Jump to content


Editing DVCPRO in FCP.


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 peter orland

peter orland
  • Guests

Posted 09 February 2006 - 01:06 AM

I just spent the day talking to a colour corrector at a post house, as I am researching all the workflow possibilities for a feature (my first) that I will be shooting in a couple of months. We have decided to shoot it on the Varicam and the HVX 200 as a second camera. We are going to edit in Final Cut Pro via the firewire using the Panasonic HD codec. The post guy told me that we would be better off only doing an offline on this system then bringing in the edl and the masters so he could do the online and then the colour correct. He said that the final edit out of Final Cut Pro, even using the firewire in and out, causes quite a loss in quality over the original masters, so we would get a much better finish using his system via a blackmagic or something, (not sure what that is).

I thought that capturing DVCPRO over the firewire then using the apple codec would output a lossless copy?

Edited by peter orland, 09 February 2006 - 01:07 AM.

  • 0

#2 Michael Most

Michael Most
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 765 posts
  • Other

Posted 09 February 2006 - 01:44 AM

The post guy told me that we would be better off only doing an offline on this system then bringing in the edl and the masters so he could do the online and then the colour correct. He said that the final edit out of Final Cut Pro, even using the firewire in and out, causes quite a loss in quality over the original masters, so we would get a much better finish using his system via a blackmagic or something, (not sure what that is).

I thought that capturing DVCPRO over the firewire then using the apple codec would output a lossless copy?


You are correct, he is wrong - PROVIDED: You are doing only straight cuts. Anything else - fades, dissolves, color correction, anything - and you are decoding then re-encoding in the same lossy codec. Since there is a fairly good chance you will do at least one of the above things, he has a point. It's not the "firewire in" that presents a problem - that's just a data copy. The problems start to happen when you re-encode in DVCPro HD prior to output.
  • 0

#3 peter orland

peter orland
  • Guests

Posted 09 February 2006 - 05:19 PM

Thanks.

I thought that he might of been trying to drum up a bit more work. Would you then take his advise and just do an offline in FCP then let him take over?
  • 0

#4 Keith Mottram

Keith Mottram
  • Sustaining Members
  • 824 posts
  • Other

Posted 11 February 2006 - 10:35 AM

Thanks.

I thought that he might of been trying to drum up a bit more work. Would you then take his advise and just do an offline in FCP then let him take over?


Alternatively if you have the drive speed, you could cut and do effects/correction in FCP at 720p then move the edit into a 4:2:2 1080p timeline (for example) and re-render then output. you would of course need the apropriate drives and i/o cards, monitors etc. So its probably cheaper and simpler to leave itg up to him.


Keith
  • 0

#5 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 11 February 2006 - 10:57 AM

FCP is designed to natively support DVCPro HD. In other words, it should handle your Varicam footage in exactly the same way as working in DV. There's no point in creating offline files, since you already have everything you need to work in your native online format. You can work right off your system drive, or a second internal hard drive. I wouldn't even bother with any additional hardware unless you need the additional storage space that an external RAID would provide. You can even monitor right off the DVI output in the video card (assuming you're using a G5).

If you want to use a professionally- calibrated post facility for color correction, by all means do so. You should be able to hand the facility a firewire drive with your final edit.
  • 0

#6 Keith Mottram

Keith Mottram
  • Sustaining Members
  • 824 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 February 2006 - 10:39 AM

FCP is designed to natively support DVCPro HD. In other words, it should handle your Varicam footage in exactly the same way as working in DV. There's no point in creating offline files, since you already have everything you need to work in your native online format. You can work right off your system drive, or a second internal hard drive. I wouldn't even bother with any additional hardware unless you need the additional storage space that an external RAID would provide. You can even monitor right off the DVI output in the video card (assuming you're using a G5).

If you want to use a professionally- calibrated post facility for color correction, by all means do so. You should be able to hand the facility a firewire drive with your final edit.


This is somewhat misleading as dvcpro hd is heavily compressed so doing effects/ color correction at less compression will give you superior results for mastering. if for example you are mastering to film and will eventually have to post a 2k file then doing all the effects and correction after the up-res (both in resolution and colour space) will give you superior results than completeing post pre-upres. for a simple demonstration of this take a piece of dv footage add a gausian blur and look at the banding caused by the colour space, next take the same file place it in a uncompressed 10bit SD timeline and repeat the effect- you will be able to imediately tell the difference.

keith
  • 0

#7 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 12 February 2006 - 01:14 PM

