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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 1st, 2009, 05:54 PM   #1
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High Quality Workflow?

I've been filming weddings for a few years, I have not given much thought to a long term storage or workflow until recently. I've been wondering if I should I start using CineForm, do you edit using CineForm or raw *.m2t? What would be the ideal workflow to achieve maximum quality output?

My current workflow is as follows:

- Capture HDV tapes using Vegas Pro 8.
- Sync/sort footage.
- Edit raw *.m2t footage in different projects.
> Pre-Wedding
> Ceremony
> Reception
- Apply Magic Bullet Looks, color correct.
- Render out each project to MPEG2 Blu-ray 1440x1080-50i
- Import all three project into one track (combined into one long movie).
- Render out again to MPEG2 Blu-ray 1440x1080-50i with no re-compression.
- Process with DVD Architect Pro to DVD PAL & Blu-Ray
- Wait for client approval then delete all captured footage
- Backup Vegas project files & renders on a RAID5 server.

What workflow do you use?
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 06:54 AM   #2
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Your overall workflow looks quite reasonable. I think the largest potential for quality loss is when you're pushing the color around with native m2t files. You run the risk of gradient banding and other issues if you push things too far. An intermediate codec like Cineform can help preserve that quality as it will give you more room to move around in.

RAIDs have traditionally been thought of for fault tolerance and prevention of data loss as opposed to archiving, although today's lower cost of disk storage muddies the water a bit. Depending upon the size of your projects, BD-25 or 50 is a good option, if your files will fit. Barring that, the other best option is tape.

Having files on near-line optical media or offline tape minimizes the possibility of inadvertent file deletion. It will also let you keep your archived files off-site for disaster recovery.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 08:04 AM   #3
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I have been playing around with different renders. I'm noticing color, contrast, quality loss when I render to Blu-ray (m2v). One would not notice it unless you do a direct comparison with the original m2t files but it's there. Trying to figure out a way Blu-ray is doing this.

UPDATE: Quality loss was due to the player I used to play my videos. Problem solved.

Last edited by Nicholas de Kock; May 2nd, 2009 at 10:48 AM.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 03:05 PM   #4
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In my opinion, MPEG of any type doesn't belong on the editing timeline. The block structure of MPEG is fixed with respect to the pixel content that happens to fall within the blocks. This causes the pixels to "blend" in unflattering ways when compressed. This is true even when working with all I-frame MPEG files. If the MPEG file isn't all I-frames, the problem is even worse because of the interframe compression. Intermediate codecs like Cineform don't have arbitrary blocks so the compression breakdown of the video quality is less. Cineform describes this a "wavelet" compression.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 04:05 PM   #5
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Jim I am thinking about going with a Cineform workflow. Experimenting with NeoHD at the moment, I'm trying to find advantages to using Cineform vs hard drive space in a wedding workflow. I'm not sure I need all the advantages I'm getting from Cineform.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 07:22 PM   #6
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Cineform files are quite a bit bigger than HDV files. That's a small price to pay for its other benefits which are primarily very low loss and speed on the timeline.
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