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Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....

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JandroWanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 19, 2005 at 11:20:58 pm

You've heard it all before: "I'm just getting started and would like some recommendations regarding equipment purchases to be able to handle uncompressed HD, but my budget is limited, blah, blah, blah." I'm sorry, but that is my issue here to. I've been talking to a lot of people, reading a lot of forums, checking websites, etc, and I've ended up putting on hold the purchase of a Kona 2 card and 500GB external disk raid through a company called Pro Max. They're quoting about 3700 dollars for both things. I was just about to call them and say go for it when suddenly I read that FCP 5 users were having major trouble importing Uncompressed 720p footage. This is what I was intending to do with the Kona 2. Anyway, I would like someone to tell me to get my head checked or tell me I'm doing the right thing. Here's what I need to do.

Shot a short film on Varicam at various frame rates. We have footage totalling 7hrs. I can easily pull selects out of that and cut down on the time of course. I would like to do both offline and online edits on my system at home. I own a Dual 2Ghz G5, with Tiger 10.4, 3GB RAM, OLD 17" Apple Studio Display (CRT kind). I want the best quality possible for the online. The reason being I don't want to pay obnoxious hourly rates for a colorist, online cutter, etc, to do the same at a post house. At the same time I would like to go beyond this project and do offline/online work for clients in the future. I'm the kind of guy that loves learning from his mistakes so I don't necessarily mind getting into things without knowing everything there is to know in advance. One issue I do foresee is the fact that the funds are a little low and I can only afford the card and Hard drives at this time. Can't buy HD ext. monitors, HD Deck, or a full DA-AD i/o box, or other accessories like that.

What would be best for me. Kona 2 way too much for me to handle at this junction. Also would I be going in 8-bit Uncompressed or 10-bit and what is the difference if they're both 4:2:2? Sorry to bother you forum philes with the same BS, but thank you for allowing me to post this in the first place. CIAO for now.

"He would fathom the psyche, must not confuse it with consciousness, else he vails from his sight the object he wishes to explore." - Jung

"Everything that acts is actual." - Jung again


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Bob ZelinRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 20, 2005 at 5:33:08 pm

before I give you a rediculous answer that will not answer your question properly, please tell me the EXACT VTR MODEL # that you plan to digitize from. Will it be a Panasonic AJ-HD1200A, or 1700A, or will it be one of the D5 VTR's. All of this will affect my answer to you.

Bob Zelin


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JandroRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 21, 2005 at 10:19:36 pm

I will be using the 1200A Deck. Sorry, I didn't get to you sooner, just got home from work. Thanks. CIAO.


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Fred Connors Jr.Re: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 20, 2005 at 5:42:18 pm

Jandro

1 - ProMax is a good reseller, fair and honest.

2 - The "major trouble" is not major but it is a bug, you can work arround the issue. It just takes time. Infact if you shot your fooatge in 24p you will not seen the problem.

3 - You will need more disk space.

4 - Your CPU is fine (how much ram do you have), your OS is fine, your display is to small.

From the numbers you quoted it appears that ProMax is setting you up for DVCProHD disk storage. If you want to capture 8 bit or 10 bit you will need alot more (and faster) disk storage. Please be sure your reseller knows that you are thinking about doing uncompressed HD. You should capture 8 bit or 10 bit if you are planning extensive high end visual effects, otherwise the DVCProHD codec is very usable.

Do you have access to a 1200A for capture and layoff?

How do you plan to color correct?

I say go for it, but just plan on spending every dollar you get to aquire more equipment and training.

Fred



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JandroRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 21, 2005 at 10:25:16 pm

I will be using the 1200A deck. If I digitize using the DVCPRO HD codec can I still go in through the HD-SDI in, if so will the rez be better than firewire in? What drives do you recommend for Uncompressed 720p. The drives that Pro Max has me slated for are Hitachi SATA in a raid going back into the computer via a scussi card. How come that isn't fast enough or big enough for 7 hrs? What do you recommend? Thank you. CIAO!!!!

Curious Jandro


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Walter BiscardiRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 21, 2005 at 10:42:07 pm

[Jandro] "If I digitize using the DVCPRO HD codec can I still go in through the HD-SDI in, if so will the rez be better than firewire in?"


The capture is identical. It's the DVCPro HD codec either way.


[Jandro] "What drives do you recommend for Uncompressed 720p."

