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Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE

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Old April 4th, 2005, 07:21 PM   #1
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My 35mm movie is now transferred to digibeta and a clone copy to dvcam.

I am now editing the dvcam but after I finish, I wonder what can I do to save on costs - I want to finish on a digibeta master.

I was thinking about doing some of the stuff myself on the digibeta - color correction (I have color finesse - resolution independednt and a pretty good plug-in) for one. My system is just a regular firewire system - FCP 4.5HD, on a dual 2Ghz G5 with 2G or RAM.

What is the minimum thing I need to add to my system to be able to handle digibeta?


PS Also I plan to buy a mid-range JVC monitor, do you guys know what box is the best to hook it up to my G5? Don't wanna use a camcorder and I don't have a deck.

I really appreciate it.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 08:01 PM   #2
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Assuming you've got some extra harddrives to handle all the room uncompressed DigiBeta will need, you're going to need a capture card, because you can't capture DigiBeta over firewire. BlackMagic and AJA both make good ones.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 09:31 PM   #3
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I've got a 500Gb and a 120GB LaCie external drives, plus about 250Gb free on my G5 (I would use the external ones though - but can I if they are firewire drives? - probably not).

Anyway since I am picture-locked on the DVCAM I can only capture about 15mins of digibeta, that's the length of my movie. How much storage could that be?

So should I capture to my internal drives?

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Old April 5th, 2005, 10:11 AM   #4
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I was looking at a BlackMagic product - the entry-level DeckLink listed at about $295.

Will that allow me to have digibeta in Final Cut pro HD in order to do my own color correction using Color Finesse?

And, also very important, will it be useful to connect a JVC color production monitor to my G5?

Any experience, pro-cons?


PS I will keep on looking for good, affordable solutions in the meantime but any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old April 5th, 2005, 11:04 AM   #5
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The entry level DeckLink will do what you want. If you have the money, I'd suggest the DeckLink SP, but the regular DeckLink will work just fine.

You're going to want to connect your JVC production monitor to the Decklink card, and then adjust your colors on the Pluge bars. You're definitely going to want that for color correction.

Digibeta captured as 10-bit uncompressed video (which is what you want for color correction) - you're looking at 83GB/hours of video - or a little more than 20GB for fifteen minutes. Space however, is not your problem. The problem is dataspeed.

10-bit uncompressed video needs to travel at a high dataspeed, especially when reading off your drives. Your internal drives aren't fast enough, and your firewire drives certainly aren't. You're going to have set up a SCSI disk array (2 disks should be enough for 15 min. I think) to import, use, and export 10-bit uncompressed video.

There are options besides 10-bit, of course, but if you are going to use them, you really don't need to bother with DigiBeta, because you're not going to get any better image quality than you would off of the DVCAM.

So basically, the Decklink card, SCSI card, two SCSI harddrives (they don't have to be too big for this, though), production monitor, which you will be able to hook directly up to the Decklink card, so you won't need anything else (you would if you were working on HD, but working off Digibeta, you're fine).

That's all I can think of. If you're a good hand with Color Finesse, that should be all you need.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 12:24 AM   #6
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If you want to capture digibeta, you'll need to rent the deck. That might be expensive. (Around $800USD?)

An alternative might be to do this:
Take your FCP project file to an online suite. Capture and finish off your master there. Use the media manager in FCP to copy your proejct over to your firewire drive (*Final Cut is not that smart and copy a lot more than it needs to). Or copy a data version of the master video (exported out from FCP) onto your firewire drive.

Take that home and color correct to your heart's content. You will still need fast drives.

2- Cheapest way to get hard drives to edit uncompressed is to:
Get a Seritek (feritek?) SATA controller card and two fast hard drives. Get the largest 7200rpm drive you can get (they're like 400gb now; larger correlates with faster), or two 10k rpm WD raptors (the larger 73/74GB version).

The internal drive will need to be bumped outside the Mac into a firewire 800 enclosure.

3- SCSI is beastly since you have to make sure the cable is good, terminated properly, and that each drive is jumpered correctly.

Nevertheless the technology is mature and it's worked for a long time.

With both SATA and SCSI, you may need to watch out for needing RAID/SCSI/SATA drivers and cooling drives that spin faster at 10k rpm or faster (they put off more heat; in server setups, you may have a lot of them).
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Old April 8th, 2005, 07:24 PM   #7
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Glenn is right, the rental of the DigiBeta deck is going to be pricey. Since you're in New York, I would start calling around and see what their prices are to online. Maybe you can find a place to do it on the graveyard shift for cheap. Theres tons of post house in NYC that have FCP and digibeta.
Unless you're going to be cutting more in an uncompressed format, save yourself the time, money and headaches and just take your FCP project file you cut from the DVCAM tapes and go online in facility that has invested heavily in the technology that uses it all the time. Also, did you have any color correction done during the telecine? If you have invested in shooting on 35mm, I would let a pro do the color correction. Just my 2cents, hope it helps.
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