Moving Projects from Color to Final Cut Pro

Once you finish grading your project in Color, there are two ways of moving it back to Final Cut Pro if you’re planning on mastering on video. For more information, see:

Sending Your Project Back to Final Cut Pro

After you grade your project in Color, you need to render it (described in The Render Queue) and then send it back to Final Cut Pro. This is accomplished using XML, as your Color project is automatically converted to XML data and then reconverted to a Final Cut Pro sequence. There are two ways you can initiate this process.

Important: Projects using Cineon or DPX image sequences can’t be sent back to Final Cut Pro.

To send a graded, rendered project to Final Cut Pro using the Send To command
  1. Go through the Timeline and choose which grade you want to use for each of the clips in your project.

    Since each shot in your program may have up to four separately rendered versions of media in the render directory, the rendered media that each shot is linked to in the exported XML project file is determined by its currently selected grade.

  2. Choose File > Send To > Final Cut Pro.

    There are two possible warnings that may come up at this point:

    • If you haven’t rendered every shot in Color at this point, you are warned. It’s a good idea to click No to cancel the operation and render all of your shots prior to sending the project back to Final Cut Pro.

    • If the codec or frame size has been changed, either by you or as a result of rendering your media to a mastering quality format, you are presented with the option to change the sequence settings of the sequence being sent. For more information, see Some Media Formats Require Rendering to a Different Format.

A new sequence is automatically created within the original Final Cut Pro project from which the program came. However, if the Final Cut Pro project the program was originally sent from is unavailable, has been renamed, or has been moved to another location, then a new Final Cut Pro project will be created to contain the new sequence. Either way, every clip in the new sequence is automatically linked to the color-corrected media you rendered out of Color.

Exporting XML for Final Cut Pro Import

Another way of moving a Color project back to Final Cut Pro is to export an XML version of your Color project.

To export an XML file back to Final Cut Pro for final output
  1. Go through the Timeline and choose which grade you want to use for each of the clips in your project.

    Since each shot in your program may have up to four separately rendered versions of media in the render directory, the rendered media that each shot is linked to in the exported XML project file is determined by its currently selected grade.

  2. Chose File > Export > XML.

  3. When the Export XML Options dialog appears, click Browse.

  4. Enter a name for the XML file you’re exporting in the File field of the Export XML File dialog.

  5. Choose a location for the file, then click Save.

  6. Click OK.

    A new XML project file is created, and the clips within are automatically linked to the media directory specified in the Project Settings tab in the Setup room.

    Note: If you haven’t exported rendered media from your Color project yet, the XML file is linked to the original project media.

Revising Projects After They’re Sent to Final Cut Pro

If you need to make revisions to the color corrections of a sequence that you’ve already sent from Color to Final Cut Pro, don’t send the sequence named “from Color” back to Color. The correct method is to quit Final Cut Pro, reopen the originating Color project, make your changes, and then do one of the following:

  • If you didn’t change the grade number used by any of the shots in Color, simply rerender the clips you changed, save the Color project, and then reopen the Final Cut Pro project that has the sequence that was originally sent “from Color.” The rerendered media overwrites the previous media, and is immediately reconnected when you reopen the Final Cut Pro project.

  • If you do change the grade number of any of the shots in Color, you need to send the project back to Final Cut Pro, and use the new “from Color” sequence to finish your program.

This makes it easier to manage your media, easier to keep track of your revisions, and prevents any of your clips from being rendered twice unnecessarily.