Ar­chive Fi­nal Cut projects

Keep a copy of your projects while free­ing up space on your Mac

Mac Format - - IMPROVE -

Keep a copy of your projects while free­ing up space on your Mac

Even a sim­ple video can in­volve a sig­nif­i­cant amount of ef­fort, and the idea of los­ing that work due to a hard­ware fail­ure, or hav­ing to re­con­struct a pre­vi­ous film be­cause you’ve lost the orig­i­nal project, is a wor­ry­ing prospect. The ma­jor­ity of the ef­fort lies in your edit­ing de­ci­sions.

Fi­nal Cut pro­vides a way to pre­serve the data­base part of a Li­brary pe­ri­od­i­cally – though more fre­quently than Time Ma­chine, which only pre­serves changes to files once ev­ery hour. Your Li­brary’s data­base is what con­tains de­tails of your ed­its, but it doesn’t in­clude the as­so­ci­ated me­dia, so this isn’t a full backup. For that rea­son, you must keep a copy of your orig­i­nal me­dia some­where so that if you have to fall back on one of th­ese project files, the me­dia can be re­linked to it us­ing File > Relink Files. To con­fig­ure this fea­ture, choose Fi­nal Cut Pro > Pref­er­ences in the menu bar, then se­lect the Gen­eral tab. Put a tick in the box next to Save Li­brary Back­ups then use the item be­low, la­belled Li­brary Back­ups Lo­ca­tion, to choose a folder on a dif­fer­ent disk to where your Li­brary and me­dia are stored.

A net­work drive is al­lowed, though you should con­sider how fre­quently you will edit away from the net­work with­out re­mote ac­cess to it. With th­ese items con­fig­ured, back­ups of your li­brary will begin to ap­pear in your cho­sen lo­ca­tion as you work. How­ever, Fi­nal Cut au­to­mat­i­cally re­moves back­ups that are a few days out of date. Don’t mis­take this fea­ture as a long-term backup – it’s meant as a fall­back should any­thing hap­pen to the copy of the li­brary that you’re ac­tively work­ing on.


Fi­nal Cut pro­vides a way to back up a whole event or spe­cific project. It’s im­por­tant to bear in mind the dif­fer­ent op­tions you had for how me­dia is added to a Li­brary when you orig­i­nally im­ported it. Re­mem­ber that me­dia can be copied into a Li­brary, but that while a Li­brary ap­pears as a sin­gle file in the Finder, the events (and your projects) within it may con­tain links to ex­ter­nal me­dia. How­ever, there’s a sim­ple tech­nique to gather and ar­chive all me­dia in one place.

Se­lect an event (or events) in the Li­braries browser. If you’ve hid­den the list of li­braries, re­mem­ber that the but­ton at the bot­tom left of the browser will re­veal it. Next, choose File > Copy Event to Li­brary > New Li­brary… This will copy all of the projects and clips in­side your se­lec­tion.

Al­ter­na­tively, se­lect one or more projects in­side an event in­stead. The menu op­tion’s name will change to re­flect this con­text, and the re­sult will be a li­brary that con­tains only me­dia needed by those projects. Clips in the event that are not used at all by the se­lected projects will not be copied into the new Li­brary.

Give a name to the Li­brary that will con­tain your archived events or projects, then choose a lo­ca­tion on your backup or net­work drive and click Save. Fi­nal Cut asks if you want to in­clude op­ti­mised and proxy me­dia. Clear­ing th­ese op­tions will save space in the archived Li­brary, but the orig­i­nal me­dia will be copied across; the op­ti­mised and proxy me­dia can be recre­ated from it if you de­cide to re­sume work on the files. While the process of copy­ing me­dia takes place, the new Li­brary will be dis­played with a yel­low alert sym­bol to tell you it isn’t fin­ished.

In Pref­er­ences, Fi­nal Cut Pro can be set up to pre­serve the data­base part of a Li­brary pe­ri­od­i­cally

Ex­ter­nal me­dia

What you’ve done so far only copies me­dia stored within the orig­i­nal li­brary, along with projects; ex­ter­nal (ref­er­enced) me­dia re­mains else­where on your Mac. You can ver­ify where me­dia in a Li­brary is stored by hold­ing ≈ and click­ing on a file, then choos­ing Re­veal in Finder to see its lo­ca­tion.

Fi­nal Cut has opened the new Li­brary. Se­lect it (not an event within it) in the top left pane and choose File > Con­sol­i­date Li­brary Files… In the next dia­logue, the new Li­brary will al­ready be se­lected. Just press OK and any ex­ter­nal me­dia that’s ref­er­enced in the Li­brary will be copied into it. Fi­nal Cut will dis­play an ex­plicit alert if there is no ex­ter­nal me­dia to copy into the Li­brary.

Clean­ing up

The orig­i­nal Li­brary is still in place on your Mac. You may be able to free up some of the space used by it. Se­lect an event in it, then choose File > Delete Event Ren­der Files… (or Delete Project Ren­der Files… if you’ve been more spe­cific and se­lected a project in­stead) and you’ll be asked if you want to get rid of all ren­der files, or only un­used files that have been left­over from your work. If you only want to keep the project to hand but don’t an­tic­i­pate re­fer­ring to it of­ten, if at all, choose All and click OK.

Hold ≈ and click the Li­brary you cre­ated as an ar­chive, then choose Close Li­brary so you don’t accidentally make changes to it. You can close and re­move the orig­i­nal Li­brary from your Mac to free up space. But Fi­nal Cut re­quires at least one Li­brary to be open, so if it’s the only one in the top left pane, you’ll need to cre­ate an­other, empty Li­brary to do this. Alan Stone­bridge

Ren­der files are gen­er­ated in­side a Li­brary as you work, and may con­sti­tute a large part of its size.

Op­ti­mised and proxy me­dia can be omit­ted from an ar­chive, and recre­ated from the orig­i­nal copies us­ing File > Transcode Me­dia.

Fi­nal Cut can cre­ate back­ups of a Li­brary’s data­base for you to fall back on if the work­ing copy gets dam­aged.

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