Final Cut Pro X - Camera Clip Issues

September 24th, 2013

A few months back I wrote about some of my frustrations with Final Cut Pro X. Recently I spent a literal week trying to get a project exported and I can’t help but use this example to reiterate my initial point. (This is a little ‘ranty’ but also ‘cathartic’.)

TLDR: Hopefully this can help you as much as it helped me. When Missing a Camera Clip: Right clicking on the Event and choosing “Transcode Media” gives a different result than right clicking on the Clip and choosing “Transcode Media” or choosing “Transcode Media” from the menu. 

UPDATE: Marcelo Brandao, was kind enough to send me a link to an apple support discussion: “Can you change a camera clip to a normal clip?” and according to the help on the site, you can simply just-reimport the footage. Though, when I did this, I was not able to export my scene, until I had transcoded the footage, as you may read below. Hence, my discovery that there are multiple “Transcode Media” options.

Due to some unfortunate circumstances, which I do not have an exact knowledge of, I found myself working on a project that looked like this:

I had a “Missing Camera” which is different than a missing clip.

Besides the glaring red video clips, Final Cut Pro X also “helpfully” indicated which sequences and events had an issue with these alert icons. I say “helpfully” because when I found the missing camera and linked it back up, the icons did not go away.

That’s because the clip was still a “camera clip” which means that it was not properly imported into Final Cut.

The alert boxes kept telling me I had to re-import the footage, so I would go to the File Menu, choose “Import,” find the files (it was a clone of a memory card), and the footage would appear in the timeline. But it was still a Camera Clip, so I still couldn’t export it.

class:image center normal) Though, “Transcode Media…” was still an option. In my mind, this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to transcode the camera clip into something that I could actually use. So I selected transcode media:
“Camera Clips Selected. Camera clips cannot be processed. You must import/reimport these first in order to process.” I was getting the same error, but every time I tried to reimport the files, it just linked up the camera clip again but didn’t allow me to go anywhere. I tried right clicking on the clip and choosing “Transcode” – same thing happened. I tried choosing “Relink Files” but FCPX thought everything was fine…
Five days into my mess, I finally found myself searching on Google to figure out what was wrong. Some people said to use the relink, which wasn’t working. Another video told me to use the reimport from camera archive feature, which appeared to work, but FCPX was actually just freezing and not doing anything. Then, at the depths of my despair, I accidentally right clicked on the Event and chose “Transcode Media”. The menu, looked exactly like when I would right-click on the clip itself.
Except, when I chose Transcode Media… something different happened.
“Some Camera Clips Selected. Some clips are camera clips and cannot be processed. You must import/reimport these first in order to process them. Continue processing the remaining clips?” **YES, OH YES PLEASE, YES, YES, YES, YES!!!**
Suddenly, magically, it finally worked. Using the SAME EXACT MENU item which appears in two other places, now suddenly works if invoked from a right click on the Event. *Why would anyone find that confusing?* I’m still trying to research Camera Clips in FCPX. I can’t seem to find any information on their purpose or even how to make one. If anyone knows more about this, drop me a line. I’d love to understand this better.