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Old April 14th, 2011, 01:16 AM   #1
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Is this workflow practical?

Not sure if this is the best place for this.

Trying to put together a workflow for delivering DVD's of an event onsite.



Setup
Macbook Pro 2.5Ghz Core 2 Duo 2GB RAM 1TB HD (Edit)

Macbook Pro 2.4Ghz (?, I think, can't rememeber and it's not in front of me right now) Core 2 Duo 2GB RAM 250GB HD (Compress/Author)

Older Toshiba Pentium M 1.6Ghz 256 RAM(?) (Playback)
40 inch TV (Playback)
4TB G-Tech Raid Drive (Scratch)
1TB LACIE (Backup)


Workflow:
Shoot on Canon DSLR's
Cards come back to edit station between matches and are dumped onto Scratch drive as folders. Folders are named Team_VS_Team_HEAT.

File Structure:
G-Tech>Footage>Event 1>Saturday>Team_VS_Team_HEAT

Footage is cut together in FCP on the main Pro

Once edit's are done, they are exported through compressor using the 2nd Pro. (This is where I see the biggest problem, it takes forever to do any kind of HD footage on my pro)(also not sure how I can let the 2nd pro compress while still cutting on the main one)

DVD Menu's are made before the event.

A DVD-R (single layer) is authored near the end of the day on the 2nd Pro, that disk is then duplicated to the correct amount.

DVD cases have their design done ahead of time and put in cases
DVD's have their labels printed after they are burned.
After the labels printed it goes in the case and is handed off to the customer.
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Old April 14th, 2011, 07:58 AM   #2
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Re: Is this workflow practical?

I've always found it quicker to export a movie (either self contained or reference) and then run that file through compressor, rather than exporting through compressor. The reason this is (generally) faster is compressor can chop up the file in to sections and run multiple processes on it whereas FCP is sending one frame at a time to compressor.
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Old April 14th, 2011, 07:49 PM   #3
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Re: Is this workflow practical?

Sounds to me that Compressor is your problem here. It's pretty slow.

I would test a reference MOV vs an actual render and use something like Episode for your assets. I moved from Compressor to MPEG Streamclip, but Episode seems to be magically fast. A bit pricy though. Export your MOV to a watch folder and Episode can encode and perform other actions for you. You can probably setup some tricky scripting to automate much of your managing.

I don't see a way to compress the same edit you're working with. As long as your sending other edits, you should be fine.

Not to mess with your current model here, but why not offer online viewings instead of DVDs? Are these weddings or actual events?
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Old April 14th, 2011, 08:02 PM   #4
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Re: Is this workflow practical?

It's paintball tournaments, the problem here is if my video sales track anything like my photos from previous years, I will sell little to nothing after the event, selling them there that day is gonna be the best way I can see, without having to deal with shipping and preorders.

I'm actually re-evaluating DVD delivery and looking into selling thumb drives instead. My target audience is fairly young (under 35, 18-25 mostly) and tech-savvy and I think they'd much rather have a digital 720/1080 file than a DVD. I'm thinking a 4GB drive would be fairly reasonable, with the file delivered out to a hi-res h.264 file with an M4V container. The margins would be slimmer for me, but it simplifies a lot of the workflow. I could export straight out of FCP, drop the file onto the drive, the drop that drive into a duplicator that copies it out to like 5 drives at a time.

And yea I wasn't clear on sending the edit, I meant 2 separate edits. I'm just not sure if I'd experience the drive dropping frames at all? Since it's be two computer tethered to the same external through FW 800.
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Old April 15th, 2011, 03:06 AM   #5
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Re: Is this workflow practical?

If you are going to output H.264 MPEG then use an Elgato Turbo.264 HD USB dongle as this radically speeds up the rate of rendering to better than real time for 1280x720 output file.
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Old April 15th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #6
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Re: Is this workflow practical?

I see some issues but for space I'll confine myself to JUST the shoot and data ingest issues your workflow raises...

First, on a DSLR, you're limited to 12 minute recordings. So you WILL have multiple clips for each match.

