Sunday, September 13, 2009

How to get from FCP to Protools

This is the first draft, well second and it still needs some work but, it's close.

What you want to give sound post IS,

An XML of your sequence. - see below

An OMF. - see below

A video file. This should be from the start of your timeline to the end of the film. Do NOT have FCP add pops or leaders etc. The file should start exactly where it does at the head of your timeline. POP's Tone and count down are fine IF they live as clips in your time line but not if FCP is generating them on out put. Did I repeat that enough times? Hope so. The reason, for those that are curious, is that IF the file starts at the start of your project you can drop the finished mix back into FCP and it will sync. If FCP adds stuff then the mix will start BEFORE your time line and it will take a lot of work to get them in sync - no fun.
My current preferred format is H.264. It looks good, supports HD is a reasonable size and works well with ProTools, IF you make it as outlined below. The other option is DV, but that will be a MUCH larger file and not look as good and doesn't support HD. Any flavor of HD or ProRes et all will have to be converted.

Video, h.264 is good but it needs to have key frames set to every frame.

(In have this shot quality is set to best but I think HIGH is probably fine. Also in newer versions of QuickTime there is an option of "Every" under key frames and that should do the same as setting it to 1.

This shot I need to change, probably. HDTV 1080i makes for a large file that plays a bit sluggishly on a G5, probably fine on an Intel. At least one I just got has been sluggish and improved a lot with a little shrinking. But that probably also has a lot to do with data rate AND what size you are going to use the file at. It's probably fine IF your going to work with it a full resolution.

Time base should be what ever the FCP is at and sound should be 48/16.

Make sure the film is SELF CONTAINED.

This is so that the sound editor can "conform" to the small changes that almost always happen after you hand off to sound. Even if the editor doesn't own any auto conform software there are ways to do it for a small fee over the Internet, with out this file though it's a SLOW by hand process that the editor SHOUL charge you extra for.


An OMF of the audio with 4 sec. handles.
Include levels and pans.
MAKE SURE to Remove all disabled clips from timeline.

And there you go.

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