Tips for Editing H.264 Footage in Final Cut Pro

Facing problems when working with H.264 in Final Cut Pro? You can easily fix the problem by transcoding H.264 to FCP editing-friendly format.

H.264 or MPEG-4 Part 10, Advanced Video Coding (MPEG-4 AVC) is a video coding format that is currently one of the most commonly used formats for the recording, compression, and distribution of video content. But the problem with H.264 is, when you plan to edit the video with H.264 in Final Cut Pro, you will encounter problems like these:

Q1: Working with .h264 in Final Cut
Anyone import and use .h264 files in Final Cut? I tried to import .h264 files in FCP X and it gave me the error ‘File Error. Unknown file.’

Q2: Does fcpx edit H264?
I still haven’t made the upgrade from fcp 7 to fcpx because I like the old format. However, if fcpx would edit in raw H264 files, that would be a deciding factor because I find the upressing to ProRes is an inefficient workflow creatively, and regarding both time and memory spent. I would much rather upres the projects after the final edit. Apple says that fcpx will edit H264 natively. Is this true or should I be looking at Premiere still to really handle those H264 files?

Although Apple claims that Final Cut Pro support processing H.264 video clips, you may encounter problems when editing some H.264 footage in FCP X, FCP 7 or FCP 6, especially the H.264 video clips from digital SLRs. In fact, the H.264 compression format is a final deivery codec, it’s not an ideal one you want to use for editing. In order to get Final Cut Pro working with H.264 footage perfectly, you’re recommended to transcode/prepare H.264 footage to the codec ProRes and import it into FCP 7 and X. For this purpose, this article will show you how to convert H.264 to ProRes easily and fast.

How to convert H.264 footage for editing in Final Cut Pro

The quick workaround is to use the easy-to-use yet professional app called EaseFab Video Converter for Mac which can be used as a H.264 to FCP Converter under Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan, 10.10 Yosemite, 10.9 Mavericks, 10.8 Mountain Lion, 10.7 Lion, Snow Leopard 10.6, etc. It is free, clean and safe to install and use. With it, you can effortlessly transcode any H.264 footage to Apple ProRes 422, ProRes 422 HD, ProRes 422 LT, ProRes 4444 for using in Final Cut Pro and it works well and converts flawlessly.

Step 1. Import H.264 files into the Mac program

Here you can directly drag and drop the H.264 files to the converter, or click “Add Video” icon to load the H.264 video files.

Step 2. Choose ProRes as the output format

Click on the “Editing Software” and you will see options to convert your H.264 video for certain video editing software. Since you will be importing the video to Final Cut Pro after the conversion, have “ProRes” be your selected output format. You can also choose “ProRes HQ” or “ProRes LT” as the output format.

Step 3. Start H.264 to FCP ProRes conversion on Mac OS X

Now click the “Convert” button, and then leave the Mac Video Converter to do the rest automatically for you. The converter also works on MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac running Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Lion etc.

After the conversion, click “Open Folder” to locate the result videos and then you can start fun away with editing H.264 footage in Final Cut Pro X or FCP 7/6 without crashing problem and avoid rendering.

Related Articles and Tips:

How to convert H.264 footage for editing in iMovie
Fixed – Sony Vegas Pro Doesn’t Load H.264 AVI Videos Properly
Tips for Editing H.264 Video Files in Adobe Premiere Pro

This entry was posted in Final Cut Pro, H.264 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tips for Editing H.264 Footage in Final Cut Pro

  1. Pingback: [Solved]Windows Movie Maker won’t handle H.264 MP4/MOV files | Media Compatibility Solutions

  2. Nixon Patricia says:

    Thank you for these instructions, really helpful!! I used to convert video with Acethinker Video Converter, free and works perfect. It is a cloud based software to convert videos without install any software in your device. Share it here as an alternative method.


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