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Capturing and Adding Footage

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This chapter is from the book

Before you can begin editing, you need to get the video from a tape to your hard drive—a process known as video capture. In Premiere Elements, all the controls you'll need for capture are integrated into an easy-to-use Capture panel. The Capture panel lets you control a DV camera or deck, see and hear the video, and naturally, transfer the parts you want to your computer for editing in Premiere Elements.

But you don't have to shoot your own video footage to create a program in Premiere Elements. As explained in Chapter 2, "Starting a Project," you can import a wide range of digitally stored content: movie files in various formats, audio files, still images, and image sequences. Maybe you've already started using the files in Premiere Elements' tutorial. In addition, Premiere Elements generates commonly used footage items: black video, color fields, bars and tone, and even a countdown. You can even launch Photoshop Elements from within Premiere Elements. This way, you can create or retouch still images for your video project using a program dedicated to the job. You can also make titles, but this book covers that topic in Chapter 9, "Creating Titles."

Capturing DV Footage

Using the widely accepted DV format, the capture process couldn't get much easier. If your computer is equipped with the right port, you can easily transfer footage from a DV camera or deck to your hard disk in much the same way you'd copy files from one disk to another. Most cameras use a cable—known variously as FireWire, iLink, or IEEE 1394—to connect to your computer. But because an IEEE 1394 connection is often an optional addition to a computer, many cameras use a USB 2.0 (aka Fast USB) connection, which is a standard feature on most new computers. Both transfer methods can deliver DV video, audio, and timecode information to your hard disk over a single cable ( Figure 3.1 and Figure 3.2 ). Assuming your computer is fast enough to play back DV—and any relatively recent system is—you're in business. (See the sidebar "Why DV?")


Figure 3.1 DV footage—including video, audio, and timecode—can be transferred over a single IEEE 1394 connection...


Figure 3.2 ... or USB 2.0 connection, depending on your camera and computer.

The DV standard is just that: standard. It narrows what would otherwise be an intimidating selection of video and audio settings into a single set of options. This means you don't waste time choosing the video frame size, frame rate, and so on. Instead, you can choose the appropriate DV preset and get to work.

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