Are you upgrading to Final Cut Pro X and need to send over all of your iMovie videos and projects?  Watch this video to see how you can quickly and easily convert your iMovie Library to a Final Cut Pro X Library.

When you convert an iMovie Library, Events are created for each Event in the iMovie Library as well as Each Project in the iMovie Library.

 

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Copyright 2016 - Bascomb Productions

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How can you export an MP3 audio file in Final Cut Pro X?  Watch this video to see how you can create a Destination (or preset) to save an MP3 file of your audio.

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Copyright 2016 - Bascomb Productions

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How can you quickly edit a video on your iPhone so that you can trim out some bad parts at the beginning or ending?  Check out this video to see how easy and quick it is to trim the edges of a video.

The editing controls in this video are shown in iOS 10.  You can also share the clip out to iMovie by tapping the More button, located to the right of the Play button.

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How can you show the original source timecode of a clip in Final Cut Pro X?  Check out this video to see how easy it is to burn in the Source Timecode using an Effect in version 10.3.

Why would you want to reveal the original timecode of a video clip?  The Source Timecode serves as an absolute reference to the original media of a video clip.

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How can you delete all of the render files for all of a Library’s Projects and Events in Final Cut Pro X?  Watch this video to see how you can free up disk space on your Mac by clearing out Final Cut Pro X's render files in version 10.3.

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Have you shot wide dynamic range video footage with a Blackmagic camera or a Sony A7RII?  Watch this video to see how you can properly setup Log Processing for clips in Final Cut Pro X.

Many popular cameras today shoot with a wide dynamic range.  This footage has a "flat" look and needs to be compensated for either through color correction or by properly identifying the look that the footage was shot in.

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Copyright 2016 - Bascomb Productions

How can you change the default destination in Final Cut Pro X?  Watch this video to see how you can set a default export setting for your project timelines.

Why would you want to change the Default Destination in Final Cut Pro X?  By using the keyboard shortcut Command-E, you can quickly export the timeline or range that is currently selected and have it use the default destination.  This is an excellent way to pick up speed in your editing workflow.

 

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Copyright 2015 - Bascomb Productions

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Want to create an opening crawl in Final Cut Pro X for your Star Wars fan film?  Watch this video to see how you can easily set the stage for your space adventure in a galaxy far, far away.

By changing the Speed Control from Fixed to Automatic, the speed of the opening crawl relates directly to the length of the title clip.

The version of Final Cut Pro X used in this tutorial is 10.2.2.

 

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Copyright 2015 - Bascomb Productions

How can you create a Project with a custom frame size in Final Cut Pro X?  Watch this video to see how you can set any resolution for a project.

You can also select standardized formats such as 4K, 4:3, and many more via the Format drop-down menu.


The version of Final Cut Pro X used in this tutorial is 10.2.1.

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Editing is a process.  Developing your edit in stages gives you the ability to reach goals, to reflect and to iterate.  It’s important to have a creative process like this in order for your video to be all that it can be.

Keeping the versions of an edit organized can be cumbersome, but here is a method and a naming convention that can help with project organization in Final Cut Pro X.

 

Stages

Let’s consider some possible stages for a medium sized project where the workflow needs approval by a client at different stages in development:


Raw Footage - The Raw Footage stage is where footage is unorganized and is in its original, uncut state for a project.  This is the starting point that every editor faces: the raw ingredients.

Selects - The Selects stage is where you select the usable pieces and good takes from the Raw Footage.  This stage is about thinning down what you have to work with.

Assembly Cut - The Assembly Cut stage is a rough structure of the flow of the project’s narrative.  If you’re doing a video where interviews drive the narrative, this is a cut that puts together only your interview clips and allows you to build the major structure of the story.

Rough Cut - The Rough Cut stage is a complete flow of all parts of the narrative.  The Rough Cut builds upon the Assembly Cut by taking your core story and growing it into a rich and layered video.  The rough cuts will contain place holders or temporary elements of additional footage, animation and music.  As a rough cut evolves, elements become finalized.  The Rough Cut stage is about refinement 

Final Cut - The Final Cut stage is a complete, polished video and is ready for review and approval.


