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Old September 18th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #16
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Man, it just gets better by the second...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker
Does this put Avid Liquid in the consumer camp then?

Same question for PPro 2 - I had no idea about the quality loss. How does/will FCP handle these various questions (native HDV, quality loss, etc)? What would you use for narrative film work?

What diference does all this mean when considering a film out vs normal DVD, or HD-DVD? THanks for all the knowlege -
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Old September 18th, 2006, 03:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Vincent
How does/will FCP handle these various questions (native HDV, quality loss, etc)? What would you use for narrative film work?
FCP allows you to select the codec used for each sequence so you can capture the footage directly in FCP, good for clip logging, and then drop it into a sequence that will hadle the cuts in uncompressed format. When you drop the clips into the sequence they get converted automatically. The render files, now in the new codec, will be used from that point on. You can use any supported codec. The Black Magic codecs are built-in, they are called "Uncompressed 4:2:2 8/10 bit" or you can download the latest versions from BM's website. AIC is another option that is provided as part of the FCP package.
You can also use an external package like MPEGStream Clip to batch convert the .mpeg files explicitly.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 12:30 AM   #18
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re re editing HDV

If this is the case then all the argument from the official NLE marketing is bull...
As Avid suggests for Xpro and MC "Edit native HDV" this is all about editing native... without any loss and bla bla.
As I use the JVC HD101 I am limited in Avid Xpro, as well MC and cannot change resol. in my timeline.
As far as now I went native HDV and I really had no problems with quality losses.
We work on short and long projects, one of our documentaries was projected with an HD projector on a big screen and the resulting screen was really amazing.
I will try to transcode into DNxHD110 for a doc that we work now. I want to test the difference with CC etc.
As soon as I will get my macbook with FCP I will come back for advises for that environment.

For Paolo: I shot the first footage of the sea nomads of east Sulawesi with your TC3.
I really liked the results same did my Japanese partner. I will definetely use the same set up again when I will go there on the 15th of November for the final movie. So "Grazie caro Paolo".
If you have any other suggestions I would like to know and try them too.
I can send you frames from the first shooting at an e-mail adress if you are interested to see. Everything within sea and sky... looks really great.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 03:47 AM   #19
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Quote:
It has nothing to do with the frame rate. And yes, you can edit directly in HDV, it's your call. It's a matetr of "best practices", not a technical requirement.

Think in this way, you drop a clip in the timeline, the clip starts and there is a GOP: 1 frame is captured complete and 5 frames are stored as the difference between the previous frame. You apply a cut on the 3rd frame and discard the previous two. How does the NLE show frame 3, 4, 5, and 6 if the starting point has been removed? Of course, since a cut is just a pointer, the program can "rewind", find the reference point and then compute the following frames. Seems convoluted? It is, but this is exactly what happenes when editing a codec with temporal compression. Now, take this clip and imagine that you want to export it as a QuickTime movie using the original encoding: HDV. After all you think: "If I don't transcode, I don't loose image quality". That would be the case with a codec that stores all your footage as discreet frames. The frames would be simply "dumped" in to the new file. With HDV you have to rebuild a new GOP, because you just made a cut in the middle of one and discarded some frames. So, the NLE has to "rewind" again, compute the frames that you have in the sequence and then re-compress them in order to create a brand new GOP in the file. This time frame 3 will be the reference frame and frame 4,5,6, plus 2 frames from the following GOP will be stored in the file. I'm oversimplyfing here but you get the gist of it.
Moral of the story, you end up with a recompressed, re-encoded file, even when you don't change codec in export.
Now, take this scenario and apply it for effects, transitions etc. Not a pretty picture. The time saved in avoiding a conversion to, say, Black Magic 4:2:2 10 bit or AIC, is paid down the line, when the footage is spread across hundreds of cuts and several transitions, filters etc. And I'm not even considering chromakey work. This is for your everyday, 30 minute interview or similar footage.
Many thanks for that thorough explanation Paulo...I'd almost considered the Sony Z1E at one stage and that has quite a few more GOP's if I'm not mistaken?
I'll soon be taking hold of FCP on an iMac - I guess I'll be following the workflows (which I may need to come back to for confirmation if ok with you folks!) posted here rather than anticipating native HDV editing on a rumoured update. Not too concerned about time saving if the results are not as I would've hoped. From the footage/shorts posted on these threads would I be correct in stating that they all have been edited non-natively?
...and by the way - how do I link Black Magic and or AIC into FCP - are these plug ins I could get hold of or are they part of the package anyhow?

