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Specifying Capture Settings

Capture settings determine the quality at which Final Cut Pro captures video, and you must set your capture preferences before you can capture any media. Your capture settings will determine your clip's native format. Capture preferences specify the capture board you are using, compression method, frame rate, frame size, and audio sampling rate. Final Cut Pro sets capture preferences for you automatically when you install the program, so unless you change your hardware or know the change you want to make, don't feel you need to alter the default settings. One exception to this guideline: Before you capture, you'll want to check the audio settings to specify which audio channels you want captured, adjust your audio input levels, and specify a sample rate. For more information, see Chapter 5, "Capturing Video."

To edit settings for the current Capture preset

  1. On the Capture Presets tab of the Audio/Video Settings window, select a preset; then click the Edit button. If the preset is locked, a dialog box appears indicating that a copy will be made for editing; then the Capture Preset Editor window appears ( Figure 3.25 ).
    03fig25.jpg

    Figure 3.25 The Capture Preset Editor window.

  2. You can modify default settings for the following:
    • Name: Enter a name for the preset.
    • Description: Enter a description of the preset. If it's based on an existing preset with one or two changes, you might note the base preset plus the changes.
    • Frame Size: Choose a preset frame size from the Aspect Ratio pop-up menu, or choose Custom and then enter a custom value in the Width and Height fields.
    • Anamorphic 16:9: Check this box if you are capturing 16:9 media.
    • Capture Card Supports Simultaneous Play Through and Capture: Check this box if your video capture card is equipped to display video on an external video monitor while the Log and Capture window is open and you're capturing video. Check your capture card's documentation.
    • Remove Advanced Pulldown (2:3:3:2) From DV-25 and DV-50 Sources: Check this box to remove 2:3:3:2 pull-down from 24P video material that has been converted to conform to a 29.97 fps DV stream. This feature will remove redundant frame fields created by the pull-down, allowing you to edit in 23.98 fps progressive video. For more information on editing 24-frame material, see Apple's Cinema Tools documentation.
    • High-Quality Video Play Through: Check this box to enable high-quality DV playback in the Log and Capture window.

Specifying QuickTime settings for video and audio capture

The current video settings for the Capture preset are displayed under QuickTime Video Settings. The current audio settings for the preset are displayed under QuickTime Audio Settings. The video and audio options that appear in the pop-up menus depend on which video hardware is connected to your FCP system. It's critical that your capture settings match the hardware you're using. Unless you have a specific reason to make a change, stick with the default settings that match your capture hardware. Selecting the appropriate Capture preset in the main Capture Presets window should load the correct values for all other settings.

To modify QuickTime video settings for the current Capture preset

In the QuickTime Video Settings section of the Capture Preset Editor window ( Figure 3.26 ), you can modify default values for any of the following:

  • Digitizer: Choose a capture interface to specify the digitizer hardware to be used.
  • Input: Choose an input device to specify which video input you want to capture from. With some capture cards, you can choose among multiple inputs.
  • Compressor: Choose a codec to select a compression method for captured video. For a DV/FireWire system, choose DV-NTSC or DV-PAL. For a capture card, select the codec recommended for your hardware.
  • Quality: Adjust this slider to determine the image quality for your video. For a DV/FireWire system, choose medium quality. Capture card users should consult their hardware documentation for a recommendation.
  • FPS: Select a frames-per-second capture rate—select 29.97 for the NTSC standard; 25 for the PAL standard.
  • Limit Data Rate to n K/Second: Check this box to manually limit the data rate while capturing video. Type a numerical value in the field to define the data throughput in kilobytes per second. This applies only to certain codecs.
  • Advanced: Click to access additional QuickTime video settings. Your advanced options are described in the next section.
03fig26.gif

Figure 3.26 The QuickTime Video Settings section has pop-up menus for the QuickTime settings you use the most. You can modify most QuickTime settings for your Capture preset right in the Capture Preset Editor window.