Approvals and iterations happen within each of the three stages of cuts.  Once you get the main structure of your video in place (the Assembly Cut), you move to making that structure a refined and rich experience.(the Rough Cut)  Once you have refined your cut to the point it feels done, you create a final candidate.(the Final Cut)  Each stage can have multiple versions.

Like any process, you may reach points where you have to step backward to go forward.  If you find that a Rough Cut is not working like you hoped, you may need to step back to an Assembly Cut and work on the main structure of your story to fix issues that you may have.


Project Naming Convention

With these video stages in mind, you can apply a standard naming convention to the timelines you create.

The convention I use is Letter + Number followed by Stage.  Project timelines get names such as “A4 Assembly”, “R8 Rough” and “F4 Final”.

The parts of the convention are defined as:
Letter = A for Assembly, R for Rough Cut, F for Final Candidate
Number = 1, 2, 3, etc. (the version)
Stage = Assembly, Rough or Final

For example, if you’re working on your fifth rough cut of a video, the project would be named “R5 Rough”.  While having both “R” and “Rough” in the title for identification seems to be redundant, its need becomes obvious when sorting your projects in Final Cut Pro X.


Smart Collections in Final Cut Pro X

In Final Cut Pro X, Smart Collections are filters that allow you to focus in on just the elements that you want to see from the total set of media in your project.

Think of it like email organization: an old approach was to let the user organize their emails by sorting emails into folders; a modern approach is to put all of your emails in to one location and search on what you need.

The same goes for elements in Final Cut Pro X Events: there are no defined “folders” or “buckets” to organize your content into; Rather, there is one bucket and you create filters to see what you want.

To organize the versions of your cuts, you can create Smart Collections based on the name of the stage of the Project.  You will first filter by “Type” to show you Projects.  Then, you will filter by text in order to see the cuts you want.  If you want to see all of your Assembly cuts, filter by text that includes “Assembly”.  Repeat this for “Rough” and “Final” and you’ve got a quick way to see and organize the different cuts of a project.

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Being able to edit video projects where the project elements are in the cloud has seemed like an unrealistic goal for all but very high end productions… until now.  Improvements in internet connection speeds and cloud storage have risen to a level where editing and syncing small projects stored in the cloud is possible.

This is not a perfect system and it has not been thoroughly tested, but if this system suits your needs, it could be an exciting first step towards online collaboration between video editors.

The key to accomplishing the collaboration is having a Final Cut Pro X library shared via Dropbox between editors and having that library’s cache stored locally for each editor.  In other words, the editing database and original media are stored in the cloud, but render files are stored locally.

Note: This workflow could also be done with the original media being stored locally as well (each editor having a copy of the original media on a local drive), but a goal of this is to store the original media in the cloud.


THE GOALS

  • Collaborate on a Final Cut Pro X editing project where the editors are in different physical locations.
  • Backup the original media and the project database to cloud storage.

 


REQUIREMENTS

  • Final Cut Pro X
  • Cloud storage that syncs and shares between editors.  Dropbox’s Pro plan with 1TB of storage is an excellent solution for this.
  • Only one editor can work on a FCP X library at a time.  In order to know who is currently editing the library, use Finder labels to identify if it’s safe to open the library or not.  Use red for “In Use” and green for “OK to open”.

 


WORKFLOW

Here are the steps to this workflow:
1. Setup a folder in Dropbox that is shared between editors.
2. Create a Final Cut Pro X library in this Dropbox folder.
3. Setup the Final Cut Pro X library as a Managed Media library.(in other words, the imported media will be stored within the library and will therefore be synced to Dropbox)
4. Setup the Final Cut Pro X library to use local cache.  When other editors open the library, they will need to set this for their system.
5. One editor can import media and begin editing.  This first editor will need to allow time for Dropbox to sync the media to its servers.
6. When work on the project is done, the editor will need to close the library.  Once the library is closed, change the Finder label of the library file to green to indicate that another editor may open.

After this initial setup is done, each editor will need to follow and repeat the steps below for cloud collaboration:
1. Sync all files from the Dropbox folder for the project.
2. Before opening the library, change the Finder label of the library to red.
3. Open and edit the Library.
4. When finished with editing, close the library and change the Finder label to green.

 

Note: You will also need to share/sync any custom Motion Templates that are used in the project.

