Importing Information to Aid in Capturing

There are three ways in which you can import organizational information into Final Cut Pro that will help you prepare for ingest. The method that best fits your particular workflow depends on the type of media you’re ingesting and how much preparation you want to do in advance.

Import batch capture lists

A batch capture list is a tab-delimited text file that specifies which clips you want to capture from a particular videotape using timecode. Each clip is defined, at a minimum, by a name, a reel number, and timecode In and Out points. Batch capture lists are useful because anyone can review video dailies on tape, on DVD, or in QuickTime Player and, using timecode as a reference, assemble a list of which clips to ingest without having to know how to use Final Cut Pro.

You can create a batch capture list using any spreadsheet, text editor, or database application as long as you can export a tab-delimited plain text file when you’re finished. This file can then be imported into Final Cut Pro, which turns each entry in the list into an offline clip in the Browser, ready for capture.

For more information, search for “batch list” in Final Cut Pro Help.

Import XML-based batch capture lists from Cinema Tools

Another option is to export an XML-based batch capture list from Cinema Tools and then import it into Final Cut Pro. This option is appropriate for any workflow in which you want to maintain the correspondence between the original film negative and the video that was transferred from it. This method is ideal when, at the end of the post-production process, you want to conform the original negative or retransfer new, high-quality media from the source negative for finishing.

This workflow assumes that you’re starting out with a Cinema Tools database created from an imported ATN, FLEx, FTL, or ALE telecine log file provided by the facility that did the film-to-video transfer. FLEx and ALE files contain a wealth of information about the keycode that identifies the frames of film negative that were transferred, the corresponding video timecode, and other logging information such as film type, camera roll, telecine speed, and sometimes even notes from the shoot. You import this log into Final Cut Pro by choosing Import > Cinema Tools Telecine Log, which creates a Cinema Tools database of events that establishes the correspondence between the edge code that identifies each frame of negative and the timecode that identifies each frame of transferred video. This process also automatically creates offline clips in the Browser, which contain all of this information.

You can also import compatible telecine log files directly into Final Cut Pro by choosing File > Import > Cinema Tools Telecine Log, which automatically creates a Cinema Tools database.

For more information, search for “batch capture list” in Cinema Tools Help.

Import Edit Decision Lists

You can also import an Edit Decision List (EDL) into Final Cut Pro to use as a starting point for ingesting media. An EDL is a text file that describes an edited project as a series of events. Events can include cuts, transitions, and sometimes superimpositions that make up an edit. When you import an EDL, you end up with an edited sequence and a bin in the Browser named Master Clips that contains each offline clip, ready for recapture. EDLs are useful for moving projects from other editing environments into Final Cut Pro, if there’s no other XML-based solution or third-party utility for doing so.

For more information, search for “importing EDLs” in Final Cut Pro Help.