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HDV/FCP Workflow


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#21 wagsy

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 05:29 PM

My little SONY PD100 has done tons of work as a deck and it's still going since 1999 :guiness:

We used it also to put togeter our Naturally Ningaloo DVD which was from over 100 tapes fforward / rewind etc.

Downconverting to make day DVD's from the HDV camera's works a treat although once you have edited in HDV, editing in mini DV looks abit strange as you are so use to looking at the huge 1080 full preview window.
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#22 peacedog

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 08:19 PM

I take it that when you downconvert you lose the aspect ratio, then? Wagsy can you (and everyone else) tell me what effect the downcoversion has on your editing and final product? What makes it "strange"?
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#23 MikeVeitch

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 08:34 PM

nope, you still get 16:9, or you can also choose 4:3 if you want..

Wags just moanin that the footage doesn't look as good in SD as in HD.... he enjoys 9 hour rendering processes though... snicker..

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#24 wagsy

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 09:12 PM

No I edit in DV mode most of the time but HDV is cool as you get this huge preview window.
Posted Image

I have a project that has to be delivered in HD WMV format so I will be editing in HDV mode, so it looks like the move to HDV has been a good move.

For best DVD quality though it is best to edit in HDV and then out to normal DVD specs. Also if you can output straight from the timeline to a DVD mpeg file it gives you better quatity than HDV to (DV/AVI) to DVD.

6 hours??longer... :guiness: It's quite good in Premiere Pro as you can just edit and you don't have to bother to render if you are going out to DVD or WMV etc as it gets done as you make the file so only have to wait just once.
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#25 wagsy

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 09:23 PM

And here is downconverted DV mode 16.9.

Posted Image

O.. thats the world record Harverst Muster I shot. 56 harvesters in one paddock.
Try and beat that you USA and Canadians folks.... :guiness:
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#26 MikeVeitch

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 09:27 PM

we can harvest more betel nut than you.... so take that!

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#27 wagsy

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 09:39 PM

Har Har I just Googled Betal and found this.

Betel is a drug rehabilitation organisation dedicated to restoring broken lives

So that's what wrong with ya. :guiness:
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#28 Drew

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 03:01 PM

I'll agree with Richorn except for the FW800 drives. On RT playback they suck. A better option is a eSATA RAID enclosure linked thru the Express Card/34 slot. A few companies like FirmTek and Wiebetech have such cards and enclosures. eSATA is faster than FW800 any day and more consistent fast too.
I will be testing the FirmTek card next month and will report back.
I will say going online as backup is not very cost effective on a liveaboard. HDV is a lossy format(Check out the 5th generation of the clips and you'll see what I mean). Then again duplicating the tape is $7 and the heat and humidity affects all electronics, including harddrives so you'd be better off with both. With SATA drives you can get a 1.2 TB software raid system for under $1.6k.
The deck issue is really about your budget. Getting a 2nd camera (HC,Z,FX etc) is ok but you are limited to a slower workflow (esp with those silly touch screen HC series). The HDR25U has HDMI outputs for uncompressed HD(some people aspire to selling HD clips and with clean shots, uncompressed HD would be handy(although most PP do a helluva better job at uprezzing))

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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#29 MikeVeitch

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 03:42 PM

Drew.. if peace is going to be working in the scuba industry.. yes, budget is very important...

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#30 richorn

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 12:19 PM

Drew, I was trying to keep from going completely into the realm of bleeding edge at some level. Been there for too many years, and without a budget it can get nasty in a hurry!

That said, here is a LINK to a pretty good discussion on raid speeds, reliability, and a bit of bleeding edge FCP on MBP tips.

Not sure how much this really applies to this discussion, but it should be informative to many.
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#31 Mary Lynn

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 01:00 PM

Worked for a couple of years now doing trip DVDs for Doc Anes' shark diving expeditions and a couple of other dive operators. When I switched over to HDV last year, my onboard workflow was to acquire the footage in HDV, then author SD DVDs for sale to the clients. I use a Z1U for topside and the A1U for underwater. To produce SD DVDs in time to have them packaged and ready for sale before we returned to port, I'd downconvert the footage via iLink Conversion during the capture process. (I also like the results of iLink downconversions more than the software based ones I've tried.) I use my camcorders to capture, and try to spread the work evenly between the two camcorders to even out wear and tear. (Would love to use a Firestore for topside, but haven't acquired one yet....)

