About Capture Preset Settings

Capture settings include frame size, aspect ratio, an anamorphic option, and QuickTime video and audio settings. Final Cut Pro captures media to QuickTime media files. The following section describes the settings available in the Capture Preset Editor.

To view or edit a capture preset
  1. Choose Final Cut Pro > Audio/Video Settings, then click the Capture Presets tab.

  2. Click the preset you want to modify, then click Edit.

    Figure. Capture Preset Editor dialog.

General Settings for Capture Presets

The Capture Preset Editor has the following options.

  • Name: The name of the capture preset appears in the Audio/Video Settings window in two places: the Capture Preset pop-up menu in the Summary tab, and the list of presets in the Capture Presets tab.
  • Description: This is a brief description, or summary, of what the preset is to be used for.
  • Frame Size: These are the horizontal and vertical pixel dimensions of the video frame you are capturing. You can choose a frame size from the Aspect Ratio pop-up menu. To use a different frame size, choose Custom, then enter a frame size in the Width and Height fields.
  • Anamorphic: Select this option if you’re capturing anamorphic 16:9 media from a 4:3 video format.
  • Capture Card Supports Simultaneous Play Through and Capture: Select this option if your video interface card can display video on an external video monitor while the Log and Capture window is open for video capture. This allows you to externally monitor your video while it is being captured, judging its quality after it has gone through the capture card. For more information, see the documentation that came with your card.
  • Remove Advanced Pulldown and/or Duplicate Frames During Capture From FireWire Sources: Some camcorders, such as the Panasonic DVX100 or Varicam, can record alternate frame rates within a standard frame rate. For example, the DVX100 can record 23.98 fps video within 29.97 fps by adding an advanced 2:3:3:2 pull-down. The Varicam can record multiple frame rates, such as 23.98 fps (720p24) by adding redundant frames within a 59.94 fps (720p60) video signal. When this option is selected, Final Cut Pro removes the redundant fields or frames during capture. If this option is not selected, all the redundant frames are captured. You can remove redundant frames later by choosing Tools > Remove Advanced Pulldown.

    For more information about working with multiple frame rate video formats in Final Cut Pro, see Professional Formats and Workflows, available in Final Cut Pro Help.

  • High-Quality Video Play Through: Select this option to display DV-format video at higher quality in the Log and Capture window.

QuickTime Video Settings for Capture Presets

Final Cut Pro uses the built-in QuickTime architecture of Mac OS X to compress incoming video during capture.

Figure. Capture Preset Editor dialog showing the QuickTime Video Settings options.

Choose from the following options.

  • Quality: Enter a percentage or adjust the slider to set the image quality of the codec according to the documentation that came with your video interface. Lesser image quality yields lower data rates, while higher image quality yields higher data rates. (The quality levels will vary depending on the selected codec.) Many codecs, such as the DV codecs, are designed to work at the highest quality setting. Unless you have a good reason, it’s best to leave this slider in its default location.
  • Limit Data Rate: If you’re using an analog-to-digital video interface to capture, click to select this option, then enter a numerical value in the field to define the data rate for captured clips in kilobytes (KB) per second. You may want to look at capture presets included with your video interface to get an idea of how this value is set.

    The maximum data rate depends on the maximum throughput of your video interface as well as the maximum sustained transfer speed of your hard disk. For more information, see the documentation that came with your video interface or hard disk.

    Note: DV has a fixed data rate and is captured digitally via FireWire, so the High Quality option doesn’t apply to DV clips.

    The data rate you specify determines the quality of your video. Here are several sample data rates.

    • Offline M-JPEG: 1 MB/sec.
    • DV-format video: 3.6 MB/sec.
    • Medium quality M-JPEG: 6 MB/sec.
    • High quality 2:1 M-JPEG: 12 MB/sec.
  • Advanced: Click this button to set additional QuickTime video settings, if necessary for your video hardware. For detailed information, see Advanced QuickTime Video Settings for Capture Presets.

Advanced QuickTime Video Settings for Capture Presets

The QuickTime Video Settings in the Capture Preset Editor and Sequence Preset Editor are a subset of all the possible QuickTime Video settings. In most cases, these settings should be sufficient. However, some video interfaces and codecs have specific video settings not shown in one of the Preset Editor windows. Clicking on the Advanced button gives you complete access to all QuickTime video options for Source (input) and Compression settings.

Note: Some of these settings, such as codec and quality, are identical to the settings found in the Capture and Sequence Preset Editor windows. For example, if you choose DV/DVCPRO - NTSC from the Compressor pop-up menu, the same codec is chosen when you click the Advanced tab.

Compression Tab

The settings available in the Compression tab depend on the codec chosen from the Compressor pop-up menu. There may be additional settings available for specific codecs.

Figure. Video dialog showing the Compression tab.
Motion Settings
  • Key frame every N frames: Even though QuickTime supports temporal compression using keyframes and in-between frames, you should not select this option when capturing.
  • Limit data rate to N KBytes/sec.: Some codecs allow you to enter a target data rate for your compressed QuickTime file. The codec may use a combination of spatial (per frame) and temporal (across multiple frames) compression to try to reach your target data rate. Be aware of your frame size and frame rate so you don’t set an impossible goal and get disappointing quality in the visual image. This is identical to the Limit Data Rate field in the QuickTime Video Settings section of the Preset Editor window.
Compressor Settings
  • Depth: This option is not available for all codecs. Choose a color bit depth for your video. Third-party codecs may have several options. For more information, see the documentation that came with your video interface.

    Note: The alpha channel in codecs such as Animation and Apple ProRes 4444 is optional. If you modify the sequence settings to use one of these codecs, the alpha channel may not be automatically enabled. For more information, see Confirming Alpha Channel Status.

  • Quality: This is identical to the quality slider in the QuickTime Video Settings section of the Preset Editor window. Adjust the slider to determine the image quality for your video. Lesser image quality yields lower data rates, while higher image quality yields higher data rates.

    Note: For DV, make sure this slider is set to Best.

  • Options: This button is not available for all codecs. When available, you can click this button to make further codec adjustments.

Source Tab

The settings available in the Source tab depend on the video interface connected to your computer. You can choose from a list of available inputs on video interfaces connected to your computer.

QuickTime Audio Settings for Capture Presets

Final Cut Pro uses the built-in QuickTime architecture of Mac OS X to capture incoming audio.

Figure. Capture Preset Editor dialog showing the QuickTime Audio Settings options.

About Capturing Multiple Audio Channels from DV Devices

DV video devices can record up to four tracks of audio, depending on the sample rate and bit depth chosen on the camcorder. You can choose which two audio channels to capture from the Input pop-up menu. For more information, see Capturing Audio from Tape.

Finding the Maximum Data Rate When Using the Limit Data Rate Field

If you’re not sure of the maximum data rate possible for your hard disk and video interface, try the following:

To capture your clip at increasing data rates until you reach the maximum data rate
  1. Capture a video clip from tape with a data rate of 3 MB/sec.

  2. If no dropped frames are reported, increase the data rate to 4 MB/sec., then recapture the clip.

  3. If still no dropped frames are reported, recapture the same clip, raising the data rate by 1 MB/sec. each time, until the clip you capture reports dropped frames.

    When a message appears saying frames were dropped, you’ve reached the maximum data rate for your equipment.