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Downconverting DigiBeta to DVCAM


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#1 Mark Heim

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 05:20 AM

Hello,

I recently transfered 30min of 35mm to Digibeta. The DVcam deck was out for service at the house I was transfering at. The footage is from a film that didn't get finished, but I still wanted it for my DP reel. I'm trying to get the footage into final cut pro and I'm wondering the best way to go about it.

Seeing as my reel will mostly be seen on DVD, is there any advantage to capturing the digibeta itself into final cut or should I just get a copy of it on DVCAM and import that way? Is it even possible to capture digibeta onto final cut?

Where should I go to get my digibeta transfered to DVCAM and roughly how much does it cost?

How can I get the best possible image on my DVD without spending thousands of dollars?

Digital can be very confusing :huh:

Thanks,

Mark
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 11:17 AM

Hello,

I recently transfered 30min of 35mm to Digibeta. The DVcam deck was out for service at the house I was transfering at. The footage is from a film that didn't get finished, but I still wanted it for my DP reel. I'm trying to get the footage into final cut pro and I'm wondering the best way to go about it.

Seeing as my reel will mostly be seen on DVD, is there any advantage to capturing the digibeta itself into final cut or should I just get a copy of it on DVCAM and import that way? Is it even possible to capture digibeta onto final cut?

Where should I go to get my digibeta transfered to DVCAM and roughly how much does it cost?

How can I get the best possible image on my DVD without spending thousands of dollars?

Digital can be very confusing :huh:

Thanks,

Mark


Hi,

You could work with DigiBeta in FCP but you will need fairly expensive hardware. Assuming you aren't going to regrade the footage a DVCAM copy transfered by firewire is very convenient. Make sure the DVCAM copy is done over SDI, and you will won't see any difference on a DVD IMHO.

As a student I think you will get the copy for a reasonable price.

Good luck

Stephen
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#3 Sam Wells

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 12:13 PM

DVCAM copy transfered by firewire is very convenient. Make sure the DVCAM copy is done over SDI, and you will won't see any difference on a DVD IMHO.
Stephen


As Stephen says, make sure it's done this way and not analog out / in.

A house I used had a Miranda (small bat powered) forget model # - to do SDI out of D-beta and Firewire into DVCam recorder.

-Sam
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#4 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 06:36 PM

FCP is actually resolution independent, so if you can just get it digitized into your computer, you can edit and work with it in FCP - done it many times. DigiBeta captured as Apple Uncompressed does look a lot better than DV. And even though you're going to Mpeg2 for the DVD, every little bit helps. However, DV is pretty acceptable if you're in a bind. If you have to go with DV, please try to go DV50 - it's a s close as you can get to DigiBeta in DV format (so close that many big TV stations master exclusively on it).
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#5 Keith Mottram

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 09:31 AM

FCP is actually resolution independent, so if you can just get it digitized into your computer, you can edit and work with it in FCP - done it many times. DigiBeta captured as Apple Uncompressed does look a lot better than DV. And even though you're going to Mpeg2 for the DVD, every little bit helps. However, DV is pretty acceptable if you're in a bind. If you have to go with DV, please try to go DV50 - it's a s close as you can get to DigiBeta in DV format (so close that many big TV stations master exclusively on it).



Bit misleading this as it implies that having FCP on a computer allows you to work in any resolution, when actual fact without certain hardware you are restricted. Uncompressed 8 bit 4:2:2 should work on a top spec g4 or g5 with a healthy 7200 rpm drive but you are pushing. stripe a few drives together and you can happilly handle 10 bit SD, stripe a few raids together and you can cut 2K. and as Stephen says you still have to get the footage into your machine. personally a decent SDI clone to DV would surfice as at some stage you have to downconvert the footage to put it onto dvd. it really depends on how much CC you need to do prior to dvd creation.

keith
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#6 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 10:00 AM

Bit misleading this as it implies that having FCP on a computer allows you to work in any resolution, when actual fact without certain hardware you are restricted. Uncompressed 8 bit 4:2:2 should work on a top spec g4 or g5 with a healthy 7200 rpm drive but you are pushing. stripe a few drives together and you can happilly handle 10 bit SD, stripe a few raids together and you can cut 2K. and as Stephen says you still have to get the footage into your machine. personally a decent SDI clone to DV would surfice as at some stage you have to downconvert the footage to put it onto dvd. it really depends on how much CC you need to do prior to dvd creation.

keith


Yes, of course. It all depends on the performance of your computer. I've just upgraded to a new MacBook Pro, but even my old Powerbook G4 with the standard 512mb RAM was happy as a clam doing SD. It even handled Uncompressed 10-bit pretty good. Just about the only thing it couldn't do was play back HD (and higher resolutions, of course). But still, pretty good for a tiny straight-out-of-the-box 12" laptop.

