A few months on from the release of Final Cut Pro X, we thought we would take a look at what you can do or need once you've bought FCPX. Content, tutorials, books and videos all await.

Looks like there was a similar minded person in Cupertino on Sunday when we drafted this post as Apple published a Knowledge Base article of FCPX resources. We are very pleased to be listed in the blog section by Apple as "Comprehensive resource for Final Cut Pro news, reviews, and training."

With that billing we had better get on with it then! Start the countdown music even though we are not doing this in reverse order.

You've bought FCPX, now what should you do?

1) Purchase Motion & Compressor and download additional content

A bit of a no-brainer really, both Motion and Compressor are priced at $49 each and provide add-on functionality for FCPX. As you will see from following posts, Motion is the new way to build titles, effects and transitions in FCPX and Compressor is your friend for making different copies of deliverables.
Make sure you are running the latest version of FCPX by looking in the App Store application for updates, also go into software update to install the additional content available.

2) Read the Apple FCP7 to FCPX White Paper

This was published on the day of the 10.0.1 upgrade and got a bit lost in all the news coverage. Some excellent comparisons and tips in this free publication from Apple. If you've edited on FCP7 before then this is a must read. (Since removed by Apple)

3) Read the unofficial graphic enhanced manual for FCPX

You can either download this excellent publication for $1.99 or purchase a hard copy via Amazon. We have it on good authority that this is one of the most popular books about Final Cut Pro X out there. Written by Edgar Rothermich, it lets pictures do the hard work instead of stodgy text.



4) Purchase the official FCPX & Motion training books

Want to go a bit deeper into the workings of the applications? Then take a look at the official third party publications. It might be Michael Wohl's Advanced Editing book you desire or Mark Spencer's Motion book that is the basis of certification, Peachpit have an excellent range for you to choose from.

5) Watch as many free FCPX and Motion tutorials as you like on YouTube & Vimeo

Yes there are a lot of them out there but we've put together a pretty long list of the good ones uploaded over the last few months. Keep scrolling down the tutorial page or use the search box. 

6) Purchase video tutorials

So you've got to end of our long list of free tutorials and you still want more? Check out Ripple Training's reasonably priced FCPX and Motion tutorials. They were one of the few companies that had access to FCPX before it was launched, so they are a few months ahead of the other video tutorial companies and published their training materials on the day FCPX was released.

7) Watch the Color Grading Central 15 part series on grading within FCPX

We thought we would put a separate enrty for these FCPX grading tutorials from Denver Riddle. They are free but I'm sure you'll agree with us that this basic to advanced course could be a commercial training product. Essential viewing if you want to learn color correction in FCPX.

8) Download free FCPX & Motion effects

We have a huge list of free FCPX and Motion effects that seems to grow every day. You might want to try out a Tilt Shift and Bokeh effect or use a template like this gorgeous photo album simulation or classic SLR viewfinder.



9) Buy plugins for more effects

The supplied effects within FCPX won't cover everything you want to do. There are now companies who have released Final Cut Pro X compatible plugins. There were three vendors who had products advertised on Apple's FCPX page on the day of its launch.

Automatic Duck (currently awaiting a new website due to absoption by Adobe)
Noise industries   A range of plugins in FxFactory by NI and third party developers.
Gen Arts A range of looks and presets with Sapphire Edge.
Other companies have produced plugins but these were the first. Email us editor(@)fcp(dot)co if you want to be included on an upcoming 'plugin roundup'

10) Buy more RAM and a new graphics card

FCPX will use as much RAM as you can throw at it, gone is the 2.5 GB limit that crippled FCP7. RAM is now cheap and you can install it yourself, Crucial have a good tool to see if you are maxed out. 
Changing our graphics card from an ageing ATI Radeon X1900 to a ATI 5870 bought huge FCPX speed increases. Clunky to buttery in one easy install.


So there you go, our top ten of things to do after you've bought FCPX. We haven't done the flippant 'Get a refund' or 'Download Adobe Premiere' so as much as we would like your comments, please keep them constructive.

Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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