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Importing a DVD into Final Cut Pro is one of the most requested items that users seek out, mainly because it seems like such an intuitive request. The reality is that it is not as easy as it sounds to just capture a DVD in Final Cut Pro since it is not an existing file type in and of itself and it is not designated to "rip DVDs" since it is not a usually recording or transfer format. Instead, you have to use an outside program if you are going to first rip the DVD. Here is a look at how to go through the process of using Handbrake as the intermediate program to allow DVDs to be imported into Final Cut Pro.
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Ripping the DVD
The first thing that you have to do is to insert the DVD that you want to import into your computer. Open up Handbrake, which can be freely downloaded and installed. This will likely automatically load up the DVD for selection, and if it does not you can do this by selecting the Source button in the upper left hand corner.
When it opens the browser display select the DVD, yet do not select any specific file. Instead just hit the open button, which will open the DVD as a whole entity rather than a specific area in it. After it scans the source it will come up in the program and you will be ready to apply the appropriate settings.
In the top there will be a list of the title and time, the chapter that are on the disk, and the angles that are included. This is just going to be singular is you are dealing with importing a single track DVD. Below that will be the Destination location that Handbrake will spit out your converted file from the DVD rip to. Here you will want to keep the Format as MP4, but you may want to change it to "Large file size" if you want a higher quality image. Below this you can alter the video codec, the frame rate, or get more consistent by setting the target size and average bitrate.
Once the settings are the way you would like then you just hit the Start button, and the ripping process will begin.
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Import the DVD in Final Cut Pro
The next process asks you to just do a standard import of a video file into Final Cut Pro. Start off in your Final Cut Pro project with the Browser selected. Go to File and then go down to Import, which is just above the Export option. From here choose the first option, Import File. Here you will have a browser prompt open that will then allow you to choose the file you want to import. Select the .MP4 file that was created from the DVD rip and it will be imported directly into your Browser, just as with any other video file. It will be brought in as a single video file and not as a collection of such from a multi-track DVD, but this is likely what is needed when working with footage from a DVD.
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Photos: Screenshots by Shane Burley.
Source: author's own experience.
How to Import a DVD Into Final Cut Pro
Tips on working with different Final Cut Pro tools.