Digital Intermediate Workflow Using a Telecine

Using a telecine to create the offline video clips to edit with Final Cut Pro requires far less storage space than using a film scan for all of the film footage. After the edit is finished, you use Cinema Tools to generate the pull list, which is used to create scans for only the video clips that are actually used in the program. The drawbacks of this method are that the original camera negative must be processed twice and the clips from each process must use the same reel names and timecode.

Figure. Diagram showing a digital intermediate workflow based on using a telecine for all of the original film and then using Cinema Tools to create a pull list for the high-quality scans of the film.
  1. Stage 1: Creating the Offline Video Clips

    Using a telecine, you create the offline video clips that Final Cut Pro uses to edit the program. You should try to create offline video clips with the same frame rate as the DPX image sequence clips you will create with the film scan when the offline edit is finished. You also need to make sure the reel name and timecode of the telecine clips will match those of the clips from the film scan.

    Note: Cinema Tools and Color use the name of the folder containing the DPX image sequence files as the reel name.

    You should also generate a telecine log file that Cinema Tools can use to create a database for exporting the pull list used by the film scanner.

  2. Stage 2: Creating the Cinema Tools Database

    You create a Cinema Tools database using the telecine log file. This database is used to generate the pull list after you finish editing the program.

  3. Stage 3: Editing the Clips in Final Cut Pro

    You edit the offline video clips in Final Cut Pro much as you would for any video project, but there are a few important things to keep in mind. See Editing with Final Cut Pro for descriptions of these considerations.

  4. Stage 4: Exporting the Pull List

    After you have finished editing the offline video clips, you can export a Cinema Tools film list that includes the pull list used to scan the high-quality video clips used in the program.

  5. Stage 5: Creating the High-Quality Video Clips

    The pull list is used by a film scanner to create high-quality video clips, usually DPX image sequences, that are then used to finish the program in Color.

    It is critical that the reel names and timecode of the scanned clips match what the telecine process provided for the offline video clips.

  6. Stage 6: Exporting an EDL File from Final Cut Pro

    After you have completed editing the offline video clips in Final Cut Pro, you export an EDL. This file contains a list of every edit, with the reel names of the source clips and their In and Out point timecode numbers.

  7. Stage 7: Importing the EDL into Color

    When you import an EDL into a Color project, you can choose the folder that contains the source clips the EDL refers to. You can choose the folder that contains the scanned DPX clips and have Color connect the EDL records to the clips, or you can choose a Cinema Tools database you create from the clips.

    The advantages of choosing the Cinema Tools database are:

    • You can easily correct any issues there might be between the EDL and the actual clips. For example, if a reel name does not match, you can change the reel name in the Cinema Tools database to match the name listed in the EDL.

    • Once you have created the Cinema Tools database, choosing it when importing an EDL into Color can be faster than choosing the folder with the clips. Choosing the database becomes especially useful if you end up importing the EDL into Color multiple times as additional clips become available.

    • If the EDL refers to clips on more than one volume, a Cinema Tools database can connect to all of the clips. Color can automatically connect to the clips on only one volume, and you must manually connect to the clips on the other volumes.

  8. Stage 8: Finishing the Project in Color

    Once you have imported the EDL into Color and matched it to the source clips, the clips are conformed to match the edits, and you can proceed with the usual color correction process. Color is then used to render the final output video.