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Old November 17th, 2009, 08:18 PM   #1
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Definitive compatibility matrix?

It seems like a lot of folks on these forums shoot to Nanoflash and then edit their own material. My only exposure to post production is actually in the pre-production stage where I'll meet with the post folks and make sure I'll be delivering what they require. I bought the Nanoflash just to record my own dailies but at max bit rates the Nanoflash files have less compression than the HDCam tape I usually record onto so I figure I could also give clients the option for file based delivery, right?

My concern is what bit rate/compression combinations (I-frame, Long GOP) actually work with different NLE's in the real world? For me, most of my work is usually cut on some flavor of Avid (usually Nitris/DS I believe), Quantel or occasionally Final Cut. After reading some of Mark Job's postings in regards to Avid MC and butting up against Adobe Premiere/AfterFX's current dislike for the Nanoflash files (I know there are now a few plugin's to work around this with Premiere) there is no way I'd offer a client these files without first offering a few test files at different bit rates for fear that an entire project could be encoded in at a bit rate/compression combination that their post workflow wouldn't accept.

What would be a huge help to DP's like myself who own this little gizmo and would like to offer their clients the files would be a thumbs up/thumbs down matrix of which bit rates/compression combinations work with the popular edit systems and update it with the release of Nanoflash firmware and NLE version upgrades.

It's much better to know a problem may exist and deal with it in preproduction than be unaware of it and have it blow up in post leaving producer/directors to leave with the impression that all Nanoflash files simply don't work for them.

Just my 2. Discuss amongst yourselves.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 07:48 AM   #2
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I think this is a great suggestion.

I also work with different production houses and to know the options with NLE systems ahead of time instead of trial and error for formats and bit rates would be great.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 08:46 AM   #3
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Great idea! It would save loads of time experimenting, especially for those like me who has just gotten a nanoFLASH! It could come in the form of a PDF that can easily be updated as time changes.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 11:09 AM   #4
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Let's Make a Compatibility Matrix

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Steinberg View Post
It seems like a lot of folks on these forums shoot to Nanoflash and then edit their own material. My only exposure to post production is actually in the pre-production stage where I'll meet with the post folks and make sure I'll be delivering what they require. I bought the Nanoflash just to record my own dailies but at max bit rates the Nanoflash files have less compression than the HDCam tape I usually record onto so I figure I could also give clients the option for file based delivery, right?

My concern is what bit rate/compression combinations (I-frame, Long GOP) actually work with different NLE's in the real world? For me, most of my work is usually cut on some flavor of Avid (usually Nitris/DS I believe), Quantel or occasionally Final Cut. After reading some of Mark Job's postings in regards to Avid MC and butting up against Adobe Premiere/AfterFX's current dislike for the Nanoflash files (I know there are now a few plugin's to work around this with Premiere) there is no way I'd offer a client these files without first offering a few test files at different bit rates for fear that an entire project could be encoded in at a bit rate/compression combination that their post workflow wouldn't accept.

What would be a huge help to DP's like myself who own this little gizmo and would like to offer their clients the files would be a thumbs up/thumbs down matrix of which bit rates/compression combinations work with the popular edit systems and update it with the release of Nanoflash firmware and NLE version upgrades.

It's much better to know a problem may exist and deal with it in preproduction than be unaware of it and have it blow up in post leaving producer/directors to leave with the impression that all Nanoflash files simply don't work for them.

Just my 2. Discuss amongst yourselves.
......Hi Paul: Yes. This needs to be put together as quickly as possible. Folks shooting professionally for broadcast or D-Cinema need to be headed off at the pass regarding XDR/Nano Long GOP compatibility issues with Avid Media Composer. DS Nitris is designed to handle up to 2K resolutions, so I wouldn't be surprised to discover Convergent Technologies Long GOP 100 + Mbps files would work OK in that NLE, but I don't have one to test with (Yet).