To specify video source settings

  1. In the QuickTime Video Settings section of the Capture Preset Editor window, click the Advanced button. The Video window appears.
  2. Click the Source tab to bring it into view. The pane on the left side of the Source tab displays a list of available video source devices; the currently selected device is highlighted. If Final Cut Pro is receiving the video signal from your video input device, the preview window on the right side of the Video window should display video when your video input device is playing ( Figure 3.27 ).
    03fig27.gif

    Figure 3.27 If Final Cut Pro is receiving the video signal from your video input device, the preview window on the right should display video when your video input device is playing.

To specify video compression settings

  1. In the Video window, click the Compression tab to bring it into view.
  2. You can modify the default settings for any of the following:
    • Compressor: Choose a codec to select a compression method for captured video.
    • Depth: Choose a color depth to specify a bit-depth resolution for captured video.
    • Quality: Adjust this slider to determine the image quality for your video. Least image quality yields the highest compression. Best image quality yields the lowest data compression.
    • Frames per Second: Enter a value in this field or choose a preset value from the pop-up menu to specify the number of frames sampled per second.
    • Key Frame Every n Frames: Check this box to manually assign keyframe intervals. Type a numerical value in the field to define the number of frames between keyframes. This applies only to certain codecs.
    • Limit Data Rate to n Kbytes/Second: Check this box to manually limit the data rate while capturing video. Type a numerical value in the field to define the data throughput in kilobytes per second. This applies only to certain codecs.
  3. From the Preview pop-up menu, you can select from a variety of image-quality preview and evaluation tools ( Figure 3.28 ).
    03fig28.gif

    Figure 3.28 The Preview pop-up menu, new in FCP 4, offers a convenient preview of the image quality of any codec you select from the pop-up menu.

To modify QuickTime audio settings for the current Capture preset

In the QuickTime Audio Settings section of the Capture Preset Editor window ( Figure 3.29 ), you can modify default values for any of the following:

  • Device: Choose a capture interface to specify which audio inputs you want to capture from. If you choose None, the other Audio Settings options disappear.
  • Input: Select the audio channels you want to capture. If you have source material with four audio channels, this is the place to specify capture from the second pair of channels.
  • Rate: Choose an audio sample rate here. Be sure the sample rate matches the sample rate of your source material.
  • Advanced: Click to access additional QuickTime audio settings. Your advanced options are described in the next two sections.
03fig29.gif

Figure 3.29 The QuickTime Audio Settings section has pop-up menus for the device, input source, and sample-rate settings.

To specify computer speaker settings

  1. In the QuickTime Audio Settings section of the Capture Preset Editor window, click the Advanced button. The Sound window appears.
  2. In the Sound window, you can modify the default settings for any of the following:
    • Speaker: Choose Off, On, or Off While Recording to specify the state of the speaker.
    • Volume: Adjust this slider to set the speaker's volume.
    • Gain: Adjust this slider to set the audio levels to be used when recording. If this slider is disabled, use the Gain slider on the Clip Settings tab of the Log and Capture window to set your audio input levels.

To specify source settings

  1. In the QuickTime Audio Settings section of the Capture Preset Editor window, click the Advanced button.
  2. In the Sound window, click the Source tab to bring it into view.
  3. The pane on the left side of the Source tab displays a list of available audio source devices; the currently selected device is highlighted. Select the audio channels you want to capture from the options listed below the selected audio device ( Figure 3.30 ).
    03fig30.gif

    Figure 3.30 Select the audio channels you want to capture.

To specify sample settings

  1. In the QuickTime Audio Settings section of the Capture Preset Editor window, click the Advanced button.
  2. In the Sound window, click the Sample tab to bring it into view ( Figure 3.31 ).
    03fig31.gif

    Figure 3.31 The QuickTime sample settings in the Sound window.

  3. You can modify the default settings for any of the following:
    • Rate: Choose a predefined rate to specify an audio sample rate.
    • Size: Choose a bit size or resolution for the audio sample.
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