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Preparing for colour grading


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#1 Zulkifli Yusof

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 02:52 PM

Firstly, Merry Christmas to all!


I have a question regarding footages shot on DV for colour grading. How do you go about the workflow of DV-acquired projects for final colour grading on a high end colour grading system for example?

Do you output your timeline to a higher format let's say Digital Beta or is that not even necessary since the project was done on DV in the first place?
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#2 Phil Connolly

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 10:57 AM

Firstly, Merry Christmas to all!
I have a question regarding footages shot on DV for colour grading. How do you go about the workflow of DV-acquired projects for final colour grading on a high end colour grading system for example?

Do you output your timeline to a higher format let's say Digital Beta or is that not even necessary since the project was done on DV in the first place?



Hi

Depends on the Grading system you intend to use. If you were to use something linear like Pogle and do a straight tape to tape grade it would make sense to dub up to digi-beta. It won't give you any extra quality but its more a robust format and able to cope with all the tape shuttling you'd have do. The company I used to work for, had a Hard Disk Recorder as a source deck in its Pogle suite - so the format the ungraded master came in on didn't matter as it was usually dubbed onto disk, but for SD work digi-beta would be the norm.

For non-linear grading, you could just supply an uncompressed quicktime of the timeline. I've done this on a few projects that have been cut at home on FCP and graded on Nitris and I didn't want to deal with the pain of getting the EDL's to work between systems.

The disavantage of this and linear grading is that you only can grade one video track, so if their any dissolves, from one shot to another you might not get as neat a grading transition as having a separate grade on each shot before the transition effect is added.

Or the other route is using an EDL from you off-line and reconforming in an on-line suite from the DV tapes, using something like Symphony Nitris which is quite powerful on the grading front. If your cut was done on an other Avid this is not too painful. But if you are going from FCP, Premier etc.. it can become painful
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#3 Dan Goulder

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 12:02 PM

If you've got an edited DV master, that is what you should hand to the post facility, and let them do whatever format conversion is necessary.
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#4 Zulkifli Yusof

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 12:20 PM

Thanks guys for the reply, especially Phil for covering both linear and non-linear systems.

I have other questions regarding colour grading done on NLEs. Phil, in your experience, what is the added benefit of grading in Nitris? You've also mentioned that if you work completely in Avid systems, the workflow wouldnt be a "pain". How do you export your edited timeline from an Avid editing system to a Nitris? By AAF I assume?

Edited by Zulkifli Yusof, 29 December 2006 - 12:20 PM.

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#5 Phil Connolly

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 03:56 PM

Well Nitris Hardware is faster and can do more in real time. It really depends on your project and budget. Symphony systems running on older hardware are still very powerful. Their may be no major advantage to your project using Nitris especially for SD stuff - it depends on what your trying to do and for what money. But any version Symphony (Nitris or otherwise) is going to be much better than bog standard media composer (aderenaline included) for grading.

I'm pretty sure Symphony will take all the bins and projects from the Avid offline (media composer, express etc) and reproduce them exactly. DS Nitris takes AAF sequence - according to my avid text book it does (but I've not really dealt with DS). So it should be fairly painless - but I'm not an expert on the permutations of different vintages of avid systems that may create problems -when moving projects between them.

On stuff I edit, I off-line on final cut pro - and generally when I do get in an online suite its a blagged avid - so I have to go the pain of exporting avid compatible edls. That why I have in the passed layed the fcp sequence to tape or quicktime and graded that. Its easier if your finishing on Avid to cut on Avid as I have learnt to my cost -their still may be some pain their always is in post production - but less. But I can't afford Avid express and I'm more used to the FCP interface.
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#6 Phil Connolly

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 04:22 PM

Forgot to add Symphony when running on a meridian system does is calcutions at a 10bit depth and when using the Nitris hardware calculations are done at 12bit. So it would produce higher quality images. But it would depend on what your rushes were and how strong a grade you apply to them - whether the extra precision would make a huge difference on 8 bit material such as DV.
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