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Mini DV to digibeta


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#1 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 08:57 PM

I have cut my MiniDV final cut pro movie and now must go to digibeta format for festivals.
Now my producer says I must recut the entire film in another system to get true good digibeta quality. I thought I could just output a full strength copy from the computer back out through the camera onto a tape and then just have that converted to digibeta. My producer says I will loose a couple of generations so she's asking me make a shot and tape list from 44 hours of footage in precise order to put into another system to get this wonderfull quality digibeta. Now my outputs done the same way and then copied onto DVD looks absolutely fabulous on the big screen TV'S. So whats the story ?
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 09:31 PM

Was thsi film shot on Mini DV or D-Beta?

If it was shot on Mini DV and cut in FCP then you maintained the 3.5MB/second data rate of Mini DV, so you can just out put the final movie back to Mini DV, and then dub the entire project to D-Beta. You lose no generations or quality in this process.

Editing the original shot tapes onto D-Beta will not improve the quality at all, nor is there a generation loss transfering your final Mini DV tape to D-Beta vs the original shoot tapes. 3.5MB/second is 3.5MB/second.

Tell your producer she's a daft idiot and has no idea what she's talking about.

R,
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 10:03 PM

If the originals were Digi-Beta then you would get more quality from a Digi-Beta online following your EDL. Howver, if the original was Mini-DV there would be no improvement in quality. On the other hand, if you could output it to Digi-Beta, it may make a better source for striking tape dubs at a dub house than Mini-DV.

However, film festivals doing digital projection often ask for one common tape format for all screenings, hence why you might need to make a Digi-Beta copy of the show if that's their chosen format (just be glad it's not VHS....) Some festivals, like Sundance, do all their digital projection from HD so would require that you uprez your piece to HD.
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#4 timHealy

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 10:13 PM

Tell your producer she's a daft idiot and has no idea what she's talking about.


That's being a bit harsh.

If you want the easy way out just dub to Digibeta from the mini DV tape and be done with it.

If you shot on film, your producer may be right and is just trying to preserve quality on your film. The quality of mini DV is significantly less than Digibeta. So through an EDL or timecode you would have to go back and conform the original tapes. That may be a lot of work if you did not plan for that.

Even if you shot on mini DV, some suggest that it may be better to upgrade to a higher quality format to work in a better color space for editing and post. Even though Final Cut is terrific in many ways, the software starts to indroduce artifacts, especially with more and more color correction, effects and the like. It may depend on what you want to live with. The term "generation" may be outdated, but she is right about a certain amount of quality loss. Even HD CAM SR is compressed video I believe.

Since this is a cinematography forum, why don't you try and post on http://www.creativecow.com There may be more knowledgable people about post production, compression and data rates issues. (Not that there aren't knowledgable people here)

just my 2 cents.

Good luck,

Tim
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#5 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 08:14 AM

Was thsi film shot on Mini DV or D-Beta?

If it was shot on Mini DV and cut in FCP then you maintained the 3.5MB/second data rate of Mini DV, so you can just out put the final movie back to Mini DV, and then dub the entire project to D-Beta.  You lose no generations or quality in this process.

Editing the original shot tapes onto D-Beta will not improve the quality at all, nor is there a generation loss transfering your final Mini DV tape to D-Beta vs the original shoot tapes.  3.5MB/second is 3.5MB/second.

Tell your producer she's a daft idiot and has no idea what she's talking about.

R,

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


THANK YOU ! You have just made my day advanced ! My other producer was breathing down my neck saying I had to now spend a month making a shot list. That would ahve been the most unforgiving job. On a further note Just a straight transfer is what I am looking for.I don't need to mess wwith slowing it down to 24 frames per second or anything like that ?
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#6 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 08:22 AM

Thanks David and Tim,

I believe us Cinematographers are having to deal with all these other areas of post production.
Does anybody know about a site that shows movies driven by the cinematographer. Or Cinematographers that went on to make there own film with their own cuts ?
Thanks for creativecow.com
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 10:24 AM

THANK YOU ! You have just made my day advanced ! My other producer was breathing down my neck saying I had to now spend a month making a shot list. That would ahve been the most unforgiving job. On a further note Just a straight transfer is what I am looking for.I don't need to mess wwith slowing it down to 24 frames per second or anything like that ?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You still haven't been clear to us what the original format is. Something shot with an NTSC Mini-DV camcorder? PAL Mini-DV? 24P? 25P? 30P? 50i? 60i? Something shot in film and transferred to Mini-DV?

