How to Change the Frame Rate of an Existing Project Quickly in Final Cut Pro X

Here’s a quick and dirty way to modify the framerate of an existing project in Final Cut Pro X.

Final Cut Pro X
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Filed Under: Video

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I often find myself using old existing Final Cut Pro projects as templates so that I don’t have to redo all of the titles and overlays. But I quite often find that it’s in the wrong framerate for what I need. I want to do a 30 fps project, but the existing one is at 60 fps, for example. Or vice versa.

Rather than start from scratch each time with a new project file, I’ve found this quick and dirty way useful for changing the framerate of an existing project. It probably stomps over all sorts of best practices, but it works well for me.

But first, a word of caution. This works well for me with small, simple projects, but I’d strongly recommend creating a snapshot backup before proceeding. And your mileage might vary with larger, more complicated projects.

  1. Select all of the clips on the timeline with CMD+A.
  2. Cut all of the clips with CMD+X. Yes, they’ll all disappear off the timeline and make it empty.
  3. Open the project properties by using the icons at the top right or pressing CMD+J.
  4. Hit the small “modify” button in the properties.
  5. Change the framerate to the new one.
  6. Click in the timeline and past everything back again with CMD+V.

Things Worth Knowing

It doesn’t work for every situation, but it has saved me enormous amounts of time overall.

If you don’t see your target framerate as an option when you go to modify the properties, another way is to create a new project with the target framerate and then paste the timeline items into that.

You have the usual access to the undo function CMD+Z if it doesn’t go as expected.

David Coleman / Photographer

David Coleman

I'm a professional freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. More »