As for getting it into the computer without expensive hardware, well, that's always a problem (although a SD card today is quite cheap). But it's all changing very fast. Just 2 years ago it was impossible to get anything but tape from post houses - today it's a lot easier just getting it dumped down as an uncompressed Quicktime-file on a DVD or hard drive. And it's going to get easier and easier and I doubt there will be much tape mastering going on 5 years from now. Good riddance, I say - won't miss all these video format tapes one bit.
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#7 Mark Heim

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 12:40 PM

I have a Mac G5 Dual 2.0, 3 gigs of RAM and about 700gb of free hard drive space. How much space does the uncompressed take up as opposed to the DV footage?

I'm done with color correcting. It's just stuck on a digibeta tape. Are there places that I can give a firewire hard drive to and they can capture my footage onto my drive for me? As to advoid the expense of renting my own digibeta deck? Would it look better to capture my footage digibeta and downconvert in final cut, or just get an SDI dub of the digibeta to DVCAM.

Adam you mentioned using DV50 instand of DVCAM. Can a DVCAM deck read that format?

Thank you everyone for your responses
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#8 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 01:18 PM

I have a Mac G5 Dual 2.0, 3 gigs of RAM and about 700gb of free hard drive space. How much space does the uncompressed take up as opposed to the DV footage?

I'm done with color correcting. It's just stuck on a digibeta tape. Are there places that I can give a firewire hard drive to and they can capture my footage onto my drive for me? As to advoid the expense of renting my own digibeta deck? Would it look better to capture my footage digibeta and downconvert in final cut, or just get an SDI dub of the digibeta to DVCAM.

Adam you mentioned using DV50 instand of DVCAM. Can a DVCAM deck read that format?


Uncompressed is about 10-15 times the amount of data as DV, as far as I recall - so it takes up some considerable space.

Yes, you can get Digibeta dumped onto firewire disc at any post facility worth its salt, but it's often quite expensive still. Best is to rent a DigiBeta player (doesn't have to be a recorder) and borrow, or buy, a SD card (Blackmagic Design's Decklink is only $295, for instance) and digitize it yourself. Save up some tapes and rent the player for one day and then do one long digitizing session.

Don't think a DVCAM player can play DV50 since it's a Panasonic (or is it JVC) standard.
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#9 steve hyde

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 06:40 PM

..When the post house gets their DVcam deck back just go back and ask for a dub. They should do it for free.

Steve

Edited by steve hyde, 02 October 2006 - 06:40 PM.

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#10 Michael Most

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 07:57 AM

..When the post house gets their DVcam deck back just go back and ask for a dub. They should do it for free.


Huh??? Why??

The only way they should do it "for free" is if you already paid a rate for the original telecine that included a simo DVCam recording. If this is not the case, you are asking for a new product and they need to charge you for that product. That's the way the real world works, regardless of whether you're a student or not.
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#11 Adam Frey

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 08:44 AM

Uncompressed footage from 10-bit DigiBeta doesn't take that much extra hardware. A pair of drives striped together with raid0 should work just fine on a G5.

This is '10-bit' digibeta, correct? If so, I'd go with the 10-bit DigiBeta over the others; it's Uncompressed, it's only 2:1 compression, and it's 4:2:2 color sampling. But most importantly, 10-bit gives you 1024 levels of black, where DV50 (an 8-bit format, if I remember correctly) only gives you 256... Also, if I remember correctly, for every 8 minutes of Apple's Uncompressed SD 10-bit format, you'll figure it'll be about 10Gb.

Creating a DVD from Digibeta looks great compared to something like minidv/dvcam with it's 5:1 compression. I personally can't stand to look at minidv anymore - it's gawd awful on the eyes, especially when you want to look at film you've transferred.

I agree with Michael - I can't fathom someone transferring footage for free, unless you paid for it and they screwed it up.

Also, if you have someone transfer from digibeta "digitally", watch out, because some facilities will claim digitial transfers, but may have analog signal in the middle creating "video noise" - you don't want that; it looks terrible. If you do it on your computer with Quicktime or FCP it may take some extra time, but you'll likely be a lot happier with the results.

Edited by Adam Frey, 03 October 2006 - 08:48 AM.

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#12 Mark Heim

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 03:13 PM

after doing some research I think I am going to go with the DVCpro50 format (by the way DVCpro50 and DV50 are the same thing right?). I can't really afford the uncompressed hardware at this moment in time. I was gonna get my digibeta masters dubbed to DV50 and then rent a deck to import. From what I gather I can import DV50 via firewire and still achieve the quality results of 4.2.2. am I right or do I need SDI cards in my computer? Here is the DVCpro50 deck I am looking to rent

http://www.deckhandv...nd_dvcpro50.htm

I should be able to output DVcam dubs from final cut DV50 timeline for the actors correct?

Do many post houses offer the option of transferring to DVCpro50 during telecine, the format seems quite superior to miniDV so its something I'm looking at for future transfers.

Thank you for you replys, it's been a huge help.
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#13 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 03:20 PM

Yes, DV50 and DVCpro50 is the same thing.
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#14 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 03:36 PM

after doing some research I think I am going to go with the DVCpro50 format (by the way DVCpro50 and DV50 are the same thing right?). I can't really afford the uncompressed hardware at this moment in time. I was gonna get my digibeta masters dubbed to DV50 and then rent a deck to import. From what I gather I can import DV50 via firewire and still achieve the quality results of 4.2.2. am I right or do I need SDI cards in my computer? Here is the DVCpro50 deck I am looking to rent

http://www.deckhandv...nd_dvcpro50.htm

I should be able to output DVcam dubs from final cut DV50 timeline for the actors correct?

Do many post houses offer the option of transferring to DVCpro50 during telecine, the format seems quite superior to miniDV so its something I'm looking at for future transfers.

Thank you for you replys, it's been a huge help.


You should be cool with the firewire, not needing sdi cards.

However, as was said before, when getting your dub made, be sure they are going sdi from the digibeta to the dvcpro deck, not component (or appallingly composite) because some places will do that. You can expect to pay between $50 and $75 for the dub.
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#15 Michael Most

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 07:49 PM

after doing some research I think I am going to go with the DVCpro50 format (by the way DVCpro50 and DV50 are the same thing right?). I can't really afford the uncompressed hardware at this moment in time. I was gonna get my digibeta masters dubbed to DV50 and then rent a deck to import.


Why do you want another tape? You already have the DigiBeta as a tape backup. Have the facility digitize to Quicktime DVCPro50 files for you and deliver them on a Firewire drive.

I should be able to output DVcam dubs from final cut DV50 timeline for the actors correct?


Well, sort of. If you're planning to do these "dubs" via Firewire, you'll have to create a new timeline that is DV25, drop the sequence in, and render it. Final Cut does not do codec conversions on the fly.

Do many post houses offer the option of transferring to DVCpro50 during telecine, the format seems quite superior to miniDV so its something I'm looking at for future transfers.


"Many?" No. Some? Yes. These days, it's more sensible to deliver such formats on Firewire drives and keep a more robust tape format, such as DigiBeta, as the tape backup.
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#16 Dan Goulder

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 08:12 PM

Why do you want another tape? You already have the DigiBeta as a tape backup. Have the facility digitize to Quicktime DVCPro50 files for you and deliver them on a Firewire drive.

Is there any technical, qualitative difference between a format conversion "on the fly" through SDI inputs, as opposed to just dropping and rerendering files on a timeline who's preset is the target format? In the above example, the conversion would be from Digibeta (uncompressed SD) to DVCam. Can one do a similar conversion with uncompressed Quicktime HD 4:4:4 files, rerendering them on a timeline either to a 10 or 8-bit uncompressed, or a compressed HD format, while still achieving the exact same quality as if they were brought in through SDI and converted "on the fly"?
Thanks.
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#17 Stephen Williams

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 02:08 AM

Is there any technical, qualitative difference between a format conversion "on the fly" through SDI inputs, as opposed to just dropping and rerendering files on a timeline who's preset is the target format? In the above example, the conversion would be from Digibeta (uncompressed SD) to DVCam. Can one do a similar conversion with uncompressed Quicktime HD 4:4:4 files, rerendering them on a timeline either to a 10 or 8-bit uncompressed, or a compressed HD format, while still achieving the exact same quality as if they were brought in through SDI and converted "on the fly"?
Thanks.


Hi,

First point is DigiBeta is already compressed. The quality of any conversion from an SDI signal will depend on the hardware/software involved in the conversion! There is no such thing as a free lunch ! It's always a good idea to test.

Stephen
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#18 Dan Goulder

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 06:26 AM

Hi,

First point is DigiBeta is already compressed. The quality of any conversion from an SDI signal will depend on the hardware/software involved in the conversion! There is no such thing as a free lunch ! It's always a good idea to test.

Stephen

Sorry if I mislead. My reference was actually to an NLE timeline preset, which would probably be set for SD 4:2:2 uncompressed when working with Digibeta (in FCP).
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#19 Stephen Williams

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:30 AM

Sorry if I mislead. My reference was actually to an NLE timeline preset, which would probably be set for SD 4:2:2 uncompressed when working with Digibeta (in FCP).


Hi,

I would try the downconversion in FCP and try to pull a difference matte, then you will get an idea what is lost. (Not sure if FCP has a difference matte, but a demo version of Cumbustion does!)

Stephen
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