Please help....Date Capture in iMovie

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by sukhoi, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. sukhoi macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2005
    How do i capture the date from the mini DV Camcorder which is connected to my PB....i want the details...the clip date and time to come on the left corner of the clip after i import it to imovie and burn a it does when i play the video from the camcorder itself.

    Camcorder - Panasonic NV GS11 mini DV
    Imovie - Version 4.0.1
    Connection - Firewire
    Computer - PB G4 1.5 Gfz 512 MB Superdrive

    gawd someone help me please lol....would be obliged.

    Thanks a lot.
  2. leftbanke7 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2004
    West Valley City, Utah
    If I understand what you are asking correctly, what I think is going on is that you have date stamp set to show up during playback but do not have it set up to actually be recorded onto the tape. You have to go to your camera's option menu and tell it to record the date stamp. Hope this helps.
  3. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    Why not recreate the date stamp with iMovie.
  4. sukhoi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2005

    Thanks a lot for the replies firstly.........

    how can i recreate the date stamp on imovie? thanks again.
  5. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    it depends on the version of iMovie you are using. There should be a slider to increase the font size.
  6. sukhoi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2005

    Hi, thanks for the reply....i did go to the camera option and also checked out the instruction manual that came along with it, there is no such option in this camera to record the data stamp onto the tape, maybe panasonics dont have it. When i play the tape from the camera, the date stamp is perfect on the LCD screen and also imovie store the date in the "info" of each clips, but i hope you understood what i want. I want the date stamp to show on the clip in imovie exactly as it does on the LCD screen, maybe its a big ask lol.

    thanks for helping...cheers
  7. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    Sorry, I miss read your post yesterday.

    In iMovie, create a graphic over the video by typing in the same info from the camera. There is a template that puts the text in the corner like a music video.

    The time and date stamp on a DV camcorder is actually data stored on the tape. It is not part of the video, however if you hook up the camcorder to a VCR (or another DV Cam) via the video and audio jack, you can set up the camcorder to show the data stamp on the output so that it can be recorded on the new video. If you use a VHS recorder you will loose quality in your video.

    May I ask, why is the date code needed? Personally, I hate watching video with a date code on it. Maybe at the beginning of a clip just for reference is ok.
  8. Courtnie macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2005
    BC, Canada
    I need to do this as well, I have Canon Mini DV Cam, using Firewire connection with an iMac G5 rev b. I need this because I am editing some footage for someone and he HAS to have the time stamp displayed on the screen at all times. He has underwater footage and he has information that is recorded at certain times and people have to know the time stamp. Time stamp is turned on, if I recorded on VHS I can get it to show up, but how to I get iMovie to display it? I can not simly recreate it cuz I would have to do that for all 60 mintues of the footage!
  9. Eastend macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2004
    Nara, Japan
    You could also type the date in iDVD someplace like in the title or something.

  10. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005

    Ok. I've been thinking about this.

    It's going to take another DVCam to do it.

    First hook up the 2 camcorders via the Yellow, Red and White A/V cables and make a copy with the timecode turned on. (Just like Courtnie is saying with VHS but with digital...get it).

    Now edit the new tape in iMovie or FCP or FCE.

    Opps. Don't have another one. Try a pawn shop. Ask friends. Even a Digital 8 would work. See if you can rent one.

    Good luck.
  11. Ashesh macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2005
    NV GS11 Mini DV

    I have bought recently NV GS11 Mini DV of Pal version which is valid here in Inida.

    However i have some problems can any one guide me in this regard ??

    1 ) Are colour filters available of this camara so that in too much sun light i can use the same to have better contrass etc

    2) Are there any filters or light enhancers ( NOT FLASH GUN/ LIGHT ETC) available for this camera so that in late evening i can shoot skating of my son where the light condition is not optimum and object is moving little more it can be done with out jurky movement and not looking too dark...what can be ideal setting for camera too

    3) As per the manuel provided with it i have bout Firewire however i am not able to trasfer video with the help of the software provided by Panasonic.... if I try to connect that ssoftware every time driver not found....device not found message will come ...HOWEVER with XP movie maker software with same wire i am able to transfer it......why it is so... and what is the best way out..... How to edit the content movie recorded by me, while/ after transfering the same to computer ...say tone/ light/contrast adjustments etc.

    4) Regarding movie transfer to my computer....which is P-3 Hp make.....if the movie shhot by this DV is saved in computer and if I try to burn the same in VCD then the image is very blurry...jurky...not at all clear...whether i see it on computer or on my TV trhu Sony DVD the same time if i run original DV cassate to my TV then it is crystel why burning into CD is a problem...and what could be the way out ???

    5) How to take Stills and record it separately ???

    I will feel priviledged if any one can guide me in this regard .


  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    DV is much, much, much higher quality than VCD. So that is why the VCD looks so bad in comparison. Even if you made a DVD that would still be a reduction in quality (1hr of DV footage takes up about 13gigs of HDD space).

  13. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    You're probably best asking specific questions about camcorders on a camcorder forum like where there's a Panasonic section where someone might own the camera.

    Similarly, this is a Mac board so most of us aren't up on the intricacies of transferring video to PCs. Again, most of the camcorder forums have a section to ask questions about transferring video.
  14. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    Subtitles with datecode from DV stream

    I'd also like to save the date from the video. DV video stores the time and date information as data alongside the video. It doesn't need to show up in the video itself. Programs which read the DV stream can decide what if anything to do with the date and time.

