Remote Review Methods

Final Cut Studio provides many ways of delivering clips and edited sequences to remote reviewers. The methods that are appropriate for your project depend on the formats preferred by your client and the level of quality required to get useful feedback.

For example, if you’re getting feedback on how the editing of a program is working, color accuracy and high resolution may not be important, so web delivery is a convenient option. However, if you’re getting feedback on how a program looks and sounds, it may be better to deliver a higher-quality review format such as a DVD or Blu-ray disc.

Use the Share command

The Share command in Final Cut Pro and Motion provides a fast and convenient way to output your program for remote review in a variety of formats, without the need to use any other applications. The Share command can output either a single clip or a sequence, or you can create a single output from a group of selected clips and sequences, which can be useful for reviewing dailies.

  • If you require a “living room” preview using a disc-based consumer format, the Blu-ray and DVD options let you quickly encode and output discs in either format in one step. This is a great way to see how your program looks and sounds in a typical consumer viewing environment. It’s also an excellent way of creating media that’s suitable for audience test screenings in venues that lack videotape playback.

  • If you or your client has fast Internet access and a MobileMe or FTP account for remote uploading and downloading of media, it may be preferable to use one of the highly compressed QuickTime-based options for delivery, such as Apple TV, iPhone, iPod, or QuickTime H.264. If you need to further customize the compression settings being used (for example, if you want to add a timecode window burn using Compressor), you can click the Send to Compressor button to open a Share preset in Compressor. Although QuickTime playback is convenient for reviewing editorial decisions, remember that computer displays have a completely different color space than consumer television monitors, making it difficult to evaluate picture quality in a meaningful way.

  • There are also options for automatic encoding and uploading to MobileMe and YouTube for video hosting (you must have a MobileMe or YouTube account).

  • If your client requests high-resolution QuickTime files, there is an Apple ProRes 422 option (which yields excellent quality for SD programs and good offline quality for HD programs) as well as an Apple ProRes with Alpha option (which uses Apple ProRes 4444, a high-bandwidth codec for high-quality HD, 2K, and 4K RGB-encoded programs).

For a list of all available Share options and more information about using them, see the Final Cut Pro and Motion documentation.

Create a DVD with DVD Studio Pro

If you want to hand off a copy of the program for someone to review from the comfort of home, you can use DVD Studio Pro to author a standard definition DVD with more options than the Share command’s DVD preset provides. Although this process is a bit more involved, you can add surround-encoded audio tracks, chapter menus, multiple movies encoded to the same disc, and other features that might be better suited to your review process. For more information, see the DVD Studio Pro documentation.

Use iChat Theater Preview

You can use the Final Cut Pro iChat Theater Preview feature to instantly screen parts of your work for remote viewers who are also using iChat. To facilitate iChat Theater Preview playback, the Final Cut Pro video is streamed at a lower, optimized frame rate for live transmission over the Internet and is formatted to fit the iChat window. All Canvas or Viewer overlays and warnings or messages, such as messages about dropped frames during playback, are turned off.

Although you host a video chat session using iChat Theater Preview, you can play clips or sequences in either the Canvas or the Viewer, and Canvas or Viewer playback is mirrored for the remote viewer. You can also open multiple Viewer windows and switch among them to show different clips. The frame displayed in the Viewer or Canvas appears in the remote viewer’s iChat window. In Final Cut Pro, you can stop playback and reposition the playhead on specific frames to discuss them. You can also have Final Cut Pro display the timecode of the current frame in the remote iChat window to help the remote viewer identify specific frames, and you can control the playback volume using the Audio Mixer.

iChat Theater Preview requires that both the host’s and remote viewer’s computers have Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard or later as well as a fast Internet connection. Both users must have iChat accounts, and the remote viewer’s account must be added to the host user’s buddy list. The remote viewer’s video playback performance is affected by the speed of the network connection, the processing speed and power of the host and client computers, and the processing power required to play the particular format of video being used.

For more information about configuring and using iChat Theater Preview, see the Final Cut Pro documentation.