Working with the Logging Tool

This section covers the components of the Logging Tool in more detail. Refer to Figure 2.8 for their location on the screen.

The Main Inlay

Here you will see your footage displayed. If this is black during playback, see the Appendix.

The Device Control buttons

These control your external DV device. Each button can be used to play the tape or move it forward or backward at a faster or slower rate. Using the arrow keys on the keyboard, you can step through the video frame by frame, although the accuracy of this will depend greatly on your DV camera.

To the far right of these controls is a Shuttle slider, which can be used to dynamically play the tape forward or backward at a variety of speeds. If the controls are grayed out and the message box at the top of the Logging Tool is flashing Device Not Ready, check that your camera is turned on, that you have it correctly connected, and that [ DV] is selected. If you still have problems, see the Appendix.

Mark-in/out point and duration boxes

If you are digitizing just a section of your tape, these information boxes will tell you the timecode for the mark-in and mark-out points and also the overall duration of the media clip.

Enable buttons for video/audio

Running down the center of the Logging Tool are five garish symbols: one V and four A's numbered 1 to 4. These allow you to choose what your digitized media clip will contain. By default, the V (for video) and the A's (for audio) 1 to 4 are highlighted. This means you will capture video and four channels of audio.

If you only require two channels of audio (and most people do), then click once on A3 and A4 to disable them. If you want to capture just video, you can disable all the audio channels, and if you want to just capture audio without the video, you can disable the video track by clicking the V.


  • Digitizing with four audio channels active will use up significantly more hard drive space than digitizing with just two. This is something to remember if your hard drive space is at a premium.

Mono/Stereo button

Below the Enable buttons is the Mono/Stereo selection button. By default, the Mono button is displayed; it indicates that each audio track will be a mono sound track.

To switch each track to stereo, click once on this button to show two circles overlapping . This indicates that stereo will be captured.

Edit Player box

This allows you to switch between digitizing from a recorded source and digitizing from a live source by clicking the words DV and selecting Live (Figure 2.9). This is necessary when you're capturing from an analog source.

Figure 2.9. Choosing between Live capture and DV.

Editing the camera properties is also possible by clicking once on the Edit Player button . Be careful herethere is no Restore to Default function (Figure 2.10).

Figure 2.10. The Player Settings can be edited from here, but be careful when doing this.

Change Reel box

If you have already digitized several tapes in any one particular project, they will appear in this drop-down box when you click it (Figure 2.11).

Figure 2.11. Selecting a previously used Reel without leaving the Logging Tool.

You can also insert a new tape here without leaving the Logging Tool by clicking the Change Reel button .

Create Rack box

This drop-down box defaults to Sequence or the last Rack you were using when you open the Logging Tool, indicating that any clips you digitize will automatically be placed in that Rack. To change to another Rack, click once inside this box and select from the choices available (Figure 2.12). To create a new Rack without leaving the Logging Tool, click the Create Rack button .

Figure 2.12. Selecting in which Rack your digitized media clips will be stored.

The Properties button

Clicking here will allow you to alter various Logging Tool parameters. In general, you will use this if you are having problems with the Logging Tool. Be careful when adjusting these settings because the defaults are set to cope with the most likely digitizing scenarios and altering them may cause the Logging Tool to behave badly.

Full details of these options can be found in Chapter 6 of the Pinnacle Liquid Edition Reference manual.

The Logging Tool tabs

This area of the Logging Tool contains four tabs that control the various options open to you while digitizing your videos. They all have a slightly innocuous look to them, but in fact, they contain some powerful functions. When used correctly, they will save you time and money.

  • The Clip tab is open by default and allows you to name your clips prior to digitizing. (See Chapter 4 for a full explanation on this subject.) The information you provide in the various text fields will be available in the media clip's Properties box once it has been digitized. Place an "X" in the box directly to the right of those text boxes you want to use.

    The Multicam capture option is also on this tab. This drop-down list (Figure 2.13) allows you to capture footage from up to 16 different cameras that you can match up later on the Timeline. This is a great function if you are editing a concert that was filmed with several cameras simultaneously. You'll find details on how to use this exciting feature later in this chapter.

    Figure 2.13. The Multicam drop-down list displays 16 camera choices.

  • The Audio tab (Figure 2.14) allows you to adjust the sound settings before you capture the clip and also as you capture the clip. You can either preview the footage before you capture and set the slider to the appropriate point, or you can dynamically alter the sound levels as you capture. This alteration is known as a destructive change because the alterations are permanent to that media clip. If you want to alter the audio settings, you will have to digitize again.

    Figure 2.14. The Audio tab. Changes here are permanently written to the digitized media clips.

  • The Master tab (Figure 2.15) displays the contents of the current Timeline sequence. This is used when you want to digitize a media clip and send it directly to the Timeline. Using this tab, you can scroll along until you find the correct point on the Timeline where you want to insert the media clip.

    Figure 2.15. The Master tab allows you to examine the Timeline position without leaving the Logging Tool.

  • The Media tab is used to adjust the quality of the captured clip. Generally you won't need to adjust this, but you can find a full explanation of how to use it in Chapter 6 of the Pinnacle Liquid Edition Reference manual.

The Audio tool

This allows you to monitor the sound levels of a tape you are previewing or digitizing. If this goes into the red too often, you should consider using the Audio tool found in the Audio tab to reduce the level.

If you click the small button above the displayed numbers, you will reset the Audio tool to its default setting.

