Working with Projects

How you use and organize your projects depends on the scope of your movie as well as your particular organizational style. These factors also affect your decision to use one or more sequences in your project.

Organizing Your Projects

Typically, you create a new project file for each movie you work on, regardless of its duration. For example, if you’re working on a documentary about a bicycle manufacturing company, you would create a project for it. If you’re also working on an industrial training video about how to fix bicycles, that would be a second, separate project. Both projects could conceivably refer to some of the same media, but they are completely independent structures, each with its own clips, bins, and sequences.

Very large movie projects, such as feature films and documentaries with high shooting ratios (meaning most of the footage shot during production will not be used in the final movie), may contain thousands of clips. Although the number of clips and sequences you can store in a project is theoretically unlimited, Final Cut Pro may take longer to search, sort, and update if there are too many clips. If you find that managing your project is becoming difficult, you can always break one project into several for the early editing stages.

Using More Than One Sequence in a Project

For some projects, it makes sense to use several different sequences within the project. You can use sequences in several ways, including:

  • Sequences as scenes: Break a movie into a series of separate sequences for each scene.
  • Sequences as versions: Edit different versions of the same movie, with each as its own sequence. Examples are a television commercial with several alternative sound mixes, or a documentary cut to feature film length as well as broadcast television length.
  • Sequences for special effects: This allows you to separate elaborate effects shots in separate sequences so you can render them separately.

Creating and Saving Projects

When you create a new project in Final Cut Pro, a new blank sequence is automatically created and named Sequence 1. You can change the sequence name to better reflect its content or the type of program you’ll be working on. The settings for the new sequence are determined by your current Easy Setup. (To check your current Easy Setup, choose Final Cut Pro > Easy Setup.) For more information, see Audio/Video Settings and Easy Setups.

Note: When you open Final Cut Pro for the first time, there are some initial settings you must specify before you can create and save projects. For more information, see Connecting DV Video Equipment.

To create a new project
  • Choose File > New Project.

A new, untitled project appears in the Browser with an empty sequence. You can name the project when you save it.

Figure. Browser window showing a new project tab and new sequence icon.
To save a project
  1. Click the project’s tab in the Browser

  2. Choose File > Save Project (or press Command-S).

  3. If you haven’t named the project yet, a dialog appears. Enter a name and choose a location for the project, then click Save.

Figure. Save dialog showing the options for saving a project.
To save all open projects
  • Choose File > Save All (or press Option-S).

    If you haven’t named a project yet, a dialog appears where you can enter a name and choose a location for the project.

Opening and Closing Projects

You can open and work on more than one project at a time. When you finish working and quit Final Cut Pro, a message appears for each open project, asking if you want to save your changes. The next time you open Final Cut Pro, all projects that were open at the end of your last session open automatically. You can have multiple projects open at the same time, each represented by its own tab in the Browser.

To open a project
  1. Choose File > Open.

  2. Locate and select the project file, then click Open.

If you created the project in a previous version of Final Cut Pro, you’ll be asked if you want to update your project. For more information, see Backing Up and Restoring Projects.

To close a project
  1. Click the project’s tab to bring it to the front.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose File > Close Project (or press Control-W).

    • Control-click the project’s tab, then choose Close Tab from the shortcut menu that appears.

      Figure. Browser window showing the Close Tab command.
  3. If you’ve modified the project and haven’t saved it, a message asks if you want to save changes to the project. Click Yes to save the project.

    Figure. Dialog showing save project message.
To switch between several open projects
  • In the Browser, click a project’s tab.

Figure. Browser window showing project tab.
To close all open projects
  • Close the Browser.

Any project that has its own window (because you dragged the project’s tab out of the Browser) remains open.