Import spanned clips

Some file-based camcorders or devices that have more than one memory card slot can record one shot over multiple memory cards. The resulting shot is called a spanned clip.

A good way to import a spanned clip into Final Cut Pro is to attach your camera or card reader to your local system and create a camera archive for each memory card. You can store the camera archives on your local system or on an external storage device until you are ready to import the spanned clip. (Even if you are importing the spanned clip immediately, it’s useful to make the camera archive so you have a backup of the footage that makes up the spanned clip.) Then, when you’re ready to import, you can mount all of the camera archives and import the spanned clip.

Create a camera archive for each memory card

  1. Connect your camcorder or camera to your computer and turn it on, or connect your card reader and memory card to your computer. If you’ll be saving the camera archives to an external storage device, connect that as well.

    Note: Some cameras require that you download and install an additional software plug-in. For more information, see the documentation that came with your camera.

  2. In Final Cut Pro, do one of the following:

    • Choose File > Import > Media (or press Command-I).

    • Click the Import Media button on the left end of the toolbar.

      Import Media button in toolbar

    The Media Import window appears.

  3. Select a memory card to archive from the list of cameras on the left.

  4. Click the Create Archive button at the bottom-left corner of the window.

  5. In the “Create Camera Archive as” field, type a name for the archive.

  6. Choose a location to save the archive from the Destination pop-up menu, and click OK.

    Note: To protect your media, it is recommended that you save your archive to a disk or partition different from the one where you store the media files used with Final Cut Pro.

  7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 to create camera archives for each of the memory cards that contain a portion of the spanned clip.

See Create and manage camera archives for more information about creating camera archives.

Import a spanned clip

  1. If the media you want to import is on an external storage device or memory card, connect the device to your computer and turn it on.

  2. To open the Media Import window, do one of the following:

    • Choose File > Import > Media (or press Command-I).

    • Click the Import Media button on the left end of the toolbar.

      Import Media button in toolbar
  3. In the Devices section on the left side of the Media Import window, select your computer’s hard disk or the connected external storage device or memory card that contains the spanned clip camera archives.

  4. Use the list view at the bottom of the window to navigate to and open the camera archives.

    Important: If the camera archives that make up the spanned clip are not all available, you can import each camera archive separately. Each portion of the spanned clip will be imported into Final Cut Pro as a separate clip.

    If all portions of the spanned clip are available, all the mounted camera archives show a clip with the same duration. An icon indicating that the spanned clip is complete appears on the spanned clip.

    If one or more camera archives are missing, an icon appears on the spanned clip to indicate which part of the spanned clip is available—the beginning, middle, or end. You can select each camera archive to see the different icons.

    Spanned clip icons indicating which portion is available
  5. Use the settings on the right side of the Media Import window to choose how you want to organize the imported media in your library:

    • To add the imported media to an existing event: Select “Add to existing event,” and choose the event from the pop-up menu.

    • To create a new event: Select “Create new event in,” use the pop-up menu to choose the library in which you want to create the event, and then type a name (for example, “Chris and Kim Wedding”) in the text field.

    To learn more about events, see Organizing libraries overview.

    Note: You can set storage locations for each of your libraries using the Library Properties inspector. For more information, see Manage storage locations.

  6. If you want to create optimized or proxy media, analyze the video, or analyze the audio, select the relevant checkboxes in the Transcoding, Keywords, Video and Audio sections.

    If you don’t set Final Cut Pro to analyze your media during the import process, you can analyze it later (if necessary) in the Browser.

    Note: Some import options are available only when you import files from a storage device. For more information, see Organize files while importing and Import from a hard disk.

  7. Click Import All to import the spanned clip.

    By default, the Media Import window closes when you click Import. You can begin working with your clips in the Browser. Final Cut Pro imports your media in the background.

    If you selected any options in the previous step, Final Cut Pro transcodes and optimizes the files after the import process is complete. You can view the progress of the import and other background tasks in the Background Tasks window.