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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).


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Old February 5th, 2010, 03:03 PM   #1
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XDCAM HD into SD Workflow

I have a FCP 6.0 SD 4x3 program sequence with the bulk of the shots in interlaced DVCAM. The images in the sequence look great. I'm adding some 16x9 60I HQ XDCAM HD shots into the 4x3 sequence and the XDCAM shots don't look as good as the DVCAM shots.

The XDCAM footage came into FCP via XDCAM file transfer. When I place the XDCAM shots onto the 4x3 sequence I believe they came in 16x9 letterboxed. To get the XDCAM shots to better match the 4x3 footage, I increase the scale in motion to 57 and changed the aspect ratio to -24 to get ride of the letterboxing and the image goes a little too soft both when it plays back and when it is rendered although the rendered setting is better. The A/V setting is ProRes 422. The DVCAM footage was digitized at ProRes 422. I believe I could also have digitzed footage at DV but have gone the ProRes 422 route for a while.

I looked at the the item properties of the DVCAM clip and it is lower (even) the XDCAM HD clip is upper (odd). Is that part of my problem? I tried changing the sequence settings under the compressor to odd or even and that did not seem to matter much.

I've heard of people taking XDCAM images into SD sequences and doing pan and scan or repositioning but with what I am getting this would not compare favorably to the DVCAM.

Earlier in January I learned from the forum that the best idea is to setup the sequence for the final output and then edit toward that goal and that has worked well with the other projects. In this case the DVCAM footage and sequence was a two camera multicam sequence.

Any ideas of what I can do better?

What would others in the group sugget to get a better result?

Thanks,
Dan
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Old February 5th, 2010, 07:23 PM   #2
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What seems to working best for these 16x9 XDCAM HD broll shots edited into the SD 4x3 sequence is export the shot and then bring it back.

Use Quicktime Conversion
Select Quicktime Movie
Select DV stream, use DVC Pro50
Select interlaced and 4:3 crop to preserve
Then import the file and use.

It works better than what I was getting before and the imported shot gets an automatic shift direction filter added which keeps the shot smooth. The 4:3 crop also means that the scale and distort within motion don't need to be used.

If I'm making this too hard - tell me. I've been known to do that on occasion.

Dan
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Old February 6th, 2010, 08:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Larson View Post
The 4:3 crop also means that the scale and distort within motion don't need to be used.
Scaling and distorting in motion were not the way to go as those would indeed reduce image quality.

Crop to 4:3, change the field order to match that of DV, and you should be good. If you have access to an XDCAM deck or camera, you could have it do the downconversion and crop to 4:3 on the firewire output. What you lose in file based workflow, you gain with a better visual match to the other DVCAM material.

-gb-
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Old February 7th, 2010, 01:12 PM   #4
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I appreciate your interest Greg, however I'm still may be missing something or this is as good as it gets.

I place the XDCAM HD clip which is in 16x9 into the FCP viewer, it maintains its 16x9 proportions. It's motion settings are 100% and 0 distort. I edit the clip into the 4x3 SD timeline and it stays in its 16x9 format as a letterbox, a black bar over the top and bottom of the image. The scale in FCP motion is now 50%. The SD images before and after the clip are full frame perfect. If I crop the XDCAM HD image to 4x3, the size of the image does not change and the top black and bottom black of the letter box remain - as well as the sides which now have black bars due to the cropping. I was hoping it would reset somehow and fill the frame without any black.

If I change the scale from 16x9 image from 50% to 68% to get rid of the letterboxing the image gets noticably softer compared to the DVCAM clips.

Ideally, I'd like to have the 16x9 XDCAM clip to come onto the 4x3 SD sequence full frame from top to bottom and have the 16x9 image sides spill off the screen. And do this without the motion scaling which seems to cause the resolution loss.

I'm using a F335 and have tried playing back the video from the camera's BNC to FCP and that wasn't a particularly crisp image. I'm not aware of other ways to playback. I use the firewire to transfer the files using XDCAM transfer.

Dan
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Old February 7th, 2010, 05:43 PM   #5
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I think my problem is that the XDCAM HD Broll clips I'm cutting in are too similar to the original DVCAM clips. I was hoping to get a closer match. I tried some other XDCAM HD clips that are much different and they work fine. I've got it adjusted pretty good now.

Dan
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Old March 24th, 2010, 11:12 AM   #6
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HD into SD

Daniel,

On what device are you playing your XDCAM disks? If it is anything other than a PDW-U1, then you have the option of allowing Sony to do the down convert in the F70 or F75 deck. Just play it out of the SD-SDI connection. We have found that the Sony deck does a better job of down converting than our AJA IO-HD does.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 05:47 PM   #7
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Sorry for the late reply Daniel, but doing what I suggested first will work. You have to change the camera's FW port from FAM to AV/C mode. Then it will act like any other firewire dV camera attached. You would then set a DVCAM capture preset for the Log and Capture funtion and stream the DVCAM format video out the camera over firewire. Camera will do the downconvert for you and it will be the correct format to match the other material when you ingest it into FCP.

-gb-
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