Join Abba Shapiro for an in-depth discussion in this video Organizing the browser, part of Final Cut Pro 7 Essential Training.
Organization is one of the key elements in being a good editor, and having an organized browser is the best way to start. So let's take a look at how we can make our browser more functional, and more useful. The first thing I want you to do is we're going to stretch out the browser, so this is really our focus and to do that, we could click the little circle in the upper left-hand corner, but we're going to manually stretch it out. And I find that if you stretch it in a little bit first, you can break it away from the other windows and then stretch it out, so you can actually have it fill your entire screen.
The first thing we want to do is we want to put all of these clips into some organized structure. So we're going to create three bins. Now, bins is what we call Folders in Final Cut Pro, and it comes from the film industry. So we need to create three new bins. There is a couple of ways to do that. If I go under File, I can go New, and we see we have a choice to create a Bin. But it's much easier to use the keyboard shortcut and we've learned that little symbol means command. So Command+B will create a new bin.
So go ahead, click in the gray area of your browser, and click Command+B three times. This will create three bins, which we are going to label Audio, Video. Now, one thing you'll notice is when you name the bin, it will be alphabetized. So be careful that when you click on it that you're actually changing the name of your bin, and not changing the name of the clip. This final one is going to be Images.
Now what we want to do is we want to drop our clips into their respective folders. There are a lot of ways to select a video clip in Final Cut. I can simply grab it by its icon, and in this case, I see it looks like a 35-millimeter film frame. So I know it's a video clip, and I drop it in the Video folder. But that's not necessarily so efficient to drop them one at a time. What I really want to do is be able to select multiple clips. So if you hold down the Command key, I can select all the icons that look like film clips, and drag an entire series of clips into my Video folder.
Another way to select clips is to simply lasso them. You click outside of the icon, hold your mouse down, and drag over the clips, and in this way, I can select multiple clips at once, and drag these in this case, because they say A B C on them into the Images folder. Now another clip that we want to drag into the Images folder says Running The Sahara.psd. Now, though this looks like a sequence, it is a Photoshop document. So we'll go ahead and drag that into the Images folder, and finally our .JPEG into the Images folder.
One more way that you can select clips within the browser is to select the first one that you want to work with. In this case Sand Blowing, pull down the Shift key, and select a clip from the other end of the group, and all the clips in between will have been selected. I see these are all Speaker icons, so I know immediately that they are audio files. Let's go ahead and drop that into the Audio folder. So now we have a very organized environment, but I want to see what's inside each of these folders, and there is a couple of ways to do that.
One way is simply to click on this triangle to the left of the Bin icon. This is called the Disclosure Triangle. If I click on that, it will reveal the contents of that bin. Another way that I can look at the contents of a Bin is to double-click on the folder. Now, I'm going to double-click in this folder, and you see it opens up as this floating window on top of everything else. This can make things very confusing. In an ideal environment, I want to open up my Bins as attached tabs on the top part of my window.
So we're going to close this window, we learned how to do this earlier by clicking on the left button. Instead of double-clicking on the icon, I'm going to hold down a Modifier key, the Option Modifier key before I double-click. Now, when it opens up that window, it opens it up as an attached tab and it's very easy for me to step through my different tabs, and find the items I'm looking for. Let's go ahead and do the same thing with our Images folder. We are currently looking at a browser in a list form. But sometimes, it would actually work better if we could actually look at it as icons.
You can switch back and forth from whether you view something as a list to viewing something as an icon, simply by right-clicking or Ctrl-clicking in the empty area, and switching from View As List to View As Icons. I find viewing as large icons to be the most convenient. Now, you'll notice that you can actually see in the case of these images, a small representation of what that picture looks like. Let's jump back over to our Video tab. You'll notice that the Video tab has not switched to large icons also.
Each tab is independent from each other. So one tab can be as large icons, the next one small icons, the next one could be as a list. Now another thing we can do to take advantage of our browser is organize the spreadsheet of information. There is a lot of information located in our browser. You can see the duration of our clips, where the in and out point is in our timeline, when we captured at the Media Start and Media End. But sometimes, it's too much information or perhaps there is information further down to the right that will be useful to us.
You can easily modify your browser to suit your needs. If for instance, I wrote log notes that gave me detailed information about each clip, and I felt oh, I want to see that first, I can simply grab that column header and move it over to the left. Conversely, if maybe I had nothing in my log notes and I just wanted to hide that column, if I right-clicked on it or Ctrl-clicked on it, I can hide that column from view, because I don't use it. If I right-click on the Duration column and look down, you see there is a variety of other options for viewing information.
One that I find really valuable is Show Thumbnail. When I click on Show Thumbnail, I actually see a small poster-frame representing each of my video elements. What's really cool about this is if I left-click on any of these, and move my mouse left to right, I can actually scrub through this clip. And more so, if I'm scrubbing through a clip and I find, you know, this represents the image more than the very first frame, I just queue it up by moving my mouse to the right and before I release the mouse button, I hit the Ctrl key and then I let go of the mouse button, and it saves this as the poster frame.
If I want to close any of my tabs, it's very easy to do. I can either right-click on that tab and close it, or if I'm inside the top level of my browser, I can simply go over here to the Images folder, which we have as a separate tab, click on the Disclosure triangle, and as you see it immediately closes the tab. So one thing to keep in mind is when looking at any Bin, you can either click on the Disclosure triangle and see the contents within your browser, or you could open it up as a separate tab, one or the other, but not both.
Another way of organizing your browser is color coding both the clips as well as the folders. To do this, simply select a clip, right-click on it, go down to the bottom of the pull-down window to label, and pick the color that works best for you. As you see, now I can very easily discern this clip from the other ones. I can also right-click on a Bin. If I right-click on a Bin to change its color, in this case we'll make it red, when I open that Bin as a tab, Option+Double-click, that tab maintains the color of the folder.
Again, making it very easy for me to find what I'm looking for. Once you have your browser organized exactly how you want it, simply reset your windows by hitting Ctrl+U. Your browser is back where it belongs, and you can continue to edit.
- Preparing for an optimal Final Cut Pro editing experience
- Taking control of the Timeline by mastering the interface and learning the best keyboard shortcuts
- Learning the best practices for bringing clips into the Timeline
- Refining the Timeline with Ripple, Roll, Slip, and Slide edits
- Performing quick and easy color corrections
- Understanding and using the new markers features
- Importing video and audio files from tape, P2 media cards, and music CDs
- Understanding how to shoot and edit with multiple cameras
- Sharing a finished project on DVD, an MP3 player, or YouTube