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About Projects

A project is the top level of the FCP organizing framework (Figure 4.1). It's a Final Cut Pro file that stores references (file location information) to all the media files you have used to complete a particular program, along with the sequencing information (your “cut”) and all settings for special effects you have applied to any clip in the project. This information is used to re-create the timing, sequencing, and transitions and effects you have specified for a particular cut, without altering or changing the storage location of your original source files. (Note: If you haven't read the section “What Is Nondestructive Editing?” in Chapter 2, please do so now. It's key to understanding how Final Cut Pro works.)

Figure 4.1. The project file is at the top level of FCP's organizing framework. You organize multiple clips and sequences inside a project file.


To start a new project in Final Cut Pro, you create a new project in the Browser window and then start adding clips and sequences as you shape your project. Sequences can be exported independently as movies or clips, but they can't be saved separately from a project.

To create a new project:

  • Start in the Browser window. Choose File > New Project (Figure 4.2); or press Command-E.

    Figure 4.2. Choose New Project from the File menu.


    Your new project will appear in the Browser window (Figure 4.3).

    Figure 4.3. The Browser window with a new, untitled project. Sequence 1 appears automatically when you create a new project.


To open a project:

1.
Start in the Browser window; choose File > Open or press Command-O.

2.
Locate and select the project file that you want to open (Figure 4.4).

Figure 4.4. Locate the project file you want to open.


3.
Click Open.

To save a project:

  • Start in the Browser window. Choose File > Save Project; or press Command-S.

To save a project with a different name:

1.
Start in the Browser window. Choose File > Save Project As (Figure 4.5).

Figure 4.5. Choose Save Project As from the File menu.


2.
In the dialog box, type a name for the project in the Save Project As field.

3.
Choose a destination folder from the pull-down menu at the top of the dialog box.

4.
Click Save (Figure 4.6).

Figure 4.6. After you've typed the new name for your project, click Save.


To save all open projects:

1.
Choose File > Save All (Figure 4.7).

Figure 4.7. Choose Save All from the File menu.


2.
In the dialog box, type a name for your first new project.

3.
Choose a destination folder from the pull-down menu at the top of the dialog box.

4.
Click Save.

Repeat steps 2 through 4 for each new project that you want to save. Previously saved open projects will be saved automatically.

Using Save As to Protect Your Work

Opening, modifying, and then saving the same project file day after day increases the chance that your precious project file will become corrupt and unusable.

Use the Save As command to back up your project file every day or so. Save As makes a fresh copy of the current version of your project file.

Give the original project file a version number, revert the name of your fresh duplicate to the base name of your project, and then continue working in the new duplicate version.

Because FCP automatically creates a new, separate capture folder every time you change the name of your project; to avoid the complications (multiple capture folders) that arise from changing the name of your project file, you'll need to add an identifying version number to your older project file (Figure 4.8) and then be sure that your active project file always has the same original name.

Figure 4.8. Rename your older project file with an identifying version number and use the original project file name on your fresh copy.


FCP 3's addition of a vault system that automatically saves and then archives multiple versions of your project provides you with a fail-safe backup, but some editors still prefer to retain control over the process. Good habits are hard to break.


To close a project:

1.
Control-click the project's tab (Figure 4.9).

Figure 4.9. Control-click a project's tab to bring up the shortcut menu; note the special cursor.


2.
From the shortcut menu, choose Close Tab (Figure 4.10).

Figure 4.10. Control-clicking the project's tab will result in only one choice; choose Close Tab to close the project.


Or do one of the following:

  • In the Browser window, click the project's tab to bring it to the front (Figure 4.11). Then choose File > Close Project (Figure 4.12).

    Figure 4.11. Click a project's tab to bring it to the front of the Browser.


    Figure 4.12. Choose Close Project from the File menu.


  • In the Browser window, press Command-W. For all projects you've modified, Final Cut Pro will ask which projects you want to close.

Tip

  • To close all open projects, close the Browser window.


To view or change the Properties of a project:

1.
Start in the Browser window.

2.
Click the Project tab.

3.
Choose Edit > Project Properties (Figure 4.13).

Figure 4.13. Choose Project Properties from the Edit menu.


4.
In the Project Properties window (Figure 4.14), do one of the following:

  • Display timecode or frames in the Duration column (see Chapter 2, “Welcome to Final Cut Pro”).

  • Edit render qualities for the project (see Chapter 10, “Rendering”).

  • Edit the heading labels for Comment columns.

Figure 4.14. You can edit render-quality settings, rename Comment column headings, and choose the timecode or frame display format from the Project Properties window.


5.
After you make your changes, click OK.

To revert a project:

1.
Choose File > Revert Project.

2.
In the warning dialog box, click OK (Figure 4.15).

Figure 4.15. After you choose File > Revert Project, you'll see a dialog box warning you that your unsaved changes will be lost.


3.
Final Cut Pro reverts the current project file to its condition at the last time you saved the file.

To restore a project:

1.
Choose File > Restore Project (Figure 4.16).

Figure 4.16. Choose Restore Project from the File menu.


2.
In the Restore Projects dialog box, select the archived project file you want to restore from the pull-down menu (Figure 4.17); then click Restore.

Figure 4.17. Select the archived project you want to restore; then click Restore.


Final Cut Pro opens the selected archived project from the Autosave vault.

Tip

  • If you want to replace the current version of your project with this dated archived version, you should save the archive copy with the same project name as your current version. This will maintain continuity in capture folders and Autosave archives.


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