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Working with two different formats in final cut pro

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Kim Tate Wistreich
Working with two different formats in final cut pro
on Feb 28, 2011 at 8:31:27 pm

All

I am about to embark on the edit of a 25 min documentary which includes a lot of interviews and was shot on 2 different cameras, a JVC 3CCD and a Cannon E550. The footage from the JVC is in a .mov format compressed with XDCAM EX 1920 x 1080 at 25fps and the E550 footage was captured into FCP to .mov with Prores 422 (LT) also at 1920 x 1080 at 25 fps.

I began today to experiment with recompressing all of the XDCAM EX stuff to prores using MPEG Streamclip but came out with file size increases from 3.7 GB to 53 GB. Even when changing the 'quality' parameter to 1% the files were about twice the original size but looked much much worse.

I then tried to convert the Prores stuff to XDCAM and it came out about twice the file size but the quality seemed identical, at least by my un-microscopic vision. The problem was that some grey spots flashed up (whilst viewing in Quicktime), even on the few-second-long file I was testing with, which didn't give me much confidence.

I am now trying compressor, which seems to be creating files about twice the size without a visible loss of quality when recompressing from XDCAM EX to Prores but I'm skeptical as to whether some quality is being lost, given the stark difference in size from those created in MPEG streamclip.

Anyway, I need to start cutting tomorrow and am really hoping that someone could confirm that it is still best to go all out Prores rather than all out XDCAM. I would also like to know if anyone knows why the grey spots came up when I went from Prores to XDCAM or why the file sizes are coming out so differently on MPEG Streamclip and Compressor.

Any thoughts that people have on other foreseeable issues or reasons why this is all going to go horribly wrong or swimmingly well would be fantastic too.

This is my first time posting on here so thanks to anyone who can help and I hope something from my experience can be of use to others in the future.

Thanks a lot

Kim =]


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Rich Rubasch
Re: Working with two different formats in final cut pro
on Mar 1, 2011 at 2:36:29 am

When we use XDCAM with ProRes we just make the sequence ProRes and the XDCAM cuts in nicely. However, you could also convert the XDCAM to ProRes LT and you won't see file sizes so large. Did you convert them to ProRes HQ?

No need...I'll bet the ProRes LT will look great and play very nicely with the other ProRes footage.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Kim Tate Wistreich
Re: Working with two different formats in final cut pro
on Mar 1, 2011 at 3:03:47 am

Thanks for your reply Rick.

I am already using Prores LT and they are not quite so big when using compressor. I'm not sure why they were so big using MPEG Streamclip (again Prores LT).

If I set the sequence settings to Prores and then drag the XDCAM footage in, it will ask me if I want to match the settings. If I say 'no', will it convert the video to Prores to match the sequence? If so will I end up with huge render files? Even if that's the case, then it would mean I don't have to convert EVERYTHING so it would possibly come out smaller. Is that how it works.

Thanks a lot Rick, I really appreciate that.


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Rich Rubasch
Re: Working with two different formats in final cut pro
on Mar 1, 2011 at 6:04:07 pm

ACTUALLY just drag in one of the pro res clips first to establish the sequence setting, then double check it to make sure all is well, then you can start cutting in the XDCAM.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Kim Tate Wistreich
Re: Working with two different formats in final cut pro
on Mar 2, 2011 at 8:48:26 am

Thanks again Rick. Just to clarify, do you suggest I just start cutting XDCAM footage in that sequence without transcoding it first? It's true it doesn't seem to need to rneder it which surprised me. However I have had issues when mixing formats before, green spots appearing or gray squares and so on. From your experience, should there be any problems when I come to export the final piece, if they don't all match?

Thanks again fro your kind advice


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Rich Rubasch
Re: Working with two different formats in final cut pro
on Mar 2, 2011 at 10:20:32 pm

No issues. Color effects etc might take a little longer to render than the same effect on a ProRes clip, but it plays nice this way.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Martin Curtis
Re: Working with two different formats in final cut pro
on Mar 4, 2011 at 6:23:00 am

If I can jump in on this one, if I was cutting HD footage Logged and Transferred as ProRes, would I be able to bring in SD footage imported as DV and cut away with no need to render (excessively) and keep the DV frame size as SD (small and squarish) in the HD frame?

I think that's how I'm reading both this thread and Apple's info.
"Freely edit a combination of HD and SD, including NTSC and PAL, all in real time. Final Cut Pro 7 offers real-time scaling and playback for video in various camera-native formats as well as members of the Apple ProRes family."


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