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Old November 10th, 2012, 07:23 PM   #1
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Intensity Importing into FCP

I have a Sony Z1 and FX1 that film in HDV 1440x1080. I can't seem to import from the Composite cables. Can Intensity import HDV?
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Old November 11th, 2012, 11:50 AM   #2
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Re: Intensity Importing into FCP

I've had good success with Panasonic HMC150, Sony V1 and Sony NX5 camcorders via HDMI. I've tried a couple other sources via composite and S-video, they worked fine too, as did the separate audio. (hint, these HDV cams actually put out 1920x1080 at the HDMI port)

At every step I found it slightly more difficult than expected:

1) find the documentation for the colors of the Intensity breakout cables, I keep forgetting which is which. One of these days I'm going to properly label them, I will.

2) For S-video you need an S-female to two RCA plugs adapter, uncommon, and not supplied.

3) There are control panel settings which *must* be set correctly or nothing results. It's very hit and miss, BlackMagic apparently expects you to know the exact specification of your video signal, even though most camcorders' manufacturers don't give you sufficient detail in quite the same language. I've had to just do hit and miss on reconciling specs like "1920x1080 59.94i" with "60i" and "30i". Different manufacturers use different terminology for the same specs, and the Intensity does no auto-sensing whatsoever, if something isn't clear you just have to try the several possibilities. Hit and miss.

4) Knowing when you've succeeded in finding the proper settings... I usually use the BlackMagic utility MediaExpress (don't forget to click the log/capture tab).

5) Then, when it all seems to be working through to MediaExpress, I try my capture app. If that doesn't work, I restart the machine because it seems like ME doesn't always release the Intensity card back to the system when you quit. Some capture apps require precise definition of the signal, too, with terminology differences... others autosense.

Finicky little setup, with scanty documentation. I think you're just expected to know from a paper spec how to turn that into a workflow... and the terminology differences for those specs are irritating.

Sorry, I don't have any experience with Intensity to FCP; your capture app has to see the card. If you're at all able to select the card as a capture source, that part should be taken care of, and then you're on to the steps above.

For all that, I like the Intensity a lot. Once set up properly for a particular signal it's very reliable, I've had no problems with it in live production, and of course it's really very inexpensive.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 01:56 PM   #3
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Re: Intensity Importing into FCP

Can I ask why you'd want to import HDV as composite?

If you want to ingest HDV 1440x1080 from a Z1 or an FX1 to FCP, connect either camera via a Firewire cable to the Mac (use a FW800 to FW400 converter plug to the Mac if needed) and then use "Easy Setup", I've been doing it this way for several years, you can even set FCP to capture as ProRes to aid editing.

I do use an Intensity (Pro) via composite but only when using as a feed through for BetaSP, VHS, SVHS or Hi8 stuff - you need to change the Intensity input control in System Prefs > Blackmagic Design > "Set input" to Composite (Y in), FCP should then see this BM setting and you'll need to use "No machine control" and "Capture now".
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Old November 11th, 2012, 11:46 PM   #4
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Re: Intensity Importing into FCP

I might mean component (the one that caries hd signal).

Its a long story, I filmed a wedding and one of my camera's tape mechanism messed up. Every few seconds there is a gap of no footage. the only way to capture it was playing slow motion and analog out, and that where I thought I could capture it with intensity pro. I went down the list and tried every setting with no success. video played in slowmo for some reason played back all the footage but capture through firewire will not import slow motion. I ended up importing it by SD analog out to a portable dvd recorder, which took a long time and didn't look good.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 12:31 AM   #5
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Re: Intensity Importing into FCP

You can capture HDV from the COMPONENT out on the FX1, use the cable supplied with the camera, connect to the component in's of the Intensity Pro (use the supplied manual to see which connections or get the manual online), change the OUTPUT setting on the FX1 in the menu to Component.

On the Mac, System Prefs > Blackmagic Design > select Component input (NOTE - audio needs to be captured from the separate audio out on the FX1).

In FCP, use a BM capture preset (pref ProRes), in Log and Capture > set 'no machine control' and use capture now, start the camera manually and hit capture now. You might have better success using the Blackmagic capture program (Media Express, supplied with the card or available from BM online) then transferring / importing that file into FCP
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Old November 13th, 2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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Re: Intensity Importing into FCP

Dave thx that did the trick. I would never have thought to look in the system preferences. BM's documentation is non existant.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; November 13th, 2012 at 08:26 PM.
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