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Old September 28th, 2009, 11:29 AM   #1
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Nanoflash For Video Presentation

Hello Mike & Dan,
I know this is not your intended use for the NanoFlash it's just the way things have worked out, I have a corporate video presentation to do. In the past I have used DVD or played directly from my laptop. I had to show the manager in charge of this project some of the acquisition vision from the Nanoflash to get approval to use it. Rather than burn files to disk I took the NanoFlash and my Sony HD 1080i panel for the preview and boy did I get the WOW factor, talk about raving on. I was asked if I could show that quality for my presentation to the board. I said I would see what I can do.

Well here I am trying to work out the best way to do it. I usually do not like to make extra work for myself but this occasion the reaction was so positive that I have no option if I do not I will have very disappointed client.

I intend to edit the presentation in FCP and export the sequences using EX-DCAM 1080/50i. Then use your File Convertor to make the EX-DCAM file to copy to the CF card for the NanoFlash. Well that’s my theory I can’t prove it at the moment because I am waiting on more CF cards stock to arrive. My supplier has suddenly run out of stock, he said he has been getting large orders for the Sandisk Extreme Pro CF cards and he thinks his price is too cheap.
I think “the CD announcement that they are approved has got something to do with it.”

Have I got the process correct and can you offer any advice?

Many Thanks
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Old September 28th, 2009, 01:08 PM   #2
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Dear Lance,

Yes, you have the process correct.

I am having our expert review your workflow.

I just checked with Tommy, our expert on the File Converter.

Tommy will be posting shortly with more information.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 02:43 PM   #3
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Hello Lance,

Our FileConverter has 2 main features:

> copying un-edited, originally recorded nanoFlash / XDR files (which, for example, are not on their original CF card anymore) onto a CF card for playing out of nanoFlash / XDR. We have this because the Mac Finder copy can sometimes fragment files in the copy process, which we can't handle, so we provide a non-fragmented copy.

> the 2nd feature is the one you'll want, and that is conversion of Final Cut Pro exported files to files which the nanoFlash / XDR can play. The converter has the following requirements:
- the exported FCP files have to be either XDCAM 422 or XDCAM EX.
- the exported files must be 30 Gbytes or less in size. Files greater than 4 Gbytes are broken up into 4 Gbyte increments in the conversion process.

This 2nd feature makes a nanoFlash / XDR compatible .MXF copy of the files. (It can, incidentally, make .MXF copies of originally recorded files as well. )
So if you choose a CF volume as the destination folder, the files will be written out to the cards for play out of the nanoFlash / XDR.

You will also want to disable record (System->Record Trigger->None) on the recorder if you want to play copied / converted files, so as to prevent accidentally over-writing your copied / converted files ( during record on the nanoFlash / XDR we will ignore and write over any copied files).

Also note that edited, exported FCP footage (XDCAM 422) is encoded at 50 Mbit, even if recorded originally at higher bit rates.
I don't know how it works completely but I think FCP only re-encodes the parts of the timeline that are edited in some way (if the timeline settings match the export settings, that is), so the un-edited parts of the timeline are not re-encoded during export and thus retain their original bit rate. I believe that is how it works.
If the timeline video settings don't match the export settings then everything gets re-encoded, most likely.

Tommy
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Old September 28th, 2009, 05:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tommy Schell View Post
Hello Lance,

Also note that edited, exported FCP footage (XDCAM 422) is encoded at 50 Mbit, even if recorded originally at higher bit rates.
I don't know how it works completely but I think FCP only re-encodes the parts of the timeline that are edited in some way (if the timeline settings match the export settings, that is), so the un-edited parts of the timeline are not re-encoded during export and thus retain their original bit rate. I believe that is how it works.
If the timeline video settings don't match the export settings then everything gets re-encoded, most likely.

Tommy
.....Everything gets *re-compressed !* Welcome to the only major weakness of this application. This is a BIG problem. If you don't want any re-compression, then you must use Avid Media Composer. AMC will *not* re-compress anything unless you tell it to.

P.S. You could try to setup a full uncompressed HD project and set all your transitions and effects to render same, then output that to what you want. I haven't actually tried this yet, but I will report back when I have because I need to know this myself.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 05:23 PM   #5
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Dear Mark,

In Final Cut Pro, tests have shown that there are cases where everything does not get recompressed.

