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4K in Final Cut Pro X Workflow

In this article, we will talk about how to import and edit 4K video in Final Cut Pro X.

4K in Final Cut Pro X Workflow

I’m considering shooting our doc feature all in 4k with the Sony FS5. I've never really worked with 4k files before other than dropping a few of them in a 1080 timeline. I’m looking for the 4K to Final Cut Pro X editing workflow.

Got some clues from Creativecow forum. FCPX makes this incredibly easy. You don't need to edit in a 1080p timeline although you could. You basically have two options:

1. Import 4k, and transcode to proxy and edit in a 4k project. You can transcode during import or afterward. To use the proxy files, simply set View>Proxy in the viewer (upper-right corner drop-down menu). This automatically uses the proxy files. You edit as normal. When finished and ready to output at 4k resolution, set View>Optimized/Original in the viewer, otherwise it will output proxy resolution files. There is nothing to keep track of and nothing to relink. In general this will provide sufficient performance to edit camera native H264 4k on a MacBook Pro or even lower end machine.

2. Import 4k and edit in a 1080p project. If the project is created with "Set based on first video clip", this would make it 4k, which you don't want. In File>New>Project, simply select "Custom" and pick 1080p, then add/edit content to the timeline. This by itself will help performance somewhat without transcoding. Whether it is sufficient or you also need proxy, you'll have to investigate. Despite being a 1080p project, and despite FCPX automatically scaling the 4k content to 1080p, you can still zoom/crop without losing the underlying 4k resolution.

Editor’s Note: Although Final Cut Pro X now works with 4K easily,  the old version FCP X or Final Cut Pro 6/7 like many editors use 1080p as primary delivery format and will continue to do so for a long time. If you want to have a smooth 4K video and FCP workflow, you are advised to convert 4K video to ProRes for further editing in Final Cut Pro.

Brorsoft Video Converter for Mac is highly recommended to you, which works as a professional 4K Video to FCP Converter app. Unlike some free video converters, it is capable of serving as the best 4K Video Converter for Mac. It provides hundreds of output format presets for 4K videos, such as Apple ProRes 422, Apple ProRes 422(HQ), Apple ProRes 422 (LT), Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy), and Apple ProRes 4444 for Final Cut Pro. Besides, this 4K Video Converter is also available to customize the output resolutions to any size like 1080p, 2K, 4K as users want. Download the tool and start the 4K video conversion on Mac(El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks included).

Convert 4K video to ProRes for editing in Final Cut Pro 6/7/X

1. Load 4K files > Install the 4K Video Converter program on Mac and run it. Drag the 4K XAVC, XAVC S or other 4K files to the software. It supports batch conversion and joining multiple video clips into one file.

2. Choose ProRes as output format>Click the "Format" bar and select Final Cut Pro> Apple PreRes 422(*.mov) as output format.

Tip: Adjust video, audio settings > Click the "Settings" button and customize proper video/audio parameters including Video size, bitrate and fame rate and mroe. Usually 1920*1080 video size and 30fps video frame rate are recommended for FCP editing. Well, if you prefer to work with 4K video, you can adjust video size to get 4K ProRes for FCP.

3. Start conversion > After all necessary settings, hit the convert button to start the 4K video to ProRes conversion on Mac OS X. Once the conversion process shows in 100%, click Open to get the output videos. Create a project and start editing 4K video in FCP with light speed.

Related Guides:
How to Import Videos to Final Cut Pro X
How to import different videos, codecs to Final Cut Pro X

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