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Dropped frames capturing in Final Cut Pro. Can you help?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by Dear Mr Echo, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. Dear Mr Echo

    Dear Mr Echo
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    Hi
    I have a slight problem that I've tried to fix but haven't found a solution.

    I'm just getting started with video editing (though I did a little a few years ago on Premiere). A friend has just lent me his SonyDCR-TRV460 digital8 camcorder and I've shot some "stuff" but I'm having problems with dropped frames when I'm trying to capture it with Final Cut Pro (capturing with iMovie is fine though). So far I have defragged my hard disc, backed up and deleted about 20GB of files (leaving just over 48GB free) and checked that the drive (Maxtor 6Y200P0 is fast enough... 7200 alledgedly). My Mac is 5 years old nearly - 2 x 500MHz G4 with 1.3GB (ish) of RAM - which I would have thought was adequate.

    EDIT - Oh and I'm on OSX 10.3.8 - haven't done the latest update to 10.3.9 yet. And I'm connecting the camera via Firewire.

    Anyone got any suggestions to remedy this... (please don't say buy a PC... please!). Any help would be very welcome

    cheers
    Andrew
     
  2. Roy Mallard

    Roy Mallard
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    Hey

    You don't mention what version of FCP you've got.

    You don't mention whether the frames have been dropped on cpature or are being dropped onplayback (same end result but different reasons for each occuring).

    If the frames are dropped in the same place each time then it's a CAPTURE problem.

    If the frames are dropped randomly then its a PLAYBACK problem.

    CAPTURE
    There could be a couple of problems:

    If you are using 'capture now' then FCP will capture untill it percieves a break in the recording signal, where imovie would keep capturing and create a new clip in the clip window.

    To get round this you could try creating an 'in' and 'out' point at the start and end of each individual clip you want, the capture using 'clip' instead.
    This should avoid capturing a passage of tape with any timecode breaks.

    If you go into preferences (under FCP main menu) you have all sorts of custom set ups, in this menu you can choose to stop cpature if dropped frames occur, or caprture regardless.

    If you are recordng using LP on cam then this is probably the root of the problem. Change to Standard Play (SP). Use new tapes where you can. It ownt hurt to run a head cleaner tape through the machine either (follow the on tape instructions to the letter, usually a 10 second burst).

    PLAYBACK

    It seems you are using the same drive for the system, programme files and data files (capture scratch). This makes things very very slow as you are going through a single port on the system bus, If you have a second drive in the machine then use the smaller for system and programme/autosave vault files, use the bigger drive for data (scratch) again this is a preference set up option.

    If you only have one hard drive then I would recommend a complete reinstall of your system, partition your single drive so there are two smaller drives (using disk utilty in utilities menu, you may have to do a finder search), allow enough space for your system (likely to be 0sx.3.8, no Osx.3.9, next version up is the unreleased 10.4.1 tiger) plus FCP and at least 100MB headroom, use the rest as your scratch drive.

    If you can afford it, fit a second drive, either go small for an extra internal system only drive (around 15-20GB will be absolutley loads) or go for a huge scratch drive instead (you could easily connect a 7200rpm LAcie or Maxtor external through the firewire port and then connect the camcorder through a second frewire port on the external drive, unless you have a second firewire on the main cpu.

    If your mac is less than 5 years old it shoul dbe able to handle SD DV no problem, check out crucial.co.uk for more RAM (always good and easy to fit)
     
  3. Roy Mallard

    Roy Mallard
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    just rechecked your spec, your mac should fly with SD DV, problem is capture or single drive issue.

    You could alter the quality of the playback, (preferences) or reduce the size of the viewer window (100% or less), though on a machine like yours this should not be required. Are there any red areas immediately abov ethe timeine?, if so press the apple button and press r similtaneously.
     
  4. Dear Mr Echo

    Dear Mr Echo
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    Thanks for taking the time to give me some direction - its much appreciated. The problem is with capturing the footage. I'm using Final Cut Pro 4. I'll have a tinker this afternoon using your suggestions and see what happens.

    cheers
    Andrew
     

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