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Old March 4th, 2004, 10:42 AM   #1
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logging and capturing

Hi. I have a G5 and FCP4, and I'm trying to log and capture footage from my XL1. I bought the special cable and connected it before turning on the camera or computer. I turn the camera on, set it to Playback, open the log and capture window, and I get the VTR 'okay' message. I then click play and then Capture Now, and the footage rolls for about two seconds and then freezes. I unchecked the 'Abort on capture' thing on the preferences page, and unchecked the other abort thing, but it still won't capture anything. Anybody know what I'm doing wrong? It does give a little timecode break message but I don't know how that's possible, since I blackened the whole tape first.

Argggh!
Chris
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Old March 4th, 2004, 12:54 PM   #2
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It sounds like you just have a timecode break, just like the message says, on the tape. I'm going to leave it to a FCP guru to help you out with the program, but figured I could explain a little about blacking tapes and how that processed is used.

In order to take full advantage of a "blacked" or "striped" tape, you must have an editor capable of recording just the video and/or audio 1 & 2 tracks without touching the control track, or timecode (called insert editing). The record tape, not the source, is blacked to designate an ample amount of control track/timecode for editing. Then the specific video and audio tracks are then layed on top. The process is generally used in linear, or cuts-only editing systems and doesn't have much use for non-linear or even when recording in the camera. So this doesn't really apply in your situation.

One thing you'll want to take into account is that you will sustain constant timecode, no breaks, when the camera is paused then recorded. As long as you pause and don't let the vtr stop/power down, you won't have a control track break. However, if you let the vtr time out or shut off the camera, the timecode will be broken the next time you record, regardless of whether you've blacked the tape or not. This ends up being a big hassle, like you're experiencing now, but can be saved in the future by recording about 10 extra seconds of footage before shutting the camera off, leaving pad for logging.

For your next shoot, don't worry about blacking the entire tape, but do remember to record 10 extra seconds before powering down, and 10 seconds before recording after powering up. This will help avoid a lot of headaches in logging.
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Old March 5th, 2004, 03:57 PM   #3
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copied from email...

From: Chris

Nicholi,
Thanks for helping. One question - I'll record the extra ten seconds before shutting down, but then when I power up later, do I rewind the camera those ten seconds? If I don't rewind it I don't see what's the difference where I stop the tape.
Thanks again, Chris

***************************************************

From: Nicholi

Hi Chris,

It seems as though, like myself, you want to understand what's going on instead of just knowing how to avoid the problem. So, just to clear everything up the best I can, I'm going to give some background info on editing and timecode. That way you'll know the answer and have a better understanding of exactly what's happening and how to avoid it.

When digitizing, the vtr/tape has to roll, generally 3 seconds, before getting up to the proper play speed. That's called pre-roll. Editors also post-roll after the clip to provide some pad after the clip's outpoint. This is where the control track/timecode break gives you trouble. When the tape rewinds 3 seconds for pre-roll, and crosses a timecode break, the computer gets really confused. For example, lets say you record 15 minutes of footage, shut the camera off, turn the camera back on (timecode break) and record 5 more minutes. When getting to the edit bay, you want to capture every frame of the 5 minute footage so you mark the first frame (00;00;01) as inpoint and last frame (04;59;29) as outpoint and click capture. The computer now rewinds the tape 3 seconds for pre-roll, crosses that timecode break, sees the original 15 minute footage timecode (14;57;00) and confuses it with your inpoint. Now, as far as the computer is concerned, the tape is at 14;57;00 but needs to rewind to 00;00;01 for the inpoint even though its realistically only 3 seconds ahead. This confusion is all due to the timecode break, which is what you want to avoid. This is where the 10 seconds becomes significant. By providing 10 seconds BEFORE any timecode break, you're allowing ample POST-ROLL time. By providing 10 seconds AFTER any timecode break, you're providing ample PRE-ROLL time.

So, to answer your question... record an extra 10 seconds (or more) of footage before shutting off the camera. Then, after turning it back on, record 10 seconds before shooting any significant footage. Don't rewind the tape or anything, just jump right in. This will give you plenty of padding for both editing and allow for the camera to do its tape roll thing.

I see there haven't been any other replies to your original post, so I'm going to help you out the best I can. You mentioned that you already unchecked "abort capture on timecode break" and "abort capture on dropped frames" which is correct for what you're wanting to do. I have always had trouble with the capture now feature and use it as little as possible, because just the slightest thing seems to cause the video and audio to get out of synch, especially timecode breaks.
Try designating inpoints and outpoints using the capture clip feature. Considering the timecode break is in the middle of your desired footage, set your first inpoint where you want it, then an outpoint about 5 seconds before the timecode break. Then start another clip with its inpoint 5 seconds after the timecode break and outpoint where you need it. This will cause you to lose a few seconds of footage, but will avoid the timecode break.

Hopefully this helped you understand more about the whole timecode issue. Let me know how it goes with capturing your footage. If its still hassling you, we'll get it figured out.
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Old March 6th, 2004, 08:36 AM   #4
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Hi Nicholi,

Thanks again for taking the time to explain it. I'm glad I don't have to 'blacken' tapes - it always seemed like a waste of XL1 time, wearing out parts etc.
I have to admit one little problem - I've also been having problems setting the in and out points - which is why I've usually just clicked the 'Capture Now' button and escaped after ten or fifteen minutes. But let me try again, making sure to leave those ten seconds of roll in before the in point, & out point too.

Chris
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Old March 6th, 2004, 01:36 PM   #5
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Sounds good, Chris. Once you get a feel for using in and outpoints, I'll show you how to record a big section of tape and let FCP seperate the clips for you. The process helps me get better organized and, more importantly, doesn't wear the heads as much.
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Old March 16th, 2004, 12:16 PM   #6
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Recording a big section of tape

Nicholi,

I was reading your timecode information and found it very informative. Can you tell me how to record a big section of tape and let FCP seperate the clips for you? I can't figure it out.

Thank You
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Old March 16th, 2004, 09:31 PM   #7
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Hi Tyler,

This post http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=22471 has a couple strategies for capturing video into Final Cut. I wrote a description of how to use DV Start/Stop detection and subclips in the third post down. I would just type it all out again, but boy-howdy is it long.

It approaches three things...
1) DV Start/Stop Detection: the computer finds where you paused on the tape and puts a marker there.
2) Subclips: smaller, easier to organize clips that are 100% dependant on the original capture scratch.
3) Self-contained Subclips: making those organized subclips into independant video that doesn't rely on the original capture scratch.

I just noticed that you are running FCP3. I'm not sure if that version has the DV Detection, but its worth a check. Hope it works out.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 02:29 AM   #8
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FCP3 does, indeed, feature scene detection for marking separate clips from within a longer clip.
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