Importing Database Information

You can create a database by importing information from a telecine log or ALE file, a Final Cut Pro batch capture list, or an existing Cinema Tools database.

Importing Database Information from a Telecine Log or ALE File

You can enter information in the database by importing the telecine log from the film-to-video transfer.

Cinema Tools currently supports the following telecine logs:

  • ATN log files from Aaton

  • FLX (Film Log EDL Exchange, commonly known as FLEx) log files from TLC (Time Logic Controller software)

  • Film Transfer List (FTL) log files from Evertz

  • Avid Log Exchange (ALE) files (not technically telecine logs, but contain similar information for your database)

You can import telecine log files using either Cinema Tools or Final Cut Pro. See Importing Telecine Logs Using Cinema Tools and Importing Telecine Logs Using Final Cut Pro for more information.

Assigning Camera Letters

Whether you import the telecine log file using Cinema Tools or Final Cut Pro, you have the option of having Cinema Tools dynamically assign a camera letter to all records that are imported. The camera letter uses the first letter of the camera roll value and is appended to the take entry of each record.

This is useful in those cases where multiple cameras were used for each take, with the letters making it easy to distinguish between the clips from different cameras. Additionally, if you set up a multiclip in Final Cut Pro, the camera letters are used to create the different angles.

Importing Telecine Logs Using Cinema Tools

To import a telecine log into Cinema Tools, you must first have a database open. The database can be an existing one to which you want to add new records, or it can be a new one with no records.

To import a telecine log using Cinema Tools
  1. Do one of the following:

  2. Import the telecine log file by choosing File > Import > Telecine Log (or pressing Command-L).

  3. In the dialog that appears, select the telecine log or ALE file.

    Figure. Dialog for importing a telecine log file.
  4. To assign a camera letter to the imported records, select the “Append a camera letter” checkbox (the camera letter is dynamically determined by the first letter of the camera roll value, if present, and is appended to the Take entry of each record).

  5. Click Open.

The data in the log is entered in the open database, and each new record is displayed in the List View window.

When Cinema Tools has finished creating the records from a telecine log, it tells you how many events there were in the log and how many of those events were imported into the database. Sometimes events in a telecine log refer to edits in which no film was transferred. For those events, no record is created in the database.

After the records have been imported, you can export a batch capture list from Cinema Tools that you can import into Final Cut Pro to automate the clip capture process. See Generating a Batch Capture List from Cinema Tools for more information.

Importing Telecine Logs Using Final Cut Pro

When you import a telecine log using Final Cut Pro, you choose whether you want to import it into an existing Cinema Tools database or whether a new database should be created.

When records are added to the selected Cinema Tools database, each record creates an offline clip in the Final Cut Pro Browser so that the clips can be batch captured. Each of these clips also has the film-related information contained in the log file added to it.

To import a telecine log using Final Cut Pro
  1. Create a new project or open an existing project.

    This project will contain the offline clips created when the telecine log file is imported.

  2. Select the project in the Browser.

  3. Choose File > Import > Cinema Tools Telecine Log.

    The Import a Cinema Tools Telecine Log dialog appears.

    Figure. Dialog for importing a telecine log file in Final Cut Pro.
  4. Use the top half of the dialog to select the telecine log file to import.

  5. To assign a camera letter to the imported records, select the “Append a camera letter” checkbox (the camera letter is dynamically determined by the first letter of the camera roll value, if present, and is appended to the Take entry of each record).

  6. Do one of the following:

    • To create a new Cinema Tools database to import the telecine log file into: Click New Database. This opens a new dialog where you can enter a name and location for the database, as well as configure its default settings. See Settings in the New Database Dialog for information about these settings. Click Save when finished.
      Figure. Dialog used to create a new database when importing a telecine log file in Final Cut Pro.
    • To open a dialog where you can select an existing database to import the telecine log file records into: Click Choose Database. Click Open when finished.

    The selected database, whether new or previously existing, is listed in the Database field of the Import a Cinema Tools Telecine Log dialog.

  7. Click Open to import the selected telecine log file into the selected Cinema Tools database.

After the records have been imported and the offline clips have been added to the Browser, you can use Final Cut Pro to batch capture the clips. See the Final Cut Pro documentation for information about batch capturing clips.

Importing Database Information from a Batch Capture List

You may want to create database records by importing a Final Cut Pro batch capture list if:

  • You don’t have a telecine log or Avid Log Exchange (ALE) file

  • You have already batch captured the clips you want into Final Cut Pro and you want database records to be created for those source clips instead of the takes listed in your telecine log

Creating database records from a Final Cut Pro batch capture list is not ideal because you lose the advantages of using a telecine log or ALE file to build your database. For example, a Final Cut Pro batch capture list does not contain the key number and camera or lab roll information that would be imported from a telecine log. See Advantages of Using a Telecine Log or ALE File for more information.

Tip: In most cases, instead of exporting a Final Cut Pro batch capture list and importing it into a Cinema Tools database, you should use the Final Cut Pro Synchronize with Cinema Tools feature. See Synchronizing Final Cut Pro Clips with Cinema Tools for more information.

To import database information from a Final Cut Pro batch capture list
  1. Make sure that a Cinema Tools database is open.

  2. In Cinema Tools, choose File > Import > Final Cut Pro Batch List.

  3. In the dialog that appears, select the batch capture list you exported from Final Cut Pro.

  4. Click Open to import the batch capture list.

    The data in the batch capture list is used to create database records.

    Note: The source clips are not yet connected to database records. You still need to use the Connect Clips command to connect them. See Using the Connect Clips Command for more information.

  5. In each database record, enter the edge code number information and film roll identifier. (These items are required to create a cut list or change list.)

Note: Because a Final Cut Pro batch capture list includes everything in the Final Cut Pro Browser, it may include clips or sequences that you don’t want. For this reason, you should delete any database records you don’t need. See Deleting a Database Record for more information.

Importing an Existing Cinema Tools Database

One Cinema Tools database can be imported into another Cinema Tools database. There are a few reasons why you might want to do this:

  • You may want to create separate databases for organization and archiving purposes and then bring them all together in a master database. For example, you might want to create separate databases for your dailies. If you want to manage your dailies by creating a date-named database for each of the dailies, you can import the telecine log for that daily session, export a batch capture list, capture the clips, and use the Cinema Tools Connect Clips command to connect all the clips to that date-named database file. Then, you can import that database file into a master database that contains all of the daily databases.

  • You may need to correct a database that has incorrect project defaults. To do this, you create a new, empty database with the correct defaults and then import your original database file into the new one.

To import one database file into another
  1. Open the database into which you want to import another database file by choosing Database > Open Database (or pressing Command-Shift-O) and then selecting the database in the dialog.

  2. Choose File > Import > Database.

  3. In the dialog that appears, select the database you want to import.