Your Virtual Logging Assistant

One of the most tedious aspects of film & video editing, by far, is logging & capturing your footage. All these cans of film or video tape show up all of a sudden, and you’ve got to digitize or capture them all onto your hard drive, organizing all the individual clips into bins that will make it easy for you to locate them later on.

It used to be that we had assistants for this task. Unless you’re lucky enough to be working in a high-end post-production environment, you’ll wind up doing this yourself (aaah, coffee). Today, I’m going to share with you a major time saver for logging & capturing footage shot in either DV or HDV.

The “Logging” tab in the Premiere Pro 2.0 Capture panel.

Open the Capture panel in Premiere Pro by selecting File > Capture, or hitting the “F5″ key on your keyboard. On the right side of the Capture Tool you’ll see the “Logging” tab, and at the bottom of that the “Capture” options. Simply click the “Scene Detect” checkbox, and Premiere Pro will break your tape into individual clips based on where you stopped & started your tape when shooting.

Both DV and HDV camcorders put a marker on your tape whenever you start recording, stop recording, or pause while recording. Premiere Pro uses this information to break a tape into clips based on the location of these markers. So the easiest way to capture footage is to make sure “Scene Detect” is selected, and then click the “Tape” button in the Capture section of the Logging tab. This will capture the entire tape, creating individual clips at the start/stop points recorded on the tape. Of course, make sure to give the tape a Tape Name in the Clip Data area first.

If you have a tape with timecode breaks (i.e. the timecode restarts from zero at more than one point in the tape), you’ll need to capture each section of timecode separately. In this scenario, it’s a good idea to give each section of timecode it’s own tape name, so for example if you have a tape called “Exterior Shots”, you’d call the first timecode section “Exterior Shots A”, the second “Exterior Shots B”, and so on. You’ll avoid all kinds of headaches down the line by doing this.