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Working with a Project

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This chapter is from the book

Lesson Files

Lesson 3 Project file


Working Out folder


This lesson takes approximately 60 minutes to complete.


Launch Final Cut Express

Open a project

Work with the interface

Work with menus, keyboard shortcuts, and the mouse

Work with projects in the Browser

Create a new bin

Organize a project

Quit and hide Final Cut Express

In this lesson, you will open the Final Cut Express program, identify and work with the elements of your editing project, organize those elements, and begin working within the Final Cut Express editing interface.

Launching Final Cut Express

As with so many Apple programs, there are multiple ways to launch Final Cut Express. You might double-click the application icon in your Applications folder or double-click a Final Cut Express project file. For the purposes of this lesson, you will single-click the Final Cut Express icon you placed in the Dock in Lesson 1.

  1. Single-click the Final Cut Express icon in the Dock.

    After launching, Final Cut Express looks for any FireWire devices connected to the computer. If none are found, an External A/V window appears saying, “Unable to locate the following external devices.”

  2. If an FCE2 Book Files folder has been copied to your hard drive, check the “Do not warn again” box in this window and then click Continue. If you copied the lessons and media to an external hard drive, leave the box unchecked and you will be reminded to connect the FireWire device every time you launch.

First-Time Use

If this is the first time you're opening the Final Cut Express software since installing it, another window will appear in which you can select the appropriate DV standard, either NTSC or PAL, for your region and equipment. The option you select will create default settings within the program. The lessons and media for this book were created in NTSC, so DV-NTSC should be selected before proceeding with the lessons. You will also be prompted to choose your primary scratch disk. This is the hard drive where your captured media will be stored. You will learn about scratch disks in a later lesson. For now choose a secondary drive if you have one, or if not, leave it set on your Macintosh HD.

You can change these settings by choosing Final Cut Express > Easy Setup and choosing a different option. Whenever you change your Easy Setup selection, you will not change any of your past projects, only your future projects within Final Cut Express.

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