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Old May 5th, 2006, 04:36 PM   #1
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Editing workflow & codecs on the Mac

I have been doing some HDV capture/ NON-HDV edit tests on my own (using non-FCP ingest methods) as I'm finally getting into editing HD in FCP HD on the Mac. My main concern was finding a manageable workflow in terms of size of files/ quality that's not native HDV. Many things I've read do not recoomend editing native HDV in FCP due to slowness even with a fast dual-processor G5 (which I have).

Although I used non-FCP capture for the native "m2t" HDV Files, I captured a set of clips using FCP into the AIC codec.

Some people bash AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) but, according to my tests, it's actually the best choice for now, IMHO, and if you're not ending up in HD as your final delivery medium, like going out to SD DVD. (I'm not making any claims when it comes to HD delivery...)

I captured HDV via Firewire using AVCVideoCap and then did some conversion tests with MPEG Streamclip, using Photo JPEG at 75%, JPEG2000 at 75% (this did not even run smoothly on the G5) and DVCPRO HD.

See the comparison screengrabs:

http://www.pointzeropictures.com/vid...rison-test.png

and

http://www.pointzeropictures.com/vid...ison-test2.png

check out the stairstepping and color smear in DVCPRO HD (look at the Celtics badge in the hat for comparison), noise and color smear in Photo JPEG (check the noise on the nose vs. AIC), AIC looks the closest to the original in terms of sharpness, color and noise level.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 01:25 PM   #2
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I've never hear about slow native HDV editing on any newer mac. 720P HDV native is just like working with DV on my dual 2.0

If you're a stickler for quality, you can do your edit in a native timeline for speed/ease, then copy to uncompressed timeline for final color-corection/graphics renders.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 03:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miklos Philips
I have been doing some HDV capture/ NON-HDV edit tests on my own (using non-FCP ingest methods) as I'm finally getting into editing HD in FCP HD on the Mac. My main concern was finding a manageable workflow in terms of size of files/ quality that's not native HDV. Many things I've read do not recoomend editing native HDV in FCP due to slowness even with a fast dual-processor G5 (which I have).
I'm confused by why you are going at HDV editing in such a round-about way.

1) Treat it just like DV for capture and export.

2) Edit just like DV.

3) I've been editing 720 native HDV for years on multiple systems using FCP HD. I've use my G4 iBook with 1GB of RAM when I don't want to fire-up my dual G5.

4) Since you have more than enough power for editing HDV, why did you "read advice" when you could have simply tried editing and discovered it worked fine?

5) One possibility is that what you read is about 1080i HDV. This is a very different animal. It can be 2X slower to edit and AIC is not recommended for interlace video.

Unfortunately, the vast number of people editing HDV are working with 1080i and they use the term HDV when the should be clear they are editing "HDV HD2." So folks read about problems that don't apply to "HD1."
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Old May 6th, 2006, 09:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen

5) One possibility is that what you read is about 1080i HDV. This is a very different animal. It can be 2X slower to edit and AIC is not recommended for interlace video.

Unfortunately, the vast number of people editing HDV are working with 1080i and they use the term HDV when the should be clear they are editing "HDV HD2." So folks read about problems that don't apply to "HD1."
This is very interesting to me. I can say that after working with HD2 (1080i) for a while, it is really a bad idea to edit natively. It's VERY slow on my PBG4 1.25Ghz and the re-renders introduce many more artifacts which is an even bigger concern for me. AIC is better, but actually introduces some artifacts of it's own (macroblocking) more so than the original or native HDV.

For 1080i I personally prefer DVCProHD as it is pretty much the exact same thing as the original in terms of image quality. Also I've been using the FX1 which has a 960x1080 chip, so there really isn't a resolution loss that I can tell going from the 1440x1080 signal back down to 1280x1080 of DVCProHD. It just gets stretched & squished a few times along the way (960 to 1440 to 1280 to 1920).

The HD-100 is a different story because you will actually lose resolution using DVCProHD (1280 to 960). I would say if AIC produces decent results, use that. Otherwise maybe native HD2 really is workable. I have yet to test it myself.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 11:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chad Terpstra
I can say that after working with HD2 (1080i) for a while, it is really a bad idea to edit natively. It's VERY slow on my PBG4 1.25Ghz and the re-renders introduce many more artifacts which is an even bigger concern for me.
Couple things here:

1-You're working on a slightly older Powerbook. 1080 HDV is a little slow on my dual G5, I'm sure it's much slower as you say on your PB. But 1080 HDV in my opinion is very workable on a new G5 or Intel Mac.

2-Artifacts on renders are avoidable by rendering to a better codec. There's a number of ways to do this at the end of a project, rather than transcoding all original footage at the beginning.

Just because working natively isn't the best solution for you doesn't mean it can be a blanket statement. Half of your problems are easily solvable.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 12:43 AM   #6
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I think Chad is on the right track,
I find editing in HDV 720p is great for splicing and doing simple cuts, but for for effects or filters or imported files from AE or Motion, rendering time is slow, I have the last model PB 1.67 with 1.5 gig of ram and it still isn't enough to save me. If you're doing straight cuts you won't have probs but as soon as you need to render you will feel it. Best thing for you to do is do a paper edit, so you know what you want and when your'e happy, go for it.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 05:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jemore Santos
I think Chad is on the right track,
I find editing in HDV 720p is great for splicing and doing simple cuts, but for for effects or filters or imported files from AE or Motion, rendering time is slow ...
Since most of the filters I use are RT, I don't experience this problem. Since HDV decodes in RT, there should be no delay in AE from native HDV.