Medea FCR2X

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com

"The Rough Cut," an original short film premiering December 7th in full High Definition in Atlanta.
rsvp@biscardicreative.com to reserve seats.
http://www.theroughcutmovie.com

Now editing "Good Eats" in HD for the Food Network

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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JandroRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 21, 2005 at 10:45:35 pm

Thanks again. We'll see how it goes. CIAO!!!

Curious Jandro


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Walter BiscardiRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 20, 2005 at 6:09:51 pm

First off, ProMax is one of the best VAR's to purchase from. Fair, honest and they will take good care of you if you give them enough information to assemble the correct system.

500GB is not nearly enough storage and you will need Fibre Channel to run 8 or 10bit HD. FW 800 drives will only work for DVCPro HD.

I capture DVCPro HD via Firewire and also edit 720p 8bit uncompressed. Both look outstanding. I cut for broadcast with the DVCPro HD codec but for our film which will get a film out, I cut 8bit uncompressed.

You really have to decide what you want to do and figure aroudn $5 - 9k for 2TB minimum FibreChannel storage.

You cannot color correct your film with an SD monitor. HD has a lot more color latitude and you simply cannot see all of this correct on an SD monitor.


Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com

"The Rough Cut," an original short film premiering December 7th in full High Definition in Atlanta.
rsvp@biscardicreative.com to reserve seats.
http://www.theroughcutmovie.com

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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Bob ZelinRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 20, 2005 at 8:05:12 pm

OK, Jandro has not posted, and everyone else is jumping in. Jandro has stated that he wants to do uncompressed HD, but many of us seem to be guessing (as I am) that he is going to be doing a 720p Varicam job with a HD1200A VTR, which is DVCProHD, not uncompressed HD. So, if you are using a D5 VTR, my answers will be different.

ProMax - a GREAT company - will sell you a SATA solution that will consist of a Sonnet Tempo X eSATA 8 port, with 8 Hitachi SATA drives and 2 Kano Technologies 4 bay SATA enclosures - this system WILL DO UNCOMPRESSED HD, but you may (or may not) run into issues. If you are doing DVCProHD, a system like this is MORE than enough storage - particularly if you use 500 Gig drives (for 4 Terabytes of storage) - that's a lot of storage for DVCProHD. But a safer solution is to do as Walter suggested - a Fibre Channel solution with some sort of RAID protection IF YOU ARE DOING UNCOMPRESSED HD - Walter uses Medea, I like HUGE Systems, some like Apple Xserve RAID, but they all work.

Again, if you simply list the VTR that you are going to use, it will be so much easier to say how you should proceed.

Bob Zelin


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Walter BiscardiRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 20, 2005 at 11:03:12 pm

[Bob Zelin] "a 720p Varicam job with a HD1200A VTR, which is DVCProHD, not uncompressed HD."


Bob, I've just captured my entire film from the 1200A using the 8bit Uncompressed HD setting to prepare for color correction for a 35mm film out. So you can use the 1200A and also work in uncompressed HD.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com

"The Rough Cut," an original short film premiering December 7th in full High Definition in Atlanta.
rsvp@biscardicreative.com to reserve seats.
http://www.theroughcutmovie.com

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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Bob ZelinRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 21, 2005 at 1:12:40 pm

Walter - how did you benefit from capturing at uncompressed 8 bit when your native footage was DVCProHD ?

bob


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Walter BiscardiRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 21, 2005 at 3:18:52 pm

[Bob Zelin] "Walter - how did you benefit from capturing at uncompressed 8 bit when your native footage was DVCProHD ?"


Our film takes has a lot of scenes in one room with red / pink hued walls. The DVCPro HD codec is not very happy with that color when I start color correcting, it gets very blocky and some vertical banding starts showing up. By coming in at 8bit uncompressed, the blockiness and banding goes away.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com

"The Rough Cut," an original short film premiering December 7th in full High Definition in Atlanta.
rsvp@biscardicreative.com to reserve seats.
http://www.theroughcutmovie.com

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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GuyRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 22, 2005 at 6:03:43 am

Have you tried dropping native DVCProHD into an 8 bit uncompressed timeline and rendering? I would guess it would acccomplish the same thing?

Our film takes has a lot of scenes in one room with red / pink hued walls. The DVCPro HD codec is not very happy with that color when I start color correcting, it gets very blocky and some vertical banding starts showing up. By coming in at 8bit uncompressed, the blockiness and banding goes away.


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Walter BiscardiRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 22, 2005 at 11:53:12 am

[Guy] "Have you tried dropping native DVCProHD into an 8 bit uncompressed timeline and rendering? I would guess it would acccomplish the same thing?"


