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Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer

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christina ricci
Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 6, 2011 at 5:57:37 pm

Hi,

I am having trouble with logging footage. It is logging with poor quality, see image below with sequence settings. Whether I import using the stand-alone XDCAM transfer or the FCP's log and transfer using the sony Plugin same results. Artifacts on the edges. This is HD footage and looks like low-res quality. My sequence is apple pro res 422. the bit rate (I was told is low) 4.3MB/Sec. I am not sure how to fix this and if it is even the issue causing this poor quality import.

Footage settings:

Artifacts in footage:

FCP Easy Set-up Settings:
I would greatly appreciate insight on what could possible be causing this.

Christina


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Don Greening
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 6, 2011 at 6:59:40 pm

Your screen grabs tell me you've got XDCAM EX footage in a XDCAM HD timeline. What does your clip look like when you put it into an XDCAM EX sequence? I don't have any XDCAM HD footage or I'd try it myself. You can also try to put your EX footage into a ProRes sequence, render it and then look at the result.

- Don

Don Greening
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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christina ricci
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 6, 2011 at 7:25:22 pm

I typically like to use a Apple Pro Res sequence settings which is what I outputted to. I just tried the XDCAM sequence to see if it would make a difference. what I have it typically set at is below in screen shot. Better rendering and no crashing. I used the XDCAM to import and then dropped onto the ProRes timeline. The problem is the footage when converted using the XDcam doesn't appear to be great quality. Artifacts on the edges and low data rate 4.3 MB/sec when imported into FCp browser window. When I open same footage in QT the data rate is higher (36.29). Again, not sure if data rate has anything to do with it but my friend says his are around 12mb/sec.

Current settings:

Thank you for your help!

Christina


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Craig Seeman
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 6, 2011 at 7:39:09 pm

[christina ricci] "Artifacts on the edges and low data rate 4.3 MB/sec when imported into FCp browser window. When I open same footage in QT the data rate is higher (36.29)."

Confusing bytes with bits. 4.3 MegaBYTES perso second is about 35 MegaBITS per second.

[christina ricci] "The problem is the footage when converted using the XDcam doesn't appear to be great quality."

Converting? That doesn't make sense. The files are just being rewrapped to .mov. That's a lossless procedure. It has no impact on the media data quality at all.

Transcoding to ProRes also has minimal impact on quality. It gives you more color space to work with as ProRes can withstand FX processing better than XDCAM. Also I-Frame codecs are a lot easier on the decoding resources used by the computer.



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christina ricci
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 6, 2011 at 7:46:59 pm

I apologize, I am fairly new to these terms. So that makes sense. However, I do know that on my FCP timeline, the quality of the video is poor. Viewed at 100 percent, I can clearly see the artifacts on the edges. I cannot figure out where in the process I am going wrong.

I used the XDCAM Transfer. I then imported into a ProRes timeline maintain other clip's settings

Is there another setting I am missing that would cause this: ?

Thanks!

Christina


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Michael Palmer
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 6, 2011 at 8:20:33 pm

Try this, take and drop your EX codec into a new sequence and allow FCP to set the settings, then go to Sequence/Setting/RenderControl and set to ProRez.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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christina ricci
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 6, 2011 at 9:11:29 pm

Michael,

Yes, tried that as well. In fact, that is my work flow process. I must admit that my final QT output looks decent (not great) (screen shots below), but when I pull into Compressor and prepare for DVD Studio Pro, the final DVD output is a horror, artifacts galor. Not on every clip though. For ex, the top clip is bad in final and the middle (girl with blue shirt (me)) is ok. The third (girl with yellow shirt) is bad as well in final DVD output.

Compressor setting are the DVD 90 Minute Best Quality.

Final Output before going to Compressor

Final Output before going to Compressor:

Final Output before going to Compressor:


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Michael Palmer
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 6, 2011 at 9:21:42 pm

Are you exporting the native EX sequence directly to Compressor or are you exporting as ProRez first then reimporting to FCP and sending to Compressor?

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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christina ricci
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 6, 2011 at 9:31:36 pm

Michael,

I export the entire timeline with ProRes settings as self contained movie maintaining timeline settings, so full 1080. Then I drop that into Compressor and apply the DVD 90 minute Best Quality settings.

HOW I EXPORT:

Thank you for your help, I appreciate it.

Christina


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Michael Palmer
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 6, 2011 at 9:44:13 pm

When you export do you confirm the Options settings and choose a ProRez setting. For me I'm right in the middle of DVD hell myself and I have for whatever reason wanted a ProRez file to send to compressor, so I would export Using Quick Time Conversion and set in Options the codec (PR) and size I want, then I use that .mov for Compressor. My thinking is that Apple Prorez will make a better compressed movie.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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christina ricci
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 6, 2011 at 9:54:58 pm

Not necessary because my time line settings are set to ProRes. To check this, open your .mov file or output using QT and look at the inspector as shown below. its confirms that it is in fact Apple ProRes formatted. I do not use QT Conversion. I hear it adds double compression and not necessary. Going straight to QT is fine. It maintains the timeline settings.

Confirmation that it is ProRes:



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Michael Palmer
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 6, 2011 at 10:25:52 pm

So you think you have issues with the rewrap and that is causing a poor DVD output?

Craig is right about the rewrap being lose less. I don't think you are missing anything using XD Cam Transfer to rewrap, as there are no setting you need to make. It doesn't create proxy files it only rewraps the EX files.

I have given you my workflow and the way I see it I'm just transcoding my final edit exporting once as ProRez and it IMHO it is better for Compressor to compress a SD DVD.

What is your workflow to compress for a DVD?
How are you monitoring the timelime and final DVD to determine these artifacts you see?

