Final Cut Pro 7 Tutorial - Import Video To FCP 7

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Importing Video: Getting Started

This tutorial will cover the basics of importing video into Final Cut Pro 7. Digital media formats and devices vary widely, so this article covers the four easiest ways to get footage into FCP - importing digital files, logging and capturing from a camera or tape deck, and logging and transferring from a tapeless camera or SD card.

Before you begin, make sure you've created a new project, and check to see if your scratch disks are set to the correct location!

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Importing Digital Files

Importing digital files is perhaps the easiest method of bringing footage into FCP. Whether the video files you want to import were originally shot on your iPhone, grabbed from the internet, or are left over from a past event, they can most likely be imported into FCP for editing. FCP 7 supports a wide range of video formats, so it's worth it to attempt an import even if you're unsure about the file extension of your video. With FCP open, go to File > Import and then choose either Files or Folder.

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Importing Digital Files

This will bring up the standard finder window, from which you can choose your media. If the file you want isn't highlighted or if you can't select it, this means that the format is not compatible with FCP 7.

If you have many video files saved to a folder choose Folder. This will save you some time so that you don't have to import each individual video. If you're working with one or several video files in different location, choose File. This will let you import each video one by one.

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Logging and Capturing

Logging and Capturing is a process you will use to get footage off of a tape-based video camera. Begin by connecting your camera via the firewire port on your computer. Now, turn your camera to playback or VCR mode. Make sure your camera has enough battery to complete the capture. Logging and capturing happens in real-time, so if you shot an hour of video, it's going to take an hour to capture it.

Once your camera is in playback mode, go to File > Log and Capture.

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Logging and Capturing

This will bring up the Log and Capture window. The Log and Capture window will have the same video controls as the Viewer and Canvas window, including play, fast-forward, and rewind. Since your camera is in playback mode, you'll control the deck of your camera through Final Cut Pro - don't try to press play or rewind on your camera! It's a good idea to cue up the clip in your camera before you start the log and capture process.

Press the play button to cue your video to the appropriate place. When you arrive at the beginning of your desired clip, press capture. Upon pressing capture, FCP automatically creates a new video clip which you'll be able to see in your browser. The video file will be stored on your hard drive in the location you chose when you set your scratch disks.

Press Esc when you're done capturing, and stop video playback. Once you've captured all your clips, close the log and capture window and remove your camera device.

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Logging and Transferring

The Log and Transfer process is very similar to the Log and Capture process. Instead of capturing video footage from a device, you're going to be translating raw digital video files so that they can be read by Final Cut Pro.

To begin, go to File > Log and Transfer. This will bring up the Log and Transfer box shown above. The Log and Transfer window should automatically detect the files on your computer or external hard drive that are eligible for Final Cut.

When logging and transferring, you can preview all of your video clips before they are transferred. You can set in and out points using the i and o keys on your keyboard. Once you've select your desired clip, click "Add Clip to Queue", which you'll see under the video playback box. Every clip you add to this queue will become a new video clip in the FCP browser once it's transferred.

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Logging and Transferring

If for some reason your desired file does not appear, navigate to the folder icon at the top-left of the window. This icon will bring up the standard file browser, and you can select your desired file here.