Edit Media format

This is used to choose into which format you will digitize your media clips. In fact, the choices with this version of Liquid Edition are fairly limited. If you have a Mini DV camera connected or if you are trying to capture from analog, then you will only be able to digitize using the AVI or DIF format (Figure 2.16). If you have an HDV camera attached (and it is set to MPEG output), then you will only be able to capture in the M2V format (Figure 2.17). Clicking the Edit Media Format button will bring up some more choices, but without specialist hardware (available only to the Liquid Edition Silver and Chrome range), you will not be able to use any of them.

Figure 2.16. Two formats are available to Mini DV users.

Figure 2.17. Only one format is available to HD camera users.

Logging and Digitizing Keyboard Shortcuts

The following keyboard shortcuts can be used when logging and digitizing media clips:

  • F6: Opens and closes the Logging Tool

  • N: Starts and stops the digitize process

  • B: Logs a media clip

  • M: Aborts the digitize process

These keys can be used to control a DV camera:

  • J: Plays the tape backward increasingly faster each time the key is pressed

  • L: Plays the tape forward increasingly faster each time the key is pressed

  • K: Stops the tape

  • Spacebar: Plays and also pauses the tape

  • Left and right arrow keys: Moves the tape one frame forward or backward

  • Home key: Fast rewind (no preview)

  • End Key: Fast forward (no preview)

Media Management

Click once on the graphical representation of how much hard drive space you have remaining and you will be able to choose to which hard drive your media clips will be saved (Figure 2.18). If you only see one location, then you can add more by clicking the AV button to bring up the Media Management screen and then add a drive location from there. Full details on using this function are in Chapter 4.

Figure 2.18. Select which drive or folder is the target for your digitized media clips.

This box also displays how much room remains on the current Media drive. This is displayed as

  • A percentage

  • The physical number of bytes remaining

  • A measurement of time

These figures are always approximate and should be treated with caution. During the digitizing process, this display will dynamically decrease in value.

The Digitizing controls

These six buttons control the actual digitizing of any media clips and what happens to them once they have been transferred from the camera to your computer.

  • The Log Clip button : Every time you define a mark-in and mark-out point, you need to click this button to log the clip. You can create as many log entries as you like and then instruct the Logging Tool to digitize them all at a later stage. The keyboard shortcut is the letter B.

  • The Digitize button : This magic button starts the digitize process and also stops it. Use it wisely. The keyboard shortcut is N.

  • Interrupt Digitizing button : This button aborts the whole digitizing process. When you click it, no media is saved to the hard drive and playback is stopped. You must use this button only to abort the digitizing process. It is very important to understand this because many new users try to stop digitizing by using the Interrupt button and then wonder why they have no media on their hard drive. The keyboard shortcut is the letter M.

  • Send captured clips to the Timeline : This will take a captured clip and insert it directly into the Timeline at the cursor's current position. You can use this feature to create a rough cut from a tape when you use it in combination with logging media clips.

  • Select Audio : This button doubles up the function of the A1 to A4 buttons in the center of the interface.

  • Clip Link : This button is used specifically with Sony DVCAM cameras. It allows you take advantage of the extra features this format offers. You can find complete details on this in your DVCAM camera manual.

Miscellaneous controls

Probably best described as sundry, this area comprises seven buttons that are used primarily to place markers on a clip prior to capture or to send the camera to a mark-in/ out point you have created. You'll find full details of this later in this chapter.


  • It is important to check that you have enough room before you begin digitizing. Try to avoid filling your hard drive beyond 90 percent of its total capacity as this may cause performance problems.

Which Format Should You UseAVI or DIF?

Liquid Edition offers two formats with which to capture Mini DV and analog clips:

  • AVI: The proprietary Windows format

  • DIF: A proprietary format from Pinnacle

The DIF format was originally introduced by FAST, who later became part of Pinnacle. The format was used to help slower systems overcome problems when using the slightly less efficient AVI file format. In these days of fast processing power and cheap memory, DIF's place in NLE is limited.

It's also not a widely recognized format or a well-supported one, and for this reason alone, most users choose AVI. Doing so enables them to send their clips to other applicationsAdobe's After Effects or Pinnacle's Commotion, for example.

FAT32 or NTFS?

Modern-day Windows systems use one of two types of file systems on their hard drives: FAT32 (File Allocation Table 32 bit), or NTFS (New Technologies File System).

Most Windows XP systems are shipped using NTFS because it is a more secure file format, but if you're adding a second hard drive just for capture, you will have a choice and you should always choose NTFS for this one simple reason.

  • FAT32 has a maximum file length of 4 gigabytes (GB), about 18 minutes of DV.


  • NTFS has a maximum file length of 12 Terabytes (TB), more than a thousand hours of DV.

At the moment, no 12-TB drives are being sold (not this year anyway), but the obvious restrictions of FAT32 are plain to see. Digitizing a standard 60-minute tape to FAT32 will mean each clip can only be 4 GB, or 18 minutes long.

Your wedding scene is just a bit longer than this? Sorry, hard luck. You will have to capture it in two pieces and hope for a seamless join.

NTFS, on the other hand, can capture the whole tape (however long) in one continuous AVI. The only limitation is the available space on your hard drive. Serious editors will not choose anything other than NTFS.

Pinnacle Liquid Edition 6 for Windows
Pinnacle Liquid Edition 6 for Windows
ISBN: 0321269160
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 245
Authors: Paul Ekert © 2008-2017.
If you may any questions please contact us: