Join Frank Rohmer for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a new project, part of Final Cut Pro 6 Workflow.
Okay, so the first thing you're going to want to do is create a new project from scratch before you begin editing, and I'd like to show you how to do that now. So launch Final Cut Pro if you haven't already done that. If you have, one of two things are probably going to happen. You're either A, going to open up an untitled project, like I did, or you're going to open up another project that someone else created or that one you were working in prior to this training. In either case we have to close that project, just to get it out of the way. So I'd like you to navigate up to the Project tab here in the Browser, push the Ctrl key down, and then mouse-click on either the untitled or the titled project and select Close Tab.
And I'd like you to close any project that's open so that you see just the Browser and you see just the Viewer. Now, Final Cut Pro has not been closed, but the project or all projects have been when you see just these two windows. And if you inadvertently select the desktop over here by clicking on it, the Final Cut Pro title and the menu will disappear. That's not a problem. Simply click on one of these two windows to bring it back. Now once you've done this, let's go to the easy setup function that's located under the Final Cut Pro menu.
So navigate to the upper left-hand corner of your screen, mouse-click, and select Easy Setup. When you do that, the Easy Setup window will appear, and I'd like you to mouse-click on this white button here and select DV-NTSC. What I am about to tell you would also apply to HDV, which is down in here. So select DV-NTSC and then mouse-click on the Setup button, and when we do that we'll get a window if you do not have a DV device turned on and have it connected to Final Cut Pro. This window is normal.
And actually this message window says that Final Cut Pro is unable to locate a FireWire device through the FireWire port on your computer. This is not a problem at all; in fact, we'll talk about this when we get to the Log and Capture portion of our training. But in this case it's okay, so you simply click on the Continue button. If you do have a DV device and it's not turned on, you can turn it on if you want, and then when you hit Continue this message window will go away. Either way, I would like you or I would like you to close this Continue or click on the Continue button to close this window.
Okay, so that goes away, great! Now we still haven't created a new project. We simply set our next project up to be set up in DV; in other words we went to the Easy Setup and now when we create a new project everything will be set up for DV. So navigate up to the Word file in the upper left-hand side and select New Project. And just like that, this entire project is all set up for DV. Pretty easy, isn't it? Well, let's save our project now: navigate up to the Word file in the upper left-hand side, mouse-click, and select Save Project As.
I'd like you to click on the Desktop option in the left-hand side, and then I want you to create a new folder. In other words do you see our Training Media folder? This is already on the Desktop. Do not click on that. Simply click on the Desktop icon, then select New Folder down below, and let's give this folder a name. Let's call it Project 1. And then mouse-click on the Create button and an additional folder will be created on the desktop. Then I'll need you to mouse-click in the Save As window and leave the .fcp option there and type in Project 1.
Now you can name your future projects anything you'd like, but for the training I'd like you to keep the name of the project the same as the name of the folder that the project is going to go into, so when we hit the Save button our project will then go into this folder. So we'll click on the Save button. And now if you look in the upper left- hand side of your interface, the project name, which we called it Project 1, will appear in this tab. Very good. Let's check one thing before we continue. Let's hide Final Cut.
Push the Apple key and the letter H, so Apple+H. Final Cut Pro hides. Then navigate over to the Project folder that you created. Double-click on it. And when you do that you'll see the project icon. That is a project icon. That means that a Final Cut Pro project, even though it's blank, is sitting in this folder on the Desktop. Great! So far so good. Let's close this out and go back into Final Cut. You can navigate down to the Dock, locate the Final Cut Pro icon, and click once and then it reopens.
So, we've created the project in the folder on the desktop. Okay, so we're about half way to creating a new project correctly. I mean technically we've created one at this point, but I need you to do one more thing. You need to click on the Browser, navigate back up to the word Final Cut Pro, and select System Settings. And we are going to set what we call our scratch disk location. In other words we're going to set a location, that every time we capture footage, the footage goes to that location, or every time we render in Final Cut the rendered information goes to that location.
I'll explain rendering when we get to that point. But we need to set that at this point, or at this stage of creating a new project. So navigate to the OK button in the bottom-right--I am sorry. Actually, don't hit the OK button. Navigate to the Set button, all right, to set that scratch disk location, and I'd like you to select the desktop because we're going to select our Project folder. Yes, we are going to set our Project folder as the scratch disk location. So I'll select the--after I'd mouse- click on that Project folder, I'll select the Choose button in the bottom right- hand side and then I'll mouse-click on the OK button, here in the System Settings window.
Now, it doesn't look like anything has happened, but I want to show you something. Let's hide Final Cut Pro one more time: push the Apple key and the letter H, Final Cut Pro hides. Let's navigate to our Project folder. There it is. I am going to double-click on this, and now, look what we have. Not only do we have our Project icon here, but we have a few other folders that were created. We have an Audio Render folder, a Capture Scratch folder, and a general Render folder, which is where the video render files will go. But basically all this information now exists in this folder.
