final cut pro

Scratch Disk Settings

The Scratch Disk refers to the location that Final Cut will save the ingested media that is used when editing a project. It is always important to set your scratch disk before you begin editing or importing media on a project, otherwise you maybe importing media to an undesired or incorrect location on your computer.

Always set your scratch disks first

You need to configure Final Cut Pro so it will find the drive and the project folder where you will be capturing your video clips and creating your Final Cut Pro movie. The drive and project folder are called your "scratch disk," which could be a portable firewire drive on which you are storing all your video files.

Note: when using a firewire drive, the drive must be turned on and mounted before opening Final Cut Pro.

1) Start Final Cut Pro.

2) In the menu at the top click on Final Cut Pro... System Settings

3) Then select the tab for: Scratch Disk Settings

4) Near the top of the screen that appears you'll see a series of checked boxes for Video Capture, Audio Capture, Video Render and Audio Render.

Setting the scratch disk window

These should be checked so you can set all of them to the scratch disk drive and folder for your project (so when you capture your video and audio it will be stored in the right folder, and when you do rendering of your movie it also will be stored in the right folder).

5) To the right of those click on the button labeled Set and navigate through the computer's directory to your scratch disk drive. If you already have a folder for your project, just click on it. If you don't have a folder, then click on the New Folder button to create one and give a name to it.

For example, if you're using a portable firewire drive, click on Set and Choose a Folder to find the icon for the firewire drive on the desktop and open it.

6) You should now be back at the Scratch Disk Settings screen. This time look further down on the screen for the other three buttons labeled Set:

Waveform Cache Set

Thumbnail Cache Set

Autosave Vault Set

Setting waveform cache scratch disks in Final Cut

These are three other Final Cut Pro settings, each of which also should be set to the same scratch disk as the first one.

It is especially important that you set the Autosave Set button to the same scratch disk, as this is where Final Cut Pro will periodically save copies of whatever you're working on so you don't lose your work if the computer crashes. You want to be sure that these automatically saved files are being saved to your scratch disk drive and folder.

Make sure all three Set buttons have been set, and follow the same directions as above to use Choose a Folder to set each of these to the same scratch disk.

When you're done and back at the Scratch Disk Settings Screen, leave the default settings for the other options, such as Minimum Allowable Free Space on Scratch Disks, Limit Capture...Size and Limit Capture Now.

And click on the button at the bottom labeled OK. Now start a new project in Final Cut Pro by clicking on File...New and click on Save Project As... Give your project file a name and then navigate through the directory tree to the same scratch disk drive and project folder you used in the Scratch Disk Settings instructions above. Save the Final Cut Pro project file in that folder.

Once you've completed these settings, they are now stored in the copy of Final Cut Pro on the computer you're using.

The next time you launch Final Cut Pro, it will look for that scratch disk. If someone else has used that computer in the interim for a different Final Cut Pro project, they probably set it to use a different scratch disk. In that case at the prompt you'll need to reset the scratch preferences to your disk, as described above.