This is somewhat misleading as dvcpro hd is heavily compressed so doing effects/ color correction at less compression will give you superior results for mastering. if for example you are mastering to film and will eventually have to post a 2k file then doing all the effects and correction after the up-res (both in resolution and colour space) will give you superior results than completeing post pre-upres. for a simple demonstration of this take a piece of dv footage add a gausian blur and look at the banding caused by the colour space, next take the same file place it in a uncompressed 10bit SD timeline and repeat the effect- you will be able to imediately tell the difference.

keith

You should go back and read the original post before accusing me of being misleading. He wasn't asking for advice on the best way to create a gaussian blur, or any other effect. If anyone is being misleading, it's the post house for advising someone to assemble a DVCPro HD feature at some offline resolution, then handing in an edl for online assembly. This just creates thoroughly pointless extra steps for someone using FCP to cut a feature that's been shot in this format. He should by all means perform his cuts at the original native resolution, which he's already equipped to do, and then use a professional post facility to color correct. The resolution that the post facility works at is an entirely separate issue. The edits themselves don't involve decompression/recompression, and aren't going to look any better, even if they're performed at 2K.
  • 0

#8 Keith Mottram

Keith Mottram
  • Sustaining Members
  • 824 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 February 2006 - 08:10 PM

You should go back and read the original post before accusing me of being misleading. He wasn't asking for advice on the best way to create a gaussian blur, or any other effect. If anyone is being misleading, it's the post house for advising someone to assemble a DVCPro HD feature at some offline resolution, then handing in an edl for online assembly. This just creates thoroughly pointless extra steps for someone using FCP to cut a feature that's been shot in this format. He should by all means perform his cuts at the original native resolution, which he's already equipped to do, and then use a professional post facility to color correct. The resolution that the post facility works at is an entirely separate issue. The edits themselves don't involve decompression/recompression, and aren't going to look any better, even if they're performed at 2K.


Chill your pants dgouldy babes, the gausian blur was an example to show the benefit of rendering at a higher resolution- this also includes transitions and other basic editing devices that you might require if you are onlining on fcp. you spoke of giving a facilty a final edit and failed to mention mastering resolution- i'm just clarifying.

keith
  • 0

#9 Michael Most

Michael Most
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 765 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 February 2006 - 08:42 PM

The edits themselves don't involve decompression/recompression, and aren't going to look any better, even if they're performed at 2K.


They do involve decompression and recompression if they're anything other than a straight cut. That means fades, dissolves, repositions, split screens, you name it. That was the point I was making in my original post. Whether that one decompress/recompress cycle is objectionable is something only the individual can determine, but it's there for anything other than a simple cut.

The suggestion to drop the cut into an uncompressed timeline, then render, is actually quite a clever and good one (as it eliminates this problem), although it means that the post facility needs to have equipment that supports uncompressed Quicktime playback - not an unusual request these days.
  • 0

#10 Tim J Durham

Tim J Durham
  • Sustaining Members
  • 742 posts
  • Director
  • East Coast, Baby!

Posted 12 February 2006 - 11:17 PM

They do involve decompression and recompression if they're anything other than a straight cut. That means fades, dissolves, repositions, split screens, you name it. That was the point I was making in my original post. Whether that one decompress/recompress cycle is objectionable is something only the individual can determine, but it's there for anything other than a simple cut.

The suggestion to drop the cut into an uncompressed timeline, then render, is actually quite a clever and good one (as it eliminates this problem), although it means that the post facility needs to have equipment that supports uncompressed Quicktime playback - not an unusual request these days.

Hi Mike,
What IS the actual hit taken when you do color correcting of DVC-Pro50 material in FCP?
  • 0

#11 peter orland

peter orland
  • Guests

Posted 12 February 2006 - 11:25 PM

All good stuff. Thanks Guys.

"The suggestion to drop the cut into an uncompressed timeline, then render, is actually quite a clever and good one (as it eliminates this problem), although it means that the post facility needs to have equipment that supports uncompressed Quicktime playback - not an unusual request these days."

Sounds cool but it's a bit above my head.
  • 0

#12 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 12 February 2006 - 11:32 PM

Chill your pants dgouldy babes, the gausian blur was an example to show the benefit of rendering at a higher resolution- this also includes transitions and other basic editing devices that you might require if you are onlining on fcp. you spoke of giving a facilty a final edit and failed to mention mastering resolution- i'm just clarifying.

keith

Clarification can be accomplished without accusations of misleading. My pants are maintained at the proper temperature, Keithy baby. Hey, maybe I've just been having a bad day, okay? Can I go now?
  • 0

#13 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 12 February 2006 - 11:49 PM

All good stuff. Thanks Guys.

