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Old July 31st, 2009, 05:55 PM   #1
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1080p ProRes to Beta?

I am looking for some advice on this workflow. I recently shot a 30 second spot on the 5DII that needs to go out for broadcast on Comcast. My FCP timeline is currently 30fps progressive ProResHQ. I am looking for advice on the best workflow to convert the HD video to SD so that I can create some graphics to take the place of the letterbox bars before the beta transfer.

Also, I told my client to get in touch with his guy at Comcast for a spec sheet, and the guy told him all that he needs to know is "Beta" delivery? Anyone know what Comcast specs are?
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Old July 31st, 2009, 06:12 PM   #2
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The first thing you need to do is convert to 29.97 from 30 fps.

You could export as 1080p 30 prores, then open in Cinema tools and conform to 29.97.

Then import into FCP finish project in 1080p 29.97.

Send to Color to legalize before final export (best to do all clips as you work). Make sure all clips are from 7.5 ire to 100 ire to be NTSC legal.

When project is done print to Beta SP tape with your AJA / Matrox or whatever card you use, they down convert on the fly.

Find out if they want 4:3, letterbox or anamorphic.

If you don't have component out take it to someone who does. It is also a good idea to check final tape on scopes, include Bars, tone slate and black at the end of the tape.

If your BetaSP tape is legal you are all set. Final tape will be 480i 29.97.

They will also accept DigiBeta, same workflow.

There may be other ways, but this will ensure that there are no problems.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 06:19 PM   #3
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Do you happen to have a Kona, Black Magic or MXO2 graphics card?

If so couldn't you simply down convert and do the requisite frame rate conversion as you transfer to tape? All of the analog 7.5IRE etc should be taken care of in the card.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 06:35 PM   #4
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Olof: Thanks for the rundown! This is more than likely the workflow that I will use.

Chuck: Yes, I do have access to a Kona card for the transfer.

So I gather that this is the best way to maintain quality? I was hoping to convert to SD first so that I could plant some graphics and lower thirds to take up the real-estate of the letterbox bars, but if I will take a huge quality hit by doing so I think I'll pass and just leave the consuming crop bars.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 08:33 PM   #5
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The reason to set the correct ire values to start with is so you control how it looks, not "the card".

If I was going to use the bars for graphics, I would import the 1080p 29.97 file into AE.

Then create a D1 comp and scale the HD file down to fit, add whatever you want to the bars, then make a D1 movie Prores, make sure your graphics are legal.

Then play that out through the Kona, from FCP SD timeline.

I get very good results scaling in AE.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 08:38 PM   #6
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Sure you can do that and I didn't take into account comping graphics in the letter box. However, the Kona card has excellent control over the digital to analog conversion. I used to to this a lot (we are now completely HAD and tapeless), the quality and control is as good as it is in software IMHO.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 10:13 PM   #7
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I've found that once you've gone to 30p, you can't get back to 60i. It's not a problem though unless you have a lot of motion in your video (fast pans) or graphics (scrolling text). Interlaced will look smoother. AfterEffects is agnostic in this regard, so you can decide to render your material in either interlaced or progressive.

I've done a lot of testing with progressive and interlaced because the final delivery for much of my work is for broadcast. Unfortunately the local broadcasters are still requesting that we deliver to them in standard definition, DV format, interlaced. I set up our top of the line Sony CRT monitor connected to our AJA Io HD. I tried doing the HD 30p to SD 60i letter-boxed conversion using a variety of workflows and I found that using Compressor to do the conversion worked best for us. If we were going to tape, then I might use the built-in AJA Io HD conversion, but we deliver our television commercials to the broadcasters via the internet so using Compressor is the best solution for our needs.

Because we do all our editing in AfterEffects, one work flow I tried was converting all the 30p footage to interlaced in AfterEffects. This helped if I had a lot of motion in my text/graphics, but it did nothing to the footage. The quality was the same whether I interpreted the footage or not. So I've been using Compressor to do the conversion for months now without issue. Let me know and I can send you the setting file I use if you want.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 10:28 AM   #8
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Mitchell, please do send me that setup file! I am going to let the Kona card do the conversion for this particular project, but I have a few others that need to be delivered in the exact same manner as you have described.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 11:00 AM   #9
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No problem, but can you wait until Monday? I have the setup file on my Mac at work. I'll post it as an attachment to this thread.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 11:05 AM   #10
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Tomorrow will do just fine. I also sent you a PM with my email, so whatever way works best for you. Thanks Mitchell!
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 10:42 AM   #11
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Well I guess I can't post the setting as an attachment. This website won't allow it due to the unique format of a Compressor Setting file. So here are screenshots of the various Inspector pages for the Compressor settings I use to go from 30p HD to 60i DV codec.

NOTE: DV codec is one of the worst quality standard definition codecs. I would recommend using ProRes instead. But the local broadcasters in my area want 30-second commercials delivered in DV codec so that's what I have to give them. (I'd rather send in H.264 - it looks better and is much smaller file size)
Attached Thumbnails
1080p ProRes to Beta?-summary.png   1080p ProRes to Beta?-encoder.png  

1080p ProRes to Beta?-frame-controls.png   1080p ProRes to Beta?-geometry.png  

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