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Old June 24th, 2010, 09:42 AM   #1
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Cineform multi-NLE workflow

I am using HV30 and 5D/7D files in a project. The first cut edit will be on iMovie and the final processing and color grading on FCP.
Here are 3 options :-
1. Video files -> iMovie -> Render to CF -> FCP -> Final Render
2. Video Files -> Render to CF -> iMovie -> Render to CF ->FCP -> Final Render.

I am using 1. at the moment.
Should I use 2. ? For a complete end to end CF editing workflow ?
This would add an extra conversion though.
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Old June 24th, 2010, 07:45 PM   #2
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Aic

Just realized that imovie transcodes to AIC no matter what happens. However, iMovie is on the Cineform suppport list. Does iMovie not use CF as an intermediate codec, and does the AIC transcode always happen ?
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Old June 24th, 2010, 09:23 PM   #3
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iMovie will play CineForm files without transcoding (if the resolution/frame rate is supported.) If you seeing something different, contact support
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Old June 25th, 2010, 12:27 AM   #4
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Hi David. It does play them but the iMovie docs state specifically that footage is transcoded to AIC.
I had a specific question that I hope will be answered here.
If I convert all my files to CF BEFORE I open them in iMovie, and just do cut paste editing, is iMovie smart enough to export the file to CF without rendering ?
At this moment, my understanding is that ALL files are internally rendered to AIC no matter what codec is recognized by iMovie.

I am using iMovie 09.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 03:27 AM   #5
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The dirty little secret of iMovie '09 is don't use the 'Import' command - it transcodes everything to the Apple Intermediate Coded (AIC). So avoid it. Instead, convert your files to Cineform, then manually copy the Cineform files directly into iMovie '09. iMovie will edit any codec that is properly installed on your Mac, so it will also work with ProRes, DNxHD, HDV .mov etc.

Here's a step by step:
1. Create a folder inside the iMovie Events folder, for example - iMovie Events/Starbucks Promo
2. Place your Cineform files inside that folder.
3. Startup iMovie and let it process the files into it's database. It is creating thumbnails/small proxies to edit with.
4. Edit away, but keep it simple, use only basic cuts and cross-dissolves, avoid titles, music etc.
5. Export an XML file for Final Cut Pro (Share menu in iMovie)
6. When Final Cut Pro asks which files to use, point it back to the original Cineform files.

Notes:
Quote:
is iMovie smart enough to export the file to CF without rendering
The XML file only contains the edits you made in iMovie '09. When you open the XML file in FCP, and point it back at the original video files it will re-create the exact same timeline in FCP as the one you had in iMovie '09 and it's using the exact same video files, so there is no additional generation loss incurred.

Re: Copying files into iMovie '09 - You can also copy files into iMovie '09 by dragging & dropping the video files directly into iMovie Events area. This will create an iMovie Event folder with your files. The result is exactly the same as doing it manually in Finder. I found letting iMovie do it was a bit hit & miss, so I prefer using Finder.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 03:50 AM   #6
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Michael. Thanks so much for this.
David, I would highly recommend you posted this on your tech blog as people buy Cineform for its end-to-end workflow and you advertise iMovie compatibility. As its stands, without Michael's tips, iMovie and CF do not offer and end-to-end workflow and the AIC intermediate would cause a loss of quality.

Michael, if I have to give the project to someone else for editing, can I retain everything in one HDD (even under the same folder) and FCP would be smart enough to pickup the project ?
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Old June 25th, 2010, 04:06 AM   #7
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Yes that's exactly what I do, I place the XML file with the video files on a hard drive and hand it off to my FCP editor for finishing. When she opens the XML file, FCP 6/7 is smart enough to ask which video files to use. All she has to do is select the correct folder.

And for the record, I just finished a project using Cineform, where we went from iMovie '09 for the rough cut, to FCP for fine-tuning, then Premiere/AE CS5 & NEO HD on the PC for special F/X, so yes you can do a multi-NLE project with Cineform and keep the original master files all the way through! The only thing extra we had to do was re-wrap the Cineform MOV to Cineform AVI on the PC side, but other than that it was pretty straight forward.
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