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Final Cut help

Designating Final Cut drive space

Final Cut is a nonlinear video editing program very much like Avid or Pinnacle Studio. It comes in two versions. Final Cut Express is very capable and will do anything we normally do with news. Final Cut Pro / Final Cut Studio is used by folks in Hollywood to do movies such as No Country for Old Men. Brief, simple tutorial movies on the program reside at Atomic Learning, and you are encouraged to view them so that you can learn the basics of the program. The purpose of this document is to provide instructions regarding the unique challenges you face while using Final Cut in the News Central newsroom environment. Those challenges involve saving files on your own hard drive and managing the DV tape decks.

1) Use your external hard drive

Before you launch Final Cut, make sure that your external hard drive is connected to the computer and that it shows up in the Mac Finder. Now, launch Final Cut Express by clicking once on its icon in the dock. If the DV tape deck is not on, Final Cut give you the External A/V warning (Fig. 1)
If you are planning to capture audio and video from a tape, you should now turn on the tape deck, wait a few seconds, and click the “Check Again” button. Final Cut should find the external A/ V device and load normally.

Fig. 1: External A/V warning

External A/V Warning messageBefore you capture any video or audio from the DV tape, you must tell Final Cut you want to do your work on your external hard drive.

By default, Final Cut sets up a “scratch drive” on the computer’s hard drive where the Final Cut program files reside. The scratch drive is where all your project files (clips, audio, edits, etc.) reside. You need to change the Final Cut system settings for your project. You do this by clicking on the “Final Cut Express” program name next to the Apple Menu and selecting “System settings. The keyboard shortcut is Shift-Q

Selecting system settings When the system settings are up (Fig. 3), the default is going to show the Scratch Disks Tab and the Macintosh HD selected. You click on “Set” and then browse if necessary to your external hard drive. The browse utility allows you to create a folder on your drive and to select it.

It is a good idea to create a separate folder for each of your projects. When you are done choosing the folder on your external hard drive, make sure that all the boxes are checked as they are in Fig. 3.

Note: If you do not redirect Final Cut’s system settings to your hard drive, all your files will be on the lab computer. They may get mixed up with other people’s files, and they will be erased at the end of the day.

Fig. 3: The System Settings Scratch Disks panel in Final Cut Express

System settings scratch disk panel

After you have your system settings aimed at your hard drive, click “OK.” As soon as you capture some video (File > Capture or Cmd-8), you will want to Save your Project As, and give it a name, being sure that you are saving your project file to your hard drive. You should check after saving to be sure that you have a project file (*.fcp) on your external hard drive. You should also have some video capture files in the folder you set up for the scratch disk. Use the Mac Finder to check. If your files are not where they are supposed to be, you should find out why and fix it.