Final Cut Pro lays out a working environment in four basic windows: a Viewer; a Canvas; a Timeline; and a Browser. The Viewer previews the work, while the Canvas window provides for the construction of a video with drag-and-drop editing. As a film clip is dragged over the Canvas window, a semi-transparent menu pops on allowing users to insert the clip, overwrite an existing one, replace a previous clip, fit to fill an existing amount of time, or superimpose one clip on top of another. A timeline at the bottom of the screen provides A and B tracks and up to eight simultaneous audio tracks. Finally, the Browser window can quickly sort through video and audio clips, graphics and typographic treatments, providing handy access.
Final Cut Pro has a logical, if not intuitive, interface. Since most decisions are made visually, with near-instantaneous results, it's easy to fall into a productive rhythm of selecting work, dragging it into place, rendering a transition -- there are dozens included as off-the-shelf defaults -- and immediately previewing the work in progress. Output options include video, QuickTime, a digital stream for Websites, still images or even as audio.
Ready for your closeup, Mr. Jobs: if they gave Oscars for software, Final Cut