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Lance Bachelder
Apple article on Optimizing Media
on May 31, 2012 at 8:17:51 pm

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5294?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Clint Wardlow
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on May 31, 2012 at 8:42:38 pm

I hope there is someway to over-ride the dimmed optimize media for certain formats that FCPX deems "the best workflow" is native.

I like to wrap everything in Prores because I often use multiple formats in the same timeline. Even if not, I guess it isn't that big a deal. It is easy enough to wrap video into Prores via Quicktime Pro or other apps.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on May 31, 2012 at 9:11:17 pm

[Clint Wardlow] "I hope there is someway to over-ride the dimmed optimize media for certain formats that FCPX deems "the best workflow" is native.

I like to wrap everything in Prores because I often use multiple formats in the same timeline. Even if not, I guess it isn't that big a deal. It is easy enough to wrap video into Prores via Quicktime Pro or other apps."


Let's not forget here:

FCPX export is different from FCP7 export.

FCPX now works like Adobe Pr. Everything is recompressed on output. So if you have native camera files, you convert to ProRes for edit, you then convert AGAIN on output, even if staying ProRes. So actually, staying native is saving a generation rev.

Also, if Apple is posting this as best practice, then it might be best practice. Just sayin'.


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Clint Wardlow
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on May 31, 2012 at 9:23:13 pm

In FCPX how well do native formats play together in a timeline that has say DV( which has been compressed from sources like betacam and pixelvision), XDCAM, HDV, and film files converted to Prores 422?

I do this quite often and in FCP7 I found it essential to convert these files to as common a codec as possible if I didn't want to drive myself crazy. (I also found that Prores plays better in programs like Motion than HDV or DV).

Does PPRO and FCPX work better with mixed mediums?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on May 31, 2012 at 9:31:14 pm

[Clint Wardlow] "Does PPRO and FCPX work better with mixed mediums?"

That's a rather loaded question.

FCPX has more control than FCP7, but I can't promise a 29.97 SD clip is going to look good in a 4k 23.98 timeline.

Composite converted DV is decently low quality and there are varying qualities of HD. You will have to test and see for yourself. You are asking to scale up a low quality image to over twice the size, and then perhaps change a frame rate or deinterlace. There's going to be a compromise, I wish there was a super magic "enhance" button.

FCPX does have better controls for this though over FCP7, but sometimes a third party might do a better conversion.

Jeremy


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Clint Wardlow
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on May 31, 2012 at 9:48:22 pm

As you can probably tell from my use of a pixelvision camera, clarity of image isn't nessisarily my first concern. Often I find shooting with the various camera gives me a certain feel (I also love to shoot with a JVC VHS camcorder because of its wonderfully smeary look).

My main concern is that the audio and other things in the timeline don't go wildly out of synch or output in crazy ways. By the by, I always convert to 30fps.

It just kind of bugs me that FCPX makes these decisions on compression for me. But it really isn't tha big of a deal, because I often rely on different apps to give me what I want (like Quicktime Pro and Compressor) before I use certain footage in FCP7.


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Steve Connor
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on May 31, 2012 at 9:34:25 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "FCPX now works like Adobe Pr. Everything is recompressed on output. "

Only it's much quicker than Pr

Steve Connor
"The ripple command is just a workaround for not having a magnetic timelinel"
Adrenalin Television


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on May 31, 2012 at 9:39:55 pm

[Steve Connor] "Only it's much quicker than Pr"

Yerp.


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Bret Williams
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 1, 2012 at 12:27:39 pm

So quick I've actually forgotten that's what it's doing! I'm not positive, but I thought that anything that has already been compressed doesn't get recompressed like Premiere. For example, the native h264 project I did had color grading on every shot and so by the time it was completely rendered it was all ProRes somewhere. When I export media, it is pretty much instantaneous. I'm pretty sure it's the equivalent of exporting current settings in FCP in such a case. It definitely did not rerender all the color corrections and also stabilizers. That really would've been a 30min or more render and export. It takes maybe 5-10 seconds with the timeline rendered. No different than FCP 7.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 1, 2012 at 1:34:38 pm

[Bret Williams] "So quick I've actually forgotten that's what it's doing! I'm not positive, but I thought that anything that has already been compressed doesn't get recompressed like Premiere. For example, the native h264 project I did had color grading on every shot and so by the time it was completely rendered it was all ProRes somewhere. When I export media, it is pretty much instantaneous. I'm pretty sure it's the equivalent of exporting current settings in FCP in such a case. It definitely did not rerender all the color corrections and also stabilizers. That really would've been a 30min or more render and export. It takes maybe 5-10 seconds with the timeline rendered. No different than FCP 7.
"


It's true, there does seem to be a semblance of some smart rendering in X.

