Question: edited in HDV, now going to Color. Do I need to convert to ProRes first? at DVinfo.net

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Old February 10th, 2010, 12:56 AM   #1
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Question: edited in HDV, now going to Color. Do I need to convert to ProRes first?

I understand that if I am going to go into Color to color correct, that I would want to get out of the HDV realm. I was led to believe that I would have to convert all of my edited clips to ProRes first, before moving into Color.

Even though this would take some work, I was willing to do this. But with very little testing, that seems like a waste of time. From what I can tell, when I send the HDV sequence to Color, it automatically converts any color-corrected files into ProRes.

When I open up the color corrected files from Color, they're all ProRes. If this is the case, is there any reason for me to go through all the work of creating a ProRes version of my project before going to Color?

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Old February 10th, 2010, 02:06 AM   #2
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I would imagine you are rendering out the HDV footage to Prores when you exit Color. When it is in color it will be referencing the original HDV clips.

I am not sure how this effects the operations in Color mathematically, I know it will certainly increase the workload when working in colour, but it may not make a significant difference to your colour correction if there aren't any transitions etc (where Color would have to unpack and repack information from the HDV).

So aside from performance and stability issues (haven't been following how stable Color is with HDV on 1.5 as I have yet to upgrade.) then I don't think this will be causing any deterioration in terms of end quality to be honest.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 03:53 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, Craig.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Parkes View Post
When it is in color it will be referencing the original HDV clips.

I am not sure how this effects the operations in Color mathematically,
From what I've read, Color does it's 'work' in the 4:2:2 colorspace. This implies to me that even though color may be referencing the HDV clips initially, the mathematical work of the color correction is happening in 4:2:2

As far as working with any fades, I'm not sure. I haven't really worked with Color at all, only testing it out to see what I really needed to do with this particular project, but it was my understanding that fades, for example, weren't dealt with in Color at all and that they'd be applied back in FCP, after the fact. Is that a misunderstanding on my part?

Thanks

Last edited by David Garvin; February 10th, 2010 at 01:14 PM.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 04:03 AM   #4
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One issue with this approach - although completely OK - is that your clips will be rendered out in ProRes from Color while your sequence will remain in HDV format....a small nuisance.

If you already captured your footage in HDV and don't want to go through the pain of recapturing then leave it once rendered and conformed you are good to go.

However for all future capture ProRes is highly recommended.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 01:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabor Maly View Post
One issue with this approach - although completely OK - is that your clips will be rendered out in ProRes from Color while your sequence will remain in HDV format....a small nuisance.
Indeed, you are correct. I noticed that as I was doing my testing, but one thing I found to be odd is that even though they're ProRes clips in an HDV sequence, nothing needs rendered. I mean, FCP seems to be treating them as if they fit into the sequence just fine. Maybe that's how FCP works with ProRes files. I just thought it was strange.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabor Maly View Post
However for all future capture ProRes is highly recommended.
I guess this is where I get confused, and is somewhat at the root of my question here.

When ProRes first came out, everybody seemed to insist that you shoud get out of HDV ASAP. People said that one reason was because any filters or effects in FCP would be crappy if done in HDV. The caveat is, of course, that you can set up an HDV project to render all effects in ProRes. With that option enabled, that portion of the argument seems moot.

Another reason people insist(ed) that you should edit in ProRes was because any color correction would be crappy if done in the HDV format. But with my testing, that seems moot as well, since Color doesn't appear to do the color correction in the HDV format. Color does it in ProRes 422

I'm not being argumentative, I'm genuinely perplexed about what the initial ProRes conversion would get me. If all effect and color correction are being done in ProRes already, what is the benefit of converting all the footage from the start?

The downside of that conversion, on the other hand, is huge to me. I have a full Terabyte of HDV footage that's backed up in 2 other drive locations. That's a total of 3TB. (3x) 1TB drives. If I were to convert all the raw footage to ProRes, I'd be looking at about 20TB and stacks and stacks of drives. To me, 20 harddrives versus 3 harddrives is a HUGE negative for a benefit that I still don't see.

Thanks Gabor.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 01:32 PM   #6
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There is a good article on the topic by Larry Jordan. Check out:

What I've Learned about HDV

As you just stated if all you will do with the footage is color correction with Apple Color you are fine, if you want to add serious effects, animation and titles you will better off with ProRes.

Cheers
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Old February 10th, 2010, 09:13 PM   #7
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Thanks Gabor. I hadn't seen that particular article but all the 'updates' are what really adds to it, and shows the changing face of how people deal with HDV in post.

Early on everybody was saying to never ever ever edit in HDV, and some people continue to say that. Articles like that one show that it's not really that bad. Really, HDV is worse in the acquisition of the image than it is in post. So since the acquisition part is over, and FCStudio is converting to ProRes when necessary for color correction and rendering, I'm satisfied with my conclusions.

Interesting quotes from that article's updates:

Graeme Nattress (responding to a DVCproHD conversion, but relevant nonetheless)
Quote:
Answer - edit HDV native - it's easy on a decent mac, and then just change the compression right at the end of editing to "uncompressed", do a final render before going out to master tape.
And in one of the 2008 updates
Quote:
Consequently, I've changed my recommendations to:

If you are working in an exclusively HDV project, then shoot HDV, edit HDV natively, output HDV, then convert it into the format you need for final distribution.

If you are integrating HDV with other HD formats, convert it into ProRes 422 during capture and standardize your editing on ProRes for editing and output.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabor Maly
if all you will do with the footage is color correction with Apple Color you are fine
Thanks. That's what it seemed like to me, but having not used Color before made me want to confirm that my suspicions were correct. Especially when people are still insisting "you have to transcode everything from HDV to ProRes immediately"

Thanks again.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 12:46 PM   #8
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The fear of editing native HDV has always perplexed me. For the past 2-3 years we've been cutting a lot of HDV natively on everything from new Mac Pro (smooth sailing) to nearly 1st gen G5s (slow but gets the job done) w/o the world coming to a end. ;)


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Old February 13th, 2010, 08:56 PM   #9
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I'm seeing both sides here. For capturing tape-based HDV, would it not be better then to capture as ProRes LT for disc saving AND an i-frame codec? I don't see the benefits of taking the time to batch capture to HDV when you then tell FCP to render to ProRes in the timeline. Back when that article was written, there was only 2 flavors of ProRes. Now that LT exists, I would assume the theory has changed again?

If the media was on card and FCP ready as HDV (JVC's or other), then I see the editing HDV and timeline rendering to ProRes a solution. But not for ingesting.
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