Generating a Batch Capture List from Cinema Tools

If you have a video deck or camera with device control, such as a DV-format camera with FireWire or a high-end video deck or camera, batch capturing is the most convenient way to bring media into your computer. With batch capture, you connect a video deck or camera to your computer and, based on a Cinema Tools–generated list of the source clips, Final Cut Pro copies all of the source clips from the tape to your computer. In other words, when you use batch capture, you do not need to use your video deck or camera to manually locate each source clip before you capture it with Final Cut Pro.

To set up a batch capture, you specify the clips you want to capture (after your Cinema Tools database has been created) and Cinema Tools generates a list based on the information in the database. After you import this batch capture list into Final Cut Pro, those source clips appear in the Browser as offline clips, meaning they are logged and ready to be batch captured. When your source media is on multiple tapes, you can still use batch capture. When you begin the batch capture, you see a list of all the video reels needed. When all the clips from one reel are captured, you are prompted to select another reel.

Advantages of Using a Cinema Tools Batch Capture List

Using a Cinema Tools batch capture list provides several benefits:

  • Time savings: You can let Cinema Tools generate your batch capture list for you instead of creating it manually yourself.
  • Accuracy: The batch capture list captures source clips that match your database records.
  • Convenient source clip filenaming: When you batch capture from a database batch capture list, your source clip files are named with a naming scheme based on the scene and take identifiers. For example, scene 10, take 1 would be given the filename “10-1.”
  • Automatic linking between source clips and the database: With the Connect Clips command, you can automatically link your captured source clips to the appropriate database records.

Note: You do not have to create a batch capture list from a Cinema Tools database. An alternative is to first batch capture your clips with Final Cut Pro and then generate a database from your Final Cut Pro batch capture list. However, this is not ideal because you lose some of the advantages of building your database from a telecine log or Avid Log Exchange (ALE) file. Most importantly, the key number and camera roll information is not added to each database record, so you have to enter that information manually. See Importing Database Information from a Batch Capture List for more information.

About Standard and XML Batch Capture List Differences

You have the option with Cinema Tools of creating either a standard or XML-based batch capture list. In both cases, you can choose whether to include all records in the found set or just those records that have valid video reel, timecode start, and timecode duration values and are not already connected to a clip.

  • Standard batch capture lists: These are plain text files that contain reel, clip name (based on the shot and take fields), comment, and timecode information. You choose whether to output a video or audio list.
  • XML batch capture lists: These lists contain the same information as the standard lists, including both the audio and video information, plus all of the film information such as edge code values, film type, and telecine speed. This additional information is added to each clip’s entry in the Final Cut Pro Browser, where it can be displayed.

    Tip: When set to include all records in the current found set, exported XML batch capture lists can actually be thought of as an XML representation of the database for those records. Your facility may find additional uses for these lists beyond capturing clips.

How Cinema Tools Names Batch-Captured Clips

If you capture clips with a batch capture list, and if there is both a scene and a take identifier in the database record, Cinema Tools creates a clip name using the scene and take identifiers, separated by a hyphen. For example, the clip for scene 10, take 1 would be named “10-1.” If there are no scene and take identifiers, Cinema Tools creates a clip name based on the video reel and timecode. For example, a clip from reel 001 that begins at timecode value 01:35:30:15 would be named “001-01.35.30.15.”

When naming the clips, Cinema Tools makes sure that none of the clips have the same name. For example, clips from different cameras may have had the same scene and take identifiers. When this happens, the clip names are distinguished by adding the roll or reel identifiers to clips after the first one. For example, the clips for scene 4, take 4 in roll 1A and roll 1B would be named “4-4” and “4-4B,” respectively. If there were no roll or reel identifiers found, those clips would be named “4-4” and “4-4_1.”

Note: Before exporting a batch capture list from Cinema Tools, it’s best to sort by Slate in the List View window to see if any clips have the same Slate column descriptions. If any clips have exactly the same information in the Slate column, modify the Scene or Take fields in those database records so that they are not the same. This helps ensure that none of the clips in the batch capture list have the same name.

Important: In order to make the clip-connecting process as automated as possible, do not change the filenames that Cinema Tools creates for the source clips when they are captured.

Using Standard Batch Capture Lists

Exporting standard batch capture lists and importing them into Final Cut Pro is a straightforward process.

