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Chapter 4. Capturing DV > Capturing DV

Capturing DV

DV capture is a simple, wizard-driven operation that is slightly different depending upon whether you're capturing the entire tape or just bits and pieces from a tape. Let's examine both scenarios, starting with capturing the entire tape.

To capture an entire DV tape

1.
Do one of the following:

  • In the Movie Tasks pane, click Capture from Video Device (Figure 4.6).

    Figure 4.6. Start the capture process here…


  • From the main menu, choose File > Capture Video (Figure 4.7).

    Figure 4.7. …or here.


  • Press Ctrl+R.

Movie Maker opens the Video Capture wizard (Figure 4.8).

Figure 4.8. The first pane of the Video Capture wizard. I find life easier when I place all captured videos in a folder on the root in my capture drive.


Note that if Movie Maker can't detect the camera, you'll see the error message displayed in Figure 4.9.

Figure 4.9. Here's what you see if your camcorder isn't turned on or the cable isn't connected.


2.
Enter a file name for the captured video file or use the name assigned by Movie Maker.

3.
Either accept the default storage location for the video or click the Browse button to select another folder (Figure 4.10).

Figure 4.10. Here's where you select a different capture folder.


4.
Click Next to advance to the next screen.

The wizard displays the Video Setting pane (Figure 4.11).

Figure 4.11. The second pane of the Video Capture wizard, where you choose your capture format and other settings.


5.
Select the video setting you want to use (see the “Capture Format Strategies” sidebar later in this chapter for more information).

6.
Click Next to advance to the next screen.

The wizard displays the Capture Method pane (Figure 4.12).

Figure 4.12. Here's the jumping off point between capturing the entire tape or just bits and pieces.


7.
Check the Capture the Entire Tape Automatically check box.

8.
If desired, click the Show Preview During Capture check box.

Enabling the preview will affect performance only on slower computers (like Pentium III and slower computers). If you have a Pentium 4 computer, you should be able to preview and capture without difficulty.

9.
Click Next to advance to the next pane.

The wizard advances to the DV Capture in Progress pane and begins automatically rewinding and capturing the entire tape (Figure 4.13). You can stop the capture process at any time, and Movie Maker will open the dialog box shown in Figure 4.14. As you can see, you can elect to store the video captured up to that point and stop the capture, or resume capturing the entire tape.

Figure 4.13. Movie Maker capturing the entire tape. Note the Create Clips When Wizard Finishes check box, which tells Movie Maker to detect different scenes in the video and present each scene as a separate clip in the Contents pane.


Figure 4.14. Movie Maker displays this dialog box when you stop the capture process.


10.
If desired, select the Create Clips When Wizard Finishes option (Figure 4.13).

If you check this option, Movie Maker breaks the captured file into separate clips based upon time codes on the DV tape. If there are no time stamps, Movie Maker will split the file into clips by identifying significant changes in content from frame to frame.

One of the great things about Movie Maker is that unlike other similar programs, you can still capture an entire DV tape automatically even when you have tapes containing breaks in the time codes or with significant unused portions toward the end. With other programs, you might be forced to capture manually (as described in the next task), but Movie Maker can automatically capture the recorded content and ignore any blank areas.

After completing the capture, Movie Maker will create a new collection on the root of the collections tree and display the clips in the Contents pane (Figure 4.15).

Figure 4.15. The new collection.


To manually capture parts of a DV tape

1.
Do one of the following:

  • In the Movie Tasks pane, click Capture from Video Device (Figure 4.6).

  • From the Movie Maker menu, choose File > Capture Video (Figure 4.7).

  • Press Ctrl+R.

Movie Maker opens the Video Capture wizard (Figure 4.8).

If Movie Maker can't detect the camera, you'll see the error message displayed in Figure 4.9.

2.
Enter a file name for the captured video file or use the name assigned by Movie Maker.

3.
Either accept the default storage location for the video or click the Browse button to select another folder (Figure 4.10).

4.
Click Next to advance to the next menu.

Movie Maker displays the Video Setting screen (Figure 4.11).

5.
Select the video setting you want (see the “Capture Format Strategies” sidebar later in this chapter for more information).

6.
Click Next to advance to the next menu.

Movie Maker displays the wizard's Capture Method screen (Figure 4.16).

Figure 4.16. Select the option here to manually capture sections of the tape.


7.
Check the Capture Parts of the Tape Manually check box.

8.
If desired, click the Show Preview During Capture check box.

If your computer is older, it may not be fast enough to capture and store the video and update the Preview window at the same time, which usually means it will drop frames during capture, which degrades the quality of the captured video.

That's because when Movie Maker drops frames, it has to duplicate frames to make up the difference. For example, if during capture, Movie Maker captured frames 1,2,3 and 4, but dropped 5, 6 and 7, it would repeat frame 4 three extra times, which looks very jerky during playback.

9.
Click Next.

Movie Maker opens the Capture Video screen (Figure 4.17).

Figure 4.17. The manual capture screen. Use the playback controls to move to the first frame you want captured and click Start Capture.


10.
Use the DV camera controls to cue the video to the initial frame to be captured and to pause the tape.

11.
Click Start Capture.

Movie Maker starts playing the DV tape and starts capturing.

12.
Click Stop Capture to stop the capture (Figure 4.18).

Figure 4.18. Click Stop Capture to stop the capture, and repeat the process as desired.


13.
Repeat Steps 10 through 12 until you've captured all the clips you want from that tape.

14.
If desired, click the Create Clips When Wizard Finishes option.

If you select this option, Movie Maker will break the captured file into separate clips based upon time codes on the DV tape. If there are no time stamps, Movie Maker will split the file into clips by identifying significant changes in content from frame to frame.

15.
If desired, click the Mute Speakers check box to mute the audio during capture.

16.
If desired, click the Capture Time Limit check box and set the duration to the desired value (Figure 4.19).

Figure 4.19. Setting the time limit for capture lets you start the capture and then walk away.


Movie Maker will capture video for the selected duration for all subsequent captures while this check box is enabled.

After completing the captures, Movie Maker will create a new collection in the root of the collections tree and display the clips in the Contents pane (Figure 4.15).

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