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Chapter 4. Capturing and Importing Media > Logging Clips for Batch Capture

Logging Clips for Batch Capture

The process of logging clips offline, before you capture them, involves playing your deck or camera and logging In and Out point timecodes for the beginning and ending of each clip you want to capture. The logging process also gives you the opportunity to name your clips and add comments to them (in the naming section of the Capture tool or in the bin itself).

To choose which source tracks to log (and capture):

1.
Choose Tools > Capture Tool.

The Capture tool opens.

2.
If you want to capture the video track from your source tape, click to select the V button at the top of the Capture tool.

3.
If you want to capture audio tracks from your source tape, click to select A1, A2, and so on.

4.
If you want to capture the timecode track, keep the TC button selected (Figure 4.18).

Figure 4.18. Typically, you will capture one video track, two audio tracks, and one Timecode track.


When Xpress Pro eventually captures your logged clips, it will capture the tracks you select here (provided you selected Capture the Tracks Logged for Each Clip on the Batch tab of the Capture Settings dialog box).

✓ Tips

  • Before logging any clips, double-check to make sure that your capture device is on and connected, Xpress Pro recognizes your capture device in the Capture tool, your logging bin is open, and you designated the name of your logging bin and source tape in the Capture tool.

  • If you use a camera for capturing, make sure it is in VTR mode.


To log source clips:

1.
Put the Capture tool in Log mode by clicking the Capture button so it changes to the Log mode button.

2.
In the Bin section of the Capture tool, choose a logging bin from the Bin pop-up menu (which lists only open bins; see Figure 4.19).

Figure 4.19. To set your logging bin—you can designate only one bin at a time—click the logging bin selection pop-up menu in the Capture tool.


This is where Xpress Pro will send your logged shots.

You can create a new bin for logging by going to the Bins tab of the Project window and clicking New Bin.

3.
Insert a source tape into your deck or camera. When Xpress Pro displays the Source Tape dialog box, do one of the following:

  • If this is a new tape, click the New button, give the tape a name, click the Select Tape dialog box's gray area, and click the black square next to the tape's name to select it; then click OK (Figure 4.20).

    Figure 4.20. If you're working with a source tape you haven't used before, click New in the Select Tape dialog box and type a unique name for your tape.


  • If you previously named the current tape, click the black square next to the tape's name to highlight it; then click OK.

4.
In the Capture tool, click the Play button or press the spacebar on your keyboard to play your deck or camera.

As your deck or camera plays, a video image from the tape should appear in the Composer monitor.

5.
When you get to the start of the first clip you want to log, mark an In point by doing one of the following:

  • Press F4.

  • Press Mark In (mapped by default to the I key on your keyboard).

The timecode reference for your In point appears at the lower right of the Capture tool (Figure 4.21). The deck or camera continues to play.

Figure 4.21. To log an In point for a clip, press F4, press Mark In, or click the big Mark In button at the upper left of the Capture tool.


6.
When you get to the end of the first clip, mark an Out point and log the clip by doing one of the following:

  • Press F4.

  • Press Mark Out (mapped by default to the O key on the keyboard); then click the Log button at the upper left of the Capture tool.

  • Click the Mark Out and Log button at the upper left of the Capture tool.

Playback stops, and Xpress Pro logs your clip to the designated logging bin (Figure 4.22).

Figure 4.22. You can name your clip in the Capture tool before clicking the Mark Out and Log button, or you can name it later in your bin.


7.
If you want to give your clip a unique name now, give it a new name in the bin. Otherwise, continue logging in the Capture tool. Repeat steps 2 through 5 until you've logged all of your clips.

✓ Tips

  • To keep your tape from playing ahead while you name a logged clip, select Pause Deck While Logging on the General tab of the Capture Settings dialog box. With this option selected, Xpress Pro will pause your deck after you log an Out point for a clip.

  • One alternative way to name your clip is to name it in the Capture tool Name box sometime between after you log the previous shot and before you log the shot you're naming (Figure 4.23).

