Preparing for Video Capture

Before you transfer your first frame of raw video to your PC, you need to decide where to store your clips.

It all depends on your computer's hard drive configuration. Ideally you have more than one hard drive. One for your operating system (OS) and program files (including Premiere); the other for video, images, graphics, and sound?your so-called A/V (audio/visual) drive. The OS frequently accesses its hard drive even in the middle of an edit or video capture. Having separate OS and A/V drives ensures a smoother operation.


Your A/V drive should be able to sustain a throughput of 4MBps (more, if you're working with analog video). Most recent hard drive models can handle that easily. I have a 75GB IBM DeskStar and an 80GB Seagate Barracuda, and both sustain a transfer rate of 10MB or better.

If you have only one drive and it's reasonably fast, you should have no noticeable problems during video capture or later playback.

Task: Create a File Folder for Your Project

Here's how you create a file folder for your project. It uses standard file-management techniques. If you're at all comfortable working with your computer, Figure 3.8 will look mighty familiar to you. Here are the steps to follow for this task:

  1. Minimize Premiere by clicking the minimize button at the top-right corner of the screen.

  2. Open My Computer (or however you access your hard drives).

  3. Select the drive that you will use for A/V files.

  4. To create a new folder in Windows, click File, New Folder. Name it something such as Premiere A-V Files.

  5. Double-click that file folder and create a subfolder in the same fashion. Name it something descriptive, such as Soccer Championship Clips.

  6. Return to Premiere.

Figure 3.8. Using standard file-management techniques, you can add a file folder to your designated A/V drive. I suggest naming it Premiere A-V Files.


Now it's time to tell Premiere about that "video clips" file folder you just created and to make sure Premiere and your DV camcorder can communicate with each other. Once that's resolved, you can view, log, and transfer digital video to your computer (I'll cover analog video capture later).

Task: Tell Premiere Where to Find Your Clips

You should be back in your Premiere editing workspace. First you'll tell Premiere where you want to store captured clips. In another bit of confounding, legacy nomenclature, Premiere calls these hard disk locations scratch disks. That's sort of a holdover to the days of massive, removable storage devices. Now, 75GB internal hard drives are common, and removable storage is not that critical to computerized video editing. Here are the steps to follow for this task:

  1. Click Edit, Preferences, Scratch Disks and Device Control to open the Preferences dialog box (see Figure 3.9).

    Figure 3.9. Use this menu to tell Premiere where your so-called "scratch disks" are.


  2. Look inside the Scratch Disks section, click the drop-down menu arrow next to Captured Movies, and click Select Folder.

  3. Locate your "video clips" file folder and click OK. Note that the file folder name appears below the Captured Movies drop-down window.


You may go through the same process for Video Previews and Audio Previews, but leaving them in the default project file setting will work fine. The project file storage location defaults to your Premiere directory. Your project file does not actually hold your original clips, only data noting their location and any edits you've made to your project.

Task: Select Your DV Device

Keep the Preferences dialog box open. Here's where you select your DV device and set its control options. Figure 3.10 displays that interface. Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your camcorder or other DV device is hooked up to your computer, its power is on, and it's set to VTR/VCR (not Camera).

  2. Look at the Device Control drop-down menu at the bottom of the Preferences menu. Probably, DV Device Control 2.0 already is selected. If not, click the drop-down arrow and select DV Device Control 2.0.

  3. Click Options.

  4. Click the Device Brand drop-down list and select your camcorder brand.

  5. Previous versions of Premiere used to list model names in another drop-down list. Now all you need to do is make sure "Standard" shows up in the next window (it's not likely you'll have an "alternative" camcorder).

  6. Check to see that "Drop-Frame" is in the next window.

  7. Click Check Status. Here are the status types:

    • Offline means Premiere can't communicate with or control your DV device. Check to make sure you turned it on and it's in VTR or VCR mode (as opposed to Camera mode).

    • Detected means Premiere can communicate with your camcorder but can't control it. Make sure you have inserted a tape in it.

    • Online means everything is in order.

Figure 3.10. Accessing this window lets you check the status of your DV device. If all is copasetic, it displays "Online."


    Part II: Enhancing Your Video