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Tutorial - FCPX and Sparse Disks

My formal apology to the viewers of

Now that we got that out of the way, here is my new and updated Sparse Disk tutorial.

There are many reasons why starting an FCPX project on  Sparse Disk is better. Maybe I’ll go into that some other time, but for now, this is how you do it.
If you’d like to download the FCPX Template folder that I use in this tutorial, you can click here to download it.
Also, here is the key slide from this presentation, it’s vital to beginning to understand how FCPX relates to Final Cut Pro 7.
The relationship between FCPX and Final Cut Classic


To make a Sparse Disk larger…

Unmount the disk image first, and then use Terminal:

hdiutil resize -size 10g (drag .dmg to Terminal window, press return)

That will increase its maximum size to 10 GB.

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Reader Comments (11)

Hey Chris, thanks for the tutorial! I was curious if you have had any issues having the sparse image disks mounting after you have ejected them? I've come across this a few times, and I get an error "no mountable media" (I think that's what it says... off the top of my head.) I can usually get them to mount if I go into disk utility and mount them from there. I really like this method, but would love it if I could make it a bit more dependable.
February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Klein
Great tutorial. Going to start implementing this asap. It was driving me nuts having multiple client projects all mixed together!

BTW - not to nitpick but it's "Sparse" not "Sparce"
February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlfred B
Hi Chris, I always enjoy your tutorials and no exception with this one.

A couple of point which may help people:
A tool to simplify making sparse disks along with others that people may find of use:

A description of the Disk Image vs. Sparse Disk Image vs. Sparse Bundle Disk Image and
how to shrink those images if needed.

Rgrds, Euan.
February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEuan Williamson

Thanks. This is great. I was aware of the sparse disk but I like your naming convention.

Question...lets say I have FCPx on two computers. I have an iMac and I just bought a MBP. I set up FCPx on the new MBP and I am curious...what will a project do if you drag it to a new computer and pull it up on FCPx and the version of FCPx on the new computer doesn't share some of the third party effects that existed on the other (old computer)? I guess I can try and find out but wanted to see if you had any experience with this.


February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Simpson
You are a freakin genius
March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSam Brown

this is what I can tell you... using Sparse Disks you can reach across an ethernet network, and mount a sparse disk remotely. This will then allow you to run an FCPX project from another room. I would HIGHLY recommend you only try this over gigabit ethernet.

Now... when you do open a project on another machine, if you don't have all the third party plugs installed, what you'll see is a "missing clip" icon, HOWEVER, FCPX is friendly enough to tell you what you are missing. I just ran into this today and it wasn't too hard to figure out what I had to install on the second machine.
March 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterChris Fenwick
Thank you Chris for the great tutorial, especially the name convention and folder structure. I got a Tip from a FCPX user on the FCPX Facebook Group, instead of creating a "sparse disk image" it is better to create a "sparsdisk bundle" from a archive standpoint alone. Wiki definition sparsdisk and bundle. Tool to create bundle -


March 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFrancesco
Seriously? You make a point of creating a video to explain this, and then you don't even know that you should be using a SPARSE *BUNDLE* and not a regular Sparse image??! To recommend regular sparse is just plain stupid. Something tells me you don't even know what the difference is...
March 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Davidson
Great! I would add some Smart Collection (like audio only media, stills, etc) to your template, so i can skip a step when importing media to the Event.
March 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarianisla
Hi Chris. Great tutorial! I assume that you don't copy your media into the events folder when importing? Also, there is a type of sparse image that will grow in size. You can create it with Super Duper. Has anyone had any luck with using this?
March 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Moreschi
Hi Chris I was wondering if there is a way to keep the original file name when working with a sparse disk in FCP X when importing. I created a sparse disk and when I imported my media the video file names changed to the date that they were imported.
June 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStacey M.

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