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Old May 17th, 2005, 06:00 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2005
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CG and VFX post

I currently shoot DV25 for talking heads and presentations, and capture uncompressed SD via a video toaster for keying and VFX shots. Much of my material winds up on large wide-screen plasma monitors for booth media, and/or Projection screens for training rooms full of people.

I now wish to move up to HD, however, I'm not sold on the HDV format for my post work. We now have new booth builds that sport 42" HD LCD Monitors, so artifacts, if they exist, may show up and are my concern.

It seems to me that I can shoot the straight video using DVCPRO HD, and capture uncompressed HD for the post, and still continue to edit in PPro and post in AE.

My questions:
1. Do I risk a quality hit capturing via HD-SDI, and back again to DVCPRO tape?
2. Would I expect just as good or better quality staying in the cineform 10bit compressed instead of uncompressed?
3. Would prospect be sufficient for effects work?
4. Would DVCPRO HD give me the quality I need to begin with?

I'm specking a workstation, and would like some advice. Thanks in advance.

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Old May 17th, 2005, 06:20 PM   #2
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1. If you capture in DVCPRO-HD to uncompression the picture is resized by the DVCPRO-HD hardware from 1280x1080 to 1920x1080 (or 720p frame from 960x720 to 1280x720.) This doesn't introduce a quality hit unless you go back to DVCPRO-HD (crushing the picture back down to the lower resolution and 8-bit.) For this reason the standard mastering format is D5 or HDCAM-SR as they both offer 10bit 1920x1080. It is best -- even for uncompressed work-flows -- to rent a D5 for the day.

2. Mathematically uncompressed is best, but visually you can't tell the difference between uncompressed and CineForm compressed -- even more so for the 10-bit compression. CineForm Intermediate is simply much easy to work with at 6:1 compressed -- offering mult-stream real-time and files small enough to move (and playback) over GigE.

3. Yes.

4. DVCPRO-HD is an OK acquistion format. HDCAM is better. Direct to D5, SR or a DDR is better again (particularly if you intend to pull keys.)
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Old May 17th, 2005, 07:55 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Wyomissing, PA
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I can see why many folks are hopping onto the HDV bus.

DV/SD spoils me. I can keep entire projects, edits, and support files on inexpensive hard drives. $120 bucks for 120 gigs is cheaper than a $50 Beta tape and $200 day deck rental.

The HD stuff will certainly require larger hard drives for storage, and that maybe impossible or impracticle (as deck rental would be cheaper in this case). I may have to archive supports and edits only, and save an EDL, keeping the original content on the DVCPRO tape and recapture when changes/repurposing is needed. (That's the part I avoid with DV25).

The nearest D5/SR/DVCPRO deck rental is 35 miles away. (I'm already considering a purchase of the cheaper Pany DVCPRO HD deck).

I'll have look into Prospect to see it'll save my but in the interim.


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