Exporting Film, Change, and Audio Lists

Once you finish editing a sequence in Final Cut Pro, you can export a film cut list or audio edit list. Final Cut Pro sends the video timecode and clip information to Cinema Tools, which then opens the appropriate database and maps the timecode back to corresponding edge code numbers.

About Film Lists

A film list contains one or more lists describing your Final Cut Pro sequence in terms relevant to a negative cutter or film optical house. The most basic list is a cut list, which describes edge code start and end numbers for each clip and any simple effects such as dissolves or fades. Cinema Tools can export a customized film list as a PDF file or an XML file that you can further process however you want.

About Change Lists

Inevitably, there are changes to a movie after the picture is “locked.” When you make last-minute changes in Final Cut Pro, you can export a change list that describes the changes between a previous film list and your current sequence. A negative cutter can then modify the film as necessary.

About Audio EDLs

Film lists describe only the video portion of your sequence. An audio EDL exports audio clip start and end timecode values from your sequence. You can bring the audio EDL to an audio post-production facility for audio cleanup and final mixing.

How Cinema Tools Relates Final Cut Pro Sequence Clips to Database Records

When you are creating a film list from Final Cut Pro, Cinema Tools has two methods to relate each clip to records in a database.

  • Clip name matching: The first thing Cinema Tools tries to do is match the clip name used in a Final Cut Pro sequence to a clip name in the corresponding Cinema Tools database. If a match is found, the clip in the database is used to supply information to the film list. If a matching database record cannot be found based on clip name, Cinema Tools switches to the timecode-based matching method.
  • Timecode matching: If clip name matching fails, Cinema Tools tries to match a sequence clip’s video reel number and timecode with a record in the Cinema Tools database. If this method fails, a missing element note is made in the cut list.

This means you can get accurate film lists whether or not you connect the clips to the Cinema Tools database. If you don’t connect clips to the database, however, you must use care to not alter the clip’s timecode and make sure the video reel number is exactly the same as is in the database.

Exporting a Film List

Following are the steps used to export a film list. See the Cinema Tools User Manual, available in Cinema Tools Help, for more details and explanations of the settings in the Export Film Lists and Export XML Film Lists dialogs.

To export a film list file
  1. In the Final Cut Pro Browser or Timeline, select the sequence for which you want to create a list.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To export a PDF-format film list file: Choose File > Export > Cinema Tools Film Lists.

      The Export Film Lists dialog appears.

      Figure. Export Film Lists dialog.
    • To export an XML-format film list file: Choose File > Export > Cinema Tools XML Film Lists.

      The Export XML Film Lists dialog appears.

      Figure. Export XML Film Lists dialog.
  3. Configure the settings in the export dialog, then click OK.

    If you expect to make changes to this Final Cut Pro sequence and want to export a change list later, make sure to select “Save a Cinema Tools program file.” You’ll need that program file to export a change list that compares this sequence to another version.

  4. If you selected “Save a Cinema Tools program file,” enter a filename and location for it in the dialog that appears.

    Important: Give the program file a name that clearly identifies the sequence and the version, so that you can easily locate it later when you need to export a change list that compares this sequence to a newer version.

  5. In the next dialog that appears, enter a filename for the film list, choose a location, and click Save.

  6. In the dialog that appears, select the database file that Cinema Tools should use to produce the lists that you have selected. (Select the database you created for source media used in this sequence.)

    A film list is generated as a file that contains all of the lists you have selected. If Cinema Tools is unable to complete any list, messages appear in the file that indicate the problem and guide you to a solution. See the Cinema Tools User Manual for more information.

After exporting a film list, you should compare the edge code (key numbers or ink numbers) in the film list to the edge code in the window burn at the In point frame of each edit. Although it can be time-consuming to go through all of the edits and compare the edge code numbers, it prevents the loss of time and money caused by incorrect cuts. It’s particularly important to check the edge code numbers if you are not conforming a workprint before cutting your negative.

Exporting a Change List

Following are the steps used to export a change list. See the Cinema Tools User Manual, available in Cinema Tools Help, for more details and explanations of the settings in the Export Change List dialog.

