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Old October 18th, 2009, 12:47 PM   #1
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Creating a ProRes 422 timeline

I'm working in a doc that will mix equal amounts of XDCam EX 1080p 25 VBR and XDCam HD 1080p 25 VBR material. Given some of the problems with editing in either of these native formats I would like to create a ProRes 422 HQ timeline but can not seem to find such setting in my Easy Setups. Am I missing something? Is this only possible with some sort of video card or will FCP 7 solve this?

many thanks
Kalunga
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Old October 18th, 2009, 12:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kalunga Lima View Post
I'm working in a doc that will mix equal amounts of XDCam EX 1080p 25 VBR and XDCam HD 1080p 25 VBR material. Given some of the problems with editing in either of these native formats I would like to create a ProRes 422 HQ timeline but can not seem to find such setting in my Easy Setups. Am I missing something? Is this only possible with some sort of video card or will FCP 7 solve this?

many thanks
Kalunga
If you have problems editing in these formats here is one solution. Batch convert all your clips in MPEG streamclip (free and fast) or Compressor into Prores 422 clips. Create a FCP project (dont worry about the sequence yet) and import all the clips. Then just take a clip and drop it on the timeline and it will (in FCP 6.02 and up I believe) ask you if you want to change the sequence to match the clip. Say yes and you are ready to cut.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 01:43 PM   #3
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What problems are you having? I and many others edit XDCAM day in, day out, without any problems at all.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 03:20 PM   #4
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BTW, the 25Mbs setting on an EX1 (HDV 1440x1280 / SQ format) is not Variable Bit Rate, but Constant Bit Rate. Only the HQ 35Mbs setting is Variable Bit Rate. To remain compatible across various platforms, HDV must maintain a constant 25Mbs bit rate whereas HQ 35Mbs does not have this limitation.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 01:03 PM   #5
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I'm not having "problems" per say, basically the issue is that half my source material is from our F350 (XDCam HD) and half is from our EX1 (XDCam EX) which would mean that to edit natively, I'd have to choose either one of the formats, and whenever I'd drop material in the other format, I'd need to render. Also trying to export anything took for forever (45 min to export a 5 min clip inthe same format as the timeline)

I believe that common wisdom for XDCam is that for smaller projects one can stay native, but longer projects involving graphics and color correction, converting to ProPres 422 makes sense, in my case all the more as I am mixing two XDCam flavors.

This afternoon I tried creating a new timeline by converting one clip from each source into ProRes 422 HQ in compressor and then dropping them into the timeline as Tom suggested... super smooth. One caveat however, with the source material from the F350 is that you have to toggle 16:9 within compressor.

It took about 5min to convert 1 Gb from XDCam to ProRes 422 Hq on my 8 Core but the real down side is that the final file is about 4.3 times larger.

I suppose one could convert to a lighter ProRes (apparently FCP7 has ProRes 422 Lt) but that would mean somehow conforming the final film back to the original source and converting that to ProRes422 HQ for color correction. Reminds me of the old days of offlining and onlining...
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Old October 19th, 2009, 01:17 PM   #6
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I dont own FCP 7, but with that being said. I think you can do compositing and CC with Prores Lite. In fact, unless you are starting with 10 bit files and transcodeing to 422 HQ...going to Prores 422 HQ with anything less is a waste of storage space and from what I read, unnecessary and overkill. So that would simplify thing quite a bit for you.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 01:36 PM   #7
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So you're saying that when converting XDCam EX or XDCam HD material to ProRes 422 there is no need to go to ProRes422 HQ as it's not ten bit anyways?

Thanks for taking the time.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 03:41 PM   #8
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That is what my extensive research leads me to believe. Its overkill and a waste of space.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 10:39 AM   #9
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Make sure you're editing in an XDCAM EX timeline. Then go to Sequence Settings>Render Tab and change the setting to render as ProRes 422. That will solve a lot of your "problems". :)
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Old November 1st, 2009, 01:39 PM   #10
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Streamclip issues with XDCam HD source

[QUOTE=Tom Daigon;1434191]If you have problems editing in these formats here is one solution. Batch convert all your clips in MPEG streamclip (free and fast) or Compressor into Prores 422 clips.

Thanks for all the feed-back. Though I'd add to the knowledge base.

Here are some of the issues my editor encountered when converting XDCam HD material to ProRes using Streamclip. We finally decided to reconvert the whole project using Compressor.

1) Differences in the color sampling, which was very noticeable on skin tones. Editing the original source clip together with the MPEG Streamclip made the difference very obvious – blacks were slightly crushed and reds were saturated. This error was evident in both the EX1 and F350 material.

2)Timecode is set back to zero on all clips and does not retain the original timecode

3) Seems unable to bring in the four audio tracks of the F350 and changes audio to a single stereo pair.

4) Image is not as sharp and edges are breaking up(pixilation) on curves.

