Unless you have configured your settings to disable the creation of CatDV catalogs during capture then you can type in brief log notes about each scene while the tape is playing. These log notes are saved in the CatDV catalog, together with the tape name, timecode value, DV record date and camera exposure information, and thumbnail of each clip. We use the term “clip” to refer to one entry in the catalog with particular In and Out timecode values. Clips do not necessarily have to correspond to separate movie files, though typically they will do.

Live Capture Plus determines when a new clip starts based on the record start/stop information stored in the DV data by the camcorder each time you start and stop recording. You can also manually start a new clip at any point (via the Logging menu). If you didn’t originally shoot the material on DV but have dubbed to DV subsequently then the start/stop bits won’t be present. You can still capture the tape with Live Capture Plus but it will create one clip record for the entire tape. (You will need to use another application such as CatDV Pro if you want to perform automatic image-based scene detection on the tape.)

During the capturing and logging process the Camera panel normally changes to display the thumbnail of the current clip. The Previous and Next Clip commands in the Logging menu can be used to step back or forward to look at other clips in the current catalog. The timecode and record date (if available) of the clip are shown and you can type in a clip name, notes, choose whether the clip is ‘good’ or not, and mark a clip as being of particular interest. (See the CatDV documentation for more information on these fields.) You can also type in a “Event” description for the current clip:

Event grouping

In typical use when using a camcorder you may take several shots at the same occasion, perhaps from different camera angles, or different takes. It is useful to group these related clips together and distinguish them from other clips that were recorded at another time. To help automate logging, Live Capture Plus will use the difference in record date and time between two clips to determine whether they are related or not.

If you type in a brief description into the Event field then Live Capture Plus will automatically apply that event or subject description to all the other clips whose record date lies within a given period (eg. 30 minutes) of that clip. You can choose this period in your settings but of course this automated processing won’t be exactly correct in all circumstances and you may need to adjust the grouping. If two clips appear to have the same subject when they shouldn’t be related, press the New button to start a new subject at that point. Conversely, if a new subject is started automatically but the clip actually still relates to earlier shots, then you can select an earlier subject from the drop down list.

Note that when you view a catalog created with Live Capture Plus inside CatDV the subject appears as the “Bin” field.

Keyboard shortcuts

A number of menu commands are available to support logging while capture progresses. These functions are also accessible via keyboard shortcuts (see the Logging menu for details):

  • Move to next or previous clip – allows you to review earlier clips or continue typing in log notes or a clip name even once a new clip has been started
  • Current clip – update the logging panel to show the clips that’s currently being captured
  • Force new clip – manually start a new clip (and capture to a new file) at the current point
  • Toggle mark or toggle good – quickly mark a clip as being of interest while it’s playing
  • Insert timecode marker – if you want to mark particular events within a clip without starting a new clip you can insert the current timecode into the Notes field and type in a description of the event there.

Catalog panel

The catalog panel shows all the clips that have been capture and logged so far in the current catalog. It also shows which clips have been compressed so far. The logging panel shows details of whichever clip is selected in this list.

In the Notes field you can enter comments describing the tape or catalog as a whole. (The tape name field is intended to hold a short unique identifier such as the tape number only and it’s better to use the Catalog Notes field if you want to enter a description of the tape as a whole.)

Saving catalogs

Depending on your preference settings catalogs are either saved automatically whenever you start a new tape or manually when you press the Save & Close button (or corresponding menu command). If you chose the “save catalogs automatically (one per tape)” option they will be named “Index of tape name” and placed in the directory you selected in your settings. If the file exists you are prompted for a new name.

Once you save a catalog it is closed and a new one is started. It is not possible to open up or append to existing CatDV catalogs with Live Capture Plus – to edit catalogs you need CatDV or CatDV Pro. Automatically appending clips to an existing CatDV catalog is also possible (for example, you might append to a catalog called “Recently captured – not yet logged” and then copy and paste clips from there to their final destination at a later date).