If one has our 100 Mbps footage placed on a Final Cut Pro timeline (set for 50 Mbps XDCam), then only footage which has been changed will be recompressed.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 06:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Mark,

In Final Cut Pro, tests have shown that there are cases where everything does not get recompressed.

If one has our 100 Mbps footage placed on a Final Cut Pro timeline (set for 50 Mbps XDCam), then only footage which has been changed will be recompressed.
...Dan, which version of FCP are you referring to ? Once you edit the footage (Say trim it or color correct it), then it's changed and away we go into re-compress land. Don't get me wrong I really like FCP, but there is no 1:1 resolution output setting in this app, and I must say the re-compress quality is amazingly good (If you're in Pro-Res HQ 422), but it still will re-com upon output. I wish there was actually a way around this and I'm trying a few things to see if I can find such a way. FCP 7.0 will now play all cuts and trims and most effects in real time, but as soon as you go to output, then it re-compresses everything.

....Now having stated this, I don't know if this would be the case for a full uncompressed HD timeline and setting all effects as same resolution (If you can ?). Even if FCP only recompresses what you change on the timeline, then that's still degradation at those points- Although I doubt you could see it.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 07:50 PM   #7
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Dear Mark,

Barlow Elton posted this on August 15, Post 29 in "Received the nano/Testing/Rocks":

Believe me, I am aware that rendering causes the bit rate to conform to whatever the codec dictates in a FCP timeline, however, what I've found is that unrendered high bit rate nanoFlash files do keep their original quality, even when editing in a XDCAM 422 50mbs sequence. And I don't mean that in the sense that they look fine, but that they actually export as self-contained QT movies with the 100mbs rate. I didn't get any render bars on footage that wasn't filtered, etc.


If one does not make any changes to the clips, such as color correction, or anything else that would require it to be rendered, it appears from Barlow's comments above that FCP just copies the clips to the output. But if it has to be rendered, then it is currently rendered at 50 Mbps.

What makes this possible is that FCP thinks our 100 Mbps footage is 50 Mbps, and that the output is 50 Mbps, so it appears that our footage without changes, does not appear to need rendering.

All of this seem temporary to me. Apple, could easily, in my opinion, set up a 100 Mbps option for output.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 08:54 PM   #8
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Thank you all for you suggestions.

I had forgotten about the re-compression issue with FCP, I recently upgrade to version 7, looks like I will have to try editing in uncompressed mode?

Mark - I have been using NLE’s since the introduction of Media 100 version 1 and when Media 100 dropped support for the PC I had to find a replacement system. I have a friend who edit’s using Avid Media Composer and he gave me a quick demo. I just could not get my head around the interface and some of the terminology. I found the switch to FCP very easy and terminology was very similar. Toady Avid Media Composer looks like a very different animal, I should see if I can get a demo version for the Mac Pro and try it. After all I do want to retain the quality vision through the whole editing process and if FCP can't do it then hello Avid Media Composer.

Dan - I do see your point that only the vision that has been change will be compressed. The type of work that I do require a lot of graphics and supers, sponsors logo’s etc to overlay that covers eighty percent of the timeline which means that just about everything is going to get compressed. Looks like I will have to get more info on Avid Media Composer and consider it very seriously.

Tommy – Will file converter span files over two cards like the record process where we switch slots. I gather that file name protocol is handled the converter during the copying process to the CF cards.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 11:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Librandi View Post
Thank you all for you suggestions.

