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Old July 30th, 2005, 03:08 PM   #1
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fcp/pdx10/ setup/capture question

I'm new to FCP (working in 4.5 for less than a week now) and although I've been fooling with imported meda such as quick time files and whatnot, i have not captured from a external device yet. Getting this, and geting it right is my goal for the day.

the footage I have is native 16X9 shot on a NTSC Sony PDX10. I wish to use a low end panna (DV53) for my deck, though. Can I do this, or must I use the PDX? Either way, what should my easy setup be? DV-NTSC or DV-NTSC ANAMORPHIC, or something else entirely?

I did a search, but I came up empty, but if someone wants to direct me to a specific thread, please do.

As an aside, I can see that this is one heck of ap. i hope it doesn't prove to be too much for me.

Thanks in advance.
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Old July 30th, 2005, 03:30 PM   #2
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Don't worry Michael, you'll get up to speed in no time at all with FCP. I found that a couple 3rd party books helped a lot when I started (on FCP3). Browse through the computer section at a local Barnes and Noble or Borders and you'll find a number of them too choose from.

The PDX-10 just shoots normal DV (or DVCAM) so any camera should work for capture, with one caveat. I don't know if your DV953 will read tapes shot in DVCAM mode; give it a try. Just about any Sony camera will, regardless of whether it can record DVCAM, but not so sure that's the same with Panasonic. Then again, you can just shoot in DV SP to get around that problem (but note the default setting on the PDX-10 out of the box is DVCAM).

Yes, I think the stock DV Anamorphic preset will work fine for you. The only thing you might check in the camera audio menu is whether it defaults to FS48k. I can't remember, but vaguely recall the default was 32k; if so then change to 48k which you should be using anyway.

But in reality, you don't have to worry a lot about the capture preset (within reason). Do you shoot some things in 4:3 and others in 16:9 like most of us? If so then you'll need to tweak things periodically. If you like you can capture everything with the standard DV preset. Then if it's 16:9 just scroll the browser window way over the the anamorphic column. Click on it to make a check appear. 16:9 and 4:3 are both just 720x480; the software just stretches them to fit different size windows depending on that anamorphic property.

The other thing to check is that your sequences are 16:9. This is controlled by the easy setup when new sequences are created, but you can use the anamorphic checkbox in the browser as described above for sequences as well as clips. The important thing is that both the clip and sequence settings must agree. If they don't then your clips will require rendering. If you drop a 16:9 clip into a 4:3 sequence it will be automatically letterboxed. If you drop a 4:3 clip into a 16:9 sequence it'll be automatically pillarboxed.

You'll get the hang of it after a few tries! Let us know how everything works out.
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Old July 30th, 2005, 11:45 PM   #3
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Thanks, Boyd!
I managed to work my way through capture. I ended up using capture now and logging my clips as i went, because I didn't use a clapboard or keep accurate (any) timecode notes on the set (next time...) The little cam worked fine, but I did record in DV sp mode as opposed to DVCAM.
As for books I have the apple manuels and the Peachpitt Press "Visual Quickstart Guide for FCP 4". Between these two I think all be alright. Both have been really useful so far. Funny thing, though, there's a typo in the peachpit book. It has the keyboard shortcut for opening the log and capture window as 'Control B' . I made a lot of bins and used some strong language before I found my way in through the file menu- a route which the peachpit book doesn't mention.
Anyway, so far so good.
Thanks again.
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" When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against a bar room wall, and looks you crooked in the eye, and he asks you if you've payed your dues, well, you just stare that big suker right back in the eye, and you remember what old Jack Burton always says at a time like that, 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail."
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Old July 31st, 2005, 07:07 AM   #4
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Micheal,

I agree with Boyd in that you should get a 3rd party book to learn the software. The apple manuals are not very well organized and bombard you with a lot of unfiltered information, thus making it very difficult and frustrating to learn. Even the guys who work in tech support for Apple will tell you that. I was having a difficult time with things until I got the one by Diana Weynand and it really filters out a lot of BS as well as shows you three ways to accomplish each task.