 


BENEFITS

  • Collaboration between editors is possible if the editors follow the rules of checking a project in and out.
  • The Final Cut Pro X library and original media is backed up in the cloud, providing extra insurance for project recovery should disaster strike.

 


CONSTRAINTS

  • There are two major constraints, both of which will improve in the future given better technology: the speed of your internet connection and the amount of available cloud storage.
  • The amount of time it takes to upload/download the original media for a project could be significant given a slow connection speed.
  • Depending on the size of your project, 1 TB of Dropbox space may not be enough space to store your raw media.

 

THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR

This workflow is not without its potential hurdles.  Sharing and rendering may fail according to an article by Apple.  Click here to read the article as well as an easy fix in case you run into issues.

 

 

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Copyright 2014 - Bascomb Productions

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How can you delete all of the proxy media for all of a Library’s Projects and Events in Final Cut Pro X?  Watch this video to see how you can free up disk space on your Mac by clearing out Final Cut Pro X's proxy media in version 10.1.2.

By deleting a Library's proxy media, all of the proxy media for all of the projects in the library are deleted.  To be more selective, you can also delete the proxy media of an Event instead of a Library.

To delete proxy media in Final Cut Pro X 10.1 or 10.1.1, review this page.

 

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How can you delete all of the render files for all of a Library’s Projects and Events in Final Cut Pro X?  Watch this video to see how you can free up disk space on your Mac by clearing out Final Cut Pro X's render files in version 10.1.2.

By deleting all of a Library's render files, all of the render files for all of the projects in the library are deleted.  To be more selective, you can also delete the render files of an Event instead of a Library.

To delete render files in Final Cut Pro X 10.1 or 10.1.1, review this page.

To delete render files in Final Cut Pro X 10.0 to 10.0.9, review this page.

 

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Final Cut Pro X is ready to edit 4K video, but how do you find additional content that is also 4K ready?  Watch this video to see how you can easily filter to see which content is ready for 4K projects in Final Cut Pro X.

In order to see the "4k-ready content only" checkbox, you must have a 4K project opened.  If you have an HD project or lower resolution project opened, you will not see the 4K checkbox.


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Do you need to export a frame out of a project in Final Cut Pro X?  Watch this video to see how you can easily setup a Destination for quickly exporting an image from your movie.

Do you need to export a frame into a format other than JPEG?  You can also export into the following formats:

  • TIFF File
  • PNG Image
  • Photoshop File
  • Open EXR
  • DPX Image
     

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Do you need to centralize the location of all of the video clips, audio clips and images for your video project?  Watch this video to see how you can consolidate a library in Final Cut Pro X 10.1.

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Need to know how to get rid of all of your transcoded media in Final Cut Pro X?  Watch this video to see how you can free up disk space on your Mac by clearing out Final Cut Pro X's transcoded media in version 10.1.  This will remove both proxy media and high quality (or optimized) media from your Event.

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Copyright 2014 - Bascomb Productions

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Need to know how to get rid of proxy media in Final Cut Pro X?  Watch this video to see how you can free up disk space on your Mac by clearing out Final Cut Pro X's proxy media in version 10.1.

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Why Archive?

Why do we archive a video project?  We archive a project in case we ever need to restore the project.  That leads to a natural follow-up question: why would we ever need to restore a project?  There are two reasons: we may need to re-export a project or we may need to make changes to a project.

So, what do we archive from all of our work on a project?  We archive whatever we need to restore the project at a later date as well as any reference material that is important to keep.(such as editing notes, graphical files and fonts)  We also want to organize everything in such a way that it’s easy to find things again in the future.

For Final Cut Pro X 10.1 and higher, what elements do we need to archive?  The elements can be broken down as follows:

  • Libraries - Libraries consist of all of your Events.  Events consist of all of your raw media (video files, audio files, still images) as well as your Projects (the editing timelines).
  • Motion Templates - Custom Transitions, Titles, Transitions, and Generators
  • Associated Files - Document Files, Graphic Files, Fonts and other other files deemed appropriate

When archiving, you can consider not backing up your original media with the Final Cut Pro X project archive.  Why?  If you have the original media (perhaps on an SD card) and if it can easily be reimported or relinked, you can save the physical media and choose to restore it at a later time.  This is a good way to make efficient use of your storage if your work contains a lot of high-resolution video footage.  For projects that have a smaller amount of video footage, you could archive it with everything else.  It’s a choice between how big you want the file size of the archive to be and how easy you want a restoration to be.

