5 Tips for Setting Your Preferences Before You Start Editing in Final Cut Pro

Before you start editing a video in Final Cut Pro, you should set out your preferences. This will help to ensure that you get your film in the best quality that you can. There are three main types of preference settings that you can use in Final Cut Pro, from ones that determine what kinds of audio and visual systems can talk to the computer (useful in capturing), to those that configure what you want your final film to look like. There are certain ways in which you can set up your preferences to ensure that you don't have to waste time setting up your demands for every film.

1. Easy Setup

If you are using Digital video gear, then the best way to set your preferences for capturing video is using the Final Cut Pro Easy Set Up button. Once you press this, you will be taken to a dialogue box which offers you a number of choices. Pick one of the DV choices to get the best results, such as NTSC or PAL. You will need to then choose the frames per second setting, which is best suited for your device.

2. Scratch Disk

When you have downloaded your movie file, this is probably the most important setting that you can choose. The Scratch disk file needs to be set up correctly, otherwise you will not be able to edit your film to your own satisfaction. Create a file on your hard drive called Final Cut Pro Docs. You will then be able to point the disk to be scratched towards this document in the future, saving you the effort of constructing a folder for each individual file.

3. Search Folders

This tab will allow you to dictate where your files will be extracted from. This means that you can find and save your material to the folders much more conveniently. Add a Search Folder for each of the Final Cut Pro Documents that you have on your hard drives, so you will be automatically taken there every time you import or save a media file.

4. External Editing

The External Edit tab allows you to use an additional application to edit the clip in the Final Cut Pro windows. You can use this to create parts for a clip in other software, and then extend it to your FCP windows. If you create a picture in Photoshop, for example, you can use the External Edit preference setting to reach across and pick it up using FCP. If you set this up in Preferences, a press of a key will take you there.

5. Editing Tab

You can use this to alter the viewing set ups, so that you only have to press a key (determined by you), and the viewer window will play any parts that you have recorded. This preview method will save you time and effort, and you can also set any of the other editing parts so that you can take a look at whatever you want.

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