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Final Cut Pro system settings

Understanding your Final Cut Pro system settings is critical before you jump into the software and begin editing. There are several critical settings you should check before beginning your first edit.

system_settings.jpg

This most important tab within the system settings box is the scratch disks tab. These is where you will set the scratch disks for the recording process. The scratch disks tab allows you to specify where Final Cut Pro elements are saved.You will want to specify where your media files are stored. This will depend on the configuration of your Final Cut Pro system. Up to twelve separate scratch disks can be specified.

scratch_disks.jpg

It is not recommended that you store your media-files on the same hard drive as your operating system. By default, if you do not make any adjustments to the scratch disk settings, all of the settings are set to the current users documents folder.

The actual path is: MAC HD | users | username | documents | FinalCutPro | Documents.

default_scratch_disk.jpg

EDITORS NOTE
It is reccomended that you set your scratch disk to the root level of a media drive. The reason for this is simple. Final Cut Pro will automatically create a 'capture scratch folder' on your drive, and place media inside another folder that matches your Project's name.

CAPTURE AUDIO AND VIDEO TO SEPARATE FILES
Some optional capture cards may require that you capture audio and video to separate files. In addition, you may need to send video files and audio files to separate hard drives. If you are not using an optional hardware capture card that requires this option, it is recommended that you leave it unchecked.

MINIMUM ALLOWABLE FREE SPACE ON SCRATCH DISKS
This option is a safety mechanism that will prevent Final Cut Pro from recording to the specified hard drive when it exceeds the minimum allowable free space. A general rule is that you should not exceed 85% the capacity of any hard drive. It is recommended that you increase this value to provide a safety level. This is highly recommended if you are forced to capture material to your internal hard drive.

LIMIT CAPTURE / EXPORT FILE SEGMENT SIZE
Some older operating systems are unable to access file sizes that exceed two gigabytes. If you plan on transferring self-contained Quicktime movies that are going to be transferred to an older system, you may need to check this option. Otherwise, you can leave this option turned off.

LIMITING CAPTURE NOW
When using the capture now feature, Final Cut Pro automatically searches for disk space to allocate for long captures. If those option is checked Final Cut Pro must allocate the entire number of minutes specified before the capture process will begin.

THE EXTERNAL EDITORS TAB
Graphic files that are not layered have the following symbol next to them in the browser.

external_editors_tab.jpg

graphic_icon.gifThese files will open automatically into an external editor by control clicking on them either in the timeline window or browser window.

open_in_editor.gif

Graphic files that contain the .psd extension are recognized as sequences when imported into Final Cut Pro. These files cannot be directly opened into an external editor. You must open up the nested layer first, and then open up an individual layer.

open_psd_nest.jpg

Opening a .psd layer inside a nest will automatically open all of the other existing layers when it's loaded back into Adobe Photoshop.


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Mammoth HD for Royalty Free HD and SD Footage was the previous entry in this blog.

Final Cut Pro User Preferences is the next entry in this blog.

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