Of you have already rendered your timeline to ProRes and you export a ProRes movie, yes it seems to smart render.

I try not to render in FCPX unless I need to. I work with all kinds of formats, not only ProRes. It's not the exact same
as Premiere, but it does need to compress to your output codec if your timeline is unrendered.

There are no reference files, this is a big difference from fcp7.


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Bret Williams
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 2, 2012 at 3:52:13 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "It's not the exact same
as Premiere, but it does need to compress to your output codec if your timeline is unrendered.
"


I'm just curious, but how would you expect ANY nle to output a file from an unrendered project without rendering/compressing?

It is pretty much exactly like 7. If you have a proves timeline, and you output proves, no recompression occurs. It's a current settings output.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 2, 2012 at 4:29:24 am

[Bret Williams] "It is pretty much exactly like 7. If you have a proves timeline, and you output proves, no recompression occurs. It's a current settings output."

Guys. It's all good.

I said it's similar to Premiere not exactly the same.

If you have a total ProRes workflow, yes, X works pretty much like 7, minus reference files (which I personally use every day). X only exports self contained media (like Pr).

All of these other codecs that this post started with (the Apple doc on optimized media) FCPX does not allow you to compress to ProRes, so in essence, if using these codecs and you don't transcode before import, you will render everything upon output, which is similar to premiere (which always recompresses, expect in really super specific codecs/situations).

I understand there's a bit of smart rendering happening in FCPX especially when your footage ProRes type and output ProRes match with no effects on the timeline.

But the way it works, if using different codecs, FCPX does not work like fcp7.

You can't set everything to render as XDCam HD, for example, that only happens on output.

You cannot have a smart rendered DVCPro HD/XDCam/HDV (et al) workflow in FCPX.

Also, in the codecs that FCPX does allow optimization for, you can only transcode to regular ProRes. So if you have a mix of HQ footage and optimized media, that media will have to compress to HQ on output instead of passing it through.

There are similarities to fcp7, but it's not exactly the same.

That's all I meant.


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Mathieu Ghekiere
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 2, 2012 at 12:37:45 pm

I think you're right, and it's a huge problem for me. I'll copy from a thread I just started the other day (sorry for the long post, but I hope it's interesting to people):

"I want to check if I'm doing something wrong, forgetting a step somewhere, or if my suspicion is correct:

I loaded in an XDCAM HD Quicktime in FCP X. I just wanted to do a quick export without audio.
I set the project settings on 'First Video Clip', and just dropped the clip integral in the timeline. Just a 5 minute clip.

When I exported, I just went for Export Media, and I choose Export Video Only and Current Settings.
In my logic, this would be XDCAM HD. Why? I picked the project setting based on the first clip (which is XDCAM HD) and in the export I choose 'CURRENT setting'.

This would take me 10 seconds to export in FCP 7, because it would just copy the media (If you're not having color correction, just some cuts or dissolves). In FCP X this process took 7 minutes, and afterwards I had a Prores File. So the export converted everything to Prores.
So next to the fact that my export took a WHOLE lot longer then in FCP 7, it also gave me a file 3 times as big.

Now, this is my suspicion, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong:
- if you choose the setting in the project, it's only about frame size and framerate... not codec
- your render settings are only Prores and Uncompressed. You don't have any other option.
- In the export you only have Prores or Quicktime to choose from, and considering the fact that following all 'current settings' options in FCP X STILL made the program convert everything to another codec, is proof that FCP X can NOT really output in the 'current settings' in the same way FCP 7 did. You can render out to Compressor, but it's a work around, and not always fail proof.

Is my suspicion correct, or did I make a mistake somewhere?

Because if I'm correct, it would be a big blow to using FCP X in my facility.
We often do congresses where you have 10 hour days filled with 8-minute presentations. Workflow now is importing footage (hour by hour, while the congress is going, often with XDCAM discs coming in), cutting in FCP 7 (just cuts and dissolves/fades), export (which happens very quickly), and then we do batch renders trough Compressor with a Matrox MXO2, to deliver presentations in H.264 around 2 hours after the presentation was made.
And we have to do this a lot (10 hour congress day divided by 8 minute presentations... do the math ). But exporting in FCP 7 only takes 10 seconds or something. It just copies the media, and adds fades, and maybe some audio volume changes.
So if in this scenario, FCP X is only able to output quickly (Export Media is still the quickest) to Prores or Uncompressed instead of following the video codec of the Project (in this case XDCAM HD), then we cannot use it.

