LAFCPUG: Log and Capture FAQs

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Log And Capture FAQs


I can't capture (or save) files over 2GBs

From Jude Cotter

If you're capturing video and all the files are coming up as less than 2GB, and you're getting weird file names with a long string of numbers attached to them / with the extension .av, check the formatting of the drive you're capturing to. It is likely that it's misformatted. You must format a drive to Mac OS Extended before you use it for capturing.

To do this, open Disk Utility (Your main Hard Drive > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility) and select the name of the capture drive in the left hand panel. Click on the ‘Erase’ tab (don’t panic, this does not erase the drive, yet) and check that the volume format is Mac OS Extended. If it is not Mac OS Extended (preferably not ‘Journaled’) you will have to reformat the drive. This means erasing all the information that is currently on the drive. If this is what you want to do, just select the correct format and press Erase.

Other things that it could be:

  • Early versions of Mac OS 9 did not recognise files larger than 2GB. If you need to stay in OS9, upgrade to 9.2.2 for access to larger files.
  • Because some drive formats do not recognise files over 2GB, there is an option in FCP to break captured or exported files into 2GB chunks. It could be that you have this option enabled. In FCP go to System Settings > Scratch Disks > and make sure that ‘Limit Capture / Export File Segment Size’ is not ticked. Note that the default is 2000MB, or 2GB.

FCP says it Can't find Timecode

From Jim Perry

This can happen if:

  • There is not 10-15 seconds of pre-roll (recorded tape) before or post-roll (same thing) after your in/out points. If this is the case you may have to use Capture Now. Remember to always record 15-30 seconds pre and post roll so FCP and your deck can comfortably find the in and out points.
  • You have timecode breaks in the tape (sections where the timecode starts over) and FCP is looking for a timecode that doesn't exist in the current section. Manually forward or reverse the tape until you are near the desired timecode and FCP should find it.
  • The tape is forwarded past the end of timecode. Rewind the tape so that playhead is in the timecoded (recorded) section.

FCP reports Timecode Breaks

From Jim Perry:
Your DV camera records a continuous timecode stream along with your video and audio. When you stop and re-start recording, your camera will check to see if there is a timecode on the tape under the playhead. If so, it will pick up timecode recording where it left off. If not, it will re-start the timecode at 00:00:00;01. This is a timecode break, and it means that Final Cut Pro can get confused -- for instance there may be two places in the tape where the timecode 00:02:00;01 occurs.

To avoid timecode breaks, follow these practices:

  • Make sure you always have the tape positioned so that recording will start from a recorded portion of the tape. If you simply stop and re-start recording your camera will take care of this. If you have used the playback controls to review your tape, re-start recording a second or two back into the previously recorded section. Most cameras have a "record-search" function to facilitate this. Think of this as a "shingled" strategy, where each new clip overlaps the previous one.
  • Be sure to record a few seconds of tape before and after each clip. This way you have room to position the next recording with plenty of overlap without cutting off the previous shot.
  • If you re-use a tape be sure to use the "shingled" strategy as above and do not capture across the break from new to old material. The camera will pick up the correct starting timecode, but if tape stretches even one frame during the new recording the last timecode of the new material will not match the old timecode at the end of the clip, and thus you will have a timecode break.
  • This leads to a controversial tip: do not pre-stripe (pre-record to lay down continuous timecode) your tapes. You can be confident in your camera's ability to lay good, continuous timecode going forward into blank tape, but you cannot count on most cameras being frame-accurate at the end of a 20 minute recording so that the last frame of the new clip matches the old timecode. If you follow the advise above you will avoid timecode breaks without the risk or hassle of pre-striping.
  • Lastly, you can tell FCP how you want timecode breaks handled in the User Preferences settings.

FCP 4.5 (and older) drops frames with 10.4.9 capture

From Shane Ross

Apple's solution: Archive and install the OS again, this time updating only to 10.4.8.

Another COOL solution: Samba2007 posted that a friend solved the FCP 4.5 + OSX 10.4.9 capture issue by adding the Capture Scratch folder to the Privacy list of Spotlight:

To do the same, follow these steps :

  • 1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  • 2. From the View menu, choose Spotlight.
  • 3. Click the Privacy tab to reveal the areas that Spotlight will not index.
  • 4. In the Finder, open your "Final Cut Pro Documents" folder.
  • 5. Drag the Capture Scratch folder into Spotlight's list.
  • 6. Restart the computer.

Ken Stone and Phil Thomas have both confirmed that this solves the issue.

Update 23rd June, 2007 : The 10.4.10 upgrade seems to have fixed this issue. If you are using 10.4.9 this is a free upgrade available by using your Software Update panel in System Preferences, or by downloading directly from Apple.

How do I capture and edit with anamorphic 16:9 footage?