I followed the tutorials in the 3rd party book but applied the information to my first project instead of using the footage they provided. Yes they are way overpriced but if you consider the time they save you, it's worth every penny.

If money is an object, any college library can put one of them in your hand for long enough to get really compitent with the software. I am shopping for the advaced level books right now.

On another note, Howdy Boyd havn't spoken to you in a while. Been busy with film school and writing a lot of papers. It's good to see your still here helping people.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 09:31 AM   #5
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Hey Cleveland! How's the weather out in St. Louis?... hot I'll bet (-: it's my hometown :-)
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Old August 1st, 2005, 07:09 AM   #6
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Well Sir,

It has been mighty hot here lately but this week has been a bit less humid.
I used to work out of Dullas and every week when I went out there from STL We had the same weather as here two days later. You are only about a 30 minute flight from there so my guess is you get it too. You still have a few more hot ones on the way.

Can you recomend a good advanced editing book for fcp4 or one that better teaches the nitty gritty in soundtrack.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 07:33 AM   #7
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Sorry, I haven't used soundtrack, and my FCP books date back to version 3! Perhaps someone else has a suggestion?
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Old August 1st, 2005, 09:43 AM   #8
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you should try the batch capture feature. i had, briefly, a pv-gs9 ($245 open box), cheap panny which i tried to use as a deck, and while it captured individual clips just fine, it could not read timecode and therefore was no good for batch capturing, so i switched to a (more expensive) canon zr-100 ($319 new), and it read the timecode (from the exact same tape) just fine.

once you get used to fcp, you will want to batch capture your work, as it will save you a tremendous amount of time on the front end of your project.

i've read on these boards that any cheap DV cam will work just fine as a deck, but my experience has been otherwise. all timecode-reading capabilities are not necessarily created equal, and you will get the spinning beach ball of death instead of a captured clip, if you attempt to batch capture with a too-old or too-cheap deck cam.

soundtrack has an online manual which is more helpful as a reference if you print it out. it is hard to put together complex set-ups using the manual in an online form. i haven't found anything better than the manual itself, so far. although you can find answers to specific questions at http://www.kenstone.net

p.s. what are you shooting/editing up there in loveland, michael?
if you can spend the time/money, boulder digital arts has inexpensive FCP classes. i haven't taken their FCP course, but the seminar i took on making the move to HDV was very good. check out http://www.boulderdigitalarts.com
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Old August 1st, 2005, 01:02 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone, I'm starting to get hang of it. Right now I'm recutting my DVC2 entry- not because I feel that it's worth the effort- I don't- but at this point any footage is good footage for learning purposes.


Hi Meryem,
long a rambling answer to your question, with too much detail to follow:
My own projects are pretty much all narrative shorts, and we're (my small band of friends and I) building up to shoot a feature, perhaps next year, which will be an intellectual Horror movie (character and story drive as opposed to gore driven) if we do what we have set out to do. I have also done a bit of documentary stuff, but only for school. The most difficult thing I face right now is a time constraint. I'm a 39 year old father of two boys ages 2 and 4, I work full time, and starting next month I begin my last year of undergrad, at night, also full time. So basically I have a month to learn FCP and then it's all about Archaeology for a while. I went to an Archaeology field school in Indiana this year, we excavated a mound and I shot some video there, when time allows I plan on using it to make a documetary on basic Archaeological concepts and excavation techniques. Booring to most, but fascinating to me.
BTW if you want to put a face with the name, I'm the dopy guy in my DVC2 entry.
Michael.
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" When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against a bar room wall, and looks you crooked in the eye, and he asks you if you've payed your dues, well, you just stare that big suker right back in the eye, and you remember what old Jack Burton always says at a time like that, 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail."
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