Many thanks for the help.
dave.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 03:50 AM   #20
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I know what you mean about the marketing spin, Panos. Avid (and others) make a big deal about native HDV support yet they don't actually fully support HDV1 (I notice they changed their marketing text after a barrage of complaints on the Avid forums); they make a big deal out of working 'native' and then they make a lot of noise about DNx being the best thing since sliced bread. Of course, they keep pretty quiet about uncompressed HD in MC and AXPro marketing because - if you want that - you have to buy Symphony or DS Nitris (around £60,000) when FCP will support it as is and the extra hardware you'd need is far cheaper. I think FCP plus the Blackmagic hardware and a SATAII array is a wonderfully cheap solution for uncompressed HD by the way.

As to the whole native thing, it is great to have native support for ingest of material and ease of workflow. In the case of Avid Xpress Pro, it means that you can ingest your material via firewire and then transcode to DNx without needing MC Adrenaline and the HD board (oh, and an HDSDI converter for the HDV camera or deck). Native HDV also keeps data rates and storage requirements low and means much cheaper kit, so it can make a lot of sense if you get the results you need this way. However, many (and by no means all) people working with DV for broadcast choose to work on an uncompressed timeline for finishing to avoid fx/titles/cc re-compression and output to, say, DigiBeta for online, and the underlying motivation to work uncompressed for HDV material is even greater. DNx stands up over re-compression far better than HDV and also DVCPro HD but - especially on the 8-bit variants - it does eventually fall apart.

It all depends on your needs, of course.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 04:02 AM   #21
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... and, on the subject of Liquid and PP2.0 I think it would be pretty snobbish for anyone to say they were firmly in the consumer camp. They are both good products, IMHO. With HDV, I believe both offer the option to work uncompressed HD and PP2.0 also supports Cineform as a compromise. You'd need extra hardware and fast storage for uncompressed HD, of course. I'm not experienced with either application so can anyone confirm this?
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Old September 19th, 2006, 04:06 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone
Greg.
Keep in mind that native HDV editing is, generally speaking, a bad idea. It's imporessive that companies like Adobe and Apple offer this capability but a GOP-based codec is not designed for editing. What the software does, behind the scenes, is to decompress and recompress a lot of frames in order to allow you to do frame-accurate cuts in the middle of a GOP.
Paolo, please read my current HDV@Work Newsletter (http://digitalcontentproducer.com), because will find that the ENTIRE de-compression + re-compression is, with FCP and Liquid, a myth. It CAN happen with an Avid, but it can be easily prevented.

PS: Yes Premiere clips the signal, something Liquid and FCP need not do.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 04:10 AM   #23
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Michael - Would I be right in suggesting that I wouldn't have the facilities to use the Blackmagic hardware/SATAII array via in iMac? I was investigating the possibility of using an HD connect box but because this mac does not have a card slot facility this would be out of the question - same apply to the black magic hw?

Time saves/workflows/native aside I'm really looking at which method will give me the best results from HDV footage using FCP on an iMac - it may be the extra hardware is not suitable for this or at this time it might be a little expensive but certainly worth considering in the near future.
Many thanks.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 10:08 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panos Bournias
If this is the case then all the argument from the official NLE marketing is bull...
Well, it' just some clever marketing. There is a need for that feature and we defintely need the ability to "ingest" HDV. For example, with our camera is very helpfull to be able to log the clips so that you can re-create the project later on, after you removed all the working (huge) files. Where you go fom there is a different story. BTW, this is hardly a new trend. "Digital Moviemaking" by Scott Billups spends a lot of word on encouranging people to verify and test all product claims. It also spends a lot of time demystifying the "uncompressed" claims of several solutions. It's just the nature of the beast, you have to do your homework. The truth is defintely out there but you can trust no one ;)
Who knows, the final result of HDV-to-HDV rendering can be pretty good. The only way to find out is to cut a bit of footage and then compare pixel-by-pixel the resulting frames.