    I want to be able to create a DVD that has the date and time as subtitles. That way I can decide to show it or not by enabling or disabling subtitles when viewing the DVD.

    Some of the Philips DVD recorders do this and I don't want to loose this information. Many home videos are memories, you want to remember when the video was taken. Its inexcusable that iMovie and iDVD can't handle this.

    I've found a series of free tools on Windows that let me do this, but I haven't found an equivalent for Mac OS X that lets you extract the datecode information from the DV stream.

    Any help, assistance or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
  15. sssyippee macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2007

    I am trying to do this same thing i.e. "create a DVD that has the date and time as subtitles". You mentioned above there you found a series of windows tools that lets you do this - can you share the details?
  16. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    I have a set of Windows tools and have most of the pieces necessary for Mac except for one crucial piece.

    On Windows I use the following tools. These tools are generally available from
    1. windv: This allows you to copy the video from a firewire DV camera and write it to one or more files. I copy it as one giant file ~22GB.
    2. DV sub maker: This scans the DV file (.avi on Windows). It creates a subtitle file that states what text should appear at what time interval in the file. You can tell it to create subtitles from the date and time in various formats.
    3. DVDAuthorGUI: This is a front end onto a bunch of open source and freeware tools. It handle encoding the video, can take the subtitle file as input and create a DVD image. It also has much fancier capabilities to create nicer DVD menus, but I've never figure it out. The DVDs I create have no menus. Just one big video with subtitles.

    I also wrote a Java utility to scan the subtitle file and come up with chapter markers every once in a while which I also input into DVD author GUI.

    On the Mac I ended up finding most of the pieces.
    1. As an equivalent to WinDV, you can use iMovie. Capture the file with or without scene breaks. It creates a bunch of ".dv" files. These file contain the raw DV data from the camera without a header. If you break it up by scene, you can re-create a single large file with a simple unix command, "cat *.dv > big.dv". That concatenates all the *.dv files in order into a single file, big.dv.
    2. I never found an equivalent to DV submaker. This was the critical piece. Turns out I spent a good bit of time messing around and ended up writing my own which actually does work. Its pretty neat, its able to display the video as it goes and shows you the timestamp its found for it. It writes out the subtitle file in a fixed format. More about this later.
    3. The Windows DVDAuthorGUI program is a front end to a bunch of open source tools, most of which run on Mac OS. You can use the command line tools which are very powerful, and or you can use "ffmpegx" as a front end to them. Even if you want to use the command line tools, its best to get ffmpegx because it bundles them in. Otherwise you have to hunt around for each individual tool.

    I was pretty happy when I got my own equivalent to DVSubMaker working. But I never really finalized or cleaned it up. I toyed with the idea of making it available but I have other things taking my time. In the meanwhile, I gave up dealing with video. I bought an otherwise horrendous old Philips DVD recorder which can record from a DV camera straight to DVD real time with subtitles. I had spent years messing with programs, just wasn't worth it anymore.

    In the meanwhile, I also ended up buying a pretty cheap ($100) but very nice Fuji still camera which also does a surprisingly decent job of video, 640x480 30fps with audio. The files come out much smaller. Already broken out by scene. Generally easier to deal with. I like having video and stills mixed together at an event, although neither iMovie nor iPhoto handle the combination well.

    In summary, I figured out several ways to make it work, but it was still too much work and I've switch to a Fuji still camera with video support.

    Good luck
  17. jeanzb macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2007
    dv metadata reading software

    I have the same need to be able to access the encoded capture date and time of dv video files. I would like to be able to imprint the capture date into videos for a few seconds as historical documentation. Programs like FCP allow one to create placeholders for imprinted information that one can turn on and off for whatever portion of a video that one wants. I know that the capture date and time are in the .dv files created by iMovie 08, and this information is in the .mov files created by FCP. While one can view the capture date and time in iMovie 08 using the "playhead info" option, FCP does not seem to allow one to access the information. Viewing FCP .mov files in iMovie 08 shows that FCP has replaced the original capture date and time with the date and time the video file was transfered to the computer. However, using the finder utility, DVFileDateCM, one can see that the original capture date and time are still available in the .mov files. What kind of date and time retrieval software did you produce when you created the DV sub maker capability on the Mac? Thanks for the help and insight you have shared.
  18. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    I don't understand the question. What sort of answer are you looking for?
  19. jeanzb macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2007
    Sorry to not be clear. I am interested in routines one can use to access the original capture date and time in DV files, as well as the other metadata recorded by the camera (shutter speed, exposure time, etc.). Did you use available utilities to access this information or write your own? What language? etc.? Do you knw of UNIX utilities to access this info? If you wrote your own, how did you go about it? There are some PC utilities available to get at this info, but I am interested in Mac-compatible programs. Thanks for the help.
  20. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    The DV file format used on the Mac is the raw DV file format with no wrappers. That file format includes datetime information for every set of frames. I modified a code fragment I found to manually scan the file for this information.
    I wrote it as a Java Quicktime application. Its actually quite powerful. Quicktime does alot, lets me view the video and position it to when the datetime changes. However Quicktime didn't seem to have any routines to access this information. I found an Objective-C code fragment to get the information, I rewrote it for Java just using the piece I needed.

    Frankly, I can't remember. I did find several pieces of source code which do it, but I had trouble wading through some of them. Some of them work on Unix/Linux but although they accessed the datetime information, they didn't do what I needed so I was going to have to write something anyway.

    Best part about the Java quicktime that I wrote is that it should also work on Windows, although I never tried it.

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