Have you ever had a bunch of Quicktime movies or Image files that you needed to lay out in Final Cut Pro? Maybe you’re making an element tape for delivery to a client, or prepping a bunch of lower thirds and titles for your program.
I find myself doing this kind of thing all of the time, and they all follow a certain set of rules. Something like, each element should be at 5 second intervals with a minimum of 5 seconds between each element, rinse and repeat. If you’re like me, you grab all of your elements throw them in a timeline and do the Carpal tunnel inducing dance of the up/down arrows. There has to be an easier way right?
Well, with Final Cut XML, there really is an easier way. Element Drop is a super simple drag and drop application that lays out a Final Cut timeline of Quicktime movies or Images. Drag and drop a bunch of elements on the application and Final Cut Pro is launched and each element is layed out in a timeline based on user preferences. Chapter Markers can be included for super easy approval DVD’s (Tutorial to come).
There are a lot features like Auto-filled Slates, Automated Log Generation and Timeline Database Integration that I can see adding, and I’d love to hear feedback on features as well as bugs. Element Drop only works in OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and above and should work with Final Cut 4.5 and above. The application uses Spotlight metadata to identify files, so in this version you will need to drop elements from indexed volumes, I’m considering using file extensions to identify files as a fail safe in future versions.
Thanks for all the initial feedback it’s been very helpful. There turned out to be a couple of show stopper bugs related to sorting, drop frame calculations and file discovery that I am currently working out. I’ve updated the expired beta, but at this point it is more of a tech demo of the direction I’d like to see the utility follow than a useful tool. Feel free to download it and report bugs and features. I’m also working on a detailed bug list so you can see limitations.
beta 3 Fixed file sorting problem, this makes the beta usable again. Still working on drop frame calculations and more robust file discovery.
beta 4 Modernized interface with focus ring feedback. Need to fix: drop frame calculations and file discovery by extensions.
Please send beta feedback and bugs to dale(at)creative-workflow-hacks(dot)com.
The third beta of Element Drop will expire in 30 days