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Tutorial: Introducing Libraries in Apple Final Cut Pro 10.1

In our first tutorial on the recently released FCP 10.1, we look at the new Libraries feature, which enhances project and media organization and eases the adjustment for editors transitioning from FCP 7.

Working With Libraries

Figure 3 (below) shows two Libraries I have in my Finder: Brooke + Adam Wedding and Sample Library. The icon that looks like four events stacked on top of each other in a cube formation identified these files as FCP X Libraries.

Figure 3. Libraries in the Finder.

As I mentioned before, if you double-click on one of these it does not open because it’s not a folder, it’s a bundle, and sealed off in that way so you can't accidentally (or intentionally) go into it and tweak it or mess something up. Just as with projects and sequences in FCP 7, you make all of your tweaks to the projects and events in these library bundles within Final Cut Pro X, rather than in the Finer. There is a way to get into the library by right-clicking and choosing Show Package Contents, but we’re not going to get into that right now.

When you double-click the library, as discussed earlier, it’s just like clicking on an FCP 7 project file--it loads Final Cut Pro with the library you clicked front and center and ready for editing. So if I double-click Sample Library from the options shown in Figure 3, FCP X opens with the Sample Library loaded. As you can see in Figure 4 (below), it has one event under it, along with all of the media and one project.

Figure 4. FCP X running with Sample Library loaded automatically by double-clicking it in the Finder. Click the image to see it at full size.

There’s no project library in the lower-left corner of the screen as there was before; it’s only the timeline index because Apple has eliminated the project library. Projects, as I mentioned earlier, are now housed inside of the event. You can see the event just under Sample Libraries in the Library panel on the left, and the project, indicated by the clapperboard icon, appears above all the media. Projects always rise to the top. This is especially helpful if you’re collaborating with other editors on the same project.

I like to make a separate event just for my projects. To do this, select the library you’re currently working with, right-click, and choose New event. In the dialog that opens, type projects, as shown in Figure 5 (below), and note that it creates the new event within the Sample Library library. Because events are listed alphanumerically, to position it at the top where I want it I’ll add a space in front of the name and hit OK.

Figure 5. Creating an event to house all my projects.

The event we created is currently empty event. If I move the project over to that event, I’ve essentially made a folder or event just for our project, which helps for organizational purposes.

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