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newbie question here: (editing, codec, decks, recorders, SDI, Sony, AJA, Atomos)

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Sean McPartlin
newbie question here: (editing, codec, decks, recorders, SDI, Sony, AJA, Atomos)
on Apr 2, 2011 at 11:25:32 pm

OK so we have been growing our internal video needs. We are a corporation and try to bring in house our abilities. Mainly because we can't afford to spend a lot of cash many times a year to farm out the work.

So we started just shooting video with pro-sumer Sony cams and kept climbing the camera bracket to get better quality. Now quality isn't the issue as much as the time spent to edit.
We own, Adobe's stuff, but prefer Sony Vegas for ease of use. Need to send some folks to Adobe school to get to use it right. Our finished product is never ever HD. DVD's, web video and Ipad/apple tv (old one) seem to be the norm right now. However we are forward thinking so we shoot everything in HD and edit in HD and then down convert at the end. We have one user offsite that like Mac’s and uses final cut pro.

Time .... oh time... and more time is spent editing. So we are going to try to edit some of it live by using the Sony AWS-G500E Anycast to take the input from all our camera’s, computers and microphones and send out to a recorder of some sort. We might stream using the Sony or use someone else’s to stream to a CDN for Web broadcast. Not sure about the stream part. But the drift is getting someone to act as the “director” and tell the person running the Anycast to pick what camera feed to put on the output display. (would route output display to large screen or projector for live presentation on right, and always show PowerPoint/computer desktop on left screen.) I think with planning we can get a 90% finished product from the output of the Anycast. The problem comes in if we need to add in pieces we missed later on Vegas or Final Cut pro. To help here we are thinking we need to record all the input feeds and gunlock them with the output feed. It needs to be portable and it needs to be easy to use in post. This way we just take the output video and add the tracks of all the input feeds and just change the track that is rendered to the finished output file. (I’m in IT not video so I am not tuned into video nomenclature)
I’ve posted some other things on this COW site: http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/24/926926
And http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/117/858001 so that’s some background on what we are doing.

What I ask here is what the pro’s on a limited budget would do? How do you folks feel about Apple ProRes? What about the atomos ninja-and-samurai-hd-video-recorders? We though a device under 1500 that could gunlock with other units to help us keep timecode easy for post would be great. (we can’t afford camera’s that support gunlock inside themselves so an external box is way cool for us. Especially if we are doing it for just convenience)

We guess the pro’s turn up their nose at Vegas software and that’s fine. (we don’t know how to use Adobe yet) Had avid but it didn’t go very far.. Vegas got picked up by our endusers and they just ran with it. We got the one Mac zealot and they use final cut pro and we just try and keep everyone happy.

Seems the SDI recording decks from sony are mucho expensive… what would you folks do?

Thanks in advance.


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Bob Zelin
Re: newbie question here: (editing, codec, decks, recorders, SDI, Sony, AJA, Atomos)
on Apr 3, 2011 at 4:51:54 pm

this is one of my horrible, rude rants, and it's towards your management, not you. I get upset reading posts like yours.

You are a highly qualified IT person - perhaps knowlegeable about CISCO switches, setting up networks, security, etc. Would you hire a high school kid to do your job ? Will your bosses try to replace you ?

There are countless people coming out of school, and tons of unemployed video pros that know how to use FCP, AVID, Adobe CS5, and yes - even Vegas. And they know the answers to these questions, and they would love a job at your company. Why would your company hire YOU, as a qualified IT person, and not be willing to hire a qualified video editor that knows all this stuff ? Why ? WHY !

ProRes is for Apple FCP workflow, and can be read by Adobe and AVID. AVID is a great product, but requires a knowlegeable person, just like you know Microsoft Server software. Same with FCP. The AJA KiPro is a fantastic recorder for FCP workflow, as it records native ProRes compression codecs on a hard drive, or the new KiPro Mini uses CF flash cards, and it's only $2000.

It truly bothers me that your company thinks that doing video production and post production is an "after thought" - and is not willing to hire even a kid out of school that understands all this stuff.
Maybe your company will fire you, because with new technologies out like Thunderbolt, hey "anyone can setup a network". Would that be cool with you ?

Bob Zelin



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Sean McPartlin
Re: newbie question here: (editing, codec, decks, recorders, SDI, Sony, AJA, Atomos)
on Apr 3, 2011 at 6:22:23 pm

Bob I can see your point. I have been reading a lot of your posts on here over the years and trust me this wasnt really that rude.

It would be hard to explain away the actions of my employer other than say all of it's employees wear many hats. Here, plenty of folks are not experts in much of what they have to try and complete. Video would not be the first area IT has had to step into and figure out how the pros do things.