The entire project at this point is contained, is self-contained in that Project folder, which is a nice thing because if I ever want to move it, I will just simply mouse-click and drag it to a hard drive. If I ever want to have access to any of the render files, I simply double-click on it and I can look at the render files or the captured files. So there is a lot of good features when you create a new project the way I just showed you, as long as you do the following: every time you open a project, whether it's new or old, you make sure your scratch disk location is set to the proper Project folder.
And this is because nowadays most of you have external FireWire drives. A lot of us are no longer saving our projects inside the computer. So if you have a project and you want to drag this to an external drive, you can; it's that simple. Once it's on that drive, you can shelf that drive to archive the project. A lot of people are doing this now, and that's the way you do it. So when we work with graphics and music-- and I'll talk to you more about this later on-- if we pop a CD in our computer, we have to drag the music to the Project folder first, from the CD, and then we import it into our Final Cut Pro project. And that would also apply to any graphics or anything that someone gives you to bring into your project, and we'll talk more about that when we get to that lesson on how to work with importing files into our project, okay? So, let's go back to our Dock down below, mouse-click on the Final Cut Pro icon, and now we have successfully created a project and we have successfully saved it in a great spot for this training.
And you can apply that to any new project that you want to work on in the future. But I would suggest you continue with these lessons to understand the other few items that are important when you create a project in a folder like that. Okay, so we've created our project. We've given our project a name. It's set up for DV. We're ready to go. There is one more thing: we have to set our preferences. And there's a few things as far as Preferences are concerned and that is, preferences are basically the way you want Final Cut Pro to have certain things done for you.
And I believe part of preferences can be how you want these windows arranged, or how you want them sized. Look, I can resize this Browser window by clicking on the bottom right-hand side of the browser. There is a little grid. See that grid right there? I am going to mouse-click and I am going to drag it out. And I can increase the size if I want, and I'll reveal more columns. I'll talk more about these in other lesson, but you can resize these--some of these windows to do that, or at least the Browser window you can.
And you can rearrange these as well; you can mix things around if you want. You can also mouse-click in between a few windows: mouse-click and drag, and you can dynamically resize multiple windows if you want. So that's kind of a nice thing as well. Regardless of what you do, if everything is in a particular mess--for instance the Timeline might be here, or maybe the Browser window is extended out and you've been working--to get everything to snap back to its default location that is the default setup for Final Cut Pro, as far as the interface is concerned, push the Ctrl button and the letter U and watch what happens. Boom! All the windows snap back.
So that's a nice little feature: Ctrl+U, all the windows snap back. So try to remember that one. Okay, so, we have our interface semi set up to the way we like, which I would still consider under the Preference umbrella. But the true preferences are under the Final Cut Pro option up here at the top menu. Mouse-click on that and select User Preferences, and the User Preferences window will open. Now there are several tabs here, as you can see, the General, Editing, Labels, Timeline Options.
There is a lot of them, and there's a lot of options in every single tab. Well, I don't want to talk about every single one of them, because by default most of them, if not all of them, are already set up to, I would say make 90% of all editors happy. But I want to talk to you about a few things that you can change to help make the Preferences better for what you're doing. So let's talk about a few of the more important ones. First of all, Levels of Undo. When you're new you may want to set this at 20 or 15 because when this number is higher you can undo maybe some mistakes that you made to get back to where you were before you made the mistake.
So you can change this to really any number you want. But the higher the number that is, the more system resources are tapped into. So I probably wouldn't go more than 20. Let's move down to Real-time Audio Mixing. This basically means I'll have the ability to mix eight tracks of audio in real time. And this is really based on the CPU that will give you that type of performance, because if I change this number--which, by the way, I believe 8 is the default amount of audio levels that I can mix at the same time-- you can also mouse-click on this and select different options here and it defaults to Lower or Low.
And this doesn't mean the final output will be low; it just gives you a slightly lower audible file to listen to all eight tracks based on the CPU strength. So, you could probably leave this here at Low and leave that at 8 and you'll be fine. Okay, down below, you want to make sure that Save a copy every--I am going to change mine from 90 may be to 10 minutes, or even 5 minutes, and make sure Autosave Vault is checked. And when that's checked, every time, or every with whatever increment you have typed in here--and in my case it's 10 minutes--every 10 minutes Final Cut Pro will save itself and it'll do it for 40 copies per project, with a maximum of 25 projects.
So there is an awful lot of saving going on here. And I would say maybe even consider changing this to 5 and Final Cut Pro will automatically save itself every 5 minutes. So, that's a good thing. Okay, let's navigate over here to this item here, Abort capture on dropped frames. Some of you would want that checked so that when you're capturing footage Final Cut Pro will stop capturing and let you know, hey, we're dropping frames, fix the problem. That could mean a hard drive problem or something else, so you do want to be aware of that, so leave that checked.
