Don't upgrade if
Don't upgrade to Final Cut Pro
- you have a Beige G3/300. The performance
is not reliable because that series is a little slow overall
for Final Cut Pro 2. Stay with Final Cut Pro 1.2.5 and keep the
system running as it always has. The benefits of the faster speed
and Velocity Engine enhancement makes a G4 upgrade a good investment,
particularly if you're earning income from your Final Cut Pro
system. If you want the benefits of Final Cut Pro 3, upgrade.
- you have less than 256 MB of RAM if
you will be running on OS 9.2.2 or at least 384 if you want to
run under OS X. In fact, I would really recommend that you have
512 MB of RAM for Final Cut Pro 3, not only for the application
and Operating System, but for additional software and functions
like the Real Time Still cache and RAM for the VoiceOver tool.
RAM is cheap and one of the best investments you can make. Final
Cut Pros issues with 'too much' RAM are long gone.
- you have software that has not been
updated to work with OS 9.2.2 or will not run/work with the HFS+
- you cannot use QuickTime 5 for some
(obscure) reason. QuickTime is always backwardly compatible (will
play older movies without problem) and no software should have
a problem but if you know of an issue that affects 'mission critical'
applications you use, don't upgrade to QuickTime 5. Without QuickTime
5.0.4 Final Cut Pro 3 will not run. (See QuickTime note below).
Preparing to Upgrade
Upgrading Final Cut Pro to Final
Cut Pro 3 is the easiest part - put the CD in run the installer,
run the application with the CD in the drive, enter your registration
details and you're done.
But unless you're ready to upgrade it might not go smoothly and
you'll regret it. Successful upgrading is in the preparation,
and the sequence of events is very important. This is particularly
important if you are going to upgrade to OS X 10.1 or start using
it for the first time.
In these follow items I'll be ranking them as:
#### For something you must do like actually
install the upgrade!
### Should do items that are highly recommended.
A wise person would do this,
but if you're really in a hurry and feeling lucky, you can skip
over this step without any consequences.
you really want to be as sure as possible that you'll avoid all
problems, do this step as well.
The best time to upgrade is when you've
got no projects under way and the drives where you keep your
media (Media Drives) are empty. Since that's almost never likely
to happen, we'll also talk about strategies for working around
the work in progress. Fortunately FCP2 can be installed alongside
Final Cut Pro 2 and earlier versions so you can complete current
projects in the version they were created in, while starting
new Projects in Final Cut Pro 3. Once a project has been opened
and saved in Final Cut Pro 3, you won't be able to open it in
any earlier version.
Backup your System (internal) hard drive & Reformat the drive
Not essential, but a clean drive
is a good idea with a major upgrade. The best way to go about
this is to back up all the content on your internal (System)
drive to the backup of choice. CD-R or CD-RW is a good choice,
as most applications folders etc will fit on relatively few internal
Having the backup is reassuring, just
in case something happens. As a matter of course I back my entire
internal drive (System, Applications, Documents) to DVD-R no
less often than every 3 months, or before any major upgrade or
(since it's a laptop) a major trip. The editing and production
machines are backed up at 2am every morning.
This would also be a good time to update
your internal drive to HFS+ (Extended format) if it's
still formatted with HFS (the standard file system).
At a minimum
Run Disk First Aid and have it check your drive, or if you use
one of the more advanced Drive Utilities, have that check your
hard drive for problems, damage or error. I like Tech Tool Pro
and have found it reliable.
If you do clean the hard drive, use the
Software Restore discs to re-install the drive back to factory
condition - necessary to get a base OS X install.
Backup your Projects folder
There are two reasons to back
up your Projects folder, particularly your Final Cut Pro projects.
The first reasons is so you'll have a backup if anything goes
wrong, but the second reason is that Final Cut Pro 3 will update
the Project file so that it will no longer open in Final Cut
Pro 2 or earlier. Having a backup means you can go back.
I should explain that I do not believe
there will be problems, but when it comes to my hard work I'm
a 'belts and braces' kind of guy just in case the belt
breaks, I've got the braces to hold up my pants!
