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Using batch capture and scene detection: Lesson 3-2

When you perform a batch capture, you log the in- and out-points of a number of clips and then have Premiere Pro automatically transfer them to your PC.

Use the logging process to critically view your raw footage. You want to look for “keeper” video, the best interview sound bites, and any natural sound that will enhance your production.

The purpose of using a batch capture is threefold: to better manage your media assets, to speed up the video capture process and to save hard disk space (since one hour of DV consumes 13 GB).

Use a clip naming convention

Think through how you’re going to name your clips. You might end up with dozens of clips, and if you don’t give them descriptive names, it’ll slow down editing.

You might use a naming convention for sound bites such as Bite-1, Bite-2, and so forth. Adding a brief descriptive comment, such as Bite-1 Laugh, will help.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. In the Capture panel Setup area, click the Logging tab.
  2. Change the Handles setting (in lower right corner of the Capture panel) to 30 Frames.

    This adds one second to the start and finish of each captured clip, which will give you enough head and tail frames to add transitions without covering up important elements of the clip (and you won’t get that little “Insufficient Media” message you saw in Lesson 2-3).

  3. In the Clip Data section, give your tape a unique name.
  4. Log your tape by rewinding and then playing it.

    When you see the start of a segment you want to transfer to your PC, stop the tape, rewind to that spot and click the Set In button.

  5. When you get to the end of that segment (you can use Fast-forward or simply Play to get there), click Set Out. The in/out times will display as well as the clip length.
  6. Click Log Clip to open the Clip Data dialog box.
  7. Change the clip name, if needed, add appropriate notes if you want, and then click OK.

    That adds this clip’s name with its in/out times and tape name info to the Project panel (with the word “offline” next to it). You’ll go there later to do the actual capture.

  8. Log clips for the rest of your tape using the same method.

    Each time you click Log Clip, Premiere Pro automatically adds a number to the end of your previous clip’s name. You can accept or override this automated naming feature.

  9. When you’ve completed logging your clips, close the Capture panel.

    All your logged clips will be in the Project panel with the word “offline” after each.

  10. Select all the clips in the Project panel that you want to capture (see following Tip for three methods to do that).
  1. Select File > Batch Capture.

    That opens a very simple Batch Capture dialog box that allows you to override the camcorder settings or add more handle frames.

  2. Leave the Batch Capture boxes unchecked and click OK.

    The Capture panel opens, as does another little dialog box telling you to insert the proper tape (in your case, it’s probably still in the camcorder).

  3. Insert the tape and click OK.

    Premiere Pro now takes control of your camcorder, cues up the tape to the first clip and transfers that clip and all other clips to your hard drive.

  4. When completed, take a look at your Project panel to see the results. offline files have become movies.

Using scene detection

Instead of manually logging in- and out-points, you might want to use the Scene Detect feature. Scene Detect analyzes your tape’s Time/Date stamp looking for breaks such as those caused when you press the camcorder’s pause button while recording.

When Scene Detect is on and you perform a capture, Premiere Pro automatically captures a separate file at each scene break it detects. Scene Detect works whether you are capturing an entire tape or just a section between specific in- and out-points.

To turn on Scene Detect, in the Capture panel, do either of the following:

  • Click the Scene Detect button below the record button.
  • Check the Scene Detect checkbox in the Capture panel.

Then you can either set in- and out-points and click Record, or cue your tape to wherever you want to start capturing and click Record. In the latter case, click Stop when done.

Your clips will show up in the Project panel. No need to batch capture them—Premiere Pro captures each clip “on the fly.” Premiere Pro will name the first captured clip by putting a 01 after the name you put in the Clip Name box and then increment each new clip by one.

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