What do you mean by "slowing it down to 24 frames per second"? You said you needed a Digi-Beta copy...

We need more information to answer your questions.
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#8 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:11 PM

Sorry about that. The original format is NTSC miniDV. Shot with a Panasonic 3CCD,Leica lensed camera.
I have editted it with Final Cut Pro. I cannot cut a DVD internally so I output the film back to the camera. With the new master I then feed it to a DVD recorder. I then make DVD that are verified copies.

From what I understand from the above teachings I could theoretically just transfer from my Master mini DV to digibeta ? The other thought that comes to mind is that my 58 minute movie has utilized all 99 visual tracks and the equivalent for the sounds of the sound track. The layering of the film happened over time . I think I am getting some ghosting occasionally and few other wavers.Could this or these just be problems with the program?

Could I have maxed out my FCP program ? Are the remaining 35 gigs ample enough to drive this entire movie smoothly with out fall out ? The movie is about 350 gigs.
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:30 PM

I have no idea about your FCP problems -- I'm not an editor -- but if you have an NTSC Mini-DV master then you could just make a straight dub to NTSC Digi-Beta. If it is a 4x3 NTSC master, then you'd make a 4x3 NTSC dub, etc.

However, if you are having quality problems, obviously redoing your post on a better set-up might be the solution and then outputting from the computer to a Digi-Beta master would be better (not so much for image quality, but it's a better format to copy from than Mini-DV, with less compression, etc.) But you'd have to have some professional system that would allow you to output to a Digi-Beta deck, which I assume would be an SDI connection, not Firewire.

On the other hand, I cannot think of a reason why you shouldn't be able to do an acceptable post on FCP from your Mini-DV originals.
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#10 Richard Boddington

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:52 PM

"Sorry about that. The original format is NTSC miniDV. Shot with a Panasonic 3CCD,Leica lensed camera."

Then dubbing your final edited movie from Mini DV to D-Beta is all you need to do. Editing to D-Beta from your shoot tapes will be a waste of time and money and will not improve the quality at all.

Keep in mind that you can not load DV into a computer at a data rate lower than 3.5 MB per second, you can certainly output it at a lower rate for the web or DVD, but you can't bring it into the computer at a lower data rate than 3.5MB per second. So in this sense there is no such thing as "off-line" editing when working with DV, it's always "on-line." As opposed to bringing in SP footage into an Avid at say 50% in order to save space on your hard drives for an off-line edit.

Dubbing your Mini DV edited master to D-Beta is as good as it's going to get.

As for the weird stuff happening with FCP, yes, this is most likely related to the amount of video and layers you have associtated with the project. If you open a new project and start editing a few shots you'll notice that the Mac will work perfectly. Once you get into a 58 minute movie with tons of SFX and huge amounts of source video you can start to see problems, it's quite common.

If you try and output a project like this to tape it may "chug" in a few spots, and this will look weird on your tape. So, I suggest you take the most complex layers and builds and render them together as one quick time movie, use 720X480, Quality=Best, NTSC-DV, 29.97 FPS. This will preserve the 3.5 MB/second data rate of DV and allow the Mac to output these sections much easier. Or send these chunks to tape as separate parts and then re-load them from tape and re-insert them into the time line.

In fact you could re-build the entire movie like this, lay the QT movies on the time line in a different project, and presever all your edits if you need to make a change later. Once the layers are together as a QT movie you can't make changes. Make each QT 10 minutes long, then you'll only have six to lay down, you'll notice that the Mac will play these movies back smoothly and you'll have no export issues. Need to make a change? Just go back to your original edit, easy.

