning by expanding out all the icons, menu items and screen controls. This makes it a book that is extremely easy to navigate through when learning, we have posted a clickable sample page on the right.
'This is a completely revised and extended version of the previous best-selling books "Final Cut Pro X - How it Works" and "Final Cut Pro X - The Details" with in-depth explanations of all the new features like Roles and Lanes, Captions, 360° Video, plus unique illustrations on how metadata-based audio works in Final Cut Pro. Also, it shows the complete Touch Bar functionality and integration.'
3) Final Cut Pro X Workflow - Mike Matzdorff
Mike Matzdorff has documented his workflow experiences as First Assistant Editor on the feature film projects that used Final Cut Pro.
$9.99 gets you 91 pages of workflow practices, tips and tricks and basically the know-how on how to setup a film edit in FCPX. However, it's not a book on how to actually edit a film in Final Cut Pro!
- The setup and installation of third-party hardware used in editorial
- A catalog of third-party software used in editorial
- Pre-production discussions of media management, workflow (and associated testing) and handoff requirements
- The editorial workflow used on Focus
- Workflows dealing with visual effects, sound turnovers and screenings
- A collection of other tips for a successful post
4) Final Cut Pro X 10.4 - Apple Pro Training Series: Professional Post-Production - Brendan Boykin
Apple has disbanded their official training courses and the certification process. However, this was the book that you had to know inside out if you wanted to get certified. Slightly long in the tooth these days, but a solid reference book. The Kindle and the paperback versions are still available on Amazon.
Whilst we are on the official Apple Pro Training series of books, Mark Spencer's Motion 5 book looks like it is out of print, but still available on Kindle.
5) The Focal Easy Guide to Final Cut Pro X - Rick Young
Rick's book came out just before Final Cut Pro 10.2 GUI change. The last update it had was in 2019, the third edition, but it is still full of useful information and as we know the copy checker well, it will be accurate!
Available in paperback or Kindle versions, there's also quite a long 42 page free 'Look Inside' available on Amazon.
We have published lists of relevant books here on FCP.co for a while. With the exception of Iain's book (which is being updated to lose the X and change the icons) nearly all of the FCP and Motion books could do with a refresh. Back in 2013 this list was the top ten best Final Cut Pro books!