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Old December 31st, 2007, 04:42 AM   #1
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How to grade the footage in FCP ?

I'm working on Apple Macintosh, so the natural way is going through FinalCut, Color and Compressor.
In Finalcut, one solution is to open a new project, set it as XDCAM-EX (1080p HQ) and import your footage. Cut them, place them on the timeline, then send to Color and grade (or use the 3way-color-filter of FCP).

Doing this way will "stick" you in an 8 bit depth, which is maybe not the best moreover if you're doing some compositing.

So what solution do we have ? Is there a best way to do ?

- converting to pro-res 422HQ ?
- set the precision to hi-def YUV instead of RGB ?
- change the dit depth in Color ?

Anyone having experiences with that ?

one extra question ? What settings are you using when exporting that quality movie to internet ?
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Old December 31st, 2007, 08:05 AM   #2
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A codec like XDCAM is, shall we say, colour-space "challenged", which is fine if you don't need to insert a lot of graphics or titling. If that's the case, and you 're also not trying to intercut footage from other types of cameras, then if it was me I'd just stay in the native XDCAM codec for your edit and use the 3-way colour corrector in FCP.

If my XDCAM footage was only a part of my total project then I'd convert everything to Pro-rez. Remember too, that Pro-rez comes in 2 flavours and they BOTH do HD and SD, it's just that the HQ version has a higher bit rate.

One of the posters here at DVInfo.net (Phillip Bloom) has done quite a bit of EX1 conversion for the web that looks very good. I believe he's using the H.264 codec for this.

- Don

Last edited by Don Greening; December 31st, 2007 at 08:06 AM. Reason: typo
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Old December 31st, 2007, 09:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Greening View Post
A codec like XDCAM is, shall we say, colour-space "challenged", which is fine if you don't need to insert a lot of graphics or titling. If that's the case, and you 're also not trying to intercut footage from other types of cameras, then if it was me I'd just stay in the native XDCAM codec for your edit and use the 3-way colour corrector in FCP.

If my XDCAM footage was only a part of my total project then I'd convert everything to Pro-rez. Remember too, that Pro-rez comes in 2 flavours and they BOTH do HD and SD, it's just that the HQ version has a higher bit rate.
XDCam HD maybe. What about XDCAM EX ? Maybe this is no difference in FCP ? Is FCP working internaly in 4:2:2 when the settings are XDCAM-EX which is 4:2:0 ?

I'm new to XDCAM editing and I just want to get as many latitude in color correction as I can.

I'm asking this as I get strange results in Color when trying to grade to some limit. I don't get this when doing it with a FCP plugins.... maybe it's just Color I need to set to more bitdepth... then what happen when going back to FCP ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Greening View Post
One of the posters here at DVInfo.net (Phillip Bloom) has done quite a bit of EX1 conversion for the web that looks very good. I believe he's using the H.264 codec for this.

- Don
I thought it was windows media video ?
I'm waiting for some shoot to encode in H264, no bitrate limit, best quality, full res, automatic keyframe. I'll see then... I may take the resolution down so the file is internet broadcast compatible then.

Thanks for your answer Don.
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Old December 31st, 2007, 10:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastien Thomas View Post
I thought it was windows media video ?
If you download one of Phillip's movies, play it in QT and while it's playing hit Apple - I (get info) you'll see that the encoder used is H.264.

I'm sure that others here will be able to answer the rest of your questions, but I'm out of time and ready to board an aircraft for a 4.5 hour flight. Luckily, I found a nice WiFi hot spot here in the lounge and it's free. Free is always good.

- Don
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Old December 31st, 2007, 11:22 AM   #5
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I hope you're leaving for new years eve.
Have a good trip and many thanks for your answers.

for phillip's video, of course it's quicktime on his blog, i'm just stupid :)
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Old December 31st, 2007, 01:21 PM   #6
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oh yes! always quicktime, but in .mp4 h264 format 700x400 bit rate 1500
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Cinematographer, Director, Filmmaker www.philipbloom.net
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Old December 31st, 2007, 05:28 PM   #7
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Working under the corp structure, our employees are not allowed to download the QT player... So my work on the web has been in Flash video, until recently I have been disappointed with the results. The newly released Adobe flash player allows much better quality.

