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Final Cut Pro Output

There are several ways to output your finished sequence. The term output can mean several things. For some of us, you may never intend on outputting back to tape. The most common output format is to output to a DVD. Other choices include outputting back to tape, or to a multimedia format.


Creating a DVD

If you plan on creating a DVD for distribution, you'll need a DVD authoring program. Fortunately, if you have purchased a new Macintosh, it ships with a fantastic program called iDVD. The latest version of iDVD is pretty amazing. If you've had your Mac for more than 6 months, make sure you have the latest upgrade if iLife, which includes the latest version of iDVD.

If you need advanced DVD authoring features, you can use Apple's DVD Studio. DVD Studio Pro provides many advanced features found in 'Block Buster' style DVD's. You'll also have more control over the compression quality of your final product. GeniusDV offers training classes for those who need to learn DVD Studio.

Output for Web or Multimedia

A company called 'Telestream' has two critical software components called 'Flip4Mac' and 'Episode'. These programs are a must have for any Final Cut Pro user who needs additional mulitmedia export options.

If you plan on creating a .wmv file with Final Cut Pro. You'll need 'Flip4Mac' which works as a plug-in with QuickTime Pro or Final Cut Pro.
For advanced multimedia export, which includes (Flash 8 Encoder), there is program from called 'Episode'. The new version of Final Cut Pro 6.0 now supports 'Epsiode' as a plug-in.

*When exporting a full resolution QuickTime movie, make sure you turn on the 'high quality playback option' within QuickTime Pro.

Output back to videotape - Print to Video

If you plan on exporting back to video tape, you can use the 'print to video command'


Navigating to the File | Print to Video menu will bring up the print to video dialogue box. You can easily set up pre-defined parameters that will play before and after your sequence.


It is common to have color bars and a few seconds of black before a show starts. The leader allows playback operators to calibrate their equipment so that your work will look and sound as you intended.

It is important to use the print to video feature, instead of playing your sequence directly from the timeline. When you use the print to video command, Final Cut Pro will automatically render all of your effects, including audio sample rate conversions. This will improve playback performance and decrease the chance of Final Cut Pro dropping video frames.


In the effects tab, there is a special filter called timecode print. By placing this filter on a clip, it will provide a timecode burn window that will be visible and overlaid on your video.

This is a very common request for producers who want to be able to take home a VHS tape and view a running timecode display so they can take notes on changes that need to be made.


To create a timecode burn in, simply navigate to your effects tab and find the timecode print filter located within the video filters subfolder.


Normally, you would apply the timecode print filter to an entire sequence, instead of each individual clip within a sequence. This is accomplished by nesting your entire sequence into a single clip on the timeline.

To build a nested sequence, simple select all of the tracks in your sequence. This can be done by using the arrow tool and drawing a lasso around all the video tracks.


Then, navigate to the Sequence | Nest Item(s) menu. This will create a new sequence tab that consists of all your edits and tracks combined into a single clip.


This will allow a single timecode print filter to be applied to the entire sequence.


To change the timecode print parameters for a nested clip, click once on the nested clip to highlight it. Then press the enter key to load the clip into the viewer window.

Normally, you would double click on a clip to load its contents into the viewer window. However, if you have a nested sequence in your timeline window, double clicking on it will refer back to the original sequence before it was nested.

Then you can navigate to the filters tab in the viewer window. Under the timecode print heading, you will see all its adjustable parameters.


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Boosting Audio in Final Cut Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

Avid Xpress Media Composer Settings is the next entry in this blog.

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