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Generating a master for TV

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Generating a master for TV
on Jul 11, 2007 at 4:19:26 pm

I'm outputting a 30 second commercial spot for a client that will air on TV shortly. Most of what I do is litigation animation and video production.

I'm wanting to learn how to do things right.

I think I need a slate at the beginning that states client, production, length, date produced...etc.

Also, I've seen color bars and a tone for 30 seconds or so that I guess engineers use to evaluate the tape quality.

My client supplied graphics overlays with letterbox type margins. The letterboxing is pure white, with pure black lines separating the action inside the letterbox. The red of the text and logos are not purely saturated and are fairly video safe (they look reasonable on my NTSC monitor).

But I've heard of such things as 7.5 IRE black etc... Is pure white or black in this composition a problem?

I put all of this together in the compositor Cumbustion, output sequential targas and compiled an uncompressed video clip in Velocity that I will be putting on my BetaSP deck.

I was also wondering about whether a 30 second commercial had a head and tail, or really was exactly 30 seconds on tape?

If someone could educate me on the issues above, I'd greatly appreciate it.

PS: I can pipe my video from Velocity into DV Rack and see it on the waveform mmonitor/vector scope, thought I don't know what to look for.

Thanks a bunch,
Buck Wyckoff
Buckward Digital Services

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Nick Griffin
Re: Generating a master for TV
on Jul 13, 2007 at 8:14:32 pm

I'm not anything close to an authority on this since I do corp/industrial these days and it's been more than a decade since I've done spots, but maybe I can get you started.

Yes, you need a slate which gives all that stuff. Assume that your tape will be separated from the box and put all information on both.

TV :30's are audio completely out at 29.5. You can hold video to :30 (or longer) since most places will automatically cut it off. Just don't have anything happening after 29.5 or it will look like your spot was cut off prematurely.

One minute or more of bars and tones at the head are standard as this is what's used to adjust your tape so it's at the same levels, chroma, etc. as everything else on the station/channel.

Cable is CONSIDERABLY more casual about the legality of IRE and such like. Broadcast tends to be much more strict and for network there is nothing less than dead-on. That's why you need a scope -- a real one, not the pretend ones that are built into editing software. I believe that there are "real" scopes which are software-based, but they run on stand-alone computers, not as something just running in another window on your editing machine. I BELIEVE that DV Rack is one of these, but that's where you need someone more knowledgeable than me to advise you.

The big thing being not having your whites exceed 100% by very much. That's a BIG no no as it can tear the picture and cause noise in the audio. Blacks below the specified pedestal of 7.5 will block-up and look bad, but this is nowhere near as big a problem as whites over 100. Speaking of which, can't you set "broadcast safe" in one of the output modules of your software? (I'm not familiar with Combustion, but that may be one of your options.)

If you are in doubt about what you are outputing ask the station/cable outlet to review your tape and advise you of any problems. This means that you should NOT wait to give them the tape until the cut-off period, usually 12 to 24 hours (if memory serves). Give them a few days and yourself a few more to make any needed changes.

Hope this semi-pro info at least gives you a start.

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Re: Generating a master for TV
on Jul 17, 2007 at 1:50:12 am

Thanks for responding. I'll take this information and endeavor to improve myself. Thanks again.

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