Jessica Gilmartin

How to edit Instagram video using Final Cut Pro X in 5 quick steps

JULY 3, 2017:

Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms with 400 million active daily users. And Instagram videos get 2 times the engagement of photos than any other social media platform, and the ability to grow more using video is huge! So, for this first guest blog post, I am sharing a full tutorial on how to edit your Instagram videos in Final Cut Pro (the basics can also be applied to other editing tools).

Set up the frame

The most important part of creating a video for Instagram is to remember that the format is in a square. Before you begin, organize your set-up to accommodate about 1/4 on each side of the frame being cut off. Instagram now has a feature where it will crop it to a square if you upload in full dimensions. However, I have noticed that videos in a true Instagram square format always seem to do the best (there are some exceptions to this, but I am focusing on the square format for the sake of this post)

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How to edit your video

The great thing about FCPX is that there are so many options for jazzing up your footage that are built into the program. You can even purchase extra plug-ins, I personally love Pixel Film Studios. This can get expensive, but you can download a plug-in up to 3 times, so find some friends you can trade with to build your plug-in toolkit and save some moolah.

  1. You have one minute to showcase your awesome tutorial. Use the Clip Retiming tool and speed up sections of your video that will allow you to show more of each process. Depending on how much you want to show, 2x-4x is the best speed (200-400 increase).
  2. Keep footage sections to 3-6 second segments (of course this varies per video or item and of course your personal aesthetic) and add transitions, or apply a cool filter to amp up the appeal of your video.showing you can use effects on far right
  3. For music on Instagram,  you must use Non-Copyrighted music. I recommend using NO COPYRIGHT SOUNDS on youtube. You can find the links to the songs you want in the description box of the videos and is a great free tool.
  4. Adding a watermark isn’t a necessity, but if you want to cross-promote your brand and ensure it is seen once it’s re-posted, tagging your handles really does help. Free apps such as VidLab and  Videorama are great for adding your watermark. I have also created a few different watermarks in FCPX by layering, and saving it so I can just reapply to new videos; this saves time and keeps it    consistent.once it's saved and pops up sending it to my device through airdrop
  5. To export, you will need to save your video using either Apple Devices 1080 or 4k (I save all mine as 4k). Once it is saved to my desktop, I immediately Airdrop to my iPhone and it is ready to upload!

These are just a few steps I have found to help me out when editing my videos for Instagram. Keep in mind that being patient and playing around with the software is what will help you find your own style and editing technique. A friend of mine who is a professional video editor once said to me, “Don’t be afraid to just get in there and play around, you can’t break anything!” This stuck with me and reminded me to just get in there, play around, try new edits and just have fun. Since then, I have found my personal style, but I always try new stuff.

What is your top tip for editing  Instagram video? Share in the comments!

By Jessica Gilmartin

Instagram @jessicagilmartin

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