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Learn how to build and refine your story with the redesigned editing toolset in Final Cut Pro X. In this course, author Ashley Kennedy focuses on getting you comfortable with each aspect of the editing process in Final Cut—from preparation and organization, to editing and refining, to audio and effects, to media management and exporting. Each stage of the postproduction workflow is explained thoroughly and concisely, and uses real-world examples from both narrative and documentary workflows.
NOTE: This course and its exercise files are not compatible with Final Cut Pro X v. 10.1 or later. If you are running v. 10.1 or later, please watch Final Cut Pro X 10.1.1 Essential Training instead.
In Summer 2011, Final Cut Pro X joined the ranks as Apple's newest Digital Nonlinear Editing application with a totally reinvented take on story creation. Since then there have been quite a few updates in adding to and flushing out the software, and we'll explore many other things that make Final Cut Pro X so unique throughout this course. First, however, it's important to know a little bit about how Final Cut Pro X is similar to other Digital Nonlinear Editing applications. In other words, let's talk about the basic structure of all editing software.
First, the easy part, Final Cut Pro X is a digital system because it uses computer files to make up its structure. But what are these files? Well, there are two main groups of files that we need in the editing environment, media files and project files. Media files are the raw video and audio files that come from recording footage on a video camera or another device. These files are very large, and you don't actually change them at all. They remain whole and untouched and in Final Cut Pro X, the media files are called Events and they live in a folder called the Final Cut Events folder.
Project files are much smaller files and they essentially point to the larger media files. Project files are the files you actually edit with, allowing you to combine video images, audio, and other types of media together in sequences. In Final Cut Pro X, the project files live in a folder called Final Cut Projects. Both the Event folder and the Project folder reside and work together to make editing possible. Okay, so I said that you edit with your project files, and that's where the nonlinear nature of the software comes in.
You can combine video and audio in anyway possible. You can start with the end, you can add the beginning later, you can then insert shots in between shots and so on and so forth. Again, this is nondestructive, because no matter how many cuts you make in the footage to build your sequence, the actual media remains untouched and whole. Now, this relationship between media files and project files is a little like the relationship between a card catalog and the books in a library.
Card catalog entries contain a lot of information about their corresponding books, and in a sense they point to or refer to the actual book, just as the project files point to the media and then Final Cut Events folder. Now let's just talk about some basic rules. We'll go over these in much more detail later, but I want to just address some important logistics. And just as an FYI, these are rules that are mostly for your knowledge. Final Cut does pretty much all of the work, you just need to be aware of this stuff, and there is no better time to embrace media management than at the beginning.
The Final Cut Events and Final Cut Projects folder must live in a special location, well, one of two special locations. If you're editing on your Mac, and you don't have a separate media drive, then both the Final Cut Events and Final Cut Projects folders must live in the Movies folder within the folder structure of your Mac. If you try to rename these folders or take them out of the Movies folder, even to put them inside of a subfolder, everything will basically fall apart. So bottom line, leave everything alone. The other place the Final Cut Events and Final Cut Projects folders can live is at the root directory of your media drive.
The root directory simply means that these folders have to be at the top level, not inside any other folders. Same rules apply for these folders, don't move them or rename them or everything will go offline. And finally, just one more thing: many times the Final Cut Events folder contains the actual raw media. If you take a look here in my Final Cut Events folder, you see that I have got large files that are the actual raw video and audio. You can tell this by the fact each of them has a thumbnail of the media, and you can tell by the size.
Sometimes, however, the Final Cut Events folder just contains virtual files which can point to another folder where the actual media resides. So in this case, you can see that there aren't thumbnails, just these little arrows and they're much smaller, all 65 bytes or less. They actually refer to this folder here which contains the actual media from my camera. Again, we'll learn exactly how to make these decisions about whether or not you copy your media a little later in the course.
For now I just wanted to introduce you to the basic folder structure that exists within the Final Cut environment before we open the software. So, as you can see, it's important to be organized and to be aware when you're setting up your project. Don't worry, though, we'll learn exactly what all the project in event data actually means in just a bit, as we get our feet wet in the Final Cut Pro X editing environment.
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