Final Cut Pro: The Importance and Benefits of Logging

If your time is important to you, and you want to avoid wasting time finding problems in Final Cut Pro when editing video projects, you should always use the logging features built in to the program. If you work in a professional editing environment, you are probably well aware of these stressful timelines that are often associated with video editing.

Video editors are often expected to do more work in less time and make fewer mistakes. Properly logging your clips and tapes in Final Cut Pro will help you save time, not only when it comes to capturing, but will also help you save time if you need to find mistakes, such as misplaced switches or cuts or audio files that may not be properly synced.

Logging Basics

Whenever you connect your camcorder or deck to your computer and launch Final Cut Pro, you will be presented with the log and capture window in your browser. One of the very first things you should do with every project is to click on the logging tab and specify the reel number, time code, in and out points and a descriptive name of each clip you create in Final Cut Pro. These are the basic logging steps that are required for good media management at its most basic level.

Although the above information is required, you should also take the time to add certain other details about each clip you create. For example, adding descriptions, scene numbers, shot or take numbers, and general logging notes are always a good idea that can help you better track your clips or footage. You can also use the 'Good' checkbox to help identify which takes are best to use for your finished product.

One important thing to note about logging in Final Cut Pro is that whenever you add descriptive information to your clips, you are doing exactly that - adding information to the clips only. Logging features in Final Cut Pro do not add descriptors or information to the media files themselves. This means that any logging information you enter in Final Cut Pro is stored in your project file and not the original media file or footage on your hard disk. Therefore, if you delete your project file or clips from the Event Browser in Final Cut Pro, the logging information associated with those clips it is lost forever.

Using Final Cut Pro to Automate Logging

Although logging is a very important part of any video editing project, it can also sometimes be tedious and time-consuming. Therefore, you should also consider taking advantage of some of Final Cut Pro's built-in logging features. For instance, if you add a descriptive name to the footage ends in the logging tab, you can then disable the prompt when logging clips in the log and capture window.

If you forgo prompts when logging clips, Final Cut Pro will automatically assign a auto-generated number plus the descriptive name that was used in the logging tab. This will allow you to quickly log multiple clips and then capture them using the batch capture feature.

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