"The suggestion to drop the cut into an uncompressed timeline, then render, is actually quite a clever and good one (as it eliminates this problem), although it means that the post facility needs to have equipment that supports uncompressed Quicktime playback - not an unusual request these days."

Sounds cool but it's a bit above my head.

Since we're busy arguing over how you should post, can you please tell us what final format you're aiming for? Is it film, video broadcast master, dvd, or what (or all of the above)? Are you using primarily straight cuts, or what? Special effects? This way, at least our arguments won't be based on speculation.
  • 0

#14 peter orland

peter orland
  • Guests

Posted 13 February 2006 - 02:16 AM

Since we're busy arguing over how you should post, can you please tell us what final format you're aiming for? Is it film, video broadcast master, dvd, or what (or all of the above)? Are you using primarily straight cuts, or what? Special effects? This way, at least our arguments won't be based on speculation.


At this early stage it is impossible to know what the final format will be, I'm planning for the lowest and hoping for the best, but I doubt very much if it will end up as straight cuts only.

All your advice is welcome and informative, I appreciate you guys taking the time to put forward your knowledge and opinions. I'd rather you didn't see it as an argument at all.

Thanks again.
  • 0

#15 Matt Sandstrom

Matt Sandstrom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 464 posts
  • Director
  • Stockholm, Sweden

Posted 13 February 2006 - 08:05 AM

hey, does it really make a large difference whether you hand the post house an edl and a tape or an edited timeline at full res without effects? it probably doesn't take longer to batch in the material than it takes to import the edit and prepare it. "offlining" at full res only really makes sense, expect for "because i can" resons, if you're onlining/adding effects on the same system. and in that case i agree it's best to online to an uncompressed timeline if the result is going elsewhere for final processing.

/matt
  • 0

#16 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 13 February 2006 - 10:37 AM

hey, does it really make a large difference whether you hand the post house an edl and a tape or an edited timeline at full res without effects? it probably doesn't take longer to batch in the material than it takes to import the edit and prepare it. "offlining" at full res only really makes sense, expect for "because i can" resons, if you're onlining/adding effects on the same system. and in that case i agree it's best to online to an uncompressed timeline if the result is going elsewhere for final processing.

/matt

When you're paying $400-500/hour for post work, you bet it makes a big difference whether you hand over 10 unedited tapes for ingest, or 1 that's already been cut. As for DVCPro HD, it can be cut on a system drive, even on a notebook. So, if that's your acquisition format, what would be the point of degrading the resolution and working wirh proxy files? As for dissolves and fades, they can be handled as separate files. So, it's not necessary to rerender the entire take, and it's debatable whether it's worth going through an upres just to perform these two variations on an edit. In the original post, the d.p. felt that the post house was encouraging him to take extra, unnecessary (and costly) steps. This is why he posted in the first place, and his concern was legitimate. Since few of us work with unlimited budgets, it's irresponsible to recommend that someone pay a post house to do some of the more basic things he can do himself with NO discernible loss of quality.
  • 0

#17 Matt Sandstrom

Matt Sandstrom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 464 posts
  • Director
  • Stockholm, Sweden

Posted 13 February 2006 - 02:59 PM

i would never pay $500 an hour for deck time, even including a tape switching assistant, but i see your point. my point was based on the cost of batching being very small compared to the rest of the online work.

/matt
  • 0

#18 Matt Sandstrom

Matt Sandstrom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 464 posts
  • Director
  • Stockholm, Sweden

Posted 13 February 2006 - 03:25 PM

btw as for what you can edit hd on, that's what i meant with "because i can". if your system works well with hd there's no reason to edit at lower res, except for the monitoring issue perhaps.

/matt
  • 0

#19 Terence

Terence

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Producer

Posted 16 February 2006 - 06:03 AM

I was wondering just how serious the quality loss would be with DVCPro HD in Final Cut with one editing run, i.e. ingest, editing with effects, one render and final output.

I would be looking to produce a broadcast dvcpro master.
  • 0

#20 AshG

AshG
  • Guests

Posted 20 February 2006 - 12:13 AM

I am currently using this workflow and I can tell you that DVCproHD is great but does start to fall apart when you add effects and color correction, especially in shadowy and red areas. THERE IS LOSS OF QUALITY, mainly increased noise and chroma detail. For the best final output, you should rebuild the project uncompressed and do your effects and CC then.

I am sure this is what the original post house meant, you cannot capture uncompressed thru firewire, it only dumps the DVCproHD and removes the pulldown frames. By using a Kona/BlackMagic card, you can use the HD-SDI out of the deck and get uncompressed. Not sure what all the bickering was about here...




ash =o)
  • 0


Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

The Slider

Glidecam

Abel Cine

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Opal

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam