How To Optimize FCPX Workflow For Faster Video Editing | Guide To Quick Editing

Updated on September 8, 2021

In the article, we'll cover how to optimize FCPX workflow for faster video editing so that you'll be able to be as efficient as possible. Whether you're a beginner video editor or a seasoned pro, optimizing your Final Cut workflow will improve the speed and quality of your work.

Before starting to organize your workflow, you should carefully check all project settings. It is important to set a frame size and frame rate that matches your source material. Use the best codec for the job - the most popular constant bit rate codec is Apple ProRes 422, but you can change these settings during the export stage to H264 or H265 codec. What is also important is to set the same audio sample rate. If you set the wrong audio sample rate it will cause audio tempo issues, the music or voice can sound differently and lower quality. 

Create Separate Folders

If you import all your footage from an external drive or SD card, the first thing is locating and removing unused media files. Get rid of useless items, so you will not be distracted by that footage. Organize images by subject, or create separate folders, for example, interviews, B-Roll, footage from other cameras, Audio, etc. This will help you to find things easier later during the editing process.

Add Metadata

Add metadata (notes or just tags) to clips so that they are searchable and easily found later on when editing. Why? You'll have a general idea of what you want to do (and the story you want to tell) when starting a new project, but if you start in the browser and work your way into the timeline without first adding keywords to help assist with the organization/search then it's going to take much more time for you. How can you add it? You can find the inspector by clicking the button in the top right corner and you can add a keyword to specific clips (or ranges) using text boxes in the info section. You can also rename your files here or assign video and audio roles, but more about it later.

Smart Collections

Create Smart Collections in order to quickly filter out clips that you don't need to search for. Why? Creating Smart Collections is a quick and easy way for you to see what clips are available for editing in your project (so it doesn't include anything from used clips). You can create them based on various criteria such as ratings, keywords, role, range of media to be selected, etc.. How? Click the Smart Collections button at the top of the Event Library.

Video & Audio Roles

Assign video roles and set up audio roles to organize clips in the timeline. How? By default, every video clip is "Video 1" and every audio clip is "Audio 1". Identify each role in the timeline by using the track name column and/or destination menu (top of the screen). When you create a new Event there are already some initial roles created. Why? Organizing clips by their

the role instead of just shoving them all into a big timeline makes it easier to edit and gives you more flexibility when adjusting settings for specific roles (for example A Roll vs B Roll).

And also, if your computer is not that fast, you should try to use proxy files. These are low-resolution files that are much smaller in size, but still, retain a similar quality as the original. When you have finished editing your project and started to export it for playback, the proxy files will be automatically replaced with high-resolution originals. This workflow speeds up rendering times and allows editors to work even on older hardware computers.

Lastly, don't forget the power of the shortcuts in FCPX. It can save you a lot of time, we collected the most useful keyboard shortcuts into one article, so feel free to check it out.

All Done? Congratulations on speeding up your final cut pro X workflow! Wasn't that easy? We hope that all of these tips and tricks have helped you out! If you have any other great FCPX workflow tips to share, we'd love for you to leave them in the comments section below.

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