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Old November 3rd, 2010, 03:44 PM   #1
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Archiving HDV from CS3: Best Way?

What are my best options considering the following?

Background: Iím relatively new to the HDV world (4 months basically), have an underpowered PC (4 figures to replace it) and use a version of Premiere Pro thatís 2 levels from being current (CS3.2). A software upgrade would tack on even more costs. Iím prevented from archiving my completed projects at or near their original quality direct to tape due (or even export the finished master project straight to an HD format without more compression) expressly due to the above. Since I have high quality .tiffs, source .m2t footage and other graphics on the master timeline I want to retain that to the highest extent achievable in an archived and backed-up form/medium.

Iím guessing thatís where the Export > Movie > Settings may contribute to at least partially solving my particular circumstances. Are there any other options that youíd care to pass along? Would you please recommend what should the settings be in order to obtain the best possible outcome?

Exporting to plain old .avi will degrade the footage.

Exporting to an MPEG further compresses the material.

How do you rate Cineform (NeoScene) as an intermediatory codec in terms of quality?

Is there a pecking order of such codecs that will work with PP CS3?

Please assume 1440 by 1080 60i material.

My goal is to export my projects and archive them for future use.

What would you do in my shoes?

I have Cineforms Neoscene as a starting point although there may be something better or another codec that my aging PC can also handle successfully.

Thanks in advance.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 05:17 PM   #2
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SATA disk of 1TB or 1.5 TB capacity are very cheap these days, and easily fast enough for HDV so I use a bare SATA HDD in an external cradle to capture HDV footage, with second camera footage and audio on an internal drive. I edit with CS3 and when I've finished I just copy the project folder from the internal drive to the external drive, including any exported video files and DVD folders, so that the whole project is archived on one disk. When the disk is full I just buy another one and keep the old disk as an archive.

This way, video files are always stored on the disk contiguously and you won't need to defrag, you never work a disk drive too hard, and you can re-constitute a project at any time.

And if you are really concerned about security its easy to copy a disk containing multiple projects on to a backup disk, just for safety.

Cineform is great for quality but the files are huge. A good way of preserving the finished video is to use the CS3 Media Encoder to export to h.264, which is compact, very highy quality if you maintain a high bitrate, and can easily be burnt to Blu-ray if you get a BD burner. The downside is that it can take anything up to 36 hours to encode an hours video on a P4 PC.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 11:24 PM   #3
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Instead of using "EXPORT/Movie" try using "Project/manage/save clean copy"
There are options for attching source footage... you can save ALL or just the ones used in the project timeline.
I typically save versions of this as a "safety" onto an outboard drive just in case my workstation blows up or othewise dies before the project is completed.
You could save these to a dedicated archive drive, or tape, but they are pretty HUGE, but they are the real deal when you go to open them up.. all the assets are there... you might have to re-direct the path to them when you try to open it... or it may go ritght to them.
It's peace of mind knowing that nomatter what happens you won't be totally out of luck.
Good Luck
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Old November 4th, 2010, 12:54 AM   #4
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I archive my original footage in its acquisition format (AVCHD, HDV, XDCam, etc.)
I edit in Cineform
When the project is finished and delivered I will archive the following to an inexpensive SATA drive:
All original footage
Use Project Manager to export a "trimmed " project which includes the Cineform files that are used in the movie.
Cineform Master file of the finished movie
Disk image of any delivery DVD, Blu Ray versions, and any Web versions of the movie.
All artwork and assets for DVD covers, labels, etc.
I will archive multiple projects to the HD until it is full, then it goes on a shelf, usually to be forgotton about. But on the occasions I have had to re edit & rerelease a project, it is all there. Just transfer the files, open the project and you're off and running. If I need to use additional footage, I just go to my original footage archive and find it.
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Old November 4th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #5
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Because hard drives are so cheap I think that the simple folder copy of a project works nicely for archival purposes. This is what I do but with some minor differences. One major difference I have is with the method of copy. I don't simply do a copy via the OS. I will create a backup copy using backup software omitting the machine files such as preview, media cache, and such. It is a waste of time to copy the machine files because if you were to un-archive the project later, PPro would rebuild those files anyhow and they are humungous.

The main reason I use backup software to archive is that there are rare times that WinXP will complain when moving extremely large folders saying the disk is full when it isn't. You then have to reboot the machine and try again. Backup software is also very good about logging any failed operations.

Once the backup file is built I restore it to the archival disk. I then partially delete the original project and leave it for a few weeks or even months. I'll delete all the cache, original video, m2vs, avis, movs, and such. These are the real disk hogs and with them gone a project which may have been 200gb reduces often times to 1 or 2gb or something like that. There are a lot of times that I did something creative in PhotoShop or something that I want to use again in another project. Leaving the creative part of a project in tact is a big help often times in other projects.

For the archive itself, though, I keep machine files that were exports such as m2vs. It is only the machine files that are transparent to the user such as preview files that I skip archiving.
Wesley Cardone, Detroit and Lansing, Michigan
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