My SD work has been in 16:9 for several years now, so widescreen is something I'm used to working in. I downconvert the HDV to SD 16:9, then edit and author the DVDs using my powerbook, FCP and DVD Studio Pro. The DVDs are all authored so that they are in 16:9 but will letterbox when a standard monitor is detected (usually, except in older players).

Then, when I get home and want to produce an HDV short for whatever purpose (film fest, tradeshow, internet), I make copies of all the clips in my bins that I want to use, rename them with HDV in the clip names so I can tell them apart, take them off line, and batch capture the lot in HDV. Because I've already set the in and out points for the initial capture (on board the boat) it's a very easy process to make a copy of all the clips in the bin, take them off line and recapture as HDV. (I just need to remember to make sure in the initial logging process that I've named the reel so I use the correct tape when I'm recapturing!)

I know that workflows are very personal, and everyone has their favorite. This is mine when I'm producing trip DVDs where the state-of-the-art for HD DVDs and the related client demand has yet to really develop. Once that does, though, my guess is that I'll capture and edit in HDV, and downconvert in the MPEG-2 encoding process for folks who still want SD DVDs.

#32 peacedog

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 07:29 PM

Thanks for chiming in, Mary Lynn. I certainly appreciate it!

Curious about the specs of your PowerBook for editing. Mine is also a 17" G4, and I'm firing up FCP 5 with a gig and a half of RAM and a 1.67 GHz processor. Is it worth it/truly necessary to spring for another $1,000 1 Gig chip to boost it all the way up to 2 Gigs of RAM, or can 1.5 continue to handle it? Not much I can really do about the processor, I think.

I think even more than rendering time is the Compressor 2 encoding time. Or are you just sending the finished sequence as a QT file directly to Studio Pro?

Anyone else? Bueller? Bueller?
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#33 Mary Lynn

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 08:13 PM

Hey Peacedog,

If you're already at 1.5 GB RAM I don't know that the extra .5 GB of RAM is going be worth the cost at this point for the return, but it all depends on your budget. I'm actually using the 15 inch 1.67 GHz powerbook with 2 GB RAM, not much real estate, but easier to set up in a small space onboard. I also use an external LaCie for my scratch disc and storage.

Now for my "confessions of a trip videographer." Initially I'd export out of the FCP timeline using the Compressor "best quality" settings for a 16:9 90 minute DVD. Oh my god the time it took to encode! I'd have to finsh my editing the day before we'd head home so I could encode all night the last night on the boat, and finish the authoring early the next morning and start burning right away. No room for error, up a couple of times during the night to check on the encode, big signs plastered to my little powerbook warning the night muster to leave the computer be, it was "working." What a nightmare. Then I discovered the "fastest encode" setting gave fine results for my purposes (trip DVDs), and allowed me to encode in a couple of hours instead of all night on the powerbook. (The "Special Features" videos were already encoded, as were my custom menu videos, etc., so it was just a matter of the main "trip video" that needed encoding for each trip.)

When I'm working in the "leisure" of my desktop system (dual 2GHz G5 with 2 GB RAM) I either let compressor work under the hood ("encode on build") in DVDSP, or export out of the FCP timeline as a QT movie ("save as self-contained movie") and then take that QT file into Compressor. I find that exporting directly to Compressor from the FCP timeline takes longer to render than if I export as a self-containded movie *first* and then take that into Compressor. Don't know why this is, but it is. (And then I can also continue to work in FCP while Compressor is doing its thing, and it's not locking up my FCP.) Does that make sense? Hope this helps!

Mary Lynn

#34 Drew

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 09:27 PM

Peacedog
First of all, PBG4 memory 1GB is about $200. FCP isn't as dependent on RAM as say Photoshop but it doesn't hurt to have 2GB in. Since you have a PCMCIA PG, then get a PC card eSATA.
Some people have had issues with H264 Compressor 2 encodes and just drop FCP timelines onto DVD Studio P and let it do everything.
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MBP enclosures are not all that expensive. Double the price of a FW800 but worth it in the long run with expandability since not all PB will have FW800 ports etc. And the added speed is always welcome.

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