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Guidance Needed

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Steve Cohen
Guidance Needed
on Jul 26, 2008 at 11:55:02 am

We have a shoot going on in California starting Monday and the production company is shooting with an XDCam HD F350.

They will be sending the discs to us via FedEx.

The show is going to end up in a Letter boxed SD format.

Not sure if I want to edit in HD and then output to SD (haven't done this yet) or down convert to SD during Digitizing.

What are my options for getting the media into FCP?

I was told I could use XD Transfer or rent a deck (PDW70).

If I use XD Transfer what hardware would I need (IE the camera, a deck or what)

If I rent a deck I know I can bring it in SDI embedded audio and video.

Thanks for the help.

Steve Cohen

Editor

O2 Media Inc.


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Michael Palmer
Re: Guidance Needed
on Jul 26, 2008 at 4:14:12 pm

What NLE are you using?
With XD Cam you can use the XD Cam Transfer software to convert to .mov if you are using Final Cut, and edit HD and render out SD. I was testing the Sony Clip Browser 2.0 to see if I could convert raw EX codec XD Cam files to SD but had no luck to see if you could convert before you start. I quess you could always capture using the deck but this bleeds you of time and defeats the digital files based system you are starting with.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Steve Cohen
Re: Guidance Needed
on Jul 26, 2008 at 5:23:11 pm

Yes I'm using Final Cut Pro.

So regardless of if I'm using the XD Transfer software, I will need a deck or the camera.

I thought I read somewhere that the XD Transfer now has a down convert in it.


Is this true?


Thanks;

Steve Cohen

Editor

O2 Media Inc.


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Michael Palmer
Re: Guidance Needed
on Jul 26, 2008 at 5:30:29 pm

What Camera are they shooting with? What version of FC are you using?
If they shoot XD Cam recording to XD cam disks then yes you will need a deck to move the the files onto your editing system if they are shooting with the new XD Cam EX1 then they will deliver a hard drive with the files on it to you as the EX1 records to SxS solid state memory cards and there is no disks.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Don Greening
Re: Guidance Needed
on Jul 26, 2008 at 5:39:08 pm

[Michael Palmer] "What Camera are they shooting with?"

They're using the F350, Michael.

- Don



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Michael Palmer
Re: Guidance Needed
on Jul 26, 2008 at 5:48:23 pm

Don, I haven't been able to down convert using the new Clip Browser 2.0 with my EX1 HQ files, do you think the F-350 files can be down converted to SD using the new CB 2.0?



Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Don Greening
Re: Guidance Needed
on Jul 26, 2008 at 6:02:18 pm

[Michael Palmer] "Don, I haven't been able to down convert using the new Clip Browser 2.0 with my EX1 HQ files"

I just read a recent post here that someone else tried and hasn't been able to do it, either. I thought it was Craig but now I can't seem to find the darned thread. I'm still using the very first version of Clip Browser and the only time I use it is just to preview the raw EX .mp4 files on site just before I empty the card. So.....can't help you there ;-) Sorry.

- Don



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Craig Seeman
Re: Guidance Needed
on Jul 26, 2008 at 7:41:43 pm

ClipBrowser 2.0 only works with EX .MP4 source

I can export to Standard Def DV and DV.AVI. It also exports to "MXF NLE."
Everything else is watermarked (although I can't confirm Avid AAF.

XDCAM Transfer 2.7 also works with MXF files. You can import into FCP and export as IMX or DV. Both with MXF extension using File/Export/Sony XDCAM. For export make sure the sequence settings are mono and set to the correct number of audio tracks to create the file.



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Don Greening
Re: Guidance Needed
on Jul 26, 2008 at 5:36:42 pm

[Steve Cohen] "Not sure if I want to edit in HD and then output to SD (haven't done this yet) or down convert to SD during Digitizing"

Probably the least expensive way, rental-wise to get your media into FCP is to rent the PDW-U1 XDCAM Disc reader/writer. The drawback is that it's a USB 2.0 interface only. Here's a link to a Sony PDF brochure that contains the info on this deck on page 15.

http://pro.sony.com/bbsccms/assets/files/micro/xdcam/brochures/xdcamhd_fami...