Backup your System Folder for Mac Os 9.x
The System folder is the Central
Nervous System of the Macintosh and becomes customized for every
system whenever you install new software. It also contains the
Preferences files for your applications, including Final Cut
Pro. It's good to have the Final Cut Pro 2 preferences file for
By backing up at least the System folder
you've got the opportunity to go back to where you were. Exactly.
Same Extension Set, same Preferences, same magic combination.
There is software - Rewind I believe
- that will take your system back to a previous time but I haven't
used it. It has won a couple of 'Best of Show' awards. Personally,
there's nothing like having a backup I can go to myself.
Create a copy of your Favorites to get them to Final Cut Pro
Favorites are saved with Preferences
and there's no easy way to get them to Final Cut Pro 3 since
Final Cut Pro 2 and Final Cut Pro 3 don't share Preferences files.
Here's a workaround, but there may be other ways.
Create a new Project in 2 and call it
something like "Favorites Exchange". You'll need some
Clips but in reality a Slug, a Gradient and something with audio
will be fine. What you'll need depends on what Favorites you
all your favorite filters to one Clip. It can be in a Bin, the
Browser or a Sequence, doesn't matter. If the Clip has audio
it will take all your audio and video favorites.
- Transitions: Alternate a Slug and a Gradient Clip in a Sequence
and add one favorite transition each time they meet, until you've
applied all your favorite transitions.
- Motion Tab Settings: Add one motion
tab setting to each Clip those Clips in the sequence that
you've used for your Transitions favorites would be good candidates.
You can only have one set of Motion tab settings per Clip, and
they're the most work to restore so only keep the ones you really
need but it's not that difficult.
Save the Project and you're done.
## If updating from Final Cut Pro 1.x, copy Final
Cut Pro 1.2.5 and it's Preferences to another Drive.
Final Cut Pro 3 upgrade will
leave Final Cut Pro 2 on your hard drive, but if you want to
continue using Final Cut Pro 1.2.5 alongside Final Cut Pro 3
for a while, copy the Final Cut Pro 1.2.5 folder to another hard
drive, for example one of the media drives, to prevent the updater
installing over it. Rename the Folder Final Cut Pro 1.2.5.
Open the System Folder, then the Preferences
Folder. Inside the Preferences folder, locate the Final Cut Pro
Preferences folder and copy the whole folder to the other hard
drive along with the Final Cut Pro Folder. Put the Preferences
folder inside the Final Cut Pro folder for storage. Leave a copy
inside the Preferences folder as it has your Registration information
that the updater will need to refer to validate the update.
After the update is complete you can
copy the Final Cut Pro 1.2.5 folder back to your main hard drive
and the preferences back to the Preferences folder.
#### OS 9 Clean Install the Operating System
This is a little more complex because Final Cut Pro 3 requires
OS 9.2.2 and there is no 9.2.2 installer available. So to do
a clean install of the OS you will need to do a Clean install
of 9.1 then do an update to 9.2.1 immediately. Then you are ready
to do the update to OS 9.2.2 using the installer on the Final
Cut Pro 3 disc. If you originally had 9.0.4 when your system
shipped and did not purchase a CD-ROM version of OS 9.1, you
will need to reinstall 9.0.4 then upgrade to OS 9.1 then upgrade
to 9.2.2. The OS 9.2.2 updater is on the Final Cut Pro 3 installer
disc. Earlier version updaters are available for download from
Apple, or by using the Software Update Control Panel (while connected
to the Internet).
It is worth going to the trouble instead of just doing an update
install. A Clean Install puts new, fresh copies of every part
of the Operating System on the Hard Drive. An update will copy
over only those parts that have been updated and leave any existing
Extension in place. The Clean Install ensures that no corrupt
drivers or Extensions are in place.
The most recent versions of FireWire
drivers are on the Final Cut Pro install CD and will be installed
with the OS 9.2.2 update. You should use them.
Once a Clean Install is done, go into the Control Panels and
Extensions folders (separately) and select all icons, then change
their label color to something you don't use often. I make mine
Brown so that I know the Brown colored Extensions are the ones
installed by Apple, ditto the Control Panels).
