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P2 Workflow for TV series

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Steve Gruskin
P2 Workflow for TV series
on Aug 19, 2008 at 2:15:41 am

We are about to embark on the production of 19 episodes of a strip series for a major cable network. We plan to shoot in DVCPro50 with HPX and HVX cameras. We are including a "P2 Wrangler/Logger" on location to copy the cards and import them into FCP as they are used. There will be redundancy in this process so we're not worried about that. The issue is that we have a deliverable requirement for camera tapes, and if we make tapes using stringouts of the footage taken from the P2 cards, the timecode on the tapes will not match the timcode on our edl's. Any thoughts? Thanks!


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Shane Ross
Re: P2 Workflow for TV series
on Aug 19, 2008 at 3:12:41 am

One thought would be that if you are required to deliver camera master tapes with TC that corresponds with your project, then you should be shooting with cameras that record tape. Or you are going to have to go through the ridiculous redundant and time consuming and non-cost saving step of importing your footage, stringing it out in your NLE, outputting to tape, then recapturing that tape. That will be one way that you can make camera masters with matching timecode. Another would be to output your masters to tape later, making the sequence match your footage TC (as long as you don't do time of day), black a tape to match, then output.

Still, you aren't saving money in the long run...and you definately aren't saving time. Either petition the network to accept the tapeless format or shoot to tape.


Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Steve Gruskin
Re: P2 Workflow for TV series
on Aug 19, 2008 at 3:42:18 am

Thanks Shane. We did have that thought, of course. In our case we're making 19 half hour shows in 3 months and speed at the front of the production cycle is important. Shooting with the HPX and HVX cameras will be good for our production. We don't mind having to dub stringouts to tape, it's just time later when we have it. It's very frustrating - the cable networks push like crazy for lower production costs, but are not willing to let us deliver in the most efficient way. We're backing up our completed projects including all media to a high capacity tape drive so we could restore it to a local hard drive in it's entirety for future edits, but I don't think our network will accept that as a solution. We're not working with DCI on this project so there is no tape library/stock footage angle, it's just this maddening transitional time where the capture/ingest technology has surpassed the client's legacy tape library system.

By the way, I read your article on P2 work flow and enjoyed it very much!



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Shane Ross
Re: P2 Workflow for TV series
on Aug 19, 2008 at 4:09:03 am

They won't accept LTO or DLT data tape? Shame, many places don't. Yeah, we are also getting the "give us an HD show at SD prices...or sub SD prices. Oh, but keep the same workflow..."


Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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John Twigt
Re: P2 Workflow for TV series
on Aug 19, 2008 at 11:44:03 am

I understand your predicament here, I suppose the time isn't there to first copy the P2 to tape and then ingest tapes (instead p2 cards) ? Another solution might be getting a Panasonic AJ-HPM110 or AJ-HPS1500 (P2 player/recorders) with a TC out and playing these to tape then ingest P2 in NLE. This would probably mean you'll need twice the amount of P2 cards, (thus a lot of money to get the cards en recorders) since you'll at least double (probably triple) the time to free up your cards for shooting.

The I can only think of 'recreating' the P2 cards in your NLE by putting all the shots in shooting order (if you didn't shoot in free-running TC or delete a lot of clips on site)in a sequence an dump these to tapes. (also a lot room for errors here).

Is timecode consistency really important for your client? I mean will they use your logfiles or will they recut your sequences ? Otherwise timecode is maybe not such a big issue for them....

Good luck with all this

John Twigt
Workstation BV, Amsterdam
The Netherlands
http://www.workstation.nl


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Adam Smith
Re: P2 Workflow for TV series
on Aug 19, 2008 at 4:54:02 pm

[John Twigt] "I suppose the time isn't there to first copy the P2 to tape and then ingest tapes (instead p2 cards) ? Another solution might be getting a Panasonic AJ-HPM110 or AJ-HPS1500 (P2 player/recorders) with a TC out and playing these to tape then ingest P2 in NLE."

Not to derail the discussion, but is it possible to import the MXF as normal and at a later date rebuild the project from tape clones?

