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Exporting movies in Final Cut Pro

Creating a self-contained Final Cut Pro Movie By Craig Elliott Hanna

When supplying film and video assets in a digital format, most post- or authoring houses will want an uncompressed version of your project (QuickTime?¢ or AVI) delivered on a portable hard drive. This method is best for supplying projects because it removes the risks involved with additional compression and subsequent loss of quality.

You can accomplish this in several ways using Final Cut Pro (FCP).

External hard drive
The first method involves placing the FCP project file (ending with .fcp) on an external hard drive. Because this file references (i.e. is linked to) the original QuickTime movies or clips, all those clips " along with any other render files, graphics, and elements (Livetype, Motion, Color, etc.) referenced by your FCP movie " must also be placed on the hard drive.

This method is beneficial because the movie remains at the original resolution of your edit without adding compression. The risk involved with this method is if any assets, such as graphics or video clips, are not transferred to the drive, your project will be missing a necessary element which will be replaced by a "missing asset" warning screen when viewed.

If using this method, it's best to open the FCP movie from the hard drive and check carefully to make sure all assets are included and that all links to that media remain unbroken. If not, you may incur additional charges or delays while the post/authoring house tries to reconnect or replace the missing assets.

QuickTime file
A second method of supplying a project is to create a version where all the clips are included into one QuickTime file. This is accomplished by choosing Export > QuickTime Movie or Export > Using QuickTime Conversion. This method creates one single QuickTime file including all the assets used on the timeline.

Although this can be a very good method for supplying digital files, it is by no means foolproof. When exporting using this method, it's important to make sure to choose the correct codec that matches your timeline settings. If not, the QuickTime movie may be recompressed at a lower setting, reducing the quality of the project.

Final Cut Movie - Recommended
The third and best method for supplying a video or film to a post or authoring house is to create a self-contained Final Cut Movie. This method gathers all assets used in the project and combines them into one self-contained FCP movie. This not only prevents assets from being omitted, but also retains the projects original quality by using the current timelines resolution.

To create a self-contained movie in FCP, make sure the timeline is active by clicking to select it. Next select File > Export > QuickTime Movie. Choose the file name and location. Then, at the bottom, under "Setting," choose "Current Settings." Next, under "Include" choose "Audio and Video," then choose the appropriate "Markers" setting. Finally, and most important, make sure "Recompress All Frame" is UNCHECKED and "Make Movie Self-Contained" IS checked.

By following this simple method for supplying digital video files, you can reduce the chance of mistakes and avoid additional charges from supplying files incorrectly. 

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Related Keywords:video editing, exporting movies, NLE, FCP,

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