7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 23, 2009 6:04 AM by (Gary_Edstrom)

    Dropped Frames

      I am pretty much of a newbie with the Adobe suite, and I haven't been able to find an answer to the following question: I am in the process of importing a number of Digital-8 video tapes into my computer and storing them on a mammoth external had drive. I may write them to BlueRay disks later. My question: Is there any way in AfterEffects, Premier, or any of the other Adobe suite products to detect if any frames were dropped during the importing process? I am using Windows Movie Maker to do the actual importing from the Digital-8 tape.

      Gary Edstrom
        • 1. Re: Dropped Frames
          (Steve_Patterson) Level 1
          Why not use Premiere to capture?
          I believe it will report dropped frames to you upon capture. I know FCP would, but as you are on Windows, I'm guessing that's not an option.
          What method of capture are you using? Firewire?
          • 2. Re: Dropped Frames
            Level 1
            I'll give Premiere a try on my next capture.

            Yes, I am using Firewire. That is the only interface my Sony video camera supports. I purchased the camera back at the beginning of 2001. I haven't used it much during the last two years, and decided that I should get all of my existing videos transferred to a media that is easier to work with before the tapes get too old.

            • 3. Re: Dropped Frames
              (Steve_Patterson) Level 1
              Right on. Let us know how it works out for you.
              • 4. Re: Dropped Frames
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
                If the footage already exists, you could use "Magnum, the edit detector" from this site http://aescripts.com/magnum-the-edit-detector/ to snippet your stuff. You'd then simply delete the black frames and slide the rest back in place.

                • 5. Re: Dropped Frames
                  Level 1
                  Well, I've done a few tapes using Premier. For the most part, the process is going well, but is going to take me a while. I have over 60 1-hour tapes, and I can only do about 1 per day because of my work schedule.

                  I have run into a problem with some tapes, however.

                  When I am playing them back, it's like the tape is skipping, or something. I see small squares of tearing on the display. Sometimes the tape actually rewinds some. I played back the files that they generated and they were trash at those points. Even more strange was that the dropped frame count still showed zero frames dropped.

                  It isn't related to the playback device because I tried both my stand-alone digital-8 player and my digital-8 video camera. Both showed the problem on the same tapes. It wasn't related to being connected to the computer because I pulled the fire wire cable and played the tapes just stand-alone. The same tapes still showed the problem. So it is probably related to the tapes themselves.

                  So for now, I am setting aside the tapes that are acting up and will try coming back to them later after I do all of the rest of the tapes.

                  What got me started on this was that they have a bargain price on 1-TB Seagate drives down at Fry's Electronics: $119 I figure that my collection will be easier to maintain and protect once I get copies on hard disk and don't have to worry about tapes anymore. 1-TB should be more than enough to handle my entire Digital-8 collection in uncompressed AVI format. I bought two of those drives and am copying the same files to each. I keep one of the drives at work as an off-site backup in case of some sort of disaster.

                  • 6. Re: Dropped Frames
                    Level 1
                    You are seeing dropout caused by some kind of damage to the tape. You either have to find a deck with better dropout compensation or work around the bad parts of the tape. If the problem is physical damage to the tape each time you play the tape the problem will get worse.
                    • 7. Re: Dropped Frames
                      Level 1
                      Well, this has been a very educational process for me. I now have only 11 of my 61 tapes remaining to copy to hard disk.

                      A few of the tapes do indeed show significant physical damage. Either my Digital-8 camera or my stand-alone tape deck has apparently mangled the tapes at one time or another. They show a heavy diagonal crease on the tape. You can even hear a high-pitched buzz as that portion of the tape goes by the head.

                      One tape seems to be so bad that I don't think that I am going to be able to recover any portion of it. I do have duplicates of some of these tapes, but I will wait until I am done with importing all of them before I go back to try to clean up the bad spots. Of course, it depends on if the duplicate copy was made before or after the damage occured to the original.

                      So far, I don't seem to have lost any really important footage.

                      I'm glad that tapes are slowly falling by the wayside. They are so easily damaged. And I thought that I was taking excellent care of my tapes!