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Capturing DV

Even though it takes the next several tasks to cover the capture process, don't be alarmed: Premiere Elements' Capture panel makes capture a simple and straightforward process. The following sections explain the variations.

You can capture clips on the fly, using the playback and capture controls manually. Or, you can use Premiere Elements' Scene Detect feature to capture clips automatically, so that each camera shot becomes a separate clip. Finally, you can have Premiere Elements add each clip you capture to the timeline automatically, creating a rough-cut sequence as you capture. Overall, the methods are similar and, for the most part, intuitive.

Whatever process you choose, remember that, by default, captured files are stored with the project file. Project files, in turn, are stored in your My Documents folder by default. To specify another location, follow the instructions in the section "Storing Captured Footage," earlier in this chapter.

To capture DV footage:

  1. In the Premiere Elements taskbar, click the Capture button ( Figure 3.20 ).
    03fig20.jpg

    Figure 3.20 Click the taskbar's Capture button.

    The Capture workspace appears ( Figure 3.21 ).
    03fig21.jpg

    Figure 3.21 The Capture panel appears.

  2. Make sure a DV camcorder or deck is connected to your computer (using an IEEE 1394 or USB 2.0 connection), is turned on, and is switched to VTR mode (not camera/recording mode); then insert the tape containing the footage you want to capture. An Enter New Tape Name dialog box appears.
  3. In the Enter New Tape Name dialog box, type a unique name for the tape and then click OK ( Figure 3.22 ).
    03fig22.jpg

    Figure 3.22 When you insert a tape, Premiere Elements prompts you to specify the tape's name.

    The name you enter is associated with each clip you capture, and appears in the Tape Name column of the Media panel (when set to list view).
  4. In the More pull-down menu, select the tracks you want to capture ( Figure 3.23 ):
    03fig23.jpg

    Figure 3.23 In the Capture panel's More pull-down menu, select whether you want to capture video, audio, or both.

    1. Capture Video
    2. Capture Audio
    3. Capture Audio and Video
  5. For Clip Name, type the name of the clip you're about to capture ( Figure 3.24 ).
    03fig24.jpg

    Figure 3.24 Enter a name for the clip you want to capture (or use the default name).

    If you don't enter a name, Premiere Elements uses the name of the project and appends a number (sequentially); for example, project name 01.avi, project name 02.avi, and so on.
  6. Using the Capture panel's playback controls, play the portion of the tape you want to capture. See the section "Using Playback Controls in the Capture Panel," earlier in this chapter.
  7. When the tape reaches the point at which you want to begin capturing, click the Capture button( Figure 3.25 ).
    03fig25.jpg

    Figure 3.25 When the tape reaches the point at which you want to begin capturing, click the Capture panel's Capture button.

    The Capture button changes to the Stop Capture button. The status area of the Capture panel displays the elapsed time of the capture as well as the available time (based on the remaining hard disk space) ( Figure 3.26 ).
    03fig26.jpg

    Figure 3.26 Keep an eye on the video and on the status area (shown here) as you capture.

  8. When the tape reaches the point at which you want to stop capturing, click the Stop Capture button ( Figure 3.27 ).
    03fig27.jpg

    Figure 3.27 When the tape reaches the point at which you want to stop capturing, click the Stop Capture button.

    The tape pauses, and the captured clip appears in the Media panel. For more about managing items in the Media panel, see Chapter 4, "Managing Clips." The captured file is stored in the location you specify, as explained in "Storing Captured Footage," earlier in this chapter.

Capturing using the Scene Detect feature

As you've seen, Premiere Elements can detect scene breaks, which are points on the tape where the camera stopped recording and then restarted—you know, where the director called "Roll camera" and "Cut!" You can use the Scene Detect feature to capture an entire tape automatically, so that each shot on the tape is captured as a separate media file. The clips use the name you specify plus a sequential number: filename01, filename02, and so on.

To enable Scene Detect:

  1. In the Capture panel's More pull-down menu, select Scene Detect ( Figure 3.28 ).
    03fig28.jpg

    Figure 3.28 To capture each shot on the tape automatically, select Scene Detect in the Capture panel's More pull-down menu...

    When Scene Detect appears with a checkmark, the feature is enabled.
  2. For Clip Name, type the name you want to use as the basis of each captured clip's name.
  3. In the Capture panel, click Capture( Figure 3.29 ).
    03fig29.jpg

    Figure 3.29 ...and then click Capture.

    Premiere Elements captures each shot on the tape as a separate file, and each file is listed in the Media panel as a clip, using the name you specified plus a sequential number ( Figure 3.30 ).
    03fig30.jpg

    Figure 3.30 Premiere Elements captures each shot on the tape as a separate clip, naming them using a sequential numbering scheme.

Adding captured clips to the timeline automatically

In Premiere Elements, you assemble an edited sequence in the Timeline panel. Future chapters cover editing in the Timeline panel in detail; for now, suffice it to say that one way to generate a rough cut is to enable the Capture panel's Capture to Timeline feature. With Capture to Timeline enabled, each clip you capture is added to the timeline automatically. If you capture footage in the order you want it to appear in the edited version, this can be a good way to generate a rough cut. When you've finished capturing, you can go right to refining the sequence.

To enable Capture to Timeline:

  1. In the Capture panel's More pull-down menu, select Capture to Timeline ( Figure 3.31 ).
    03fig31.jpg

    Figure 3.31 In the Capture panel's More pull-down menu, select Capture to Timeline.

    When Capture to Timeline appears with a checkmark, the feature is enabled.
  2. Capture footage from the tape using the methods explained in "To capture DV footage" or "Capturing using the Scene Detect feature," earlier in this chapter. Each clip you capture appears in the Timeline panel, one after the other ( Figure 3.32 ).
    03fig32.jpg

    Figure 3.32 With Capture to Timeline enabled, each clip you capture is added to the Timeline automatically.

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