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We're hammering out some workflow issues in prep for a new television series here at work, and I was just wondering, has anyone had any success in creating an OMF in Final Cut that links to the source media rather than consolidating and embedding?

I sat down with one of the editors to look over the options she has available when exporting an omf, and they seem pretty limited. I didn't see a "link to source media" option anywhere, but that doesn't mean I didn't miss it somehow. I'd prefer to have a linked omf, because it will provide us a bit more flexibility in audio post, and may save us a lot of time if we have to go pull out the source material for additional head/tail material, room tone, etc. In particular, one of the things that concerns me about the embedded material, is that it replaces the audio time stamp of the clip. That means I need to go to the EDL to determine the clip's source.

I'm thinking about purchasing an auto-assembler program like Titan or Virtual Katy to get around this limitation I'm seeing in Final Cut. We're still in Final Cut 6, soon to upgrade to 7; maybe that option is included in that version, but I don't know. Anyone know of anything we might be missing?

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We have a Final Cut Pro 7 -> Pro Tools workflow where I work, and I can confirm that FCP will only export OMFs with embedded audio. You'll have to look at a third party solution like VK, XML-Pro etc to link to your source media.

  • I figured that was the case. I was hoping otherwise, but I guess that was foolish. Thanks for the info. – Shaun Farley Aug 3 '10 at 12:50
  • @Shaun No problem. I spent some time trying to find out if it was possible at first too. Good luck sorting out your workflow. – James Bryant Aug 4 '10 at 2:40
  • @James HI! In a few months I'm going to edit a movie edited in FCP: I've edited other small projects coming from FCP in the past (docs and shorts) but this we'll be my first full length movie. Is there any bug/problem working with EDL from FCP (and Titan)? Do you know any special workflow that the video editor should be aware of to make easier my work with the production sound? Thanks in advance – Davide Favargiotti Mar 28 '11 at 23:56
  • @David Hi, I actually only have first-hand experience working with OMF/AAF imports (that is our workflow - I work on smaller form projects too), so I'm afraid I can't give any advice of my own for working with Titan, sorry. I hope your project goes well. – James Bryant Mar 29 '11 at 8:37
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When I worked at an advertising agency we always submitted our spots with an omf after autoduck, and an edl. As far as I know you can't link to source media like in protools.

  • Yeah, we've got a similar workflow right now, but our next project is going to be much more intensive. We're gonna need something more flexible. Thanks. – Shaun Farley Aug 3 '10 at 12:51
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This isn't exactly what you asked for, but one thing that may help is that your editor can control the length of the heads and tails included in the OMF file. A friend of mine sets the heads and tails to three full minutes, which generally includes the entire clip if it's a short take, at the expense of larger OMF files. For narrative film style projects this often includes the entire clip from start to finish.

  • Yeah, I knew about this, but I'm greedy and want instant access to the whole file. haha – Shaun Farley Aug 3 '10 at 15:04
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This might not apply at all but, but I guess you already know about the option in the media manager window, "duplicate items and place into a new project" and "Include master clips outside selection". You can do this and then create an omf from that project which will have all of the master clips in a bin. The replacing the timestamp issue is still there but at least you have all of your source files to pull from if need be.

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XML? We've been using that lately...

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