From iMovie to Final Cut: Creating a New Project

If you are making the transition to from iMovie to Final Cut Pro because you have reached the limits of the beginner video editing program, you will need to learn many things in order to use Final Cut Pro effectively. Even the simplest of tasks are different in Final Cut Pro, and you will need to learn to perform basic functions before you can begin editing videos. With this how-to guide, you will learn about some of the differences in iMovie and Final Cut Pro regarding the methods used to create a new video project.

What You Will Need

  • A computer with Final Cut Pro Installed
  • A video to edit

Step 1: Setting Up Project Folders

In iMovie, you were used to storing all of your videos in the Project Library and there was no need to create or choose folders for storage. However, with Final Cut Pro, things are not as easy. While you can store videos in the Final Cut Pro folder, this is not a very efficient way of managing your video projects. Therefore, you should create separate work folders for projects that you will be creating in Final Cut Pro. This will make locating and working with movies edited in Final Cut Pro much easier and allow you to get used to organizing your video files in a more efficient manner.

Step 2: Using the File Menu Bar to Create a New Project File

One step of the new project process in Final Cut Pro that you'll be familiar with is the ability to simply use the file menu bar to create a new movie file. Just as you did in iMovie, you can use the 'File | New Project'  option to initiate the creation of a new project in Final Cut Pro. Also, you can press the command key on your Mac keyboard and "N" at the same time to open the New Project dialogue box.

Step 3: Setting Up a New Project

Once you initiate the creation of a new file via the 'File | New Project' menu bar option, things start to be a little different in terms of setting up your new project. In iMovie, the only options you need to be concerned with areas naming the new project file and choosing an aspect ratio. However, in Final Cut Pro, there are many options that you can choose from when creating a new project. In Final Cut Pro, not all options are mandatory in order to create a new project; however, at a minimum, you should enable the following options:

  • Video Capture
  • Audio Capture
  • Video Render
  • Audio Render

You'll then need to choose a folder where the project will be stored as well as give the new video project a file name.

Step 4: Saving the New Project File

In iMovie, video projects are automatically saved to the project library whenever you set the new project options. However, in Final Cut Pro, you need to manually save the project by going to the menu bar and clicking on the 'File | Save Project' option. Once you save your project, you can begin dragging and dropping video clips into Final Cut Pro to begin your editing process.

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