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Old February 28th, 2006, 12:32 PM   #1
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Vegas to Final Cut DV Transfers

What's the best option for capturing DV tape on a PC, dropping the files onto a hard drive and sending it to someone using Final Cut Pro?

My situation is that I may be doing some DV footage capture on my setup (PC with Vegas 6) and sending the files to someone using Final Cut Pro for editing. I've read different accounts of how Vegas handles NTSC at a slightly different framerate than Final Cut, so Vegas might not be the best solution.

I do realize Final Cut won't read the Vegas project files, I'm just talking about the raw DV. Vegas saves this as an AVI if I understand correctly - and it's been a while since I've used Final Cut and I don't have access to it at the moment.

A potential job could be riding on my ability to do this. So if there is another PC solution that is better than Vegas for this purpose, it's worth me looking into it.

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Old March 1st, 2006, 07:05 AM   #2
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Final Cut Pro needs DV compressed files in a Quicktime container. This means that you will have to convert your .avi files to .mov, without recompression. I think VirtualDub may be able to do that for you, but somebody else with more experience on the Windows side will have to fill that in.

However, I advice you to leave the idea of sending files between Vegas and FCP alone. If you're only chosing the right takes, send the tapes and a batch list instead. A batch list is a tab separated text file containing the in- and out points of every clip you want. You can easily create one in Excel by making a spreadsheet containing the following 5 columns: Name, Media Start, Media End, Reel and Log Note.

The first row needs to have these labels in it. The "Name" column contains the name of the clip. "Media Start" and "Media End" are the in- and outpoint of the clip on the tape. The format for timecode is 00:00:00;00 if you're using Drop Frame timecode (watch the semicolumn before the frames). "Reel" is the name or number you gave to the tape. "Log Note" is whatever you want to attach as a note to the clip. Export the file as a tab delimited text file.

The benefit of using a batch list is threefold: 1) you won't have to fiddle with .avi and .mov containers, meaning you can concentrate on the movie instead of technical difficulties, 2) your FCP editor can load the clips straight from the batch list without much effort (he will have to change the tapes though) and 3) the clips will be in the right format for FCP and the clips will contain timecode which they wouldn't have if they were converted from .avi.

If you're unsure about using batch list, try it with a trowaway tape and some nonsensical clips. Your editor can send the relevant parts of the Final Cut Pro manual if you need more information.
Please keep in mind that English is not my native language.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 07:10 AM   #3
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FCP will read AVI files but will warn you that they are not optimized. I use this method because I capture direct to disk on my Windows laptop using Canon's DVPC recorder application. I take them directly into FCP with no problems except for the warning.

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Old March 1st, 2006, 08:31 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info guys. Looks like Vegas to Final Cut isn't the way to go.

The owner of the footage wants to send a hard drive because 1) he wants to have to able to have a rough edit done here (Denver) and the polished edit done in Washington. 2) I think he wants to hold on to the tapes for the security of the tapes themselves and 3) the polishing editors no doubt charge more and capturing 12 hours of footage is a waste of time and money if he can do it more cost effectively here - send them a hard drive and their ready to rock. This last reason is my opinion, he hasn't actually told me this, but he was specific about wanting to send it on a hard drive and I asume capturing cost is a reasonable factor.

The batch list is a good idea and may definitely come into play.

It looks like to best way to go is Final Cut to Final Cut, which means I'm out of this job... though I have been wanting to switch for a while now... ;) The whole Intel thing has me playing wait and see though...

I suppose the traditional option would be to make dupes of all the tapes on something that will maintain timecode when transfering. I assume a couple of DSR 11 decks would do this, unless anyone has a better option.

Thanks again guys.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 08:32 AM   #5
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Wait, Greg, I just read your post again. Does your method keep the timecode?
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