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Convergent Design Odyssey
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Old January 14th, 2009, 07:36 PM   #16
Convergent Design
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 869
MXF Support Very Close

This afternoon we successfully captured (using the Flash XDR) and played back MXF files (in both 1080i60 and 1080i50) using Sony Vegas. The files included both 100Mbps video and 24-bit uncompressed audio. The video and audio quality were identical to QT in Final Cut Pro.

We will need a few days to test all the various formats (1080p, 720p, etc) and to perform reliability tests (by recording clips to numerous XDRs loaded with 4 CF cards). We will also need to complete tests with Avid, Premiere and Edius. But, we now have the basic MXF technology developed.

Tommy, our MAC software developer, should have a QT <-> MXF converter in a few more weeks. This converter will be available to all Flash XDR/nano users at no cost. It will not be a universal converter, but will work with the files generated by our products. Both PC and MAC versions of the converter will be available.

After MXF support, we will concentrate our efforts on playback of selected clips followed by expanded format (720p30/25/24) and bit-rate (160, 35, 25, 18 Mbps) support.
Mike Schell
Convergent Design
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Old January 14th, 2009, 07:40 PM   #17
Inner Circle
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,100

Since your programmer has to go there anyway, is there ANY way you guys can make the tool transcode between OP1 and OP1a MXF files? I'd pay money to have a tool that could take an Avid MXF and open it in ANYTHING else. That would finally enable me to use Metafuze in my workflow.


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Old January 20th, 2009, 03:52 AM   #18
Inner Circle
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,421
Request for Photos

We are currently editing a promo for the Flash XDR.

We would like to include some photos of the Flash XDR in use on various cameras.

Currently the Flash XDR is being used in some very exotic locations around the world as well as a in more typical environments.

If you would allow us to include your photo, please email it to

sales---- @ Convergent-Design . com. (Please eliminate the "----" and the extra spaces).
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
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Old January 31st, 2009, 03:21 PM   #19
Inner Circle
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Location: Augusta Georgia
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Viper plus Flash XDR - Kitchen Shoot

Viper with Flash XDR: Kitchen Test for Film Work….

It has been our pleasure to work with Mr. Richard Welnowski for the past few weeks.

Richard is a recognized expert and has over 400 shooting days with the Thompson Viper.

We encourage you to visit Richard’s website to learn more about his experience and achievements: Compositing Expert.

As part of his thorough, and very technical evaluation of the Flash XDR, Richard has shot under very demanding and difficult conditions.

His goal was to determine if the Flash XDR was a useful recording device for the very high-end Thompson Viper under the most demanding of conditions.

The Thomson Viper can shot in four modes. The following information is from the Viper Spec sheet.

1. FilmStream 4:4:4 logarithmic output: Uncompressed, uncompromised, unprocessed output.

2. A 4:4:4 RGB video output, a full-bandwidth, full-resolution processed mode with color balance, colorimetry, gamma, highlight handling and detail enhancement already performed in-camera.

3. HDStream mode provides for wide-latitude image capture while providing 4:2:2 HD and is very similar to FilmStream in that it is also a logarithmic output.

This mode also allows for color balancing to true 3200 or 5600 degree Kelvin, but is otherwise unprocessed which allows for full processing in post as this is close to a raw mode.

4. YUV mode which is a fully processed mode in which the image is processed prior to sending the signal out via the HD-SDI port at 4:2:2.

The Flash XDR, being a 4:2:2 device, can record Viper modes 3 or 4.

Processed modes allow you to see an image on-set, directly from the camera on a HD-SDI monitor.

Unprocessed modes allow you to preserve the most image quality so that all image-grading options are available for post. These unprocessed modes help maintain a wide image latitude.

Richard uses “Speed Grade On Set”, a high-quality inexpensive software program that allows color grading on set. The software allows for the creation of LUT’s (Look Up Tables) on-set to achieve a particular “look”. These LUT’s can be saved and transferred to post.

In post, a higher-end “Speed Grade DI” may be used.

In FilmStream mode, due to the unprocessed nature of the image, it will appear flat with a green cast on a monitor. The HD output, however, can be color corrected by choosing true 3200 or 5600 degrees Kelvin in-camera.

One of the great advantages of the unprocessed modes is the ability to capture images with a wide-latitude. The logarithmic (log) output is a key to providing this wide-latitude.

The kitchen set would normally be very difficult to work with due to the nature of the lighting and wide lighting ratio. The bare fluorescent lamp would normally have to be gelled and the lighting ratios controlled.

Richard likes the flexibility the Viper provides, in that the time normally spent to light a demanding scene such as this can be avoided, while still achieving excellent results. This shot was setup and all of the images recorded in less than 10 minutes.

In the following images from the shoot, the images on the right side were images processed in the camera, “YUV” mode, Mode 4 above.

The images on the lower right have had “Black Stretch” applied.

The images on the left were HD Stream mode, Mode 3 above.

The image at the top left was not color corrected, so you will see the green cast.

The image at the lower left was color corrected using “Speed Grade on Set”.

Richard spent about 2 minutes color correcting these images.

While the Flash XDR is an 8-bit recorder at this time, the color correction was done in 10-bit mode, which allows for the fine adjustment of the images.

Since the images (on the left) were recorded in logarithmic mode, the wide-latitude was preserved.

Richard feels that these images would transfer very well to film.

Images with Comments:

Please remember, the image on the lower-left is the image we would normally use, as it has been color corrected.

First we have the four full frame images:


The following is a portion of the full frame image: (Zoom Ratio 100%)

Please look to the thumbnail image on the upper right to see how much these images have been enlarged.


