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Considering Kona2 for movie online -- HDCAM quality questions.

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mugwumpConsidering Kona2 for movie online -- HDCAM quality questions.
by on Feb 3, 2006 at 10:34:01 pm

Hello, looking forward to doing the final movie output to HDCAM to send out for color correction. It was shot on HDCAM, with b camera being the new JVC HDV rig. The HDCAM was dubbed down to DV for the editing process, with 70 tapes of footage total.

Okay, so using Kona2 for HDCAM capture, which codec to use in Final Cut? It looks like HDCAM is only 8bit, 3:1:1 at 25MB/sec.

And what kind of RAID speed are we looking at for this 8bit material? It looks like a 3-5 SATA RAID would do it.

Would the mastering out for the color artist in HDCAM-SR change any of the settings, or since it's just HDCAM then keep it at 8-bit?

Finally, the JVC is only 720P. I've read before on this forum how the Kona will not upconvert it on the fly from 720 to HDCAM 1080. What situations is the up-conversion is the Kona2 good for? Otherwise we'd get the LH. (Still PCI-X here)

Thanks much for the information!


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walter biscardiRe: Considering Kona2 for movie online -- HDCAM quality questions.
by on Feb 4, 2006 at 2:10:17 am

[mugwump] "Okay, so using Kona2 for HDCAM capture, which codec to use in Final Cut? It looks like HDCAM is only 8bit, 3:1:1 at 25MB/sec. "

8 or 10bit Uncompressed 1080i HD. It's your choice whether to go with 8 or 10bit. 25MB/sec is 10bit SD, not HD. 1080i HD Uncompressed is about 125 - 150MB/sec.


[mugwump] "And what kind of RAID speed are we looking at for this 8bit material? It looks like a 3-5 SATA RAID would do it."

Fibre Channel is what you need. A 3-5 SATA RAID will not cut 1080i HDCAM. too slow. See my answer above.


[mugwump] "inally, the JVC is only 720P. I've read before on this forum how the Kona will not upconvert it on the fly from 720 to HDCAM 1080. What situations is the up-conversion is the Kona2 good for? Otherwise we'd get the LH. (Still PCI-X here)"

720 to 1080 is NOT an Up-Convert. It's a Cross-Convert. The Kona 2 UP-Conversion is used for SD material that you want to upconvert to HD. You will want to go through a Terranex Converter to get the 720 to 1080i.



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

Director, "The Rough Cut"
http://www.theroughcutmovie.com

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

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


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mugwumpRe: Considering Kona2 for movie online -- HDCAM quality questions.
by on Feb 4, 2006 at 9:25:11 pm

Thanks for the info. Interesting that 720 is a cross-convert. Do people find the uprez capabilities in the Kona2 / 3 card useful? I'm thinking of just rendering the 720P sections in the timeline to the higher resolution.

Regarding drive speed, I think there is a bit of misinformation floating around here. A 5 drive SATA RAID minimum speed is over 200MB/sec, which should always be fast enough for HDCAM, which is shot at 8 bit 3:1:1. Maybe some PC systems loaded with antivirus, spyware, and malware software can't handle the load and drop frames?

I'm thinking about picking up one of these:
http://www.sonnettech.com/product/fusion500p.html

One of these:
http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tempo_sata_x4p.html

And 5 of these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148108

I do find the SATA-2 3gb standard to be a bit bunk, with no real performance gains. But hey, the 4 year manufacturer warranty is a plus.




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mugwumpRe: HD editing drive speed -- I see now the evidence for my confusion..
by on Feb 5, 2006 at 7:15:12 am

Ah, I see now the confusion over HDCAM. It's a compressed codec that records internally at 18MB per sec. It then goes uncompressed over the HD-SDI connector which requires 240MB/sec at 10bit 4:4:4 uncompressed.

Here's a chart:

http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/hdedit/


I would think the Sony editing system can handle HDCAM in it's native compressed form, but who's really using that editing system?


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tony salgadoRe: Considering Kona2 for movie online -- HDCAM quality questions.
by on Feb 4, 2006 at 3:29:08 pm



What frame rate did you shoot the HDCAM material at 23.98psf, 24.00psf or 59.94i.

If the JVC HDV material is not the same frame rate then you will have to figure out how to conform it to match the HDCAM material in terms of frame rate and spacial resolution.


