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Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)

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director.lionelAdvice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 19, 2007 at 10:29:55 pm

Sorry for the long post. (Hope it's not inappropriate or in the wrong place.) I've run into a lot of problems and questions in post-production because the person I was depending on, my Asst. Director, wasn't as knowledgeable as I had thought. As a result we made a bunch of poor decisions early and need a lot of guidance now. Here's the situation:

I recently shot a feature film in 1080 at 24p with the Sony F-900, but
I'm having a hard time getting it "out of the can." We started out
downconverting to SD, but when I saw the footage on an HD TV screen,
there were really bad artifacts.

My goal is to make a good DVD (HD or Bluray?), which I can submit to
festivals or submit directly to potential distributors.

So I've decided to try to edit in uncompressed 1080p24. I'm also
putting together two huge server-type hard drives, each of 5.5
Terabytes for a total of 11TBs. Do you think that will be enough? We
have 30 of the Sony BCT-40HDs to capture. (The AJA data rate
calculator seems to think we will take up 12TBs, so I wanted to see if
anyone can come up with a number from actual experience.) Btw, we're
using the AJA LH to capture.

I'd like to use PPro to command the capturing, but it seems to only
give options of 1080 at 23.98p instead of the true 24p. I'd like to
use PPro if it has the true 24p option. Do you know if it does through
a customization sequence? Otherwise, I will have to use the AJA
Machina program, which does allow for 24p capturing. (Has anyone had
any problems with Machina captured footage, edited in PPro?)

Also, should I set it to capture at 10 bit or 8 bit YUV? As for the
F900, the manual says the Digital Video Signal is "10 bits/sample (8
bits/sample for compression processing)."

And should I set it for Quicktime or AVI format? (Or even another?)
We are using a PC with XP, 32 bit.

My recordist picked up the sound on two channels; sometimes, we had
lavs on one channel and a boom on the other. But I believe the sounds
were captured as stereo on all the channels. My question are, "Should we capture into one channel or two? And, "What format of sound? Embedded, analog, etc.?"

If we need to delete footage after capturing to make more space,
what's the best way to do this? My impression is that PPro will not
allow you to delete actual footage from the master.

Any thoughts on how to set the time code? It might be pretty messy. We
didn't black out our tapes, and the DP did take out the tape at the
end of the day before we turned off the cam and then he re-inserted it
the next day if it wasn't used up. We noted much of the timecode, but
then we lost the script which noted all the timecodes! That's why I'll
need to capture everything, so I can go through and log. (Besides, I
called "print" on a lot of takes that were really safeties. I'll be
using a lot of takes that aren't really the "prints," and I'll have to
go through and find them.)

Also, any advice on what to do with the dropped frame option? There
is an option to not capture frames that are dropped, but I have no
idea what the effect would be if I choose that option or if it would
be a good idea at all.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


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Mads Nybo JorgensenRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 19, 2007 at 11:45:34 pm

Hey Lionel.

That is a long list, and most of the issues that you're raising are all (sadly) too common for low budget / "I want to do it myself" type feature productions.

The basic answer is: DON'T!!!

Engage either a good Post Production Manager or a facility (doesn't have to be big, I know one or two that has been through this kind of pain :-) that can help you through that mine-field. Either way, you're facing a bill of up to $60K for Visuals and Sound - it can be done cheaper, but only if you have the knowledge on board. Being "confused" about the basics of setting up your frame-rates and compressions are not a good start, and will lead to tears.

My best advice for you are: Neither distributors or film festivals care about the resolution or quality of your programme, as long as there is a good story and entertainment to be had!!
It is a commonly bad expensive mistake to think that bigger is better!

So take ALL of your HD-CAM tapes (24P was a mistake to shoot at - you would have been better off with 23.98) to the nearest Post shop, get them to do a pull-down to NTSC DV-CAM, or whatever you fancy as a SD format?

off-line, do audio, find out whether anyone is interested in your feature - sell!!
Then go back with an EDL and finish the thing in HD - Whatever you do, make sure that you can pick up all the Time-codes from the originals again - even where the producer (they normally blame the DOP) has tried to save money on stock.

Hope this helps?


All the Best
Mads
London, UK

Mac Million Ltd. - HD Production & Editing
Blog: http://blog.myspace.com/bigflopproductions


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Bob ZelinRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 20, 2007 at 1:54:50 am

Mads advice is correct. You are over your head, and you have shot at 24 instead of 23.98. It's a nightmare for us to deal with it - for you - you don't have the experience, and you will be lost. If you are going to use Premier to edit with, use Premier to capture with (how you are going to do anything except 23.98 with Premier, FCP, or AVID is beyond me, unless you do a frame rate conversion with a Teranex box). What you are quickly realizing is that you thought you were saving money, by doing everything yourself, and now you are in trouble. It will cost you no matter what. If your initial concern is DVD delivery, so someone can simply play this back on a TV to see what you have done, you will ultimately be working at 59.94, not 23.98 (or 24). My opinion - step 1 - get a frame rate conversion done ASAP. Most editors cutting a feature would choose FCP or AVID, but Premier will get the job done as well, with the AJA Xena card.

