Three basic files are created by editing with Final Cut Pro. The first is the project file . This is where all your logging and editing decisions are stored. The project file is best kept on your startup disk as opposed to your media disk so that you can have the benefit of more than one disk drive working for you. With only this file, you can recapture/digitize all the footage again some other time, on some other machine, or in a higher resolution. It is a database of your clips' time code, logging information such as reel or tape names , and your edit decisions.
The second major type of file created by Final Cut Pro is a media file . It contains the pictures and sound files you edit your program from. These files are created when you capture or digitize footage with Final Cut Pro. They are QuickTime movies for the most part. Media files can be quite large, and for best performance, they should be kept on a disk separate from your startup disk. You will learn more about this in Chapter 1, "Essential Equipment."
The last major type of file created by Final Cut Pro is a render file . This file is a composite of some sort . A composite is two or more images combined into one. This type of file is similar to a media file. Render files are large because they are picture or sound files. These files, too, should be kept on your media drive because they are media files, and you need to have a fast and dedicated drive to play them back.