Final Cut Pro: 3 Ways To Organize Footage in the Browser

When working with Final Cut Pro, properly organizing clips in your browser will make your work much more efficient, and therefore increase your productivity. Although categorizing and labeling may take some extra time upfront, it will be worth it down the road when you are looking for clips. Being organized will also help immensely when you are working on more than one project. Mixing files between different projects could end up to be a nightmare for you and your client. So, get it right the first time around and organize your browser. The results will pay off.

Final Cut Pro Browser

Final Cut Pro is a professional editing software application that allows you to edit media (such as videos, audio and still images) footage into a final project with a sequence that makes sense. The browser is the "storage area" where all clips are kept. It is located in the upper left hand corner of your screen. All footage comes through the browser. Your browser may contain tens of thousands of files. Those are what need to be organized upfront to allow editing to run smoothly and efficiently. Keep reading to find out more about how you can best organize your browser.

1. Name Projects

Within your browser, you will have a multitude of clips. You won't be able to distinguish which projects they belong to unless you create bins with their project names on them. Bins are Final Cut Pros' version of folders. To create a bin, right click in the browser and click on "make new bin" from the drop down menu. Or, you can press Apple + B. Give the bin a name. Find a name that makes sense for the project and would be easy to find if someone else had to take over.

2. Create Bins

Within each project bin, create more bins to further organize your files. There are many different techniques to organizing bins. Experiment first to find the system that works best for you. Here are some ideas:
Organize bins by media type (video, audio, graphic images).

  • Organize bins by date
  • Organize bins by scene
  • Organize bins by location
  • Organize bins by character
  • Organize bins by theme

When you click the little arrow to the left of the bin, it will open up and show you its contents. You are able to save the clip in multiple bins at once. Just click and drag.

You can create as many bins as you want, and more bins within bins. You can also rename them at anytime. If you are working with Final Cut Pro 1, consider color-coding your bins. Final Cut Pro 2 does not have this feature yet.

3. Archive Bins

Take the time to archive your project and its content. You may want to come back to them when you are working on a future project. Sometimes something you discarded the first time around can be a gem later. Archiving can also help when you are showing your work to a potential client.

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