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Convert from XDCAM EX to PRORES with Time code

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Philippe trad
Convert from XDCAM EX to PRORES with Time code
on Nov 29, 2009 at 8:25:35 pm

Hello,

I'm preparing to shoot a reality TV show with Sony EX3 cameras, i'll have 3 cams on the Set...
I'll be editing on FCP 7, and i'm working on the EDITSHARE NAS with 8 cores MAC PRO...

While reading the previous posts, lots of pros advices to convert XDCAM rushes to PRORES befor editing so we'll win in rendering and we'll have more accessible medias, specially that i'll be editing in a 3 way mutliclip most of the time...

So i did some tests, and converting to PRORES with compressor or MPEG STREAM CLIP makes me loose my timecodes... Wich makes multiclips making impossible...

So how do i convert without losing my Time code...

Thank u...


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Michael Palmer
Re: Convert from XDCAM EX to PRORES with Time code
on Nov 29, 2009 at 10:43:06 pm

I wouldn't convert to Pro Rez until final output. Why in the world would you want to take a render hit before ever editing for a reality show. Working with native EX codec cuts great and why would you want to lose the timecode, there is no way to get it back.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Craig Seeman
Re: Convert from XDCAM EX to PRORES with Time code
on Nov 30, 2009 at 1:20:20 am

I agre with Michael. You'd have to seriously heavy compositing or color correction to find significant gains converting to Pro Res. The storage hit and conversion time would be a considerable hit with little benefit.
It makes little logistical sense unless you were doing a heavy After Effects build or color correction for something that the camera originals were way off from.

I'm really not sure I've seen anywhere were "lots of pros" recommend going to Pro Res first from XDCAM EX source.



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Tim Kolb
Re: Convert from XDCAM EX to PRORES with Time code
on Nov 29, 2009 at 11:29:26 pm

I'd do some edit tests with the two types of media to make sure you have some actual advantage...

FCP handles EXcam footage pretty handily. Keep in mind that a conversion from the highest quality file you can create in the EX3 to PreRes HQ will be a 6:1 data size jump (35 Mbits/sec to 220 Mbits/sec). Though it does end up being more like a 3:1 jump if you ingest all EX footage into FCP using log/capture as the assets will need to be duplicated and rewrapped if want the footage and it's metadata.

(I believe if you dig down into each BPAV media folder and get to the MP4 video file only...it will load directly onto the timeline, but I'm not sure if there is then a way to access the metadata.)

With the kind of footage being accumulated in a reality television environment, I'd think the blow to your storage costs alone would be enough to give you pause.

ProRes is great, but sometimes I think the challenges of handling MPEG long GOP are overstated and not really up to date with current system capabilities.




TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Craig Seeman
Re: Convert from XDCAM EX to PRORES with Time code
on Nov 30, 2009 at 1:23:54 am

[Tim Kolb] "(I believe if you dig down into each BPAV media folder and get to the MP4 video file only...it will load directly onto the timeline, but I'm not sure if there is then a way to access the metadata.) "

CalibratedSoftware can import the MP4 into FCP and retains the time code.

[Tim Kolb] "With the kind of footage being accumulated in a reality television environment, I'd think the blow to your storage costs alone would be enough to give you pause. "
Given the short turnaround time, the conversion time to Pro Res would also be a major detriment.

[Tim Kolb] "ProRes is great, but sometimes I think the challenges of handling MPEG long GOP are overstated and not really up to date with current system capabilities. "

Yes, WAY OVERSTATED. FCP handles it very easily and you can set timeline renders to Pro Res so there's not even an issue with GOP conform.





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Mark Raudonis
Re: Convert from XDCAM EX to PRORES with Time code
on Dec 2, 2009 at 4:24:03 am

Phillippe,

I'll echo what everyone else here has said: It's NOT necessary to transcode to prores just to work with XDCAM in FCP.

We do lots and lots of reality TV. (Like tens of thousands of hours per year of raw footage) Most is on the Sony XDCAM-HD disc based format, but we use the EX-3 as well. When working at full rez, we always import in using the native XDCAM codec, and set the timeline to the same. HOWEVER, we set the renders to Prores to take advantage of that for color, GRFX, etc.

Here's something I think you should be more worried about: How are you going to archive all of that chip based media? Blu ray? LTO? Do you even have a plan?

Xdcam codec = no problem. Archiving chip based media = big Pain

Good luck.

Mark



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