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Old October 7th, 2009, 08:45 PM   #1
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Suggest an SOP - please

Recently I shot a job using the QT files (and rolling tape too) and handed it off on a drive for the producer to work with on her mac. But other days the producers are using PCs. Most of the networks are using various flavors of Avid, most everyone else is using FCP or something else.
So.......
any suggestions for an SOP that covers all bases, or at least most of them? Many folks are still leery of getting files instead of tapes and insist it be made as simple as possible. I thought that common denominator would be .mov, but maybe not. Can't Avids import the QT files in less time than it would take to digitize tape?

At the end of the day the producers want to get going asap, I've already fielded complaints that they have to wait 20 minutes while I copy the data to a hard drive - they want it all. Now.

Has anyone come up with a standard and relatively bulletproof workflow for in the field? IT would be useful if there were a standard, could be a good time to invent one.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 08:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis OKeefe View Post
Recently I shot a job using the QT files (and rolling tape too) and handed it off on a drive for the producer to work with on her mac. But other days the producers are using PCs. Most of the networks are using various flavors of Avid, most everyone else is using FCP or something else.
So.......
any suggestions for an SOP that covers all bases, or at least most of them? Many folks are still leery of getting files instead of tapes and insist it be made as simple as possible. I thought that common denominator would be .mov, but maybe not. Can't Avids import the QT files in less time than it would take to digitize tape?

At the end of the day the producers want to get going asap, I've already fielded complaints that they have to wait 20 minutes while I copy the data to a hard drive - they want it all. Now.

Has anyone come up with a standard and relatively bulletproof workflow for in the field? IT would be useful if there were a standard, could be a good time to invent one.
I would think that copying a few hours worth of footage in 20 minutes would be easier than transferring a tape in real time.

I think the best way to do cross platform is to shoot with Quicktime MOV files and Convergent Designs provides a converter to rewrap the quicktime files, losslessly to MXF. The MXF files can be edited on the PC platform.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 10:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis OKeefe View Post
At the end of the day the producers want to get going asap, I've already fielded complaints that they have to wait 20 minutes while I copy the data to a hard drive - they want it all. Now.

Has anyone come up with a standard and relatively bulletproof workflow for in the field? IT would be useful if there were a standard, could be a good time to invent one.
Hi Denis-
On this particular issue, we do have redundant recording coming soon. This will allow you to make two identical copies of the footage by writing to both CF cards in the nanoFlash simultaneously. So one card goes to the producer and the other to the editors.

I am hoping to qualify a reasonably priced 64GB card in the next few days. So, you could get about 80 minutes of record time, even running in redundant mode.

I will speak with our engineers tomorrow about the various options for viewing on a PC/MAC. In general QT is the the universal format, since it can be readily converted to MXF. But let us discuss more tomorrow.

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Old October 8th, 2009, 01:42 AM   #4
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Hi Mike. That is yet another brilliant idea to come out of CD. That's a very clever way of getting around the problem of handing off rushes and gives a layer of redundancy too. Your stunning little box just keeps getting better!

A good workflow would be to record QT .mov files on the NanoFlash, off load on to a Nexto box as each card fills up and then hand off the Nexto box at the end of the shoot, requiring the client to return the Nexto when they are done with it. For regular clients you could sell each client their own Nexto, explaining that in the long run this is a much cheaper option than many Professional grade HD tapes. If the client needs MXF's they they can use the Convergent Design converter to re wrap the files as they are imported from the Nexto drive to the edit suite.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 09:54 AM   #5
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Brilliant!

Wow Mike, I've wanted redundant recording since I first got the EX1, that will be a great benefit.

And QT Mov will be my standard record mode. I'll try the mxf conversion out, but really wish the rest of the world would just get a mac already.

Mike, how about making me a dream layer - something that I can loan to the producer, plug the CF card in and have it play on an iphone size screen with timecode and audio?
If I had time in the field I'd consider converting to m4v and giving them an ipod touch for review.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #6
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XDR too?

Presumably, this would be a firmware update providing the option for XDR users too?

Jus.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 12:34 PM   #7
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Presumably, this would be a firmware update providing the option for XDR users too?

Jus.
Hi Justin-
Yes, this will apply to both products.

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Old October 8th, 2009, 02:36 PM   #8
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THe Convergent Design QT to MXF Converter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Newsome View Post
I would think that copying a few hours worth of footage in 20 minutes would be easier than transferring a tape in real time.

I think the best way to do cross platform is to shoot with Quicktime MOV files and Convergent Designs provides a converter to rewrap the quicktime files, losslessly to MXF. The MXF files can be edited on the PC platform.
....I'm having a nightmare time right now with an interview I originally shot on the XDR in QT and then converted the clips with the CD conversion app on my MAC to MXF for PC ingest into my Avid Media Composer application. For some reason Avid doesn't like the clips. (???) I can edit and play them perfectly in Avid but I can't get the edited job out of the application !!!! Each time I attempt to export via QT Ref to web encoder, or via any other output codec I get an output error regarding the files from the XDR.