After doing the Clean install of the
Operating System do not copy across Control Panels and
Extensions from the old System Folder. We'll get to them later
but first of all we want to make sure that Final Cut Pro 2 is
working with just the installed System with no 3rd party 'pollution'.
OS X 10.1.1 Upgrade and Update
Before you can use Final Cut
Pro 3 on OS X you must have updated to OS X 10.1.1. OS X 10.1
is available on CD from Apple or by taking a computer with OS
X 10.0 installed to an Apple Store's "Genius" counter.
OS X 10.1 is so close to a complete reinstall of the OS X Operating
System that there is no practical difference between updating
and doing a Clean Install.
If you do not yet own OS X you will need
to purchase it from Apple prior to updating to OS X 10.1.1 and
installing Final Cut Pro 3.
Once OS X 10.1 is installed, there are
3 more steps required to prepare for Final Cut Pro 3. You can
only upgrade from OS X 10.1 to OS X 10.1.1 over the Internet.
Connect to the internet (this is required), and perform the following
3 steps in the order listed:
- 1. Open system Preferences and click
on the Software Update icon. You might as well install any updates
you are offered but you must install the "Security Update
10-19-01". After the Security Update has been installed,
restart your computer.
- 2. After restarting, once the Security
Update 10-19-01 has been installed, open system Preferences and
click on the software update icon again, and install the "Installer
Update 1.0". You will need to make a second connection to
the Internet for this second update.
- 3. Once the Installer Update 1.0 has
been installed, open System Preferences yet again, and once again
click on the Software update again and install the Mac OS X Update
10.1.1. You will need to restart your computer again.
PS: If an update newer than OS X v. 10.1
appears in step 3, install it instead. OS X 10.1.2 has just started
to appear and it is OK to install that, or a later version.
If you have already installed the Security
Update and Installer Update you will not need to repeat Steps
1 and 2. You can proceed directly to Step 3.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR RTMAC USERS
Before installing or updating
to OS X you will need to download the newest drivers, firmware
updater and enablers from the Matrox site. Unless you have the
OS X compatible drivers, simply having the RTMac card installed
will cause 'Kernel Panic' errors when you attempt to run OS X.
Matrox provided this update several months ago, but if you have
not downloaded it yet and updated your firmware, now is the time
to do it. It is in the updates area of the Matrix support site.
There is an enabler in the Final Cut
Pro Utilities section of Matrox.com that activated RTMac under
Final Cut Pro 3 only on OS 9.2.2. At the time of writing
there is no support for RTMac and Final Cut Pro 3 under OS X.
The extended desktop will work under OS X but that is all.
#### Install QuickTime 5.0.4 from the Final Cut
Pro 3 CD
The version of QuickTime on the Final Cut Pro 3 CD is exactly
the same as the public QuickTime 5.0.2 version except
that it has two new codecs. The difference between QuickTime
5.0.2 and QuickTime 5.0.4 are two extra codecs. What is very
confusing is that after installing, when you look at QuickTime
version in the QuickTime Control Panel, it will still report
as being QuickTime 5.0.2. But as long as you follow these steps
from the QuickTime installer on the Final Cut Pro 3 CD you will
have the extensions you need.
- Run the QuickTime installer, select
- In the next panel, select all the options
there's a convenient Select All at the top.
- Continue to the rest of the Install.
If you don't do Custom and the Select
All, you will get "missing QuickTime Component" and
"missing codec" errors. Custom installs more than the
Full or Multimedia Authoring options in the first panel. Go figure.
It is almost always okay to go to a newer
version of QuickTime as QuickTime retains 100% backward compatibility
to version 1. So if a newer update is offered by the QuickTime
Control Panel Updater, download it if you want.
Install Final Cut Pro 3
Finally you're ready to install
Final Cut Pro 2. Run the Installer and choose the options that
match your system. If you have a RT-Mac card you'll want to choose
that option during install as Final Cut Pro 3 will then have
the Easy Setup files to set everything to RT-Mac with one menu
The choices you make in the Install dialogs
will also set your starting defaults, so chances are you'll never
have to even choose an Easy Setup.