The standard best practice is to make a DISK IMAGE of each card as it comes back for editing ingest. It's fine to re-label that Disk Image with the Date/Match/Team whatever AFTER you make the image. but you should NOT "Drag and Drop" the clips from the card format. That's because if you're using FCP's Log and Transfer function, it wants to "see" a complete card - not a folder of files. Then you'd open the virtual "card file" in FCP to capture selects (or all the content if that's what you need.) This BOTH transcodes into ProRes AND allows you to do an initial rough cut so you're not ingesting and wasting drive space for pre-action crap or long penalty breaks or whatever is messing up your field shots.

There's a lot more to consider in designing any workflow, but that's a bare start.

Good luck.
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Old April 15th, 2011, 08:59 PM   #7
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Re: Is this workflow practical?

Yea I realized that and tweaked it a little bit. I had planned for multiple clips already. The card image would go in under the Team_VS_Team_Heat, as individual folders, that way when I add multiple shooters the structure wouldn't have a significant change.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 11:17 PM   #8
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Re: Is this workflow practical?

first, transcoding will kill you on this job. you need to be able to edit native h264. that really means Prem Pro. FCP will not edit EOS material well at all.

next is output - if you have a mxo2 MAX or mini MAX you can make h264's faster then realtime. I'd export via MAX codec to QT's in SD or HD res, then burn to DVD. no they won't work in a regular DVD player, but they'll work great in a computer which is where most of that crowd would be watching anyway.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 02:47 AM   #9
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Re: Is this workflow practical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
next is output - if you have a mxo2 MAX or mini MAX you can make h264's faster then realtime
The Elgato Turbo.264 HD USB dongle that I referred to in post #5 will do this for a fraction of the price.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 07:41 AM   #10
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Re: Is this workflow practical?

Have you considered outputting in sections / chapters?
Tournament is multiple matches, right?
Edit each match . . . output to 2nd pro for compression.
Last edit would possibly be the only one you wait for.
Pre build the dvd to sequence the chapters into a continuous program.
Finalize, disc image & burn away.

Other option is to setup compressor for distributed rendering . . . but you'd still have to wait for the full program to be edited and exported.

I don't envy you . . . i always like to quality check before duping but you don't have that option.
Hope they hang around and drink beers while they wait for the product!
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Old April 18th, 2011, 08:58 AM   #11
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Re: Is this workflow practical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
The Elgato Turbo.264 HD USB dongle that I referred to in post #5 will do this for a fraction of the price.
true, but you get what you pay for. its s consumer device with serious limitations, including a max data rate of 17-20mbits/sec. if you can figure out where to change it. part of the problem is the USB connection.

the mini MAX uses the PCIe and doesn't have any limitations like that. in fact is has a variety of options including turning on noise reduction that does not slow its encoding speed down. I often run it on the min setting. I can say that all my h264 goes thru the MAX encoders not just for speed, but for quality as well. it always gives me better looking ( read clean pristine ) video at lower bit rates then the apple encoder while screaming past it in speed. I've never used the elgato, but I it seems to be about the same to slightly better then the apple encoder. a mini MAX is a pro level tool and is a long term investement you'll still be using years from now, the elgato seems like a use once deal if you are lucky. also in looking at the mini MAX you have a full HD I/O box with proper color on the outputs.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 10:28 AM   #12
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Re: Is this workflow practical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
true, but you get what you pay for. its s consumer device with serious limitations, including a max data rate of 17-20mbits/sec. if you can figure out where to change it. part of the problem is the USB connection.
Steve, the OP is using a MBP so there are no PCIe slots & unless it's a 17" model there won't be an ExpressCard slot either so there would be no way to connect a Matrox Mini or MX2. You also won't need better than 10Mbps data rate (Vimeo is only 5Mbps) We are not talking mastering Bluray here but a quick turnaround to copy the H.264 MPEG4 onto a USB thumbdrive. As you have never used the Elgato device you obviously don't realise how good the quality is or how fast it operates but I can assure you that it works really well creating the output file straight off the FCP timeline. Because it is a consumer focused product the price reflects the economies of scale that a mass market brings. For $750 of the Matrox Mini Max is a great product & does a load of other things but I suggest is overkill for the OP's needs compared to the $90 Elgato Turbo.264 HD.
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