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Capturing video with a non-controllable device & resulting file sizes

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Richard Mamary
Capturing video with a non-controllable device & resulting file sizes
on Jun 18, 2012 at 6:25:59 pm

Hi, and thanks to any and all, for your time and help!

I am capturing old, 8mm, Hi-8, and Digital-8 tapes, for archiving purposes, as DV-NTSC.
As a "deck," I am using an old Digital-8 camcorder that I purchased for this project, as it is backward compatible with all 8mm formats, (Sony TRV-120.)

Even though this Digital-8 camcorder has firewire out, FCP, (7.0.3), doesn't recognize the camera, and so I have set about capturing this footage from it as a, non-controllable device. (As a side note, I am not able to sit there and monitor all the capturing real time.)

This so far works fine, except for one caveat. And that is, when the footage ends, (either somewhere in the middle of the tape, or when the tape finishes), FCP keeps capturing, (a grey screen), until I actually see that it is finished, and am therefore manually able to terminate the capture using the escape key.

So, if I set out to capture a two hour tape, and the last 60 minutes of it are blank, I now have a 28 GB file, (that should be no more than 14 GB.) As there are dozens of tapes, these extra gigabytes are adding up fast, and need to reclaimed.

Here are some of the methods I've tried:

1. Using FCP, Media Manager, I can do this, but it is time consuming, requiring, for example, 21 minutes to copy / save an 85 minute original, (to reduce it to 55 minutes actual footage, minus the 30 minutes of grey footage.) This is not only time consuming, but also ties up FCP. Not ideal.

2. Using Quicktime Pro 7, I can trim the unwanted grey footage, and "save" the file without it, but the extra Gigabytes are not reclaimed.
Alternatively in QT7, "saving As," or "exporting,' this movie does the trick, but it also takes a very long time to do so.

3. Finally, using Compressor, I can re-encode the file much faster, (with QMaster's multicore support.)
This, as of now, appears to be the best option I have. But is also not ideal.

Is there an easier, less time consuming way for me to do this? Perhaps without having to do all the re-encoding?

Thanks again!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Capturing video with a non-controllable device & resulting file sizes
on Jun 18, 2012 at 7:17:20 pm

Two things dome to mind:
It may be late in the game, but you'd stand a better chance at preserving image quality with the DVCPro 50 codec.
You can do a rough cut of the gray footage and re-saving in QT Pro... if you wanted to go through the hassle. Then the original clips could be deleted.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Richard Mamary
Re: Capturing video with a non-controllable device & resulting file sizes
on Jun 18, 2012 at 7:57:19 pm

Thanks for the response. And thanks in advance for any further info.
And sorry in advance for the oncoming "machine gun," of questions I have forthcoming!

It may be late in the game, but you'd stand a better chance at preserving image quality with the DVCPro 50.


Wow. Could please expand a little bit more on this. This is potentially paradigm shifting for me, because, up until now my understanding has been that quality of SD footage coming off tape is DV-NTSC, to begin with, (which, based on this idea, is how, for years now I've captured SD, (whether 8mm, mini-dv, or even DVCam.)
In my earlier days, I also would have never considered doing it any other way because drive space back then was at such a premium.
Have I been wrong about this all these years?!

And if so, how wrong? (As in, how much of the original quality of the footage have I been losing?) Is it readily perceivable to the naked eye?
Do you think it's worth me doing a test, capturing both ways and have a look?
Or does capturing it this way just preserve image quality for the next generation, (export, dvd encode, etc?)

In this projects case, were talking about 15-20 year old video, that looks somewhat degraded to begin with.
Would the perceived improvement in quality therefore be negligible?
Is capturing SD footage as DVCPro50, only important if the original video is pristine?

You can do a rough cut of the gray footage and re-saving in QT Pro... if you wanted to go through the hassle.

Yes, but this takes a really long time with QT Pro. Compressor seems to be a better option.
I have been trying to find a less time consuming way to reclaim the wasted file size space, (which is why I originally posted), though I seem to be getting a different education than I expected! (Better late than never.)


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Capturing video with a non-controllable device & resulting file sizes
on Jun 18, 2012 at 10:09:04 pm

DVCPro 50 -- or DV 50, if you prefer to call it that, is DV video but at twice the bit rate. I assume you're NOT capturing via firewire, so you could use it. If you ARE capturing via firewire, stick with it.

The advantage is that DV 50 can withstand re-rendering better than DV 25, which is the same thing as regular DV.


If you like Compressor, you could do the rough cut in FCP, export a Reference (i.e. NOT Self-Contained) Quicktime, then drag a bunch of them into Compressor for batch processing. Figure about 10 at a time: Compressor wigs out if it has to do a lot of files in one batch.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Richard Mamary
Re: Capturing video with a non-controllable device & resulting file sizes
on Jun 18, 2012 at 11:08:05 pm

Thanks again!


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Rafael Amador
Re: Capturing video with a non-controllable device & resulting file sizes
on Jun 19, 2012 at 2:12:41 am

[Richard Mamary] "1. Using FCP, Media Manager, I can do this, but it is time consuming, requiring, for example, 21 minutes to copy / save an 85 minute original, (to reduce it to 55 minutes actual footage, minus the 30 minutes of grey footage.) This is not only time consuming, but also ties up FCP. Not ideal.

2. Using Quicktime Pro 7, I can trim the unwanted grey footage, and "save" the file without it, but the extra Gigabytes are not reclaimed.
Alternatively in QT7, "saving As," or "exporting,' this movie does the trick, but it also takes a very long time to do so.

3. Finally, using Compressor, I can re-encode the file much faster, (with QMaster's multicore support.)
This, as of now, appears to be the best option I have. But is also not ideal."

MM or "Save as.." are the two options that do not degrades the footage.
If you use the third option (Compressor), will add one generation to the picture.
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Richard Mamary
Re: Capturing video with a non-controllable device & resulting file sizes
on Jun 19, 2012 at 3:08:39 am

Thank you Rafael. Compressor is out.

Does an FCP export of the "trimmed clip," (not from the timeline), also add a generation? Or is it too treated as a, "Save As?"

Thanks in advance.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Capturing video with a non-controllable device & resulting file sizes
on Jun 19, 2012 at 12:46:14 pm

[Richard Mamary] "Does an FCP export of the "trimmed clip," (not from the timeline), also add a generation?"
FC has two export options:

- QT Movie (from the time-line): That wont add no generation as long as there is no rendering (if the footage and sequence match, and you don't add no filter or change nothing on the Motion tab).

- QT Conversion: In QT there is always a generation lost unless you "Save as..". From FC you don't have any "Save as..option". The picture will always be reprocessed even if you export with the same setting of the footage.

The Media Manager won't recompress if you use the "Copy" function.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Richard Mamary
Re: Capturing video with a non-controllable device & resulting file sizes
on Jun 22, 2012 at 5:39:27 pm

Thanks again for your help!


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