If you want to install on OS X you will
need to have run Final Cut Pro on OS 9.2.2 at least once so that
the updater knows that you have a legitimate copy of Final Cut
Pro to upgrade.
Update your Media Drives to HFS +
If the hard drives you use for
media are not already HFS+ (Extended Format) this would be a
good time to update them, if they have no media on them. Macintosh
OS 9.1, QuickTime and Final Cut Pro 2 all support HFS+ for virtually
unlimited file sizes. All are required to break through the 2
GB limit of the earlier Operating System. Updating Media drives
to HFS + is recommended, but not essential.
Having the media drives formatted for
HFS+ isn't essential Final Cut Pro 2 can still capture
unlimited durations by seamlessly joining 2 GB files, a QuickTime
feature and the major benefit of HFS+, small files not taking
more space than they should on large drives, isn't that crucial
with the size files digital video uses, but you'll need to do
it some time.
Warning: Converting drives to HFS+ normally requires a reformat, which destroys all data on a drive. Format one drive at a time, copying data to another drive first, if you have more than one drive. Or wait until you can clean the drive of media before converting it. There is a piece of software, in the MacMedic V1.5 (and later) package called SpaceMaker that converts disks to HFS + (Mac OS Extended Format) without having to clear the disks first, or lose data. While I haven't used it, I've not heard of any problems, so if you just cannot find a time when the disk is clear: http://software.totalrecall.com/macmedic/index.html
Test Final Cut Pro 3
First things first.
Test Final Cut Pro 3. Start a new Project, assign Scratch Disks
and do some test captures. Add Clips to a Timeline and render
some effects and transitions and test any G4 real time preview
effects. Be sure everything is working as intended before going
beyond this point.
Return Final Cut Pro 1.2.5-
to the internal Macintosh Hard
Drive, and move the preferences to the System Preferences folder
if you are planning to continue to use Final Cut Pro 1.2.5.
Work with Final Cut Pro 3 -
for a couple of weeks or at least
a few days before adding Extensions and Control Panels back.
Most people can't live with this option (myself included) but
hold out as long as you can to prove that all is working well
before adding those 3rd party extensions.
Make a Final Cut Pro 3 Extension Set OS 9 only
Open the Extension Manager Control
Panel. As Final Cut Pro 3 and QuickTime 5.0.4 will probably have
changed the Mac OS 9.2 All Extension set, a copy will probably
be automatically created for you. If not, create a copy of the
Extension set so that you can return the Extensions and Control
Panels back to this state, where everything is working, at any
time. Name this Extension set: 'Final Cut Pro 3 Control Set'.
Apple recommend the Mac OS 9.2 All for Final Cut Pro 3 and I
would only pare that down if there was a serious problem.
Immediately create another Extension
set and call it 'Final Cut Pro 3 Operating'. Make the Final Cut
Pro 3 Operating extension set the active set. When new software
adds Extension they are added to the currently active Extension
set without regard to any need to keep it 'controlled'. So the
Control Set is there as reserve backup to take us back to this
absolutely Final Cut Pro 3 only "and working" set if
there are every any potential Extension Conflicts.
Note: There are no System Extensions in OS X, and therefore
no Extension Sets OS X.
Restore Extensions, Control Panels and Preferences OS 9 only
I'd really like to say that you
should re-install all software again but that can be a huge burden.
The best reason to re-install is to avoid any corrupt extension
but since they're fairly rare, following this strategy should
Only ever restore one, or at most two,
extensions at a time. Personally I prefer to wait until I need
to run an application that requires the extension before I restore
it to my active set. Partly because I usually have no idea what
half those Extensions do anyway, and waiting to be asked for
a given Extension helps me work out what belongs to what, but
also so I only add back in the Extensions I really need now.
It's amazing how many Extensions never make it back into the
folder because I just never need them. Keep the Extensions folder
lean and happy.
