Relax. It's just a movie.
The video stations take a lot of abuse during the week. Hard drives get full. Tape heads get dirty. We try to undo all that when we close the lab for maintenance on Monday mornings. If you run into a problem, chances are someone changed a setting, flipped a switch, moved a cable, and then they forgot to put it back. That's why most troubleshooting starts with getting the station back to its original state.
Here are some answers to the questions that often come up in the lab. If you can't find your question here, post it to the ITP Video list. Just go to forums.nyu.edu and search for itp-video to subscribe.
I'm working in Final Cut Pro and I can't see my video on the external monitor or DV deck.
First, go under the View menu and try Refresh A/V devices. If that doesn't work, chances are the preferences are corrupted. Happens a lot. Just follow these steps...
Restoring Final Cut Preferences:
- First quit Final Cut Pro.
- Then go to the Utilities folder (inside the Applications folder) and open FCP Rescue.
- Click the Restore Settings button.
- Quit FCP Rescue and start up Final Cut Pro again.
I keep getting error messages when I'm trying to capture from a DV tape.
You may have timecode breaks on your tape. This can happen when you leave gaps between shots. (Read more about DV tapes and timecode problems.) One solution to broken timecode is to dub your entire DV tape onto another DV tape. Just hit record at the beginning, stop at the end, and the new tape will have continuous code.
Before you take the time to do that, however, you might want to try capturing in iMovie. Really. For simple DV work — like capturing without logging — iMovie often just does it without putting up a fuss like Final Cut can. For the basics of iMovie, just open the program and look under the help menu.
I'm trying to capture from a DV tape but I can't hear anything.
By default, Final Cut Pro plays audio through the DV deck. But because not all our decks have headphone outlets, we've configured our stations to play sound through the computer, whether you're logging clips or editing. Plug your headphones into the front of the computer and make sure the volume is turned up. If you still can't hear anything, follow the steps above for restoring Final Cut Preferences.
I imported a clip I found online. The video's there but I can't hear any audio.
A lot of clips you'll find online are muxed MPEG clips. (If you were to open your clip in Quicktime and look at the info window, chances are that's exactly what you'd see.) In drastically simplified terms, muxed means that the video and audio are mixed together on one track, whereas DV clips keep the video and audio separate. Bottom line is you need to de-mux your clips before you bring it into your DV software. On the Mac, a free program called MPEG Streamclip can help you do this.
I've already captured my video in Final Cut, but there doesn't seem to be any audio with it.
Chances are someone changed the capture settings for that station. Follow the steps above for restoring Final Cut Preferences.
I can't hear anything in After Effects (or anything other than Final Cut).
For programs other than Final Cut, plug your headphones into the computer.
Final Cut (or another application) keeps crashing.
First, follow the steps above for restoring Final Cut Preferences.
Restarting the machine may do the trick.
If that doesn't do it, the startup disk may be full. Just click on Desktop in the sidebar of the Finder window and the bottom of the window will tell you how much room is available. If there's less than a gigabyte, e-mail the help desk or find Peter Kerlin. Do not delete someone else's files from the computer. In the meantime, please work at another station.
Where did my files go?
By default, Final Cut Pro stores capture and render files to the built-in Media drive. If you want to keep your FCP projects on your own external drive, go under the Final Cut Pro menu and select System Settings. In the window that pops up, make your disk the scratch disk.
My tape looks pixilated (or just plain bad) when I play it back from the deck.
The deck's heads might be dirty. Grab a head cleaning cassette from the equipment room or video resident. Play it through and rewind it then play it again.
My tape's stuck in the deck.
Try turning the deck off then unplugging the power cable from the back. Leave it off for a minute then plug everything back in and turn it on. Try ejecting again.
Can I import video from a DVD into Final Cut or other DV software?
Um... yes. It's possible.
First thing... this is illegal unless you created the DVD content in the first place. For that reason, you're not going to find the software to do this on ITP computers. But if you did in fact create the original video, software does exist to help you do this. Just search shareware sites like MacUpdate for the term "DVD rip" -- that's what it's called when you pull video off of a DVD. Do not try to install this software at ITP -- it won't work.