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Archived - Final Cut Pro 1.0: Setting Up For Video Capture

You need to adjust several types of settings before capturing video from an external source. These settings include device control preferences, video signal settings, capture preferences, and clip settings.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Setting device control preferences

Before you can begin logging and digitizing source footage, you must set device control preferences. (To use device control, you must have an external video source that is compatible with the program. See Final Cut Pro's World Wide Web site for more information.)

To set device control preferences:
    1. Open the Edit menu and choose Preferences.
    2. Click the Device Control tab.
    3. Select Enable Device Control, unless you are not using a controllable video source.
    4. Use the pop-up menus to choose the broadcast standard for your system, the computer port to which your device control cable is connected, the edit protocol your deck (or other device) uses, and the timecode source you want to use.
    5. Turn off Use Deck Search Mechanism if your deck has difficulty moving the playhead to a specified timecode during capture or searching.
    6. Set intervals for pre-roll, post-roll, timecode offset, handle size, and playback offset for the video being played.

Note: If the timecode you capture doesn't match the timecode on your video deck, you need to change the timecode offset or playback offset. See "Calibrating the Timecode Signal You Are Capturing" in Chapter 5 of the "Final Cut Pro User's Manual."


Setting capture preferences

Capture preferences determine the quality at which Final Cut Pro captures video. You must set these preferences before capturing any video.

To specify capture preferences:
    1. Open the Edit menu and choose Preferences.
    2. Click the Capture tab.
    3. Choose a capture quality setting from the pop-up menu at the top of the window.
    4. Set capture preferences.

    The video and audio options you can set depend on the video capture card you're using. Your video and audio preferences are stored as part of the capture quality settings.

    Be sure that your capture settings match the hardware you're using and that you've set your best-performing disk drive as the scratch disk. The scratch disk must be able to sustain transfer at the data rate you set, or frames will be dropped.
For best performance

Select the box labeled "Always Turn Off AppleTalk When Capturing." If you select this option, the program turns on AppleTalk when you quit Final Cut Pro.

Make sure that no part of the window that's playing video while capturing is covered by another window or partially offscreen. Make sure that the window is on the correct monitor (the one connected to the capture card, for example).

If you want to switch between sets of capture preferences:
You can save up to four sets of capture preferences and choose the one you want to use before capturing footage.

If you want to change the frame size:
Choose a size from the Aspect Ratio pop-up menu, or enter sizes in the Width and Height boxes.

If you want to set options for dropped frames:
*Select Abort to stop capturing video if frames are dropped during capture.
*Select Report to complete capturing video if frames are dropped, and to see a report of dropped frames.

If your video capture card lets you play and capture video at the same time:
Select the box labeled "Capture Card Supports Simultaneous Play Through and Capture."This is only used for Edit to Tape; it does not affect capture.


Adjusting clip settings for capturing video and audio

Before you begin logging and capturing footage, you may want to adjust the incoming video signal to ensure the best image quality.

You can adjust settings for capturing or logging video, including hue, saturation, brightness, contrast, sharpness, black level, white level, and gain.

Note: Not all video capture hardware has these adjustments; for example, DV sources do not.

Clip settings are saved with the clip; every time you recapture the clip, these settings are used. To override clip settings, turn off "Use Clip Settings" in the Batch Capture dialog box.

To adjust clip settings for capturing video:
    1. Open the File menu and choose Log and Capture.
    2. Use the transport controls in the Log and Capture window to play the color bar portion of your tape.
    3. Click the Clip Settings tab.
    4. Adjust the video settings you want to change.
    5. Use the Gain slider to adjust the audio signal so that it does not peak into the red areas of the audio monitors.
    6. Choose the type of signals you want to capture from the Capture pop-up menu.
    7. Choose an option from the Audio Format pop-up menu.
    Audio formats include:
    • Ch 1+ Ch 2: two channels of audio, with two tabs in the Viewer; each channel is panned to the center (the sound comes from both speakers equally).
    • Ch 1 (L) or Ch 2 (R): captures only the left or right channel from the deck.
    • Stereo: two audio tracks on one tab in the Viewer; the tracks are panned to the left and right.
    • Mono Mix: takes both channels and mixes them to one track, which is panned to the center.

Tip: It's a good idea to record at least 30 seconds of standard color bars to use when making adjustments for capturing.


Adjusting the Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope

You can fine tune the video signal when preparing to capture video. For instructions, see "Calibrating Capture Settings with Bars and Tone from Tape" in Chapter 5 of the "Final Cut Pro User's Manual."

Using the Wavefore Monitor and Vectorscope affect performance when capturing. Once you've adjusted your settings, close the Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope window before capturing.
Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012
  • Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012
  • Article: TA26160
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