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Old January 18th, 2009, 01:36 PM   #1
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EX3 - New Edit Suite? Blu-Ray?

Hello all, first time poster long time reader...lol

I just recently bought 2 New EX3 Cams and I'm about to buy a New Edit Suite. I should also say I'm a long time Mac User. But I haven't decided to stay with Mac or go to PC.

I am interested in Editing/Authoring and releasing my footage on Blu-Ray for various Projects. It is my understanding that Mac is not there yet with Blu-Ray Officially.

So to you experts, what are my options with Mac to make my Blu-Ray on a mac Dreams come true?

I'm new to the Blu-Ray world so please be patient.

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. HardWare? Software?

Thank You
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Old January 18th, 2009, 01:53 PM   #2
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well FCP will need all yr EX1 files converted into XMF before you can edit them

Check out EDIUS 5 it can edit EX1 and EX3 raw files both on same timeline.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 02:54 PM   #3
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Blu-Ray on a Mac

If you've got a Mac and Final Cut then save your bucks and get Adobe Premier Pro and a LaCie d2 external firewire burner. Edit on Final Cut, encode with Compressor, then drop the m2v and aac files into Encore (comes with PP) and burn. Or Encore will transcode if you don't use Compressor. I've done it on both my desktop and Macbook Pro. Toast 9 also burns Blu-Ray.

In Compressor use the MPEG 2 Transport Stream preset, then in Inspector look for "Stream Usage", tick on and select Blu-Ray. Then click on the "Quality" tab and run the "average bitrate" all the way up to 34 mbps

Last edited by Steve Mitchell; January 18th, 2009 at 04:04 PM.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 03:34 PM   #4
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What Steve said.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 04:04 PM   #5
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You will need an Intel Mac to run Encore for Blu-ray production. Encore CS4 is a huge improvement over CS3, however Adobe's CS4 Disc Burning Engine is still unstable. If you plan on straying from Encore's default menu's and buttons to be more creative to suit the project then you will also need Photoshop. CS4 brings "dynamic linking" and that is a god-send for building custom menus or adding refinements to the Encore's default menus.

Have Encore Output a Blu-ray image to you hard drive, then use Toast to burn your Blu-ray disc--no coasters with this approach. Toast 9 with the BD plug-in works flawless for 25GB discs but has given me trouble with the 50GB Dual Layer discs. Toast 10 with the BD plug-in seems to have solved the 50GB disc wows. Buy a couple of Blu-ray Re-writtable discs for prototyping and for working up to full production discs. Once you are satisfied with your build then commit to the write-once disc.

The results on Blu-ray are absolutely stunning and really let the EX3 take your breath away on the big HDTV screen. I've completed several 1920x1080 projects using 24p as well as 60i for projects that need to also be delivered in SD format. Both frame rates produce amazing results. Good Luck & Cheers!

EX3, MacPro 3.2 Octo 16GB Ram, Leopard 10.5.6, Internal Sony Blu-ray BWU-200S Blu-ray burner, Sonnet Fusion 500P RAID Array, BlackMagicdesign Multibridge Extreme. FCP Studio 2.0, Adobe Master Suite CS4, Episode 5.0.1 for HD_SD Encoding. Home Theatre is Sony Blu-ray BDP-S300 and 50" Pioneer Kuro.
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Last edited by Barry J. Anwender; January 18th, 2009 at 07:49 PM.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 05:04 PM   #6
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Thanks Barry and everyone. Barry are you editing in FCP and then using the .mov file as your content file for your timeline in Encore?

not quite sure what you mean by "Adobe's CS4 Disc Burning Engine is still unstable." scares me actually....lol

Also, it looks like i will most likely go with a Mac Pro System. I see you use 16Gb of Ram. Is there a recommended amount i should have when editing and Authoring the HD Content?

How much hard drive space should i get as the Mac Pro has 4 bays? I will most likely have multiple projects going at one time. My concern is heat and noise. Any thoughts????

any other suggestions form anyone would be appreciated.

I have many more questions but one step at a time....lol

Thanks
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Old January 18th, 2009, 07:27 PM   #7
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Shawn, yes import the EX3 files straight into a FCP XDCAM-EX timeline and when finished, I export to Quicktime using "current settings." Then straight into Encore set for a Blu-ray data rate of 35Mb/s to match the EX3 video rate. In this way, the EX3 video quality remains in tact until the final transcode to Blu-ray streams. To my eye, Encore does a very good job of transcoding to the final streams.

What I mean by unstable is that if there is the slightest error in your menu's, such as a layer in the wrong place or a wrong button code then Encore will continue on to the burning session and only then throw up the a useless error code when it tries to burn that menu stream, at which point it quits. However, by having Encore build a disc image to the hard drive and then using Toast to do the burning, all proceeds to completion as expected. Yes the error still needs to be repaired but you at least you get to see what is working and what is not, when playing it back in the Blu-ray player. A huge time saver to troubleshoot and pin point the problem.

As you probably know HD has higher data rates and so I have two 1-Terrabyte drives in RAID-0 for editing and transcoding, then a third Terrabyte of project files. As a rule of thumb, do NOT use your boot drive for editing, transcoding or project files. The boot drive needs to stay dedicated to running the OS and your applications. Also bear in mind that SATA hard drives slow down as they fill up. A 75% or more full hard drive results in its data rate reduced to half. Hence, the reason for a large RAID-0 array to keep data transfer speeds up.