Where do we archive all of these files?  Two good options to consider when archiving your work are disk drives and network based storage.(Dropbox, for instance)  Like any digital backup/archiving plan for important materials, you’ll want redundancy and you’ll want multiple locations.

 

How to archive in Final Cut Pro X

Now that we've established the "why" of archiving, let's dive into the "how" of archiving our work in Final Cut Pro X.  This workflow is based on the current version of Final Cut Pro X, which as of the publishing time of this article is version 10.1.

One note before we begin: Projects (capital P) refers to a Final Cut Pro X timeline whereas projects (lowercase p) refers generically to the complete effort in creating a video.

To archive, you’ll need to do some work in Final Cut Pro X and in the Finder.  Let’s start by doing the prep work in Final Cut Pro X.  Note: This article has been updated for a Final Cut Pro X 10.1.3 workflow.

1. Delete all render files from your Library

  • There’s no need to save your project’s render files as they can easily be re-rendered.  These files are large and will substantially save space in what you will need to archive.  Check out this video to see how to delete your render files in your Library.  If you delete all render files in a Library, it will delete all of the render files for all of the Events and the Projects in that Library.
     

2. Delete Transcoded Media (Optimized/Proxy media)

  • You will want to delete the transcoded media that you used to improve playback performance either as Optimized Media or Proxy Media.  You’ll need to use the Finder to delete all of this transcoded media.  Watch this video to see how you can easily delete the Transcoded Media.(You will also need to select the Optimized Media checkbox as well.)
     

3. Consolidate your Library

  • This command will centralize all of your media into the location that you specify.  In a simple scenario, you will want to consolidate the media into the library that you are archiving.  It will bring a copy of any media that was linked externally into your library.  This could take up a lot of disk space depending on the amount of media.  To consolidate a library, follow the steps in this video.
     

4. Delete restorable media (optional)

  • For media on memory cards or other physical media that you can easily re-capture or re-link later, delete the Original Media in the Library.  You’ll do this in the Finder in the same way that you deleted the Transcoded Media.  However, you will delete *only* the media in the Original Media folder that you know that you can easily restore.
     

5. Close the library

  • Close the library within Final Cut Pro X by control-clicking the Library and selecting the close library option.

 

Now, let’s move to the Finder to do the rest of the archiving work.

 

6. Create an Archive folder

  • In the Finder, create a folder at the location you wish to archive (for example, an external hard drive or network/cloud drive) to hold everything in your project.
     

7. Copy your Library file to the Archive folder

  • Locate the Final Cut Pro Library file and copy it to the Archive folder that you just created.  Depending on the size of the file, this may take a while.
     

8. Copy Motion Templates (Transitions, Titles, Transitions, Generators)

  • This is the hardest part of the current workflow for archiving.  It is particularly difficult given that you can’t necessarily just go to the separate sub-folders of the Motion Templates and copy them over.  You could potentially have referenced custom templates across many sub-folders.  It can get messy quickly.  There are two ways to handle this:
    • Copy only the Motion Templates that you used - This approach is easy if you gave all of your custom motion templates a category when they were published.(for instance “Bob’s Project”)  Then, you can find the “Bob’s Project” folders within each of the Motion Templates sub-folders to copy.  If you ever need to restore projects with this approach, you can copy these custom Motion Templates back in their corresponding location.
    • Copy all of the Motion Templates - You can archive the entire Motion Templates folder to make sure you have everything that was used in a project.  This will be a simple approach, but could also take up more space than is needed.  If you ever need to restore projects with this approach, you'll want to be careful that restoring these templates does not overwrite other templates that have been created since the archive was created.
  • Your Motion Templates folder is always located in the User’s “Movies” folder.  To archive these elements, create a Motion Templates folder in the Archive folder and copy everything there.   You’ll want to adhere to any distribution rights regarding moving third party templates around.

9. Backup Associated Files - Within the Archive folder, create a folder or folders for all of your associated files.  This could include:

  • Word/Pages/Numbers/Keynote/Powerpoint Documents
  • Photoshop/Pixelmator files
  • Fonts

 

NOTE: For archiving your work in Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9 and earlier, please refer to this article.

 

 

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