Never add more than 2 Extensions at a
time or the extensions for one Application if it uses more
than two (can you say Microsoft?) without extensively testing
Final Cut Pro 3 between. That way, if you run into an Extension
conflict, or some problem arises, you know exactly which two
might be the culprit. Much easier to troubleshoot 2 Extensions
Add back Control Panels the same way
one or two at a time.
Restore your Favorites
Open the Favorites Exchange Project
in Final Cut Pro 3. It will update the Project format when opened.
You want it to do this. Once open, restore your favorites by:
Open the Clip with the Filters applied, in the Viewer. Select
the Filters all of them if you like and drag them
to the Favorites folder. They'll be immediately added with the
- Transitions: Open the Sequence
that has the Clips with the Transitions between them. Drag each
Transition to the Favorites Folder. It will be added with the
- Favorite Motions: A little less easy but not too bad. Open each
Clip in the Viewer from the Timeline in turn. While the Clip
is in the Viewer, choose the Make menu and select 'Favorite Motion'.
The Motion Tab settings will be saved as a Favorite Motion again,
under the name of the Clip so you'll have to rename the Favorite
Motion again, but that's easier than redoing the settings, including
any keyframes you might have had.
And if it doesn't go smoothly?
It will go smoothly if you follow
these guidelines but if you run into problems, these might be
some causes or solutions:
General Error Messages:
In Final Cut Pro, General Error
Messages are very broad, but at least one set was solved by reverting
to a minimal (OS 9.2 Basic) Extension set. This could have been
a corrupt Extension left over from an upgrade, rather than a
Dropped Frame Warnings:
The solution may be to just turn off the Dropped Frame warning!
Final Cut Pro 2 and 3 is much more sensitive to the reporting
of non-standard frame lengths from QuickTime. This lead to "false"
dropped frame reports in two circumstances on Capture and
when playing from the first frame of a Clip. The explanation
is that when QuickTime starts capturing a Clip it is not always
on a 'frame boundary' it might start 1/3 the way through
a frame, 1/2 way through a frame, 15/16th the way through a frame.
QuickTime doesn't care it will just count that bit as an
extra bit on the next full frame for a frame of more than 1/29.97
or 1/25th (PAL). QuickTime is quite happy with variable length
frames while Final Cut Pro 2, wanting standard video intervals
complains about the 'long frame' which it interprets as a dropped
Final Cut Pro 3 has a new Tool for displaying
"long frames". To check if you have a genuine dropped
frame problem, or merely the first frame being long, run the
"Show Long Frames" tool from the Tools menu. If more
than one frame shows as being "long" (a.k.a. dropped),
then you will need to do some more troubleshooting. If there's
only the one long frame at the head of the Clip, don't worry.
Type 12 Errors:
RAM related, could be from mismatched RAM, substandard RAM or
more RAM in the system than is supported. Try removing one or
more RAM modules and see if that stops the problem. Remove each
RAM module in turn until you identify which module is causing
the problem. Be aware of, and use, static prevention when handling
RAM to prevent 'zapping it' with static electricity.
But it will go smoothly, and you'll
love Final Cut Pro 3.
All screen captures and textual
references are the property and trademark of their creators/owners/publishers.
Hodgetts is the author of the DV Companion and co-developer of the Intelligent
Assistance approach to "What you want to know, when
you want to know, how you want to know." Philip has had
his own video production company since 1980 and worked on everything
from long form documentary to corporate video to national TV
commercial (Australia) with a strong emphasis on education and
training video production.
Having worked with Non-Linear Editing
since 1994, Philip fell in love with Final Cut Pro when he saw
an early alpha at NAB in 1998. He recognized the potential and
has worked with Final Cut Pro since before
it's formal release in 1999.
As well as continuing to edit a documentary 'trans-Pacific' from Los Angeles by sharing Project files with a producer in Sydney, he is currently busy updating the The Intelligent Assistant for Final Cut Pro - DV Companion to add in all the new features of Final Cut Pro 3. In his business life he's developing the concept of Intelligent Assistance even further and in his spare time developing an new concept in 'documentary' deliver for demonstration at QuickTime Live in February 2002.