In the scenario described above (delivering H.264 2 hours after presentation), we cannot have waiting real time for our HD-export (8 minutes instead of 10 seconds) and having discs fill up with file sizes 3 times as big as if we would just keep the export in XDCAM HD (like we do now).

Am I wrong or correct?
FCP X can not output to XDCAM HD, except maybe going through Compressor?
Choosing Export Media to export your HD master is only Prores or Uncompressed, no matter what 99 percent of the codec in your timeline is?
And, following that, there is no real 'current setting', because that only sets a base for frame size and frame rate?

I got confirmation there that 'Current Settings' is only a render setting, where only Prores and Uncompressed is available.
So, really? FCP X is only able to output Prores and Uncompressed, no matter that 99 percent of your project/sequence/timeline is XDCAM, which old FCP 7 did not have any problem with?

You have this really fast cutting tool, able to use all your computer power and suddenly in a simple cut/dissolve situation you are looking suddenly at 10 times the export times."

Then I did some tests on my MBP 13" 8GB RAM:

"I took the 5 minute source XDCAM HD file.
I put background rendering off. Made a new Event, put it in there, not working with proxy media or anything.
I made 3 new projects, all with the same presets, namely: video properties following the first clip in the timeline.
I cut 2 times a 1 minute clip from the source file, and put it in the timeline, getting a timeline that's exactly 2 minutes long.

Those 3 projects I exported from FCP X using 3 settings:

- CURRENT SETTINGS in FCP X.
This gave me a Prores File, even though I picked current settings AND picked video properties of the first clip. Export time: 2 minutes and 21 seconds.

- EXPORT MEDIA XDCAM HD 35Mbps
I hadn't seen this option before, but checking the Video Codec in the Export window, next to Current Settings and Prores I also had some DVC PRO HD and XDCAM HD etc. options. So I could see XDCAM HD 35Mbps in the Export Media. I don't know if this is standard, or it's because of an XDCAM plugin installation in FCPX, but considering that my original source media is the same format, I decided to pick this.
Export time: 3 minutes and 27 seconds. So it re-compressed everything.

- EXPORT USING COMPRESSOR SETTINGS
I dropped my source media in the Compressor 4 Settings windows, saving it as a preset, insuring that I had a preset that had EXACT the same settings as my source media. When exporting in FCP X I choose: Export using Compressor Settings, and choose that one.
Export time: 2 minutes and 51 seconds.


Now the kicker:

- EXPORT USING FCP 7 - EXPORT QUICKTIME MOVIE - CURRENT SETTINGS:
I did the same in FCP 7. Dropped in the source media, and took the exact same 2 clips of 1 minute and dropped them in the timeline. Let the timeline take over the settings of the clip, like it asks automatically.
I then did an Export Quicktime Movie, using Current Settings.
Export Time: 35.9 seconds.

So even the fastest FCP X export time was 5 times as long as old FCP 7 on the same hardware.
This is a really serious issue. This implies that FCP X ALWAYS recompresses on output, while FCP 7 would just copy your media if you did straight cuts and exported using the same video codec."


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 2, 2012 at 3:18:16 pm

Thanks for the numbers Mathieu.

The reason as it's similar to Premiere is that it's more like Pr than 7 when not using ProRes.

Apple has announced more "native" camera support, so maybe the export options will change as well.

The document that started this thread is some sort of deliberate step, I just don't think the whole picture is available quite yet, but that's just my speciation.

Jeremy


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Geert van den Berg
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 2, 2012 at 5:35:00 pm

Blast, I think you are right Mathieu!

I also tested this but was then more concerned with image quality than speed. If I put in a longer sequence it's indeed much slower than FCP7.

It's odd though, I did many recompress passes, everytime put the export in a new project and exported again and didn't notice any degradation when putting the export on top of the original with a difference filter. (CS 5.5 was really terrible with this!).

If you'd recompress ten times you'd expect some difference to show up and I didn't see any when going out of Final Cut directly. I did see degration when rendering 10 times via Compressor.

That's why I thought there must be some sort of smart rendering.

(feedback sent to Apple!!!)


