Recording from the Timeline

The easiest way to output to tape is to turn on external video output in Final Cut Pro, play back your sequence in the Timeline, then press Record on your connected camcorder or deck. If you want to show black before and after your program, you have to add Slug generators to the beginning and end of your sequence, or move all the sequence clips to the right to leave a gap before the beginning of your sequence.

Important: Make sure you’ve read and followed the instructions in Setting Up Your Editing System to Output to Tape.

To record directly from the Timeline
  1. If you want to add elements before or after your program (such as showing black), add them directly to the Timeline.

    Many of these elements are available from the Generator pop-up menu. For more information, see Using Generator Clips.

  2. If necessary, render any unrendered effects by doing one of the following:

    • Choose Sequence > Render All > Both.

    • Choose Sequence > Render Selection > Both.

    • Press Command-R.

    For more information on additional rendering options, see Rendering and Video Processing Settings.

    All audio that requires rendering is automatically rendered with a render quality of High, regardless of the render quality setting. Unrendered audio sections are output as a series of beeps.

    Tip: You can turn off the beeps by deselecting “Beep when playing back unrendered audio” in the Playback Control tab of the System Settings window.

  3. In the Timeline, move the playhead to where you want to start recording in your sequence.

    Figure. Timeline window showing the playhead moved to where recording should start.

    The first frame will be recorded immediately after you press Record on your camcorder or deck. To avoid an awkward freeze frame at the beginning of your sequence, you may want to move the playhead to an initial frame of black.

  4. If you want to loop your sequence, choose View > Loop Playback so there’s a checkmark next to it.

    When looping is turned on, your sequence will loop endlessly without stopping. There may be a slight pause after each loop. If you need a smooth loop, use the Print to Video command with looping turned on instead.

  5. Press Record on your camcorder or deck to start recording, then wait a few seconds.

    This allows your camcorder or deck to reach a smooth recording speed. Otherwise, you could end up with unwanted video artifacts at the beginning of your tape.

  6. Choose Mark > Play, then choose an option from the submenu to control how your sequence plays back.

    • In to Out: Plays back the sequence from the In point to the Out point. If you haven’t set an In or Out point, the sequence plays from the beginning to the end.
    • To Out: Plays from the current position of the playhead on the Timeline to either the defined Out point or the end of the sequence.
    • Around: Plays a specified amount of time before and after the position of the playhead, based on the preview pre-roll and post-roll settings in the Editing tab of the User Preferences window.

      For more information about these settings, see Editing Tab.

    • Every Frame: Plays back every frame of the sequence, whether or not rendering is required. If there are transitions or effects in your sequence that haven’t been rendered, your sequence will not play back in real time, but every frame will be recorded on tape.
    • Forward: Plays from the current position of the playhead forward to the end of the sequence in the Timeline.
    • Reverse: Plays from the current position of the playhead back to the beginning of the sequence in the Timeline.
  7. Press the Stop button on your camcorder or deck when the sequence is finished playing in the Timeline.

    Important: The last frame in your sequence will be held as a freeze frame when playback stops. This may be awkward if this frame is not black. To avoid this, add a Slug generator to place black at the end of your sequence.