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Old November 7th, 2006, 03:22 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Castiglione
David, I dont think that it has anything to do with this. I just bought a HD111 with latest firmware updates and it does exactly the same thing as you described.
Rob
Hi Rob.

I finally had a chance today (being a public holiday for the Melbourne Cup [big horse race in my part of the world]) to experiment with a few different capturing methods and see if that has any bearing on these intermittent capturing problems with HDV 720p25.

a/ Did a log and capture (batch capture). On "User Preferences" I first unchecked "Abort capture on dropped frames" and then on the drop-down menu next to "On timecode break" I selected "Warn after capture" (rather than "Make new clip").

Then I went through the tape and logged the clips I wanted to capture (note for any newer FCP users: full info on how to do this is given in chapters 17-19 of Section I in the FCP User Manual). Then I did a Batch Capture.
All clips less than 2 minutes long were captured successfully. All clips over 2 minutes long were not. These longer, uncaptured clips were the same ones that were broken into smaller clips with seven-second gaps during my initial (earlier) attempts using Capture Now.

b/ Attempted to capture these longer clips using "Capture Clip" or "Clip Capture". This was done by simply setting the In point, then the Out point, then clicking "Capture Clip". The initial attempts were unsuccessful and gave a message "Capture was stopped due to a problem with the incoming stream. Could not generate requested clip. This might be a problem with the tape."

I didn't change my In or Out points but simply clicked "Capture Clip" again. After 4 or 5 goes, it would finally capture the entire clip successfully. I also did this for the remaining uncaptured clips (up to 4 mins 15 secs long) and it took about 4-5 goes each to capture these successfully.

Worth noting is that there was absolutely no rhyme or reason as to where the capture would abort. It might abort at 3 mins 15secs, then the next attempt would abort at only 10 seconds, then the next one at 1 min 30 secs, then the next one captures it all.

So, in terms of working in native HDV 720p25, I currently see two capturing options (using FireWire) with FCP:

1/ Set your In and Out points (whether logging them all first and doing a Batch Capture or just setting them for a single clip and doing a Clip Capture)
This has the advantage of capturing ALL CLIPS FULLY AND SUCCESSFULLY. On the down side, it takes heaps longer (usually 4-5 goes to capture the longer clips), it can cause wear and tear on the tape (which is why I would recommend using the high-quality Pro HD tapes M-DV63PROHD) plus extra wear and tear on the heads.

2/ Use "Capture Now". This is the "quick and dirty" solution. Short clips should capture okay. Longer clips will be split up with seven second gaps in the middle. Go back and capture each seven second gap. Then, during editing, insert the seven second "gap-filler" into the sequence between those two clips.
This should take about 5 minutes to capture a 4 minute clip (4 minutes plus about a minute to determine and capture the seven second gap - I would set very precise In and Out points for that gap, then click "Clip Capture") as opposed to the 16-20 minutes to capture the full clip using Batch or Clip Capture. (And if you have 10 four-minute clips to capture, it could save about 3 hours.)

If there are a lot of longer clips, the "quick and dirty" solution may be the way to go. It will also save wear and tear on the tape and heads.

Rob, as you have the latest firmware, I was wondering how you captured. If you've only used "Capture Now" so far, could you try "Batch Capture" and also "Clip Capture" (if you haven't already) and let me know?

On my side I'm going to chase up the firmware next. I'm just "eliminating the suspects" one by one. I'm now suspecting that the "culprit" might be the way that FCP "perceives" the data coming in over the FireWire. It obviously doesn't do it purely by observing the timecode (otherwise setting the In and Out points would have solved everything and we'd all be "breaking out the champagne").
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Old November 7th, 2006, 03:41 AM   #77
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David,

Thanks for all your efforts at trying to locate the problem.

I have tried every conceivable capture attempt including clip capture. The problem appears to be arbitrary and not dependent upon method of capture. My son who is a software engineer just laughed when he saw the problem. If anyone finds the magic bullet let us all know.

My workflow when I simply cannot capture a missing portion of a clip is to use DVHSCAP to capture which is always successful. I then use MPEG Stream to convert to HDV720P at 25P. Once I rebuild the entire clip in a sequence I then export it as a new Quicktime move and reimport it as a single clip. This is an extremely tedious process but it has saved my arse on the project I am shooting. I just pray to god that Apple or JVC or Apple and JVC get their act together. I will not be shooting in 25P again though I love the look until the problem is resolved.

rob
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Old November 7th, 2006, 04:47 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Castiglione
I will not be shooting in 25P again though I love the look until the problem is resolved.
Rob, I'm not sure if you've ever tried editing an entire project of 720p25 footage using AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) before. It's supposed to be very close to visually lossless and it will give visually superior results to your current workaround (which would be introducing new artifacts each time you apply a new MPEG-2 compression, i.e. the image goes through an initial MPEG-2 compression when it gets recorded onto tape, then when you convert the "gap" footage with MPEG Streamclip, that footage gets a new MPEG-2 compression, then when you recombine the parts of a clip and export it as a sequence to make a single clip it gets a new MPEG-2 compression. If your final project is also exported in HDV 720p25, then that's another "squeeze" with MPEG-2, meaning that some of the footage would have been compressed with MPEG-2 on four separate occasions.