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Geert van den Berg
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on May 31, 2012 at 9:51:37 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "FCPX now works like Adobe Pr. Everything is recompressed on output."

That's what I thought, but it's not true. FCPX still has smart rendering. It's one of the reasons I am still considering FCPX, but Premiere seems to do it with MXF files now too.

If you for example drop an IMX50 file as a first clip in the timeline and then export with 'use current settings' if your intended output is supposed to be IMX50, it will not recompress. Only drawback is if you use export using Compressor settings or via Compressor, then it will recompress.

I tested this by dropping the newly rendered output in another new project and did this a couple of times. Layering them on top of each other with a difference filter, showed them to be identical to the first file. Tried the same thing with Premiere 5.5 and was turned off of it immediately... but CS6 is a step in the right direction.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on May 31, 2012 at 10:30:17 pm

[Geert van den Berg] "That's what I thought, but it's not true. FCPX still has smart rendering. It's one of the reasons I am still considering FCPX, but Premiere seems to do it with MXF files now too."

I don't render in FCPX unless I absolutely have to, so if there's mixed codecs, or effects that will need rendering, upon export, everything gets converted to whatever that output codec is.

I work differently than I do in FCP7, as it works differently. There's no reference files in FCP7, so everything is recompressed on output. It might have some semblance of smart rendering, but it certainly is much different than Fcp7.

Smart rendering is a Quicktime API spec, and FCPX seems to be using AVFoundation as much as possible.

Jeremy


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on May 31, 2012 at 11:06:09 pm

Concur - i leave auto-render off and just Share when it's time - last night I was able to burn a Blu-ray right from the timeline to my Bravo XRP! First Blu-ray I've done on a Mac let alone FCPX and the quality was fantastic using the default.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Geert van den Berg
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 1, 2012 at 12:51:58 am

But that's my point. Besides using a different framework which has better realtime playback performance, as far as rendering is concerned there is no difference between FCP7 and FCPX.

In FCP7 you choose a sequence preset with a certain codec, which you can alter to some extent while already working in the sequence. If your sequence is in ProResHQ and you drop this type of content in the timeline and make only cuts it will just copy over these segments to the QuickTime file on export, however any adjustments or filters will be rendered.

In FCPX you don't have to specify a codec for your sequence. But if you make cuts only and use export media from the share menu with 'the codec that you have used the most within the project' (actually it is not current settings, this will create a ProRes file)  it will also just copy over the editted segments to the QuickTime file if your media has the same codec as the chosen codec. When filters are used it has to render but FCP 7 had to do that as well, then it's not 1:1 anymore and then smart rendering doesn't apply.

What's the difference? IMHO there is none. Try it, test it and report back.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 1, 2012 at 12:59:40 am

[Geert van den Berg] "'the codec that you have used the most within the project"

I guess I've never seen that option.

And, you can't make ref files.

I'll look tomorrow.


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Bret Williams
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 1, 2012 at 12:31:11 pm

He's definitely right. I don't use auto render. But I just render selection like FCP 7. And you haven't seen the sequence codec choice? When you create a sequence (er project). It's also changeable later from the project window/browser.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 1, 2012 at 1:36:12 pm

[Bret Williams] "He's definitely right. I don't use auto render. But I just render selection like FCP 7. And you haven't seen the sequence codec choice? When you create a sequence (er project). It's also changeable later from the project window/browser.
"


I have never seen the "use the codec most used in your project" option that was mentioned, no.

My Projects are usually just setup as a custom for ProRes or HQ, depending on source material.


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Geert van den Berg
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 1, 2012 at 2:17:32 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I have never seen the "use the codec most used in your project" option that was mentioned, no."

It didn't mean that literally.

What I noticed is that the media export from the share menu usually only mentions ProRes but if you have an IMX or XDCAM codec in your sequence, and at my company we use those the most for broadcast deliverables, those codecs appear in that menu as well, so FCPX is aware of them. If you want to render to those codecs from a sequence that has only ProRes you'd have to use the Compressor options.

(We don't actually use FCPX yet, still need to demo CS6 better, but I am charmed by the quality and ease of use with the roles tags because we do a lot of multilanguage stuff).


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 1, 2012 at 4:02:17 pm

[Geert van den Berg] "What I noticed is that the media export from the share menu usually only mentions ProRes but if you have an IMX or XDCAM codec in your sequence, and at my company we use those the most for broadcast deliverables, those codecs appear in that menu as well, so FCPX is aware of them. If you want to render to those codecs from a sequence that has only ProRes you'd have to use the Compressor options."

