Transitioning to an Adobe Workflow: From Log and Transfer to Prelude

Screenlight by Clay Asbury

I was a FCP Editor/Trainer for 10 years. Since FCP X replaced FCP 7 I have been transitioning to an Adobe workflow. Like myself, a lot of former FCP editors are trying out Adobe’s Production Premium (equivalent to FCP Studio) or the new Creative Cloud subscription model. In this article I’ll look at using Adobe Prelude from a former FCP user’s perspective.


In FCP 7 you used log & capture for a tape workflow and log & transfer for a file based workflow. You could stay in the native format or transcode to a more edit friendly codec like ProRes. FCP didn't work well with h.264 so those using DSLR’s (myself included) commonly transcoded to Pro Res for editing.

Producers could use iMovie to create a cuts only rough cut, and then export that to FCP via XML so the editor could refine the cut.

Just a year or so ago tape workflows were still popular, with AJA & Blackmagic making cards that let you capture into ProRes so all your different formats could be edited as ProRes in FCP. Since then, tapeless workflows have become the norm, and Adobe has created Prelude to be the “front end” of the editing workflow.

What is Prelude

Prelude is Adobe's equivalent of FCP's Log and Transfer with the additional ability to add markers and create a rough cut.

Prelude is designed to Ingest/Log/Rough Cut file based (card/ssd) workflows. Prelude is the result of requests from companies needing an easy to use tool for tapeless workflows that could ingest and create metadata.

The product manager for Prelude is Wes Plate. If that name sounds familiar, he and his father owned Automatic Duck, which made translation apps that opened your MC & FCP Timelines in After Effects (Pro Import is now part of CS6). Since Prelude is all about metadata it makes sense to hire a metadata guru. read more...

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