Final Cut Pro Overview: Creating your Project Folders  
Create a new folder on your FireWire drive (File > New Folder). Make sure you title it your last name and the project name. You should not include any spaces or awkward characters (ex. lastname_projectname).  
Inside the project folder you should create another folder. You will title the folder Media (this will hold all of your media files). You may add more folders to your project folder as the project grows. Other folders might include Graphics, Audio, Animation, etc.  
These folders should be located on your FireWire drive. When beginning your project, you will set your Scratch disks to the "Media" folder and save your project to the main project folder.  
File Management is extremely important when creating a Final Cut Pro project. These steps and the ones to follow are crucial to ensure no loss in project media or entire project.  
Final Cut Pro Overview: Beginning a Project  
Final Cut Pro 4 from Apple Computers is a nonlinear editing system. In addition, FCP4 has the capacity for motion effects, video and audio filters, text, and various export options. LiveType, a titling animation program, and SoundTrack, a background music generator, are bundled with FCP4. They operate as independent programs rather than being integrated into FCP4.  
Attach your FireWire drive before launching FCP. Plug in the FireWire cable to your drive, then to the port extension (FireWire hub). Finally, turn on the power for your drive. NEVER plug or unplug your drive energized. You risk damaging the ports of both your drive and the computer.  
You start FCP by either going through the Start Folder or the Dock. When the program launches it reopens any project left open on the screen when the program was last in use.  
Use File > Close to get rid of all this (remember to always close your project when you are done-after saving it!) When no project is open you are presented with the effects window and the Viewer (or source) window.  
If you have a number of other programs open, or several folders open, you will have quite a few items visible in the background of FCP. You can go to the FCP menu and select Hide Others and only FCP will be visible on your screen.  
Here's what the program looks like when no project was left open:  
To start a new project, go to File > New Project:  
Once a new project loads up, your screen should look something like this:  
You now have a Browser window (where your assets are organized), a Viewer window (where you can see video clips, audio waveforms, and filter adjustments), a Canvas window (which shows playback of the project), a Sequence window (showing the timeline of your project), and your Tools and Audio Meters.  
Next you want to verify your settings - paying particular attention to your Scratch Disk location. Go to the FCP Menu and select System Settings.  
In the window above, FCP has defaulted to the MAC's hard drive - a very, very bad thing!!! NEVER SAVE TO THE DRIVE CONTAINING YOUR SYSTEM SOFTWARE AND YOUR PROGRAM!! Ultimately you will have file corruption and data loss often resulting in a computer that will not operate and project that is lost.  
Set your scratch disks to your FireWire drive. Click "Set" and search for your drive and your project folder. In your project folder, you created a folder called Media. Select this folder for all of your media files to be stored in.  
You will also want to set the Scratch Disks for the Waveform Cache, Thumbnail Cache, and Autosave Vault (You will want to use the Media folder located in your Project folder again).  
Since many of you are using the same brand and model of drive, you might considering giving your drive a unique name so that there's no opportunity for confusion. (Your name would be an excellent choice.)  
Next, go through your other settings:  
The window seen above is from a computer with no camera or DV deck connected to it; therefore, the warning message about the missing video playback.  
At this point, you should save your project. This file can be saved the main project folder you created at the beginning. It is a small test file (your EDL).
If you go to your FireWire drive and look inside your project folder you will discover that FCP has created several folders in the Media folder.
There are folders to hold your captured video (called your Capture Scratch), as well as folders for your audio and video renders. You can choose to create other folders in this location (such as, Graphics, Animations, and Audio).
Final Cut Pro Overview: Importing Video to Your Project
You will now import files and folders through your File Menu, or you will import DV video from a deck or camera.
To import a folder of video or graphics, use the File Menu and select Import and choose Files or Folder. Use this when you have video or graphics that have already been created. (For example, a project that is updated each summer might include several Bins from earlier versions). TAKE NOTE: The actual video is not brought into your project: a link is created to that folder. The material thus sits wherever you've indicated it is, and if that drive or server is removed, the link is broken.
To capture video, select Log and Capture from the File Menu. A new window appears in front of all other FCP windows.

You will normally log, marking In and Out points for the clip, adding comments in the appropriate fields, and then capturing or batch capturing. (Again, no deck or DV camera is connected so only color bars can be seen.)


You can designate a target Bin for your files, or you can move them to a Bin after the fact. Bins are used to organize your files. All the video you captured from tape is in the Capture Scratch folder on your FireWire drive. You can add and name Bins at any time in the editing process.

If, for example, three days into your work you discover you need to isolate your interviews (SOT) because you have number of people and a lot of clips, you can create a new Bin (File > New > New Bin), name it SOT (or whatever makes sense to you), and select and move your file names to it. When you look in that Bin, you will "see" your clips. (Remember, they really aren't there - it's a pointer to the actual file sitting in the Capture Scratch folder.)

The same is true for audio files. If you import an audio file from a CD, the actual file is on the CD. You need to copy the file to an Audio folder and THEN import it into your project. This prevents error messages later on in the process.


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