Creative Commons License


In Final Cut Pro, a sequence is your primary workspace within a project. Each sequence has a timeline on which you can edit your clips together and add transitions, effects and titles. Sequences are treated like clips as well, meaning you can place them into another sequence where they will appear as a single video and audio clip on the new sequences timeline. This is called "nesting" sequences, and allows you to assemble larger projects from several smaller segments. Nested sequences are still fully editable, so that any changes you make to an original sequence will be updated in other sequences which contain it.

Creating Sequences

When you create a new project in FCP it will contain one sequence which is named "Sequence 1" by default and appears in your project browser. As with many things in FCP there are several ways to create a new sequence:
Menu Command
File>New>Sequence will create a new sequence in your project browser with a default name ("Sequence 2" or something similar). The name of the new sequence will be hi-lighted for editing, so you can type a new name immediately after creating the sequence. It's a good idea to get into the habit of giving names to your sequences which are unique and meaningful when you create them - otherwise you end up with the generic Sequence 1, Sequence 2, Sequence 3, etc and it can get difficult to keep track of them as your projects grow.
Keyboard Shortcut
Apple-N will also create a new sequence just like the above menu command does.
Contextual Menu
Control-Click or Right-Click in the browser window and a contextual menu will pop up under your mouse pointer. Select the "New Sequence" command from this menu and a new sequence will appear in your browser window.
To change the name of a sequence that you have previously created, click once on the sequence name in the browser window to highlight it. Then click on it's name a second time to make it editable, type a new name and hit return. Don't just Double-Click the sequence name - this will open the sequence up. You need to make two distinct clicks separated by a brief pause in order to edit the name.

Sequence Settings

When you create a new sequence it's settings are based on a templet chosen in FCP's Audio/Video Settings window. By default this is set up to use a template which is appropriate for NTSC DV footage. You can change these settings by selecting Sequence>Settings... or using the keyboard shortcut Apple-O This is the sequence settings window.

1. This area shows the current settings for your sequence. These are the NTSC DV settings, but if you need to customize it for a different format you can change your pixel dimensions, frame rate, video codec, etc. If you are working with a format other than DV you will need to find out the appropriate settings for the format you're using and enter them here.

2. Final Cut contains presets for most popular video formats. Instead of entering your settings manually you can click on the "Load Sequence Preset..." button and a window will open with a drop-down menu containing all the presets that FCP ships with - over thirty. For most common formats there is already a preset.

Working with Sequences

To open a sequence, double-click on it's name or icon in your browser window. If no sequence is open it will open up a new timeline and canvas window. If you already have a sequence open it will open a new tab in the timeline and canvas windows and you can switch between sequences by choosing different tabs.

To nest a sequence in another sequence, open up your new sequence first. Then simply drag another sequence from the browser window to the new sequence's timeline. It will appear on the timeline like any other clip and you can edit it's duration or audio level as if it were a single video clip.