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Colin Nusbaum
Sony F-3 XDCAM EX footage on Mixed Timeline in FCP
on Apr 5, 2011 at 2:51:29 pm

I am managing a documentary project that is beginning to shoot with the Sony F-3 camera (never really used Sony footage/formats), and I am trying to decide how to capture, whether to transcode, and how to edit with the footage in Final Cut Pro.

The trick is, in addition to the Sony F-3 footage shot on SxS cards, we are also cutting with archival footage shot on HDV as well as other archival footage we will be receiving on Digitbeta. The film will likely be close to 50/50 between interviews shot on F-3 and the archival footage. The specific questions I have are here:

1. The archival is all timebase 29.97, while the DP using the F-3 wants to shoot in 23.98, so how should I edit within the FCP sequence? I could transcode/conform the F-3 footage to 29.97, but I am not quite sure if this is a good option or what the best method would be? I could alternatively edit in a 23.98 sequence and wait to conform the HDV/archival during an online edit process, but may I have problems matching timecode in the 23.98 sequence?
You may say the answer is dependent on my deliverable, but I am not exactly sure what that is at this point. The ambiguous answer is that we are aiming for television debut (29.97) as well as possible theater/film festival release (23.98). Any thoughts?

2. My other related question, in light of the above, is in regards to the F-3 footage. I am unsure whether we should transcode the footage to Apple ProRes 422 HQ or leave the footage in its native XDCAM EX format. We will of course be backing up the files from the card, but what would be best format for editing in my mixed sequence? I know that ProRes is much larger, which is a price issue, but the storage space is worth it if XDCAM EX is problematic to work with. Does anyone know if the Long GOP format is prone to give me troubles in this case? Over the course of the project, if I need to match frames, reconnect media, and manage media across multiple edit stations, with this present any issues? I am told that regardless of the sequence settings, the render settings should be Apple ProRes with this footage in FCP, right?

Any help/thoughts on these issues would be appreciated. These Sony formats are a new animal for me.


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Colin Nusbaum
Re: Sony F-3 XDCAM EX footage on Mixed Timeline in FCP
on Apr 5, 2011 at 3:14:18 pm

Also, for reference, our edit specs:

FCP 7 on MacPro 5.1, 6-Core Intel Xeon 2.93 GHz, 12GB RAM


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Greg Ondera
Re: Sony F-3 XDCAM EX footage on Mixed Timeline in FCP
on Apr 5, 2011 at 3:27:54 pm

I will let others chime in about the frame rate but I can tell you that HDV footage is going to be more trouble for you editing than XDCam footage. HDV does not edit well in FCP so it is best to encode that to Apple ProRes. My thoughts are the higher frame rate though, especially if that aligns with your most likely plans.

Greg Ondera
http://www.Plexus.tv
http://www.SurgeonToday.org


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Brent Dunn
Re: Sony F-3 XDCAM EX footage on Mixed Timeline in FCP
on Apr 5, 2011 at 3:49:14 pm

Since you know you're dealing with 29.97 frame rate for footage shot in HDV, I would shoot with that on the F-3. You can downconvert your final project if you need it in 24p later.

Convert your HDV to Pro-Res. There is a log and transfer plugin on Sony's website for the XD Cam. So you won't have to transcode the XC Cam footage. Just copy the entire folder from your SxS cards onto your drive and then back them up to another drive.

Once you set up your project, I always drop the XD Cam footage first onto my timeline to set up the sequence settings.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Colin Nusbaum
Re: Sony F-3 XDCAM EX footage on Mixed Timeline in FCP
on Apr 5, 2011 at 5:00:57 pm

It seems the DP and the Producer are keen on shooting 24fps, seeking a film look for what it's worth, so I think I will have to make it work on the post end. My intuition is to keep the sequence at 23.98 as well, but I don't know if that will get me into trouble...?

Also, any specifics on problems I would have with HDV? I could potentially transcode to ProRes, but with something like 40hrs of footage, little of which may actually be used in the cut, I'm not sure the hard drive space required is worth it. Also, after the transcode, if I ultimately want to re-ingest full-res for the online, from the HDV tape via a capture card, will I have problems connecting the Apple Pro-Res to the HDV tape?


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Rafael Amador
Re: Sony F-3 XDCAM EX footage on Mixed Timeline in FCP
on Apr 5, 2011 at 4:53:07 pm

[Colin Nusbaum] "1. The archival is all timebase 29.97, while the DP using the F-3 wants to shoot in 23.98, so how should I edit within the FCP sequence? I could transcode/conform the F-3 footage to 29.97, but I am not quite sure if this is a good option or what the best method would be?"
No. That option makes no sense unless you MUST deliver 23,98.
If the footage haven't been shot yet, do it in 29,97 to match the rest of the stuff.



[Colin Nusbaum] "My other related question, in light of the above, is in regards to the F-3 footage. I am unsure whether we should transcode the footage to Apple ProRes 422 HQ or leave the footage in its native XDCAM EX format"
No need to transcode the EX footage, but edit everything on a Prores sequence.
You should try to capture the DigiBeta stuff as Prores too.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Michael Palmer
Re: Sony F-3 XDCAM EX footage on Mixed Timeline in FCP
on Apr 5, 2011 at 4:56:08 pm

I would first match the time base and HD formats before the edit.

Is all of the HDV the same flavor and or what flavors do you have?
The Sony HDV spec does have a 24p that records 29:97 with flags and you could remove the 3:2 pulldown to match up with the F-3 clips.

If this is the case I would try using a Nano Flash to transcode and match the F-3 and it should see the pulldown and remove it, and your HDV deck will supply the proper 1920x1080 HD format and get you out from the 1440x1080 HDV spec. If you use the Sony HDV deck with SDI you may retain the HDV timecode.

I would try working with the HDV first and I would use a Nano Flash with the F-3

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Rafael Amador
Re: Sony F-3 XDCAM EX footage on Mixed Timeline in FCP
on Apr 5, 2011 at 6:26:24 pm

[Colin Nusbaum] "1. The archival is all timebase 29.97, while the DP using the F-3 wants to shoot in 23.98, so how should I edit within the FCP sequence? I could transcode/conform the F-3 footage to 29.97, but I am not quite sure if this is a good option or what the best method would be?"
No. That option makes no sense unless you MUST deliver 23,98.
If the footage haven't been shot yet, do it in 29,97 to match the rest of the stuff.



[Colin Nusbaum] "My other related question, in light of the above, is in regards to the F-3 footage. I am unsure whether we should transcode the footage to Apple ProRes 422 HQ or leave the footage in its native XDCAM EX format"
No need to transcode the EX footage, but edit everything on a Prores sequence.
You should try to capture the DigiBeta stuff as Prores too.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Rafael Amador
Re: Sorry double post
on Apr 5, 2011 at 6:34:10 pm

That.
Sorry.

http://www.nagavideo.com


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