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Old August 23rd, 2010, 08:36 PM   #1
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Blue Screen / FCP / AE workflow recommendations?

Hi,
I have a blue screen shoot coming up which is to be posted with FCP, and the post house plans to do the compositing with After Effects. (They have both CS4 and CS5 as options). I'll be shooting with an EX3 and of course recording to the NanoFlash. I have Delkin 64 cards, so I should be able to do a reasonably high bit rate. Are there any workflow caveats or things to watch out for, specifically as relates to Long-Gop vs I-Frame, MOV vs. MXF, or specific bit rates when using this combination of programs?
Any input would be most appreciated.
Thanks,
Dave S.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 08:04 AM   #2
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Dear Friends,

Dave and I discussed this last night.

Since the main editing is to be in Final Cut Pro, I recommended that he record in Quicktime, ".MOV" format.

Then, when he needs to edit the original footage in After Effects, he has the option, on the Mac, to convert to ".MXF" for After Effects using our free File Converter.

Or he can render the short file to uncompressed, and use this as input to After Effects.

I recommendedd a high bit-rate, 220 Mbps, and I-Frame Only for these blue-screen shots.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 03:14 PM   #3
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A month back I did a 3D green screen shoot (EX3/XDR) with excellent results. But make sure you use a waveform and make the green as even as possible AND with the green vector "in the box" on the vectoscope.

I had to get into the settings and boost chroma a bit, but I got easy keys in After Efx (CS5).

220/I
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Old August 28th, 2010, 05:44 PM   #4
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Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Friends,

Dave and I discussed this last night.
Then, when he needs to edit the original footage in After Effects, he has the option, on the Mac, to convert to ".MXF" for After Effects using our free File Converter.
....Hi Dan: I recommend Dave NOT to bother wrapping his .MOV clips out of the Nano as .MXF for importing into AE. I am using AE CS4 and I have experienced Long GOP 50 .MXF clips not being recognized by Adobe After Affects. There's something about the *structure of the XDCAM HD 4:2:2 files as the XDR (Therefore, I am suspecting the Nano as well) records them onto the CF cards which other software apps don't see as the same as the type which comes on discs out of Sony XDCAM HD cameras, which causes an exception error.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
I recommendedd a high bit-rate, 220 Mbps, and I-Frame Only for these blue-screen shots.
...I would also recommend a test with I-frame 280 Mbps setting. This will give you an even cleaner key in AE and not too taxing on 64 GB size CF card media (If the media is fast enough, of course)
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Old August 29th, 2010, 09:08 AM   #5
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Hello Daniel, Mark
Thanks for the suggestions.
As it happened I did the shoot the last couple of days, and as all things production seem to do, the requirements were like a moving target.
Ended up doing one day of blue screen and one day of green (Same production company & agency for both, but different projects/clients/post houses.) For the blue day the specs were as expected, and they had committed to a FCP editing house, so I shot 220 I-frame mov files (I was nervous about my cards sustaining 280, so stayed at 220 which has been fine with all my cards)
For the green day the agency hadn't figured out anything about where post would be happeninng, and these were much easier shots to key, so I figured I'd better go a bit more conservative and stayed at 100-LongGOP-MXF files, since I needed to keep as many post options open as possible. A little nervous about the probs some people seem to have reported elsewhere about AE imports, but without knowing whether the post house would be Avid / FCP / Premiere / Vegas or something else / mac or pc, and what keying system, I did't want to paint myself into too many corners. And of course now the footage for both projects is out of my hands, so in typical freelance fashion I'm hoping that the next call I get from them is the 'That last shoot went great; are you available for the next job?' as opposed to the dreaded 'We got a call from the post house and they can't get your files to read... We need to present to the client tomorrow. Can you figure it out?'
Of course days like this emphasize how nice it would be having an MOV to MXF re-wrapper that would run on a PC (my typical rant), since then I wouldn't have to worry about whether they're sending the footage to a pc-only post house (and yes, many of them do exist.)
Thanks again for the help!
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Old August 29th, 2010, 03:02 PM   #6
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When the post house is uncertain

Hi Dave:
Good decision on the I-Frame 220 Mbps instead of 280 if you're not sure about your CF card's sustainable max data rate. (??) Concerning unknown post houses, I wanted you to know the chances of them being Avid Media Composer is high. If the post house is Avid, then make sure you either stay at XDCAM HD 4:2:2 Full raster spec (Long GOP 50 Mbps .MXF), or shoot I-Frame as high as you like. This will reduce your chances of the dreaded phone call you mentioned in an earlier post.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 05:11 PM   #7
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Dear Dave,

We are currently programing the PC version of our File Converter.

We will get this finished as soon as possible.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 05:53 PM   #8
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File Converter PC Version

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Dave,

We are currently programing the PC version of our File Converter.

We will get this finished as soon as possible.
Dear Dan:
Yay !
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Old August 29th, 2010, 06:18 PM   #9
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Dear Mark,

Tommy has been working on this project.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 11:11 PM   #10
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Excellent!!!
Great to hear!
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