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kfon 01-14-2010 03:27 PM

Final Cut Express - Saving/Editing help
Thanks in advance for any help.

Just FYI: I have a 2007 MacBook.

My issue: I would love to edit FCE files on my external drive (I've thus far been using my internal hard drive), but when I save files in FCE, they automatically save to my desktop. Is there a way to change my settings to save to the external drive? I realize the external drive will have be connected to my computer first, of course, but how to I get it to save to the external drive automatically when it's connected?

There is another, linked issue--once I save FCE files, if I try to move them, I can no longer open them in FCE. If anyone can help with this, I'd appreciate it as well.

I'm new to the forums, so let me know if I'm doing this wrong. Your help is appreciated. Thanks!

Nethfel 01-14-2010 03:39 PM

Hi! Welcome to the Forums!

What you're needing to control it sounds like are the scratch folders.

Go into the Final Cut Express menu, System Settings, and find the scratch disks tab, then set them to the appropriate new location and remove the desktop.

If you move the files around (which you really shouldn't be doing yourself, just let FCE manage them until it's time to archive them), just adjust/add scratch file locations to help FCE locate your footage.

kfon 01-14-2010 03:42 PM

Thank you Nethfel! I also figured this out on my own at the same time as your response. Great minds...

Appreciated. Now, I've read on other forums that certain external drives are not ideal for saving FCE or FCP files. Is this true? Are there certain types of drives I should be using?

Thanks for the info!

Nethfel 01-14-2010 06:29 PM

Best drives you could use:

Firewire (since you have a macbook) 400 capable external chassis (if you can get an external case that supports FW400, FW800, eSata and USB that would be most convenient to provide you some room in terms of if you upgrade, like if you were to get a current MBP, it would have FW800)

The actual drive itself within the chassis should be 7200RPMs, capacity - bigger the better (if you work with HD footage, you'll find that you need a lot of space). You will find yourself a bit at the low end of speed for the firewire for HD work (ie: there will probably be times where you'll need to render a lot especially if you're using multiple video layers) but it should work.

Obviously there are other options that can get very expensive (ie: specialized raid arrays that offer iSCSI that you would use your gigabit ethernet to connect to the drive array, but you wouldn't want to also be hooked into a network with other traffic on the ethernet port - so in this example, if you wanted internet access and use an iSCSI array, you'd want the array be the only thing on a network switch with your Macbook, and connect to the internet via WIFI) - but for home/starter use, just stick with a firewire drive.

Can you do it on USB only? yes, it is possible - some people would disagree with me, but I've edited footage with a USB2.0 only connection - it's not near as enjoyable to edit video though as you spend a lot of time with the system rendering - especially if you are using multiple video tracks. But saying it's possible doesn't mean it's the best way - ie: use firewire not USB if possible.

Also note, you're using FCE, which is good, because its native editing formats aren't as bandwidth intensive as FCPs files (comparing AIC used in iMovie and FCE to ProRES 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 used in FCP6/7) - if you were using the current FCP with ProRES 4:4:4 I don't know if FW400, even with rendering, could handle it at all (I don't know the bandwidth needed for the current version of ProRES, the one in the FCP6 was already a BW hog (seeing playback numbers in quicktime show 151 mbps). The AIC codec in Final Cut Express, when set to 1080 at least, runs at ~58mbps, roughly 1/3 of the bandwidth requirements of ProRES.

dr dave 01-19-2010 12:22 PM

BTW, you are better off using the external as the Final Cut scratch disk. Although we can't see it, the internal HD is really busy during your editing because it is used as the CPU's scratch pad (not the Final Cut's scratch) as you work. At the same time, the CPU has to access the FC scratch files. If Final Cut's scratch is on the external, it can do both simultaneously.

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