Nope, it doesn't work. When the footage comes in via DVCPro HD, you can see the beginnings of the blockiness and vertical banding. Apply any filter to this footage and it's greatly enhanced.

It's not visible playing straight off the deck via Component to a monitor, it's only when it's captured into the system via DVCPro HD either by Firewire or HD-SDI.

Capturing 8bit Uncompressed eliminates the issue.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com

"The Rough Cut," an original short film premiering December 7th in full High Definition in Atlanta.
rsvp@biscardicreative.com to reserve seats.
http://www.theroughcutmovie.com

Now editing "Good Eats" in HD for the Food Network

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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Graeme NattressRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 23, 2005 at 12:18:09 am

Walter, can you send me some footage that exhibits this problem, and the uncompressed version that does not, so that I can do some investigations.

Graeme

- http://www.nattress.com - Film Effects and Standards Conversion for FCP


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Walter BiscardiRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 23, 2005 at 1:02:02 am

[Graeme Nattress] "
Walter, can you send me some footage that exhibits this problem, and the uncompressed version that does not, so that I can do some investigations."



Sure, give me a few days as I'm still on Good Eats work right now. Maybe by the weekend I'll grab it for ya.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com

"The Rough Cut," an original short film premiering December 7th in full High Definition in Atlanta.
rsvp@biscardicreative.com to reserve seats.
http://www.theroughcutmovie.com

Now editing "Good Eats" in HD for the Food Network

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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Graeme NattressRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 23, 2005 at 1:04:10 am

Super. This kind of stuff fascinates me.

Graeme

- http://www.nattress.com - Film Effects and Standards Conversion for FCP


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gary adcockRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 22, 2005 at 2:40:08 pm

[Guy] "Have you tried dropping native DVCProHD into an 8 bit uncompressed timeline and rendering? I would guess it would acccomplish the same thing?"

No--- it does not

it actually screws with the image due to the different aspect ratio of the 2 file types.
UC 8bit is the full 1280x720 where as DVCproHD is 960x720

Gary Adcock
Studio37
HD and Film Consultation
Chicago, IL USA


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GuyRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 22, 2005 at 11:15:35 pm

it actually screws with the image due to the different aspect ratio of the 2 file types.
UC 8bit is the full 1280x720 where as DVCproHD is 960x720


Have you tried looking at the picture with "view as square pixels" turned off?
I wonder if you would still see the problem. What it sounds like to me is that when the image gets scaled to the correct aspect ratio in FCP the chroma is not getting scaled well. But if you are outputing with a Kona the Kona would handle the scaling coming from the video outputs(if you are using a DVCProHD timeline). You would still see the bad FCP scaling if you put DVCProHD into an uncompressed timeline like you say because then FCP is doing the scaling internaly.


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gary adcockRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 23, 2005 at 1:13:54 am

[Guy] "Have you tried looking at the picture with "view as square pixels" turned off?"


Walter and I have been working with DVCPROHD for awhile, (I have 3+ years in the format) and both of us agree that it does not work.

the files are 2 different sizes / aspect ratios we are not talking about some sort of scaling issues in FCP and while the compressed version of the format is also 8bit the difference in the aspect and compression ratios will cause the resulting output to fail the network standards.

Gary Adcock
Studio37
HD and Film Consultation
Chicago, IL USA


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Walter BiscardiRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 23, 2005 at 1:56:48 am

[gary adcock] "Walter and I have been working with DVCPROHD for awhile, (I have 3+ years in the format) and both of us agree that it does not work."


Yeah, it's an interesting format to work with, that's for sure. Purchasing the 1200A was the best thing I've done so I can generally have the deck available for as much testing as needed. There's a lot of "gotchas" when using DVCPro HD or just HD for that matter.

Very often it makes my brain hurt.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com

"The Rough Cut," an original short film premiering December 7th in full High Definition in Atlanta.
rsvp@biscardicreative.com to reserve seats.
http://www.theroughcutmovie.com

Now editing "Good Eats" in HD for the Food Network

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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Jerry MilesRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 22, 2005 at 4:25:51 am

I tend to enjoy my consciousness more when I choose to keep the veil over my psyche. - Jerry Miles

Hi Jandro,

There are so many things to consider I hope the following helps your understanding.

Some definitions first:

DVCPRO HD over firewire = compressed format (contains digital algorithm that presents itself as a blocky artifact if messed with to much in post production) Walter witnessed this phenomenon and chose to go uncompressed for final color corrections.

