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Final Cut Pro for Avid Editors: Customizing Your Project

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This 45-minute lesson takes a look at where and how to adjust your settings in Final Cut Pro. You'll learn how to select an editing preset, change audio/video settings, select user preferences, and more. This chapter also covers bin organization and describes storyboard editing, which is performed largely by working within a bin.
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Project Files

Lessons > Lesson 3 Project


Australia Fun folder


This lesson takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.


Select an editing preset

Change audio/video settings

Select user preferences

Select sequence settings

View item properties

Change and save window layouts

Dynamically resize the interface

Customize the keyboard and button bars

Customize bin views

Perform storyboard editing

Now that you’ve tackled Final Cut Pro’s editing basics, let’s take a look at where and how you adjust your settings. While Avid attaches settings to Projects, Users, and Site (systems), FCP settings control Sequence Settings, User Preferences, and System Settings. The User Preferences and System settings categories are similar in nature. But one of the primary differences between Avid and Final Cut Pro is that where Avid attaches certain media settings to individual projects, FCP attaches those settings to each individual sequence. This allows FCP to work with various sequences with different settings within the same project. Let’s say you have a project that was shot on high definition, but you have edited sequences using DVCAM, Digibeta, and HD. In FCP, all these sequences, with their different settings, can be contained in one project.

Since two systems are never the same, it’s nice to be able to customize the interface and make it feel more like home. FCP has a customizable keyboard where you can map your favorite functions in the same location as on your Avid keyboard. There is also a button bar in each FCP window where you can choose and arrange your own layout of command buttons.

This chapter also covers bin organization and describes storyboard editing, which is performed largely by working within a bin.

Selecting an Editing Preset

Avid settings are divided into User, Project, and Site settings. They are collected under the Settings tab in the Project window. These options combine personal preferences along with settings for various aspects of the Avid editing process.

Final Cut Pro settings cover similar territory, but are organized and accessed a little differently, into User Preferences, System Settings, Easy Setup, and Audio/Video Settings options. These can be selected from the Final Cut Pro menu, or accessed using the letter Q with a modifier key.

Easy Setup Options

When you first launched FCP, you had to choose an Easy Setup option. You chose a preset to configure your sequence to edit a specific standard and format, such as Uncompressed 10-bit NTSC 48 kHz for high definition, Cinema Tools for 24p, DVCPRO-PAL 48 kHz Anamorphic, DV-NTSC 48 kHz, and so on. These settings are applied to creating and outputting future sequences, not necessarily the entire project.

It’s important to select the correct Easy Setup preset to match the settings of the footage that you captured and will be using for editing. Other formats that don’t match these settings must be rendered to play in the same sequence.

To Select an Easy Setup Preset

  1. Choose Final Cut Pro > Easy Setup, or press Ctrl-Q.
  2. Click the Show All button in the upper-right corner to display all possible presets in the Setup For pop-up menu.
  3. Click the Setup For pop-up menu and choose one of the listed presets.

    In the Easy Setup window, there’s a listing of specific A/V settings available as presets. Additional presets are added to this list when you work with a third-party capture card.

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