- Capturing DV Footage
- Digitizing Analog Footage
- Digitizing Three Ways
- Capture and the Capture Panel
- Watching Video During Capture
- Controlling a Camera with the Capture Panel
- Storing Captured Footage
- Using Playback Controls in the Capture Panel
- Capturing DV
- Adding Media
- Adding Stills
- Adding Still-Image Sequences
- Creating a Still Image in Photoshop Elements
- Generating Synthetic Media
Digitizing Three Ways
If you want to use footage from analog sources, you have three options, explained in this section.
Dubbing to DV
In addition to an IEEE 1394 (aka FireWire or iLink) connector, most DV camcorders also have analog connections. Often, this connection is in the form of an adaptor cable. One end plugs into the camcorder (generally using a proprietary connector that works only with your brand of camcorder). The other end of the cable has analog connectors for video and audio (usually RCA connectors like the ones you use to hook up most consumer VCRs and audio equipment).
To view a DV tape on a TV or copy it to a VHS tape, you use the cable as an audio/video output. However, you can use the same cable as an input to record the audio/video signal coming from your television tuner or VCR. This way, you can copy, or dub, an analog source (such as a VHS tape) to a DV tape. Once your footage is on DV, you can use Premiere Elements to capture your footage in the manner described in the section "Capturing DV." As a plus, you'll have a copy of your (possibly precious) tape in a newer, more versatile, and more resilient format.
Converting to DV using a camcorder
Some DV camcorders can act as analog-to-DV converters. They accept video and audio from an analog source, convert the signals into the DV format, and output the DV signal directly to another device (such as your computer). This way, you can capture analog footage as DV in a single step, and (depending on your camera) without even using a DV tape. Not all DV camcorders have this feature, though. Check your camera's documentation for a pass-through feature or an E-to-E (electronic-to-electronic) mode. Pass-through lets you record and output DV simultaneously, whereas E-to-E converts and outputs the video and audio without recording to a tape.
Note that you'll have to use another program (such as Windows Movie Maker) to capture footage using this method. Once the footage is in DV form, however, you can import it into Premiere Elements (as explained later in this chapter).
Using an analog-to-DV converter
You can also convert analog video and audio to DV using—what else?—an analog-to-digital converter (sometimes called an A-to-D converter). Depending on the device, an A-to-D converter can also be a D-to-A (digital-to-analog) converter. These devices are small boxes with video and audio inputs and outputs appropriate to the formats being converted. In this case, one output is an IEEE 1394 (FireWire, iLink) connector.
A converter is an attractive option for those without a DV camcorder or with an overabundance of analog source tapes. Again, Premiere Elements isn't designed to work with converters directly, but you can use the DV files they create.