Quote:
We work on short and long projects, one of our documentaries was projected with an HD projector on a big screen and the resulting screen was really amazing.
I don't doubt it. I watched some footage shot by Jody Eldred with the Sony F-350, which, BTW, uses a variant of HDV, and projected with a 2K digital projector on the screen of the DGA theater and it looked fantastic. It's a different thing when your digital footage is transferred to film, though. Filmout can highlight artifacts that you don't see in the digital projection.

And regarding TC3, you are very welcome (don't know how to say it in Greek :), I'm glad that it works for you and I'd love to get some still or any other material that you shot.

Take care.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 07:02 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood
Time saves/workflows/native aside I'm really looking at which method will give me the best results from HDV footage using FCP on an iMac - it may be the extra hardware is not suitable for this or at this time it might be a little expensive but certainly worth considering in the near future.
Many thanks.
The "best" quality you'll get is the original transport stream imported via FireWire. It doesn't get any better than this. It only expands in size with an Intermediate codec -- and with uncompressed video, a RAID becomes necessary.

With FCP, all processing is done with uncompressed 4:4:4 video. There's no need to decode HDV until the point it is processed in some way. It's just data in a file.

In most cases, FX are RT and so renders are not needed. And, after being decoded and processed, FCP will not use a rendered file unless you want to use it. And, renders are only for a faster playing PREVIEW. It has nothing to do with final quality.

The only compression or recode is when you EXPORT -- and that's going to be true even if you work with uncompressed.

The same is true of Liquid.

Avid, Premiere, and Vegas users, however, can benefit from an Intermediate codec. But, these can be "nearly lossless" codecs and so far more efficient than uncompressed.

In short, your iMac is perfect -- unless you need many HDV streams. Then a Mac Pro will offer more CPU power.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 07:23 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
And, renders are only for a faster playing PREVIEW. It has nothing to do with final quality.
Steve, I'm not sure this is true. When I export a sequence from FCP to QT, using "Current settings" the export is done in 3-4 minutes for about 3-40minutes of footage. When opening the resulting reference movie, press Cmd-J to get the file info and you'll see that it references all the render files. Futhermore, it could not physically export that much footage in such short time without referencing the render files. I verified this by switching the sequence back to the original HDV configuration and the export took about 4 hours. This is as expected since at that point the NLE cannot reference the HDV files but it has to recalculate the new GOPs.

Interesting stuff, isn't it :) ?
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Old September 20th, 2006, 07:05 PM   #27
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I know this is probably not the place for this, but here it goes, i also edit with APP and Matrox RTX100, i'm thinking in upgrading to RTX2 and APP2 to edit in HDV (i have a JVC HD100), is it a waste of many in buying a video card would it be better to use just APP2 or another NLE like FCP or AVID? Thak you guys.

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Old September 21st, 2006, 11:40 AM   #28
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Luis,
I had the same question before the RTX2 was out, I still own a RTX100 Extreme myself. I choose to testout the Cineform codec which gave me near real-time editing with High quality conversion from m2t to AVI to be used in PPro 2.0.
I capture everything in HDV now-a-days even if it's for SD-DVD purpose, and don't really miss the RTX100. After I finished and converted some old projects, I will sell the card.
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Old September 21st, 2006, 05:26 PM   #29
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Marc,
thank you for your help, as i understand you are going to keep only APP2, about FCP you don't have any expirience.

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Old September 21st, 2006, 11:27 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone
Steve, I'm not sure this is true. When I export a sequence from FCP to QT, using "Current settings" the export is done in 3-4 minutes for about 3-40minutes of footage. When opening the resulting reference movie, press Cmd-J to get the file info and you'll see that it references all the render files. Futhermore, it could not physically export that much footage in such short time without referencing the render files. I verified this by switching the sequence back to the original HDV configuration and the export took about 4 hours. This is as expected since at that point the NLE cannot reference the HDV files but it has to recalculate the new GOPs.
I never use "current settings" as I either make an HDV movie where everything must be re-rendered OR I'll make a DV movie where everything is re-rendered OR I'll export an MPEG-2 file to go to iDVD OR I'll export an uncompressed file. All of these will not use render files because I'm changing the nature of the codec. I believe COMPRESSOR will not, for the same reason, use render files.

But, Liquid is so much better for HDV that I haven't used FCP for months. FCP is a decade behind Liquid for editing MPEG-2.

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