DVCPRO HD over HD-SDI = the deck has removed (decompressed that algorithm) and is sending out raw data that can be placed into an uncompressed file format which can be either 8 bit = 256 levels of stepping or 10 bit = 1024 levels of stepping. Choosing between these levels depends on content and how much space in hard drives you can afford. It could also depend on how much the client is willing to pay you for those additional in the future projects you wrote about.

The firewire acquired footage involves that digital grid that for most basic editing purposes will be fine. Of course this to will depend on content and the discerning technical eye.

Editing = cuts, dissolves and basic transitions. I know it involves far more so please don't bust my ....s. =)

Compositing = placing images and/or parts of images over other images that may or may not be of the same resolution and attempt to make them seamless or as one.

Color Correction = functional correction for wrong white balance or could = forcing the color that was acquired to a different value to invoke a style or feel. It could also help the story move you to a place where you might feel safe to unveil your psyche. =) don't laugh. I dare you...

STORAGE needs:

DVCPRO HD = 5.6MB/sec to 14MB/sec depending on resolution and frame rate. Hour of compressed at highest data rate = 50GB give or take for lack of scientific calculator at my deck.

Uncompressed file format:

8 bit = 120MB/sec give or take a few MB for additional audio tracks. 432GB for an hour.
10 bit = 160MB/sec give or take a few MB for additional audio tracks. 576GB for an hour.

So...

If your passionate about your project and you have spent countless and endless hours of time setting up your shots and waiting for that perfect moment in time to capture that special glow of light. Or maybe you have mastered the ability to create your own reality with blue and green screen shooting and will composite later you probably don't want to finish in a compressed format. You will want and desire the ability to at some point in your workflow pull all your selects into the computer in their uncompressed glory for final manipulation and output. If this is your goal ProMax will help you achieve it.

We offer many storage solutions from Fibre Channel to our SATAMAX line of storage products. Please keep in mind these additional storage notes that need clarification: RAID 0 products are less expensive and provide incredible performance but should be used with Timecode and proper workflow guidelines. RAID 3 and RAID 5 solutions are more expensive but provide an additional level of protection from a single hard-drive failure. NONE of these products protects you from a crash that causes the Operating System to scramble the directory structure of your drives. RAID 3 and RAID 5 are NOT backup solutions!! PLEASE remember to always make backup copies of all your project files and other important data that can't be easily re-digitized via time-code.

As you can see Jandro this is pretty involved and it appears we probably need to talk on the phone and get to the bottom of your specific needs which is how ProMax Systems, Inc. came to be so successful over the years. We cater to your custom needs and want you to be successful.

Thanks for reading and I will contact you tomorrow or feel free to call me at your leisure.

Jerry Miles
Macintosh Products Manager
ProMax Systems, Inc.
The Leader in Digital Video Pre-Configured Systems Since 1994
16 Technology Drive #106 http://www.promax.com
Irvine, CA. 92618
800-977-6629 x119 949-727-3977 949-727-3546 (fax)
jerry@promax.com




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JandroRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 22, 2005 at 7:24:02 pm

Best answer so far. I will be getting a hold of you very soon via phone. Appreciate all the help. CIAO!!!!

Curious Jandro


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Walter BiscardiRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 22, 2005 at 7:30:04 pm

[Jerry Miles] "As you can see Jandro this is pretty involved and it appears we probably need to talk on the phone and get to the bottom of your specific needs which is how ProMax Systems, Inc. came to be so successful over the years. We cater to your custom needs and want you to be successful."


See, that's why I recommend ProMax so much, they take the time to explain things and listen to your specific needs.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com

"The Rough Cut," an original short film premiering December 7th in full High Definition in Atlanta.
rsvp@biscardicreative.com to reserve seats.
http://www.theroughcutmovie.com

Now editing "Good Eats" in HD for the Food Network

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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gary adcockRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 23, 2005 at 1:05:34 am

[Walter Biscardi] "See, that's why I recommend ProMax so much, they take the time to explain things and listen to your specific needs. "

Not to mention having great guys like Jerry ( and evan) there, one that can and will take the time with you to solve your problem.




Gary Adcock
Studio37
HD and Film Consultation
Chicago, IL USA


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JandroRe: Wanting to do Uncompressed HD, trial by fire....
by on Nov 24, 2005 at 1:52:30 am

Thanks again to Jerry Miles from Pro Max we figured it out and made a deal. Thanks to all those who participated in this discourse. CIAO for now!!!

Curious Jandro


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