XDCAM EX native through Adobe Premiere
I have a corporate gig coming up that requires a large content capture (32+ hours). I have more details regarding the production of this gig posted in the Corporate video section (titled: "32 hours footage in 4days - workflow"), but in brief: the workflow I'm trying to discover will be the one with the fewest transcoding / compression generations through post to delivery. The scope of the project is to capture the content, cut it into segments based on Client review of Dalies, and export these segments for the web delivery (or export native and compress, if it'll roll faster that way). The goal is to present a 4 day intensive training seminar as a webisode-archive/index online. The end result will have approx. 90 episodes.
I have a couple EX1 questions related to the current workflow I'm considering, which involves shooting the EX1 and taking the native files through Adobe Premiere (I would need to purchase the software, so if there is a lesser than 'pro' version that can handle this workflow, that would be fine for my purposes). My hope is that the software can import and export the file without needing any transcoding / rendering as long as I keep everything XDCAM until I’m ready to compress for web (The edits I’ll be making are very basic – in and out cuts and a basic ‘title’ overlay graphic at the top of each segment. After the export I’ll compress for web in batches via “Compressor” and upload in batches to Screencast.com). Also, to facilitate logging, I’ve researched the use of “Essence Markers”, but so far I’ve only been able to confirm that they can be created in camera after the shot is complete – can they be created on-the-fly / while the camera is rolling? Finally, I was hoping to get a recommendation for an external storage device (I assumed a hard-disk drive similar to a Firestore would be the best route) that works well w/ the EX1.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this post – and further thanks in advance to those taking the time to reply. I’m hoping to receive any advice or recommendations from those w/ experience using the workflow or elements of the workflow above (and if there’s a better way to shoot this thing I’m all ears, for sure).
If you have Compressor that implies you have Final Cut Pro. Why not buy the Calibrated Software MP4 plugin for FCP rather than buy Premiere. The plugin allows import and use of the EX MP4 directly without having to rewrap to hard drive.
The nature of MPEG2 Long GOP native editing would mean at some point you'd have to render to reconstruct the GOP of the master. In FCP I edit native but set renders to ProRes so my renders are "I Frame" fast. I do have to do a final render to export the edit master file but I still find that reasonably fast on an 8 Core Mac.
I haven't played with essence markers since I find it much easier to import and do my logging and organization in FCP. I can create subclips and use markers as needed.
I'm not sure what role you're thinking of with the Firestore but I sure hope it isn't attaching it to the camera and thus having to use HDV mode. 2 32GB SDHC cards can get you nearly 4 hours of shooting. Get 4 of those and you're set for an 8 hour day. At about $200 or so for 32GB Sandisk Extreme Class 10 cards that would be around $800. If you feel more secure with SxS you can get SxS-1 cards at just under $600 a piece you could get either 4 of those for a bit under $2400 (and now you might understand why I recommend the SDHC Sandisk Class 10 cards).
Premiere Pro will accept EX files natively without a rewrap or transcode.
Craig's suggestion that you use the Calibrated plugin and FCP to edit the MP4s natively is also a good one, although (and perhaps Craig can answer, as I have not had a chance to test this) if you need to Media Manage the FCP project down to only the clip portions used in the timeline plus handles, FCPs media Manager will not trim non-MOV files. We ran into this with our Cinemon plug-in which, among other things, allows native QT support of XDCAM optical MXFs and XDCAM EX MP4s. When media managing projects the native MXFs and MP4s do not get trimmed. The FCP manual states that only .mov files can be trimmed. This might be a minor detail but I think it's one worth mentioning/investigating for a project of the size you are describing, where a few rounds of Media Management/Consolidation would probably be part of the workflow.
Also, while Premiere has great native support for the mp4 files, one benefit of using XDCAM Transfer/FCP and re-wrapping (aside from the media management concerns mentioned above) is that you can sub-clip on import and add logging information. This would help you to only import/re-wrap the clips and clip portions you need. As far as logging, comments, clip titles shot flags etc are all translated into the equivalent FCP metadata.
Essence Marks can be added during shooting on the EX1 or in Clip Browser. On the EX1 you can add them using the dedicated buttons on the IR remote or by assigning 'Shot Mark 1' or 'Shot Mark 2' to assignable buttons on the camera.
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