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Old June 9th, 2010, 06:19 AM   #1
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Anyone else getting hooked by the iMovie to FCP workflow?

Wondering if anyone else is using this workflow? I'm pretty addicted to the storyboard timeline in iMovie. The power of the timeline to act like a storyboard and then change back into a timeline for rough-cutting is brilliant.

My last project was a corporate video training & marketing series. Being able to work against the iMovie storyboard as we shot was a godsend. Not only did we have a nice visual map of what we should be shooting but we were able to save so much time & effort, seeing quickly if something wasn't working, or even better if something worked better by shuffling it around. And the FCP editor loved it because she was handed an approved rough edit and could focus on fine tuning the piece.

Incidentally, just to make things interesting, the last step was to export to Premiere Pro CS5 to make it easier for the After Effects guy to add the finishing touches.

Anyway, maybe I'm the only one but I'm hooked on iMovie as the "front end" to FCP.
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Old June 15th, 2010, 03:45 AM   #2
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We have been experimenting with doing a rough cut in iMovie & then doing an XML export to FCP. The clip management in iMovie & the ability to skim through all the footage at lightning speed & do fast edits is just fantastic. Using the Edit tool you place the cursor over a clip in the Event browser & as you skim through the clip viewing the video frame by frame the selected area turns yellow.. On releasing the mouse button the yellow area you selected is automatically cut into your Project. The whole process is very fast & easy.

We are working with video from Canon 5DII DSLRs & are still looking for the best workflow. You can import the native footage into iMovie but it is then not half as smooth when scrubbing through the clips as it is if you first convert to AIC or ProRes before importing to iMovie. It's faster not to let iMovie do the conversion to AIC but to use e.g. MPEG Streamclip & then import video already converted to a more edit-friendly intermediate CODEC.

So we are still tweaking the optimal workflow but using iMovie for producing a rough cut that is then imported into FCP definitely makes for a speedier & easier process.
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Old June 15th, 2010, 07:32 AM   #3
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Which Version of iMovie ?

Which version of iMovie have you been using ?
Also with all of the conversions, it would seem that this would not be the best work flow for HD output. But for SD output I can see where it might be a good idea. I have used iMovie 6 and 08, and with 08 deleting the unused clips was a snap.
Tom
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Old June 15th, 2010, 09:32 AM   #4
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I'm using iMovie '09.

Nigel, I'd be curious to see what workflow you come up with. So far for me the fastest workflow has been to capture directly into the iMovie Events folder, like so:

1. Create a folder inside the 'iMovie Events' folder.
2. Capture/transcode directly into that folder.
3. Start iMovie and let it log the new media in it's database.

Notes:
- For the XML transfer I point FCP at that folder
- We use external swappable drive bays for storage so we can just plug the hard drive directly into to our main edit bay.
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Old June 15th, 2010, 10:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Cadwalader View Post
Which version of iMovie have you been using ?
iMovie '09 There is an excellent detailed illustrated review on Ken Stones's FCP site iMovie 09
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Cadwalader View Post
Also with all of the conversions, it would seem that this would not be the best work flow for HD output. But for SD output I can see where it might be a good idea. I have used iMovie 6 and 08, and with 08 deleting the unused clips was a snap.
Tom
With the 45Mbps H.264 MPEG4 native video from the the Canon 5DII you really need to transcode to some more edit-friendly CODEC whatever editor you are using. The Windows guys use Cineform, the FCP guys use ProRes & FCE or iMovie can use AIC. It is possible to edit the native video but even on a fast Mac Pro it's not ideal as H.264 really isn't designed for editing. In any case whatever CODEC is used when editing in iMovie the XML export file will list the in & out points of the original file for FCP so there is no loss of quality using iMovie for the rough cut for HD or SD.
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Old June 15th, 2010, 10:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post
1. Create a folder inside the 'iMovie Events' folder.
2. Capture/transcode directly into that folder.
3. Start iMovie and let it log the new media in it's database.
That's pretty much what I have come up with now as the best workflow. Convert all the clips to ProRes with MPEG Streamclip directly into the iMovie Events folder & then do the rough cut then export from iMovie & then edit the ProRes clips in that folder.

What would have been really nice & quick as far as using the 5DII video would have been if we could skim through the native files then do the rough cut & only transcode those clips or section of clips that need to be converted to ProRes. Sadly this ideal solution isn't possible although using other video sources it may be.
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