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Cutting XD Cam using FCP

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Paul Kondo
Cutting XD Cam using FCP
on Sep 9, 2009 at 3:43:49 am

I apologize in advance as I wasn't able to do as much research on this as I usually do before asking a question. Darn client is getting in the way and I have to go back in 6 hours.

Another client has told me that they are shooting on an EX1. I have never cut XDCam footage and know next to nothing about it. They said it would be "720p/30, 16:9 full raster with a video gamma" and that Final Cut can handle it natively. They are giving me the files on disc although I'm not 100% sure if they are raw files or actually files that have been imported into FCP already. I'm not sure how the log and transfer works with XDCam footage.

I can cut in FCP6 or FCP7. Ultimately, it's just going to be output for the web, showing with a flash movie.

I have a couple of questions.

1) Should I ask for some sort of specific format or does FCP play nicely with the native XDCam footage?

2) What kind of demands does XDCam require? Can I simply cut off a FW800 drive? There won't be multiple streams in my timeline nor much effect work. I have a Mac Pro 2 x 2.66 Dual Core Intel Xeon. 2G of Ram.

3) As an aside, I was thinking of getting a Blackmagic Intensity Pro. Would this have any positive effect at all in relation to editing and basic RT effects? I'm still debating that purchase so if it does nothing for this job, I'll hold off.

Thanks again.

Paul








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Michael Palmer
Re: Cutting XD Cam using FCP
on Sep 9, 2009 at 4:18:14 am

Ok you will need to re-wrap the native files using XD Transfer, this can be a plug-in or stand alone program from Sony.
http://www.sony.co.uk/biz/view/ShowContent.action?site=biz_en_GB&contentId=...
Once you have the files re-wrapped as .mov you can edit with FW 800 without issue.
You may want to export as Pro Rez and if so set the render to Pro Rez on the sequence setting, it will save time during the render.

The Intensity card will only give you the professional style monitoring without acceleration like some cards claim.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Paul Kondo
Re: Cutting XD Cam using FCP
on Sep 9, 2009 at 11:32:47 am

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the quick reply. Just one clarification. When you say "You may want to export as Pro Rez and if so set the render to Pro Rez on the sequence setting, it will save time during the render. " what do you exactly mean?

Do you mean that when doing the transfer from the raw files, I can have them create ProRes files? I'm just a little confused by the term export in this case.

Thanks again.

Paul


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Rafael Amador
Re: Cutting XD Cam using FCP
on Sep 9, 2009 at 12:18:47 pm

Hi Paul,
Michael points out to an option only available when editing HDV and XDCAM: You set your sequence in the native format but the renders are done in Proress.
This speed up the rendering, but it have a shortcoming: When you export the sequence you export to the sequence codec. The renders are for nothing.
Normally I edit in XDCAM and change the sequence codec (to Prores) right before exporting.
There are people that prefers to capture the XDCAM footage as Proress. This is OK if you intend to edit with multiple layers. Proress ( and any other Intraframe codec) is easier to process than a GOP based format (MPEG-2: HDV, XDCAM,..).
Whenever your footage needs to be rendered is better to go to a codec better than the original.
Unless you deliver in XDCAM, exporting to Proress is the best option.
Uncompress would be even better, but who can afford these files.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Cutting XD Cam using FCP
on Sep 9, 2009 at 2:31:17 pm

This is Render Codec. This allows quick render but you'd still be exporting in XDCAM EX codec. I don't export to ProRes unless there's a very specific workflow reason to.




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Paul Kondo
Re: Cutting XD Cam using FCP
on Sep 10, 2009 at 2:27:04 am

Thanks all. I just got a test file. The camera guys transferred it to a .mov file. I downloaded it, brought it into FCP and when I dropped it into a sequence. Since I didn't use any particular preset, it asked me if I wanted to change the sequence to match the clip. I said yes.

Worked perfectly. No render bars. Smooth playback from an internal sata drive. Just did a basic export using compressor using h.264 and half the frame rate and half the size. Worked perfectly.

I've attached a capture of the QT settings.





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Ravi Kiran
Re: Cutting XD Cam using FCP
on Oct 21, 2009 at 12:29:39 am

I recently worked on an edit of a very long project we shot on the EX-3. We used quite a few filters, picture zooms, etc. and our rendering time (for the red bar) was very long. Would transcoding the footage to ProRes have helped this? Do you generally use ProRes or ProRes HQ?


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