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Old May 13th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #1
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Workflow Revamp

As of January, my workflow changed from straight forward HDV from minidv to AVCHD. At the start I had no serious issues using my exsisting workflow. But now that my production scale has increased signifigantly, my workflow needs updating.

I use PPCS4 and figure to "stick with it" and tailor it to my needs. I have looked into adding Cineform into my workflow and curious on which is best. I have looked throughout this forum and found many answers but a lot of those answers led to more questions.

So here is my proposed workflow and would like input:

(assume 5 cameras filming at any point)

1. Import the raw AVCHD .m2t files from 1 camera in PP
2. Place all clips into one timeline in sequence to the order they where captured
3. Export as one long clip using Cineform codec (highest quality of course)
4. Add TC and log clip
(Repeat for all 5 cameras)
5. Import all 5 long clips into one project and edit those clips instead of raw clips
6. Scale from HD to SD using unknown format or skip and use next
7. Using Blackmagic Deck Link, capture clip onto Beta Deck for broadcast
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Old May 13th, 2009, 01:11 PM   #2
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Location: Mooresville, NC
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I have one AVCHD camera along with several HDV/DV cameras. I migrated from PPCS3 with MainConcept to PPCS4, and I've only just started using CineForm ProspectHD v4. There are still some bugs, however this is my planned workflow:

1. Convert AVCHD clips to CineForm using HDLink
2. Use FirstLight to perform initial color correction
3. Put clips into PP HD timeline in sequence, with one camera per video track (up to 4), sync'd
4. Create new HD timeline for multi-camera editing and place first timeline there
5. Complete multi-camera edits (cuts, transitions, etc.)
6. Where needed, edit CineForm source clips in first timeline (e.g., color correction changes within a clip, pans, zooms, other effects), either directly or with After Effects.
7. Mix audio, create titles, etc. and put into a final timeline with multi-camera sequence
8. Export to CineForm HD master
9. Final color in Firstlight
10. Use Encore to produce Blu-Ray, DVD and/or Flash

So far this seems to work the best for me. Here are some of the reasons:

- I found editing AVCHD in PPCS4 to be difficult. It performs OK, but the quality is terrible! I have even considered going back to CS3/MainConcept.
- By converting to CineForm first I can use FirstLight to perform initial color correction. This really helps to balance the shots from different cameras and let's me do a better job of selecting the best angle when editing multi-camera. I may like the angle from my AVCHD camera, but if I can't correct the color/levels to match the other cameras I may not use it.
- Editing shorter source clips is easier for many tasks and takes fewer computer resources. Saves time.
- Exporting to a CineForm master gives me an archive copy that works with FirstLight for final color corrections or looks.
- I've had good success with Encore (though not with CineForm yet) creating SD and Flash videos from HD sources.

The main difference I see in your workflow is creating the single long clip from each camera. It's not clear to me why you want to do this? Can you elaborate?

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Old May 14th, 2009, 11:37 AM   #3
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First let me shine some light on the project that needs this workflow the most. I film a fishing TV show and requires 5 cameras on 5 different boats. All recording event throughout the day. This leads to ALOT of clips. From the last shoot, I had gathered from all cameras a total of over 1000 clips. Being well versed in PP I'm sure you have come to know how long it takes to load a project with that many clips (nearly an hour just to load this project). The same project with the clips arranged in one clip saves great amounts of time both loading PP and loading the project in the Media Encoder. This is especially critical since AVCHD and PPCS4 likes to crash the computer from time to time (actually frequently). Which then leads to losing "post" hours just stuck waiting for load times.

Is everyone happy with using Cineform and which product helps the most. I like the idea of multiple color correcting, but I have never used First Light and am curious how fast is it? PP color correcting is ok just very tedious. Time=Money
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Old May 14th, 2009, 12:06 PM   #4
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Location: Mooresville, NC
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I get it now. Over 1000 clips for one shoot! Wow. My shoots typically don't have that many clips so I don't have nearly as much of an issue with that as you do.

I too find PP color correcting very tedious. The project I'm working on now has very bad lighting and mixed format cameras from different angles, so I needed lots of color correction to get them to look the same.

I found FirstLight to be a big time saver for this scenario. It takes effect immediately and plays back real time in it's UI or any other program. In fact, I keep it open with PP so I can tweak it as I edit. One thing that might help you a lot is the ability to correct one clip and then copy the same settings to multiple other clips. The only real limitation is that it can't be keyed, so the changes apply to the entire clip.

So to do inter-clip color you still need to use effects within PP. I have just reinstalled PPCS3 and PHD4 to work around the ImportServerProcess issues with PPCS4, and so far I'm impressed with the CF color effects. I can apply them and immediately preview without rendering. Much less tedious than using the PP color correction effects.

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