Final Cut X: Preparing files and backing up projects

Preparing files and starting a project

Without any pre-rendering, I can import my DLSR footage and start editing right away. You can edit the raw H.264 files from DSLR fine, without pre-rendering. And: Not more decompressing slowing down my workflow!


Reports, however, say that for best — an perhaps quicker — response time, it’s recommended that you convert to Apple ProRes.


Here are the steps to make it happen:


1) Create a New Project (projects are the movies you create on the timeline from your footage)

Open Final Cut X and select New Project (name the project) — Final Cut will keep (and show) your entire media library for all of your projects, so naming them and keeping your footage in organized folders is essential and wise.


Post Production

A) You can choose to set the video properties to your first clip or custom set it.


B) Set audio and render properties.


2) Create a New Event (Events are folding containing all of your project files)

Select File –> Import (or Import From Camera)


The Event Library list is on the left and the import choices on the right:


Final Cut


3) Choose the files you want and take note of the variety of choices you can make on import, such as “Create optimized media” — this is where you can ProRes your files. The software will also analyze video and audio issues, as well as attempt to sort into groups of people onscreen.




A) Select your clips and tell the computer to either add it to an existing Event or create a new one.


B) Under Transcoding, check “Create optimized media” and Final Cut X will render it into an Apple ProRes 422 — and render it in the background as you start examining your clips and even editing them. The original files will get replaced by the ProRes files as it completes the render.


C) Also note you can select “Analyze for stabilization and rolling shutter” — allowing Final Cut to tell you what part of the clips contain undo shakiness and/or rolling shutter. You can correct them later. (It’s not doing it for you until you decide you want it to happen.) See, for example, this menu screen after I chose this selection:


Final Cut Pro X


It not only lists the files with “Excessive Shake,” but it marks it on the clip where the shakiness occurs, so you can fine tune it in the Inspector window, later. In addition, you can select color balance analysis, select shots that contain people (for organization, especially good for documentary interviews). Furthermore, Final Cut will also examine audio issues (and tell you which ones have issue after you select).


Backing up projects

You can back up your projects and transfer it to another hard drive by right-clicking on the Project (click on the Project icon, bottom left, then right click on the project.


Select Duplicate Project.



You’re provided with several choices, including where to send the backup. Select the hard drive you want the files sent:



Select the type of duplication: The first choice is for standard back-ups. The second will copy all the files listed in your project, including unused ones. The third choice will only duplicate what you’ve used and create a new Event for it. Select Include Render Files if you want the backup to include all of the background render files from your project (recommended).



2 thoughts on “Final Cut X: Preparing files and backing up projects

  1. Just wondering if you have encountered the duplicate project error where two files have the same name. I want to duplicate with used files only to create a smaller final file and archive the master with several external drives independent of this duplicate with files used version. Thank you.

    1. You can go into the Movies folder and see the Final Cut Events folder, which contains the Trancoded Media folder that contains the ProRes files. You can copy that folder anywhere.

      Otherwise, use Duplicate Project + Used Clips Only.

      You can also copy files from you card into a master folder and when you select import don’t choose “copy files to Final Cut Events folder” and it’ll only create the new transcoded files in the event folder. Just be sure they all get rendered before exiting Final Cut, otherwise you’ll end up with short cuts pointing back to the master folder.

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