......I have a theory as to why this *might* be happening. (??) I shot this interview at 24 F on by XL H1, but the XDR seems to have an issue of *not* recognizing the Canon 24 F signal in the stream, so perhaps this is why I'm having some problems with these files. (??) This issue may have caused some recorded line doubling artifacts, which is messing up the file output of my Avid Media Composer. (??)
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Old October 12th, 2009, 07:43 PM   #9
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SOP redux

While trying to figure out just what the US Networks want I had a conversation with a friend who works for Sony. He pointed out the the Nano is capable of recording 100 or more mbps but there is gear that just won't recognize it. From what he said I think it best to shoot standard XDCAM 422 HD 50 mbps codec in the MXF format on the nanoflash, copy the files to a drive and send them off (maybe with a copy of XDCam viewer on the drive too).
I successfully imported the mxf files into FCP7 via Xdcam transfer (although it told me it wouldn't it went ahead and did. The Sony guy said that FCP 7 and Snow Leopard are terra incognita, but its what I have loaded. Maybe he meant "terror" incognita, if you have not "upgraded" and everything is working I'd recommend against it myself for the time being.
So theoretically I can record XDcam 422 for one network, another prefers SD 50mbps IMX 16x9 and I can do that too. They both use Avid so I think I'll make MXF my new standard since I can use it too with transfer.
Is there a downside to this so far?
The third wants 16x9 25mbps SD DVcam codec (at least for the immediate future). ANy ideas (other than to carry another camera) on this one?
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Old October 12th, 2009, 08:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis OKeefe View Post
While trying to figure out just what the US Networks want I had a conversation with a friend who works for Sony. He pointed out the the Nano is capable of recording 100 or more mbps but there is gear that just won't recognize it. From what he said I think it best to shoot standard XDCAM 422 HD 50 mbps codec in the MXF format on the nanoflash, copy the files to a drive and send them off (maybe with a copy of XDCam viewer on the drive too).
I successfully imported the mxf files into FCP7 via Xdcam transfer (although it told me it wouldn't it went ahead and did. The Sony guy said that FCP 7 and Snow Leopard are terra incognita, but its what I have loaded. Maybe he meant "terror" incognita, if you have not "upgraded" and everything is working I'd recommend against it myself for the time being.
So theoretically I can record XDcam 422 for one network, another prefers SD 50mbps IMX 16x9 and I can do that too. They both use Avid so I think I'll make MXF my new standard since I can use it too with transfer.
Is there a downside to this so far?
The third wants 16x9 25mbps SD DVcam codec (at least for the immediate future). ANy ideas (other than to carry another camera) on this one?
Hi Denis-
The video quality of the XDCAM 422 50Mbps is really quite excellent. Yes, you do gain a little going to 100 Mbps, but you do loose the compatibility with the Optical drive. We are working on a nanoFlash firmware release (for later this month) which will make our MXF file format even more compatible with the Optical disk so that the files can be played back from the HD1500 deck.

I am surprised and delighted that you could import our MXF files directly into FCP7. Yes, that makes MXF a nice standard for both Avid and FCP7 (as well as Vegas, Premiere and Edius). I can't see any real downside to this approach.

The nanoFlash is a no-go on the DVcam CODEC, since that requires a separate hardware CODEC, but as you pointed out, we do support the SD IMX format.

Best-
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Old October 12th, 2009, 08:44 PM   #11
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100 Mb looks amazing but won't post

Hi Mike:
As far as the major networks go, they are all, without exception Avid Media Composer in the MXF video file format. As far as 100 Mb Long GOP goes, our production company has forsaken it in lieu of proper Media Composer support. Using FCP as a professional standard to measure overall compatibility is simply a dangerous way to proceed. I make this point not as an inditement of FCP, rather, I also have it and use it and insist it is maturing as a very professional editing application indeed, and a better overall finishing suite of applications. Only, the big boys simply don't use it. In Canada, CBC, CTV, Radio-Quebec, Global Television, RDS, are all mainly Avid Media Composer and Avid Symphany DS, and DS Nitris. In the US, NBC, CBS, and ABC are all Avid 100 %. Please understand if your file format looks amazing at 100 Mb, but will not work properly in Avid, then you've got a problem that you really need to adress.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 09:17 PM   #12
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Hi Mark-
Avid is working on full compatibility with our 100 Mbps CODEC. In the meantime, we would recommend that the major netowrks use the XDCAM 422 (50 Mbps) MXF setting in nanoFlash. This is probably the best long-term choice for all network TV as the video quality is excellent and our MXF file format will soon (next release) be fully compatible with the XDCAM Optical media. It also works with the current version of Media Composer.

XDCAM 422 at 50 Mbps = the same CODEC as the Sony PDW700/800 cameras.

Best-
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Old October 12th, 2009, 11:25 PM   #13
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Yes 50 Mb LOng GOP Works Fine in Avid Media Composer

Hi Mike:
Yes. Agreed. I shot the second big sit down interview last week at 50 Mbps and I have imported this into Avid Media Composer and all is well.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 05:31 PM   #14
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MXF to FCP with transfer 2.10 not working now

Yesterday with sony on the pohone I did get transfer to take my mxf files into FCP 7, (although the thumbnails were not there) today it is not working, so back to the drawing board. I'll keep trying and report back if I come up with an answer.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 06:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Denis OKeefe View Post
Yesterday with sony on the pohone I did get transfer to take my mxf files into FCP 7, (although the thumbnails were not there) today it is not working, so back to the drawing board. I'll keep trying and report back if I come up with an answer.
Hi Denis-
I suspect the import will go smoother after we update the MXF files to be compatible with the XDCAM Optical Media. This firmware update should be available for the nanoFlash by the end of this month.

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