Final Cut Pro: Capturing Entire Tapes

Final Cut Pro offers you the ability to only capture certain sections of video footage from a camera or tape, or you can capture an entire tape and work with the raw source file directly. Capturing an entire tape in Final Cut Pro is easy, and this handy step by step guide will show you everything you need to know.

What You Will Need

  • A computer with Final Cut Pro installed
  • A DV camcorder or a deck with tape footage to capture

Step 1: Connect Camera or Deck to Your Mac Computer

In order to connect your camera or deck to your Mac computer, you need to ensure that you have a four pin to six pin FireWire cable. Connect your camera or deck via the cable and set your camera to VCR mode.

Step 2: Run the Final Cut Pro Program

From the dock on your computer's desktop screen, click the icon to launch the Final Cut Pro program.

Step 3: Import the Video Footage into Final Cut Pro

Go to 'File | Log and Transfer' to open the log and transfer window. If your camera or deck is correctly configured and connected to the computer, the video should display in your browser window.

Step 4: Make Sure You Have Enough Available Hard Drive Space

Capturing an entire tape from your camera or deck requires a lot of hard drive space. Therefore, you need to ensure that you have enough space available on the disc where you want to save the video file. In Final Cut Pro, you can easily check how much space is available on your scratch disk by entering the 'Shift' and 'Q' keys simultaneously on your keyboard. This action will bring up the system settings screen, where you should see the hard drive used with Final Cut Pro listed under the 'scratch disk' tab. Depending upon the quality of the film footage on your camera or deck, an entire tape can take up between 12 GB and 25 GB of hard drive space. So, make sure that you select a scratch disk that has enough available space.

Step 5: Configure Capture Settings

After you're sure you have enough hard drive space to capture an entire tape, you need to check your configuration settings for capturing the video. You can go to the 'easy setup' settings by hitting the 'ctrl' and '8' keys at the same time. On the setup screen, you need to choose the format, rate and use settings from the options available. Match the settings to the footage on your tape as well as consider the output aspect ratio you want to use.

Step 6: Capture the Tape in Final Cut Pro

Now, you're ready to capture the tape in Final Cut Pro. In order to do this, click on the 'capture now' button in the log and transfer window. Final Cut Pro will automatically begin capturing the footage on the tape you selected. The program will continue capturing footage until it reaches the end of the tape or when your scratch drive runs out of available hard drive space. Once you have captured the tape, you can create mark points or other edits as needed.

Popular Tripods: