Automatically detect and split movie into scenes, a la WMM?
I am running Vegas Movie Studio 9.
Prior to purchasing Vegas, I had become accustomed to using Windows Movie Maker on my projects. Most notably its feature allowing you to automatically split a large movie file into lots of small single scenes, each a separate file in the media bin.
Can I do anything like this in Vegas? I have looked everywhere and I can't seem to find a definite answer.
I have looked everywhere and I can't seem to find a definite answer.
You can't have looked very far then. It's covered regularly.
In a nutshell, Sony VidCap (the capture utility used by Vegas) WILL split video whenever there is a break in timecode.
You need to understand one thing here - what a break in timecode IS (and how to set it).
You also need to tell Vidcap to detect these breaks - this is the easy bit
In vidcap go to Options | Preferences and under the Capture tab ensure "Enable DV scene detection" is checked.
Now the trickier understanding bit!
Some programs detect differences between scenes based on a sudden change in a large number of pixels between one frame and the next. Others, like Sony, use the timecode.
Timecode is metadata digitally imprinted on the DV tape alongside your video and sound.
There's the overall timecode. This is ALWAYS on the recorded bit of your tape and should start at 0:00:00:00 (hours:minutes:seconds:frames) and increase by 1 every frame. I say should because if you record a bit, then wind forward and record again, upon finding no previous timecode, your camera will start at 0:00:00:00 again. THIS WILL PLAY HAVOC with any capturing and is a reason many people advocate "blacking" a tape before using it (recording nothing for a whole tape, just to ensure a valid timecode)
The other bit of the timecode, the bit that DV Scene Detect uses, is the Date and Time that a recording was made. I doesn't actually matter what date and time you use but the key here is that when you stop recording the clock continues (in the background) and the next time you record the new time will be recorded. The capture program will spot the jump in time and deduce that we are now capturing a new scene.
However, if you don't set a date and time on your camera, a date and time cannot be recorded as timecode to your tape and so DV Scene Detect cannot work.
So, in a nutshell, Set your Options | Preferences correctly and set the date and time on your camera and all will be well.