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📄 Contents

  1. Capturing from Tape
  2. Transferring from Tapeless Media
  3. Importing Files
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Transferring from Tapeless Media

Tapeless acquisition is taking over the industry at all levels—from consumer video to feature film. However, tapeless devices do not yield the traditional, relatively inexpensive, tape-based camera masters. For years, these camera masters have served as backups for when a media hard drive crashes. Tapeless devices are often erased after ingest to prepare them for use on the next production, leaving no camera master. Creating cloned masters of your tapeless device before ingesting creates a “just-in-case” safety net.

Cloning Inside Final Cut Pro

You have two options within the Log and Transfer window to back up your original media: Archive to Folder and Archive to Disk Image.

  1. With your tapeless device connected to your computer, the footage volume will mount.


  2. In Final Cut Pro, choose File > Log and Transfer.
  3. Choose Hierarchical List View.
  4. Control-click the volume you wish to clone.
  5. Choose the archive function you wish to perform.
  6. Whichever you choose, you will be presented with a Finder dialog to identify the name of the disk image or folder and its destination.
  7. Clicking OK begins the archive process.

    You will receive an Archive Complete message to OK when done.

  8. Eject the original footage volume, and then remove/disconnect the tapeless device.
  9. If you created a disk image, double-click it in the Finder to mount the archive. For archive folders, use the Add Volume button in the Log and Transfer window to access the archive.

    The clone of your original media is now available for ingest.

Cloning Outside Final Cut Pro

Due to equipment availability or location demands, you might not have time to archive a tapeless device from within Final Cut Pro. You may use the Disk Utility application, included with every Macintosh, to make a disk image of your raw footage.

Some tapeless cameras record to removable media; some record to an internal hard disk. Refer to your camera’s documentation on how to mount the recorded footage on your computer.

  1. Once your tapeless device is connected to your computer, the footage volume will mount.


  2. Launch Disk Utility from your Applications/Utilities folder.
  3. Select the volume representing your acquired media in the left sidebar, and then click the New Image button.
  4. Enter a name for the disk image and choose a destination. Leave Image Format as compressed and Encryption set to none. Click Save.
  5. After the image is created, quit Disk Utility.
  6. Eject the original footage volume; then remove/disconnect the tapeless device.
  7. Double-click the new disk image via the Finder.

    The clone of your original media is now available for ingest.

Setup for Tapeless Ingest

Within Final Cut Pro, log and transfer lets you ingest a variety of tapeless media formats. Easier and faster transfers are some of the benefits of a tapeless workflow.

  1. Choose File > Log and Transfer.
  2. Mount your media volume(s), if they are not already mounted.

    If you created disk image archives, simply double-click the disk image. If you used the archive to a folder process, you may need to add the folder to the Log and Transfer window.

  3. For some formats, you may need to click the Action pop-up menu.
  4. In the Logging area, click Import Settings and adjust if necessary.

The Flavors of Apple ProRes

Apple ProRes is a variable bit rate (VBR), high-quality codec. As an I-frame only codec, ProRes has lower processing requirements than Long-GOP MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 formats. Also, ProRes gives uncompressed quality with reduced bandwidth requirements compared with uncompressed formats.

ProRes Format

Target data rate of 1080i60 (GB/hr)

ProRes 4444


ProRes 422 (HQ)


ProRes 422


ProRes 422 (LT)


ProRes 422 (Proxy)


Capture Now for Tapeless Ingest

When in a hurry, you can move clips en masse.

  1. Select multiple clips in the clip list.
  2. Click Add Selection to Queue.

    All of the selected clips will be added to the queue. Final Cut Pro will begin ingesting the clips one by one, starting with the top clip.

    The clips are ingested into the scratch disk and listed in the logging bin of the project.

Capture Clip for Tapeless Ingest

When you have a little more time, you can manually add clips to the queue with specified metadata for each clip. You may also trim each clip to remove extraneous footage before ingest.

  1. Select a clip in the clip list. The clip appears in the Preview area.

    The transport controls at the bottom change slightly depending on the clip’s raw format.

  2. After previewing and trimming the clip as desired, you may click “Add Clip to Queue” or continue to the Logging tab to customize the clip’s metadata.
  3. Add the clip to the queue by clicking “Add Clip to Queue” or dragging the preview to the queue.
  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each additional clip.

Automatic Naming and Transfer

Two helpful automation features are available in the Log and Transfer window: Automatic Naming (using presets) and Automatic Transfer.

Clicking the Name Preset pop-up menu lets you choose from the default presets, edit those presets, or create custom presets.

Choosing the New option brings up the Naming Presets dialog.

The naming preset you define can then be used to automatically name clips and ingest them without user intervention. With Automatic Transfer enabled, log and transfer will automatically begin ingesting available footage when a media volume is mounted. If you defined a Name Preset, it will be used.

See the results of automatic transfer with a custom preset name once the volume labeled AVCHD was recognized.

Ingesting Unsupported Tapeless Formats

Camera acquisition formats evolve quickly, and some unsupported formats may not even appear in the Log and Transfer window. For these odd formats, transcoding with Compressor is your best bet (see Apple Pro Training Series: Compressor 3.5). After transcoding to a supported format (such as DV or Apple ProRes), follow the Import steps in the next section.

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