I could tell you we would just not do it vs hiring pros. I could tell you we would not have that much work to keep em' busy. I could tell you I have seen what happens when they want to contract out pros for an event. They were too cheap and got back crap.

I can tell you that eventually we will hire pros to do the work. But to get there the need will have to be created. In the mean time we need the tools these pros would use. We need to find out the basics of what they know and fake it for the time being.

Our IT department has in the past had to figure out, security systems, mail room functions, prepress and print shop production, inventory management, electrical and environment management, whouse management, shipping systems, and countless other areas that trust me fall outside of IT. That is just the fact of working here.

Your right and and see how you would get mad. However this doesn't change the facts of our situition. We are trying to help another department meet a goal. Create some content to help sell some product. As we sell more product we can then hire more people to do the work. If video production became more than they can do they will be forced to pay the righ people to do the work. That's what I want to work to. So I'm online asking the pros how to get us there.

I'm going to climb on a soapbox for a second while I am here. I feel as an outsider that the video device manufactures are pulling a con job. Just why are cameras that can do timecode and genlock so stupid expensive?
I am sure these are great devices. But cheap cameras should be able to record in sync with each other soma marketing person can drop 3 tracks down onto a computer and cut up the footage in 60 mins to get a rough draft of video. But no you have to spend stupid amounts of money for the simple convenience of three files that line up with each other on the editing workstation.

Yes i said it, in our company it's marketing people that are editing video. They all learned how somewhere or on the job. The difference I see is that real pro cameras had video that looked better than anything a hobbyist would have. Today I cannot say that. The real pro cameras look really good but the cheap hobby (pro-sumer) cameras look good enough for that throw away DVD at the trade show or web video. I know the color accuracy on the real stuff is better but nobody in sales or marketing care about that. I also think our audience does not care either.

My laptop died so it's hard to write all this on an IPhone. So I'll come back a little later. In the meantime I'll get back on track.

If you like Vegas what file format should one record in? I have read a few posts that prores should be avoided.

All I want is to take 3 cameras (prosumer) and run them into the anycast station. Then output a live feed. Then I want to record the output feed and the 3 input feeds with some sort of device(s) that would allow me to drop 4 files into Vegas and FCP where they line up in sync with each other sown someone can do some very basic editing.

We do not want to spend the money on the cameras. So is there a recorder that will genlock/timecode(timelock?) four feeds together? All we are trying to avoid is having to line up camera 1 to camera 2's start and stoP On the computer. It is tedious and annoying. Add three more cameras and it gets more annoying in the editing booth.

Our logic is if you didn't record it, it didn't happen. So if none of the three cameras saw it we don't worry about it.
We just need help giving the marketing people an easy way to edit it. All that means is changing the output video to show footage from a different camera at a point in time then was done on they anycat during the presentation.

Can you offer us some help to do that?


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Sean McPartlin
Re: newbie question here: (editing, codec, decks, recorders, SDI, Sony, AJA, Atomos)
on Apr 3, 2011 at 10:15:42 pm

What do you folks think about Convergent Design's Nanoflash?
This sounds like something that might work for us.

The New Gemini looks really cool but not sure it fits into our budget.

I need to read more about timecode and genlock... I think it sounds like there is some sort of box that makes each and maybe one that does both. But I wonder if timecode would be enough for our needs.


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Chuck Pullen
Re: newbie question here: (editing, codec, decks, recorders, SDI, Sony, AJA, Atomos)
on Apr 4, 2011 at 12:55:30 pm

Even though you are not starting from scratch, this project is a major undertaking, even for seasoned video professionals. My personal advice…get your company to write someone like Bob Z. a check and let him figure it all out what you’ve got, and what you need; that’s what he does.

You really don’t want in the situation where they are expecting you to make all of these decisions and add all of this to your plate. All you need to do is make one purchasing mistake, you’ve messed up your entire workflow, and all eyes will be on your especially after they spend big money for the wrong video equipment.


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Andrew Rendell
Re: newbie question here: (editing, codec, decks, recorders, SDI, Sony, AJA, Atomos)
on Apr 4, 2011 at 5:55:14 pm

I'd just like to pitch in with a comment regarding "quality isn't the issue as much as the time spent to edit."

The time taken to edit something, unless it has some specific and unusual technical requirements, is actually much more dependent upon the skill and experience of the operators and, even more importantly, both you and them having a clear understanding of whatever it is you're attempting to achieve, than which software package (Sony, Apple, Adobe, Avid, Grass Valley, etc) you've decided to use.


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