Transcoded HDV Editing Workflow

When you edit using footage encoded with an Apple ProRes codec or the Apple Intermediate Codec, you can edit just as you would with any other I-frame-only encoded footage, such as DV or uncompressed video. This workflow is particularly convenient if your project involves multiple camera formats and you want to standardize on a single codec for editing.

The disadvantage of this workflow is that more scratch disk capacity is required for your footage, and you cannot output HDV to tape without first reencoding your entire sequence back to native HDV. If your sequence is long, the reencoding process can be time-consuming.

Stage 1: Connecting an HDV Camcorder to Your Computer

This stage is identical to connecting your HDV camcorder for MPEG-2 HDV capture. For details, see Stage 1: Connecting an HDV Camcorder to Your Computer via FireWire in Native HDV Editing Workflow.

Stage 2: Choosing an Easy Setup

Final Cut Pro includes Easy Setups for capturing and editing HDV transcoded to an Apple ProRes codec or the Apple Intermediate Codec.

To choose an Easy Setup for transcoding HDV
  1. Choose Final Cut Pro > Easy Setup.

  2. Choose one of the following from the Format pop-up menu:

    • Apple Intermediate Codec

    • Apple ProRes 422

  3. Click the Use pop-up menu to see all of the Easy Setups related to your choice in the Format pop-up menu.

    You can further refine the list by choosing a specific frame rate from the Rate pop-up menu.

  4. Choose an appropriate HDV Easy Setup from the Use pop-up menu.

    Important: Make sure to choose an Easy Setup that matches the format of your HDV source tapes.

    Note: The Apple ProRes 422 Easy Setup option supports only 1080p24 HDV. You should use this codec when you have 24 fps footage stored with 3:2 pull-down in a 1080i60 HDV signal.

  5. Click Setup.

The corresponding capture, sequence, and device control presets are loaded, as well as A/V device settings.

Stage 3: Capturing and Transcoding HDV Video

Capturing and transcoding HDV video is very similar to capturing DV video using the Capture Now feature. The main differences are:

  • The Log and Capture window is not used.

  • Capturing HDV video may not take place in real time because transcoding HDV frames into the Apple Intermediate Codec or an Apple ProRes codec requires special processing steps.

To capture HDV footage to the Apple Intermediate Codec or to an Apple ProRes codec
  1. Click in the Browser to make it active, then choose File > New Bin.

  2. Control-click the bin, then choose Set Logging Bin from the shortcut menu.

    Your captured clips will be placed in this bin.

  3. Name the bin, then press Enter.

  4. Choose File > Log and Capture (or press Command-8).

    A Capture dialog appears instead of the Log and Capture window.

  5. In the Capture dialog, enter a name for the clip, then click Capture.

    The capture preview window appears and the camcorder begins playing back video from its current position. The status area of the capture preview window displays the percentage of real time in which the video is being transcoded from HDV to the target codec.

  6. Press the Esc (Escape) key to stop capturing.

    The video playback on the camcorder stops immediately. The capture preview window may lag behind, displaying where the video is in the encoding process. As these frames are processed, the status area of the capture preview window displays the percentage of frames left to process.

    Note: Pressing the Esc (Escape) key a second time stops the encoding process and cancels the capture.

After the capture preview window closes, the captured clip appears in your logging bin.

Capturing Footage with Scene Breaks

When you capture HDV footage using the Apple Intermediate Codec or an Apple ProRes codec, Final Cut Pro detects any scene or timecode breaks on the tape introduced during shooting. At each scene or timecode break, a new clip is created during capture. When capture is completed, these clips appear in the logging bin, and the corresponding media files are placed on your hard disk.

For example, suppose you begin capturing a clip named Cafe Entrance. When a scene or timecode break is detected, Final Cut Pro stops writing the first media file and begins writing a new file named Cafe Entrance-1. Subsequent breaks create media files and clips named Cafe Entrance-2, Cafe Entrance-3, and so on.

Stage 4: Editing Your Transcoded Clips into a Sequence

Editing video transcoded to the Apple Intermediate Codec or an Apple ProRes codec is the same as editing other formats in Final Cut Pro. However, you need to make sure your scratch disk supports the data rate. For more information about the data rates of these formats, see About the Apple Intermediate Codec, Working with Apple ProRes, and HDV Format Specifications.

Stage 5: Outputting to HDV Tape or Other Formats

After you finish editing, you can output your movie to videotape using your camcorder or export your sequence to a QuickTime movie. If you want to output your movie back to tape, Final Cut Pro needs to reencode (or conform) the movie into MPEG-2 data before outputting. Depending on the length of your sequence, this process can be fairly time-consuming, because every frame in your sequence must be reencoded.

Optionally, you can export your sequence as a QuickTime movie, export your sequence to Compressor, or send your sequence to Color for finishing. You can also use the Share feature to quickly create and deliver output media files in iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, MobileMe, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, YouTube, and Apple ProRes formats.

For more information about using Compressor, see the Compressor User Manual. For more information about the Share feature, see “Using Share” in the Final Cut Pro 7 User Manual. For more information about Color, see the Color User Manual. For more information about workflows, see Final Cut Studio Workflows, available at

To output Apple Intermediate Codec or Apple ProRes video to an HDV videotape
  1. Make sure your HDV camcorder is properly connected to your computer and turned on before you open Final Cut Pro.

  2. Insert a DV tape into the HDV camcorder.

  3. Click anywhere in the Timeline or Canvas to make it the active window.

  4. Choose File > Print to Video (or press Control-M).

    The Print to Video dialog appears.

  5. If you want Final Cut Pro to start recording automatically, select the Automatically Start Recording checkbox.

  6. Select any leader or trailer elements you want to include on your tape, as well as start, end, and looping options.

    A progress bar shows the progress of encoding from the codec back to MPEG-2 HDV and gives you a time estimate for when the encoding process will finish.

    A dialog appears instructing you to press the record button on the camcorder.

  7. Press the record button on your camcorder, then click OK.

    If you selected the Automatically Start Recording option, the camcorder automatically begins recording your program to tape.

    The camcorder stops after the program is recorded to tape.

To export your sequence to a QuickTime movie
  1. Open your Final Cut Pro sequence in the Timeline.

  2. Choose File > Export > QuickTime Movie.

    The Save dialog appears.

  3. Enter a name and choose a location for the movie.

  4. At the bottom of the dialog, make sure the Make Movie Self-Contained checkbox is selected.

  5. If you need DVD chapter markers from your Final Cut Pro project to be exported to the QuickTime movie, choose DVD Studio Pro Markers from the Markers pop-up menu.

  6. Click Save.

About Exporting HDV for DVD Studio Pro

In some cases, using open GOP (1080-line) MPEG-2 media in DVD Studio Pro can cause DVD decoder problems, especially at the start and end frames of media files. To properly transfer open GOP MPEG-2 HDV media to DVD Studio Pro, you should export your media from Final Cut Pro using the Export QuickTime Movie command. This command conforms the beginning of the MPEG-2 media to a closed GOP structure, which is compatible with DVD decoders.