Log and Capture

Revision as of 13:52, 14 July 2009 by Ethan Murphy (talk | contribs)


The following instructions explain how to log and capture footage that was recorded onto miniDV tape. This process is sometimes called "digitizing" and is the first step in the editing process.

  • Slide the Rec/Save tab to the "Save" position on the miniDV tape that you are about to capture. This is a safety measure that protects your footage from being recorded over by mistake.
  • Insert the miniDV tape into the MiniDV deck and rewind the tape to the beginning by pressing the rewind button on the MiniDV deck.
  • File -> Log and Capture.
    Open the log and capture window by selecting File -> Log and Capture (Or Command+8).
  • Confirm that Final Cut Pro recognizes the miniDV deck by seeing the "VTR Okay" message underneath the main image window. If Final Cut reports a different message please see the document Troubleshooting Device Control before proceeding.
  • Familiarize yourself with the keyboard transport controls to navigate through your footage.
    • the "J" key is rewind (repeat key presses speed up the rewind)
    • the "L" key is fast forward (repeat key presses speed up the fast forward)
    • the "K" key is stop
    • the "Spacebar" is play/pause
    • the "arrow left" key steps one frame backward
    • the "arrow right" key steps one frame forward


  • Locate the beginning of the first clip that you want to log using the transport controls above and set your "in" point using the "i" key.
  • Confirm that the "in" timecode has been recorded in the lower left hand corner of the log and capture window.
  • Locate the end of the first clip that you want to log and set your "out" point using the "o" key
  • Confirm that the "out" timecode has been recorded in the lower right hand corner of the log and capture window.
  • Reel: for large projects that require multiple miniDV tapes, number the tapes and match that number here. (ex. Tape Label = MyProject001 then Reel: = 001)
  • Description: for small projects you can sometimes get away with organizing your clips by description only. One description convention might be Character_Verb_ShotAbbreviation (ex. Dan_Falls_CU, or Jane_Eats_ES). You can imagine how this could become unmanageable for larger projects so for those provide Scene and Take information for each clip.
  • Scene: This should match your script, shooting script, or shot list. Use it to organize all clips that belong to that scene. (ex. Scene 1)
  • Take: You may have ten different takes of Dan falling down and this is where you distinguish them. (ex. Take 1)
  • Click the "Log Clip" button.
    Click the "Log Clip" button.

You have successfully logged a clip!

  • Repeat this process until all of the footage on the tape has been logged.

A clip icon with a red slash through it is added to the browser for each clip that is logged.


  • Click on "Batch" and Final Cut will capture all of the clips that have been logged.
    Click the "Batch" button.

If you have problems batch capturing please read the Troubleshooting Timecode Errors document. Once batch capture has finished the red slashes have disappeared from the clip icons in the browser and you have successfully captured a tape.

  • Eject your miniDV tape, make sure it is labeled, and place it in a safe place. It can be used to automatically reconnect your media in case it gets deleted from the computer. This is one of the most secure ways to archive your projects without having your media take up precious space on your hard drive.
  • Close the log and capture window. You are ready to edit.
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