Bob Zelin


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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 20, 2007 at 7:34:43 am

Thanks, Mads, thanks Bob. Problem is I can't afford to take it to a post-house, and I've already invested $9000 in equipment. I'm going to have to take a stab at it. My DP set it as 24p. I think he must've figured since we were recording sound directly into the camera, we didn't need to use 23.98.

Any other thoughts, please chime in.


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Mads Nybo JorgensenRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 20, 2007 at 8:52:11 am

Hey Lionel.

Buy a spade and start digging - soon it'll call cave in on top of you.

Please listen!! The Premiere Pro forum has already asked whether you've been sent to test them? Everybody is saying: DO NOT DO THIS!!

For $2-4,000 you should easily be able to transfer all HD-CAM to DV-CAM - so the $9K argument just doesn't wash.

Anyway, can't be much clearer than that.


All the Best
Mads
London, UK

Mac Million Ltd. - HD Production & Editing
Blog: http://blog.myspace.com/bigflopproductions


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gary adcockRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 20, 2007 at 1:51:10 pm

[director.lionel] " My DP set it as 24p. I think he must've figured since we were recording sound directly into the camera, we didn't need to use 23.98. "

the sound issues alone may cost more than the $9,000
I often find HDcam incamera audio kinda noisy.

Your DP should not be the one determining the post process.

but on the good side, there are cards that support 24.0 psf in PPro (like aja's xena)


FInd a pro to get you going, it will be the only way to not bleed money.

gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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Shane RossRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 20, 2007 at 7:15:16 pm

[director.lionel] "Problem is I can't afford to take it to a post-house"

You can't afford NOT TO. You will get into more and more trouble cleaning up the mess rather than getting it done right...trust us. ALL of us at one time didn't know this stuff, and needed help. And many of us have been hired to go in and fix something that was done wrong. Costs that could have been avoided if you had spent a few bucks to have someone come in and make sure it is all set up right...from the start.

24p runs at 23.98...did you know that? Or did you guys REALLY force it to 24fps straight up? You only option from that is a film out. 23.98 is what HD tape formats run at. A few (HDCAM SR) run at straight 24fps...but that is an expensive deck and tape stock.

You gotta go to a person or post facility that knows HD...well. And now.


Shane

Littlefrog Post
http://www.lfhd.net


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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 1:00:31 am

If you guys know of any post house that will do it for free or next to it, please let me know. Otherwise, I have no choice. I'm going to have to try to work it, and I'm looking for someone who'll give me the practical advice to the questions above to get started.


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Shane RossRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 1:10:36 am

Where are you located?

The first person I'd talk to would be Mike Curtis at http://www.hdforindies.com. His rates are low for consulting, and he knows his stuff.

Here in LA i know of 2 cheaper places to go...but that is relatively speaking. They charge $100-$175/hour opposed to $350/hour.



Shane

Littlefrog Post
http://www.lfhd.net


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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 8:13:16 am

Hi Shane. Thanks for the referral. Actually, I've already been in touch with Mike Curtis, and his rates are right there with the ones you've listed. The only thing is, he is more into workflow issues as opposed to the actual editing process, and, by his own admission, he's not that well-versed with PPro.

It was after doing such research and trying to get contacts that didn't pan out that I decided to try forums like this. It's an act of desperation, but what else can I do. Unfortunately, I don't know if I can find the answer here either, especially with everyone telling me I should just go find experts at post-houses, which I don't have the money for.


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Mads Nybo JorgensenRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 8:36:01 am

Dear Lionel.

[director.lionel] "especially with everyone telling me I should just go find experts at post-houses, which I don't have the money for."

Your hearing is very selective, or you're just ignoring the good advice that you have been given. Which part of this, is it that you didn't understand?:

[Mads Nybo Jorgensen] "take ALL of your HD-CAM tapes (24P was a mistake to shoot at - you would have been better off with 23.98) to the nearest Post shop, get them to do a pull-down to NTSC DV-CAM, or whatever you fancy as a SD format?

off-line, do audio, find out whether anyone is interested in your feature - sell!!
Then go back with an EDL and finish the thing in HD"


STOP being an idiot! Get on with your off-line, create a product that your distributors and potential finance people can get excited about, and they'll help you raise the funds for completion. After all, you managed to shoot it on a high-end camera, rather than a oversized family camcorder - so you will eventually also manage to a HD master. But only if you keep your eyes on the creative part, and don't get tied down in boring technical issues! Yes, it is possible for you to sort it out on your own - but the product will suffer as a result your anxieties, anger and frustrations with having to deal with issues that are well out of your control. Let the rest of us be the idiots, and you get on with editing and directing!



All the Best
Mads
London, UK

Mac Million Ltd. - HD Production & Editing
Blog: http://blog.myspace.com/bigflopproductions


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Steve WargoRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 9:26:41 am

I'll bet you hired a film DP to shoot your HD project. Am I right?



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Mike MostRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 2:44:31 pm

You and many of the responders here are making this a lot more complex than it actually is. The fact that you shot at "hard 24" is inconsequential, as nearly every HDCam deck made - including the lowly JH3 playback deck - will play back 24 as 23.98 if the system frequency is set as 23.98. In this mode, you can play out a "live" downconversion to standard definition and ingest that using any compressor (or none at all) that you want. If you have the Kona card you've mentioned, you can even take that in as 23.98 directly, without having to go through Cinema Tools conversion. When you're done, you can re-ingest as "uncompressed" HD and assemble the final version, or go to a post house (good suggestion), and have them online it and, more importantly, color correct it.

Your big mistake is in thinking that it's sensible and/or necessary to do all of this as "uncompressed" HD on a desktop system when there is absolutely no reason to do that. No feature film or television program I know of is done this way, why do you think you need to? Stop trying to reinvent simple post production. Use the offline/online approach and get the thing done.


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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 8:56:25 pm

Hi Mike,

Are you sure you can go from 24p into 23.98 with the JH3? Does it just function with you are converting into SD or does that function work going into HD?

Has anyone ever tried this or heard of someone who has?


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Mike MostRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 9:31:46 pm

It has nothing to do with what outputs you're using. It has to do with how you set the deck up. Whatever mode the system is set in becomes the playback mode, regardless of what the tape is. In fact, if you put in a 23.98 tape and set the system frequency to 25, it will happily play it back at 25FPS, and the downconverter output will be in 50i PAL - and vice versa, i.e., a 25 fps HD tape can be played back at 23.98 with 3:2 pulldown on the downconversion. It even converts time code in these setups. So if you set the system frequency to 23.98, it will play back a "hard 24" tape as 23.98, and if you set it up as 23.98PD, it will do a proper downconversion to NTSC, using 3:2 pulldown, and maintain the time code, creating "A" frames on whatever cadence you set (it defaults to TC's ending in 0 and 5, per the most commonly used convention). Some decks have issues converting audio in these modes, particularly when doing a large speed compensation such as 24->25, but you're only going from 24 to 23.98, and I would hope you're planning to bring in audio from the original audio recording and sync separately anyway.

By the way, this works on just about all modern HDCam decks, and on all HDCam SR decks, provided you have downconverter options installed, and in some cases, an external sync source.


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Steve WargoRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 10:26:08 am

#1. Will your feature film ever see a film-out?

#2. PPro does not work for long for long form projects. You will tear your hair out fighting this.

#3. Capture only what you are going to use, in HD. If you're going Blu-Ray or ?, process everything in HD. Capture every take separately. DO NOT capture entire tapes to save money. Lazy. moronic idiots do that all of the time. If you don't have the patience for this, stop now. Uncompressed 8 bit HDCAM is 5Gb per minute, times 60 minutes, times 30 hours is 9000 gigs or around 10 Terabites. 10 bit, which you certainly don't need, is around 7 Gigs per minute.

#4. Keep all of your sound intact on two distinct channels. Use an HDW-2000 deck or something similar so you can manage sound levels and video on the way in.

#5. The fact that you shot this at straight 24p is NOT GOOD and whoever convinced you to do this made a big mistake. Someone didn't do their homework. People need to stop saying 24P.

#6. If you don't want to take the advice of the very wise people in this forum, that would be big mistake number 2. We work in this format daily and we have all of the answers. The usual answers, that is, until you came along.

#7. I would take 5 minutes of your footage. Load it into whatever you're going to edit in, burn it to a Blu-Ray DVD at 24fps and see what happens. You never know till you try.

#8. 23.98 is not a drop frame timing issue, just as 29.97 NTSC is not drop frame. Drop frame has frames missing that were never there in the first place and is used in broadcast world. This is a complex technlogy that is a bit deep for here and needs to be discussed at another time.

Now, here's a question for everyone: Could you play the tapes from one deck, at 24 and, using the analog connections, re-record to another deck at 23.98? Or, would the recording deck simply refuse to accept the signal.

Question #2. Could the original stuff be captured at 24 and converted somehow to 23.98? Does the Tooth Fairy really exist?

Question #3. Has anyone tried going through a Cobalt Digital, AJA or Teranex convertor at 24fps and doing a pull down? We've never shot anything at 24P so we have no idea if something like this would even begin to work. We took a SanteFe class where they instructed us on 24 vs 23.98.

As an aside, if you were working in Final Cut, you could capture in the DVCPRO100 codec and save yourself a huge amount of storage and the picture is fine for DVD distribution. I don't believe PPro has this codec anywhere. I could be wrong but I've never been wrong about anything else before...except maybe for that first wife.

Note: I refuse to use the word "Pro" when referring to Final Cut. They've got some more work to do.

Or,
Reshoot the movie in 23.98. Have your DP pay for it. Sorry!

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Jeremy NewmarkRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 2:28:59 pm

[Steve Wargo] "Question #2. Could the original stuff be captured at 24 and converted somehow to 23.98? Does the Tooth Fairy really exist?"

If you were to capture the files as quicktimes, you could feasibly take those files to an FCP system and re-conform them with Cinema Tools from 24 to 23.976. You are essentially slowing the media down, but by a very small percent. I don't know if this would work or if it will cause problems further down the line, like if you needed to add pulldown for example. We've never worked with or shot true 24p because it is just asking for all kinds of headaches like this.

Lionel, there are simply to many factors and possibilities for further mistakes here. Everyone here wants to help you and feels your pain, but there are so many issues and questions to deal with that it just may not be possible in this type of forum. Maybe you can start out with telling us what you do have to work with. What hardware do you already have? What type of deck were you planning on using? Do you already have it or are you renting one? How much money do you have to spend? There are certain things that you may be planning on spending money on that might be better off used in another way. Give us some more info. But to be honest, you have already been given the best info already. You should focus on an offline edit and not worry about working with uncompressed material right now.

best regards,

jeremy


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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 8:50:55 pm

Hi Jeremy,

We have the supermicro x7da8, two dual core xeon 5100 processors at 3.0 ghz, two kingston 1 gig ram at 667, and the Xena LH. We also have two server hard drive cases holding 8 sata hard drives each of Seagate barracuda's with 750 gigs each, 7200 rpm. Formatted each case yields 5.5 terabytes after formatting for a total of 11 terabytes. Again, using PPro 2.0, on a PC with XP Pro, with 32bit.

Planning to rent the Sony JH-3. I'm already way over budget, about $8,000. So I'm just scraping to survive.

I wanted to do the edit-offline-in-SD thing, but they artifacts were so bad, I decided to try to do it in HD. I need to show it first to people who supported my film on a large screen.


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Mike MostRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 9:43:26 pm

You're over budget partly because you went and invested in a lot of storage you don't need. Not only are you using a lot more hardware and effort to do this than you should, you're still not listening to what anyone here, including me, is trying to tell you. You're committing many hours of material to what I have to assume is unprotected Raid 0 storage (it has to be for 8 drives to do reliable uncompressed HD) - meaning that one disk crash makes you lose everything and have to redigitize it all. You seem to think that only by doing everything at a high resolution can you end up with a high resolution end product, but what everyone here is pointing out is that's not the case. In the real world of post production of everything from network television programs to high end features, an offline/online model is used so that editing can be free flowing and responsive, without using up 11 terabytes of storage. When a high resolution version is needed, the final cut sequence is re-ingested at HD resolution and the offline cut is recreated. What you want is easily achieved, in a much more financially and technically sensible way. You can then use some of the money you saved to go to a post facility and get the thing color corrected to create a much more polished final product to sell.

Nobody here can help you if you're not willing to listen and help yourself.


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cowcowcow
Mike MostRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 9:46:10 pm

One more thing.

If you're really intent on doing the "HD Offline" approach, and you're cutting in Premiere Pro, you really should look into something like Cineform, which will give you much more reasonable sized files to work with. Cineform's wavelet compression is very, very clean, and for what you're talking about, it's a much more reasonable approach than trying to use "uncompressed" files.


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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 11:10:08 pm

Apparently, no one is listening to me and seeing clearly my predicament. Maybe I should say it again. *I now have ALREADY purchased the equipment and used up the funds.* Mostly likely I made a bad mistake based on poor/inadequate advice and execution by those I've depended on. Perhaps that will make some of those on this forum happier now that I've admitted this. *I do not have the $$$ to go to a post house* (Somehow this seems to be lost to some.) Since I bought the equipment and storage space ALREADY, why not try to make a go of it? That is now my only hope. I would have used SD had our first attempt after capturing not yielded the really bad artifacts. This I believe is the "traditional," "usual," "customary" way. In other words, we already tried the down-conversion offline way. For some reason, it didn't work, maybe because we did it wrong. (We used the Xena HS and HD10MD3 to do the conversion.) I wasn't sure what else to do, since the person that was helping me, I realized too late, was mostly as clueless as I was though he tried to give the impression that he was in the know. So now I'm paying for it. What exasperates me is why few here will try to help me where I am, rather than scolding me for not going where they thought I should have been, which I can not get to based on the fact that I have ALREADY used up my $$$ and have already taken a turn down my current path. Sure I can go back to trying to down-convert. But how do I know for sure if I try all the different advice here that it will work? I probably would end up asking just the same kinds of mundane questions trying to set it up as I have with the HD. Why not try HD now that I'm already set up for it, and if it doesn't work, try something else? I have read in videomags where HD editing is possible, and tried in general to follow the advice. However, it's the nitty gritty details and choices in the set up that aren't mentioned. That's what I'm trying to find out.


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Mads Nybo JorgensenRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 12:06:56 am

Hey Lionel.

You need to find someone else to shout at...

[director.lionel] "However, it's the nitty gritty details and choices in the set up that aren't mentioned."

There is no reason for why your system hardware can't handle DV-CAM - and yes, it'll not look as good as HD, but the result should be good enough for a projector presentation.

Whether the software can handle the feature is another matter. BTW: Why did you buy that set-up in the first place? And did the person selling it to you promise that it could handle your job?

In any case - IMHO this discussion is finished. You're not going to get the Nitty Gritty details from anyone on this forum. None of us want to join the list of people that you're already blaming for your troubles (friend, production manager, DOP etc).

I really wish you good luck with the editing and hope that you will get the desired result.


All the Best
Mads
London, UK

Mac Million Ltd. - HD Production & Editing
Blog: http://blog.myspace.com/bigflopproductions


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epontiusRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 12:15:48 am

I think, in a round about way, people are really trying to help you in the long run based on their own experiences.
As many have said, editing "uncompressed HD" for long form is rarely practical because of the amount of storage space and processing overhead involved can really impact the creative aspects.
You might find it worthwhile to troubleshoot to determine why your downconversion process yielded poor results. Test your workflow by capturing, editing and batch capturing to uprez a small section of your film.
I don't think that this is the end of the world and getting your film out of the can and onto a DVD or film out is not unachievable...things take time to do it correctly and rushing into anything without researching and experimenting will only waste more time, money and resources. Plan out exactly what you plan to do with your film. Film outs are expensive, most festivals accept DV, DVD, beta, and HD. If your film is lucky enough to get picked up and IF they want to do a theatrical release, let them worry about a film out.
Also, it wouldn't be the first time that a film sat in a can for a while the filmmaker researched and raised more funds to do it correctly.


Erik



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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 9:53:16 pm

Hi Erik,

Thanks for the encouragement. Yeah, I do plan to do some test capturing with the JH-3 before I bring it home, just to make sure it does what I want. If not, I may have to try the downcoversion way and see if this time around with new hardware, the artifacts are gone.


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Mike MostRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 3:12:43 am

>Since I bought the equipment and storage space ALREADY, why not try to make a go of it?

Because it's clear that you're in a bit over your head and none of us want to see you drown.

>That is now my only hope.

No, it isn't, and if you would read what I and others here have written, you'd realize that there are alternatives that don't necessarily involve spending more money, but do involve changing the way you're going about this to something a bit more reasonable. You're looking for a "magic button" answer that will solve all your problems. There isn't one. You need to educate yourself, and the suggestions here are a start. If you take on the job, you take on the responsibility for being able to actually do it. Looking for affirmation from experienced professionals for an inappropriate work flow is a bit like asking a nutritionist to tell you that eating nothing but McDonald's and doughnuts is healthy. Take some of the advice already given. Or not. Your choice.


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Bob ZelinRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (last comment)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 2:37:46 pm

You wrote -
Apparently, no one is listening to me and seeing clearly my predicament. I have read in videomags where HD editing is possible, and tried in general to follow the advice. However, it's the nitty gritty details and choices in the set up that aren't mentioned. That's what I'm trying to find out.

REPLY - I have read thru this thread again. I have experience in doing this stuff, but you are in a tough predicament. I don't have a straight answer for you. I have never played back 24p material in a JH-3, as some have suggested (with no issues), so I just don't know. Could I get thru your problems? - maybe - I would have to sit with you, and screw around with it. You are not in a normal situation, and for someone to go thru this, EVEN WITH EXPERIENCE - they have to sit and try things to see if ANYTHING will work as a correct workflow. The Xena will absolutely do SD and HD editing for you. I fully understand that you are out of money, can't hire help, and can't buy more gear, or reshoot. You just want some straight answers. Until someone with experience pokes around with the menus, and tries different things, I don't think you are going to get an answer - UNLESS someone with experience has been in the exact situation you have been in .

Bob Zelin


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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (last comment)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 10:00:37 pm

Hi Bob,

Yeah, that's all I'm hoping for someone with related experience to guide and advise. If there is none, so be it. I fault no one for being what they are not...

But I am getting some good info from those willing to address my specific issues and questions. That's all I'm asking. Thanks for chiming in.


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Ramona HowardRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (last comment)
by on Jul 23, 2007 at 5:15:36 pm

director.lionel,

We make an uncompressed product and the amount of space you have invested in will be a joke if you plan to stay that route. You will find it gone in a heartbeat. All of our customers are the ones working in that arena and the storage is just a wee bit more than what you have :) Listen to the others and take the downconverted route, saving all your EDLS to take it back to HD in the event you need it down the road. There is no spec for 24 SD so you have no choice to take it to 23.98, from there you will have no issue editing, using your hardware.



Can't speak for the AJA board you have you have gone with because we use the 2K version (Xena or Kona3) which does the whole shabang but I would suggest contacting AJA direct and trying the downconversion with a bit more advice because going from HD to SD these days is pretty damn good. Your artifacts may have been a result from a variety of items that can be solved with no additional cost i.e, wrong settings.

Best of luck,
Ramona



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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (last comment)
by on Jul 23, 2007 at 9:28:22 pm

O.k., thanks for the input.


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epontiusRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 5:22:41 pm

One thing you may want to look into and perhaps use as a case study is the 90min documentary film "Dust to Glory" this was an HD doc feature that was cut quite a while back using the Cineform digital intermediate and Premiere Pro.
The filmmakers consulted a company called "DigitalFilm Tree" to help with their overall workflow. The doc was shot with a mix of 35 & 16mm film, Sony f900, DVx100, miniDV, Dvcam, and digibeta cameras.
DigitalFilm Tree published a 26 page white paper on the whole process.
http://www.adobe.com/motion/pdfs/Dust_To_Glory_WP.pdf
Something to think about.
Also, there are other books on HD Post Production...I picked up one not too long ago "High Definition Postproduction: editing and delivering HD video" by Steven E. Browne. Which has some nuggets of info (though he tends to repeat himself quite often).
Look at the catalogs of Focal Press ( http://www.focalpress.com ) and Michael Wiese Productions ( http://www.mwp.com )
In addition, the instruction manual (at least a slimmed down version since Sony seems to be using cd's with digital manuals nowadays) for the Sony JH-3 desk is available for download from Sony's site....read up before you rent/buy to see if it is capable of doing what you want
http://bssc.sel.sony.com/BroadcastandBusiness/minisites/cinealta/post/jh3.s...
http://bssc.sel.sony.com/BroadcastandBusiness/docs/manuals/jh1-jh3%20ops%20...

Erik


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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 10:08:13 pm

Hi Eponitius,

Thanks for the references. Yeah, I think I will check out the JH3 manual. It could only help


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Jeremy NewmarkRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 8:43:06 am

Lionel,

As many people have pointed out, there are many routes you can take. The Cineform route will yeild very nice images, but is going to cost you more money. I'm not to familiar with PPro, but I do believe that you can work in DVCPro 100 HD with it. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. DVCPro is a highly compressed format, but will give you more flexibility and HD resolution for an offline. There are many HD shows that are shot and finished in this format. No it's not as good as uncompressed or Cineform, but it is probably a better option for you at the moment. It will allow you more flexibilty for editing, more real-time effects and you can project in HD.

In regards to your storage, Mike points out that with Raid 0 arrays, you are putting yourself at great risk. What type of controller are you using to connect the storage? If you have the option to set up the arrays in either Raid 3 or 5 then you should. If not, since you do have 2 different arrays, you should be able to set them up in a Raid 1 configuration. You will loose half your space, but if you are working in DVCPro, then 5.5 terrabytes is going to be enough and you will have the piece of mind that if a drive goes down, you won't loose all your media.

Everyone hear is listening to you, they all have more experience then you in regards to HD workflows and they are only trying to make sure you don't dig yourself deeper into a hole. There are always more then one way to skin a cat, we just want to make sure you pick the right one. Either way, you will need to test out a workflow before you fully commit, you need to make sure that it is going to work before you start editing the whole thing.

best regards,

jeremy


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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 10:09:43 pm

Thanks, Jeremy. Yeah, I think I'll look into the Cineform tool. I had never heard of it before this forum.


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cowcowcow
director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 11:10:18 pm

Our Raid controller is the Areca Arc-1120ML.


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Jeremy NewmarkRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 24, 2007 at 2:38:28 pm

[director.lionel] "
Our Raid controller is the Areca Arc-1120ML"


Lionel,

You can set up your arrays in Raid 3 or 5 with this controller. At this point I think your best bet is to set up your arrays in either one of these, digitize at 23.976 with the JH-3 to DVCPro HD and work in that codec and frame rate. This will give you more then enough protected storage and you will be working in HD resolution. This codec will work fine for working screenings and festival submissions. If everything goes well you will always have the option to re-conform uncompressed later down the line. Keep in mind that AJA has great tech support, so you can always call them if you run into problems when you're getting things set up. Just make sure you test the work-flow before you dive head first into editing the entire show.

best regards,

jeremy


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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 24, 2007 at 8:50:54 pm

Thanks, again, Jeremy.


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Bob ZelinRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 3:56:28 pm

Steve Wargo writes -
The fact that you shot this at straight 24p is NOT GOOD and whoever convinced you to do this made a big mistake. Someone didn't do their homework. People need to stop saying 24P.


I was yelled at recently by someone on these forums for saying that 24P should not be used as a term, becauase it confuses 23.98 with 24.
I fully stand behind my statement, as has been reinforced by Steve's above comment. Unless you are George Lucas, the odds of you needing to work at 24 is very unlikely, and you should burn the number 23.98 into your head.

Bob Zelin


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Mike MostRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 6:55:44 pm

Nobody "needs" to use "hard 24." 24 and 23.98 have the same number of frames per second, the only difference is that one plays it in a real time second, and one plays it a slight bit slower than that. But both have 24 images per "time code second." One is no more appropriate than the other, regardless of the eventual delivery. The basic bottom line is that if you're working in the US, you should use 23.98 because all video formats are easily created from it, and most sound companies use 29.97 (easily created from 23.98 by adding 3:2 pulldown) for both sound editorial and mixing. But if you've shot with the camera set at 24, it really doesn't matter because it can and will be played back at 23.98 anyway, and none of the time code ID's will change. As long as you pull down the sound to match, you're good to go.


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Eric SuschRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 3:53:24 pm

[Bob Zelin] "Unless you are George Lucas, the odds of you needing to work at 24 is very unlikely,"

From what I understand, episode 2 and 3 were both shot at 23.98 so I guess even George doesn't need 24p.

@ director.lionel

I can understand your reluctance to find an expert to help you since some of the critical advice you've received in the past wasn't the best. As you say, you are in the position you are in. My advice? Take a week off. Get over the fact that you wasted some money. (If you're going to make movies, it won't be the last time.) Then break down what you need to do, step by step. HD is very complicated. If you are going to do it yourself, and you seem determined to, your questions to a forum like this need to be much more specific. Then sit down at your equipment and test the results yourself. That's really the only way you'll be able to know if something is going to work for your situation.

My general advice. Figure out how to digitize all your footage from your masters into your computer at 23.98p with a compressed HD codec like DVCPROHD. This will allow you to cut high rez compressed for a screening. You'll also be able to online later at uncompressed and at the very last stage pull up the pix and audio for film out.

Good Luck...


____________________________________

Eric Susch

http://www.LetsKnit2gether.com

http://www.ElectronicSprocket.com




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Tim KolbRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 4:16:56 pm

[Steve Wargo] "
#8. 23.98 is not a drop frame timing issue, just as 29.97 NTSC is not drop frame. Drop frame has frames missing that were never there in the first place and is used in broadcast world. This is a complex technlogy that is a bit deep for here and needs to be discussed at another time.

Now, here's a question for everyone: Could you play the tapes from one deck, at 24 and, using the analog connections, re-record to another deck at 23.98? Or, would the recording deck simply refuse to accept the signal."


As Mike Most says...doesn't the HDcam deck just playback at 23.98...??

The issue with a SD downconversion is that most guys (particularly guys and gals with not a lot of experience) have with a JH-3 is that they're saying "SD" but what they mean is that they used the FW output for "DV"...which of course comes out at 29.97...I have a project that I'm involved with now that has to be salvaged after a DV offline...

And of course Steve means that "frame NUMBERS missing...not frames...frame numbers". Drop-frame TC does not, of course, "drop frames."








TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Steve WargoRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 5:45:13 am

Thanks Tim. I posted that at 3:30 in the morning.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 8:35:58 pm

Hi Steve,

Actually, my DP has used the F900 a few times before, but admittedly this was his first feature (as well as mine obviously).

As for your note on...

#1 I certainly hope my film will see a film out.