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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christina ricci
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 6, 2011 at 10:48:48 pm

What is your workflow to compress for a DVD?

I output using File > Export > Quicktime Movie > Current settings and self contained
Then I add .mov file to Compressor and drop in the DVD 90 Minute Best Quality settings.
Then I import the mv2 and ac3 into DVD Studio Pro. I worry that DVD studio Pro is compressing further but thread I have read says it detects this and doesn't.

How are you monitoring the timelime and final DVD to determine these artifacts you see?

I make a dvd and view on my HD Samsung tv. When I view the .mov file from my ipad to the tv via hdmi cable it looks fine. It is just the DVD that look really bad on the computer and tv.


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Don Greening
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 6, 2011 at 11:54:48 pm

[christina ricci] "It is just the DVD that look really bad on the computer and tv."

Try this:

go back to your SD timeline and apply the flicker filter. Well set it to MAX first in the Browser and then apply it to all your clips. This will get rid of motion artifacts and line twitter. Motion artifacts happen when there's too much detail dialed in to the camera and you're going from HD to SD. All that HD detail is faithfully reproduced during the compression process (making a DVD from an HD source) and this leads to big time motion artifacts.

If you believe that your video is being compromised during the re-wrap to MOV then try trashing the preference file for XDCAM Transfer. The path is: Macintosh HD>user>yourname> library>preferences. Look for the filename: "com.sony.bprl.xdcamtransfer.plist" without the quotes. Trash this preference file (as in put it in the trash bin) and restart XDCAM Transfer. This will put the program into its default state. See if that solves it. Make sure you also re-navigate to where you want the converted media to again reside by using the preferences menu.

Don Greening
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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christina ricci
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 7, 2011 at 12:10:22 am

Don,

Thank you. I will try this. My timeline is HD.

Christina


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christina ricci
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 7, 2011 at 1:07:57 am

Don,

Thank you. I did try both of your suggestions and no go. I am beginning to think it is an encoding issue from Compressor based on other threads I am reading. Can you suggest an encoder better than compressor (for MAC)?

Christina


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Don Greening
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 7, 2011 at 2:59:49 am

[christina ricci] "Can you suggest an encoder better than compressor (for MAC)?"

Sure. It's called BitVice and you can find it here: http://www.innobits.com/

But honestly, I can produce fine looking SD DVDs using Final Cut Studio so I wish I was able to look over your shoulder to see what's happening. It's probably something quite simple.

Cheers

Don Greening
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 7, 2011 at 3:19:14 am

These two blog posts by Alister Chapman points to some issues with XDCAM EX downconverts to SD.
Personally i've been bitten by the line twitter issue when shooting thin lines while the camera is moving.

http://www.xdcam-user.com/2011/03/getting-good-sd-from-an-hd-camera/

http://www.xdcam-user.com/2009/11/getting-sd-from-hd-and-the-problems-of-ov...



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Michael Slowe
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 7, 2011 at 12:03:56 pm

Christina, I heartily endorse the suggestion of BitVice as a DVD encoder. The new versions are brilliant and have solved all the DVD artifact troubles that put me off DVD's for years. I too shoot on an EX 1, import into Media 100 with EX Transfer in the ProRes HQ 422 codec (just a re wrap into a .mov as explained above). After editing in HD I export (either Self Contained or By Ref) and drag the file into BitVice. It does a brilliant job of down converting to SD (this is the crucial step). BitVice now also prepares your audio ac3 at the same time as the M2V video file. I then finish in Studio Pro prior to burning in Toast.

If you're in HD though why not stay there and produce Blu-Ray discs? When I compare a BD to a DVD on a big HD screen I am staggered by the difference. Complete absence of noise or artifacts. Can't use BitVice for that, Toast 11 Pro does a great BD job.

Michael Slowe


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christina ricci
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 7, 2011 at 12:27:52 pm

Michael and Don,

Thank you for the BitVice suggestion. This piece needs to go on DVD because it is a sizzle-reel going to the networks. Michael- why not burn using Studio Pro? Why use Toast?

Thanks again for your advice.

Christina


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Don Greening
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 7, 2011 at 8:03:11 pm

I've found over the years that DVD Studio Pro is rather sketchy when doing the actual DVD burn. I've had many more aborted burns than there should be. However I still do the DVD builds in DVDSP but instead of burning within the program I'll create a disk image. Once that's done I'll use Apple's Disk Utility to do the actual burning from the disk image. Much more reliable method, at least for me.

- Don

Don Greening
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Don Greening
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 6, 2011 at 7:52:31 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Also I-Frame codecs are a lot easier on the decoding resources used by the computer."

Indeed. And since you're using a laptop to edit with this becomes an important issue.

Data rate is inexorably tied to the codec you're using to edit and view with. If I understood your reply (and I'm not sure I do) if you use the XDCAM HD to import you get the artficats but using XDCAM EX instead you don't. You use an XDCAM HD timeline because an XDCAM EX timeline crashes and produces inferior renders.

My playback and rendering of native XDCAM EX footage is stellar at the lower data rate, so I don't know what is happening at your end. In an XDCAM EX timeline set your renders to ProRes in prefs. A friendly recommendation about ProRes: there is no discernible difference that I can see (and certainly your clients) between ProRes and ProRes (LT). Unless you're doing heavy CC or green screen work I go with the LT version because it needs less storage space. Let your editing requirements be your guide on this.

- Don

Don Greening
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Rafael Amador
Re: Importing using XDCAM log and Transfer
on Jul 9, 2011 at 12:30:13 am

Cristina,
You have changed the sequence codec to Prores, so set "Render all YUV in High Precisision".
Otherwise your Prores is crunched to 8b YUV.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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