From the "Bear Feats - Real World" test reviews, 16GB of Ram is the MacPro's sweet spot for applications that use all eight cores. You can get away with less RAM of course but under utilize the machines capabilities. You will also see the RAID-0 hard drives being better utilized.

The MacPro is very quiet even when under load with all eight cores running full out. Under full load, there is only a slight increase of fan activity, so noise is not be an issue. I use Western Digital and Hitachi hard drives both of which are quiet. Also the Nvidia GeForce 8800GT is super quiet. You will hear the DVD/Blu-ray drive spinning and that is about it. Cheers!

Last edited by Barry J. Anwender; January 18th, 2009 at 08:25 PM.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 07:01 AM   #8
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I found these tutorials very helpful when creating blu-ray discs using FCP and Toast.

Taming the Wild Blu, yonder...
Taming the Wild Blu, part 2...
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Old January 19th, 2009, 08:58 AM   #9
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Thanks Guys, this is a great help and will get me started thats for sure.

what a great forum this is.


Thank you!!!
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Old January 19th, 2009, 03:31 PM   #10
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Rant

Barry - you are the man.

BEGIN RANT.. I'm so pissed at Apple now (it's been building) I want to beat someone over the head over there for not supporting their pros. Some of us are trying to provide HD to our customer base. Apple is forcing me to abandon DVDSP, but I'm worried, as soon as I invest in another solution... out pops DVDSP with BluRay support.

btw- I've heard all the excuses from Apple about BluRay being "a bag of hurt" and DRM hurdles they can't get over without the next gen OS. In the end, they are just excuses. Especially coming from Apple, a company that successfully managed a complicated processor switch across an entire line in about 1 year, I know it's all BS, BS, BS. If Apple wanted us to have BD-R support in DVDSP we would have it. END RANT
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Old January 19th, 2009, 04:19 PM   #11
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Yes, a lack of BD support in DVDSP is annoying. But I do not think it is a total disaster. People aren't exactly beating down my door for BD discs.

One thing is for sure, I'm certainly not giving Adobe any more of my money.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 05:16 PM   #12
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Hello Barry and to anyone else who wants to chime in here, one more question .... lol.. i know you've tested your Blu-Ray Projects in Standalone Blu-ray players. Have you played them in the Sony Play Station 3 Unit? I was wondering if you've heard any feedback regarding the burnable Blu-Ray media playing in the PS3 Units????? i know some of my clients will be asking this as some of them will only have access to Blu-Ray players in the PS3 Unit.

thoughts? opinions?

Thanks for all of the help.

Shawn
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Old January 19th, 2009, 06:35 PM   #13
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CRAIG: I think you should maybe try Roxio Toast 10 as a temporary solution (versus buying Adobe Encore). it's not as robust as Encore, but I bet you could get by with it.

SHAUN: The PS3 is one of the best blu-ray players in that it will always play burned media. (at least that's what I've heard). Even our relatively cheap Sony 300 set top player will play BD-R's if you update the firmware. (the new 350 version will play them out of the box)

ALL: But yeah, I'm not looking to give Blu-Rays' to any of our clients as I don't think any of them own one. :)
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Old January 20th, 2009, 08:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Terott View Post
Barry - you are the man.

BEGIN RANT.. I'm so pissed at Apple now (it's been building) I want to beat someone over the head over there for not supporting their pros. Some of us are trying to provide HD to our customer base. Apple is forcing me to abandon DVDSP, but I'm worried, as soon as I invest in another solution... out pops DVDSP with BluRay support.

btw- I've heard all the excuses from Apple about BluRay being "a bag of hurt" and DRM hurdles they can't get over without the next gen OS. In the end, they are just excuses. Especially coming from Apple, a company that successfully managed a complicated processor switch across an entire line in about 1 year, I know it's all BS, BS, BS. If Apple wanted us to have BD-R support in DVDSP we would have it. END RANT
In Apple's defence: There is simply no substantial reason to offer Blu-Ray encoding/muxing in DVDSP.... yet. Maybe it will come soon, but the market is still very small and mostly shooters who wish to burn a Blu-ray for use at home. Very few of us are producing commercial Blu-Rays and if we were, the large Blu-ray production companies would not use DVDSP anyway.
I was told by an apple exec, that it is in the interest of everyone that Apple make the right choice in how to approach the Blu-Ray and DVDSP situation. There are so many options for this format due to it being very young and still being developed. Yes, I would love to make Blu-Rays for my PS3 - but does this benefit my work? ... not yet.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 02:45 PM   #15
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Perception is Reality

HD Camera's like Sony's EX-XDCAM and Blu-ray production have a pretty steep learning curve and so I can understand the hesitation to change. Most people have heard about Adobe Encore and Photoshop but have yet to dig deep, to learn them and actually produce something useable. HD technology/craft for the time being is not for the faint of heart.

For end-users, however; there is also a generational gap occurring with the adoption of HD. In my experience, without fail, the 30 somethings and younger are asking for Blu-ray up-front and then the SD-DVD copies for their grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Those who have seen Blu-ray in action on a descent HDTV are not going away and are they surely are not going to purchase anymore SD-DVD's. The wonders of technology!?
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