To export a change list using Final Cut Pro
  1. In Final Cut Pro, select the new version of the sequence, then choose File > Export > Cinema Tools Change List.

  2. In the dialog that appears, select the program (.pgm) file that you saved when you exported a list for the previous version of the sequence. (It contains needed information about the previous sequence.)

  3. In the Export Change List dialog that appears, configure the settings, then click OK.

    Figure. Export Change List dialog showing which checkboxes provide information about an entire sequence and which checkboxes provide information about changes.

    When you select film lists in the Settings section of the Export Change List dialog, the change list file will include (in addition to the selected change list options) the same content you would get if you were exporting those lists from the Export Film Lists or Export XML Film Lists dialog.

    Note: Keep in mind that the following settings should be the same for the two sequences you are comparing: Film Standard, Telecine Speed, and “Start with 8 seconds of leader.” Key numbers or Ink numbers (but not both) must also be moved to the Included Columns area of the Data Columns section. The two sequences must also have the same editing timebase (set in Final Cut Pro).

  4. In the dialog that appears, enter a filename and choose a location.

  5. Click Choose Database to choose the database associated with the clips in the sequences you are comparing. (Make sure you select the same database that was used when the previous list was exported.)

  6. Click Save.

  7. If you selected “Save a Cinema Tools program file,” enter a filename and location for it in the dialog that appears, then click Save.

    Give the program file a name that clearly identifies the sequence and the version, so that you can easily locate it later if you need to export another change list.

    A change list file is generated, containing all the lists you selected in the Export Change List dialog.

Exporting an Audio EDL

Cinema Tools can export an audio EDL as long as its database contains accurate sound information (an audio timecode number that corresponds to the first video frame of the clip and the audio reel number) in each record. Because of the way audio is recorded during the production (using dual system recording—a separate audio recorder that is started and stopped independently of the camera), the Cinema Tools Export Audio EDL function is available only when the project database has a record for each take (as with scene-and-take transfers).

It is critical that the value in the Sound Timecode field in the Detail View window correspond to the first video frame of the clip. This is typically the case when you import the sound information from a telecine log. You can enter or verify this using the Cinema Tools Clip window. For more information, see the Cinema Tools User Manual, available in Cinema Tools Help.

Once you have finished editing and have added the sound timecode and reel number information to the database, you are ready to export the audio EDL.

To export an audio EDL
  1. In the Final Cut Pro Timeline or Browser, select the sequence from which you want to export an audio EDL.

  2. Choose File > Export > Cinema Tools Audio EDL.

    Cinema Tools opens and its Export Audio EDL dialog appears.

    Figure. Export Audio EDL dialog.
  3. Configure the settings in the Export Audio EDL dialog, then click OK. See the Cinema Tools User Manual for information about the settings.

  4. In the dialog that now appears, select the Cinema Tools database file to use, then click Choose.

    Once you select the database, Cinema Tools starts matching events in the sequence to records in the database in the following ways:

    • For each edit involving a track turned on in the Export Audio EDL dialog, Cinema Tools searches the database to see if that edit’s video clip is connected to any database records. If not, it uses the edit’s video reel number to try to locate a record that includes the edit’s timecode In and Out points. See the Cinema Tools User Manual for more information about audio tracks.

    • If Cinema Tools finds a suitable record, it checks whether that record includes sound information (timecode and reel number). If so, an entry is added to the EDL and Cinema Tools moves on to the next edit.

    • Cinema Tools may not be able to match all audio edits within the sequence. This may be due to incomplete database records or the use of audio from sources other than the logged sound rolls. For those edits that cannot be matched back to the database, an entry is added to the EDL using the reel and timecode information from the sequence, with an asterisk placed by the reel name. A comment stating that no matching database record was found is also added to the EDL entry.

Cinema Tools creates two files during the export: a CMX 3600 EDL format file and a text file containing information about the EDL export:

  • The CMX 3600 EDL format is widely used as a standard for EDL interchange and should be acceptable at virtually all facilities.

  • The text file created along with the EDL file uses the EDL’s filename with a .txt extension. The file contains information regarding the sequence used and all the settings of the Export Audio EDL dialog, including the number of tracks and their mapping. It also lists any errors that occurred during the export.