Tony Salgado


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David BattistellaRe: Considering Kona2 for movie online -- HDCAM quality questions.
by on Feb 4, 2006 at 4:53:09 pm



The last time I check the JVC material was not yet supported in FCP. I think that the only software package that lets you edit this footage natively is Lumiere.

Are you transferring all of the JVC material to HDCAM for the edit?

Walter is right.

You need speed when it comes to drives. Also, if you are doing a Davinci online, why not pick up Silcon COlors Final TOuch HD. It is a davinci style color corrector that works with the existing media on your hard drives.

One big thing to consider. You need double the hard drive space when you are color correcting inside the Mac. You will need the space for the capture and the space for the final render. The render files are the same size as the film.

So for example.

538 gig original @24fps for a 90 minute film for 10 bit uncompressed HDCAM
538 gig renders @24fps for a 90 minute film for 10 bit uncompressed HDCAM

leave about 20% for headroom. SO you need at least 1.5 tb for this job.

David



OK. I'm taking the Steelers, 23-21 !


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mugwumpRe: Considering Kona2 for movie online -- HDCAM quality questions.
by on Feb 4, 2006 at 10:00:49 pm

Thanks for this reply.

Regarding the coloring of the movie, I've always just assumed it was best for an artist to do it. But maybe times are changing, since many of us do know how to get 80% of the way there, and end up coloring many projects anyhow. I just think with a feature products the results could be stunning with a pro doing it? Can an editor really get the good results?

That Final Touch looks interesting. I spent an hour watching the dude at HD Expo a few months ago, and it looks fantastic. Though I wonder how difficult it would be to jump in and use it well. Also, does it even work well without the hardware addons?

Coloring is an important issue, and one that I approach with hesitation on full length projects.


But yes, that JVC is difficult to handle at this point. My workflow was the following:

~Capture from HD50 deck using HDVxDV software. -- I consider the .m2t files from then on as the camera negatives.
~Export out as DV quicktime for editing.
--Original Timecode is lost, it puts out new timecode! But I'm expecting that a re-export at full resolution using the same process will yield the same new timecode.
--Audio drifts out of sync! On this project I'm using separate production audio anyhow. Otherwise, to eyeball it back in is not the end of the world.

~Sync up each scene with production audio. (The JVC was the b camera of on the steady cam, so the sound guys rarely ran audio into it.)
~Batch export out to create new synced master clips, using the existing timecode from HDVxDV.
~Batch conform them to make sure they are 23.98, takes a few seconds.
~Drop them back in, and edit!

For the online, re-export from the .m2t originals at the proper codec. Thanks to your post I now realize that it's going to be a long export render, but they used that JVC HDV camera much more than they planned to, which will take some time to handle. Either pay during the shoot, or pay for it later...



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mugwumpRe: Considering Kona2 for movie online -- HDCAM quality questions.
by on Feb 4, 2006 at 9:32:56 pm

I [i]hope[/i] the enormous camera crew did the right settings! Sheesh, between the DP, the operator, the camera "tech", the two AC's and the silly Paintbox dude -- you would think so! Ang Lee at a recent DGA event: "Shooting the movie is the shopping for ingredients, and the editing is the actual cooking."

The HDCAM is 23.98, and the JVC is a bit funky. It shows up at 24, though it was set at 23.98. I conformed it to 23.98 with "cinema tools", and it seemed to go through okay. Regarding the resolution, I was thinking of just rendering it into the 1080 timeline in Final Cut Pro.

I find QC with the JVC HD50 deck to be a bit temperamental. The deck has a personality that requires a tender approach -- something that the sony hardware doesn't require -- it just works!


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David BattistellaRe: Considering Kona2 for movie online -- HDCAM quality questions.
by on Feb 4, 2006 at 10:04:48 pm



Mugs,

You can always bring in a professional colorist to work on Final touch. More and more pro colorists are using it with the JL cooper Davinci style controller.

You can set up a project so a Pro colorist comes in an does the color work using FInal Touch.

That is would be a great way to go.

David



OK. I'm taking the Steelers, 23-21 !


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mugwumpHow difficult is Final Touch to learn?
by on Feb 4, 2006 at 11:45:13 pm

Interesting idea, bringing in a color artist. How challenging is Final Touch to learn how to use? I've seen it in action and the rotoscoping, tracking features seem high end.