I had forgotten about the re-compression issue with FCP, I recently upgrade to version 7, looks like I will have to try editing in uncompressed mode?
.....I'm on FCS 7.0 myself and this version does way, way less of that nasty re-compression, but, alas, it has no 1:1 output ratio. What they've done to FCP is fix it from being "render cut pro" all of the time. In earlier versions of this app, everytime you moved a clip, trimmed a clip, or applied a transition to a clip it would re-render that stuff before it would play properly on the timeline, now you don't have to and it all plays in real time. However it still re-rends upon building the movie output. I have heard this is about to be changed !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Librandi View Post
Mark - I have been using NLE’s since the introduction of Media 100 version 1 and when Media 100 dropped support for the PC I had to find a replacement system. I have a friend who edit’s using Avid Media Composer and he gave me a quick demo. I just could not get my head around the interface and some of the terminology.
.....Avid is VERY hard to get one's head around ! You are sooo right about this. Avid is a completely different editing paradigm altogether, partly because it is in no way a drag and drop interface. When I first came to Avid I choked on it because I came from DPS Perception RT systems which were all hardware accelerated realtime editors based on drag and drop and trim on the timeline and not in the source window !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Librandi View Post
I found the switch to FCP very easy and terminology was very similar.
....FCP is way more intuitive and natural an interface - and you can use it in drag and drop mode if you want. I find AMC to be an invincible, bullet proof cutting system, but Avid is *not* a good *finishing system !* Avid leaves alot to be desired in this department. Avid is a resolution independent editor however, so why not cut in AMC but then output a 1:1 QT Movie of what you complete in Media Composer and use FCS's Compressor to make a decent blu-ray or SD DVD ? Compressor does a beautiful job. Avid DVD by Sonic is a clunky-funky-half baked piece or crapola compared to Compressor or DVD Studio Pro in FCS 7.0 in my opinion. Avid DVD gets the job done, but not elegantly and no 5.1 encoding or monitoring either, like you get with Apple's DVD authoring app.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Librandi View Post
Toady Avid Media Composer looks like a very different animal, I should see if I can get a demo version for the Mac Pro and try it. After all I do want to retain the quality vision through the whole editing process and if FCP can't do it then hello Avid Media Composer.
AMC runs great on the MAC Pro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Librandi View Post
Dan - I do see your point that only the vision that has been change will be compressed. The type of work that I do require a lot of graphics and supers, sponsors logo’s etc to overlay that covers eighty percent of the timeline which means that just about everything is going to get compressed. Looks like I will have to get more info on Avid Media Composer and consider it very seriously.
...I personally gurantee that your movie will be 100 % Re-compressed upon output.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 11:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Mark,

Barlow Elton posted this on August 15, Post 29 in "Received the nano/Testing/Rocks":

Believe me, I am aware that rendering causes the bit rate to conform to whatever the codec dictates in a FCP timeline, however, what I've found is that unrendered high bit rate nanoFlash files do keep their original quality, even when editing in a XDCAM 422 50mbs sequence. And I don't mean that in the sense that they look fine, but that they actually export as self-contained QT movies with the 100mbs rate. I didn't get any render bars on footage that wasn't filtered, etc.


If one does not make any changes to the clips, such as color correction, or anything else that would require it to be rendered, it appears from Barlow's comments above that FCP just copies the clips to the output. But if it has to be rendered, then it is currently rendered at 50 Mbps.

What makes this possible is that FCP thinks our 100 Mbps footage is 50 Mbps, and that the output is 50 Mbps, so it appears that our footage without changes, does not appear to need rendering.

All of this seem temporary to me. Apple, could easily, in my opinion, set up a 100 Mbps option for output.
... Apple could and needs to enable 1:1 output resolution.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 12:23 AM   #11
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I'm not sure if you guys knew that FCP will output your timeline, without recompression, if you use the media manager. If you recorded in 100Mbps long GOP, then that's what you'll get out of media manager. I've tested this before but now you guys are going to make me test it again.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 12:58 AM   #12
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Ok, I just re-read your post. I also verified that media manager does in fact output full resolution files. If you record 100Mbps, that's what media manager will output. If you're to output a finished file though, media manager won't work.

My camera's files MUST be color corrected so I've already gotten used to using media manager and also gotten used to transcoding to ProRes422.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 08:34 AM   #13
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Does the file converter work on the PC?

I use Edius and there is probably a file format that I can output that works with the converter.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 08:51 AM   #14
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Dear Tim,

No, not at this time.

We intend to have a version for the PC in the future.

Our File Converter does multiple things, based on what is requested.

One is to convert ".MOV" files to ".MXF" files.

We need to work on the conversion from ".MXF" to ".MOV" before we port the finished program to the PC.

Background:

At this time, one can record in Quicktime (".MOV"), then use the File Converter, on a Mac, to obtain ".MXF".

But, if someone accidently records ".MXF", then it the footage has to be played out of one unit into another to obtain ".MOV".

Thus, we want to add this option as soon as possible.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 09:56 AM   #15
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O.K. Thanks
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