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Using Final Cut Pro Log Notes

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 4/28/2010

Take a look at this easy tutorial on the how and why of using Log Notes in Final Cut Pro.

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    Video Editing and Log Notes

    Video editing is a complex process, especially for documentary and experimental filmmaking where the editing process will dictate what your film ends up being. To organize this many post-production supervisors, directors, and editors put together different types of documents so that they know what footage they have and how they want to use this. A log sheet or log note guide is something that people use when reviewing their footage. They create a document with information about specific sub clips that they can then review when editing the footage. This is an organizational tool that allows them to work easier knowing everything about what they are using. In Final Cut Pro there is are a few different functions that allow for this, such as labeling clips. This process in Final Cut Pro is fairly basic and gives generalized labels, but often times you are going to want to transfer the type of documentation that you would put in your paper log notes right to the sub clips or master clips you are working with. This is why Final Cut Pro includes a Log Note section in the informational reading for clips in the Browser.

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    Final Cut Pro Log Notes

    When you have a clip selected, or after you have created a sub clip from a larger clip in Final Cut Pro, you will see to the right that there is a series of informational categories about it. Some of these already have finite information in it, like Duration, In, Out, Media Start, and so on. Other sections you have to enter the information in to, such as Log Note. Here you can click on the Log Note section for your Final Cut Pro clip and then enter a short message about the clip. You can change the size of the Log Note reading by stretching or shrinking it. You will likely want to see more of the Log Note information since this is something you create and is more relevant to you that some of the others.

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    Log Note Information

    When creating a Log Note in Final Cut Pro you have to think about exactly what is important. You can already use Final Cut Pro clip labeling to indicate what type of footage it is and whether it is good or bad, but the Final Cut Pro Log Note is meant to be a different type of information. Here you give a clear indication of what is on the clip, what you may want to use it for, what is special about it, or why it should be lost. This is all relevant information that you will want to have right in front of you about the clips you are working with when you get into serious story editing. This way you can transfer much of what is in your log notes sheet onto the Log Note section of your Final Cut Pro editing project.