" MPEG-4 utilizes crisp, powerful H.264 encoding and is an industry standard for video, which includes high-definition (HD) delivery. It is also the standard for HD content online and on devices such as your home television."

Here is a program I did recently and re-encoded for in H.264 Mpeg4 for flash @

http://theonlinelearningcenter.com/s...ochester2.html


You will need the latest Flash player just release last week to view ( http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/ ) and a robust connection to view without buffering, as this is a progressive download. I believe I encoded it a too high of a bitrate, as it buffers with my wireless over cable modem, or could be a slow connection tonight.

Shot with the F350 and a HVX200.... I plan on doing more of this encoding but with the EX and Letus as time permits.
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Old December 31st, 2007, 06:19 PM   #8
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Hi Steve... looks pretty good... what program did you use for the flash??

On a side note:

After you update the flash player to new version you will need to restart the
browser to get it to play...

also, The fullscreen button works on the main screen but the video doesn't upscale to the full screen, might have and issue there... ??

Thanks for the shareing of the new info...
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Old December 31st, 2007, 07:06 PM   #9
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Speaking of Flash, I've heard that if you simply change the extension of a h264 file from .mov to .flv the new flash player an use it. Has anyone tried this?
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Old December 31st, 2007, 09:47 PM   #10
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I designed the full screen so that it does NOT expand the video, just the area around the video, that was done on purpose.

I used QT to make the h.264, and have used Sorenson Squeeze as well. Both work fine.

Restarting depends on what version of Flash you have before the upgrade, so do some do not.

Yes you have to change the extension from .mp4 to .flv for the flash player to play the video, this is a bug in the flash authoring environment, the next fix is so-pose to accept the .mp4 extension to play in a flv player enviroment.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 03:19 PM   #11
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So back to the original question.... color grading....

here's a tutorial that could help you out... its about 10 min in lenght but
has some good info....

http://www.digitaljuice.com/djtv/seg...il.asp?sid=214

its the color driven Fx tutorial if the link doesn't point correcly...
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 11:19 AM   #12
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Happy new year to all. Thanks everybody for answers.

I new this tutorial already, but it does not help to answer my questions.

One part was answerd before : how to export to internet : h264 or flash.
The second question was about in which format grading.

I'll try to be clear enough this time :

Xdcam EX is a 8 bit 4:2:2 codec.
When importing Xdcam EX footage in a FCP project, will the project set to this sampling and resolution ?
Will I have to convert everything to Prores (or DVCpro HD ?) to get a 10 bits 4:2:2 space ?
Will I have to change the sequence settings ? Will I have to go to high quality YUV or RGB ?

Grading a 8bit footage can easyly show color artifacts. Going to 10 bits can add some smothness. But how to switch to 10 bits ?

Thanks.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 03:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastien Thomas View Post

Xdcam EX is a 8 bit 4:2:2 codec.
When importing Xdcam EX footage in a FCP project, will the project set to this sampling and resolution ?
Will I have to convert everything to Prores (or DVCpro HD ?) to get a 10 bits 4:2:2 space ?
Will I have to change the sequence settings ? Will I have to go to high quality YUV or RGB ?

Grading a 8bit footage can easyly show color artifacts. Going to 10 bits can add some smothness. But how to switch to 10 bits ?

Thanks.
1. XDCam is 4:2:0
2. You will select the XDCam easy settings depending on the framerate and size you shoot, there are presets for all of them
3. Yes, you have to convert to ProRes for 4:2:2, or capture direct from the camera to a black magic or Kona to bypass the XDCam cards, in whihc case you get 4:2:2
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 03:52 PM   #14
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I have been playing around with Magic Bullet Looks and it really is a good colour grading tool. Extremely easy to use and very tweakable. In 10 minutes you can get close to the look you are after, and 30 minutes should have it spot on.

Much easier to use than Color and gives excellent results. Phil Bloom has been using it on his recently posted clips. My guess is he likes it as well.
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