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FCP and Your Computer

When you launch FCP, a new project is opened, an unnamed and as-yet unsaved project, where you can work. This blank workspace looks like this on your display:

Figure 21

Projects consist of two fundamental types of things: clips and sequences. When you capture videotape from your camera, you are capturing clips. Like the videotape they came from, clips are usually combinations of video and audio, but they can be strictly video, represented by an icon that looks like this.

Figure 22

Or audio (like music or a voiceover), represented by an icon that looks like this.

Figure 23

You can also import still images in a variety of stillimage formats (such as JPEG, GIF, and TIFF), which show up like this.

Figure 24

When you start editing, you're generally starting with raw clips and building them together into sequences. A sequence is created through a series of "edit decisions." When you open a project for the first time, there is always one empty sequence in the Browser already. And as you edit more, you will add new sequences as necessary. Here's the icon for a sequence:

Figure 25

Whenever you open a project, the Browser will display a list of all the elements already there, a mixture of clips and sequences. It's important to be able to distinguish them at a glance.

Figure 26

Which ones are clips and which are sequences? Familiarize yourself with the icons.

Now, even though there's nothing here in this new untitled and unsaved project, let's go ahead and save the current project and give it a name.

  1. Choose File > Save Project As. A dialog box will appear, asking for a name for this project.

  2. Figure 27

  3. Type a name in the highlighted box. Might I suggest "My Tutorial Project"? (Feel free to improvise here.)

  4. Figure 28

Once you've saved the project with a name, you will notice the interface is changed ever so slightly:

In faint type above the Canvas and Timeline, for instance, the name of the project has been updated. You'll also see a tab with this project's name on the Browser.

I name tape reels very methodically for organizational purposes, but I give project names a little more color and description, like "Zoo Day" or "Beach" or even "Triathlon 12-02." I've found that for my personal projects, the best names are descriptive.

Professional projects may require more functional project names, but for my home projects I have never had a problem with the more casual labels.

I think for now this is all you need to know about creating and saving a project. We'll spend more time exploring ways to organize files on your Mac once you've had some fun editing.

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