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A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher

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Greg Andonian
A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher
on May 29, 2012 at 3:09:00 am

I thought this was interesting- and surprising. I figured Avid would be up to this sort of thing...

http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/a-cautionary-tale-for-the-fcp-switc...

______________________________________________
"THAT'S our fail-safe point. Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Daniel Frome
Re: A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher
on May 29, 2012 at 1:50:52 pm

To be fair: the issue is more complicated than pinning it on Avid. Resolve is demanding that all media has a "tape name" tag -- even if the media didn't come from a tape. Avid doesn't require a tape name to do its part, and therefore has no idea that Resolve would spit back that media.

That being said -- there is obviously more work required on Avid's part to fix the ProRes support issue. Currently you can't AMA link > Consolidate ProRes, and (from the article) you also encounter errors with mixed frame rates.

Sounds like the perfect storm: He shot 30p media inside a 59.94 container, and Avid (wanting to be the ever inflexible beast) is balking at the AAF export for 30p -- because the media technically ISN'T 30p.

These are somewhat typical issues I encountered as an assist editor -- nothing new here, but it's still a shame. I may be crazy but I somewhat wish I had a hand in troubleshooting, because I had to deal with that exact stuff and always got it done one way or the other.


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Rich Rubasch
Re: A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher
on May 29, 2012 at 2:02:10 pm

There are plenty of reasons to get all footage into a single consistent container, and it has been this way since HDV native editing and MPEG2 native editing.

I don't think I would ever rely on mixing multiple formats, or more than two anyway, in a single project timeline.

Just think of the scenario Walter threw at the AVID to resolve all the various frame rates inside various containers and expect it would all come out just right. A lot to ask of any editor including AVID.

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


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Mark Raudonis
Re: A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher
on May 29, 2012 at 3:07:46 pm

[Rich Rubasch] "I don't think I would ever rely on mixing multiple formats, or more than two anyway, in a single project timeline.
"


Rich... Rich... Rich...

I'm glad you feel that way. However, for many people a common format is just not practical. Or possible.
Or even desirable!

If you're coming from a FCP environment where the freedom to mix and match formats, resolutions, frame rates, and other details (Still size for example), then the inflexibility of the AVID approach is perceived as a negative. Throw into that mix the need to use an "off-line to on-line" workflow and you have a recipe for disaster.

AVID would benefit from a long hard look at their competition. The world is becoming MORE splintered, and much LESS cohesive. Expecting a user to transcode everything to a "friendly" format is NOT forward thinking. Yes, I DO expect a lot from my NLE, but this isn't 1992 and others have proven the "Swiss army knife" approach to timeline editing IS possible.

Just my opinion.

mark



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David Powell
Re: A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher
on May 29, 2012 at 3:58:19 pm

Doesn't fcp have to transcoded during the log and transfer process as well?


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Mathieu Ghekiere
Re: A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher
on May 29, 2012 at 5:03:54 pm

Depends which codec.

I think it pretty much can work natively with HDV and XDCAM (for instance).

H.264 is one codec (and all it's flavors) where I know FCP 7 struggles and it's best to transcode.
And RED, but although Premiere has the best way of working with it, it's still not perfect (extremely long export times, and of course like you can read, it has it's own media management problems from time to time).


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Shane Ross
Re: A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher
on May 29, 2012 at 6:36:23 pm

I think that the article just makes a huge point that he should just stick with FCP 7. It still works, does what he wants, and will send to Resolve without issue. Sure, it's 3 years old. But it works...

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Lance Bachelder
Re: A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher
on May 29, 2012 at 7:16:11 pm

Lol! That was my first thought - was all the pain worth the rush to dump FCP7 just because you're upset with Apple for releasing FCPX? I was cutting a $30 million feature a few months back on FCP7 using first gen MacPros! I had 3 other Editors working for me on the same machines and we never had a single issue with FCP7. I understand wanting to test out other NLE's and to future proof your facility but you need to keep working and keep your clients happy or they'll move on, regardless of your NLE.

I for one still believe it's just easier to transcode all the footage coming in to one workable codec. Whether importing as DNxHD in the Avid or batching via Compressor whatever - taking the extra step can alliviate a lot of headaches down the line. I understand most NLE's can now work with varied codecs and frame rates, but that doesn't mean you should - especially if you need to get into Resolve reliably.

What I don't understand was why FCPX is never mentioned as a test system? This all has gone down since 10.04 and it seems that X might actually work well for the show based on the info in the article.

I do appreciate Walter's honesty and transparency - I'm sure it's been a frustrating experience.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Gary Huff
Re: A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher
on May 29, 2012 at 7:58:04 pm

[Lance Bachelder] "What I don't understand was why FCPX is never mentioned as a test system? This all has gone down since 10.04 and it seems that X might actually work well for the show based on the info in the article."

Because the magnetic timeline is b.s., no matter what other fixes/features Apple adds.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher
on May 29, 2012 at 9:45:51 pm

So we've heard though some who've actually used it seem to like it.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Gary Huff
Re: A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher
on May 30, 2012 at 3:57:09 pm

Good for them.


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John Heagy
Re: A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher
on May 30, 2012 at 4:06:56 pm

[Lance Bachelder] "I for one still believe it's just easier to transcode all the footage coming in to one workable codec.

I understand most NLE's can now work with varied codecs and frame rates, but that doesn't mean you should."



Agreed... A paint job is only as good as the prep work prior to spraying.

In this case the prep work gives one an optimized codec and required metadata.

Time and reliability is critical as the project approaches deadline. Time spent at the beginning to prep all the files will reap rewards as the deadline approaches. This is especially important considering a project's complexity increases the closer it is to completion.

In a fast shared environment, and a good sized Episode Engine cluster, one can transcode files far far faster than one can backup the originals. I'm currently at 1/10th realtime for AVC-I to ProRes. At the end I have a homogenous frame rate, frame size, codec and embedded Reel/Tape ID that facilitates workflows down the line.

John Heagy


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Lance Bachelder
Re: A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher
on May 30, 2012 at 9:34:54 pm

Exactly! On my last CG series we received footage from overseas and internally - I created a Compressor Droplet and put it on every Editors desktop so everyone could transcode to the exact same ProRES file at any time - all the files went to the SAN - super fast and easy and we never had codec issues finishing shows.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Kevin Johnson
Re: A cautionary tale for the FCP switcher
on Jun 25, 2012 at 4:02:42 pm

I can't imagine having to tell my client "hey, we gotta stop down soon. I know we are a day away from our deadline, but the last 24 hours will be spent transcoding."

"But we still have changes to make."

Kevin Johnson

Autodesk Smoke Artist
FCP Editor
Washington, DC


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