shoot 35Mb/s, edit proxy files in Avid, “rez up” in FCP? at DVinfo.net

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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old December 6th, 2007, 09:52 PM   #1
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shoot 35Mb/s, edit proxy files in Avid, “rez up” in FCP?

Hi,
Sorry if this seems convoluted. I have no doubt it IS convoluted, but please bear with me. I'm still trying to figure out a workflow that will allow me to shoot 35Mb/s with the EX1 and edit in Avid Xpress Pro. I know I can't do it in the obvious way at this time, but, until Avid updates (whenever that will be) would this work:

- I shoot 35Mb/s
- import proxy files only into Avid, and edit the project
- export the project from AXP to FCP (using Automatic Duck)
- “rez up” from proxy to 35Mb/s in FCP...

I'm only vaguely aware of what a proxy file is, and how it works, so my whole house-of-cards might collapse, depending... Can someone set me straight on this?
thanks,
Malcolm
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Old December 7th, 2007, 01:36 AM   #2
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EX1 doesn't use proxy files! XDCAM and XDCAM HD does but not XDCAM EX.

You can use SP 1440x1080i (25Mbit) in Avid using Sony Clip Browser to convert to .mxf that Avid can import or use HQ 1920x1080 (both p and i) if you convert them to DNxHD using ffmpeg.

(720p support in ffmpeg is in svn)

Tips on how to http://ex.bolanski.com

Or why not edit in Final Cut from the beginning? I think it can handle all EX1 formats from version 6.0.2 and using the Sony Transfer Plugin.
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Old December 7th, 2007, 01:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Andreas Johansson View Post
Or why not edit in Final Cut from the beginning? I think it can handle all EX1 formats from version 6.0.2 and using the Sony Transfer Plugin.
Hi Andreas,
I know I should just face up to it, and learn FCP, but... I'm just so used to Avid! I'm also pretty sure it would take me a month or so to get up to speed on FCP, and I don't have the time, right now anyway.
I should try, though, I know.
Anyway, thanks for your advice. Strange, though, because I'm sure a Sony guy who I saw the other day, who was talking about the EX1, was talking about proxy files. I must have mininterpreted him... he was probably talking about some other cameras in the Sony line-up.
Cheers,
Malcolm
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Old December 7th, 2007, 01:29 PM   #4
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I was an Avid user from 1990 to 2001. It took me maybe 3 days to get FCP figured out. While I still see advantages for big shops having Avids, FCP is the small shop's dream. Completely scalable from DV to Film/Red/HDCAM so it can grow with your business. It's exactly because FCP is what it is I can move to XDCAM EX so easily. Apple had the update, along with Sony, timed to the release of the camera. Heck, I've been able to test parts of my workflow with files people have uploaded here while I wait for my camera.

BTW there's a great book called something like "Final Cut Pro for Avid Editors" which focuses on the specifics of making that move.

EX1 and FCP 6.0.2 seem to be happy partners out of the box.
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Old December 7th, 2007, 02:42 PM   #5
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Malcolm
I second that.

If you use FCP 5 and above it has the same programmable keyboard setup as an Avid so you can program almost all your fave Avid keystrokes into FCP and switch with impunity.

The only major exceptions, dictated by the OS, mainly is tha apple-m for magnify in Avid puts the window away in FCP, no way to reprogram that and so a constant thorn in my side every day, since I rely on the apple-m command a lot, and the way you select clips - in Avid you have to mark in-out but in FCP you just click the clip.

There's a couple more gotchas - The Avid PC version always has F1 go to help, not reprogrammable, and a few more I don't encounter every day.

Plus you have to do your own bin (folder), media and project management by hand in FCP (not done for you in FCP - so you can crack open the capture folder and see a ton of digitized files called "Untitled-nn" if you're not very careful and conscientious. Actually it's harder to go Avid to FCP than the other way around as far as bin, project and media management are concerned.

Apart from that, the conversion to FCP should take you a long weekend of patient experiments and many undos. There's a book specifically out called FCP editing for Avid editors, worthwhile at first.

FWIW we operate Avids and FCPs (two of each) side by side, every day, and use whichever is the better (quicker, more versatile, better plugins) for each individual job.

Usually more GFX and looks = FCP, and more than one editor required = Avid, with the rest falling in between based on bay availability and operator preference.

Oh, I also have Avids on both Macs and PCs, depending on operator preference, since a lot of younger people tend curiously to prefer Adobe products on a PC lately, and a lot of the software we use for motion capture, pre-viz etc, only operates on a PC.

