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Chapter 4. Projects, Sequences, and Clips > Anatomy of an FCE Project

Anatomy of an FCE Project

A Final Cut Express project breaks down into the following key components.

  • Project file: The top level of the FCE organizing framework, a project file stores references (file location information) to all the media files you use to complete a particular program, along with the sequencing information (your cut) and all settings for special effects you apply to any clip in the project. The project file contains no media—it’s strictly the “brains” of your project—but this one file is your project’s most valuable asset. All your editing genius is stored in this modest data file.

  • Sequence: The middle level of the Final Cut Express organizing framework, a sequence is an edited assembly of audio and video clips. A sequence is always part of a project, and you can have multiple sequences in a project, but you can’t save a sequence separately from a project. However, you can copy a sequence from one project and paste it into another project.

  • Clip: The ground level of the FCE organizing framework, the clip represents an individual unit of media in Final Cut Express. A clip can stand for a movie, a still image, a nested sequence, a generator, or an audio file. Clip types appear in the Browser’s Type column, and each type of clip displays an identifying icon.

Figure 4.1 diagrams the FCE organizing framework.

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

Figure 4.2 shows how the FCE project structure plays out in the Browser and Timeline windows.

Figure 4.2. The Browser (top) and Timeline (bottom) interfaces provide a variety of information about your project.

Project item types

On a project’s Browser tab, you’ll find quite a few different clip types, but you’ll also find containers for holding clips: sequences and folders. The Browser’s Effects tab contains other types of nonclip project items, audio and video filters and transitions, and generators. See “Browser Window Icons” in Chapter 7 for descriptions of each type of item you’ll encounter in a project.

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