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Final Cut Pro

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Creating footage for use in Final Cut Pro isn't that hard - but it'll seem daunting at first. The most important thing is matching the iShowU settings to the FCP project settings, and there are quite a few of them. FCP will complain (in a number of ways) if these settings don't match.

There are basically two scenarios for using iShowU V1,HD/HD Pro with Final Cut Pro (FCP). One, you would either want to mix iShowU recordings with existing footage either shot or acquired, or two, you need to create high quality recordings that will need further editing and then finally export to another format (DVD, export to web, etc).

First decide the final destination of your video recordings (web, DVD, TV etc.) and plan your recording settings according to your final delivery. The key here again is to match your iShowU recording settings to that of your FCP settings.

A few things to note:

  • Aspect Ratio - because you are capturing form your computer you are able to define the parameters of you capture you can choose the aspect ratio.
  • Square Pixels - because your recording is straight from your computer, you will be working with square pixels (or a ratio of 1:1).
  • Field Dominance - when you capture on your computer, there is no interlacing it's prograssive scan.
  • Compression - You would ideally work with video that will be high quality and easy to edit with. Choose either "ProRes" or "Jpeg”

Settings that you need to consider in iShowU:

  1. Video codec (ProRes, etc, whatever your FCP project is set to)
  2. Video size
  3. Frames per second
  4. Audio codec (must be PCM, 48khz)
  5. Using fixed duration video frames

If any of these settings in the video differ from the FCP project, FCP will likely complain with General Error, error messages about the video not being optimized. In addition, if the settings aren't right then you won't be able to preview your edits in place without first rendering (say hello to a workflow that takes 10x the amount of time).

Start with the Final Cut Pro Sequence settings

Since we need to match everything to FCP we'll begin by looking at the settings for the Sequence. (To find out your Sequence Settings in FCP, press Apple+0).

Final Cut Pro Sequence settings

Here's what's important from the above screenshot:

  1. Size: the video size is in 16:9 aspect ratio at 1280 X 720, this is for an HD type resolution size.
  2. Codec:  Non interlaced, Apple ProRes Codec @ 25 frames per second.
  3. Audio settings: 48Khz PCM audio.

The capture settings for iShowU V1 are as follows:

How to import footage from iShowU V1 into FCP

You must first re-compress your footage so that it matches the sequence settings of the FCP project. This means you need to re-compress so that the codec, the frame rate and the size matches.

To re-compress you need to use a video compressor such as Stomp or QuickTime. We suggest you use either ProRes, Apple Intermediate Codec or Apple Animation (in that order). The final choice depends on the sequence settings of your FCP project. Compressing twice using these codecs will result in next to zero quality loss (it's also reasonably fast).

Setting up iShowU HD

The capture settings for iShowU HD are as follows:

Settings for iShowU HD

Codec types for different OSX versions

The sequence we used above specified Apple ProRes If you're using OSX 10.5/10.6 then you can use Apple Intermediate or other codec so long as it matches the FCP codec setting. The goal here is to setup the output of iShowU HD so that it matches both the codec, frame rate and resolution of the FCP sequence.

Variable Frame Durations

We highly recommend that users who intend to edit screen capture footage recorded with iShowU V1/HD to either:

  • Re-encode frames with Stomp, or another compression application.
  • Or, Use iShowU HD Pro, which has the ability to turn off variable frame rate durations, which if left on can result in audio sync problems or the inability to import into FCP.)

For more on vatiable frame durations click here

Ready to Go!

As long as iShowU HD is creating footage that is the same size, same frame rate and same codec as what FCP has set in it's sequence settings, you should be able to import the footage.

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