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Chapter 4. Capturing Analog Video > The Analog Capture Interface

The Analog Capture Interface

As you would expect, Studio's analog capture interface (Figure 4.1) contains various controls for adjusting your analog capture. Its three main components perform the following roles:

Figure 4.1. In the analog capture interface, the Diskometer has sprouted wings, enabling you to fine-tune the incoming video and control audio volume.

The Album. Your captured clips go directly into the Album, though you can't play them back while in Capture mode. Only one captured file appears in the Album at a time. If you enable scene detection, however (see the sidebar “Scene Detection with Analog Video” later in this chapter), each scene from that file appears in the Album, thus accounting for the multiple scenes (Figure 4.2). Had you captured more scenes than could fit on the two pages in the Album, you would see a little white arrow on the upper right corner of the Album, which lets you know more scenes are stored on subsequent pages.

Figure 4.2. The Album, with scene detection enabled.

Studio may store captured files during capture, or it may store them immediately after capture, as in the case of MPEG files, which must be converted before storage. Either way, no user intervention is needed to store the files. Once you start to capture another file, your previously captured files disappear from the Album—but don't worry; they are safely stored and accessible in Edit mode.

The Player. Note the lack of playback controls in the Player window. The Player's sole role during capture is to preview the incoming video and provide information about dropped frames; you have to switch to Edit mode to actually play the captured files.

The Diskometer. If you study the analog capture interface in Figure 4.1, you'll see that the Camcorder Controller, present in the DV interface, is missing in action. That's because the lack of a FireWire or similar connection for analog capture prevents Studio from controlling the camcorder.

The Diskometer for analog capture looks vaguely similar to the DV-capture version, at least on top, where it displays the space remaining on the capture drive. However, the DV, MPEG, and preview capture options are replaced with Good, Better, Best, and Custom quality settings.

In addition, the Diskometer has sprouted wings, with controls for selecting and customizing analog video source and input on the left, and controls for enabling audio capture and setting volume on the right. You open and close these wings by clicking the TV and Speaker icons on the sides of the Diskometer (video on the left and audio on the right). You'll learn how to operate these controls later in this chapter.

Click the Settings button at the lower right of the screen to open the Setup Options dialog box. It will open to the default Capture Format tab (Figure 4.3), where you select your analog capture parameters. The tab to the left is the Capture Source tab (Figure 4.4), where you choose your capture device and scene-detection options.

Figure 4.3. Here's where you set your analog capture options.

Figure 4.4. Here's where you select your analog video and audio capture devices, as well as scene detection.

Scene Detection with Analog Video

With analog footage, sifting through and finding the scenes to include in your project can be extraordinarily time consuming. When you're using DV footage, on the other hand, you can set Studio to analyze the time and date codes on the tape and identify scene changes by noting when you stop and start the camera. This makes choosing the scenes to include in your final project a lot easier.

Because analog consumer camcorders don't store time code, you don't have this option (that's why the option Automatic Based on Shooting Time and Date is dimmed in Figure 4.4). Fortunately, Studio provides three analog options that can help you find the scenes you want:

  • If you choose the first available option, Automatic Based on Video Content, Studio identifies scene changes based on significant changes between frames. For example, if one second you're filming the birthday cake and the next your child's delighted face, Studio breaks the two Kodak moments into separate scenes.

  • If you choose the next option, Create New Scene Every x Seconds, you can break the scene into regular intervals of one second or more.

  • Finally, when all else fails, you can watch the video and manually create scenes by pressing the spacebar at the appropriate moments during capture. (Choose the option No Auto Scene Detection.) Though this is obviously the most time-consuming method, you get reacquainted with all the best moments of your video—helpful when you're editing several months (or years) after filming.

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