The AIC workflow only receives one MPEG-2 compression (when recorded onto tape) and one AIC compression (during conversion to Quicktime with MPEG Streamclip). If you stay with AIC after that, there should be no further compression, including final export.

It's a simple workflow, time-efficient and, most importantly, NON-FRUSTRATING.

You can capture the entire tape in one go (if you like) with DVHSCap. Then you can fix the timecode breaks in MPEG Streamclip and convert the entire hour-long file into an AIC Quicktime (or you can set In and Out points and convert smaller clips - your choice) then import the Quicktime(s) into Final Cut Pro.

In fact, if I were a wedding videographer (taking very long clips such as the wedding ceremony, plus a lot of very short snippet clips without the chance to pre-roll) I probably wouldn't bother working natively (with the current capture problems). I'd opt for the AIC workflow.

And AIC gives excellent results with iDVD and DVD Studio Pro.

And this may make it more viable for you to keep shooting in 720p25 for now.

Here's a cut and paste from an earlier post I did giving the full workflow for AIC 720p25 (I'm aware you already know most of these steps):

CAPTURE:
Capture the .m2t files from the camera or deck using DVHSCap. It is part of the “FireWire SDK 20” package and can be downloaded from this page:
http://developer.apple.com/sdk/#FireWireX

CONVERSION:
1. Launch MPEG Streamclip (available from this link: http://www.squared5.com/svideo/mpeg-streamclip-mac.html ) and open the .m2t file you wish to convert.
2. Fix the timecode breaks. (press “Apple-F”, then click "Proceed").
3. Select your In ("i") and Out ("o") points, or omit this step if you wish to convert the entire clip.
4. Select “Export to Quicktime” (Apple-E).
5. Scroll through the “Compression” codecs and select "Apple Intermediate Codec".
6. Drag the “Quality” slider to 100%.
7. Deselect both “Interlaced Scaling” and “Reinterlace Chroma”.
8. Make sure the “Frame Size” is “1280 X 720 (16:9)”. There should also be a message "No scaling will be performed" when you have this right.
9. “Frame Rate” - type in "25"
10. Click “Make Movie”.
11. Type in the file name, select the destination and click "Save".

EDIT IN FINAL CUT PRO
1. Launch Final Cut Pro.
2. Open "Easy Setup", select "HDV - 720p30" and click "Setup".
3. Make a new sequence (Apple-N).
4. Double-click the new sequence to open it, then select "Sequence - Settings" (or press Apple-0).
5. In "Editing Timebase" select "25".
6. Under "Compressor" select "Apple Intermediate Codec".
7. Click "Advanced..." and under "Preset" select "HDV 720p" then click "OK".
8. Then click "OK" on the "Sequence Settings" window.
9. Now import your converted AIC files and drag them into your sequence and (if done correctly) there should be no need to render.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 05:12 AM   #79
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Dear David,

The words "NON - FRUSTRATING" immediately caught my attention.

No, I had not considered a workflow based on AIC. I have two more shoot days using two JVC HD100s tomorrow and friday and was not looking forward to a week of fiddling about so I will certainly give it a try over the weekend.

Thanks for your generousity in helping out.

Rob
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Old November 8th, 2006, 05:14 AM   #80
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Still yet to try HDV 25p David...so many other things to practice on at the moment (currently sticking the FCP studio and Logic Pro into my brain...bit of an all round learning curve there).
Is the AIC route a workaround for the fact that there is no AIC for 24/25p?
Currently downloading the Firewire SDK 20 you kindly linked to - also noticed an update on the site for Firewire SDK 23 - any idea what this is for? An update from 20?
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Old November 8th, 2006, 06:04 AM   #81
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I hate to be the one breaking you the bad news about this AIC method... At least in my experiments, quite a few actually, it hasn't worked because after capturing, the picture was speed up, and out of sync with sound... I suppose it's because the AIC capture preset is designed for 30 fps.
I sure hope I'm wrong, and that someone will actually be able to do it and post the method in here.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 02:41 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood
Is the AIC route a workaround for the fact that there is no AIC for 24/25p?
Currently downloading the Firewire SDK 20 you kindly linked to - also noticed an update on the site for Firewire SDK 23 - any idea what this is for? An update from 20?
Yes. As I reported earlier in this thread (post #73), I couldn't get FCP to capture with AIC properly (video at 50 fps and only half the audio at 25 fps). Just like Sergio and others have found. So DVHSCap-MPEGSTREAMCLIP is the only way I know of right now to work successfully in FCP with AIC in 720p25.