To export a standard batch capture list from Cinema Tools
  1. Make sure that the List View window displays the database records of the clips you want to capture.

    To display all of the records in the database, click Show All in the List View window.

    Figure. List View window.

    Important: The batch capture list will include only database records that have video reel, timecode start, and timecode duration values. Also, any database records that are already connected to a clip do not appear in the batch capture list.

  2. Choose File > Export > Batch Capture.

    Figure. Export Batch Capture dialog where you choose whether to capture Final Cut Pro audio or video.
  3. In the Export Batch Capture dialog, choose what you want to capture, then click OK:

    • Final Cut Pro Video: Choose this option to capture all video and audio contained in the source clips. When you choose this option, the batch log includes the video reel and video timecode information entered in each clip’s database record.
    • Final Cut Pro Audio: Choose this option to capture only the audio from the source clips. When you choose this option, the batch log includes the sound roll and audio timecode information entered in each clip’s database record.
  4. In the dialog that appears, select a location and enter a name for the batch capture list.

    Figure. Export Batch Capture dialog where you enter a name for the file, choose a location, and choose whether to export all or only eligible records.
  5. Do one of the following:

    • To include all records in the batch file: Click “Export all records in the current found set.”
    • To include only those records that have video reel, timecode start, and timecode duration values and are not already connected to a clip: Click “Export only eligible records in the current found set.”
  6. Click Save.

A plain text batch capture list is created and saved to the designated location.

Tip: You can edit the batch capture list in a text editor. However, make sure that you do not delete or overwrite the Tab characters that separate the fields in each line. You can delete lines for clips you don’t want to capture.

To import a standard Cinema Tools batch capture list into Final Cut Pro
  1. Either open an existing project or create a new project in Final Cut Pro.

  2. In Final Cut Pro, choose File > Import > Batch List at [current fps], where “current fps” is the sequence preset frame rate.

    You can change the sequence preset frame rate by choosing Audio/Video Settings from the Final Cut Pro menu.

  3. In the dialog that appears, select the batch capture list you exported from Cinema Tools, then click Choose.

The clips appear in the Browser as offline clips, ready to be batch captured. See the Final Cut Pro documentation for details about batch capturing.

Important: If your video has non-drop frame timecode, make sure that Non-Drop Frame is chosen from the Default Timecode pop-up menu of the preset you choose in the Final Cut Pro Device Control Presets tab (located in the Audio/Video Settings window) before you begin capturing.

Using XML Batch Capture Lists

Exporting XML batch capture lists from Cinema Tools and importing them into Final Cut Pro is similar to the process used for standard batch capture lists.

To export an XML batch capture list from Cinema Tools
  1. Make sure that the List View window displays the database records of the clips you want to capture.

    To display all of the records in the database, click Show All in the List View window.

  2. Choose File > Export > XML Batch List.

    Figure. Export XML Batch List dialog where you enter a name for the file, choose a location, and choose whether to export all or only eligible records.
  3. In the dialog that appears, select a location and enter a name for the batch capture list.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • To include all records in the XML file: Click “Export all records in the current found set.”
    • To include only those records that have video reel, timecode start, and timecode duration values and are not already connected to a clip: Click “Export only eligible records in the current found set.”
  5. Click Save.

An XML batch capture list is created and saved to the designated location.

To import an XML Cinema Tools batch capture list into Final Cut Pro
  1. In Final Cut Pro, choose File > Import > XML.

  2. In the dialog that appears, select the XML batch capture list you exported from Cinema Tools, then click Choose.

    The Import XML dialog appears.

    Figure. Import XML dialog.
  3. Choose the project to add the batch list clips to using the Destination pop-up menu.

    You can also create a new project using this pop-up menu.

  4. Choose the default sequence preset to use from the Default pop-up menu.

  5. When importing XML files exported from Cinema Tools, you can leave all of the checkboxes unselected.

  6. Click OK to import the XML file.

The clips appear in the Browser as offline clips, ready to be batch captured. See the Final Cut Pro documentation for details about batch capturing.

Additionally, you can see the film details, such as keycode information and telecine film speed (TK speed), in the Browser. See Showing Film-Related Information in the Browser for information about adding film columns to the Browser.