Obviously this would be dependent on the edit system but I'm working on a 5 year old Avid Meridian, I'm still a noob with the FCP rig at home, and I'm still learning about all the potential P2 workflows.

- - -
Video Photographer / Avid & Final Cut Editor


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John Twigt
Re: P2 Workflow for TV series
on Aug 19, 2008 at 5:16:10 pm

I've no experience with Avid (old or new) just some with FCP and extensively with Media100Hd and 844/x systems. But rebuilding a project from tape is impossible on a file level, I think. What would be possible is to redigitize a timeline (edit) from tapes, if the original ingest (or digitizing) was done with proper timecoding and reel naming. In the case of redigitizing from tape a timeline made with P2 ingested clips, the relationship (timecode wise) between the P2 footage and the tape copies must be flawless, otherwise you're doooooomed.

Hope this helped,

John Twigt
Workstation BV, Amsterdam
The Netherlands
http://www.workstation.nl


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: P2 Workflow for TV series
on Aug 19, 2008 at 6:22:57 pm

[John Twigt] "the relationship (timecode wise) between the P2 footage and the tape copies must be flawless, otherwise you're doooooomed."

Not only that, but if you record in anything other than 60 or 50 fps, you won't be able to match back to your 25pn or 24pn p2 footage as you will lose all of the flagged frame info when stringing back out to tape.

Jeremy


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Dylan Reeve
Re: P2 Workflow for TV series
on Aug 23, 2008 at 11:49:55 pm

[Adam Smith] "Not to derail the discussion, but is it possible to import the MXF as normal and at a later date rebuild the project from tape clones?"

Yes, I believe it is, in both Avid and FCP. But there are going to be practical difficulties. It will require that the clips, as well as have a reel number that relates to the tape they were archived to (probably not going to be available until after the original NLE ingest) and it will be important that those archive tapes include accurate timecode cloned from the original sources, and that it not be duplicated on a single tape.

In practice I think this would be a huge pain. Footage would have to be brought into the NLE and then laid out to tape, except it's going to be really difficult to get the archive tape to match the source timecode (while technically possible in Avid, and probably FCP too, it's seldom as easy as it seems).

In reality, the easier way, I think, is to layout source footage in 'reel lengths' in an NLE and then layback to new source master tapes. Then redigitise those tapes to use an edit source tapes. A better approach again would be using a P2-player to make those dubs.

I know this is a problem a number of program makers face with solid-state acquisition on commissioned show for a few large international cable networks.



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Steve Gruskin
Re: P2 Workflow for TV series
on Aug 25, 2008 at 4:48:55 am

Thanks Adam,

We fall into the "problem a number of program makers face with solid-state acquisition on commissioned show for a few large international cable networks." category.

I think the best plan is to make dubs to tape using a P2 card reader. In our case it will probably have to be done at the end using the MXF data that we copy on location. With 38 shoot days, 2 cams/shoot, this will be a daunting task.

We're going to try to convince our network to take a LTO tape with the entire project for each show as their archive copy.



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John Twigt
Re: P2 Workflow for TV series
on Aug 19, 2008 at 11:52:29 am

Me again, I just noticed that you're not shooting HD, so the panasonic AJ-SPD850 will also work (again a P2 recorder/player but no HD on this), and in SD time maybe an ever bigger issue (playout time vs. P2 ingesting). But I thought maybe it helps anyway, demo version for sale here

John Twigt
Workstation BV, Amsterdam
The Netherlands
http://www.workstation.nl


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Steve Gruskin
Re: P2 Workflow for TV series
on Aug 20, 2008 at 1:31:18 am

Thanks for the suggestions. We're going to try to persuade our network to accept the tape backup solution. The AJ-HPM110 is a good potential solution, but is costly. We're planning to copy the MXF data to a drive for file safety before we import the P2 cards into FCP. Can we use that data to reconstruct the cards later and possibly transfer to tape at a later date? This will still be costly, but will not tie up resources on location. Thanks!



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: P2 Workflow for TV series
on Aug 20, 2008 at 2:42:30 am

[Steve Gruskin] "Can we use that data to reconstruct the cards later and possibly transfer to tape at a later date?"

As long as you keep the same structure. Most definitely.

Jeremy


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