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compositing EX files vs ProRes captured HDSDI

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Peter Nodiff
compositing EX files vs ProRes captured HDSDI
on Jan 19, 2009 at 10:19:26 pm

Looking for opinions on composited footage quality from EX1 owners who've seen either (35Mbps) EX1 codec footage composited or composited EX1 footage that was captured uncompressed to ProRes or ProRes HQ (EX1 HDSDI to AJA ioHD for example). Peter


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Craig Seeman
Re: compositing EX files vs ProRes captured HDSDI
on Jan 20, 2009 at 1:21:53 am

I've done XDCAM EX code green screen compositing that looked just fine.

You're dealing with "ideal" vs resources vs how much compositing and what kind vs intended target.

If you want "ideal" you might want 10 bit uncompressed from HD-SDI camera live (once it goes to card it's already compressed so it MUST be live). Apple ProRes HQ is more efficient and ProRes (non HQ) has more compression.

You haven't given enough info for anything more than the above general comment.
You need to think about.
How much compositing you're doing as well as what kind?
Do you have resources and render times for large files?
What is the targeted method of presentation?




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Peter Nodiff
Re: compositing EX files vs ProRes captured HDSDI
on Jan 20, 2009 at 9:53:13 am

To be more specific than my original question on this thread, here's exactly what compositing I've got on an upcoming project. Green screened subjects composited over multi-layer painted Photoshop mattes, with some VFX like chroma distorts, eye candy like particle emitters, motion graphic elements and finally 2D or 3D animations.

I'd like to get away with using the EX1 35Mbps codec, then log & transfer to ProRes. I've gotten feedback from EX1 users that this scenario is still a big improvement over HDV. And from what Sony tech support told me (if I understood right), I'd have to save over or undercranking scenes to SxS since not available live HDSDI(?).




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Craig Seeman
Re: compositing EX files vs ProRes captured HDSDI
on Jan 20, 2009 at 6:27:47 pm

[Peter Nodiff] "I'd like to get away with using the EX1 35Mbps codec, then log & transfer to ProRes. I've gotten feedback from EX1 users that this scenario is still a big improvement over HDV."

XDCAM EX is a MAJOR improvement over HDV. Shooting progressive is also important because the EX's 4:2:0 codec is less of an issue in Progressive mode.

BTW what I do is work natively in the EX codec in the timeline and set the renders to ProRes. You can't really "improve" anything once the video is recorded to EX codec but going to ProRes (and ProResHQ) might improve the color space and handling as one "goes through generations." As to whether one can see the difference "depends..."

You don't mention what the target viewing is. HDTV, Web, DVD, Blu-ray?

The only way to know for sure is to do a test shoot and composite using your elements. ProResHQ is safest but if you're not capturing live into ProResHQ the benefits of going to ProRes diminish since you're uprezing the EX codec with its 4:2:0 information.



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Noah Kadner
Re: compositing EX files vs ProRes captured HDSDI
on Jan 20, 2009 at 1:23:06 am

Well it's the age old myth that recapturing a compressed signal uncompressed somehow adds resolution. It doesn't- if you were to transfer as XDCAM EX and then composite on an uncompressed timeline that would yield identical results to HD-SDI sourced on the same timeline. However- if you were to capture the live signal via HD-SDI before going onto SxS cards- that would definitely result in superior quality for composites. That said, if you nail the lighting you should have no problem pulling great keys off XDCAM EX footage.

Noah

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Michael Palmer
Re: compositing EX files vs ProRes captured HDSDI
on Jan 20, 2009 at 2:46:52 am

I think you may be officially right but somehow there is space fill with something. Interpolation is a guessing game.

Michael Palmer


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