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HDV/FCP Workflow


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#1 peacedog

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 09:20 AM

Curious about anyone who is using FCP and editing HDV footage. What is your editing setup/workflow system? Are you able to utilize a standard DV deck to import footage with, and how is it working for you in FCP?

Thanks much,

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#2 richorn

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 12:56 PM

a standard DV deck cannot play out the HD signal.

Most are using the HD camera to play out HD over iLink/Firewire. Since the HD footage gets rather large rather quickly, you probably want to use a logging software to figure out what you want to ingest, OR ingest everything at a compressed SD rate. This allows you to do a standard def edit, and then export the sequence to an HD composition/timeline for a batch import.

The biggest problem most have with HD editing is that they don't have all of the HD equipment as well as the horsepower required to work in HD on the computer. This methodology solves those issues for all but the graphics pass.
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#3 peacedog

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 02:06 PM

So what would be the gear configuration you would reccommend for a liveaboard video pro? I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to need to edit DVDs onboard...

Thanks for all your help.
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#4 richorn

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 02:24 PM

well, that is easy!

A loaded 17" MacBook Pro, a 500GB Firewire 800 drive (external), Final Cut Express, and a small HD camera. In all honesty, as much as I would not recommend a HDD camera normally, for a liveaboard video pro, it would be optimal, as you could download during intervals, and get to delete the media shortly after ingest. With 500 gigs of storage, you would have plenty of room. Your profit margin is increased as you do not have to stock tape, or worry about issues of humidity. You make a DVD for the client and another as a backup, and you are done... MBP has a dual layer DVD, so you can fill all of the needed backup materials on a disk...

you would want to look at one of the pro level DVD authoring apps, as iDVD sucks. You want to be able to really customize your layout to advertise yourself and your boat.

My $.02. YMMV HTH
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#5 peacedog

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 02:42 PM

You're making me feel a hell of a lot better, Richard....=) I've got a 17" Powerbook that's been great to me and also an iMac I love.

I'm a big fan of DVD Studio Pro.

In terms of tape, though, I'll be using the Sony line of cameras, shooting HDV and using actual tape.
Are you finding FCPs workflow with HDV reasonably headache-free? As you know, on a boat witha time crunch there needs to be a decent level of reliability.

I've got lots of questions about this, and we can either continue to PM or we can keep threading; I could see this being useful to other shooters like myself.

Any idea of RAM/Processor Speed? My PowerBook is pretty fast right now but there's always room for tricking out a computer. =)

Thanks again, Rich.
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#6 MikeVeitch

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 04:27 PM

As a working video pro at a resort.....

Just shoot your stuff on HDV... then downconvert it straight out of the camera into SD. That way you are saving all your space...and of course the rendering time will be cut way down which is what we need in our biz.. time is the essence..

Edit and output as a standard 16:9 DVD. There is no point in trying to output an HDV product, your customers can't really watch it. Will be a few years before HD is standard so your customers can't watch it on HD at this point anyway...

I am keeping all my tapes as HD stock for future use....

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#7 peacedog

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 04:35 PM

...and the heavens opened.....and down came Richard and Mike.


thanks!
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#8 MikeVeitch

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 04:38 PM

Nah.. only Richard can be considered godlike... he has access to lots of special effects.... :guiness:

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#9 richorn

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 09:37 PM

lol I don't!

Mike I guess I should fill you in... I have been pretty quiet about this. I left Warner Bros. in Feb. Instead of the Director of Technology, I am now an independent post production system designer and integrator. Why? Cause I decided I wanna be like you when I grow up, and figure the only way to do it is to do it!

IOW, I don't have squat anymore, 'cept a bunch of experience.

The reason I recommend a tapeless deck for the boat is that the technology is getting really good, and tapes are notorious for getting damaged and/or failing when humidity is introduced. We spent a BUNCH of cash on our vaults...

As to HD DVD, they are days away from being the norm. OK, maybe months... but if you are starting from scratch... not going to get into the Blue Tooth/HD-DVD thing...

Agreed, working in SD has a lot of advantages, but we are really close the being able to ingest HD at an acceptable resolution, editing at a reasonable speed, burning a 16:9 down-res onto DVD, and archiving the rest to dual layer DVD for the future. No tape. So, if you are stuck on the boat, and there for a while, and are getting new gear from scratch, it seems like preparing for the next generation is the way to go, especially when the price point is so close...

My humble $.02.
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#10 MikeVeitch

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:41 PM

Cool Richard! Congrats on taking a big leap, i wish you luck!

So you wanna come down to Yap and edit the daily videos i shoot?

In theory, yes you are right with your thoughts... but what you must remember... the people that us daily people are peddling our goods to are just average vacation people looking for a nice souvenier from their trip, most of them won't have all the fancy new stuff like HD players.

In this end of the biz you have to play to the most common denominator for output, at this stage that will be SD for i would guess another 3 or 4 years. I know i still have to produce the odd VHS tape! what a pain that is... i know none of my parents or their friends will be lining up for new imaging equipment. And in the liveaboard industry the average age of guests is 45-65, usually the last market to get the new technology... (ducking from the hits comin my way for that sweeping statement.. :guiness: ;) )

But yes, the HDD would be nice!

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#11 peacedog

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 07:14 AM

Feedback about the DVD cams hasn't been great so far. There's always the HVX200, but at that price and then the price of P2 cards, I'm sunk. It's way more expensive. I'm starting from scratch only in terms of HD. Been shooting a quite a while on SD. The difference in startup costs between tapeless and HDV seems to be fairly dramatic.

