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Old August 17th, 2007, 05:50 AM   #1
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Vegas to BBC Prepped Digibeta workflow?

Hello,

I'm looking for guidance on the sort of workflow I would need to get a project from Vegas (I am using version 6) onto a both a digibeta tape formatted for BBC broadcast at SD as well as a similarly formatted digibeta tape at HD resolution.

I don't think that Vegas 6 supports the correct clocks, and I suspect I may have to hand the project to a post-production house at some point.

I've been examining the BBC technical submissions criteria, but it isn't clear if they require tapes to be formatted to those requirements if they are not works they have commissioned. Does anybody know? And is the BBC criteria industry standard?

Our project settings are thus:

HDV 1440 x 1080 (from Z1E HD 50i sources)
Set to progressive, blend fields.

Thats it. Many thanks for any help offered!

Rob
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Old August 17th, 2007, 10:42 AM   #2
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You should be able to set Vegas to be able to control a deck (via a serial cable connected to a hardware card like the Aja Xena) and send the video over SDI to dbeta.

With the deck control, you can insert your video at specific timecodes.

2- Dbeta is a SD format only. You can't record HD onto it.

3- There is a general standard for broadcast masters, though there are many variations on them (e.g. does the program start at 1hr or 10hr). In some PAL countries I think they have achieved greater consensus on the formatting of broadcast masters... check the CHEFF site:

http://cheff.sohonet.co.uk/ChEFF%20C...cification.doc

But definitely check with the broadcaster and get their delivery specs. For example, they call for 100/0/100/0 color bars... which is not the standard practice where I live (you want the 75/0/75/0 bars; that is what Vegas generates).

4- VITC is set in the deck; one of the menu settings control which lines VITC is recorded on.

5- The way to make a master is this:

Stripe the tape with timecode first. Set the deck to INT timecode (switch), and the TC generator (TC GEN is the switch name I think) to REC RUN. You need to set the starting timecode to what you want... e.g. 09:57:30:00. (I can't remember the exact buttons.) When you record black onto the tape (you can get it from video input, or from the internal signal generator), timecode will be recorded/striped onto the tape.
When striping the tape, you need to make sure the deck is fed with the correct sync. For large facilities it will be the house sync generator. If you don't have a sync generator, I think it's possible to get sync from the hardware card (i.e. Aja Xena or Blackmagic). The deck's stop button will not flash if it is getting sync. It can grab sync from the video input or the sync input... menu settings determine which it looks at if both are present (309).
You only need to lay down a little bit of timecode, though some people like to stripe the whole tape with timecode. It is good to label tapes with what you did.

If you laid down a little bit of timecode, you do an assemble edit to put your program onto tape. If you striped the whole tape, then you can do an insert edit to put your program onto tape. Insert edits don't screw up everything else after it (with an assemble edit, you can get a TC jump at the end point of it).

Once you are done that, check the error logger, check that the edits are clean (just in case), audio is in sync, and that all the elements you want are on the tape (program, the end of the program, color bars, slate, etc.).

6- In NTSC countries you have to know whether to do DF or NDF (drop frame or nondrop).

7- If going from HD to SD, you need to know whether they want the picture edge cropped, letterboxed, or anamorphic. If you edge crop, you need to make sure nothing important is in the sides (this can happen if you shoot it that way).

8- The broadcast colors plug-in should (in theory anyways) help make sure that your levels are broadcast legal. You should nest your 16:9 into a new 4:3 SD project (you can do edge crop/anamorphic/letterbox at the same time), and apply the broadcast colors FX onto that. The "conservative" preset might be appropriate. Check that bright colors don't look too wacky... this filter will do that to make the levels legal.

Last edited by Glenn Chan; August 17th, 2007 at 11:17 AM.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 10:01 AM   #3
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Hi Glenn,

Thank you very much for your highly detailed guide for this work flow. When you see how much you have to go through, it makes you wonder when the BBC are going to start accepting delivery by firewire drive and other digital means, especially when you bear in mind are all broadcast direct from a server anyway.

I'll probably come back again when I get stuck...

Thanks again!

Rob,
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Old August 18th, 2007, 12:16 PM   #4
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This is not that complicated IMO.

Digital delivery isn't quite there yet except for delivering commercials over the internet (where in New Zealand they won't accept tape anymore apparently). The bandwidth for delivery of longer programs isn't there.

2- Is this a show that you are pitching/selling or something? You don't need to make a broadcast master to sell it, you need to make screener copies (VHS, DVD).
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Old August 18th, 2007, 01:45 PM   #5
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Hi Glenn,

It is not necessarily that it is difficult, its just I've got so many hats on with this production that every time i try to pick up something new, another thing drops out the other side of my brain...

I'm not sure if digital delivery is that far off. I think firewire drives are the very attractive alternative, because as you say, network connections are not quite there (but are not very far off).

We are pitching to someone, but I would like to have a prepped master at hand so we can potentially complete the deal and deliver at the same time. If it is widely out of the ordinary to do that, I may hold back.

Thanks again,

Rob,
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Old August 19th, 2007, 12:12 AM   #6
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1- It might make more sense to send a hard drive to another company to lay your master off to tape for you. This is cheaper than renting a dbeta for a day (and you gotta drive to pick it up and futz around with it).

2-
Quote:
We are pitching to someone, but I would like to have a prepped master at hand so we can potentially complete the deal and deliver at the same time. If it is widely out of the ordinary to do that, I may hold back.
I don't believe this is what happens.

The broadcaster will likely have their own requirements for the show...
What goes in the credits. Broadcaster logos, that kind of thing.
How the credits are laid out visually. Because sometimes they will run other stuff alongside the credits.
How long the credits are... maybe they want to squeeze more airtime for other stuff.

They might also want some content changes to tailor your show for them.
For documentaries, they may want a different length or format (2+ parts instead of 1 continuous program).
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