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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old January 4th, 2009, 02:00 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: TOKYO
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Edit with HDV footage for BD/DVD

1920x1080 30p shot by Ex1 and HDV 1440x1080 shot by Fx1.
I like to make BD and SD DVD out of these two different sources.

I use FCP and iLink for capturing HDV.
On capturing, HDV is transcoded to ProRes422(HQ).
In the sequence set for XDCAM HD 35mbps,
I edit the ProRes422 footage and EX footage.
After edit, I export directly to compressor.

I'm not sure if that is the best workflow or sequence setting
in order to acquire the best result for BD/DVD out of full-HD-and-HDV-mixed editing.

Any idea are welcomed.
Kenji Sakai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2009, 08:22 AM   #2
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You actually don't need to transcode HDV to ProRes for editing purposes. Just make sure that your sequence render settings are such that all effects on the timeline (that are using XDCam or HDV footage) are rendered as ProRes Clips. (Sequence settings/Render Control/codec/ - change from "same as sequence codec" to "ProRes...blabla)

You can leave the sequence codec at XDCam and the FXs are still rendered to the better quality ProRes - A killer feature of FCP 6.3, that is really useful.

The advantage of not transcoding HDV to ProRes is that your filesizes stay very small and you save time on transcoding.

The process of transcoding to ProRes is useful on older, slower systems where editing intraframe codecs was very sluggish and tiresome. On modern systems (mine is a intel 3Ghz dual duocore MacPro from late 2006 not very fresh) you don't even feel the HDV decoding process while editing. Same goes for my late 2008 MacBookPro.

A last word of advice: I would not export from FCP directly into compressor using "export using compressor" or whatever the command is called.

I would produce a Quictime reference movie, by unticking "make movie self contained in the "Export Quicktime" dialogue box.

That way you get a relatively small QT file that is dependent on the original media files used in FCP (meaning its no good for archieving). This file you can now throw into compressor and encode to your liking.

The advantage is, that when exporting directly to Compressor, you can not use FCP while compressor is encoding.

The Quicktime Ref file you can throw away, when you are finished encoding.

Hope that helps.



Thoughts on transcoding DV, HDV, XDCam (and everything else thats not uncompressed) to "better" or "uncompressed" formats for editing.

I have made the experience that editing formats natively and rendering the effects in higher quality is better than transcoding all the footage into a better format for editing beforehand. There is why:

1. Save time on encoding tons of footage
2. Sometimes transcoding to different formats introduces artifacts. It so happened to me on a short shot on HDV that I transcodet to ProRes for editing.

Here is my workflow for HDV/XDCam editing:

- film HDV or XDcam
- ingest in native format
- Set sequence to highest quality native format used in that production
- Edit everything, render the effects that need rendering to see and fine-tune them
- get client approvement
- Switch the sequence to "uncompressed" QT codec
- Throw away all the renderfiles
- Render the whole sequence
- Export QT ("Make Movie selfcontained" ON) That's my Master File for archiving.
- Transcode Master to whatever format I need.
- Write the invoice

please note that HD QT uncompressed needs a roughly 220 Megabytes/Sec sustained transfer rate from the storage system.
Florian Gintenreiter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2009, 10:50 AM   #3
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Seems like a good workflow Kenji. One limitation with FCP 6.05 is that you cannot mix and match HDV and XDCam when doing multicam editing. I'm hoping Apple will allow this in their next major release.
Larry Huntington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 5th, 2009, 12:30 AM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: TOKYO
Posts: 2
Florian, I'm very grateful to you for such information.
Now I'll carry out the workflow you recommend with all advice you gave.

Larry, I also thank you for your reply.
I also hope Apple will get serious about Blu-ray on the next mac model.

What a wonderful forum this is.
Compared to any DV forum here in Japan,
this is the best forum in the world with thoughtful participants!!
A lot of witty conversation is going on.

Again, big gratitude from me, thank you very much.
Kenji Sakai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 5th, 2009, 04:12 PM   #5
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Editing multicam in FCP is a... hmm... league of its own. I did a live DVD with footage from 6 gigs of a band shot in DV and DVCam with up to 12 cameras that were not TC locked and even were shut off an on during the concerts.

It was a nightmare although all the footage was the same format..

The biggest problem was that at the end I could not use media manager to "consolidate" the project down to only the active shots on the timeline. I think that was because I had some serious nesting goung on to sync the different cameras.

If you are interested in that I could elaborate, but thats off-topic here.

I found that AVID systems do a way better job when it comes to multicam editing.
Florian Gintenreiter is offline   Reply

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