There would be a horrible delay if you went back to HDV, but you should never do that. You should output from AE or Motion only as 10-bit uncompressed.

You only should do one HDV decode per file.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 07:47 AM   #8
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But Steve if your sequence is HDV then wouldn't 10 bit be useless anyways because it would have to calculate the clips into the HDV timeline?
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Old May 7th, 2006, 08:50 PM   #9
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HDV editing

I get it now. Thanks Nate and Steve. The thing to do is do straight edits first native HDV in FCP with simple dissolves, etc. no effects. Then go to (drop it into) an uncompressed timeline (as per Nate's suggestion) and do all one's color correction, FCP effects, etc. there. Do any special effects and layering in After Effects if I need to go there, in uncompressed format and bring that into FCP into the uncompressed timeline. Then do a final edit with it all and export to "whatever format."

I exported a 20 min. film to 8 bit uncompressed and it took up 18 Gb of space so a 3 minute music video (which is what I'm editing now) would be very managable in terms of renders and final out in uncompressed format.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 05:55 PM   #10
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I've been using both analog capture to DVCProHD and firewire capture to HDV in FCPro. The files look great in native HDV and I'm not introducing any analog conversion artifacts or noise, so I am now opting to stay native. DVCPro HD capture looks very good too.

Using Firewire, the one problem we are having is the file breaks during capture. We are updating all cameras to A version, but I'm not certain this fixes the problem. Basically, one long shot will get split up on capture or the capture will stop and report a timecode break depending on prefs settings. The clip will be missing about 5-6 seconds during each split. I guess this is FCPro waiting for the next GOP. Yet the scene plays continuously on the deck so I'm not sure where the bug is.

If you edit in a native timeline and apply all effects, correction and transitions just as you normally would, you can then, at the end move the edit to an uncompressed or less compressed sequence and render. All those rendered effects will need to be re-rendered, this time in the new codec, along with the clips.

But, I haven't noticed any image degradation using Color Finesse or Color Correction, motion and time remapping, in the native codec. So I don't know how productive this would be.

The savings in disk space are worth considering as well.

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Old May 8th, 2006, 06:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miklos Philips
I get it now. Thanks Nate and Steve. The thing to do is do straight edits first native HDV in FCP with simple dissolves, etc. no effects. Then go to (drop it into) an uncompressed timeline (as per Nate's suggestion) and do all one's color correction, FCP effects, etc. there.
Well, I mean, why limit yourself to what you can do in the native timeline? Just think of the native timeline as "offline", and then the xfer to uncompressed as your "online".

I want to clarify why this works for readers who are baffled...the way FCP handles all effects and renders is to ALWAYS go back to the original media and recompress only once for a given render. So this means if you have native HDV media and you process it, but render to uncompressed, then your native HDV is not any worse off...the only compression artifacts you will see will be from the encoding in-camera.

I've seen the native HDV flow in FCP mis-understood a few times on the boards now, so I felt the need to say something.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 08:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Beaty
Using Firewire, the one problem we are having is the file breaks during capture. We are updating all cameras to A version, but I'm not certain this fixes the problem. Basically, one long shot will get split up on capture or the capture will stop and report a timecode break depending on prefs settings. The clip will be missing about 5-6 seconds during each split. I guess this is FCPro waiting for the next GOP. Yet the scene plays continuously on the deck so I'm not sure where the bug is.
These problems can be overcome by trying either Apple's AVCVideoCap or DVHSCap Firewire capture utilities which can ingest the m2t MPEG transport stream from the camera or deck and then using MPEG StreamClip (http://www.apple.com/downloads/macos...treamclip.html) to "fix timecode" and trans-code into a format you want to edit with. All of them are available fo download for free from Apple's site.

Firewire SDK 22 for Mac OSX:
http://developer.apple.com/sdk/
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Old May 9th, 2006, 03:24 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
I've seen the native HDV flow in FCP mis-understood a few times on the boards now, so I felt the need to say something.
Your comment should be a sticky. Avid and Premiere don't work like this so you keep reading about "recompressing native HDV."

It doesn't happen with FCP! And short clips you've processed in AE can be exported from AE in uncompressed or even DVCPRO HD. Just be sure you bring native HDV into AE.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 03:35 AM   #14
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hdv native FCP

hay steve would you mind explaining to me why I get so many dropped
frames when i edit native HDV in final cut pro. ive got 2.7 power mac
with 4.5 gigs of ram. it droppes frames every time. sorry dont believe you!
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Old May 9th, 2006, 03:46 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Shawn Kessler
hay steve would you mind explaining to me why I get so many dropped
frames when i edit native HDV in final cut pro. ive got 2.7 power mac
with 4.5 gigs of ram. it droppes frames every time. sorry dont believe you!
I'm not Steve, but there is a laundry list of issues that can cause FCP to drop frames. I've not had any of them in years, but I know people can and do experience problems.

On a dual 2.7, things should be peachy. 720p30 HDV native is smooth as glass on my dual 2.0, as fast as DV. 1080i HDV is very usable but a little sluggish on my machine.
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