Do you really believe that the Z1 - and HDV in general - is going to be obsolete in a matter of months? It's a question I raised on another thread, but Richard it seems you may agree with those folks.

Humidity certainly is an issue...
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#12 Steve Douglas

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 08:31 AM

Recording direct to DVD involves a great deal of imaging compression. While it is a convienent feature and , it is true that most people who buy these trips videos are only looking for a souvenir, it makes no sence to me to buy something that is geared towards a lower quality image. When they build up internal hard drives to a significant capacity, t hat will be another story altogether.
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#13 richorn

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 08:37 AM

sorry... misunderstood the "starting from scratch" part.

No, I am not saying your SD stuff will be obsolete. Matter of fact, I am/have always been the voice of reason in the HD game. My bosses wanted me to prepare for HD over 5 years ago, and I said no. We just started to upgrade to some HD capable editing (Discreet Fire) in the last couple years, and just for the SuperBowl spots.

My point was that IF you are starting from scratch you could give yourself the option for HD, with HD archiving capability, but still deliver SD product easily, and without a deck of any kind, or tapes.

You are also correct that as of today, the P2 is my choice of camera, but it seems that the Sony's are beating on the door with their idea of HDD recording. For a liveaboard operation, I think the Sony HDD would be more than any of the aforementioned clients would need.

And I think the Z1 and HDV in general have not even gotten off the ground yet. A format change of some sort in the next few years will not surprise me at all. The only thing written in stone at this point are the transmission/playback formats. The compression algorithms are no where near "done".

As we get faster electronics and peripherals, I think DV-25 will become offline only, and DV-50 based resolutions will become more prevalent. Yeah, I know, new computers for everyone...
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#14 richorn

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 08:39 AM

So you wanna come down to Yap and edit the daily videos i shoot?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



uhm, Yes! :guiness:
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#15 peacedog

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 08:55 AM

Steve, I'm right with you. This footage is absolutely NOT intended to be single-use. In addition to shooting for the liveaboards, I'll also be using that footage for other avenues, personal stock collection, promotional DVD for the company, etc. Making the trip videos would only be an immediate thing, due every week. the footage gathered, however, will serve me far beyond just that trip(s).


So Mike, you're making me very happy to hear that I can capture in HDV and then do the requistite downconvert for DVD and trip videomaking. Is that going to be too much wear and tear on the heads of the camera, though? What have you experienced?

I guess my next question, Rich, is if you think the Z1 hasn't even gotten off the ground, are you saying that in a positive light or do you mean it may not really ever take flight?

Thanks guys.
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#16 richorn

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 09:20 AM

WEll, I was actually referring to HD in general with that comment, but yeah, the Z1 is a damn fine camera.

Unless you fall into the "have to have the latest greatest now" category, I think a Z1 would be an investment that would hold up well for quite dome time.

In the applications you guys are discussing, I cant imagine obsolescence issues for many years.

It is just natural for me to look at a tapeless environment from a workflow standpoint. I have always hated the idea of camera playback for ingest and re-recording. Hence leaning towards electronic storage and output options.

Then again, I have spent the last 7 years in the land of OZ, with minimal budget limitations! :guiness:
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#17 Steve Douglas

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 09:22 AM

When shooting with the Sony 2000, I abhored using my cam as a deck and used the Sony GVD 900 and 1000 as decks. Now with my Sony A1U, the deck is not needed unless I have downconverted the footage to SD and want to out it also as SD. My problem is that I can not afford an HD/HDV deck and here I am using my cam, for the first time, also as a deck. Then the other day, in a conversation with a friend, a voice of reason came out. Think about it....how many of us really keep our cams for more than a couple of years? My guess is, not many. As new technology improves on the imaging, most serious shooters move in that direction and purchase it. Thus, how likely is it that, even tho the cam was used as a deck, that the heads and transport will wear out. Not very likely. Since I also have an extended warranty on the cam, bringing it in for service, as I always did for all my cams, primarily for cleaning and head realignment, will keep it in mint condition for several more years to come.
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#18 peacedog

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 10:35 AM

Rich:

"minimal budget limitations....ullghaargghh...." *does Homer Simpson drolling face*

I see your point about humidity and I doubly see your point about the desire to go to a completely tapeless environment. One day.....but as Steve pointed out, when that becomes more affordable to someone in my position, I'll use something like the Z1 until it's truly outmoded. Hearing you advise that you don't forsee that being for a good few years makes me feel much better about my purchasing one. (When I do.)


Thus, how likely is it that, even   tho the cam was used as a deck, that the heads and transport will wear out.  Not very likely.  Since I also have an extended warranty on the cam,  bringing it in for service, as I always did for all my cams, primarily for cleaning and head realignment, will keep it in mint condition for several more years to come. 
   Steve B)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I like it. Like it a lot. I like it. Sold. With an extended warranty.
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#19 MikeVeitch

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 03:31 PM

what i would suggest for a playback deck, something i am considering at the moment... is an HC1 or HC3... whichever is cheaper...

That way i will also have a little camera to play with on the boat and leave in a drybag, the Z stays in the housing....

Much cheaper than buying one of those money playback decks.... heck, i could buy 3 HC1s for the price of a playback deck..

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#20 Steve Douglas

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 05:15 PM

Plus, the Sony deck uses the same exact transport as the Z1U. A waste of 3000 if you ask me. I also have thought of buying the HC3 for a deck, never thought of it for topside but that is a real plus. Good thinking.
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