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Tutorial: - Basic Capture Techniques for DV

Basic Capture Techniques for DV

By Gretta Wing Miller

Page Two

Final Cut Pro will call for reels to be inserted in the deck, and it will find and capture the clips you have selected based on their timecode In and Out points.

All you have to do is feed tapes as Final Cut Pro calls for them. This is the time when your naming scheme for tape reels will be called to account. FCP will assume you have inserted the right reel, and will capture the associated timecode range. If it is the wrong reel, it won't be the right shot.

Speed Logging

If you want to quickly separate a reel into individual clips: uncheck the 'Prompt' box, enter a name in the 'Label' field, start the tape playing and enter a first 'In' point.


Every time you hit 'F2' (at the end of each clip), a new clip will be created in the logging bin, with incremented numbers attached to the original name. The tape will not stop rolling, and you will not be given a dialog box to write log notes, or rename the clips.


This log was created by putting the name 'horse show' in the 'Label' field,
then pressing F2 after every discrete clip.

Method 2: Capture A Whole Tape, then Make Subclips

Best for Interviews and Chronological Documentary Situations

Put your first tape in deck/camera.
Open Log and Capture under the File menu.
Enter the Reel name on the Logging tab.
Click on the Clip Settings tab to define what you want to capture.
Click on the Scratch disk tab to make sure these are correct.
Now, back to the Logging tab. Start the reel playing, and click on the 'Capture Now' button.


Let the entire interview, or the entire reel, if you have HD space, be captured. I advise watching it and making notes. You can't screen your footage too much. The more you watch it, the better you know what you have to work with.

Press 'Esc.' before the end of the tape, so that it doesn't run past the end of the time code. Click on and drag this 'Untitled' clip into your Browser.


In the Save dialog box that opens, navigate to the Capture Scratch folder that you designated in your Preferences. You will know you have found it when you see a greyed out 'Untitled 0000' in the folder.

Name it, save it, and then close the clip window.
Close the L and C window. SAVE.
Drag your new clip into the timeline.

Now you can play and cut this one big clip into smaller, discrete pieces. Cut an interview into coherent sound bites, cut out the interviewer's questions, cut out the shaky camera and swish pans, etc. Use ripple delete to remove chunks, or the razor blade to cut between sections.


Ripple Delete: To remove the selected piece without leaving a gap,
hold down Shift and press Delete.

Put edit points around the section you want to remove, or select an entire clip. Then hold down Shift as you press Delete. The selection will be deleted and the space closed up. SAVE


You'll notice that these new smaller clips all have the same name.


Option-click on one of them and select 'Properties' from the pop-up menu that appears. (Or choose 'Item Properties' from the Edit menu.)

The Item Properties window tells you everything you might need to know about a clip.

Change the name of each new clip to something relevant and descriptive.

Next, select all the clips in the Timeline (Edit>Select All or cmd-A with the Timeline active).


Now you can drag all of the clips into the Browser (or to a specific bin in the Browser), and they will appear as separate clips. At this point, they all refer to the one master clip on the scratch disk.


After dragging all your newly cut apart and renamed clips from the Timeline to the Browser,
they appear as if they were always separate clips.

If you need to conserve disk space, go to File>Save Project, then quit FCP, open the Scratch Disk, drag that clip to the Trash. (Please be conservative when working with video; quit FCP before you do anything at the Finder level.)

When you open FCP again, all the individual clips will be offline, and you can selectively Batch Capture (see above) just the clips that you want.

I hope these techniques will provide a swift and happy start to your successful Final Cut Pro projects.
Best, Gret

copyright © Gretta Wing Miller 2001

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Gretta Wing Miller
Digital Video for NonProfits and Independent Artists

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