About Nonlinear and Nondestructive Editing

In the past, video editing was a time-consuming process. With linear editing, video editors had to edit everything onto a tape sequentially, one shot after another, from the beginning to the end. If you wanted to insert a series of shots in the middle of your edit, you had to reedit everything forward from that point.

Final Cut Pro lets you do nonlinear, nondestructive editing. Unlike traditional tape-to-tape editing, Final Cut Pro stores all of your footage on a hard disk, allowing you to access any frame of your footage instantaneously. Without the constraints of linear editing, you are free to combine shots in different orders and change their durations until you arrive at the exact sequence you want. Video and audio effects, such as scaling, position, rotation, speed changes, and multiple layers can also be applied and played back in real time. No matter how you process your footage, the underlying media is never touched. This is known as nondestructive editing, because all of the changes and effects you apply to your footage never affect the media itself.