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Like I always say, the more organized you keep your media, the quicker your Final Cut Pro project will go, and a much more efficient editor you will be.  That being said, the more information you enter while Logging your clips, the more organized you will be able to keep them. 

Because external hard drives are so inexpensive these days, editors can capture entire tapes and log afterward.  Once your footage is on your hard disk, you can review it more efficiently and logging will go a lot faster.  Most logging and capturing is done in the Log & Capture window, but you can also use the Browser to add your logging information to clips after you capture.

Some editors will first log their tapes and then batch capture using the Log & Capture window.  You could watch your footage by playing the tape in a deck or camcorder connected to Final Cut Pro.  You can set In & Out points and create clips that represent portions of your original media.  After you finish logging, you capture media for only the clips you think you will need for your project.

Now that we covered the basic principal of Log & Capture, let's focus on just the Logging portion of the process.  Take a look at the Log & Capture window (we find this under the File Menu); you will see 3 main tabs across the top of the window (right hand side), Logging, Clip Settings, and Capture Settings.

logging.gifThe Logging Tab is what you will use to add detailed information to each clip you log, for example, Reel name, In & Out points, scene number, markers, etc.  You can also add this information later on in the Browser, however, in my opinion, it's best to do early on in your "pre-editing" phase. 

Let's take a wedding video for example; when you are logging your clips to your footage, first enter the name of your project under the Log Bin, such as Lynch_Jones_Wedding; note the Tape number under Reel (assuming you've numbered your tapes before you even started shooting; this is a good habit to get into) then start adding details to your Description such as, rehearsal at the church, the rehearsal dinner, the guys playing golf the morning of, the bride and bridesmaids at the beauty salon, and so on, and so on.  For Angle, you might have shot this wedding from two different angles, like one view from the balcony, and one view from the pulpit.  Make sure to note these in this Logging Tab.  Making detailed notes under Log Notes, can only help you remember that there is a funny shot here where the best man is picking his nose, or the bride cries here, or something like that.  Also be sure to check the box marked Good, for a shot that is an absolute must-use for your project.  You don't want to forget about those later, and it is Final Cut's job to look for those clips marked "good" so that you won't miss them.

It is important to know that when you are Logging in Final Cut Pro, you are adding the information to clips, not media files.  Which means, that all of your logging info is stored in your Project File, not the media files on disk.  If you delete your project file, your logging info is deleted as well.

I know what you're thinking..."wow, this is gonna be time consuming", BUT, believe me, it can and will save you time in the long run.  By adding detailed notes, comments, and labels to your footage, it will help you and any other editors involved with the project to navigate a large amount of source material.  Logging information can reduce the amount of footage you have.  You can often eliminate a large amount of footage before you start editing.

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