5) Data rate is slightly less perhaps why it converts quicker than other software.

cheers
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Old November 1st, 2009, 02:03 PM   #11
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I'm having the exact same problem and this is what I have done. This may be the wrong info but it seems to be working for me.

I have footage shoot in Sony EX1 and Sony F350 at HQ but the EX1 is 1920 x 1080i and the f350 is 1440 x 1080i. I drop the f350 footage into a new seq and click the box that comes up saying match settings, then I go into seq settings and change the Quicktime compressor settings to Prores 422. I then make sure the render settings is the same as seq settings, your done. I then drop the EX1 footage on the time line and this will need to render out. One format will have to render out and I picked the highest format as up converting 1440 to 1920 seemed to be wrong for me, I could be wrong.
Or the other way is to put all your EX1 footage on the time line and then render out this to a Prores Quicktime 1440 x 1080i.

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Old November 1st, 2009, 03:29 PM   #12
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Actually Simon when you place the HDV (1440) onto an XDCAM (1920) timeline it DOES NOT have to convert anything. 1440x1080 is an anamorphic squeeze which means all the computer has to do is multiply the horizontal resolution by 1.2 which the computer can do in real time. There is no need for scaling or rendering anything.

For all practical purposes 1440x1080 is 1920x1080.

However if you place an XDCAM (1920x1080) clip into an HDV (1440x1080) timeline the computer DOES have to scale the clip which it can not do in realtime which is why you have to render. Part of the confusion is that the preceding statement is not always true. If you have the same frame rate on both formats then place an HDV clip in an XDCAM timeline you will probably only get a green render bar meaning you can edit in realtime but the image will look soft until rendered. If you place an HDV clip in a XDCAM timline you'll get a light purple render bar or no render bar at all depending how your RT settings are configured.

The point is its better to put HDV clips into an XDCAM sequence than the other way around and depending on what you want to master to you could place both formats into a ProRes sequence and it will work even better but you'll end up with a much larger Quicktime file in the end.

I replied to your post on the LAFCPUG forum where I explained how to set this up.
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Old November 1st, 2009, 03:44 PM   #13
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This procedure probably makes sense for smaller projects. Because this is a hour long doc with almost 30 hours of footage, we decided to simply batch convert all our source material (F350: 1440x1080/25p) and (EX1 1920x1080/25p) into ProRes 422 1920x1080/25p at the onset, a procedure we first tried using Streamclip and then for the reasons stated earlier, had to redo with compressor. It's a slow process and takes up considerably more disc space (3.3 times) but we felt this would makes the rest of the post process much smoother and faster.

We also experienced some disc problems (internal SATA and external back-up FW drive) which I now believe could be related to the complexity of editing in real time in a long GOP format (wild guess based on the fact that it happened to 2 different drives.
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Old November 1st, 2009, 04:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalunga Lima View Post
This procedure probably makes sense for smaller projects. Because this is a hour long doc with almost 30 hours of footage, we decided to simply batch convert all our source material (F350: 1440x1080/25p) and (EX1 1920x1080/25p) into ProRes 422 1920x1080/25p at the onset, a procedure we first tried using Streamclip and then for the reasons stated earlier, had to redo with compressor. It's a slow process and takes up considerably more disc space (3.3 times) but we felt this would makes the rest of the post process much smoother and faster.

We also experienced some disc problems (internal SATA and external back-up FW drive) which I now believe could be related to the complexity of editing in real time in a long GOP format (wild guess based on the fact that it happened to 2 different drives.
I think we need to be careful with the nomenclature, because its important to help provide understanding for making decisions on setting up workflows etc...

The reason for saying so is I found your comment about this procedure making sense for "smaller" projects interesting. Actually (and this is not a competition) I have edited more than five longform (2 to 2.5 hour movies) each with more than 5TB's of source footage using this method. The beauty of it is for us, is that we ingest XDCAM edit in a ProRes timeline and either "send to" Color for grading or output self contained ProRes elements for effects work (usually done in After Effects) it all comes back to be finished in ProRes then out to whatever format required, for us usually HDCamSR.

Regarding potential problems with drives, your drives shouldn't have any problem editing XDCAM natively, its only 35Mb/sec per video track. However if you chose to convert to ProResHQ that's 220Mb/sec per video track and depending on the number of streams you most certainly can exceed the internal SATA drives. If your limited on either disk space or bandwidth I'd definitely recommend the procedure I mentioned earlier.

Just a thought...
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 01:28 PM   #15
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One last question.
Why is 1440x1080 the same as 1920x1080. I get confused with square and non square pixles.
The thing is 1440x1080 on a 1920 timeline is zoomed 33% to get to 1920x1080 but I cant see any degrade in picture quality, why is this. Or is there some drop in quality to stretch 1440 to 1920 that I cant see.
I thought I had my aspect ratios together.

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