How to Start a New Final Cut Pro Project for Instagram

Final Cut Pro is a great video-editing tool used to build video projects ranging from home movies to full-featured Hollywood films. Increasingly, I am seeing more Instagrammers using it to create and develop content for their Instagram feed, and why not... FCP has some incredible and easy-to-use tools built right into the application.

The challenge that many novice FCP users have is with resolution. FCP likes to be used for HD video content, so when you create a new video project, it defaults to a 1080p workflow. Makes sense for most projects, but not for Instagram. It's too high resolution. Not only that, but the widescreen width to height ratio isn't necessary suitable for Instagram's square ratio. In this TechTalk post, I will walk you through the simple process to begin a new FCP project designed specifically for Instagram.

First, let's create a new video project. To do this, we will go to File > New > Project... Next, we will choose the "Custom" radio button under the "Video Properties" section. Next, we will choose "Custom" from the "Format" drop-down list.

Choosing "Custom" will allow us to choose our very own custom resolution for this project.

Lastly, we need to set our desired resolution. There are two things to keep in mind here: 1) because Instagram is currently designed for iPhone only, it doesn't need to be a high resolution and 2) Instagram is a square ratio, so our height and width, in this case, should match.

My preference is to choose an 800x800 pixel resolution. It's high enough to show plenty of detail, not too high that the file sizes are unmanageable and it's a square ratio. To set this as your resolution, simply enter those parameters in your "Resolution" fields, as shown here:

The rate and all other settings can stay as they are.

Now that we have set the resolution to what we need, we can click on "OK" and begin our project!

One final consideration to keep in mind... Instagram videos cannot exceed 15 seconds in length (at least not as of this post).

Happy editing!!

Posted on April 14, 2015 and filed under Design, How To, Mac.