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Old February 14th, 2007, 05:08 PM   #1
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Tough mix of HVX, Varicam, HD & SD & frame rates question

Hi all-
Been off forum for a couple of months, focusing on drumming up more work. Since this has always been a great and generous resource, I wanted to get opinions on a huge, important job I'm shooting next week--a mix of requirements I've never dealt with before.

We're shooting a mix of Varicam and HVX, and shooting in 720 only to future-proof it and to have slomo and undercrank capability. The corporate client has the current release of Avid Adrenaline, but without the HD boardset. With Adrenaline, you can load the HD P2 media and it will play, with an on-the-fly downconvert to HD, so that's not a problem. The Varicam footage we're going to need to downconvert to DVCAM at a post house. I'm trying to avoid them having to pay the post house to downconvert all the HVX footage to DVCAM, since that's kind of a waste of money.

Since they're unlikely to upgrade to HD for a few years at least, the footage should be as useable in SD as possible. I was thinking about shooting it all in 720/24p, since you can mix 24-over-60 on the same standard def timeline as the 30i DVCAM footage... it's the same underlying frame rate. BUT... that means the HVX footage still doesn't have the pulldown removed.

There's a pulldown removal effect in Avid, but I'm not sure it works on HVX footage yet. My suite is running 2.1 (the current version is 2.6) and it doesn't work in 2.1. I'm told it does in 2.6, but I probably don't have a chance to test before I shoot. Also, it means they'd need to apply pulldown & render every piece of HVX footage they use from now on... and I don't trust their in-house editor to understand that.

Next thought: shoot it all at 720/30p. But Avid doesn't support 720/30p mxf files yet. Argh.

So here's what I'm thinking... feedback will be appreciated.
* Shoot everything on the Varicam in 720/60.
* Downconvert the Varicam to DVCAM, which converts it to 30i.
* Run the Varicam slomo shots through Panasonic's frame rate converter to get the slomo, which is what we would've had to do anyway.
* The HVX 60p shots will go on an Avid SD 30i timeline without any rendering or pulldown removal, since it's the same underlying frame rate.
* Shoot any HVX footage that needs to be slomo (not that much) at 60fps in 720/24 mode
* Export the HVX slomo footage shot at 60fps in 720/24p through FCP to generate a SD Quicktime that will import into Avid at the correct framerate.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 09:20 AM   #2
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I wish I could offer some advice besides take a few excedrin because it sounds like headache city over there. Your solution sounds good, and I'd love to hear how it works out. I just starting editing with Varicam and HVX footage (albeit on a system practically custom built for DVCPRO HD) and I hope I never run into your snag. But if I do.... Keep us updated and good luck.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 09:11 PM   #3
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Well, as it turns out, Avid does support 720/30p. I was remembering the fact that it doesn't support 480/30p, and got them mixed up. We ended up shooting the HVXs in 1080/30p (it's noticeably crisper than 720) and the Varicam at 720/30. Haven't gotten the downconverts yet, so I don't yet know how they'll look cut together.
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