• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Chapter Four. Preparing to Edit > Entering Additional Information

Entering Additional Information

Experienced editors have learned the hard way that the more information you record during logging, the happier you will be later. Final Cut Pro makes it easy to add all types of additional information while logging.

Use the Log Note Field for Longer Notes

Now that you've got the clip-naming process figured out, you're probably disappointed that Final Cut Pro cuts you off after only 26 characters. If you want to record more detailed or elaborate information, you'll have to put it somewhere else.

The Log Note field is your best bet. You can comfortably view two lines of notes in this field (and you can type as much text as you want for searching purposes). Be sure to enter the log note before logging the clip. Unlike the other fields, the Log Note field is cleared every time you log a clip.

If you want to use the same note repeatedly, you can access previous notes from the Shortcut menu by -clicking the Log Note field. You might use this to enter frequent comments like “Director liked this take,” “Aborted take,” or “Traffic noise.” Using the Shortcut menu minimizes repetitive typing and assures the uniformity of your log notes (Figure 4.15).

Figure 4.15. The Shortcut menu on the Log Note field pops up a list of the other log notes used in the current project. This way you can reuse comments that occur frequently.

Set Markers While Logging

Final Cut Pro provides yet another cool feature to make logging easier: the ability to set markers while logging.

MARKER A placeholder or bookmark you can use to identify a specific frame (or a range of time) within a clip or sequence.

Markers are among the most valuable tools available to you as a digital editor (see the section on working with markers in Chapter 5, “Basic Editing”). The ability to set them while logging is unique to Final Cut Pro.

It's probably too time-consuming to bother setting markers for short clips while you're logging, but placing markers in longer clips is a fine way to point out both positive and negative things that occur during the clip. For instance, you might identify a lens flare, a flaw in the performance, a mic boom in the shot, or the duration of an airplane sound that interferes with your audio. You can use markers to identify the frames where a character is speaking in a clip that includes long portions of silence, or note a good performance of a particular line.

Here's how to set markers while logging: Twiddle open the Markers revealer in the Logging tab (Figure 4.16). (If you're not going to be using markers, you can close this up to avoid the clutter and distraction it creates.) You can set marker In and marker Out points using the buttons you'll find there (shortcuts are for In and - for Out), and name the marker by typing in the Marker field. Out points are required only if you want the marker to have duration; if you don't set one, the marker will simply identify a single frame in the clip.

Figure 4.16. The Logging tab contains a set of controls for adding markers to your clips. These controls can be hidden or shown depending on the state of the revealer widget.

Once you've set your desired marker In and Out point and typed in a name, clicking the Set Marker button adds the marker to the list box. You can stack up as many markers as you want in the list or delete existing ones. You can change markers any time you like by selecting them in the list; making changes to the In point, Out point, or name; and clicking the Update button.

Create Subclips on the Fly

Because markers turn into subclips, you can easily create subclips from longer clips, on the fly, while logging. Let's say the script calls for an insert of a hand opening a door. When the crew shot the scene, rather than stopping and starting the camera for different takes, they simply ran the action four or five times during one shot. When you log this footage, keep the clip all together as one shot, and use markers to set In and Out points for each door opening. Once you capture the clip, your markers can be accessed directly as subclips in the Browser (see “Subclips in Disguise” in Chapter 5) (Figure 4.17).

Figure 4.17. Double-clicking a marker in the Browser opens it up as a subclip.

Good, Better, Best

The Mark Good check box in the Log and Capture window (Figure 4.18) is simply another piece of information you can store with a clip you're logging. The original idea was that this would be akin to marking a circle take. You can check this box to identify good clips you will probably want to find later. Once all your clips are logged, you can do a search to find all clips that have the Mark Good check box checked, and use that list to decide which clips to capture—or just to jog your memory on which takes you liked while logging.

Figure 4.18. The Mark Good check box can be used to mark clips you like. Later you can search on the Good column in the Browser to find them.

Of course, you don't have to use this check box just to mark good takes. I always wanted this feature to pop up a menu that would let me choose Good, Better, or Best—since most of the time I don't know which is the circle take until I've seen them all.

So, weirdly enough, I generally use the Mark Good check box to mark shots that are unquestionably bad. For example, I use it to mark the junk in between shots, or takes that were aborted, or footage of the crew goofing around. Then I know what I don't want to capture.

Apple finally addressed the Good-Better-Best concept in Final Cut Pro 2, but in a somewhat awkward way. This version offers a Label Category option for every item in the Browser, allowing you to assign a label to each clip that you can search and sort on later.

The default labels are Good Take, Best Take, Interview, B-Roll, and Junk—but the label names are fully customizable in the Preferences window. Each label has a color associated with it (also customizable). Once you get used to the colors, you can quickly distinguish clips in the Browser by the color of their icons. This color also shows up on the clip when it's edited in the Timeline, which can be helpful when you're glancing at a long show and trying to identify a particular clip to which you previously assigned a label.

The only problem is that you can't actually apply any of these labels in the Log and Capture window (where you really want to). To use the labels, you must first log the clip. Then you can bring the Browser window forward, select the clip, and change the value in the Label column (Figure 4.19).

Figure 4.19. You can set a label for each clip you log, but you can only do it in the Browser window after the clip is logged. -click the Label column and assign the label of your choice.

Add Additional Information in Browser Columns

You can use other Browser columns to add additional information to your clips—but as with the Label Category option, you have to log the clip first.

There are four comment fields you can use to catalogue things like shot type, day/night, script day, shooting day, camera focal length, ƒ-stop, and so on. To use any of these columns you must first log the clip, then open the Browser and type directly into the column you want to use. All of the columns support the Recent Items pop-up list I described for the Reel and Log Note fields; -clicking a column opens up a list of all the values previously used in that column (Figure 4.20).

Figure 4.20. -clicking any of the comment fields in the Browser will pop up a list of all the comments previously entered in that field for the current project.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint