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Importing from iPhoto or Aperture

How to import still images from iPhoto or Aperture directly from within Final Cut Pro By Diana Weynand, James Alguire and RevUpTansmedia

This series of articles on Final Cut Pro X is brought to by Diana Weynand, James Alguire and RevUpTansmedia

If you are an avid user of iPhoto or Aperture, Apple's consumer and professional photo management tools you probably have shoeboxes worth of photos, all carefully organized, cropped, color adjusted, keyword tagged, and now just crying to be seen. Somewhere. Anywhere?

The Photo Browser in Final Cut Pro gives you access to all those still photos in all their managed glory. You can easily skim through any iPhoto or Aperture event or scour any album. You can search by keyword, Faces Places and ratings to locate just the photo you need to highlight that perfect Kodak moment.

This tutorial shows how to import still images from iPhoto or Aperture directly from within Final Cut Pro.


Getting Started

1 Launch Final Cut Pro.

2 In the Event Browser Create a new Event and name it Picture Import, or select an existing Event.

Imported images will automatically be added to the selected Event.

3 In the Timeline click the Show Project Library button to open Final Cut Pro's Project Library.


4 In the Project Library, right or control-click on one of the listed hard drives and select New Project to create a FCP Project, and name it Picture Sequence.



You can also press the Command-N keys to create a new Project.

5 In the Project Library, double-click the Picture Sequence Project to load it into the Timeline.

Scan Events and Albums

1 From the Menubar choose Window>Media Browser>Photos


The Photos Browser will appear at the right of the Timeline and the Photos button in the Toolbar will turn blue.



You can toggle the Photo Browser on or off using the Photos button in the Toolbar

At the top of the Photo Browser you will either see a pane with entries for iPhoto or Aperture, or both, if you have them both installed, or a drop down Menu.



Dragging the bar at the bottom of the Pane up, or from below the Menu down, will change the view from the Pane to the Menu or the Menu to the Pane.

2 In the Pane view click to select iPhoto, or in the Menu view, click on the Menu and choose iPhoto.

Thumbnails of all the pictures that you have stored and organized in iPhoto will appear in the main panel of the Photos Browser.


3 In the top Photo Browser pane click the disclosure triangle next to iPhoto.

Opening the disclosure triangle displays all the events and albums in iPhoto. Selecting a specific album will display just that albums photos.



In the drop-down Menu view simply click the Menu and select the desired event or album.

4 In the top Photo Browser pane, click the Events listing below the iPhoto entry.

This will display thumbnails of the available Events in iPhoto.


5 In the Photo Browser drag the arrow pointer over an Event.

As you drag the arrow pointer with the mouse you will skim through the images in the Event, just as you would in iPhoto.

6 In the Photo Browser, double-click an Event.


Double-clicking on an Event will reveal the pictures in that Event.

7 In the Photo Browser, double-click an image thumbnail.

When you double-click an image thumbnail in the Photo Browser it changes to a larger view of the selected image.


8 Click the image to return to the thumbnail view.

9 Choose other albums or events to view additional images. Select the iPhoto entry when done.

Import the Images

 1 In the Photo Browser choose a displayed image, drag it to the Timeline and release.


If the image is the first media file added to your Project, a sheet will drop down indicating FCP doesn't recognize the image's video properties, since still images aren't video, and will ask you to choose the appropriate video settings.


2 Choose the appropriate settings and click Okay.

The image is added to the Timeline Project, and will also be imported into the currently selected Event.


3 In the Photo Browser click an image to select it. Then hold down the Shift key and click another image a few images over.


Notice that all the images have a blue selection outline.

4 From the Photo Browser, drag the selected images to the Timeline and release.


Notice that since you are dragging more than one image, a red circular badge with a number appears over the image. This badge indicates the number of images in the selection.

The new images are added to the Project, and also to the selected Event.


All these techniques apply equally as well to loading images from Aperture.

Searching using Keywords, Ratings, Faces and Places

Scrolling through your images in the Photo Browser with a mouse or trackpad is not always the most efficient method to locate images. Using the search field at the bottom of the Photo Browser can speed up the location of desired images by filtering images by specific metadata, like keywords, ratings, faces and places. By default the search field searches all  these items.

1 In the Search field enter a keyword to filter the display of available images.


Notice, as soon as you type in the Search field that FCP immediately starts filtering images.


2 In the Search Field click the X button to clear the search.


It's a good idea to clear the search when you are done.

3 In the Search Field, click on the magnifying glass icon to choose a specific search category from All, Faces, Places, Keywords, or Rating.


Choosing a specific search category helps to further refine your search

4 Try different categories and search terms to locate suitable images. Drag those images to the Timeline Project.


The Search Field is at the bottom of each media browser in FCP, enabling efficient searches to quickly locate the appropriate item.

Importing images from iPhoto or Aperture into Final Cut Pro is a snap using the Photos Browser, making it easier and faster to add beautiful still images to your videos.

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Diana Weynand, an Emmy nominated editor, a distinguished educator and Apple Certified Trainer, is the author of several books including the Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Pro X, Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Pro for Avid Editors and How Video Works. Diana has been on the cutting edge of technology training for two decades, and is co-owner of Rev Up Transmedia, (Formerly Weynand Training International) an Apple Authorized Training Center and mobile application developer.

James Alguire, an Apple Master Trainer, has been involved in the computer industry for over 25 years. His experience includes digital design, electronic prepress, multimedia, digital video/audio, technical support and training. He is an Apple Certified Trainer, an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator, an Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist and Apple Certified Support Professional. He is a lead instructor for Rev Up Transmedia and was a contributing writer for Diana's book, Final Cut Pro X.
Related Keywords:Final Cut Pro, Importing still images, iPhoto, Aperture, video editing

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