how to capture hdv without pixelation?

catbo1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 27, 2007
5
0
Hi,
I have a mac book pro, 1GB/100GB and only one firewire 400.
i've been trying to import hd video footage, captured with my new canon HV10.
results are horrifying as i continously get alerts like, "capture not in real time", subsequently the import quality is bad and the footage mostly is pixelated. a very annoying problem. does anyone have any suggestions how to solve this problem? can i somehow upgrade my mac book to make it work?
 

Carl Spackler

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2005
320
0
Outer Space
Hi,
I have a mac book pro, 1GB/100GB and only one firewire 400.
i've been trying to import hd video footage, captured with my new canon HV10.
results are horrifying as i continously get alerts like, "capture not in real time", subsequently the import quality is bad and the footage mostly is pixelated. a very annoying problem. does anyone have any suggestions how to solve this problem? can i somehow upgrade my mac book to make it work?
FW400 is fine. How are you capturing, iMovie, FCP, something else? With a little more info, I, and others might be able to provide better assistance.
 

catbo1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 27, 2007
5
0
FW400 is fine. How are you capturing, iMovie, FCP, something else? With a little more info, I, and others might be able to provide better assistance.
the pixelation problems occur with imovie hd 6.0.3.
the problems with fcp 5.0 are the interrupted flow of the images ( like a staccato) and also there is no display on the screen of the image during capture. (it imports though, as the clip appears afterwards)

in fact after not having good quality in fcp i went on to try imovie in order to export footage back into fcp, which always worked with my previous dv set up...am very frustrated, after being super exited about the brilliant image quality of hdv.
 

catbo1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 27, 2007
5
0
almost, there are like 10 gb left... am waiting for an external storage to be delivered anytime. could that be the problem? if so, how much do i have to have left in minimum in my storage? (well, 10 aren't enough obviously.)
 

P-Worm

macrumors 68020
Jul 16, 2002
2,045
0
Salt Lake City, UT
Are you capturing footage to your main boot drive? Often if you are there is not enough bandwidth for all of the information (both video and what OS X needs to operate) to get through. The thing is that I haven't seen a problem THIS bad due to that.

The only other thing that I can think of is that HDV requires more processing power to decode, but you said that you have a MacBook Pro and that shouldn't be the problem either.

:confused:

Just curious. When you try to capture, open up Activity Monitor in your Utilities folder and see how the process percentages move about. You can sort the list so that the most processor time is at the top and see what is going on.

If you find out what's going on, please post here again, because I can't figure it out and I would love to know. :p

P-Worm
 

Carl Spackler

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2005
320
0
Outer Space
What are your capture settings in Final Cut Pro?

I can't fathom that your Macbook Pro is not fast enough or that it's you're capturing to your boot drive. The space left could have something to do with it. You may want to set you in and out points to capture a short amount of footage, say a minutes or so. If it's still not right and you have an Apple Store in your city, I'd take you camera and the Macbook Pro and get one of the folks there to assist.
 

faustfire

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
560
0
California
almost, there are like 10 gb left... am waiting for an external storage to be delivered anytime. could that be the problem? if so, how much do i have to have left in minimum in my storage? (well, 10 aren't enough obviously.)
I would say that there is a really good chance that the lack of space on your drive is the problem. Clear some space, (at least half the drive) or get an external drive. Dont worry about fw 400 vs. 800, 400 will be more than enough to capture HDV at 25mbps.:)
 

theWholeTruth

macrumors member
Sep 27, 2006
81
0
Give more details.

In FCP, what are your Capture Presets and Device Control Presets at?

I assume you are capturing via FW from your camera, yes? If so, do you have control of the camera via the Logging/Capture window? Can you see picture in that window? If you have control and see picture, then your Device Control Preset is most likely correct.

Pixelation could be a result of an incorrect Capture Preset selection. You should be using the HDV Apple Intermediate Codec.

Capturing to your Internal Drive or Boot drive is never recommended. It works, however, problems can result. How long are the clips you are trying to capture? Go to System Settings and make sure 'Limit Capture Now To:' box is not checked. When you batch capture, FCP will tell you how much space it will take. See if it's > than 10GB.
 

Multimedia

macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2001
5,212
0
Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
Wait For Your External HD To Arrive. Capturing To Internal Is No Good.

almost, there are like 10 gb left... am waiting for an external storage to be delivered anytime. could that be the problem? if so, how much do i have to have left in minimum in my storage? (well, 10 aren't enough obviously.)
Yes. You should never capture footage to the drive with the system and applications. Always capture to an external 3.5" 7200RPM FW Drive. Your 2.5" 5400RPM drive is trying to seek the system, FCP or iMovie while capturing HDV all at the same time — too much work for one little 5400RPM 2.5" mobile HD.
 

faustfire

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
560
0
California
Yes. You should never capture footage to the drive with the system and applications. Always capture to an external 3.5" 7200RPM FW Drive. Your 2.5" 5400RPM drive is trying to seek the system, FCP or iMovie while capturing HDV all at the same time — too much work for one little 5400RPM 2.5" mobile HD.
He has a 100gig drive on his MBP which is the optional 7200RPM drive. If he has enough space he should have no problem capturing to his boot drive. I capture to the boot drive on my MBP with the stock 160/5400 drive with no problem. I try to keep it under 40% full though.
 

