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Apple Pro Video Series: Final Cut Pro X: Import

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Steve Martin discusses the three main paths for ingesting media into Final Cut Pro X: importing from a camera (file- and tape-based), importing files, and importing from iMovie.
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Ingesting media into Final Cut Pro is when and where the postproduction workflow starts. This is also when the foundation for good media management is set. There are three main paths for ingesting media: importing from a camera (file- and tape-based), importing files, and importing from iMovie.

Import From a Camera (File-Based)

When importing from a supported camera, a card reader, or a folder of the device’s files, you can use File > Import from Camera. This method provides the benefits of simultaneously viewing all video files of the camera or device, joining spanned clips, and allowing you to select portions of a clip for import.

Create an Archive from Tapeless Media

One of the first steps to importing, especially with tapeless media, is to make a camera archive to quickly offload the card and create a copy of it for archiving purposes.

  1. Connect the supported camera or device (set to the appropriate playback mode), or insert the card (SD/SDHC/SDXC) into your computer.
  2. Choose File > Import from Camera. The supported device appears in the Cameras section of the Camera Import window.
  3. Select the device under Cameras and then click Create Archive.
  4. Name the camera archive and select a destination volume. Click OK.

Final Cut Pro creates a Final Cut Camera Archives folder at the root level of the selected volume, if necessary, to store the archive. A progress clock appears next to the camera archive during creation. When finished, the archive and any other camera archives available on a connected volume are listed by volume in the Camera Archives list.

5 Import the media into an Event by using either the archive or, if the archive has not completed, the source media.

File-Based Import

Importing from a tapeless device is a quick process using the Camera Import window.

1 Connect the supported camera (set to the appropriate playback mode), or insert the card (SDHC, for example) into your computer.

2 Select File > Import from Camera, or click the camera icon on the left side of the Toolbar.

3 Select the device in the Cameras section of the Camera Import window.

4 To preview a clip, move the skimmer across it. Optionally, you may use the transport controls.

5 If you wish to import all of the clips, click Import All; otherwise, Command-click to select multiple clips, and click Import Selected.

6 Alternatively, you can import only a portion of a clip by dragging across the desired media within the clip to set a range selection. Click Import Selected before selecting a different range of the same or another clip.

7 Choose the desired import options from the dialog. Click Import.

8 You may click Close while the import is in progress, but do not eject the card.

9 Click the Background Tasks button in the Dashboard.

Import from a Camera Archive

Creating camera archives is covered earlier in this chapter. If the camera archive is in the Final Cut Camera Archives folder on a connected volume, the archive automatically appears in the Camera Archives list in the Camera Import window.

1 Select the camera archive from the list. The archive will mount, displaying its contents.

2 Import desired clips, starting at step 4 of the “File-Based Import” instructions earlier in this chapter.

If a camera archive is not listed, you may have removed it from the Final Cut Camera Archives folder (or the folder is not at the root level of the volume).

1 In the Camera Import window, click Open Archive.

2 Navigate to the archive file, select the file, and click Open.

3 Select the archive from the Cameras section of the Camera Import window.

4 Import desired clips, starting at step 4 of the “File-Based Import” instructions earlier in this chapter.

Import from a Source Media Folder

The Camera Import window may not recognize the file structure of a card, which results in the card not appearing in the Cameras list. Or you may have a folder or disk image of supported video files that you want to import. You can use the Open Archive command to view and import the supported media.

1 In the Camera Import window, click Open Archive.

2 Navigate to the folder or disk image, select the folder, and click Open.

3 Select the folder from the Cameras section of the Camera Import window.

4 Optionally, you can create a camera archive of the selected folder by clicking Create Archive, naming the archive, and choosing the destination volume.

5 Import desired clips from the folder, starting at step 4 of the “File-Based Import” instructions earlier in this chapter.

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