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The Filmmaker's Guide to Final Cut Pro Workflow by Dale Angell

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Appendix 7

Understanding File Architecture

Final Cut Pro, Cinema Tools, and Pro Tools

Final Cut Pro, Cinema Tools, and Pro Tools use a similar architecture. A central project file controls the entire project yet contains no actual media. It is simply a complex road map with links to scores of other files, often hundreds of files. In Final Cut Pro, this central file is referred to as the “project file.” In Cinema Tools, it is known as the “database.” In Pro Tools, it is the “session.” The central file is small, perhaps a few hundred K. It contains hundreds of links to the actual media, which are often huge files, sometimes hundreds of gigabytes for a feature film.

If the link between the central file and the media is broken, either because the ...

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