XDCAM HD - how to edit
Is FCP the only way to edit XDCAM HD - is there a Premiere Pro solution?
We have been sponsoring office space for a company producing a feature film shot on a JVC HD100 camera. He is using PPRO and any timeline over 18 minutes seems to just bog down to turtle speed. They have their movie broken down into 5 sections to reduce this problem. They do not have a dual processor PC but the guys wife is an Intel exec and she gave him the latest and greatest chip to build his rig around. He is not a computer whiz either, just a writer/director.
My point here is that our feeling is to find the platform that works best with whatever format you're shooting on. We chose FCP on a Mac because the combination of the dual processor, a BMD or AJA card and a X-Serve Raid is a proven combination and it has worked flawlessly for 18 months without a single glitch.
I listen to guys all the time telling about how fast their custom built system is but they seem to always be working on it also to keep it running. Myself, I would rather sweat the $1300 a month payment rather than waking up each day wondering if my computer was going to crash. And believe me, we fought the whole MAC thing for a long time. We started with D-Vision 3.5 in 1997. FCP was a joke until version 4.5 and the Tiger operating system. And it all worked, out of the box, from day one.
We're cutting a feature we shot shot last year on HDCAM and posting in 8 bit uncompressed and while it seems tired once in a while, we have no complaints.
It's a dry heat!
No--Edius also announced support but I am not sure it is functional. Also Avid, there Liquid product supposidely supports it. By the way, support for FCP was announced but it hasn't been released yet.
Axio will have a very nice solution for XDCAM HD support in their next release. They were showing it at NAB. (Matrox Axio uses PremierePro 2.0).
It is an excellent solution not only for XDCAM HD, but for mixing HDV footage into your projects as well. The Axio uses the 1440x1080 native footage as if it were 1920x1080 uncompressed. You can set any rendering to be uncompressed, MPEG2I-frame from 100-300 mbit (200 and is 99.999% as clean as uncompressed doing a "difference" key), or DVCProHD (which really takes clean crisp footage and makes it look like you added a "blur" filter). When dealing with HDV, you get HD-SDI output for previewing even when scanning HDV footage via 1394 from a deck. So capture and editing with it are a breeze. Axio also uprezes SD footage to 1080i in real-time.
I am very happy with Adobe Production Studio overall. Does it need improvements? Absolutely, and so does every system I've used (which is a long list). I switched over to Axio from Avid|DS Nitris, and don't miss it at all. I can do 3-4 times the amount of work in the same timeframe, and my system is rock solid. We use XServe Raids (18TBs) with MetaSAN software, in a mix of Macs and PCs. Our main HD suite is the Axio, and our two secondary suites are FCP/AJA. We also have Final Touch HD in suite B (with JL Cooper surface control). But, I've done the majority of finishing and color correction in Axio. It has very good correction and secondary correction and can do multiple streams of HD in real-time. (The limit for me is the bandwidth of the SAN). I can get 5 streams of uncompressed 1080 HD with FX on each layer including an incredible chroma keyer while still seeing 20 fps playback for previews. (VERY smooth). This system never gives you a "needs render" screen. It gracefully degrades frame rates during playback for any areas that are beyond the real-time capabilities of the system. Two streams of HD are always realtime with no render needed even for print to tape. And when you do need to renders -- it is extremely fast. Axio has much cleaner file encoding than Compressor on the Mac. You can convert from HD directly to SD MPEG2 for DVD autoring. (Export is real-time or faster for single pass).
Our FCP editors are clamoring to get on my Axio system. I'm going on vacation week after next, and there are serious dibbs on my suite. ;-) And -- I am as much a Mac user as PC. I think it's important to stay up to speed on both. I use a very cool software that allows me to use my keyboard and mouse on both my PC and MAC without a KVM. You simply drag your mouse between screens which essentially switches you between computers. You can also copy and paste between computers. (You have to have separate VGA screens for each computer -- there is no limit to how many you can use and they can be MAC, PC, or Linux).
I have seen that device advertised - amazing that it works, but it pretty cool. I keep 2 keyboards/mice on my desk and it can be confusing if you forget which computer you are trying to use.
Sounds like Axio is the system to go with.
[Timothy Duncan] "I use a very cool software that allows me to use my keyboard and mouse on both my PC and MAC without a KVM. You simply drag your mouse between screens"
Does this software have a name?
-- Bob C