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Old August 18th, 2008, 04:33 PM   #1
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Drop out or FCP capture issue?

I was capturing about 45 minutes of footage from an airshow and I noticed that while it was capturing, sometimes (about 5 times) it would miss about 3 seconds of footage and then pickup again (i was doing Capture Now with scene detection ON) The footage was 30p and I thought that I had a bad tape or the camera (XHA1) was being funky. But then I replayed the "bad" spots on the camera and it played back just fine! So why would FCP drop 3-5 seonds of footage in the middle of a clip like that!! Any help would be great!
-Steve
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Old August 18th, 2008, 08:45 PM   #2
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HDV capture and Final Cut, not a happy mix. Final Cut is particularly picky about data breaks with the digital signal and with it comes to HDV, it's ridiculous. Any sort of timecode break or dropout (even invisible dropout) can cause a data break. If you can't capture the missing footage at all, there is one solution which is MPEGStreamclip and DVHSCap, both free programs. Unfortunately it's a lengthy process that involves transcoding. Do a search here for more info.

Or you can wait a little while for ClipWrap (not a free program) from Divergent Technologies which promises a quicker more foolproof method of HDV capture without FCP's clip breaking problem.
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Old August 18th, 2008, 08:59 PM   #3
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HDV capture and Final Cut, not a happy mix. Final Cut is particularly picky about data breaks with the digital signal and with it comes to HDV, it's ridiculous. Any sort of timecode break or dropout (even invisible dropout) can cause a data break.
That's interesting to hear such an integral part of the editing process (capturing) is still not fully worked out! However, it has only happened to me with this 30p footage, never with 60i or 24p... interesting. Thanks for your help!
-Steve
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Old August 18th, 2008, 09:30 PM   #4
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Yes, me too. Sony 60i HDV captures fine, JVC 30p is a big problem.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 12:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
Or you can wait a little while for ClipWrap (not a free program) from Divergent Technologies which promises a quicker more foolproof method of HDV capture without FCP's clip breaking problem.
ClipWrap is NOW AVAILABLE for $49.95. www.clipwrap.com
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Old August 19th, 2008, 12:01 PM   #6
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That's a very little while.

I have downloaded ClipWrap and while it's aimed towards people who use disk based capture from the camera during filming, you can use DVHSCap to capture m2t streams from previously shot HDV tape and then use ClipWrap to quickly (and it is quick) convert the stream to FCP acceptable QuickTime files.

Reasonable price too!
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Last edited by William Hohauser; August 20th, 2008 at 09:14 AM. Reason: Added info
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Old August 20th, 2008, 10:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Steve Lewis View Post
I was capturing about 45 minutes of footage from an airshow and I noticed that while it was capturing, sometimes (about 5 times) it would miss about 3 seconds of footage and then pickup again (i was doing Capture Now with scene detection ON) The footage was 30p and I thought that I had a bad tape or the camera (XHA1) was being funky. But then I replayed the "bad" spots on the camera and it played back just fine! So why would FCP drop 3-5 seonds of footage in the middle of a clip like that!! Any help would be great!
-Steve
As you can see dropouts are much more problematic in HDV than DV. If you can minimize dropouts, that is another way to eliminate your capture problem. What has worked for me is keeping the camera clean and using high quality tapes. I have decreased the occurrence of dropouts (and by extension, capture issues) by 75% at least, to the point where this isn't even an issue any more. For me, HDV+ FCP very happy mix.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 01:46 PM   #8
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This happens to me quite often. I don't even know if I should call them "dropouts" because like you said, they play back fine on the tape. When I am capturing, it will pause on one frame for like 3 seconds, and then pick back up again and still be in continuous sync with any other cameras that were rolling as well. I can even go back and capture just that chunk and it will capture fine. It's a pain, but so far hasn't caused me any major problems.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 03:58 PM   #9
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This happens to me quite often. I don't even know if I should call them "dropouts" because like you said, they play back fine on the tape. When I am capturing, it will pause on one frame for like 3 seconds, and then pick back up again and still be in continuous sync with any other cameras that were rolling as well. I can even go back and capture just that chunk and it will capture fine. It's a pain, but so far hasn't caused me any major problems.
Yes, you described precisely what is going on! Which camera are you using and have you noticed if it happens more often with a certain frame rate (odd question i know) or brand of tape?
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Old August 20th, 2008, 05:05 PM   #10
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Damn! I wish I had known this - this has been driving me bonkers for months! Clipwrap is going to be my first purchase when I need to capture my next tape.
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Old August 21st, 2008, 12:20 PM   #11
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Yes, you described precisely what is going on! Which camera are you using and have you noticed if it happens more often with a certain frame rate (odd question i know) or brand of tape?
Well I too am using the Canon XH-A1. I tend to shoot in all kinds of different frame rates, but generally sports at 60i...but I think I have had it happen in every frame rate. I am using low cost Sony Premiums which might have something to do with it...as this didn't start happening until the camera was about a year old. Although I still have a hard time believing it is the camera or tape, since it plays back just fine. However, I do lots of multi-camera shoots and have not had this happen with any standard def DV camera. It would make sense that there is a tiny glitch in the data which plays back fine, but FCP can recognize and has trouble getting around. I am going to send the camera off for a head cleaning in the winter and hope that these get less frequent.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 10:10 AM   #12
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I have used expensive HDV tape and had the same problem with dropouts although less frequently. This is a problem right now as I am trying to switch a 2 camera interview and one interview has 10 breaks on the tape with the master microphone due to tape dropout. ClipWrap did a great job making a clean HDV Quicktime of that interview. Unfortunately I started this project a week before ClipWrap became available so the rest of the footage was captured in ProRes422 to minimize the clip breaks. That worked for the most part, I captured 8 hours of live concert footage with only a couple of breaks but one of the interview tapes didn't work very well. Fortunately many of the breaks came during off-camera questions that are being edited out anyway except for this particular one.

Now I have to transcode the HDV QuickTime into ProRes to do a live switch. Added about an hour to the edit.

This is why I usually use a FireStore as well as tape. On another shoot the Firestore screwed up one file so the tape was a life saver backup. This shoot I didn't since I didn't have four FireStores for all the cameras. Live and learn.
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