Capturing Entire Tapes

If you have a lot of hard disk space, it’s often easiest to capture all your footage to your scratch disk and log it afterward. You can then delete the media you don’t need from the hard disk. Capture Now is also useful for capturing portions of tapes.

Once you capture your tape, you need to break your media files and clips into smaller pieces. For details, see Automatically Creating Subclips Using DV Start/Stop Detection.

There are several reasons to capture entire tapes:

Once you capture all of your tapes, you can break these large (up to an hour or more) clips into smaller, more manageable subclips. For instructions on creating subclips and smaller media files from larger clips, see Automatically Creating Subclips Using DV Start/Stop Detection or Creating Subclips.

Limiting the Duration of the Capture Now Process

When you use Capture Now, the captured media file increases in size until you manually stop the capture process or until the Capture Now time limit is reached. This limit can be set in the Scratch Disks tab of the System Settings window.

To set the Capture Now duration
  1. Choose Final Cut Pro > System Settings, then click the Scratch Disks tab.

  2. In the Limit Capture Now To field, enter the maximum duration (in minutes) that Final Cut Pro will capture when you use Capture Now.

For example, if you have a 1-hour tape, you can set the limit to 64 minutes (60 minutes plus 4 additional minutes to be safe), begin the Capture Now process, and then leave and return several hours later. Instead of capturing until your scratch disk is filled, Final Cut Pro stops capturing after 64 minutes.

Capturing an Entire Tape Using Capture Now

Make sure that your camcorder or deck is connected to your computer and that you’ve chosen the correct Easy Setup and specified a scratch disk. For more information, see Are You Ready to Log and Capture?

You do not need to set In and Out points when you use Capture Now. The In point is determined when you press the Capture Now button, and the Out point is determined when you press Escape, or when a maximum number of minutes that you specify is reached.

To capture an entire tape to your scratch disk using Capture Now
  1. In the Logging tab of the Log and Capture window, enter a reel name, description, and other logging information.

    For more information, see Logging from Tape and About Automatic Filenaming During Capture Now.

    Note: Since you are capturing the entire tape, some fields in the Logging tab may not apply. You can leave those blank.

  2. Click the Capture Settings tab, then click the Scratch Disks button.

  3. In the Scratch Disks dialog, select the Limit Capture Now To checkbox. Then enter a number of minutes for the maximum duration of your tape. To be safe, you can add an extra minute or two. You can also follow the steps in Limiting the Duration of the Capture Now Process.

  4. Rewind the tape to the beginning by doing one of the following:

    • Press the Rewind button on your VTR or camcorder.

    • Click the Rewind button in the Log and Capture window.

  5. When you’re ready to begin capturing, do one of the following:

    • Click the Play button.

    • Press the Space bar.

  6. Click the Capture Now button.

    Final Cut Pro begins capturing your media file to your scratch disk.

  7. Press the Escape key to stop capturing, or wait until Final Cut Pro automatically stops because the maximum amount of time in the Limit Capture Now To field has been reached.

    Once Final Cut Pro stops capturing, a clip appears in your logging bin. The new clip refers to the media file you just captured.

  8. Double-click the clip in the Browser to open it in the Viewer.

  9. Review the clip briefly to see that it plays back properly, and make sure it contains all of the tracks you wanted to capture (video, multiple audio channels, and proper timecode).

Tip: You can easily find a clip’s media file by selecting the clip in the Browser and choosing View > Reveal in Finder.

About Automatic Filenaming During Capture Now

Unless you enter text in the Description field, Final Cut Pro automatically names media files (and captured clips) using the following convention: Untitled, Untitled1, Untitled2, and so on.

If you’re capturing a clip using the Capture Now command and the currently specified name is already taken by a clip in the current Scratch Disk folder, the letter or number at the end of the name is incremented. For example, if you use Capture Now to capture a clip named “Office Clips1” and there’s already a clip in that project’s Scratch Disk folder with the same name, the name is changed to “Office Clips2.” If there is already a media file called “Office Clips A,” the current media file is called “Office Clips B.”

Alphabetical incrementing occurs if the last letter is preceded by a separating character such as a space, underscore, or dash. For example, “ClipName-A” is incremented to “ClipName-B,” but “ClipNameA” is incremented to “ClipNameA1.” If the last letter in the clip name is preceded by a number, both the number and letter are incremented. For example, “ClipName-2Z” is followed by “ClipName-3A.”

Automatically Creating Subclips Using DV Start/Stop Detection

If you are using a DV format (DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, DVCPRO 50, or DVCPRO HD), you may be able to create subclips automatically from start/stop metadata that is embedded in video frames each time you stop and start the camcorder. This DV start/stop metadata is captured and stored in the media file. Final Cut Pro can identify the location of each start/stop marker (sometimes referred to as an embedded flag) to automatically place markers in a clip. These markers can then be used to create subclips.

Note: DV start/stop metadata is not timecode. It is independent time-of-day metadata recorded within the video data of your footage. When the time-of-day information jumps dramatically from one shot to the next, Final Cut Pro recognizes that the shot has changed and can place a marker at that point in the clip.

To break a long DV clip into subclips based on starts and stops
  1. Capture a long clip from a DV tape containing several starts and stops.

    Note: If you’re capturing the contents of an entire DV tape, make sure that the “On timecode break” pop-up menu in the General tab of the User Preferences window is set to Make New Clip, to ensure that no timecode breaks are captured. For more information, see Choosing Settings and Preferences.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Select the clip in the Browser.

    • Open the clip in the Viewer.

  3. With the Viewer active, choose Mark > DV Start/Stop Detect.

    Figure. Viewer window showing markers in the scrubber bar.

    Note: If you have any exceptionally long clips, you can break these up further by adding a few more markers manually. For more information, see Using Markers.

  4. Switch the Browser to list view and locate the clip you were working on in the Viewer.

    For more information, see Choosing Views in the Browser.

  5. Click the disclosure triangle to view the clip’s markers.

    Figure. Browser window showing markers for a clip.

    If you want to give any of the markers a more descriptive name, simply click the marker in the Browser, then click the marker’s name to select it. You can now change the name.

  6. Drag in the Browser to select all the markers.

    Figure. Browser window showing markers selected by dragging.
  7. Choose Modify > Make Subclip.

    Note: If you gave your markers new names, your subclips will use them.

    Figure. Browser window showing that all the material between markers now appears as subclips.

The subclips appear in addition to the original clip with the markers. You can rename the subclips, if you want. You can review the subclips, deleting any clips you might not need. If you do remove unused clips, you can use the Media Manager to remove your unused footage from disk, leaving the media for your remaining subclips alone. For more information, see Overview of the Media Manager.