Rod Rod

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2003
2,175
2
Las Vegas, NV
I captured HDV with a 1.25GHz PowerBook G4 (80GB hdd, 2GB RAM) using "HDV" (not Apple Intermediate Codec) and everything captured in real time to an external FireWire hard drive. The quality was pristine too.

I did some cutting on that machine and it worked great.

theWholeTruth is probably on to something as far as an incorrect capture setting somewhere.
 

Multimedia

macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2001
5,212
0
Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
Rule Is To Never Captue To The System Drive. But Doing So Sometimes Works.

He has a 100gig drive on his MBP which is the optional 7200RPM drive. If he has enough space he should have no problem capturing to his boot drive. I capture to the boot drive on my MBP with the stock 160/5400 drive with no problem. I try to keep it under 40% full though.
That may be so. But the professional rule is to never capture to the boot drive.
I captured HDV with a 1.25GHz PowerBook G4 (80GB hdd, 2GB RAM) using "HDV" (not Apple Intermediate Codec) and everything captured in real time to an external FireWire hard drive. The quality was pristine too.

I did some cutting on that machine and it worked great.

theWholeTruth is probably on to something as far as an incorrect capture setting somewhere.
I thought HDV capture is always being converted to the Apple Intermediae Codec. But maybe not in FCP. If not in FCP, what is it convered to instead so you can still frame accurate edit?
 

Rod Rod

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2003
2,175
2
Las Vegas, NV
I thought HDV capture is always being converted to the Apple Intermediae Codec. But maybe not in FCP. If not in FCP, what is it convered to instead so you can still frame accurate edit?
There's a choice between the respective different frame rate and size varieties of Apple HDV and Apple Intermediate Codec.
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
119
Los Angeles
I thought HDV capture is always being converted to the Apple Intermediae Codec. But maybe not in FCP. If not in FCP, what is it convered to instead so you can still frame accurate edit?
Only FCE and iMovie always convert HDV to AIC. FCP can edit HDV natively, but the CPU overhead is much more (as the computer has to create discrete frames on the fly basically) than other codecs resulting in less RT features, longer render times, and a lengthy "conform" process before you can record back to HDV tapes.


Lethal
 

Multimedia

macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2001
5,212
0
Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
Native HDV Editing In Final Cut Studio

Only FCE and iMovie always convert HDV to AIC. FCP can edit HDV natively, but the CPU overhead is much more (as the computer has to create discrete frames on the fly basically) than other codecs resulting in less RT features, longer render times, and a lengthy "conform" process before you can record back to HDV tapes.
I'll confess to having known that FCP doesn't use Apple Intermediate Codec. But I didn't understand how the native capture worked until you just explained it. Thanks. So another 8 core Mac Pro application benefit I see. Are there any links to tutorials on all the gory details you outlined above Lethal?
 

Multimedia

macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2001
5,212
0
Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
Capture Drive Needs To Be Doing Nothing But Writing Incoming Video Code

... the professional rule is to never capture to the boot drive.
Why is that?
Because you threaten the integrity of the capture asking the same head that is talking to the system and the video application to also write the video file at the same time. You want to separate those tasks between two different dirves to make sure that all the capture drive head is doing is writing the incoming video file only.
 

faustfire

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
560
0
California
Because you threaten the integrity of the capture asking the same head that is talking to the system and the video application to also write the video file at the same time. You want to separate those tasks between two different dirves to make sure that all the capture drive head is doing is writing the incoming video file only.
But if you capture to the boot drive and your clips retain their integrity, doesnt that in essence render this "professional rule" not a rule but more of a suggestion.:)
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
Part of the problem at least is that the OP is down to the last 10 Gb of free space on a 100 Gb drive. This means that they are writing to the innermost tracks of the hard drive plater, which is much, much slower than the optimal performance of the outside tracks. Hard drives fill up from the outside in.

It's geometry -- the drive turns at 1 revolution in 1/7200nd of a second. In that same amount of time, approximately 7 inches of track length (which means the number of readable/writable bits) passes under the head on the outermost track, but only about 3 inches of track length passes under the head on the innermost track.

This is also why a 7200 RPM 3.5" 'desktop' drive will always outperform a 2.5" 7200 RPM drive. The outer track of the desktop drive is closer to 10 inches in perimeter.

Moral of the story: If you must capture to the internal drive, clear as much space as humanly possible so you get better throughput on outer tracks.
 

theWholeTruth

macrumors member
Sep 27, 2006
81
0
But if you capture to the boot drive and your clips retain their integrity, doesnt that in essence render this "professional rule" not a rule but more of a suggestion.:)
Just call it 'professional practice'. The reason is in a professional environment, you are going to need more space to digitize footage than an internal drive allows (at least until recently). And if you look further back to when AVID first came on the scene, editing was done via SCSI, so externals were the only option. And if you wanted AVR 77 you had to have striped drives. Then there was the speed of the drives to consider, etc...

But anyways, it's become the norm for professionals because of past use and what people have mentioned in the previous posts.
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
119
Los Angeles
I'll confess to having known that FCP doesn't use Apple Intermediate Codec. But I didn't understand how the native capture worked until you just explained it. Thanks. So another 8 core Mac Pro application benefit I see. Are there any links to tutorials on all the gory details you outlined above Lethal?
Unfortunately I don't have a single link that concisely talks about everything. I pick up bits and pieces of info from a variety of sites as well as hands on experience.

I typitcally hit up the following sites on a daily basis:
dvxuser.com
creativecow.net
dvinfo.net
hdforindies.com


Lethal
 
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