Photography Video Workflow: Final Cut Pro + Canon 5D Mark II was created and produced by Frank Rohmer. We are honored to host his material in the lynda.com library.
- Preparing system hardware for editing HD footage
- Creating a Canon 5D Mark II project preset for HD video
- Transferring and importing Canon HD video files into Final Cut Pro
- Editing with three-point edits, drag and drop, and automated techniques
- Understanding transitions and filters for HD video
- Converting non-drop frame to drop frame for broadcasting
- Finishing a project out to DVD, Windows Media, Flash, or QuickTime
Skill Level Intermediate
- [Voiceover] Before we begin with the lessons I'd like to point out a few things regarding your system setup and this training series. So first of all, because the Canon 5D Mark II produces high definition video in a codec called H.264, the typical Apple computer running Final Cut Pro may struggle with this format during editing and play back. So to help reduce this problem I recommend upgrading to the latest version of the Apple OS, Quicktime and Final Cut Pro if you haven't already done that. Now once you've done that, you'll notice that you get much better play back results with the following versions of software, so Leopard 10.5.6 or higher, Quicktime 7.6 or higher, and Final Cut Pro 6.0.5 or higher.
Now of course all three of these need to be up to the latest version, it wouldn't make sense if just let's say Quicktime was up to 7.6 and Final Cut Pro was lower than the version I just mentioned. So all three need to be installed and up to date, above or at least at those version levels that I've just mentioned in order to make your play back and editing experience at least workable within your computer. Now I also recommend using at least an Intel-based 2.8-gigahertz core two duo Apple computer as your edit system. Now even with all these prerequisites met, you may still experience some stutter during play back when your sequence is filled with multiple layers of HD video, multiple filters within video clips, and multiple transitions between clips in your sequence.
Now I hope that when the new Apple OS, Snow Leopard, and the corresponding Quicktime version is released, that all these play back issues will be resolved. And I suspect that when the next version of Final Cut Pro is released, the play back issues will also be minimized if not resolved completely. But if you've met all the requirements that I've just mentioned with your hardware and software, your editing experience will at least still be pretty good. I think you'll be surprised, once you've met all those versions of software that I've just mentioned, that everything should work pretty good. Okay, I strongly recommend that you use an external, fast Firewire drive or a separate internal fast drive to store all of your Final Cut Pro projects and the media files onto.
This alone will make a big difference during your editing process. Now remember, Final Cut Pro allows you to have multiple layers of video while you're editing. In fact it's very typical to have as many as 10 layers of video playing back at the same time. So having a drive to handle multiple video streams at the same time is crucial. Let's back up though. If you decide to edit with just your single drive in your computer system, that will be fine, because when you export your movie out as a finished movie, in other words when you change the codec when you export out to a .mov, or a Flash file, or even a wmv, you merge all of those layers down to one video stream, and that really makes the difference when your client or when you want to view the movie, because it's now one stream.
So if you can live with the stuttering, with that single drive, then that's fine, you can keep going. So let's talk about something else. I also recommend installing as much RAM into your computer as possible. Doing this will increase the over-all performance of your computer when multiple applications are open. Now, as for the lessons in this training series, I wanted to create them to get you in and out of Final Cut Pro as quickly as possible with as little time and energy as possible. The goal is not to just teach you the tool but it's to teach you the tool and have you apply the tool so that you actually build a real-world project and you'll actually have a finished movie when you complete this training series.
It makes a lot of sense to have you building something while you're learning the tool, while you're applying the tools. It just helps everything sink in so much quicker. So have fun with this training series, and you'll quickly be on your way to editing and creating within Final Cut Pro.
Q: In the sequence in the "Auto sequence setup" chapter, the QuickTime video setting is set to H.264, after the instructor prompts us to import the movie into ProRes422 or similar. Therefore, my movie will be 422 and my QuickTime video compressor sequence setting is H.264. Shouldn’t the sequence be set to the same codec as the movie that has been imported?
A: The general rule is that you should edit your footage in the same codec that it was shot in unless you are shooting with a codec like H.264 (Canon, HDSLR cameras). Outside of the HDSLR circle, professional videographers will select a video camera that they believe has the best codec to shoot in. Once that selection has been made they'll typically leave the codec alone while editing.
In the case of Canon HDSLRs, the codec is very challenging to work with, hence the reason for transcoding to ProRes 422. Because H.264 is extremely tough for all editing systems, Canon recommends transcoding their H.264 native codec to ProRes 422. You don't have to do this. Final Cut Pro will edit either way.
Even if the sequence settings are different then the codec used, Final Cut Pro will allow you to go either way. You always have a choice. That's one of many reasons to use Final Cut Pro.