#7 Do you know if PPro 2.0 has the capability to compress and burn onto HD Or Bluray disc? Or is it only something CS3 can do?

And a reshoot is not possible as is hanging my DP...=)


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Tim KolbRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 21, 2007 at 11:17:08 pm

You will need an authoring tool to burn to Blue Ray...Encore DVD CS3 will burn BlueRay...as far as I know Encore CS2 doesn't have that capability.

Unfortunately the reality of electronic production is that post influences acquisition more than the other way around. What you edit with steers what you shoot through the workflow that each NLE is focused on...

Uncompressed is a pretty tall order for your first time out. Have you looked at CineForm compression? Works well with PPro and has been used to online features which go right to the film recorder, so the image quality is no slouch...



TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 10:11:49 pm

Hi Tim,

Yeah, I think I should get the CS3 before I start editing. It will probably work better that way in the long run.


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Steve WargoRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 5:53:21 am

Lionel,
I have no experience with PPro except that I donated studio space to a director here last year and he cut his feature on PPro in our extra room. He had to break it into 20 minute bundles because it would choke his PC at anything longer. Film reels are usually 20 minutes long, by the way.

You might zip over to the PPro forum if you haven't already done so.

Where are you located? If you're close to one of us, maybe we can try a few things.

Just to verify a point. None of us are trying to berate you or discourage you. We just don't want to see you put hundreds of hours into something that will end up in the trash.

I was only kidding about hanging the DP. Shoot him instead. Make it a flesh wound.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Tim KolbRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 12:47:27 pm

[Steve Wargo] "I donated studio space to a director here last year and he cut his feature on PPro in our extra room. He had to break it into 20 minute bundles because it would choke his PC at anything longer."

This has been mitigated somewhat with CS3...PPro creates some very large page files when the size of the project file (not the assets) gets large. How long or elaborate the sequence would be to bog the system down seemed to be different on almost every machine.



TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Steve WargoRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 26, 2007 at 5:12:48 am

Thanks. I'll pass that along.


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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 22, 2007 at 10:17:07 pm

Hi Steve,

I like the shooting idea, too. Do you have an extra glock lying around?

I'm in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Don't know if anyone is around there.



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cowcowcowcowcow
Gunleik GrovenRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 23, 2007 at 12:46:18 am

Hi.

I may have gotten your situation totally wrong, but as I understand it you have:

1. Recorded a lot of material
2. You've done it at 24p instead of 23,98
3. You've got (kinda overkill/underkill) hardware
4. You've got enough storage
5. You have no experience
6. You have no or very little cash
7. You have time
8. You cannot afford to listen to the very good advices given to you repeatedly in this thread.
9, You have a timecode problem

Is this right?

In that case:
1. Why on earth would you like to capture uncompressed???
Go with cineform. Or some other compressed HD format (nope, not HDV!!!). You'll have enough space by far.

2. Spend time logging!!!!!!
If you really think you need to record all: DO NOT RECORD ENTIRE TAPES!
Please, spend neccesary time to record/capture small chumps of video and log what's in there. You'll thank whoever gave you that advice for the rest of your life.

3. If the problem is "true 24p vs 23,98 24p" i don't have much experinece as to sound, as I'm a PAL dude (but on the other hand, I'm an audio dude...), if this is a delivery problem, you have some options, given that you have time, but it's gonna cost you badly in the time department, and you are well off getting some good audio friends sorta right now.

If you have the option to make your cuts in "true" 24p, do that. Please! Finish like that with audio and all, but try NOT to export this as one long movie!

Why?: You'll have to slow down and re-sync the audio on a later stage. Which is (by all and then some means) a real nightmare. But kinda doable... you just have to capture this thing in chunks and not like whole tapes. Slow down your preffered clips and re-sync the audio. But it's doable...

4. If your really have no clue about how you want this thing cut, slow down audio and video before cut'ing....
This is going to give you a lot more work, but if you followed the previous steps, you should be fine.

5. Sell your equipment (as in "computer and software" not "storrage") and buy a Mac with FCS.
Why?
Cinema tools!
Cinema tools lets you conform audio/video to any given rate without all the afforementioned advices ('cept the logging one...).
Even the lowliest MP gives you this option at a resonable rate.

You're better off cutting this thing @ dvcprohd on an iMac, than what you have described...

6. And then I may be WAYYYY off mark

Good luck to you!

Cheers!

Gunleik











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director.lionelRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 23, 2007 at 9:25:52 pm

Thanks for chiming in Gunliek. Sorry, but no way I will be converting to the imac.


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Steve WargoRe: Advice on Capturing in HD (warning: lots of questions!)
by on Jul 26, 2007 at 5:16:27 am

End of story.

Good luck.



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