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Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #34

DV Start/Stop Detect By Stephen Schleicher

For those of you working in the DV format, Final Cut Pro includes a feature that not only makes logging and capturing clips a breeze, but it also saves wear and tear on your deck and state of mind.

DV Start/Stop Detect is one of those features that you will probably ignore until you find out what it does.  Loud smacking of foreheads will probably follow.  One of the problems of non-linear editing is you first begin by logging your tape, setting capture points, then doing a batch capture.  If you have been capturing your DV tapes this way, you are probably running the tape across your deck heads at least two times, and maybe three.  This creates a great deal of unnecessary wear and tear on your deck.  For those DV editors that are using an inexpensive deck like the Sony DSR-11, this can really shorten the lifespan of the device.


DV Start/Stop Detect works by detecting the time breaks recorded on the tape by the cameras internal clock.  For example, if you are shooting Shot 1 and stop recording at 11:30 AM, and then begin recording Shot 2 at 11:31 AM, Final Cut Pro detects this break and can then assign a marker to these points that can then easily be turned into Subclips.

Step 1:  In order for DV Start/Stop Detect to work properly you must set the internal clock on your DV camera.

Step 2:  Go out and shoot your video as you normally would.  It should be noted that DV Start/Stop Detect works by detecting the breaks from the starting and stopping of the recording process.  If you are like me and sometimes like to shoot with long periods of time elapsing between pressing the record button, this feature of Final Cut Pro will not detect all of the different shots, only the breaks in tine.

Step 3:  With your video shot, launch Final Cut Pro HD and open the Log and Capture window.

Rewind your tape and click on the Capture Now button.  The tape will then be captured as one giant clip by Final Cut Pro HD.  You will need to make sure that the Limit Capture Now duration (found in System Settings) is large enough to accommodate the length of your tape.

Step 4:  When the capture process is complete you will end up with a very long clip. 

Open the clip in the Viewer Window and from the Mark menu select DV Start/Stop Detect.

Final Cut Pro HD will scan the clip looking for these breaks in time (not timecode), and assign markers to these break points.

You can use the Shift+Up or Down arrow keys to move from one Marker to the next to see what Final Cut Pro HD has done.

Step 5:  This is all well and good, but how is it helpful?  If you look in the Browser Window, you will see your clip, and should notice it has a drop down arrow next to it.  Twirl down the arrow and you will see all of the Markers and segment names.

Double clicking on any of these Markers will open the clip in the Viewer Window.  In fact, these marked clips are acting exactly like Subclips.  You can now set additional In/Out points, and edit these Virtual Subclips into your Timeline.  Each of these marked clips acts as a separate clip that you would have created if you had gone the long route mentioned previously using the log and capture window.

Step 6:  If you want to create an actual Subclip from the marked clip, simply drag the Segment marker from the clip into a separate Bin, or select Make Subclip from the Modify Menu, or use the keyboard shortcut Command+U.

Hopefully this Final Cut Pro Quick Tip has demonstrated an alternate way of capturing your video in a way that will not waste a great deal of your time and energy and keep your deck alive for a bit longer.

For a complete list of my Final Cut Pro Quick Tips, visit my website at www.mindspring.com/~schleicher


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Stephen Schleicher has crossed the country several times over the last couple of years going from Kansas to Atlanta , Georgia, and Southern California. In his time traveling, he has worked as an editor, graphic designer, videographer, director, and producer on a variety of video productions ranging from small internal pieces, to large multimedia
corporate events.

Currently, Stephen shares his knowledge with students at Fort Hays State University who are studying media and web development in the Information Networking and Telecommunications department. When he is not shaping the minds of university students, Stephen continues to work on video and independent projects for State and local agencies and organizations as well as his own ongoing works.

He is also a regular contributor to Digital Producer, Creative Mac, Digital Webcast, Digital Animators, and the DV Format websites, part of the Digital Media Online network of communities (www.digitalmedianet.com), where he writes about the latest technologies, and gives tips and tricks on everything from Adobe After Effects, to Appleā??s Final Cut Pro, LightWave 3D, to shooting and lighting video.

He has a Masters Degree in Communication from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. As a forward thinker, he wrote his Thesis on how Information Islands and e-commerce would play a major role in keeping smaller communities alive. This of course was when 28.8 dialup was king and people hadnā??t even invented the word e-commerce.

And, he spends what little free time he has biking, reading, traveling around the country, and contemplating the future of digital video and its impact on our culture. You can reach him at schleicher@mindspring.com

Related Keywords:DV detect, final cut pro, final cut pro quick tip, schleicher, editing, nle, apple

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