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Old December 30th, 2009, 05:14 AM   #1
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newbie - flailing a bit.. looking for workflow advice

Hi...

I work for a software company, and my role is to create training videos for our sales engineers. These videos are mostly created in the 'studio' (converted conference room).
The end result of my work are videos that run in length from 5 to 30 min and will be viewed on a computer (directly or streaming via a browser) or someone's iPod.

Even in these tough economic times, I was able to get a budget and purchase quality items to help me produce these videos. Can you help me and keep me from being the best outfitted skier in the lodge? I want to be able to show great results in a short time.

my equipment:
Sony Z5U
MRC1K
Arri Light Kit
quad i7 iMac with Final Cut Studio

So, here I am.. ready to create great video... yet I don't know where to get started.
Up until now, I have been using an old Sony TRV900 and Sony Vegas. And, I created some decent material. (enough to get budget to take it to the next level) but now I am a little lost with the new equipment.

For the past few weeks, I have been experimenting with the new camera and Mac but don't really know what settings to choose throughout. I had read somewhere that I should record SD to tape and use the MRC1K to simultaneously record HD. If that is the case, then do I just copy the MT2 files onto the Mac and use something to convert them to be used in Final Cut?

Since I have complete control on the complete work flow from start to finish... what is your advice? What settings should I set on the camera? How to get the video on to the Mac? What format should I ingest it into Final Cut? What tools do you suggest to transcode/injest? And once edited, how do I get it to look great online or on an iPod? I have Episode Encoder on order to help here.

If you are still with me on this thread, thank you for taking the time to impart some great advice... yes, I am looking to be as productive as quickly as possible. (trying to keep my job)

*** quick update: I had posted this same thread on the Sony Z5U forum and recieved some good advice on the camera part of my question... Again, I control the workflow, and it was suggested that I either shoot in 60i or 30p. So, based on what I am looking for final viewer output and my choices for camera output (60i or 30p)... could you fine folks in this forum offer an opinion about the difference in editing the different footage?

Any and all recommendations are welcome.

Thank you in advance...
I look forward to your replies...
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Old December 30th, 2009, 07:06 AM   #2
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Hi Steven,

I would use 'Clipwrap' to put the quicktime wrapper onto the M2T file, you can then treat the file as a standard HDV clip in FCP. ClipWrap

You can leave as HDV format if you are preforming a standard edit. If you are to put lots of 'Supers' on the videos like a logo all the way through and or effects or a lot of grading I would recommend transcoding into an Intermediate codec like Apple ProRes LT. It's a great less processor intensive codec that holds up better and the LT version keeps the files sizes down. Also takes much less time to render.

Keep the tape running in HDV for backup/archiving. Stick to 16GB card's that will give about 72 Minutes of footage / 60 mins on tape. (My archiving has gone to pot since the tapeless work flow hit).

As you are in the US I would keep the format in 30p as this works well with web formats.

FCP is very easy to get on with and quite intuitive. Create a new project and drag your clips into a bin for organization, FCP will set up the sequence to match your clips when you drag the first clip on the timeline.

You can do you basic supers in FCP or use motion for added effects. Use transparent PNG's from Photoshop etc at about twice the resolution for logos etc, FCP will take most picture formats but if they are layered it will create a sequence just for them.

Export you final project as a independent fully rendered file and then drag this into Apple compressor. There are plenty of presets to choose from including iPods. The cleanest file from a 1920x1080 is at half the size 960 x 540 or quarter 480 x 270. Its quicker to encode in these formats and maintains detail. H.264 is the way to go and bitrates depending on length of video. A third size at 640x360 aka Vimeo will also work well. I have pulled of the SD streams from video I have uploaded in HD as Vimeo encoding does a great job in SD. Handy if you don't have a decent encoder to hand (not likely, but works well).

If you have the Adobe CS4 Suite, Adobe Media Encoder can be very useful for generating Web ready videos at small bitrates.

I know this only covers a tiny tip but please ask away.

James
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Old December 30th, 2009, 02:40 PM   #3
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Thanks Jim....
IU just purchased ClipWrap... it is awesome. I quickly created a re-wrapped MOV file and loaded into FCP and i didn't need any rendering.

As there are many options...Would you recommend using CW to output into any other format? the options are: re-wrap, AIC, ProRes 422, ProRes 422 HQ, DV, DVCProHD?

sorry as I don't understand the vernacular... what is a "super"?
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Old December 30th, 2009, 03:27 PM   #4
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Steven,

With a new computer and modest requirements, I'd stick with rewrap. All the other options are for fitting into a specific *existing* workflow. Rewrap will be orders of magnitude faster.

mike
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Mike Woodworth
mike@divergentmedia.com
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Old December 30th, 2009, 04:04 PM   #5
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Steven,

Like Mike says, stick to the standard re-wrap only and see how you get on. If your only preforming jump cuts and basic editing then staying in HDV will be fine. If you find your doing a lot of conforming/rendering then re-wrap to ProRes (ProRes LT if you have the latest FCS).

'Supers' (superimpose)

James
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Old December 30th, 2009, 04:13 PM   #6
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thanks Gents..... it's off to work (play) I go!
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Old December 31st, 2009, 12:55 PM   #7
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Decrease frame rate...

If you're not showing fast motion, try decreasing the frame rate. Especially if you're going to try to maintain larger resolutions like 640 X 480. For streaming and iPod playback it might allow you to cram more content into one segment by minimizing file size.
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