Is it possible to master a fair bit of it, even to understand how to get going with it in a fair amount of time?

Also, I've seen the JL Cooper controllers -- can it be used with just the mouse and keyboard, or is this too limiting?

Thanks for the info!


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David BattistellaRe: How difficult is Final Touch to learn?
by on Feb 5, 2006 at 3:40:47 am



I am not sure about the software learning curve, it might be a bit dense but I am sure one can get around the controls, etc.

What you can not do in a short period of time is gain the experience of a what a good colorist brings to the table. It's a bit like setting up a pro tools room and saying you are a sound mixer. Sure you ahve protools and you can push faders, but do you understand the frequency response of the sounds in your mix and how to really make dialog punch over effects and music. Do you get the density of the sound and how deep it reaches into the picture. You see where I am going with this.

You could learn the software and it will deepen your understanding of the effects of color, but will it bring the best to your film, maybe not on the first project you sit down to do, but probably over time.

David




OK. I'm taking the Steelers, 23-21 !


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uncompressedRe: How difficult is Final Touch to learn?
by on Feb 5, 2006 at 7:25:35 am

it's actually a very easy program


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tony salgadoRe: Considering Kona2 for movie online -- HDCAM quality questions.
by on Feb 5, 2006 at 8:39:23 am



I would not blame the crew as I doubt they had made the stupid decision to mix the two unsimilar formats and cameras in the first place.


This mistake was reserved for someone way up the food chain who need to step up to the plate and accept the mess they created.


Tony Salgado


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cowcowcowcow
tPIXFCP, K2, LH, RAIDS,MULTIFORMAT FINISHING TO HD, 8BIT-10BIT - my recent experiences.
by on Feb 6, 2006 at 12:38:43 pm

No this is not just a shameless plug for my 3 month old LH & KBox bought to do one 1920x1080i60 HD project, and now available on ebay here with the full balance of the three year warranty transfering to the purchaser:

http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7586490858&rd=1&sspagenam...

:-)


I was faced with a one-off HD 1920x1080i60 for broadcast long form documentary that had footage shot on DV, DVCam, XDCam, HDV, and HDCam. It also had Betacam SP stock footage. The producers were very worried about how it would all look when put together, and had concerns with broadcaster acceptance.

Although there are some other differences, the choice of LH or Kona 2 came down to two issues:
1-The Kona 2 could do upconvert, but not analog component HD, which is the best picture you're gonna get out of HDV originals.
2-The Kona LH could not do upconvert but could do analog component HD avoiding the "issue" of HDV altogether.

The decision to go LH was made because:
1- all advice said that the Kona 2 upconvert gave varying results, sometimes great and sometimes perhaps not acceptable. It was suggested by all my research that way to go for a no compromise upconvert was the Teranex. Teranex was what we ultimately used for all of the SD material
2-the 12 bit analog component HD out of the camera kicked the crap out of the HDV out.

Rendering an upconvert in FCP did not have good results. Oddly, also rendering a downconvert in FCP did not have good results. The hardware downconvert in the LH was great.

The Online...

The program was treated as two separate onlines. The first was done on all of the SD material, leaving blacks for the HD material and handles for effects on the SD material. This was colour (Canadian spelling eh!) corrected and conformed in SD 10 bit uncompressed, put to Digital Betacam via SDI, and sent for Teranex to be upconverted to HDCam.

The Teranex worked great. The settings are done shot by shot with the settings based on the technicians interpretation of the footage. The upconvert is then done in real time after all of the settings are done. Allow 1.5x against your total showtime for your booking. For now, Teranex seems to be the undisputed champ of upconvert.

Once this was done the HD part of the job moved forward. The HDCam material was digitized via SDI. The HDV material was digitized via component HD, and the Teranex material was recorded in from HDCam via SDI with the timecodes of the Teranex(ed) material already matching the master program timecodes, No muss no fuss.

It was surprising how well the HDV original performed when digitized analog component. Using this method the footage was indistinguishable from the 8 bit HDCam. Most of the material in this show was fairly static, so the HDV recording codec was not under much load motion-wise - so it wasn't a definitive test. Anyways, the results I saw certainly wouldn't have me jumping out to get an HDCam for $50k more over HDV for 1080i60 work.

Drives, 8 or 10 bit.