The more expensive way, but probably much faster in the long run, is to rent the deck you've referred to in your post and connect to your Mac Pro using HD-SDI if you have something like a Kona board, which would also also allow you to down-convert the files to SD on the fly.

However you slice it you're still going to need some sort of XDCAM Disc reader. You can use the Sony Transfer Tool to transfer files from any of the XDCAM decks if that's the way you want to go.

You can also do your FCP edit numerous ways, depending on how you like to work:

-edit in HD and output a self-contained SD movie with whatever SD codec that's required using the "Export Using Quicktime Conversion" command.

- creating an SD timeline right away and dragging your HD files or already down converted SD files into the sequence. After the edit simply render and export a self-contained QT movie using current settings.

- if the final delivery is for DVD you can edit and export a full HD movie and Compressor will create an MPEG2 version. Or you can export directly to Compressor within FCP.

- if your final SD letterboxed movie is for broadcast then you need to output to tape. Connect the appropriate deck and FCP will export to that as well.

- Don





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Craig Seeman
Re: Guidance Needed
on Jul 26, 2008 at 7:48:43 pm

[Steve Cohen] "Not sure if I want to edit in HD and then output to SD (haven't done this yet) or down convert to SD during Digitizing. "

I wouldn't downconvert to SD on import unless you have a specific reason to.

You can edit in HD and downcovert. Then you'll have the HD edit also done for future proofing.

You can use the HD source in an SD timeline and that would give you options to pan and zoom without any lose of resolution.

I think Don touches on the workflow but I'd thought I'd explain advantages of editing HD in an SD timeline rather than downconverting first.





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Steve Cohen
Re: Guidance Needed
on Jul 26, 2008 at 10:14:49 pm

First of all thanks for all of the information. The work flow is very useful.

We have either Aja IO or BlackMagic MultiBridge Extreme for digiting.

My dealer said that the BlackMagic is capable of doing the down convert.

We are using Final Cut Pro 6.0.4.

[Craig Seeman] "I wouldn't downconvert to SD on import unless you have a specific reason to."

The only reason I was thinking of down converting was space.

At this point I have no idea how much footage they will be shooting and how large the files will be. I guess I will find out ass the optical disks start coming in.

Thanks again;


Steve Cohen

Editor

O2 Media Inc.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Guidance Needed
on Jul 26, 2008 at 10:28:59 pm

XDCAM 35MB/s files are only about 30% bigger than DV files. If that 30% is going to make a big difference it would make more sense to me to buy more hard drives then loosing the option of using HD source in SD or editing in HD for futureproof and downconverting to SD. In fact if you use a "good" SD codec (8 bit uncompressed or ProRes for example) those files are going to be bigger than XDCAM.



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Steve Cohen
Re: Guidance Needed
on Jul 26, 2008 at 11:30:18 pm

I agree.
I didn't know that they were that small.

We typically digitize at 8 bit uncompressed which is about 5 and a half time larger then DV, so we should have the room for the XD files.

Thanks again;



Steve Cohen

Editor

O2 Media Inc.


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Eli Kabillio
Re: Guidance Needed
on Jul 27, 2008 at 6:38:34 pm

Your best bet, is to have the Production Company capture the footage from the F350 at the end of each shoot day. They can use the camera, avoiding an extra rental and send you a drive with all of the footage already captured and ready to import into FCP. The added benefit of this, is that you don't risk Fed Ex losing your camera masters. Footage transfers at about 1.8x speed, so a 64 minute disc will be captured in about 45 minutes - we're usually done transferring before we wrap our gear. Your file size will be smaller than if you digitize the footage at 10 bit SD and you then have the flexibility of the HD frame size in case you need to blow up, zoom in, etc, or if you ever need an HD master.

Eli M. Kabillio

http://www.maddogfilms.com
MacPro 8 Core 2.8Ghz, 6G RAM, AJA IO/HD, FCP 6.04
MacPro 4 Core 2.66Ghz, 6G RAM, BlackMagic MultiBridge Pro, FCP 6.04
Sony PDW F350 XDCamHD


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