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Full Guide on Making a Big-budget Cinematic Look Video with Final Cut Pro X

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Sep 13, 2021• Proven solutions

Do you enjoy the view of movies? Do you find your videos dull and unexciting? How about giving a cinematic look to your videos?

I bet a lot of editors have been there. However, it won’t take you long to find out that movies are quite different from the video you recorded and edited.

No worries, this article explains why there are differences between self-made videos and movies, as well as simple yet detailed steps to make cinematic look videos with FCPX.

Part 1: Difference between a Cinematic Look and a Normal Video?

The term cinematic is often referred to the black bars or wide-screen frame ratios. Photographers and filmmakers use the term cinematic to describe the look of movies and pictures shot on film.

However, the term has changed its meaning with the advent of digital video and the invention of high-tech devices. With the evolution of the internet across the globe, YouTubers, videographers, and social media influencers have started using this term to describe anything related to cinema and film. In other words, a cinematic look is an unconventional, film-look, and professional appearance of a video that makes a normal clip look elegant and worth watching. See the top 10 movies made by FCPX here.

Blade-Runner-2049-poster

So, here we draw a line between a normal video and the one with a cinematic look. In the latter, you adjust everything that is directly or indirectly linked to the quality of a video, including but not limited to colors, appearance, light, motion, frame rate, composition, and camera movements.

Resolution refers to the horizontal pixel count such as 2K (2.2 megapixels) or 4K (8.8 megapixels). Similarly, the frame rate defines the number of individual images or frames being displayed on the TV screen per second. The universally accepted film frame rate is 24 FPS, which is used to make high-definition videos. However, most TV broadcasts and shows are recorded at 30fps. See more about FPS here.

Thanks to the advanced video editing tools and applications that have made it easier to capture a cinematic look or make HD cinematic look videos with basic camera setups. If you want to get your desired cinematic look, read the following section.

Part 2: How to Make a Cinematic Look Film Video with FCPX?

The latest features and user-friendly dashboard of Final Cut Pro X allow users (even beginners) to add effects and increase the aesthetics of their videos. Follow these four simple steps to make a cinematic look high-resolution video with Final Cut Pro X.

Step 1: 4K Resolution and Low Frame Rate

To achieve ideal cinematic aesthetics, you need high-quality 4K resolution videos, awesome exposure, the right codec, and lighting. Hence, to start with, capture a high-quality 4K Canon RAW shot with the latest high-tech Canon Log 2 camera. You can also use other devices and choose different codecs and color profiles to get the best color grade.

frame-rate

Step 2: Color Grading and Color Correction

After importing your footage, get ready for color corrections to address issues like conversions for LOG formats through white balance adjustments. Color corrections normalize the color of HD videos into a standard format. Here’s how you can do this:

  1. Go to the Inspector Panel and select the Extended Function
  2. Select the C-Log 2 conversion LUT

color-grading

  1. Make minor exposure and white balance adjustments as per your scope
  2. Select the Color Wheels and Color Mask features to custom select specific areas and colors
  3. Adjust your color grade according to your requirements
  4. Use Color Masking to improve the shadow’s appearance and warm-up mid-tones
  5. You will get a strong color contrast in your footage.

Step 3: Use Slow Motion at the Right Timing

Final Cut Pro X allows its users to make both constant and variable speed changes without disturbing the audio’s pitch. By using slow-motion effects at the right timing, you can make your videos adorable and give them a cinematic look.

  • Select your video and click on the Retiming button
  • Tap on the Slow section

slow-motion

  • You will see multiple options to slow down the speed of your clip
  • The smaller number will slow down your footage
  • To apply custom retiming amounts, again click on the Retiming button and select the Custom option
  • Custom the speed of your clip over 100% or less than 100% as you want
  • After selecting a value, your selected clip will become longer on the timeline.

Step 4: Adopt Film Grain to Make Film-look Videos

Film grain overlays give your videos vintage and cinematic look. Follow these steps to use these film grains in Final Cut Pro X:

  1. Import your footage and film grains downloaded from the internet and layer them into your timeline
  2. Place the film grain on top of your clip
  3. Select the clip and go to the FCPX blend mode dropdown menu located on the top-right of your screen
  4. Click on the Overlay and adjust the opacity of the film grain overlay as required.

 filmgrain

Part 3: What Other Factors Contribute to Film-Look Videos

While making cinematic-look videos, also considering the following factors:

Framing

While filming, one must be aware of the emotion to be captured in the frame. For this purpose, follow the “Rule of Thirds,” which means to divide your short into three horizontal and vertical sections and select the third shot to produce some effect.

Tilt Shift

Instead of shooting your clips with a UHD camera, you can add cinematic effect with the Tilt-shift feature by setting the focus of your video. For this purpose, right-click on the video, select Power Tool and check the box with the option Apply Tilt-shift to the clip. Use the slider to adjust the focus.

Background Music

Cinematic clips without background music seem to be unexciting and boring. Adding melodious background music makes your videos look more professional and enjoyable. You can add default music or your favorite music downloaded from the internet by clicking on the Music tab.

Titles and Subtitles

Adding subtitles to your videos can make them understandable for viewers who speak a different language. Click on Text/Credit in Filmora and select Subtitles to add subtitles to your video.

Part 4: How to Add Cinematic Look to Your Footage in Easy Ways

Filmora is an advanced video editing tool developed by Wondershare. Its user-friendly and easy-to-understand interface makes it popular among beginners as well as professionals. And the best thing about Filmora is that the editor provides rich options of presets, effects, and filters to add a film look to your video.

Here’s how you can add a cinematic look to your footage with Filmora.

1, choose Effect

2, search for “cinematic” or “film”

filmora

3, drag the effect you like to the timeline

4, done!

Simple steps, right? For more stunning effects and film-look packages, try filmstock!

filmstock

 

Conclusion

Get rid of unexciting and dull videos with no animations or effects. It’s time to add a cinematic look to your videos to make them look more professional and elegant.

A variety of tools and applications are available to make cinematic look videos such as Final Cut Pro X and Filmora. Both these software offers advanced video editing features and allow you to make high-resolution cinematic-look videos. You can adjust various aspects of your video such as colors, aesthetics, resolution, motion, frame rate, composition, and camera movements with these two applications.

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Caroline Laurent
Caroline Laurent is a writer and a lover of all things video.