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Importing video from an iSight or Facetime camera

Part 1 of a 4 part series By Diana Weynand, James Alguire and RevUpTansmedia

In the following tutorials, you will learn different ways to import footage in Final Cut Pro X. New tutorials will be added in the coming weeks so check back often to learn more ways to gather your story elements.

Introduction To Gathering Story Elements

Every new editing project presents an editor with the exciting possibilities of a fresh, new canvas. It can be a time of creative anticipation, or a time to feel the adrenaline rush of a deadline. Either way, the process for both editor and Final Cut Pro always begins with the same question: what elements do you want to gather and import and use to tell your story?
The good news is that you can import just about anything your project needs. From still photos and MP3 audio files, to digital SLRs and 4K resolutions, FCP can import footage from a variety of devices and a host of media formats. In fact, FCP natively supports more formats than ever, with a resolution independent approach to editing that gives you an unprecedented choice of project content that you can mix and match.?

Just as the options for what you want to import have increased, so have the steps for import decreased, as FCP now takes over many of the tasks previously required of you. Simply make selections on what you want to import, and how you want to import it, and Final Cut Pro goes to work in the background to organize, transcode and optimize footage, freeing you up to get started on the most important task of all - viewing and editing the story you want to tell.


Importing video from an iSight or Facetime camera

Trust me, even on the most well planned production, things can and will go wrong. You might find yourself, some day, all alone with only your trusty Macbook Pro iSight/Facetime camera to document that incredible touching moment between man and killer whale.

Even if it's in a, "it's the only camera I have available on hand to shoot that spontaneous, Big Foot footage that needs to be on YouTube in 20 minutes or my viral video will be inoculated" kind of way; Final Cut Pro X can easily import video from a Mac's built-in iSight/Facetime camera.

To import video from a Mac's built-in camera:

1 Launch Final Cut Pro X.

2 In the Event Browser, select an existing Event, or create a new Event to host the imported video.

3 Click the Import Media from a Selected Device button, or choose File > Import > Import from Camera. You can also use the keyboard shortcut, Command-I. 

The green "camera on" indicator light should illuminate in the middle of your Mac's display bezel, just above the screen, and the Import Camera Window will be displayed. Smile.

4 From the Camera section of the Device list, select the Apple Built-in iSight or Facetime camera.

5 Look at yourself in the Camera Preview Window. Is your hair good? Makeup? Is your tie straight? Smile.

6 To begin importing video, click the Import button at the lower right.

7 In the Camera Import Options sheet that drops down, check that the correct Event is selected in the Event Drop Down Menu, choose the appropriate Transcoding, Video and Audio analysis options, then click Import.

The word "Importing" followed by numbers indicating the amount of video in minutes will appear superimposed at the top left of the video preview.

8 Once your performance is complete, click the Stop Import button.

9 To capture additional video, repeat steps 6-8.

Click the Import Camera Window's close button when you are done capturing video. This will end the import session and the Camera on indicator light should go out.

10 Skim through your video clip in the Event Browser. How did you do?

Keep in mind that the quality and the flexibility of the built-in iSight camera is limited since it's only 1.3 Megapixels. The newer built-in Facetime cameras can shoot 720p HD. The cameras also have limited flexibility since they are mounted in your computer, which makes it harder to shoot in some situations. Finally watch your lighting, that seems to affect the quality of the video from these cameras most of all. You will also want to plug in a good microphone for better quality audio. The built-in microphone is serviceable only if you are in a cool dry place that's completely quiet.

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Diana Weynand, an Emmy nominated editor, a distinguished educator and Apple Certified Trainer, is the author of several books including the Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Pro X, Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Pro for Avid Editors and How Video Works. Diana has been on the cutting edge of technology training for two decades, and is co-owner of Rev Up Transmedia, (Formerly Weynand Training International) an Apple Authorized Training Center and mobile application developer.

James Alguire, an Apple Master Trainer, has been involved in the computer industry for over 25 years. His experience includes digital design, electronic prepress, multimedia, digital video/audio, technical support and training. He is an Apple Certified Trainer, an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator, an Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist and Apple Certified Support Professional. He is a lead instructor for Rev Up Transmedia and was a contributing writer for Diana's book, Final Cut Pro X.
Related Keywords:Final Cut X, FCP, Diana Weynand, James Alguire,video importing, video editing, nle

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  • Importing video from an iSight or Facetime camera by DMN Editorial at Dec 14, 2011 5:19 pm gmt

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