Importing IMovie projects under Final Cut Studio

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    Posted: 21 September 2007 04:13 PM

    Hello world,

    I’m playing the “editing doctor” for a client who began a really nice project under IMovie HD and is moving to Final Cut 6, now.

    I usually export a DV master from IMovie to continue under FCP, but I’m just wondering if there is any filter to import the IMovie project (.imovieproj) into FCP, in order to keep all of the timeline work.

    Sure, Final Cut Pro 6 (aka Studio 2) can apparently do it, but when why and… how? smile

    TIA
    sem

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  • Posted: 22 September 2007 08:29 PM #1

    From iMovie ‘08, you can export an XML file from the Share menu (and import the XML in FCP). This will only tell Final Cut Pro where the videos are and edit decisions such as the lengths of each clip and the clip order, little else.

    Still, it does save a lot of time. I like to storyboard in iMovie ‘08 (it’s really not much good for anything else, IMHO, since Apple decided to change it so radically) and export to FCP to start serious timeline work. The live clip previews in iMovie ‘08 are the bomb. If we could get them in FCP that would be very cool.

    But if you don’t have iMovie ‘08, I’m not too sure what you can do to migrate a project into FCP.

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    Posted: 23 September 2007 03:07 AM #2

    [quote author=“coaten”]Still, it does save a lot of time. I like to storyboard in iMovie ‘08 (it’s really not much good for anything else, IMHO, since Apple decided to change it so radically) and export to FCP to start serious timeline work. The live clip previews in iMovie ‘08 are the bomb. If we could get them in FCP that would be very cool.

    iMovie 08 seems a big bug, am I wrong?

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    Posted: 23 September 2007 03:13 AM #3

    [quote author=“coaten”]From iMovie ‘08, you can export an XML file from the Share menu (and import the XML in FCP). This will only tell Final Cut Pro where the videos are and edit decisions such as the lengths of each clip and the clip order, little else.

    Ok thanks a lot, that’s a good idea!

    We’re not working under iMovie 08 so I simply added the .xml extension to a copy of the IMovie project file (.imovieproj): the file is XML format UTF-8 encoded.
    Then, import into FCP the new XML file and you’re done: timelines and clips appear in a new FCP project.

    And just in that moment, you discover that the iMovie file structure is a big mess! :( But it works fine under iMovie versions from Panther on importing to FCPro Studio 1/2, apparently.


    [quote author=“coaten”]The live clip previews in iMovie ‘08 are the bomb. If we could get them in FCP that would be very cool.

    I should go to the sad Apple Shop of Paris to have a look at this, but I imagine it’s like a live rendering…

    (to be continued with more details if anyone wishes so…)

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  • Posted: 23 September 2007 07:00 AM #4

    The live previews are, yeah, like a live rendering, I guess. Clips waiting to be assembled and clips in the timeline will reveal their content if you drag your mouse over them and have a preview frame for a thumbnail.

    I would kill for this after importing a HDV clip, which in FCP6 doesn’t have full device control for that format, or my personal camcorder, and then having to wade through 30 unnamed clips to find the content I want.

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    Posted: 23 September 2007 08:39 AM #5

    I see, so you can more or less do that on FCP Studio, when in the browser window.
    It will yield static thumbnails that you can roll forward by a hand cursor on mouseover, if I remember well!

    You’ve two choices:

    1- show the items as list and activate the thumbnail column, CTRL-clicking the columns heading to choose ‘Show Thumbnail’;
    2- show the items as thumbnails of your preferred size, CTRL-clicking the empty gray area of the browser, then choosing ‘View as XXXX icons’

    You can also do something similar but not so in the timeline, just searching in the prefs…. so, i hope this helps. smile

    But how do you edit HDV without rendering all time long? :o Better to downsize it, I think…

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  • Posted: 23 September 2007 03:02 PM #6

    I capture HDV using ProRes 422.

    To understand the clip previews in iMovie ‘08, you really need to see them.

    They normally look like clips in FCP’s Browser viewed as large icons, but reveal their contents in the thumbnail when you mouse over them, enabling you to scrub through a clip without loading into another window/viewer/browser.

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    Posted: 24 September 2007 01:22 AM #7

    So, you can scrub freely only using the method #1 I described before, under FCP Studio.

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  • Posted: 24 September 2007 04:26 AM #8

    Umm… no.

    Just go to an Apple store, look at iMovie ‘08, then you’ll see what I mean.

    FCP does not have this particular functionality.

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