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Old April 11th, 2006, 01:22 PM   #1
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Importing Sequential Stills in FCP

I referred the manual on the issue of importing sequential stills in version 4.5 and it said something insane like "import your stills and lay them down on the timeline at 1 frame long!"

Is there a way for FCP 5 to pull in sequentially numbered still images as a file, or otherwise, to pull them in without the "changing default still size to 1frame" and mass selection lay in thing, then rendering?

Conversely, if that is not possible, is there an external application that will conform them for you?

Thanks to anyone with any idea on this matter.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 04:01 PM   #2
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The Jumpbacks I have work exactly like like what you want to do. Each is a series of jpg stills, numbered sequentially, in a folder. With my duration for importing stills set to 00:00:00:01 long, I merely import the folder into the project. Once the import completes (can take a minute if you have hundreds of stills like in a Jumpback), I place the folder into the timeline. Again, it can take a minute while FCP puts them down (and then renders the first several, but I don't know why). At this point I export the timeline with the stills as a movie (.mov file) and then import that back in as a completed movie, which is much easier to work. I then toss the original imported folder of stills since I no longer need them.

Mike.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 09:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared Silvia
Conversely, if that is not possible, is there an external application that will conform them for you?
Since you have FCP, that means you have QT Pro. Open QT Pro and choose File>Open Image Sequence. From there you can export the sequence as a movie clip to any codec you need for FCP.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 08:49 AM   #4
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Thanks both of you - both answers - exactly what I needed. Thanks!

I haven't had to work with still sequences, really, since I was editing in premiere, mostly, which has sequential still import as a feature. It's confusing as to why fcp hasn't included that as a direct import option.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 08:55 AM   #5
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Yeah .. having used Motion and Shake (both natively support image sequences), I was also pretty surprised to learn that FCP needed some extra effort for this.

I've been using the QuickTime Pro approach, selecting the option to make a "reference" file, rather than re-export the image sequence to a new video. This way, the QT file is only a few k in size, regardless of the sequence resolution or length, and FC ends up reading the image files directly ... through the MOV "wrapper".
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Old April 12th, 2006, 08:58 AM   #6
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i just finished an entire 5-minute video made entirely of stills using FCP4.5. if you number them in advance, shift-click each one, lay the pile of them directly into the project file (bypassing the pulldown menu import command), they will import into your project file. then you pick up the same pile, still highlighted, and drop it directly into the timeline. they will appear in their sequential order. render and edit duration of each shot to your needs. super easy.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 12:05 PM   #7
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Nick:

I wonder how FCP would behave if you lost any of the images in your sequence folder, since its utilizing a reference file... not that that would happen. Otherwise, that sounds like another good option.

Meryem:

I tried using that method, and it did work... it's just a sort of a pain if you want to work with the footage like you would with standard dv video clips in the sense of retiming, trimming, etc... depending on how you edit. Thank you for the suggestion, regardless!
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Old April 13th, 2006, 02:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared Silvia
Nick:I wonder how FCP would behave if you lost any of the images in your sequence folder, since its utilizing a reference file... not that that would happen. Otherwise, that sounds like another good option.
Yeah ... haven't bothered to try that yet, though it's a pretty easy experiment to run ... just move or rename a couple files and see what happens. I suspect you'll end up with black frames.

The nice thing is that you get a single "clip" in your FC project, instead of a ton of stills, but there's no need to re-compile a video clip if the stills get re-rendered (I'm usually using this with CG render passes) as you would if you used QT to convert the images to a video-codec based QuickTime file.

Anyway ... good luck.
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