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Old June 13th, 2007, 04:15 AM   #1
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Capturing HDV footage as ProRes 422 in FCP6?

Hey guys,

I just posted this same question in the general HDV thread, but it occurred to me that this is better section to ask it in, so here we go...

I've tried searching the answer to this all over the place but can't find any solid answer to my question:

Can you capture HDV footage (i.e. footage captured to tape from an HDV camera) directly into Final Cut Pro 6 using the ProRes 422 codec? (i.e. perform the transcoding from interframe to intraframe compression when you initially capture the footage on to your computer.)

That is, can you do this to avoid having to capture your footage into FCP6 as HDV and then spend the extra time transcoding the HDV into ProRes? I know that you can capture ProRes 422 from an HDV camera using a capture card, but that's not what I'm interested in. I just want to figure out the most streamlined process for getting HDV footage into intraframe codec so that I can edit it smoothly.

Is this possible? Or do I have to capture my footage as HDV first and then transcode?

I will be using a Mac Pro for this.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 10:13 AM   #2
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No. You cannot capture in ProRes without a card.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 10:56 AM   #3
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The footage on your tape in fact is allready HDV. there's no reason to capture to prores, unless you need the speed / low CPU load prores gives you
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Old June 13th, 2007, 11:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Klatt View Post
No. You cannot capture in ProRes without a card.
Do you mean when I'm filming? or once I have the footage on tape and want to input it from the camera into the computer? or both?

And Daan I think you misunderstood me, I know that the footage on the tape is hdv. What I'm wondering is whether I can transfer that footage to the computer in anything other than HDV?

A fair percentage of the footage I shoot is destined for some effects work, and the long GOP structure of HDV isn't suitable for this. I just want to know whether there's any way I can bypass the process of capturing my footage in FCP as HDV and capture it as an intermediate codec instead?

That is, avoid having to capture to FCP as HDV and then spend more time transcoding to an intermediate. Can I capture it as an intermediate in the first place?
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Old June 13th, 2007, 12:02 PM   #5
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Nope.

There is no capture to ProRes through FCP. You need a card to do that.

You can look at Final Cut Studio 2 at the Apple site, or download their manual to see alternatives(HDV,AIC, etc.) as capable codecs for capture.

Once you are in FCP 6, after you have down a capture, you can convert within compressor to ProRes.
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Old June 14th, 2007, 12:16 AM   #6
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But I can capture to AIC through firewire into FCP6? How does hdv footage captured as AIC hold up? Does it lose much image quality in the move to intraframe compression?
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Old June 15th, 2007, 07:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Kenfield View Post
...

A fair percentage of the footage I shoot is destined for some effects work, and the long GOP structure of HDV isn't suitable for this. I just want to know whether there's any way I can bypass the process of capturing my footage in FCP as HDV and capture it as an intermediate codec instead?
You set your sequence to render as ProRes. So you edit the native HDV, but all effects, transitions, titles, etc. will be rendered as ProRes. This is the workflow that is being recommended highly on some other forums. It also used a lot less disk space than capturing or transcoding to ProRes. If you are going to go on to Compressor, then output to ProRes (you can just drop the sequence into another set up to use the correct flavor of ProRes). Then all of you effects work will be pristined...
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Old June 15th, 2007, 09:17 AM   #8
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So you can simply set FCP to render any effects, transitions etc... in ProRes? Does that mean FCP just transcodes those necessary sections of HDV footage into ProRes before it renders whatever effect you've done? Thereby eliminating the long GOP structure just for effects/transitions and leaving the rest of the footage in its native HDV?

That sounds like it makes sense. Are things like rendering colour correction also affected by the long GOP structure of HDV? Should shots that need correction be transcoded as well.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 02:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Kenfield View Post
So you can simply set FCP to render any effects, transitions etc... in ProRes? Does that mean FCP just transcodes those necessary sections of HDV footage into ProRes before it renders whatever effect you've done?
Not quite. The process is:

-Decode HDV to frame buffer
-Process effect
-Re-encode to ProRes

It's the last step, reencoding to ProRes instead of back to MPEG2 that saves a little time and some quality. It doesn't transcode to ProRes before the operation because:

1-It's unnecessary
2-It takes time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Kenfield View Post
That sounds like it makes sense. Are things like rendering colour correction also affected by the long GOP structure of HDV? Should shots that need correction be transcoded as well.
Color correction is like any other effect. It requires a decode and a re-encode. If we're talking about retaining quality from a purist's standpoint, do not want to subject the media to any more re-encodes than you have to...so as stated above, you don't want to transcode to ProRes first.

Executive summary: FCP2 does all of it right, when it comes to using ProRes to best advantage.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 10:13 AM   #10
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But if you want to color correct in FC Studio Color you need to go to ProRes first, as Color does not understand the HDV mpeg structure.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 10:38 AM   #11
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YES you certainly can!

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Klatt View Post
Nope.

There is no capture to ProRes through FCP. You need a card to do that.
OK I see this is from last summer so it is out of date.

Hopefully everyone knows that if you have the 6.0.2 update you certainly *can* capture HDV as ProRes via FireWire:

http://www.apple.com/support/release...ut_Pro_6.0_rn/
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Last edited by Benjamin Hill; May 6th, 2008 at 11:36 AM. Reason: correction
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Old May 6th, 2008, 12:46 PM   #12
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Yes you can, and on a G5 via FW

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=118627
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