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Chapter 2. Welcome to Final Cut Pro > Specifying Preferences Window Settings

Specifying Preferences Window Settings

The settings in the Preferences window affect all of your Final Cut Pro projects. The Preferences window contains six tabs: General, User Mode, Timeline Options, Labels, External Editors, and Scratch Disks.

To set general preferences:

1.
Choose Edit > Preferences.

The General tab will appear as the front tab in the Preferences window (Figure 2.63).

Figure 2.63. Specify a number of general program preferences on the General tab of the Preferences window.


2.
You can specify settings for the following:

  • Levels of Undo: Specify the number of actions that can be undone. Specifying a large number of undos can make significant demands on your available RAM.

  • List Recent Clips: Set the number of recently accessed clips available on the Viewer's Recent Clips pop-up menu.

  • Multi-Frame Trim Size: Set the multiframe trim size by specifying the number of frames (up to nine) in this field. The specified number appears in the multiframe trim buttons in the Trim Edit window.

  • Sync Adjust Movies Over: Sync Adjust's only function is to compensate for audio sync problems in long, continuous clip captures from video shot on certain cameras, notably certain models of Canon cameras. Unless you are experiencing sync problems in long captures, turn off the Sync Adjust function by unchecking its box. If you are capturing long clips from source tapes shot by cameras whose audio sampling rates are not exactly 48.000 KHz, enter a number of minutes in this field to specify a minimum capture length. Final Cut Pro will sample rate convert the clip's audio on the fly to compensate for the sync problem. For details, see Chapter 3, “Input: Getting Digital with Your Video.”

  • Real-Time Audio Mixing: Specify the number of audio tracks that Final Cut Pro mixes in real time. The default setting is eight tracks. The maximum number of tracks you will be able to mix depends on multiple factors. Reduce the number of tracks if you experience audio playback problems, such as video stuttering or audio pops or dropouts.

  • Audio Playback Quality: This pop-up menu allows you to choose the quality of the sample rate conversion when you import audio files with sample rates that differ from your sequence's rate. At the lowest playback quality, Final Cut Pro can reserve more processing power for real-time mixing operations. If you choose the highest playback quality, your sample-rate-converted audio will sound better, but you won't be able to stack up as many simultaneous audio tracks before FCP needs to mixdown (render) your audio. Higher quality settings will take more processing time, so the default is set to Low. In general, choose Low when editing. FCP automatically defaults to the highest audio quality during all rendering, audio mixdown, editing to tape, printing to video, and OMF operations, so you won't need to switch the setting in the Audio Playback Quality pop-up menu when you're ready to output your program.

  • Still/Freeze Duration: Enter a duration (in seconds) in this field to specify a default duration between In and Out points for imported still images, generators, and Adobe Photoshop files. Feel free to change this setting at will to increase your efficiency, for example, when you're producing a series of freeze frames of a uniform length.

  • Preview Pre-roll: Enter a number of seconds in this field to specify how much media to play before the edit point when you click the Play Around Current button or the Play Around Edit-Loop button.

  • Preview Post-roll: Enter a number of seconds in this field to specify how much media to play after the edit point when you click the Play Around Current button or the Play Around Edit-Loop button.

  • Thumbnail Cache (Disk): Specify the amount of disk space to allocate for storing thumbnails.

  • Thumbnail Cache (RAM): Specify the amount of memory to allocate for storing thumbnails. Increase this value to improve the program's performance.

  • RT Still Cache (RAM): This preference appears only on RT Mac-equipped systems. Specify the amount of memory to allocate for storing graphics. The recommended minimum is 25 MB, but you should increase this value if your projects include large numbers of graphics.

  • Show ToolTips: Check this box to toggle the display of ToolTips labels on buttons and tools.

  • Warn if Visibility Change Deletes Render File: Check this box if you want Final Cut Pro to display a warning dialog box whenever making tracks invisible would cause render files to be deleted.

  • Report Dropped Frames During Playback: Check this box if you want Final Cut Pro to display a warning dialog box whenever frames are dropped during playback.

  • Abort Capture on Dropped Frames: Check this box to automatically stop the capture process if dropped frames are detected during the capture process.

  • Abort Capture on Timecode Break: Check this box to automatically stop the capture process if a timecode break is detected during the capture process. If you leave this box unchecked, FCP will report the timecode break after your capture operation is complete, and will retain that captured media file.

  • Prompt for Settings on New Sequence: Check this box if you want to see a list of sequence presets each time you create a new sequence.

  • Pen Tools Can Edit Locked Item Overlays: Check this box to enable the Pen tools to edit keyframe overlays on items on locked tracks in the Timeline.

  • AutosaveVault: Check this box if you want FCP to save backup copies of all your open projects automatically at regular intervals. Enter a number to specify a time interval in minutes. For more information, see “Using the Autosave Vault” in Chapter 4.

  • Save a Copy Every n Minutes: Enter a number of minutes in this field to specify a time interval between backup operations.

  • Keep at Most n copies per Project: Enter a value to specify how many autosaved backup copies of each project file you want Final Cut Pro to store.

  • Maximum of n Projects: Enter a value to specify the maximum number of projects you want to back up in the Autosave vault. If the number of open projects exceeds the number specified here, Final Cut Pro will override the maximum you set and autosave all open projects.


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