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Converting from QT to DPX

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Frank Laughlin
Converting from QT to DPX
on May 6, 2009 at 7:07:45 pm

It's become apparent the QT to DPX conversion is bit of a dark art in the post world. Everyone has their own process (mine was After Effects). I then accidentally stumbled across a conversation about Blackmagic's FrameLink here in the CC forums and wondered what it did, and, more importantly, if it would somehow solve my problem.

FrameLink (I think) is intended to provide a bridge between programs that require DPX for input and QuickTime. FrameLink creates a virtual folder full of DPX files from a QT source movie that you can point the DPX-based program to. It works very well. But I also realized I could use FrameLink to convert my QT to DPX by just copying the DPX in the virtual folder to another folder. It's quick, painless, and, best of all for me, idiot-proof (other than not goofing up while copying tens of thousands of files). Here's how you can make DPX from QT:

1. Drag a QT file onto the FrameLink icon in the Finder.

2A. FrameLink sometimes opens a settings dialog box. (I'm not sure why this dialog box opens sometimes and not others. Most of the time, when you drag a QT on FrameLink it jumps straight to number 3 below, directly making the virtual folder without any dialog box interaction.) IF the dialog box opens, enter the settings for your media and click on 'Create'.

2B. If the above first dialog box opens, this second dialog box will open after asking where to save the new virtual 'folder' of DPX files that will be created. You provide a name and location, the click 'Create Movie' (should be 'Create Folder of DPX Files')

3. Viola! A new Volume will mount on your system. If you look inside the Volume, it will be filled with DPX files. What I do at this point is simply copy all those DPX files to a new folder. That's it!

FrameLink provides a filename template in its Preferences pane for the DPX files you're about to create, but doesn't allow you to provide a starting number for the files, which renders this preference not very useful for those of us creating multiple folders of DPX files that need to be sequentially numbered. (As it works, each folder the utility creates will start every occurrence with file number 1. You'll need an third party utility to sequentially rename/renumber the DPX files across folders. I've found A Better Finder Rename 8 to work well.)

And that's it. I used this method to create the 164,544 sequentially-numbered DPX files from 10-bit 444 1080p23.976 QT source files that I captured via the Multibridge Eclipse from HDCAM SR. It worked flawlessly. The DPX files were perfect matches.

May your workflow be a bit less complex.

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