The FireWire SDK 20 package just happened to be the latest one when I downloaded my version of DVHSCap about 15 months ago. If it's now up to #23, you can try that one.

Keep at that learning curve. You'll get there.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 03:49 AM   #83
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Actually I think the Firewire SDK 23 is more of a developers tool - certainly indicates that during the download.
Quick question (being new to mac and the download philosophy), should the Firewire SDK 20 download insert itself into FCP? Can't seem to locate it following the download. I moved Mpeg Streamclip into apps though it left an 'extras' folders behind...aside from that I find mac's really easy to use.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 05:34 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood
Quick question (being new to mac and the download philosophy), should the Firewire SDK 20 download insert itself into FCP? Can't seem to locate it following the download. I moved Mpeg Streamclip into apps though it left an 'extras' folders behind...aside from that I find mac's really easy to use.
No, it's not part of FCP at all. DVHSCap is a totally separate application. From memory, I think I just double-clicked whatever the icon was after the download then, from the window that came up, selected DVHSCap and dragged it into the Applications folder (it was a long time ago though).
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Old November 9th, 2006, 07:04 AM   #85
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Cheers David - I've now found it (not use to the mac OS tis all!). Hidden elsewhere within the hard-drive. I have both DVHSCap and Mpstreamclip now so at least I'm in with a fighting chance!!
I'll report back with my woes or indeed sublime workflow without any hints of hitches!
Thanks.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 07:33 AM   #86
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A possible solution to the 25P Capture Issue?

As is apparent from the above posts I have been having the awful problem of mid clip breaks while capturing 25P footage. These appear completely arbitrary.

My son, a computer science type of the first order, asked me to think hard whether there were any tapes that seemed NOT to exhibit the problem in order to better isolate the variable that was perhaps causing the difficulty.

Well, there was one thing. In my initial tapes I had shot with time code setting on the camera as record run not regen. I then switched to regen as a better way of ensuring time conde continuity in subsequent tapes.

Today I changed back to record run AND HAVE JUST CAPTURED AN ENTIRE TAPE with no mid clip breaks. The breaks only occur as they should when I start and stop shooting.

Is this something that anyone else has experienced? I have three more tapes to capture and will report my experiences further.This should be an interesting test as we used two JVCHDs one set on record run and one set on regen.

Rob
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Old November 10th, 2006, 11:06 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Robert Castiglione
Today I changed back to record run AND HAVE JUST CAPTURED AN ENTIRE TAPE with no mid clip breaks. The breaks only occur as they should when I start and stop shooting.

Rob
That's exciting news. I hadn't thought of the TC GENE switch as a factor in this capturing problem. I've always had it set on REGEN. I'll put in a new tape tomorrow, set that switch to REC and record a 20 minute continuous take. I've got the old firmware too, so it should be an interesting capture test.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 11:27 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Castiglione
Today I changed back to record run AND HAVE JUST CAPTURED AN ENTIRE TAPE with no mid clip breaks. The breaks only occur as they should when I start and stop shooting.
You're kidding! This seems so backwards. REGEN should be the ideal mode for preventing breaks.

If this is the case, it might mean we will have to rethink the whole REC and REGEN thing.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 08:07 PM   #89
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Well, I'll be darned!

Rob, give your son (and yourself) a pat on the back. It definitely works!

At first, I thought it didn't. I recorded a take over 20 minutes long with the TC GENE switch set to REC. Then when I went to capture with FCP, I thought the best option would be to set an In and Out point and then Capture Clip. That was a total flop! It aborted after 3 minutes with a "timecode break" message. I tried Capture Clip again. This time it aborted after 39 seconds with the same message. (You can guess how I was feeling at this point!)

Then I tried Capture Now (just for kicks) and it worked PERFECTLY!

The whole clip captured - 21 and a half minutes long - on the first attempt. Smooth as silk. Go figure!

So now my workflow for recording, capturing and editing native HDV 720p25 in FCP is:

1/ Set TC GENE switch to REC.
2/ Allow at least 10 seconds pre-roll before the start of each take.
3/ At least 5 seconds post-roll at the end.
4/ Capture (using Capture Now) and edit away in native HDV 720p25.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 05:05 AM   #90
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David,

I have indeed thanked my son. Just captured the second tape. Only had one glitch, otherwise no problems capturing!! Critically, there was no sign of the dreaded mid clip break with the missing bit of capture. Interestingly, I am generally having no difficulties at all capturing using clip capture. On one occasion when there was a difficulty I then used capture now and that solved the problem entirely.

I am just about to attempt to capture the tape on camera two which I set to regen mode and anticipate a long night - hopefully my last.

Rob
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