    Figure 4.23. One way to make sure you name your clip before you log it to your bin is to click the normal Mark Out button to log your Out point. Xpress Pro will pause your deck (if you select Pause Deck While Logging in the Capture settings). Then you can name the clip before you click the Log Clip button.

  • If you previously named the current source tape, but it was for a different project, in the Select Tape dialog box select Show Other Projects. Then click the Scan for Tapes button until other tapes appear. Click the black square next to a tape's name to select it and then click OK (Figure 4.24).

    Figure 4.24. To select a source tape in the Select Tape dialog box, click the black square next to a source tape name.

  • Use only letters and numerals for your tape names; do not use other symbols.

  • If you are planning to generate an EDL for import into an edit controller for online editing, find out your controller's tape naming standards beforehand. You may need to make your tape names extremely short.


Logging Using the Keyboard

Why rely on the mouse when you can use your right hand to play through your footage and mark In and Out points?

Remember that you can map any buttons from the Command palette to your keyboard and use them to control your deck and log In and Out points.

These are the most commonly used deck control buttons:

  • Mark In and Mark Out: By default these commands are mapped to the I and O keys, but you can map them anywhere from the Edit tab of the Command palette.

  • Play Reverse and Play Forward: By default, these commands are mapped to the J and L keys. But you can map them elsewhere from the Play tab of the Command palette. Also, by tapping them between 2 and 5 times, you can play 2X, 3X, 5X, and 8X speed.

  • Stop and Pause: You can determine the behavior of the Stop button in the Deck Preferences settings. By default, Pause is mapped to the K key. You can map these buttons from the Play tab of the Command palette.


Dealing with Timecode Breaks

A timecode break is a disruption in the contiguous timecode numbers on your source tape. Usually a timecode break is the fault of your camera operator, caused by recording on the source tape and then starting to record again after playing past the last recorded frame.

Timecode breaks can be a major problem when batch capturing. For one thing, timecode on your tape often starts back at 00;00, so you'll have multiple places on the same tape with the same timecode address.

Also, Xpress Pro will not be able to find your logged In point timecode if a break occurs somewhere between preroll and your In point. For example, if Xpress Pro rewinds six seconds before your In point and starts playing and a timecode break occurs, Xpress will become confused it (as if it hit a bump in the road) and will not reach your In point and start capture.

(For more information on preroll, see the section “Setting Up Your Deck or Camera for Capture” and the sidebar “Setting the Right Preroll” earlier in this chapter.)

Fortunately, you can address timecode breaks in multiple ways:

  • You can instruct Xpress Pro to capture across timecode breaks. Open the Capture Settings dialog box. On the General tab, select Capture Across Timecode Breaks. If you select this choice and Xpress Pro encounters timecode problems during capture, it will start capturing a new clip after the break; this creates two clips out of one clip that has a timecode break in the middle of it.

Note: Xpress Pro assumes that timecode is sequential between breaks. If timecode numbers reset after breaks, this feature will not help you if you need to recapture clips.

  • You can capture clip by clip or on the fly. By capturing clip by clip or on the fly, you can watch for and address timecode problems on a case-by-case basis. In contrast, when batch capturing, you might return to your computer to find out that your capture session aborted due to timecode breaks. (For more information, see the section “About Capturing Clip by Clip” or “Capturing on the Fly” later in this chapter.)

    Capturing clip by clip also allows you to set a short preroll time in the Capture tool to avoid a break.

  • You can use DV scene extraction. When working with DV footage that has timecode breaks, you might want to forget logging or capturing individual shots at first. Instead, capture large chunks of footage. Then perform DV scene extraction—which uses time-of-day information instead of timecode—to break the footage into individual shots. (For more information, see “Creating Subclips with DV Scene Extraction” later in this chapter.)

  • You can select a better preroll method. Open the Capture Settings dialog box and on the General tab specify what Xpress Pro should use as the control track. The wisest selection is Best Available Control Track, as it tells Xpress Pro to use whatever works. Unfortunately, this setting does not apply to DV footage, which uses only timecode for its control track.


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