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Old March 20th, 2006, 01:44 AM   #1
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Suggested POST codec...?

It seems clear that, even if Apple would support HDV 24p natively, the coded is not ideal for editing and general post work. I have no problems with this. What I'm wondering now is what codec is better for editing and chroma work considering that:

- I want to preserve HD 24p quality and final result
- I'm going to do quite a bit of chroma work
- I need to exchange clips between Mac Apps and Windows Apps
- I record to tape/hd (1394) and convert via HDVxDV

Until now I've been using AIC but that prevents the exchange of material with the Windows world.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 01:55 AM   #2
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Paolo,

Firstly, thank you for your true color settings, it's my default setting now.

As to your questions. I do a lot of chromakeying too. I do so in After effects so I needed a codec that will alo work there.

I think you should try canopus HQ codec. It comes with Edius pro. Its meant to handle higher bit rate formats like dvcproHD etc. And the setting is adjustable so you can sort of 'bump up' HDV. Anyway I tested it since my AE 6.5 doesnt accept M2t files. You can lower the settings of canopus HQ to match the datarate of HDV and you can crossover between ediuspro and after effects. I know canopus has a plug in for premier pro.

Hope this helps

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Old March 20th, 2006, 02:18 AM   #3
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Hey Ted, thanks for the quick reply. BTW, I'm quite initerested in your lens adapter, can you give us more info about it (cost, availability etc)?
Thanks for the Canopus suggestion, unfortunately I don't work with their software and I need to stop buying stuff, my budget is esploding :)

I'd like to have something that can be exported from HDVxDV into a easily transferable codec that is recognized by other, non-Apple apps. I tried the Uncompressed 8-bit and it works but it's huge. I'm hoping for something a little easier to move around :)

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Old March 20th, 2006, 04:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone
- I want to preserve HD 24p quality and final result
- I'm going to do quite a bit of chroma work
- I need to exchange clips between Mac Apps and Windows Apps
- I record to tape/hd (1394) and convert via HDVxDV
The obvious choice is a 4:2:2, 8-bit or 10-bit, uncompressed codec. Kona and/or BM have multi-platform, 4:2:2, 8-bit and 10-bit, uncompressed codecs. They will work in AE.

While they can be used to EXPORT and MOVE Timelines -- but without boards in both machines, you can't edit. And, you'll need RAIDs to edit.

Which means a convert from HDV to UC >> MOVE >> UC to HDV.

Having an uncompressed Sequence wouldn't prevent you from conforming to HDV and exporting to tape through HDVxDV.

Note, I said move Timelines rather than Sources. That's because I'm not sure I would want to convert all my sources.

Which leads me to ask at what point in your projects do you need to move between platforms?

And, I'm leaving Avid out of the equation because they don't yet support 24p.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 09:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
Which leads me to ask at what point in your projects do you need to move between platforms?

And, I'm leaving Avid out of the equation because they don't yet support 24p.
What I want to do, for a couple of Chroma projects and promo videos is the following:

- Shoot the GS, capture to tape+HD using DVRack
- Load the clip in Ultra 2, do the chroma work
- Export the clip for editing in FCP + AE

The problem is that HDV is not handled very well by Ultra. The key works but scrubbing and frame positioning is not accurate. I understand that this is inherent in the HDV format with its high compression and GOP issues. I noticed that edinting in AIC, for example, is much faster.
So, I could alter the above workflow inthis way:

- Capture the clip, load it in HDVxDV export to suitable QT-supported codec
- Move the clip to the Windows machine, work in Ultra
- Export to suitable QT codec, edit in FCP/AE

Basically I need the digital "glue" to preserve quality in the transfer and make it though a couple of exports/imports.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 12:45 PM   #6
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Photojpeg at 75% is amazing and still 4:2:2. The best part is that it can be used on Mac or PC with standard Quicktime. The downside is native realtime NLE editing. For compositing however this codec works great.

Another option is the bitjazz codec which is a lossless codec. It can capture in realtime on a mac and Decklink with around a 2:1 ratio. It may even get better compression for greenscreen shoots since most of the screen is a solid color. This basically cuts in half the hard drive bandwidth and makes the files much smaller and easier to deal with. Again there is no native support in FCP for realtime editing but the bitjazz coedec does work on Mac and PC. The only downside is that it does cost a little bit but it is very fast and 100% equal to uncompressed quality.
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 12:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Thomas Smet
Photojpeg at 75% is amazing and still 4:2:2. The best part is that it can be used on Mac or PC with standard Quicktime. The downside is native realtime NLE editing. For compositing however this codec works great.
Thanks for the suggestion but I do need to be able to edit. I think I'll go for uncompressed, I need to find a faster way to exchange data between the two machines.
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 07:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone
Thanks for the suggestion but I do need to be able to edit. I think I'll go for uncompressed, I need to find a faster way to exchange data between the two machines.
Paolo,

I think its a better solution to use native editing because it is much much faster. Just because you're editing native doesn't mean you are delivering or even compositing natively. I wish you could have been at the Chicago User group meeting. I had a filmout workflow, broadcast workflow and DVD workflow setup on display (native workflows). When working natively in FCP do you get the choice of render codecs?
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 09:31 AM   #9
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Solved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen L. Noe
Paolo,
I think its a better solution to use native editing because it is much much faster. Just because you're editing native doesn't mean you are delivering or even compositing natively. I wish you could have been at the Chicago User group meeting. I had a filmout workflow, broadcast workflow and DVD workflow setup on display (native workflows). When working natively in FCP do you get the choice of render codecs?
Hi Stephen.

Yes, I would have loved seeing your demo.

About FCP, ye you have your source clip with its own encoding and the render settings for the sequence where the clips is used. Keep in mind that FCP, at this date, cannot use the native data from the camera unless it's 30P and I shoot at 24p.

The problem that I have is that I can acquire the m2t material with DVRack, drop it in Ultra without problems but I then need to export it to FCP for editing. I don't want to loose quality with an aggressive transcoding. I think I found a solution, though. The Windows version of QuickTime doesn't have the "Uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2" codec by default but I found out that it is actually the Blackmagic codec and it is available for download for free. The codec is not labeled "Blackmagic" in the Mac version of QT but it's the same. I tried it last night and the compatibility is perfect, both versions of QT handle it without problems. I dropped the clip in FCP and it works perfectly.

The problem, at this point, was how to transfer massive amount of data between to two machines. I have all my storage on a couple of FW external disks for about 1TB of data. They are both formatted for the Mac. I was able to connect the Mac to the Windows machine via a FireWire cable and create a secondary network that pushes data at blinding speed. Now I can move a 1.4GB clip beetween the machines in about 3 minutes!

So, I think this could work as a general worklow for other people using the HD100 on a heterogenous network:

- Acquire the source
- Use HDVxDV for transfer to disk
- Export to QT using "Uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2"
- Use the material in FCP and round trip to other machines is necessary (Ultra 2, virtual sets)
- Export always using the same codec in order to preserve image quality
- Do final transcoding (DVD)

With a direct FireWire cable you can move huge clips between two laptops in a matter of minutes.
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