The beat . A blog by premiumbeat

September 24, 2011
Final Cut ProFinal Cut Pro X

How to Archive Projects in Final Cut Pro X

So, you’ve completed a project in Final Cut Pro X and need to manage it for archiving?   In this post, we’ll take a look at one way to consolidate your FCPX projects so you can archive them and quickly restore them at a later time.

Although there are several ways to archive your projects in FCPX, here’s a quick one…keep your past projects organized and properly stored by using the duplicate project function. By duplicating your Final Cut Pro X project (and the media elements used in that project) you can consolidate your project and events for digital storage.

In your FCPX project library, right click on the name of the project that you would like to archive and choose “Duplicate Project…”  You can also duplicate a project by simply using the shortcut COMMAND + D.

The Duplicate Project window gives you three options for consolidating and duplicating your project:

1.  Duplicate Project Only
This option will only copy the timeline/project but not the media that appears within the project.  If you plan on keeping the media online and simply want to save the project file, this would be your pick — however if you move or delete the media without saving, you’ll have a project without files (potentially disastrous).  FCPX project files take up so little hard drive space, so don’t duplicate them thinking it’ll have a significant impact on your drive space.

2.  Duplicate Project and Referenced Events
Want the whole enchilada?  This’ll do it.  When selecting this option you’ll be copying your project file plus each of the events that contains media used in your project. SO, if you only used 2/10 clips from one event in your project, well, you’re going to be duplicating all 10 clips regardless.  This is beneficial if you anticipate making significant changes to a project in the future and want access to all relevant media.  It’ll take up more drive space, but if you’re going to be storing the project off on an external device…chances are it might be worth the cost. In the large majority of cases ths would be my preferred choice.

3.  Duplicate Project + Used Clips Only
This option is a bit more selective than the last, in that it’ll save your project/timeline and all the clips that were used in it.  Because it is selectively copying clips out of an Event, it’ll want to create a brand new event, which you’ll have to assign it a name.  If you think it’s highly unlikely that you’ll make significant video changes to your FCPX project in the future this option might be best for you.

Once you duplicate your project it will appear as a duplicate folder in the Finder. The default locations for your projects and events (and duplicates) on your hard drive is in two folders:  UserName>Movies>Final Cut Projects and Final Cut Events.  The duplicated project or event folders will have (fcp1) added to the end of the name.  If you’re storing on your local drive, move these folders off your system and delete the originals from FCPX.

Opening a restored project and having files offline or missing can be an editor’s worst nightmare. Duplicating your projects using the FCPX duplicate function is most beneficial for archiving because it gives you the option of consolidating your media into one place.

When archiving keep your projects and events organized…clients like the ability to make future changes on their projects.  Future changes means more money in your pocket!

How do YOU archive your FCPX projects?
Let us know in the comments!!

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  • Maks

    I archive my source files and Movies folder’s subfolders and . In case of restoring I rename current and folders and paste the old folders in my Movies folder.

  • http://YourSite(Optional) Tangier Clarke

    Here’s the problem I am running into with archiving FCPX projects. The Duplicate Project and used clips mean duplicate project and entirety of used clips from the project. This is a problem because FCP X doesn’t seem to media manage the edit a la FCP 7. If i have a clip that that source file is 10 minutes long, but the portion edited into the project is 10 seconds long, then FCP X will give me the entire 10 minutes. This is ridiculous. So for every clip I used in the edit, I get the full source clip which doesn’t allow me to save hard drive space and money. I essentially want a media managed project that I save to a DMG so that I can mount it later as a volume that FCP X will recognize.

    If I’m wrong about this I would love to be corrected because I’ve been looking for a solution since before this article came out (as of writing this) and nobody seems to have one. It’s as if I am the only one who wants a back up of only the media (maybe some handles) for the project. Not all of the full raw source files (of video) for the project. I always keep two copies of the camera raw content to two separate drives.

    Looking to be enlightened.

    • Alan

      I’m looking for the same functionality too! I used to use “Create Offline” with create new clips based on existing filenames, with handles – DELETING UNUSED MEDIA. FCP 6 would give me a new timeline, automatically link the clips to the new media segments and I would then archive. I restored and picked up a project more or less as it was and updated it for client very efficiently, many times. Perfect workflow and efficient storage. But not any more. Please give feedback to Apple!

  • flick

    So I want to do something simpler and smaller. I already archive my camera master avchd to blu-ray disk; a 16gb card fits nicely on one. In the old days, I could archive the sd card, save the project file, and when need be, I could re-create the prores media from the sd card and that would re-create the edited project.

    Now what? I have to save the generated prores files too? That’s a lot more storage psace, time etc… I don’t wnt to put a hard drive onthe shelf for each project, plus HD’s are less archive-friendly than blu-rays.

  • http://YourSite(Optional) Paul

    I want to do the same as flick. What happens if I just save the project file and the original media folder (avchd)? will it not recreate the project?

  • Bill Torgerson

    If I want to save on an external hard drive or transfer to a second computer in case something goes wrong with the first, do I want to duplicate?

  • Sean Hoyt

    Archiving should definitely be something FCP X offers. The duplication is a workaround. I’m with  Tangier, too, with one additional idea. Give us a checkbox to “trim media to in/out selections”, but also “allow X seconds before/after the IN/OUT” so that we can make minor future re-edits to the IN/OUTS. Right? 

    • Danny Greer

      This was an option in previous versions of FCP. You could save media with handles to tweak future cuts. The archiving process in FCPX does feel incomplete and I also hope Apple improves it with future updates. Thanks for your feedback!

      • Sean Hoyt

        FCP7 wouldn’t actually generate new media based on the in/outs though. That’s what I’m advocating, maybe. Could really cut down the massive storage requirements for us dSLR video guys. I don’t need the shaky intro and outro seconds…. That would be super intelligent for FCP X. 

        • Danny Greer

          Ah, I understand now. Not sure if any NLE does what you’re requesting, but it’s a way cool suggestion. You can actually make product suggestions to Apple directly. FCPX link here:

          • Darius

            most professional NLEs have the functionality to trim clips. Though depending on the source media, its not *always* possible ‘trim’ the clip without recoding it.

        • Scott Simmons

          what do you mean FCP7 wouldn’t generate new media? That’s what is was doing when you media managed a project.

    • Ilona

      exactly, for the chance that I might one day want to shove a transition in I’ve got to copy the whole event!

  • Guest

    My internal hd is now full so I chose to Duplicate Project and Referenced Events to an external hd. If i delete the original media from the internal to make space, will the duplicate on the external still work without losing anything?

  • Guest

    I have several projects archived, but when I try to open them again for refinements, it fails to open them. What am I doing wrong? All I get is an error message saying “The document “CurrentVersion.fcpproject” could not be opened. “

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