To edit your Nikon HD movies in Final Cut Pro you will need to prepare your movie footage before you can edit it in the Final Cut timeline and then ultimately encode it for your desired output type (web, dvd, etc).
I will walk you through how to use Compressor that is part of the Final Cut Studio suite of tools.
To configure Compressor encode your movies for the web (YouTube or Vimeo, etc) you can follow the information I provided in this article previously.
Follow these steps:
1. Copy the movie files located on your CF memory card to the desired folder on your editing system. I would also strongly suggest backing up your footage in a second location as well.
2. Before we can edit in Final Cut Pro (FCP) we need to create a custom droplet in Compressor to transcode our footage.
- Open the Settings tab (lower left corner), select Formats Folder -> Quick Time -> Apple ProRes 422HQ or LT or Proxy, etc. I choose to go with HQ
- Drag this to the window on top where you see “Drag Settings & Destinations Here”. After you drag this, select it.
- Leave it set to Desktop and you can change the default filename of “Apple ProRes 422 (HQ).mov if you like. I changed mine to “Apple ProRes 422HQ 24fps 48khz” because I will know my .AVI movie file has been processed and it is at 24fps with 48Khz audio.
- In the Inspector window (center window, select the Encoder tab (second from left)
- Select Video Enabled, then hit Settings. Frame rate 24 > OK
- Change Audio to Enabled and then hit Settings. Choose 48 kHz. If you are recording audio off camera as I do, I just use the audio from the camera as a guide track and mute it inside Final Cut.
- Select the “Save As” button at the bottom of the Inspector window and name it “NikonD3s_AVI_Encoding”.
- It will now be in your Settings Window under the Settings tab and Custom.
- Click on the new Cutom setting “Nikon D3s_AVI_Encoding”
- File > Create Droplet
- Select your new custom setting
- Save it to the desktop, leave destination as source.
- Close Compressor
3. From your Desktop double-click on the Droplet to open it.
4. Drag all you Nikon .AVI movie clips to the left side of the droplet where it says “Drop files here” and change destination whatever folder you want from the Destination field at the top part of the window in the Droplet. Now you have all your original .AVI and the converted ProRes clips and you are ready for Final Cut!
In my case I have configured Compressor to open the Batch Monitor so I can view the process of my encoding jobs.
5. Open Final Cut Pro, then select “File -> New Project” if you already have a project open and don’t want to change things.
6. Now go to Final Cut Pro -> Audio/Video Settings
7. Find the Sequence Presets tab and select Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 1280×720 24p 48kHz
8. Clip Duplicate and give it a new name. I just added Nikon to the front and removed copy from the end of the name.
9. Find and change the Editing Timebase selection to 24 > OK
10. select the summary tab click Create Easy Setup
11. A popup box will appear and just name it whatever you want (“Nikon D3s 720p 24fps 48Khz”), give it a description and select Create. A popup box will appear and save your setting in the Custom Settings folder as suggested. You are ready to edit!
12. Now the next time you want to work on a project using Nikon 720p footage just use this Easy Setup and you are rolling.
13. Your Nikon movie clips should not need rendered now and you are ready to create your movie
14. When your done editing use Send to Compressor I you would normally do for your work-flow. You may want to refer to my previous article that I mentioned above here.
I hope you found this information helpful and keep me posted on your progress or leave a comment here.
© Tim Layton – All Rights Reserved – 2010. You may not republish or use this information in part or in whole without written permission. For permission and more information you can contact Tim Layton on the web at blog.timlaytonphotography.com or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the telephone at 314-643-8118.