final cut pro

Logging and Capturing Video

To capture video using Final Cut Pro - that is to take the video on a mini-DV tape and download it into your computer as a digital file - you first need to connect your camera to the computer before you launch Final Cut Pro.

Then start Final Cut Pro. You should get a screen stating Final Cut Pro has found the camera. If not, check your connections between the camera and the computer, and make sure the camera is turned to VCR/VTR/playback.

Now in Final Cut Pro click on:

File...Log and Capture

(the hotkey combination is apple key | 8)

A new window will appear, and you should see the words VTR OK near the bottom of the screen.

To the right are some tabs you can use to change the settings for the video you want to capture. The settings include:

Capture Settings

Be sure the Device Control is set to Firewire NTSC.

Leave the Capture Input at the default (DV NTSC 48MHz).

Scratch Disks

These are the same settings you initially selected to make sure your media is being stored in the proper scratch disk - the drive and folder for your Final Cut Pro project. So just check with the top Set button to make sure your scratch disk is selected. If it's not, then go through the instructions for setting the Scratch Disk Settings.

Clip Settings

You can set this to capture Audio Only, Video Only or Audio and Video. In most cases you'd select Audio and Video (you might select Video Only if the audio for that clip is unusable, or you might select Audio Only if you used your camera to record a voice-over for use with other video clips).

Leave the audio setting at Channels 1 & 2, to capture all the audio.


Log Bin

This should be the name of the folder where you want to capture your video.


Give a name to the reel of tape you're about to log and capture. It's probably best to use the same name that you used for your mini-DV tape.

Playing Your Tape

Your tape will be displayed in the Viewer window during the log and capture process.

To begin playing your tape, you can use the Play, Stop, Pause, Fast Forward and Rewind buttons below the Viewer window.

You also can play a clip in the Viewer by pressing the spacebar on your computer. To stop playing the clip, just press the spacebar again.

Just below the clip in the Viewer is the playhead, a short vertical line in the white horizontal box that you can click on and drag to the left or right to move or scrub through the clip.

To the right of the Play/Stop buttons is a shuttle control that you can click on and drag horizontally to play the clip more quickly.

To the left of the Play/Stop buttons is a jog control that you click on and drag horizontally to move through a clip frame by frame.

Above the clip are time duration and time code boxes. The one on the left shows the duration of the clip currently displayed in the Viewer. The one on the right displays the time code - the time stamp showing where the current frame of the displayed clip exists on the mini-DV tape from which it will be captured.

Final Cut Pro has two basic ways to capture the video you're playing - immediate capture and log and capture.

Capture Now

You can immediately begin capturing a video clip by starting to play the clip at the point where you want to start capturing it, and then clicking on the button labeled:


That will begin capturing the clip from that point.

To stop capturing, on the upper left of your keyboard press the:

escape key

You'll notice the clip will then appear as a file in your Browser area to the left.

You can continue this process to capture other clips, by just moving through the tape to the next point that you want to capture, playing the tape and then again clicking on Caputure...Now and then the escape key.

Note: It's not good practice to just capture all the video you have on a tape. Instead go through your tape and capture only the segments you think you might use in your video project.

Capturing everything will make it more difficult to edit later, because you'll have far more material than you need and you'll have to play through all of it to find the segments you might want to use.

Also remember that even a small segment of video can take up a huge amount of space on your hard drive or on a portable firewire drive. As a rule of thumb, every 5 minutes of video you capture will take up about 1 GB of space on your hard drive.

Log and Capture

The other way to capture video clips is to first go through your tape and log the clips you want to capture by creating in and out points.

Then when you're done selecting all the clips you want, you can do a Batch capture to capture them all at once.

Start by moving through your clips to the beginning of a segment you want to log and starting to play the clip.

Then on your keyboard click on the

i key

Which will create an in point to begin logging the clip.

When the clip has reached the point where you want to stop capturing it, on your keyboard click on the:

o key

Which will create an out point to stop logging the clip.

Then click on the button for:

Log Clip

Give a name to the clip (you also can type in some notes describing the clip if you want).

Then click OK.

Then play the video until you reach the point where you want to log another clip, again click on the i key, and then the o key. Click on Log Clip, give this clip another name, and click on OK.

You'll notice that as you do this, your clips will show up as files in the Browser to the left. But the files will have red slashes through them, indicating they have been logged, but they have not yet been captured to the computer).

When you're done logging all the clips you want to capture, click on the button on the right for:


You'll be given some options:

Capture All Items, Capture Selected Items, or Capture Offline Items - Select Capture Offline Items.

Make sure the use logged clip settings box is checked.

Make sure the add handles box is checked and the time is changed to 00:00:01:00 to slightly increase the length of each captured clip (adding a handle means adding a little bit of video - 1 second in this case - at the beginning of each clip you've logged and at the end of each clip you've logged. This gives you a little added wiggle room when you're doing your final editing, such as allowing you to include a tiny bit more of a clip than you originally selected when you logged its in or out points)

Then click on:


When you get a box stating X clips ready, click on:


Final Cut Pro now will go through your mini-DV tape, finding the clips you've logged and capturing each of them to the computer.

When capturing is completed, you'll get a screen stating the process is done, at which you point should click on:


You'll notice the clips that were displayed as files in the Browser to the left no longer have the red slashes through them, as they have now been captured to the computer.