So, as in this instance, we'll keep an entire project in the PC or in the Mac chain to simplify matters, although with our regular network and Mac-Drive on the PCs, every computer can read every other's drives and all the standalone drives as well, no matter what they're formatted in. Photoshop, AE, graphics and audio files seem to be worked on and tossed between PC and Mac systems with abandon. We tend to go to DVD on Mac only, through DVD Studio Pro, although that will probably change when our HD DVD systems are installed. Probably then we'll go Vegas or similar, since we're mainly Sony in acquisition and I have my eye on an EX1 too...

HTH
JM2c, of course. YMMV.
Cheers
Chris
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Old December 7th, 2007, 02:46 PM   #6
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opening ffmpeg

Hi Andreas,

I too am looking for more extensibility from Avid than currently offered @ HDV25 rez, and saw your site & link to ffmpeg.

So I downloaded it -- file name is fmpeg.rev11143.7z -- but it of course will not open on a windows desktop. Do I need to change the extension? Many thanks.

Keith
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Old December 7th, 2007, 03:30 PM   #7
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Proxy files can be made from the NLE, not just the camera. Low res files can be used for editing and matched-up with hi-res for your "finishing."

To do this between systems is likely to have issues to work through, and you're definitely gonna want to have timecode to work with, but it should be do-able. (That said, I've never worked with Express, so I don't know how it is hobbled compared to the full-blown Avid systems.)
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Old December 7th, 2007, 10:52 PM   #8
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Chris and Craig... thank you for your thoughtful, and thorough, advice. I know I have to take it, too... at some point. Given that I've been an Apple-user since the Mac SE (that had, unless I'm wrong, a 1MB hard drive - - is that even possible? How could engineers have made a hard drive that small!!??), it's ridiculous that I haven't switched long ago. I never did, though, and now here I am. I will google the book you both referred to, and buy it. I only wish I had a 20-year-old brain, that could inhale this kind of stuff. I struggle with every technical detail, which is why, now that I'm comfortable with editing with Avid, it's going to be a challenge learning something else. I will try, though. It's not too early for New Year's Resolutions, is it?
Cheers,
Malcolm
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Old December 7th, 2007, 10:54 PM   #9
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Joseph, thanks for weighing in. I'll send a question about this to the Sony rep I met the other day... he's the guy who got me thinking about proxy files. I'll post back if I hear anything.
Cheers, Malcolm
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Old December 7th, 2007, 11:59 PM   #10
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Malcolm, I'm no youngster. I started in video professionally around 1980. The first NLE I edited on was a CMX6000. This old dog had no problem picking up FCP. In fact FCP is less "locked in" to a mode of editing than Avid so it's easy to quickly develop a method that works for you.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 01:41 AM   #11
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Hi Craig,
Well, I just ordered the Avid-to-FCP book. I'll let you know how it goes (doesn't arrive until Christmas, I guess because I live in Canada).
In the meantime, I'll keep looking for answers about how the EX1 and AXP might be able to get along...
thanks again for the advice,
Malcolm
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Old December 8th, 2007, 01:56 AM   #12
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Although I am happy that you are all so pleased with FCP and I too have some thoughts on how Avid are doing things I find it hard to draw the conclusion to abandon the Avid-ship just because thay have not yet released an update to support the EX1 yet. It has only been three weeks since the first cameras where shipped and there are only 300 cameras shipped in the whole world. Also, they have comitted to support the new file format.

/ola
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Old December 8th, 2007, 11:44 AM   #13
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Hi Ola,
Don't get me wrong. I love Avid. I just think I'd better get around to learning FCP too. Maybe it can tide me over until Avid makes good on its promise to update for the EX1. Or maybe I can use it (if I can export from AXP to FCP; I know of some Avid editors who use Automatic Duck to do this) to make the last few changes to a project... after all, you can monitor HD in FCP, but not Avid right? (not yet anyway).
Cheers,
Malcolm
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Old December 8th, 2007, 11:53 AM   #14
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My own sense is that Avid, with its announcement that they wont be at the next NAB, is focusing on the very highest end of the market (big facility needs) so their "lower" end products are not going to be a main focus. It seems to me they're ceding that market (small post and 1 person shops) to FCP, Adobe, Sony, etc. Basically I'm not sure how quick the updates will be if you don't have a Nitris on up.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 03:46 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
My own sense is that Avid, with its announcement that they wont be at the next NAB, is focusing on the very highest end of the market (big facility needs) so their "lower" end products are not going to be a main focus. It seems to me they're ceding that market (small post and 1 person shops) to FCP, Adobe, Sony, etc. Basically I'm not sure how quick the updates will be if you don't have a Nitris on up.
That's an interesting conclusion. I would very much like to hear what you are basing it on. Why couldn't it be just the other way around? Just curious...
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