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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old March 28th, 2008, 01:24 PM   #1
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Doug Jensen of Vortex Media Writes Back!

I wrote to Doug Jenson at Vortex Media,
author of the "Mastering The Sony PMW-EX1" DVD set about HD to SD conversion.
Here was his response...

Hi Kevin,

I'm glad that you liked the DVD.
Just about everything I produce gets output to DVD. I don't output to tape at all, and haven't for about three years, so I don't know if I can give you all the answers. However, here's my workflow for DVD. Maybe you can adapt it for DVCAM where necessary:


I believe it is very important to edit with Sequence settings that are as close as you can come to matching your final output. In other words, if you aren't going to author a Blu-ray disk or some other HD final product -- then don't edit in HD!! Edit in SD. Choose sequence settings that match your final output -- not the source footage. That's how I edited "Mastering the EX1" and it looks fine, right?

Here's how I edited "Mastering the EX1" and all of my other DVDs with FCP 6.

1) I shoot most of my footage 1080 30P HQ --- but I don't think that makes much difference in the final output.

2) I open a new Sequence in FCP and use the "DV NTSC 48Khz Anamorphic" preset . . . or non-anamorphic if the output will be a 4x3 DVD . . . yes, I still do those too.

3) I change the Field Dominance to "NONE"

4) I edit the entire program within that Sequence.

5) When I'm done editing, I then Export a QuickTime movie of the Sequence. I choose "Current Settings" and I do NOT choose to "Make Movie Self-Contained".

6) I then take that QuickTime movie and bring it into Compressor.

7) I then choose the Compressor preset for DVD Best Quality and modify a few of the settings (such as bitrate), but nothing major.

8) After that file is finished rendering, I bring it into DVD Studio Pro and author the DVD normally.

This is exactly how my EX1 DVD was produced, and it's the workflow I've been using with XDCAM HD for almost two years. VERY SIMPLE. No extra software, no extra rendering, nothing special at all. I do everyting EXACTLY how I demonstrate in the EX1 DVD and it looked good, right?

I hope that helps.

Doug
www.VortexMedia.com
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Old March 28th, 2008, 01:38 PM   #2
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Maybe we should make this a sticky as well.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #3
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Yep

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere View Post
Maybe we should make this a sticky as well.
Yes please.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 02:06 PM   #4
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I've been doing much the same as Doug with XDCAM HD. For SD output, I put my XDCAM HD stuff in DV NTSC anamorphic with field dominance to none if shooting 30P (which I usually do). I originally hit upon that method because I was intercutting stuff for a demo reel and some of it was SD (XL2 30P 16:9). I figured it would be much better to take everything down to SD than go the other way. It does look very good.

I would also consider taking the HD stuff down to an SD codec with more color space like DVCPRO50.

I'll be working with Doug at NAB again this year in the Sony booth. Looking forward to it!

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Old March 28th, 2008, 02:25 PM   #5
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What about HD though. If you edit directly on a DV sequence how can you save your cut in HD format for future use (write to Blue Ray DVD)?
Isn't that a sucrifice?
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Old March 28th, 2008, 02:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos Symeon View Post
What about HD though. If you edit directly on a DV sequence how can you save your cut in HD format for future use (write to Blue Ray DVD)?
Isn't that a sucrifice?
I would like to know also.
I need to edit in HD and then deliver a HD Quicktime as well as a SD DVD video. How do I best convert to SD?
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Old March 28th, 2008, 03:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos Symeon View Post
What about HD though. If you edit directly on a DV sequence how can you save your cut in HD format for future use (write to Blue Ray DVD)?
Isn't that a sucrifice?
Not likely to happen for me. But, if you intend to deliver the same material in HD later on, then yeah, you need to edit in HD. The intent of this thread was how to get decent SD out of HD material.

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Old March 28th, 2008, 03:19 PM   #8
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I'm not an FCP user, but if this workflow produces good quality stuff, then a combination HD / SD project could be edited in HD, mastered to a ProRes422 file, and drop that on an SD timeline. Then follow the instructions above.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 03:27 PM   #9
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Thanks for getting that info!

Here's a thought on what to do if one needs to deliver both HD and SD.

My guess is you can edit in HD and one can cut and paste that entire edit (Nest maybe) in to an SD anamorphic timeline with field dominance set to none and use that for SD and SD DVD source. If one is delivering "center cut" 4:3 SD one can then repo the shots in the SD 4:3 timeline. Now the HD and SD wont match but I'd just thought I'd mention that.

In my case I want to display the HD edit on my 46" 1080p HDTV, deliver SD DVD to the client as well as use HD source for web compression (Vimeo for example accepts and displays 720p30).

The need for both HD and SD delivery is probably going to become very common. Think of 720p or 1080p H.264 for computer playback to HDTV and Anamorphic SD DVD as backup or additional need for larger distribution. There's also the potential to do HD and SD spot time buys. HD program stream for HD channels and SD program stream for SD channels.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #10
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Should not forget though, when id SD sequence to go to settings/advanced and change Aspect Ratio to 16:9 and Scan Mode to Progressive when needed
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Old March 28th, 2008, 04:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Wayne Jones View Post
I wrote to Doug Jenson at Vortex Media,
author of the "Mastering The Sony PMW-EX1" DVD set about HD to SD conversion.
Here was his response...

www.VortexMedia.com
Yeah, Douglas Jensen is a great guy who is always prepared to help if you ask him a question about the products he is selling!
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Old March 30th, 2008, 03:58 PM   #12
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I bought Doug's DVD before finally deciding on an EX1 as most of the content was shot on the camera. THe pictures looked very good and as Doug says it's only SD.

The DVD meant that after several viewings when the camera finally showed up it was like meeting an old friend again.
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