This is enlarged even more: (Zoom Ratio 200%)


The following is the full frame, untouched image, with the green cast, using Mode 3. This is the raw image that was color corrected to produce the images in the lower left of the above image.


The following are Richard’ s own words on this “Kitchen Test”.

Viper + Flash XDR extended latitude, kitchen test for film work….

How will this look?

One of the difficult situations: fluorescent bulb at 6", close distance to the wall or kitchen items, always create problems. In usual film work we use gray filters over bulbs to reduce the light or we spend time for setting lights at the front, to reduce contrast and not burn details in highlights. In this frame white AC outlet and wall will create an issue.

The Viper sensitivity and latitude is amazing! I almost do not use any lights in real film world. This was a similar situation when we shot feature film No Network (we shot in Film Stream, wide 2.35:1, uncompressed RGB, 4-4-4).

In my kitchen test, I did not use any extra lights; just available light, no filters over fluorescent and I did not color balance camera, just used presets for processed mode.

To get as close to cinematic look in processed mode I reduced in Viper setup contour to very low amount (in Viper contour, called also enhancement or detailing in other cameras in processed mode).

I also used no Black Stretch or Black stretch ON to extend for more details in blacks with processed mode. In HD Stream mode all this is OFF anyway and we deal with frames in post.

Frames shot in HD Stream I checked in Photoshop and graded quickly in SpeedGrade on Set - great program from IRIDAS - which will grade the image for look as director or DP wish and create Lookup Table for use with footage at later time.

I could have spent more time with this frame but this was for a quick result, two minutes to play with. Processed YUV frames I color corrected a bit as I shot these on presets and with fluorescent light any preset will not work.

The results - were great surprise!

Latitude was extended at least 2 f-stops when captured in HD stream; you do not see highlights burning in AC outlet or on the wall, and there are a lot of details in dark parts of the image.

Clean colors, depth of field is minimum, lens fully open give good cinematic look. Noise is minimal, as all processing amplifiers are shut off, picture is clean and smooth. This is a great film frame!

I compared these frames to my old frames captured with the highest quality RGB, 444 and I can say that with Flash XDR setup I can shoot independent films for a lot less money with great work flow and super cinematic clean look, outperforming many big guns workflow.

I attached an unprocessed HD Stream frame for you to play with and screen shots from Photoshop comparing all four images: HD stream Thru (green cast) and graded frame below, also frames shot in processed 422 modes, normal and Black stretch on with minimum contour setup.

I also have attached a full frames comparison, 100% view crop and 200% view crop to compare for highlights and noise in processed frames and unprocessed HD Stream frames.

In my opinion all these frames will print well on film.

But in the real world, I will re-shoot this setup only for processed mode.

I should be very careful, and remember that I do not have latitude 11 f-stops or more as I have with HD Stream, therefore I should compensate with lighting setup and gray filters to minimize contrast in frame.

I shot this test in about 10 minutes and with my MacBook Pro, I spent about 2 hours to analyze footage and frames.

If you want to see more about my projects you can visit my site:

Compositing Expert.


Richard has purchased a Flash XDR and intends to promote the use of the Flash XDR, with his Viper, for independent film work.
We wish to thank Richard for his tireless work in evaluating the use of the Flash XDR with his Thomson Viper.
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia

Last edited by Dan Keaton; January 31st, 2009 at 07:56 PM.
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Old February 13th, 2009, 07:18 AM   #20
New Boot
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12
Flash XDR at Broadcast Video Expo, 17th-19th February


Just a quick reminder for all those attending Broadcast Video Expo at Earls Court in London next week; the Flash XDR is being showcased at Symbiosis' stand.
Polecam have been kind enough to lend us a full polecam setup for the stand so we can demonstrate the Final Cut Pro workflow for the XDR, from acquisition through to editing.
Convergent Design's Dan Keaton will also be joining us, so please feel free to drop by and have a chat.
We're on stand G20, right in the middle next to Sony and JVC.
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Old February 13th, 2009, 06:04 PM   #21
Regular Crew
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 65
Quicktime to MXF converter posted


We've posted a Mac-based converter for the Flash XDR, which takes our Quicktime (MOV) files and re-wraps them as MXF files, available here:

As Quicktime is the primary file format for NLE's on the Mac, and MXF is compatible with most NLE's on the Pc, this tool allows for the creation of MXF copies to be made, so as to edit on both platforms if necessary.

The conversion process does not effect the data, it is a re-wrap of the data.

The converter can take up to 4 source folders (which can be CF Volumes), and converts all MOV files in the selected folders to MXF files. The original MOV files are left intact.
If a }CLP{ folder is found in the source folder (as is the case with cards recorded on the Flash XDR), the }CLP{ folder is then used as the source folder.
Lexar makes firewire 800 readers which can be stacked on the same firewire bus into the Mac (up to 4), so in theory a person could insert 4 cards into 4 readers and have all the files converted in 1 session.

The converter is not a generic conversion tool, it can only handle files generated on the Flash XDR.

More tools are in the works, such as MXF to Quicktime.

Tommy Schell
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Old February 15th, 2009, 10:44 PM   #22
Convergent Design
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 869
Video Assist and Flash XDR / nanoFlash

We are hearing more and more requests to use the XDR / nano as a video assist tool for multi-cam productions. Most users want the ability to playback a selected "take" from all cameras simultaneously and then to select an output via an HD-SDI switcher. We're also getting requests for uploading metadata into each of the XDRs/nanos on set.

We're looking into a simple RS485 2-wire connection to each box and a program on a laptop or hand-held PC to communicate with all boxes (via a USB to RS485 converter). We could also make one of the XDRs/nanos the master device to drive all the other units in the RS485 chain.

I would welcome your comments and recommendations.

Mike Schell
Convergent Design
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