I really like my XDR and I want to shoot @ Long GOP 100 Mbps and higher because it looks so darn amazing, but it's all for not unless you can post those files reliably in Avid. I sure hope Avid will work well and soon with Convergent Design to resolve the Long GOP compatibility issue, because this is a real sledge hammer in the head to the Nano & the XDR for many pro shooters who do not have a say over which NLE is used in post. Thank God Long GOP 100 + works in FCP.

Paul, you can shoot I-Frame (Intra) on the XDR/Nano and Avid will handle these files just fine. *I've been quiet and busy running a series of closer tests with Long GOP 100 Mbps to see if I can discover a reliable work around. I think I may have found one, but I need to double and tripple test it out before I dare post this workflow.*

I would be only too happy to work with anyone who wants to put together a Convergent Design compatibility matrix for the XDR and the Nano (with possible work around workflow info included).
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Old November 18th, 2009, 11:29 AM   #5
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As I've mentioned, this matrix is starting to get pretty big, with all the NLE titles and versions, combined with MXF vs. Quicktime vs. MPG at different bitrates, audio channels and options.

I can organize it, maybe even make it a real web "Application" that can house this giant matrix.

I could also add some extra things like Shooting file types vs. CF card record sizes and record lengths, etc. I refer to the free AJA rate calculator all the time but I'm frequently miffed by its lack of certain formats.

Who else thinks I should put this together? It would be one giant uber-referrence!
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Old November 18th, 2009, 01:01 PM   #6
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I can do it for mxf files in Axio but I would need access to mxf files of all the bit, size, and frame rates.

Might I suggest that C-D supply the clips. That way the matrix can be standardized.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 01:10 PM   #7
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That's a good recommendation. A posting of standardized test files in MXF & Quicktime. All bitrate, framerate, frame size, number of audio channels, etc.

The standardized files would insure that we are all testing the correct files while building out the matrix.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 01:36 PM   #8
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Standard CD Approved Test Files & Control For Tests

Hi Aaron & David:
Yes. I agree. All testing criteria *should* be agreed to and disclosed with adequate control measures (A la Beta Testing Approach). This puppy has to really be as accurate as we can possibly make it. The matrix must be made with a totally dispassionate-even ruthless regard for the absolute facts as they stand.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 02:24 PM   #9
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Yes of course Mark. I have no agenda, only to make a comprehensive matrix of file support for ALL to refer to. A standardized approach to testing and reporting, combined with a self correcting community collaboration approach will make this a very strong and powerful matrix.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 05:14 PM   #10
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Let's Call it "The Flash XDR/Nano Flash Performance Matrix*

Hi Aaron: Agreed. Cool. Let's make this happen. I can send both shooting and editing tests results. I use 1 x 16 GB Extreme IV Sandisk CF card along with 2 x 32 GB Sandisk Extreme III cards. I also have an 8 GB Sandisk Extreme III CF card, but I haven't used that in my XDR as of yet. Do you want to have two seperate parts to the performance matrix ? One for the XDR and One for the Nano ? I suggest the name "The Flash XDR/Nano Flash Performance Matrix," as a possible title if you folks consider this to be good.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #11
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I don't want to have to shoot anything. I think the reference files should be provided and verified by CD.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 05:06 AM   #12
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I'd think CD would have to take the point on this in order to maintain quality control.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 07:53 AM   #13
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I agree this would only be valid if CD ran the show.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 09:13 AM   #14
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Independent Testing & Evaluation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Steinberg View Post
I'd think CD would have to take the point on this in order to maintain quality control.
....Hi Paul & Paul: I think there is some value in having this information independently tested and verified in real world scenarios by real world shooters - That would be us and a whole lot of other folks who would participate in the project. I agree the source files should be from Convergent Design and they should liaze with us doing the test - Especially Tommy Schell.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 09:20 AM   #15
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I agree that this will only work if it comes from CD.
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