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On set dailies from the Alexa using PIX 240 or Gemini 4:4:4:

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Raymond Tarry
On set dailies from the Alexa using PIX 240 or Gemini 4:4:4:
on Jan 9, 2013 at 6:25:12 pm

Hello, I’ve seen this demonstration of the Arri Alexa and the PIX240 recorder with the idea of on-set real time dailies creation.




And this video: Gemini 4:4:4 Workflow: Recording Video & ARRIRAW





There’s also this quote from the http://www.sounddevices.com website:
“With its 3G-SDI 4:4:4 input, recording to ProRes 4444 offers recordings that are perceptually indistinguishable from the original source material. With its 3G-SDI 4:4:4 input, recording to ProRes 4444 offers recordings that are perceptually indistinguishable from the original source material.”

I’ve been watching for a long time for a way to shoot a feature for theatrical release and have on set dailies without all the transcoding, etc. that comes with the Red Camera and this seems to be it, but I’m not that technically versed, so I thought I’d ask you guys.

As I understand the Arri Alexa’s recording capabilities, the camera records Arri Raw to an external storage or compressed video like 1080P to SXS cards.

So, supposing you wanted to record ArriRaw for theatrical (and I’m not sure that ArriRaw is absolutely necessary for theatrical, but suppose it is) and have on-set dailies for a rough-cut picture edit. Would that work?
Thanks for any clarification
Raymond



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Michael Phillips
Re: On set dailies from the Alexa using PIX 240 or Gemini 4:4:4:
on Feb 4, 2013 at 1:31:35 am

For starters you have to ensure the file names match and then adjust timecode to compensate for any delays in the workflow.

From there make sure color space on output is correct and take it from there. Audio is a different issue - if the camera is recording a mix scratch track it will be on the recorded proxies but will have no reference to the original BWF files if needed for the ISO's.

I would suggest you still need to backup, archive and verify all the original camera masters anyway which is part of the dailies process when transcoding.

Michael


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Raymond Tarry
Re: On set dailies from the Alexa using PIX 240 or Gemini 4:4:4:
on Feb 5, 2013 at 6:24:24 pm

Thanks Michael, very good advice.
According to this recent article - http://www.arri.com/news.html?article=938&cHash=798406a55c7190f6f0c0b5a83ea... Pro Res 4444 recorded to SXS Cards in Camera is plenty adequate for theatrical, so Arri Raw is probably not worth the extra trouble and expense (leave RAW for the big guys)
Thanks again for your thoughts -
Raymond



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John-Michael Seng-Wheeler
Re: On set dailies from the Alexa using PIX 240 or Gemini 4:4:4:
on Feb 8, 2013 at 11:35:02 pm

On a recent project we shot ProRes444 in camera and made H.264 dailies in Resolve on a Retina Mac on set.

The Retina Mac was able to render medium quality full res H.264 Quicktimes at about 21fps, or slightly less then real time. At the end of the day we usually had all the dailies made for the director to take home.

The Dailies were frame accurate with matching TC and file names. We also had sync audio since the sound mixer fed a scratch track to the Alexa wirelessly during the shoot.


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Michael Phillips
Re: On set dailies from the Alexa using PIX 240 or Gemini 4:4:4:
on Feb 8, 2013 at 11:52:49 pm

It depends on what the NLE is best optimized for, editorially speaking. We tend to make H.264 for screening purposes only as a lightweight data rate codec. When sending a mix scratch track to the camera, and "if" there are ISO tracks being recorded by production audio, how are those managed in the dailies if the H/264 is used for editorial? Or when you say "director's" dailies, those were just viewing dailies as well?

Michael


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Raymond Tarry
Re: On set dailies from the Alexa using PIX 240 or Gemini 4:4:4:
on Feb 9, 2013 at 12:54:36 am

I suppose my next question would be, if I'm the director viewing these dailies and they're going to be used by editorial, what quality do they have to be to be sent as an EDL to a post house for online edit?
Again, I suppose it depends on your end product and how much color grading is needed, etc. etc.
Please forgive my obvious lack of understanding on all this and thanks again -
Raymond



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John-Michael Seng-Wheeler
Re: On set dailies from the Alexa using PIX 240 or Gemini 4:4:4:
on Feb 9, 2013 at 1:21:16 am

In my case the Dailies were transferred to the director's iPad, so H.264 was the only option.

If you're planing to edit with the dallies you should make ProRes or DNxHD files although Premiere and FCPX can handel H.264 just fine as well.

The quality doesn't mater. You conform back to the ProRes444 for the online, you never color or finish using the dailies. This is why the Timecode and Filenames need to match, so that the dailies can be replaced by the original files. As long as the quality is good enough for the director/editor to see the shot properly that's all you want (otherwise they might not be able to see that a shot is slightly out of focus for example).

Also, you don't have to be locked into one format for dailies. Two formats (one for editing [ie. ProRes LT], and one for lightweight viewing [H.264]) may suit your workflow better.


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Raymond Tarry
Re: On set dailies from the Alexa using PIX 240 or Gemini 4:4:4:
on Feb 10, 2013 at 4:30:00 pm

Thanks John -
Now I'm getting a much clearer picture of what's possible. Things were probably simpler back in the days of film, but of course, more limited. I'm really glad to have this forum to come to to get answers.
Thanks again - Raymond



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