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Old October 10th, 2009, 06:11 AM   #1
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Starting out with HMC150, need workflow/NLE advice please!

Hello everyone,

I just recently bought the HMC150 and a quad core PC to edit with. I'm new to the HD scene so I was hoping you guys could help me with some startup questions. First off here's my PC specs:

OS: vista 64bit - stability issues with some NLE's?
i7 920 2.6GHz quad core processor
ATI radeon HD4850 GFX card
12 gigs DDR3 ram
2) 640GB HDs in raid 0 for OS and media cache
2) 1TB HDs for footage storage and backup, can buy more if needed

I'll soon be starting a project to promote multiple departments within a local college. There will likely be 20 + hours of footage once im done shooting, and then I will work with a friend to add in motion graphics and other effects. I would also like to do minor color correction. Previously I would use my old powerbook G4 for editing in Final Cut Pro, as this is what i learned on, but it was much cheaper to build my own PC that could handle AVCHD than buy a new mac.

So the questions are, what format do you guys think i should be shooting in, and what sort of work flow do you think would work best for this project? I'll be finishing to DVD and the web and fast turnaround is not a requirement, i have quite a while to edit. I haven't committed to any NLE at this point, so recommendations for Vegas or PPro CS4 or anything else are welcome. Im not sure if this is a valid at all as ive never edited on PC, but if any NLE is similar to FCP i would be more comfortable with that.

Im also questioning if I will need to use an intermediate, i have read a bit on cineform. I worry that I may need one, even though it seems my system should be able to handle AVCHD editing, because today as I played back some test footage in PPro CS4 4.1 it had weird artifacts and black shadows / blocks that would pop up during playback. These are not on the actual footage, and also when i press the right arrow and go through the footage slightly slower it plays fine without any artifacts. Then again could this just be a GFX card / GFX drivers problem? (fully up to date), i have had minor issues with it lately on my gaming partition. Let me know what you guys think, Thanks!


- Shawn
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Old October 10th, 2009, 09:18 AM   #2
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I have a similar computer and own Prospect HD (cineform). I could not imagine editing any type of HD video without it.

The problem with Prospect HD is that it won't be ready 100% for PPCS4 until November. I am using PPCS3. There have been many delays but it seems like November it should work.

Otherwise, Prospect HD comes with First Light which is a great color correction type tool and converting AVCHD files to cineform .avi is fast and easy.

I hope that helps a bit.

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Old October 10th, 2009, 09:49 AM   #3
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I have a HMC150 and I convert using NeoScene and edit in Vegas 64 on a Win 7. Works great.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 10:09 AM   #4
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To what format do you output your work out of Vegas.
I like the program, but am not impressed by the Mpeg 2 HD quality and the Sony HD codec crashes when output files are bigger than 4GB (known issue).
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Old October 10th, 2009, 03:27 PM   #5
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There are exporting issues w/ Vegas?
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Old October 10th, 2009, 05:52 PM   #6
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I just completed my first big project, a 45-minute intsructional video with lots of edits, effects, etc. and it went very smooth. I set the Project Properties to 1920x1080 and I exported as MPEG2 for a DVD and MPEG4 for a Blu-ray test. Both were then finished in DVD Architect.

BTW, one other consideration from my experience is that Vegas enabled me to learn how to edit - the art, that is. I used to use Premiere and everything seemed much more cumbersome. Vegas' greatest strength is that everything you want to do can mostly be done from the timeline - every clip (Vegas calls them Events) has easy to access controls for effects, cropping and more. It made a huge difference for me. Vegas has its flaws no doubt, but overall I think it's a great NLE.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 07:08 PM   #7
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basically here are my main considerations.

- This will be a long project, months of shooting

- I will be doing some color correction and motion graphics in post

- I need to be able to store and backup whatever file types i end up editing in hopefully in under 4TB of space. As i think i can only add 2 more Hard drives to my PC on top of the 2TB storage i already have.

Ive read a bit about using "proxies" or down converting to SD to edit, although i dont understand this process well at all. Then also about transcoding footage to a file type that is easier to scrub through and edit with, especially if your considering color correction or effects. However it seems transcoding creates much larger files, which im not sure i would be able to store considering i may have 20+ hours of footage from this project. Im also still not clear on if you export having worked off the transcoded file all along and thats it, or if you revert back to the pre-transcoded file before export?

Someone also mentioned shooting in lower bit rates to save on space and editing troubles. Im not very tech savy on how exactly bit rates translate into quality, but would this also be an option to save space?

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Old October 12th, 2009, 12:32 AM   #8
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Alright did some more reading around but still have questions:

- what exactly would be the best possible format for this project? if im going to dvd and web video, why do i need to shoot over 720? also, does anyone recommend 60i or 30p or 24p for this sort of long form promo video? any mode have less issues and work better with adding motion graphics or color correction?

- I read about proxies being something like you bring in your HD footage, then open up a SD sequence or down convert to SD, edit in SD, then somehow revert back to HD before export, thus having edited with SD in proxy for HD? still not clear on how this works. i will likely be using PPro CS4 if someone could explain how it would work in that program.

- with transcoding, using something like cineform, i start with my AVCHD files, then transcode to cineform avi, but do i export using the cineform avi in the timeline? or do i somehow revert back to the original AVCHD before export?

thanks!

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Old October 12th, 2009, 10:09 AM   #9
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I'll take a stab at this:

Technically, if the final is DVD and web, you don't need to go beyond 720p. However, that may prove to be a shortsighted decison somewhere in the future.

If you are going to shoot for months, I would strongly reccomend you do some preliminary editing or you will have a nightmare of a task. Use your HMC150 to mark the good clips; or delete bad takes in camera.

You could also do your rough edit (cuts only) using the AVCHD files. Then, convert only those clips to Cineform before you do add transitions, do color work, effects, etc.

No. The benefit of using a transcoded format is the speed of rendering/previewing. Also, because it holds up better during rendering and effects. Good luck.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 07:38 PM   #10
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<<<<No. The benefit of using a transcoded format is the speed of rendering/previewing. Also, because it holds up better during rendering and effects. >>>>>

Paul, if I may ask, what do you mean by "it holds up better during rendering and effects." ?
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Old October 12th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #11
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As I understand it, when working with compressed files, such as AVCHD, any effects or modifications you make will negatively effect quality with each render. Uncompressed (AVI), or lightly compressed (Cineform) formats suffer far less, or not at all.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 10:57 PM   #12
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Paul,

It is my understanding that only when a clip is rendered to an AVI, or Quicktime or some other final file clip, and then that clip edited or effects applied or nested, etc, and then subsequently re-rendered is there any additional degradation to the quality of that clip.

Are you saying that rendering for preview purposes has a detrimental effect on the clip before final render for authoring to DVD? Or am I misunderstanding.
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