I did the colour correct, and prefer to work in 10 bit. I feel the difference is huge, especially if you have to blow anything up. Everything holds up better and the shading is much richer. Even though the delivery was 8 bit HDCam, I digitized all in 10 bit uncompressed 1080i60 for the colour correction and HD conform. If your show is going to be a film print one day, then I would definitely go 10 bit.

I was able to digitize and work fully in 10 bit uncompressed on an 8x400 drive SATA RAID with a dual 2.7 and 6Gb RAM. I used two Sonnet SATA controllers. The slot configuration was: LH nearest the video card, with the two SATA controllers in the next two slots. The slot farthest from the video card is the fastest one. The 8x400 drive RAID had 4 drives striped RAID0 across the two controllers. I had a second 4x400 RAID set up for bouncing renders. 12x400 in all It all worked great.

I was not, however, able to output 1080i60 10-bit Uncompressed on this RAID. It was not quite fast enough, and adding drives to the RAID did not help.

The RAID did handle an 8-bit 1080i60 uncompressed output which is all that was required for HDCam work anyway and everybody said "spectacular" when they saw the finished show.

If the output had been to HDCam SR, which is 10 bit, I would have had to have a faster RAID . I also could have sent the entire finished program (around 600 Gigs for 10 bit 1080i as a Quicktime movie on a hard drive for output.

My experience with this would make me hesitant to believe a 5 drive SATA RAID would work well for uncompressed HD (1920x1080i60). I don't think any 7200rpm five drive raid could do it, no matter how much bandwidth on the host card(s).

If you don't want any nasty suprises at the end, the best way to practically test a RAID is to fill up your drives with media, make a big sequence, turn of mirror video on desktop, and do a test print to tape at full quality. If FCP won't do it the RAID isn't fast enough.

In the end, this show worked out great, and everybody was very happy. It pretty much went as planned.

I think there's some nuggets in there for you...and good luck with it!

PS. the only reason I'm selling the LH is because I have an io and won't be seeing another HD project until perhaps late in the year...the LH worked great!
There's also the RAID and a Final Touch SD available listed with the same seller.

http://search.ebay.ca/_W0QQsassZliz8954QQhtZ-1


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mugwumpRe: Teranex and converting question
by on Feb 7, 2006 at 10:13:06 pm

So if the project is a mix of 720P and HDCAM at 24P, I'm wondering how the conversion would work. Out from the computer, through the Teranex and directly into the mastering deck, or would I have to recapture all of the 720P tapes again through the Teranex? That would be gnarly. We're looking at a final 24P HDCAM master to eventually print to film.

Which Teranex product, and where is it purchased from?


Thanks for all of your experience with these issues, it's a lot to chew on and will affect any mastering outputs.


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tPIXRe: Teranex and converting question
by on Feb 8, 2006 at 3:12:51 am

I would...

Do all of the 720p material first as a separate online, and master it to tape at 720p (leave handles for the effects and leave blacks where the hdcam stuff will go).

Take 720p tape to a post house with Teranex and have them take it to HDCam for you. Then do a final online with your all HDCam material including the new material on HDCam converted by the teranex.


Teranex is in the $100k plus range and there are various levels - so I don't think you want to buy one. It is a hardware and software package.

The price is about 600-800 hour at post houses for the Teranex and you should budget for 1.5 times your program time.

If you want to know more about Teranex they are on the web.


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gary adcockRe: Teranex and converting question
by on Feb 8, 2006 at 11:10:40 am

[tPIX] "Teranex is in the $100k plus range and there are various levels - so I don't think you want to buy one. It is a hardware and software package. "

Tpix-- note too that the new Teranex Mini offers all of this for about $8K. THe Mini units started shipping late last year and the top of the line mini unit offers Up, Down, and cross conversion in addition to the noise reduction features.

Not everything is in the tool kit as the big one. but certainly more affordable now. I am testing a eval unit now and it looks great.


http://teranexlive.dimentians.com/home/platforms/Mini.cfm



Gary Adcock
Studio37
HD and Film Consultation
Chicago, IL USA


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tPIXRe: Teranex and converting question
by on Feb 8, 2006 at 12:54:01 pm

Looking forward to hearing the results! 8k is a big improvement over 100k if it does a good job. Would love to hear about the K3 upconvert, if it is any better...


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