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PMW F3 Feature FCP Workflow Options

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Fraun Petri
PMW F3 Feature FCP Workflow Options
on Apr 28, 2011 at 9:13:27 pm

Hey all,

Just been thrown into the fire here on a feature shot with the PMW F3. They are using the in camera cards with the XDCAM EX codec and I am still waiting to hear if they are going to be recording to an external SRW-1 tape.

As I am doing a great deal of my own workflow, I'm trying to best utilize time and hard drive space to allow for the best performance and quality for the edit. Many people have spoken about the pros and cons of editing with XDCAM EX quicktimes natively and instead of a beefy mac pro, I will be on location with Final Cut on a 17 inch MBP from late 2010.

I know that the cards record in the .mp4 format and need to be unwrapped to work with in final cut or with a 3rd party quicktime component that enables FCP to read the .mp4 but are either of these viable options for a feature length project? Would it be better to transcode all of the XDCAM EX material to the ProRes 422 LT codec for the edit maintaining all of the meta-data for the online later?

Various posts from the cow have people have going both ways on this, but any assistance you can provide with details about your experiences would be very helpful.

-Fraunpetri


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Michael Palmer
Re: PMW F3 Feature FCP Workflow Options
on Apr 28, 2011 at 9:20:47 pm

If you are going for a film out you really want to record with a 10 bit recorder, AJA makes the KiPro Mini. YOu can use the EX Codec for offline editing. But don't even consider the EX Codec for a film out project unless this is all that is possible in your budget. Don't worry about the rewrapping mp4 right now worry about the bigger picture of recording as close to uncompressed as possible.

Convergent Design has the Gemini coming out in August, and it will record completely uncompressed HD 4:4:4 RGB that the F3 will soon deliver.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Fraun Petri
Re: PMW F3 Feature FCP Workflow Options
on Apr 28, 2011 at 11:21:58 pm

Thanks for the speedy response Michael. I'm going to have the conversation about the need for a less compressed master file today and I'll be sure to mention the KiPro. Unfortunately for me, they are beginning to shoot in a few days and the Gemini isn't available yet.

And even though the online is a much bigger deal, if you have any recommendations on the stability of the XDCAM EX codec quicktime files for offline editing, I'd appreciate any thoughts as they are making hard drive decisions and the total space needed and workflow is something we need to nail down.

-Fraunpetri


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Michael Palmer
Re: PMW F3 Feature FCP Workflow Options
on Apr 28, 2011 at 11:42:16 pm

IMHO The 35Mbps codec is a perfect proxy and hard drives are cheap. The EX Codec is extremely easy to learn for whatever NLE you choose.

If your production is only using the EX codec then make sure to duplicate all media on separate hard drives each day, and store them in separate places. As I said hard drive are cheap and re-shooting isn't.

I would also record at the highest bit rate (220Mbps) possible with the KiPro and this is where you will need even more drives and rated compact flash media cards. One way to cut down on drive space is to delete bad takes and perhaps a script person can highlight the main selects and the director can run though the dailies and help delete unusable takes.

If I had my way the KiPro media would be duplicated on 2 separate drives and the EX codec on another for a fail safe workflow.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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