If not, everything gets transcoded to taht format, even render files as the only render files formats are prores or uncompressed.

This is where it's sort of like Pr, but not exactly.

Sorry for any confusion, but I was confused.

[Geert van den Berg] "(We don't actually use FCPX yet, still need to demo CS6 better, but I am charmed by the quality and ease of use with the roles tags because we do a lot of multilanguage stuff)."

Shhh, you're not supposed to like it! ;)


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John Heagy
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 2, 2012 at 1:57:06 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "FCPX now works like Adobe Pr. Everything is recompressed on output."

What led you to this conclusion? I believe exporting at "Current Settings" is a simple flatten process if everything is ProRes, and if not it's rendered to ProRes then flattened.

To test this I exported a 100% ProRes project using "Current Settings" this tasked my 8 core at 125% CPU. I did the same export but selected ProRes LT and my CPU climbed to 450%. To me this is a clear indication that Current Setting exports in FCPX is the same as FCP and only flattens, while selecting a different codec encodes to the selected codec.

I'd be very interested in any info that disputes my assumption.

John Heagy


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Michael Griggs
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 1, 2012 at 2:16:40 am

My biggest take away is that it's one more thing that Apple is "deciding" for the editor....


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 1, 2012 at 3:23:46 am

This is a decidedly different direction for Apple, and seems rather deliberate.

There's probably a reason. I've hypothesized that maybe it has to do with future "camera native" support.

There's nothing stopping you from transcoding before import in a separate application, also just like Premiere.


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Richard Herd
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 1, 2012 at 6:07:45 am

Not only camera native support but also LUT and CDL support. Think about it for a sec, here. Many cameras, many codex, but 1 LUT vis a vis CDL and that is what you see on the display, what the client sees -- before editing even begins, a toggle check-box-type-switch in the color menu. Oh and before you scoff, it's almost there. It's not quite a switch, you have to make a photoshop element, and then tell the color to be like "that." Wallah. It's not magic. It's metadata.

I know I know. We need a job today, to pay rent, buy groceries, save for retirement, so we have to cut in Avid, Legend, or Adobe. And who has time to learn new software? Oh yeah, we all have to learn new software because Legend is EOL'd. I believe that marketing department, but not the other marketing department, so now I have to confess my error. Suck it up and move on.

I'm a frowning Clown.

Pretend to edit in Legend. Then when the client leaves, 7tox and cut in X. then x2pro. Then back to 7 for client preview session. We'd pretend to "render" so I could make up the costs of log and transfer to a single codec and use the I/O's layback app. It's all buried in the cost structure.

Such a beautiful fashion show, my empty macpros blinking lights and making subwoofer sounds. My workhorse i7 and Tbolt RAID, a nom de plume.

"It'll take hours to sync that multicam footage and transfer it to APR422," I tell the client. "But it's cool. I can work with your budget." Not only do I make the client coffee, I roast the beans. (sweetmaria.com)

Ain't this really about stopping the race to the bottom?


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tony west
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 1, 2012 at 2:58:00 pm

[Richard Herd] "Ain't this really about stopping the race to the bottom?"

yes


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 1, 2012 at 4:28:42 pm

[Richard Herd] "Not only camera native support but also LUT and CDL support. Think about it for a sec, here. Many cameras, many codex, but 1 LUT vis a vis CDL and that is what you see on the display, what the client sees -- before editing even begins, a toggle check-box-type-switch in the color menu. Oh and before you scoff, it's almost there. It's not quite a switch, you have to make a photoshop element, and then tell the color to be like "that." Wallah. It's not magic. It's metadata. "

I am curious about the "Color Space Override" section of the metadata that doesn't show up anywhere but the metadata list.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Apple article on Optimizing Media
on Jun 1, 2012 at 8:48:51 pm

[Richard Herd] "
Pretend to edit in Legend. It's all buried in the cost structure. Such a beautiful fashion show, my empty macpros blinking lights and making subwoofer sounds. My workhorse i7 and Tbolt RAID, a nom de plume. It'll take hours to sync that multicam footage and transfer it to APR422 Not only do I make the client coffee, I roast the beans too.
"


that's quite the stuff. someone needs to stitch some of the more sweetly far blown stuff from here together into a coffee book, with random paragraph stitching put together like Zang tumb tumb. With a steel soldered X nailed to the cover.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/archive/1/10/20090611204717!Marine...

i"m very fond of the futurists meself.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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