Questions on Capturing

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the March, 2011, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]


Kenton St. John asks:

Currently my church records a weekly program using a G5 Mac using Final Cut Express 3.5 or 4, I can not remember which version at the moment.


I bring this program in to the latest FCP 7 at home and work on the video and I have a couple of questions.


1) Does capturing in FCE 3.5 or 4 have a lower video quality or is it about the same base quality as say FCP 7 on pro res 422 standard? I can only assume FCE is not Pro Res quality but haven’t been able to find that answer online.


2) When we edit we occasionally get video that refuses to give audio waveforms. We toggle the show audio wave forms but this doesn’t help. This really makes editing a pain, do you you ever have issues with this, is there a work around.


3) I have edited video that I pulled into FCP 7 directly and after I make some cuts I try to drop in cross dissolves and the system sometimes refuses to put them over my cut points. Sometimes they’ll drop in only to the left or right of the cut, sometimes they will not drop in at all. Do you know why this works this way?

Larry replies: The software doesn’t determine quality, but the video codec you capture into does.

Final Cut Express does not support all the different codecs that Final Cut Pro does. For instance, using Final Cut Express 4, you can capture HDV into the Apple Animation Codec, but not ProRes. If the codecs match, the image quality should match as well. If they don’t, it won’t.

The reason waveforms are not displaying is that Final Cut Express thinks they are already there. I don’t edit using Final Cut Express, however, I suspect it stores Audio Waveforms in the same location as Final Cut Pro does. Go to your scratch disks, open the Waveform Cache folder and delete all waveform files that start with the name of your project.

Final Cut Express rebuilds all waveform files that it can’t find, which should fix that problem.

In order for a dissolve to span two clips equally, you need to have handles, extra video after the out and before the in. When a dissolve offsets the way you describe, it means that there is not enough extra video at the edit point to support a transition.

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