Performance In Process - Final Cut

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Multimedia Lab Proficiency

Multimedia Lab Use Guidelines

Download Source Files

  • Connect to Orca
    • Finder > Go > Connect to Server
  • Create a folder on the User Drive with your name
  • Copy the entire BDMV folder from Orca into your folder on the User Drive
  • Disconnect from Orca by dragging it to the trash after copying is complete.

Creating a Final Cut Project

Final Cut needs to have a Scratch Disk set every time it is opened. The Scratch Disk is s global setting in Final Cut. It is not set for each project. When switching between projects remember to change the Scratch Disk.

Set your Scratch Disk

  1. After opening Final Cut a dialog box will open asking to “Set Your Scratch Disks”.
  2. Click the Set button, browse to your folder in the User Drive and select it.
  3. Click Choose to make it the default location to store all your content.

For more info see Scratch Disk - FCP

File Management

Final Cut Pro has to be able to find the media that goes with your project. If any content is deleted, or lost during file transfers from one station to another, Final Cut will not be able to to locate it, and the clip will go blank and say "off-line". It's possible to reconnect it if you've labeled things correctly--ask a lab aide for help.

  • Your PROJECT file (which you named) contains all the information about the clips you've logged and transferred, and the work you've done in the timeline. It is like a RECIPE that tells Final Cut Pro what ingredients you used and how you put them together.
  • Your User Drive folder should include:
  1. Your original camera files, intact inside the BDMV folder.
  2. Your project file.
  3. Your media that you logged and transferred into Final Cut. Later on, this folder will also include: Render files (we'll talk about this next time); and any other materials you're working with, like still photographs, additional sound, etc.

Log and Transfer

  1. Go to File > Log and Transfer, or Shift+Command+8.

Log and Transfer Preferences

Our labs are set to convert clips from the Vixia Cameras to Apple ProRes 422 (LT).

Transferring Clips

  1. Click the Add Volume (Command+i) and select the BDMV folder copied from the camera.
  2. To only import video click on the Import Settings button and uncheck audio
  3. To import your footage select the clip you want to transfer. Set the in and out points, set the Clip Name and Reel Name and then click ‘Add Clip to Queue’. Once placed in the Queue, media will begin to transfer.

Clip Navigation

The J, K and L keys are shortcuts for playback.

  • Press L to play forward.
  • Press K to play stop.
  • Press J to play backwards.
  • Pressing L multiple times increases the forwards playback speed.
  • Pressing J multiple times increases the backwards playback speed.
  • The I and O keys can be used to set in and out points.

Sequence Settings

The first time a clip is added to a new sequence Final Cut will display a warning if the Sequence Settings do not match the clip settings.

  1. Drag a clip to the timeline.
  2. When Final Cut display a warning that says "Change sequence settings to match clips settings?" click yes.

For information on manually setting the Sequence Settings see Sequence Settings HD - FCP

Editing Basics

Insert vs Overwrite

FCP has and Insert and Overwrite editing modes.

  • Insert edits will move the clips that are to the right of the Playhead to the right.
  • Overwrite will overwrite the clips to the right of the Playhead. This is also referred to as Assemble edit.
    • When Overwrite is used on a track with clips it will replace any existing clips.
    • When Overwrite is used on an empty track above a clip it will not affect the other tracks.
  • When dragging a clip to the Canvas, drag the clip to the Insert or Overwrite box.
  • When dragging a clip to the Timeline a Down Arrow is an Overwrite edit and a Left Arrow is an Insert edit.

Adjusting Audio Levels

The levels of audio clips can be adjusted in the Timeline.

Creating Keyframes

  1. Click the Toggle Clip Overlays button in the lower left of the Timeline window (it looks like a mountain).
  2. Select the Pen Tool in the tool bar (press the P key on the keyboard.)
  3. Click on the pink line on top off the waveform to create a Keyframe.
  4. Click and drag to create a Keyframe and change the levels.

Adjusting Keyframes

  1. To adjust Keyframes select the Selection Tool (press the A key on the keyboard.)
  2. Click on the Keyframes to adjust the levels ( up or down) or the place in time (left or right).


Preview clips using the computer monitor with Digital Cinema Desktop.

HD Video Playback Instructions.

Sequence Settings

Sequence Settings HD - FCP

Adding Titles

  1. In the Viewer click on the Video Generators tab
  2. Select Boris > Title 3D
  3. Click on the Controls Tab in the Viewer and click on the Title 3D Button
  4. In the window that opens you'll have similar controls as a word processor for font/size/color/etc.
  5. Click Apply
  6. Back in the Viewer Window click on the Video Tab and drag into the Timeline


Share - FCP

Backing Up Files

Remember to save often.

  • When you are done save and quit Final Cut Pro.
  • Connect to Orca.
  • Copy your entire folder to your cubby or the workspace folder.
    • Use Workspace if you are sharing the work with other students in your class.

File Space Overview