From Derek Mok:

Anamorphic 16:9 is a way of recording a widescreen image (1.78:1, or 16:9) in a tape format that has a 4:3 frame. The image is recorded to the tape in a horizontally squeezed form which distorts the proportions of the objects and people in the image -- for example, a circle will become a tall oval. To compensate for this, the image is intended to be vertically "crunched" back down into a widescreen 16:9 frame by vertically distorting the image.

Note that anamorphic 16:9 is not the same as "letterboxed 16:9" provided in some cameras. If an image is recorded in "letterboxed 16:9" mode in the camera, it simply means that black bars are added to the image inside the camera. No distortion of image proportion occurs; a circle will still look like a circle.

Capturing anamorphic 16:9 footage seems more complicated than it is. The thing to understand is that the image on the tape is anamorphic whether you capture it as such or not. Choosing Final Cut's "Anamorphic" options will simply allow the application to add a "16:9 flag" which helps FCP recognize the clips as anamorphic and to automatically perform the "crunching" operation when needed. If you capture anamorphic 16:9 as non-anamorphic, or non-anamorphic footage as 16:9 anamorphic, there is no need to delete the clips and recapture from tape. The "anamorphic flag" for any clip can be turned on or off inside the Browser as long as you have the "Anamorphic" column turned on. And you can select multiple clips in the Browser and CONTROL-click (or right-click) on the "Anamorphic" column to apply/delete the flag on multiple clips.

Here are some images to help explain this.








If you wish to make an anamorphic 16:9 tape or video-DVD output of your show, then edit in a Sequence with Anamorphic 16:9 turned on (accessed via Sequences Settings -- APPLE-0). Remember that Sequence Presets under Audio/Video Settings only affects new sequences you create subsequent to changing the Preset, not to any Sequences already created. The image will remain vertically stretched so that a 16:9 monitor or 16:9-enabled DVD player will be doing the "crunch" later on for viewing purposes.

If you wish to "letterbox" your tape or DVD, then edit with a Sequence with Anamorphic 16:9 turned off. When you edit anamorphic 16:9 clips into a non-anamorphic 16:9 sequence, FCP will usually "crunch" the clips automatically into letterboxed format. However, there are cases where this automatic distortion fails to happen. In these cases, go into the Motion tab of the clip(s) and change its Distort - Aspect Ratio setting to -33.33 to crunch an anamorphic 16:9, vertically stretched clip into letterboxed format. Note that once you perform the crunch, your footage is no longer considered anamorphic 16:9. It is simply "letterboxed 4:3".


Check out this video tutorial by CaptMensch: Multiple Aspect Ratios

And these

Understanding 16:9

Final Cut Pro: DV and Widescreen Video Formats Explained

Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #43

Making 4:3 Footage work in 16:9 projects

Outputting A 16x9 Program Letterboxed

Anamorphic vs. Non-Anamorphic DVD

How do I digitize 24p or 24pA?

From Justin Barham

Somewhat confusingly, there are actually two types of 24p; they are 24p "Normal," and 24pA "Advanced." So the first thing you need to do is find out what type of 24p footage you have, because they are digitized and edited in different ways.

If your footage was shot as 24p Normal, it needs to be digitized just like any other NTSC footage. Use the Easy Setup "DV-NTSC." The footage will now be treated just like any other 29.97 DV footage.

24pA needs to be digitized in a different fashion. It should be brought in using the Easy Setup "NTSC-DV 24p (23.98) Advanced Pulldown Removal." Pulldown (duplicated fields) will be removed during capture, leaving one with 23.98 progressive footage, to be edited in 23.98 sequences.

What's the difference between 24p and 24p Advanced?

All NTSC DV recorded to tape runs at 29.97 frames per second. The secret to creating 24p within this framework is what is called "pulldown." Pulldown involves duplicating specific fields in a predictable cadence, of which there are two common flavors:

- 24p Normal (aka 2:3:2:3.) Anyone who has ever watched a film-based program on an NTSC TV set has experienced this pulldown cadence. Today, many DV, DVCPro, and even HDV cameras (in DV mode) capture 24p to give a "film look" to 29.97i video.

If you've shot 24p Normal but wish to end up with "real" 24p footage, there is a way. Since 24p Normal footage has a predictable pulldown pattern, it can also be reversed back to 23.98 progressive video using Cinema Tools. This isn't ideal for two reasons. First, it takes extra time after capture to reverse all the pulldown. More importantly, since reversing 24p Normal footage requires first decompressing and then re-compressing, image quality may suffer. Especially if it's Super-White. Of course, this doesn't matter if you're using DV as an offline format.

- 24pA Advanced (aka 2:3:3:2.) Unlike 24p Normal, this cadence is not meant to be viewed before its extraneous fields are removed. It's strictly meant to be edited at 23.98p. This is a great way to go if you're ending up on film. 24p DVDs can also be created, saving bit space that can be allocated to better image quality. This 23.98 footage can be viewed over Firewire on a normal NTSC monitor because FCP version 4.0 forward will add realtime 2:3:2:3 pulldown, with a slight CPU overhead.

For more detailed information on 24p, check out these articles by Graeme Nattress and Adam Wilt

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