And then this is an interesting feature. On a timecode break, while capturing, what would you like Final Cut Pro to do? Would you like Final Cut Pro to make a new clip, abort the capture, or continue to capture and then just simply tell you about it at the end? Well, I'm not crazy about Abort Capture because if there was a timecode break on your tape, at the end of the tape, then it'll abort a one-hour capture when it gets to the end and when it sees that timecode break. So, it's probably better to know about it either after the capture or select Make New Clip.
Okay, and I actually like that one the best, so I would say select that one and then Final Cut Pro will simply separate the timecode breaks into separate clips. Auto Render I like to have turned off. And I'll turn it on temporarily, because when it's on it just begins to render on its own based on what I have selected down here. And I don't believe in rendering anything until I'm actually done with all of the editing, because I make so many changes. Why bother taking up CPU strength rendering in the background and why bother taking up the hard drive space when I know I am going to be making changes on probably at least half the editing things that I am going to do? So I'll uncheck it, and I'll do the rendering on my own.
If you want to turned on, great! You can leave it on and you can select. You can change this increment to start rendering after 10 minutes or 20 minutes. You can render open sequences or a current sequence or open sequences except the current. These are all Timeline options: Open Timeline, Render Open Timelines, or Render Current Timelines. I would probably say Render Current Timeline would probably be the best if you're going to keep this on. And this is an interesting one, rendering real-time segments.
I would say probably leave that checked, because at some point if you do decide to keep this on, you will want the real-time options to be rendered, especially if you are going to be going to DVD, okay? So let's move on with the next item. So I'd navigate over to the Editing tab, click on that. And this first option is a determination of when you make a still image out of a video clip or from a frame actually, how long will that still image default to? Well, it will default to 10 seconds, if you leave it 10. Or when you import a photo or a graphic file, it'll default to the duration that's typed into this window.
So I say 10 is a pretty good option for that. Everything else here by default is good. Let's move on to Timeline Options tab. Click on that. And the Starting Timecode is one of the main questions I get in my class, because usually there is a 1 here. In other words, the timecode on my Timeline starts at 1 hour. And if you're not familiar with timecode, we'll talk about it real quick. This first set of numbers, the 01, represents hours; the second set represents minutes; and the third set represents seconds; and the fourth set represent frames.
And what this means is the Timeline will start at 1 hour. And it gets to be a little confusing when you're a new editor, so I always tell my students to change this 1 to a 0. And that way the Timeline starts at zero and everything you drop on the Timeline will hopefully make a little more sense when you're learning Final Cut. I think at some point you may change that back to 1 hour, once you fully understand if that's going to benefit you or not. And I've got to tell you at this point, I leave it at 0, still on projects that I'm working on, and it's just I think out of habit, because if I ever need to change it, I can change it any point while I am editing and I can put the one back there.
So for now leave it at zero, all zeros. Leave Drop Frame checked, you may not have shot your project in drop frame, but it doesn't hurt to edit in, or to leave this checked and have the Timeline set for Drop Frame, okay? Drop Frame is basically, you are not dropping any frames and I don't have time to explain what it really is, but you're really not dropping a frame; you're dropping a number. And it's typically used-- of course it has to be used for broadcast. And if it's on, it'll never hurt your project whether you are going to broadcast or not.
So just to be safe, leave it on and you should be good, okay? The other item that I think is important is the Default Number of Tracks every time you want to create a new Timeline or a project is created. And it will default to whatever is typed in here for Video and for Audio, and I've changed mine to 2 tracks of Video and 4 tracks of Audio, because that seems to be a pretty good amount--well at least 2 tracks of Video is what I'm usually working in for just about any project. You'll see later on when we come back into the Timeline options, when we are working in the Timeline, whether or not you'll want this on and a few other items down below.
But for now we're done with the Preferences believe it or not, and let's navigate down to the OK button down here in the bottom right-hand side and click on that, and we have set our Preferences and we have created a new project and we're ready to go on to the next lesson.
Designed with the editor in mind, Final Cut Pro 6 Workflow explores the nuts and bolts of this software with concise and thorough tutorials. Instructor Frank Rohmer covers everything from setting up a new project to working with effects and color. He walks through how to create and edit a project in Final Cut Pro 6 from beginning to end, including how to animate photos, filters, and mattes; manipulate audio features; and mix HD and SD formats. Frank also offers advanced tips and tricks that every editor should know.
- Working with HDV
- Customizing the keyboard
- Using Chroma and Luma keying
- Understanding ProRes 422
- Using the SmoothCam feature
- Logging and batch capturing
- Keyframing the audio volume