get faster in final cut pro – 1 – Intro / native project settings

One of the great things about final cut is that it is so flexible. There are usually more than a handful of ways you can do anything. I find myself getting angry at being forced to do something repetitive manually. More often than not I will eventually find a key command or a workflow that makes it much easier.

The key is to really search for something when you need it, or at the very least note it so that you can find it later when you have some time. Reading the keyboard shortcuts sheet will only get you so far if you never apply them.

In that spirit I am starting a series of posts that each show one commonly overlooked keyboard shortcut, command, or technique that can speed things up, enable new looks, or simply make your life easier. Maybe you find these posts during a frustrated late night editing session, or maybe you leisurely browse them over your morning coffee. If you have any suggestions: let me have them! Here we go…

Use a native project format, even if your source isn’t.
This one can be argued, but I was told a while back by a very smart man that even if my footage was a non-native size to make the project one. This seems counter intuitive, but I was working on a project that had footage at 1024×576. This is a 16:9 format in between 720p and dv animorphic. If I were to create a new project with the source file settings, then for some reason FCP doesn’t handle it well at all. It forces re-renders left and right, and is just not fun to work with. If you imported that same footage into either a 720p or a dv animorphic project it would go much more smoothly, even after scaling and rendering!

Lastly, if you need to export out to a non-native size then select a bigger project setting, and you can always scale down in your export settings.

These are the kinds of tips and tricks you usually learn by watching someone else edit. If you have something that drastically sped up your editing, let me know in the comments!

~ by ross on January 6, 2010.