Media Management Process in Final Cut Pro

Logging, capturing, making subclips, and processing your media are all steps in managing your media files. Because clips are separate from media files in Final Cut Pro, you can easily assign them to different media files throughout the course of a project. This allows you to switch between low- and high-resolution versions of your media files, and transfer projects to other Final Cut Pro systems without media files and quickly reconnect them. You can also delete unused media files to save hard disk space, or recapture media files using clips in your project.

Here is one practical example of how media management occurs throughout a project:

  1. Stage 1: Logging and Capturing

    Media files are captured from tape to hard disk. A clip which represents that media file is simultaneously created in your project.

  2. Stage 2: Refining Your Sequence and Managing Media

    As you edit, you refine your sequence, using fewer and fewer of your media files, but those files still take up valuable hard disk space. Once you finish your sequence, you can remove media files (or portions of media files) you no longer need. Final Cut Pro defines unused media as any media file not used by a sequence in your project. Final Cut Pro can easily tell you which clips in your project are not used in any sequences, and thus which media files are likely irrelevant to your project. You can use the Media Manager to delete the unused media from your hard disk.

  3. Stage 3: Recapturing Media

    Suppose you cleaned up your hard disk by having Final Cut Pro delete a lot of media files, but you realized that there were a few clips that you had intended to include in your sequence but hadn’t yet. At this point, these clips’ media files are offline (in this case, deleted from the hard disk). You can’t reconnect these clips to media files because the media files no longer exist. You need to capture the original footage to your hard disk again. Final Cut Pro can easily do this. The clip, which still stores the tape reel number and timecode In and Out points of the original footage on tape, holds the information for finding and recapturing the media from tape.

  4. Stage 4: Transferring Your Project to Another Final Cut Pro System

    Clips represent media files even when the media files aren’t there. This means that the structure of an entire edited sequence can be saved separately from its media files. At any time, you can always tell Final Cut Pro to recapture all of a sequence’s media files, and the movie is automatically re-created. This applies equally to a single clip whose media file you accidentally deleted to an entire sequence of clips that has been copied to a different Final Cut Pro editing system. Even though the clips are offline (the clips’ media files are missing) on the new system, the clips contain the vital timecode and reel number information to recapture all the media from tape to hard disk, making it simple to re-create the sequence.

  5. Stage 5: Performing the Online Edit and Outputting to Tape

    When you have finished with your edit, you can use the Media Manager to duplicate your finished sequence using full-resolution settings. Each clip in this sequence has full-resolution settings, which you can use to recapture all the necessary media to create the final cut at full resolution. Once recapturing is complete, you can apply any necessary color correction, titles, transitions, and so on, and then output to tape.