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Old January 1st, 2005, 08:59 PM   #1
New Boot
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
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importing iMovie4 to FCP4

I searched but couldn't find an exact answer, so apologies if this has already been answered elsewhere.

I've edited an 8 minute short on a friends Mac using iMovie4, including laying down a music track and sound effects courtesy of iMovies two tracks. For the final touches I want to import the project to another friends FCP4.

I need to know how to get the movie from iMovie in one Mac to FCP in the other. The apple website says you can open iMovie projects in FCP. Does that mean we have to copy all the files from the iMovie Mac over to the FCP Mac? If this is successful, will we keep the audio tracks and video markers in-tact? I have no idea, initially I thought to take iMovie back to tape but of course that merges all the audio tracks.

I'm a bit stressed as I've read other sites that have made one line statements to the effect that you can't open the iMovie project in FCP. one said export to quicktime and then import that QT file into FCP. My question then is, once again, will I lose the individual audio tracks ie. will they merge into one - and by exporting to QT will I lose some of the quality in video and audio?

Any help for a stressed guy on a tight deadline.


Jeff Bilman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 1st, 2005, 09:05 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
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My experience with the original Final Cut Express:
You can import iMovie projects. HOWEVER, iMovie files are "DV stream" type files where the audio is interleaved differently. Final Cut uses Quicktime DV (normal DV) files, not DV stream. The iMovie clips will need the audio to be rendered before you can hear it in Final Cut.

Not sure how Final Cut imports the audio tracks (whether it gets all of them). It should though.

You might be able to batch convert the iMovie DV streams to quicktime DV (use the preset) with some combination of file --> batch export and media manager. Or FCP4 might play the audio in real-time (haven't used FCP4... can't say).

2- I suppose an alternative would be to export a quicktime with half the audio, and then export a WAV with the other half. I'm not sure if this would be useful to you. Make backups of your iMovie project.

3- iMovie projects tend to crap themselves when they get too complicated. When it gets too large your original clips might disappear. I'm not sure if they fixed that bug (it was iMovie2-era), but you may wish to watch out for that.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 04:13 AM   #3
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Thanks Glenn,

We're giving it a try tomorrow and will let you know how it goes.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 06:04 AM   #4
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Another alternative is to just export the iMovie project as a DV/DVC Pro clip and you will have a file suitable for FCP.
Dave Perry Cinematographer LLC
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 06:49 PM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Austin, TX
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FCP can import iMovie, by selecting File-Open, and selecting the iMovie project file. It works quite well, brings in all the audio. It does not import new clips, but uses the existing iMovie DV clips. It will keep text transitions, but applying other transitions after the import does work to well. Just remember to not delete your iMovie clips until your done with the project.
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