View Full Version : D90 footage: Can you edit natively in FCP6?

11-06-2008, 09:28 AM
I do not own the D90 -- yet -- and my big question for those who do is, Can you edit its footage natively in Final Cut Pro 6, or do you always have to render the footage first in the timeline?

I found a clip to experiment with here:


It was billed as: D90 sample movie 1 original .AVI format 21 seconds, 35.7 MB

After importing into Final Cut, it showed up with settings in the browser of: 1280X720 and 24 fps and a compressor setting of "Apple OpenDML JPEG" rather than what I was expecting, Motion JPEG. If the clip was truly "original .AVI format," I would have expected the compressor setting to be Motion JPEG, which I have read is the spec for the D90.

When I tried to change the sequence settings to Apple OpenDML JPEG, I found that there is no such setting. My thought was if the size, 1280X720, the frame rate, 24, and the compressor settings all matched, you could edit natively.

Also, when I dragged the clip into the timeline, it did not give me a dialogue box asking if I would like the sequence settings to match the clip, the way it does with some footage. Is that a sign that Final Cut does not have settings that would match the D90 footage?

It would be great to avoid the rendering step. But I got the red bar in the timeline with every sequence compressor setting I tried, maybe 10 of them, including Motion JPEG A and Motion JPEG B, which I thought might be the best bets.

I also tried changing the sequence setting to 23.98 fps, just in case that is the real frame rate for the D90 codec. Which makes me want to ask another question, is the D90 footage a true 24 frames a second? Or is it maybe 23.976? Or 23.98?

Am I missing something on being able to edit natively? Or is it just too soon for Final Cut to support this?

Any tips on editing workflow much appreciated,


11-06-2008, 03:47 PM
set it to 24p (not 23.98) 1280x720 with your favorite rt compatible codec, i use prores, and you'll get "unlimited" rt playback, i.e. orange bar. the reason it says apple opendml is because that's the codec quicktime uses to read the file, not because that's the codec which was used to write the file, which is indeed mjpeg b but there's no such avi codec in quicktime, just for mov.


11-07-2008, 11:04 AM
What I do is send my clips through compressor into 1920x1080 Pro-Res and Edit natively in Final Cut, the file size jumps up big time but the encoding doesn't even take that long (Mac Pro he-he).

11-07-2008, 01:18 PM
Big thanks to both of you! I tried your method, Matt, and did get the orange bar rather than red, so I was able to edit, but I take it that this method is not truly native -- when I sent it from Final Cut over to Color, it did not appear in Color as a file I could see or correct. At some point, you must have to render it before going to Color.

And BMFM FILMS, I tried your method, too, and it also works. I don't know if I replicated your exact workflow -- I just imported all the .avi clips into the Final Cut browser, selected them all, then chose "export using compressor" and rendered into the Apple pro res codec into another folder on my desktop. I did not see where I would choose 1920X1080 so I did nothing, and it rendered into the original 1280X720. When I re-imported the rendered files into Final Cut, they did work natively, and they would also go over to Color with no problem as well.

So I guess over the past few days of pondering this D90/Final Cut workflow question, I think I have learned that there is -- right now -- no way to take the original D90 .avi clips into Final Cut and edit natively, other than the "orange bar" mode, which seems like it has a problem going over to Color.

You must render them first into a format that Final Cut currently understands. But maybe as the D90 becomes more popular Apple will come through with a codec addition that allows native editing?

Thanks for the advice,

11-07-2008, 03:47 PM
I take it that this method is not truly native
sure it is. fcp has supported avi since forever and with the multi format timelines of fcp6 this is very much "native". not native to color though, as you've seen, and for example smoothcam doesn't work either. transcoding is probably a good idea, but scaling shouldn't be done untl the last step. it's much harder to do a lot of effects, especially removing stair-stepping and noise/artifact reduction, even some color correction, if the video has been scaled. i'd use 1280x720 prores instead.

(some effects work better after scaling, but that's not the point in this case)