Final Cut Pro: How To Log Footage from a Tape

In Final Cut Pro, the ability to log footage before capturing it allows you to quickly work with many clips from one tape or many. When Final Cut Pro logs footage, it creates a clip in your browser window that is simply a shell that contains the timecode and duration based on In and Out points for the clip. This is especially useful when you need to capture many clips in a batch to make your editing projects go faster. So, here is a step by step guide that will show you how to log video footage in Final Cut Pro.

What You Will Need

  • A computer with Final Cut Pro installed
  • A camcorder or tape with video footage to log and capture

Step 1: Connect Camcorder or Deck to You Computer

Connect your DV camcorder or deck to your computer by using the FireWire port and a four pin to six pin FireWire cable.

Step 2: Open Final Cut Pro

From the dock on your desktop computer, launch the Final Cut Pro program.

Step 3: Import Video Footage

On the menu bar, go to 'File' and then 'Log and Capture' to open the log and capture window. If your camcorder or deck is correctly connected to your computer and set up in Final Cut Pro, the video footage should appear in your browser window. If not, check your cable connection and settings in Final Cut Pro under 'Preferences'.

Step 4: Create In and Out Points for Clips to Log and Capture

Use the shuttle control and transition slider to go backwards and forwards in your video to find footage that you want to capture. When you reach the beginning point, or In point, of a clip that you want to capture, press the 'I' key to mark the In point. Likewise, when you reach the end of a section of video you want to capture, press the 'O' key to create an out point.

Step 5: Log the Clip

In the log and capture window, the leftmost option button at the bottom of the screen is the 'Log Clip' button. In order to create a reference point for clips you want to capture in a batch, you'll need to log the clip first. So, click on the log clip button and enter a descriptive name for the clip that will be captured later.

(Tip - On the log and capture screen, you can uncheck the 'prompt' checkbox to have Final Cut Pro automatically assign a clip name for every clip you log. This will save you time by not prompting you to enter a name in the log clip dialog box and Final Cut Pro will automatically add clips to the project viewer.)

Step 6: Continue Logging Additional Clips

Continue creating In and Out points for clips that you want to use in your batch capture. Log clips as you did in Step 5 and create as many logged clips as you need before capturing the batch. Once you have logged all of the footage that you want to use, you can then click on the 'capture batch' button and choose the 'Offline Clips in Logging Bin' option for capturing the batch of clips that you have logged.

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