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Monday, December 20, 2010

Final Cut Express Import/Export settings for getting Kodak Playsport Videos onto YouTube (mac howto)

If you have ever used Final Cut Express (FCE), and are not already familiar with video editing software, you know that there's nothing "Express" about it. It's basically just a slightly less feature-rich version of Final Cut Pro. I'm not sure who the target audience is for FCE, because it ain't newbies! NOTE: Pro editors will probably have a more efficient way of doing this...but that's not what I am, and that info is nowhere that I can find on the internets.

Anyway, after alot of trial an error, I figured out a decent process for getting videos from my Kodak Playsport camera, into FCE, editing them, and then exporting for YouTube.
  1. For max expediency, scrub your raw footage with Quicktime. Create a folder of small clips you want to edit in FCE. Otherwise the next step (conversion) will take many hours. Use Quicktime's "Trim" function.
  2. You have to convert your Quicktime files to something FCE can use without having to render. Super lame. So, get MPEG Streamclip. It's free. Open that, hit Command-B (Batch list) and drag the clips you want to convert into that window. Choose "Export to Quicktime" on the next dialog box, choose a destination folder for your converted clips in the next dialog...then in the final window use these settings: Compression: DV/DVCPRO - NTSC, Quality: 100%, un-check "Interlaced Scaling" and leave everything else the way it is. Click "To Batch" and then click "go" in the batch window. This takes a long time. If I have alot of long clips I just let it run overnight.
  3. Create a new FCE project, and add your clips to the project. Do the editing on them. You shouldn't need to render.
  4. When you're all done editing, go File->Export->Using QuickTime Conversion.
  5. Click "Options" in the file dialog box.
  6. In the "Movie Settings" dialog, click "Settings" and use these settings: Compression Type: H.264, Quality: Best. Leave everything else.
  7. In the "Size" dialog, use "Custom", enter "960 x 720" (can also try 1280x960) and leave everything else.
  8. In the "Movie Settings" dialog, leave everything else, and go ahead and export
That's going to produce a file that should be good to go for YouTube. I do not know why it doesn't fill the whole screen. I'd love to know.

Final note: if you also use the Fuji Z33WP or XP10 in video mode and mix in footage in with the playsport, you have to crop the fuji stuff. In the "Motion" tab of the viewer, expand "Crop" and add a value of 1.5 for left and right, and a value of 12.5 for top and bottom.

Update: this is very helpful

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