The 35GB of space you have left will not help you with these issues, it's a RAM function we are talking about here, not a storage space issue.

R,
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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 02:34 PM

Hi,

> Once you get into a 58 minute movie with tons of SFX and huge amounts of source
> video you can start to see problems, it's quite common.

Why? There's no particular reason this should occur, so long as you've rendered everything that needs rendering. If you're getting overall glitchiness, try defragging the media storage, but other than that if it doesn't work report a bug!

Phil
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#12 Richard Boddington

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 03:29 PM

I know what you're saying Phil, but, it always seems to happen when the projects get huge and "involved". When I work with Premiere I do the same technique I described.

Defragging the media storage? Hmmm, makes me very nervous doing that with Mac.

One thing I do with Premiere is trash the preview files off of the disk, and let the computer build them again from scratch before I print to tape, that can help a lot.

But yes technically you are right Phil, if the builds are rendered there should be no issue, yet there always seems to be when the pojects get really big.

R,
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#13 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 06:35 PM

Hi,

I've done several 45-minute-plus projects on Premiere with bins over half a terabyte without problems. But yes, my output-and-archive procedure involves making a file with everything stuck down, just because that's often a delivery requirement for DVDs. It's certainly the first port of call when trying to fix playback problems.

I challenge anyone to have a longform production that's solid, wall-to-wall multitrack complexity, though, unless you're making Tron 2 - what on earth is the project?

Phil
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#14 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 02:28 PM

Hi,

> Once you get into a 58 minute movie with tons of SFX and huge amounts of source
> video you can start to see problems, it's quite common.

Why? There's no particular reason this should occur, so long as you've rendered everything that needs rendering. If you're getting overall glitchiness, try defragging the media storage, but other than that if it doesn't work report a bug!

Phil

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hi Phil thanks for responding .Sorry I am currently slightly fragmented myself. What is that ? How does one do it ? Thanx ak
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#15 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 02:31 PM

Hi Phil,

the movie is called "Mimetoliths" And because I am a novice film editor it has taken me on an interesting voyage of knowledge.
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#16 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 02:35 PM

I want to say what a great friendly and helpfull place this has been. I am emotionally overwhelmed.I will celebrate these helpfull responces tomorrow on my Birthday. Then I will be officially be an ole 49er.

Edited by Algis Kemezys, 27 June 2005 - 02:36 PM.

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#17 Richard Boddington

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 07:17 PM

Yes, well proof positive that I can be of help to people. Not the only one of course, just one of them :D

R,
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#18 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 08:27 AM

MIMETOLITHS, a new 60-minute documentary by Montreal multi-media artist Algis Kemezys, is in the official programs of the Cyprus International Film Festival (March 24-27, 2006), and the Asterfest in Macedonia (May 28-31, 2006), as well as the Panorama section of Ecofilms RODOS (June 20-25, 2006).

http://mimetoliths.blogspot.com/

Mimetoliths, which means ?rocks and cliffs that imitate living beings?, is Algis Kemezys? second feature-documentary. His first, Faces of Myth, was in the official selection of Thessaloniki Documentary Festival(2004), and the Maine International Film Festival (2004).

Mimetoliths travels to beautiful/mystical Crete, to closely look at its mythical landscape, to embellish it further with the filmmaker?s own sculpture, and to celebrate its stories. It embraces the Muses that have languished petrified on the sacred stones; the Phaistos Disk; intergalactic travel; Pythagoras?s golden proportion of 1 to 1.618; missing Planets; the Labyrinth; the Minotaur.

Elie Castiel, writing for Sequences (#240, Nov.-Dec. 2005; page 37) had this to say (translated from the original French):
?... Mimetoliths stands as a unique and extraordinary film, rich and nuanced. It is instructive, even essential, for an acquaintance and a comprehension of the endless mysteries of nature.?
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