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To jump or not

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David Mathis
To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 1:19:20 am

Just read the recent article from Walter, now trying to decide whether to make the jump. It has been too many months since the latest update to Final Cut which has me a little concerned. I am going to shoot in Cinema DNG raw going forward. I loathe round tripping. Not sure what to do and looking for advice.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 1:27:24 am

By jump you mean edit with Resolve? Why not just try and see how it goes? It's not like you can't change your mind later. ;)


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walter biscardi
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 7:55:34 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "By jump you mean edit with Resolve? Why not just try and see how it goes? It's not like you can't change your mind later. ;)"

That's excellent advice Andrew. The fact that Resolve is free is a great reason for anyone who has any interest in what Resolve can and cannot do to just go ahead and download. I can tell you that the Beta 12.5 is extremely stable both Mac and Windows in my testing.

I have not jumped whole hog into Resolve yet, still early in my trials and still have a series that runs through Premiere Pro. The thing about Resolve is that it doesn't really require you to just "quit and jump" completely to that app. The Dynamic Zoom feature was added specifically for FCPX users who want to bring the Ken Burns effect over to Resolve. It now does this seamlessly from what I'm told and you can still adjust the parameters of the images if need be.

The keystrokes are the same (Resolve has the FCPX keyboard layout) so I think anyone running any NLE right now would want to have Resolve as an option. Think about a project that might require heavy color grading and filtering. Good reason to start / finish in Resolve. Although the XML round tripping is supposedly getting better. I have not had a reason to test that yet, but will at some point.

So I personally think Resolve is less about "jumping" than it is about "adding" to your toolbox. My 2 cents.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Charlie Austin
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 2:14:06 am
Last Edited By Charlie Austin on May 7, 2016 at 3:05:57 am

[David Mathis] "It has been too many months since the latest update to Final Cut which has me a little concerned."

I wouldn't worry too much about that. On the other hand, as Andrew says, give it a try, not like you have to spend any money no matter what you decide to do. :-) Personally, tracks and bins and tabs make me want to scream these days, but YMMV of course. :-)

Also, this may be of interest... https://player.vimeo.com/video/164772138

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 3:06:59 am

I've been getting into Resolve 12.whatever.the.latest.full.release (not the latest beta) as I needed to develop a better conform workflow and Pr wasn't ....unmmm.... cutting it, and fcpx alone doesn't even pretend to do what I need for conform.

Resolve is a sweet sweet tool. It provides a great range of functions, and the quality is great.

But it doesn't organize very well, and while the mode based tabbed interface is really great (media/edit/color/deliver) there's a lot of going back and forth if you're editing/organizing. You seriously can't touch fcpx organizing and footage review with a 10 foot pole, and for me, that would be very hard to give that up. I curse fcpx's video out performance every single day. It causes so much embarrassment in client based edit session, but I suffer through because it's still the right tool.

Yet, Resolve is definitely a big part of my toolset now. It is an awesome extension of fcpx. The xml translation is pretty good, even with blade speed. I can trim and consolidate footage, I can relink to all different types of media, and can create multiple sets of data from one timeline and page. A cinemaDNG to fcpx/Prores back to Resolve/DNG round trip would be pretty easy.

That's not to say Resolve won't work as an editor. Clearly, it does, and would be great for certain jobs, but for me it's not a nimble and creative organization and edit tool quite yet. Fcpx and resolve are really great companion apps, and fills a lot of empty holes in an X workflow.


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Scott Witthaus
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 11:44:22 am

I am with you, Jeremy. I have been putzing on versions of Resolve since 10 and it's not a great editor in comparison to X and (dare I say it) Premiere. I view it as a finishing box with all the "heavy-lifting" editorial happening in X.

I agree with Walter to a point about freelance editors need to know color correction. Yes, but knowing color correction does not equate to diving into Resolve color and knowing it inside and out. That's not a great use of my time. Any color correction that I can't do in X (or in the case of broadcast spots, won't do in X in my studio) will go to Resolve and a trained colorist with a control surface, broadcast calibrated monitors and real scopes. I see no need to have my little company invest in that gear. I also see no need to force something to Resolve when it can be done in X, with plug-ins as needed.

Why the need to "jump"? Is X lacking something so important that you would jump to a beta product from a company just getting it's feet wet in NLE's? I will be interested in watching Walter's experiences with a full blown series through Resolve. But I am not putting any client work of mine on the "bleeding edge" until I am sure the product is stable and I have a really good reason to switch from a product that works really really well for me as is.

My humble opine.

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Scott Witthaus
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 12:49:22 pm

[Charlie Austin] "Also, this may be of interest... https://player.vimeo.com/video/164772138"

There ya go. Why jump?

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Bob Woodhead
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 1:29:09 pm

Scott, David, et al.... I've tried the Color Finale demo, and I'm having trouble seeing what the fuss is about. At least in placing it as a viable "close-enough" alternative to a tool like Resolve. (Caveat - that may be my mistake right there - perhaps folks aren't really positioning it as such.) It seems to be that there's just not enough precision/flexibility in the controls. Especially in the realm of masking the effects. Yeah, I know that masking can be achieved using X's built in selection tools, but those are crude compared to Resolve. eg; often I want to use luma and/or chroma controls to mask a CC, and a color-picker just ain't good enough.

I'm not dismissing Finale - it looks like a great "step up" to keeping CC inside X, and I am all for that! I CC the majority of what I shoot/edit, even if it's just a tweak. Sometimes it's dramatic, sometimes it's a touch on the gamma, whatever, LOVE doing inside X. When I shoot log, and really want control, it's off to Resolve. But the roundtrip overhead and the added hassle during revisions... makes me think about it 1st when in preproduction.

Guess what I'm looking for is a Resolve plug-in. :)


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Tim Wilson
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 3:27:07 pm

[Bob Woodhead] "Guess what I'm looking for is a Resolve plug-in. :)"

Hey, there's one for Baselight that works pretty nicely inside Avid, Nuke, and FCP 7.

I have no idea what's possible inside the constraints of X's architecture, or whether there'd be a way for BMD to actually monetize this, but hey, can't hurt to ask. This is a company where asking actually gets you somewhere. LOL


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Bill Davis
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 7:41:53 pm

I think it's pretty obvious that Color Grading Central's Denver Riddle and others have bet on the fact that the on-going X systemic changes will eventually allow "full boat" color correction to take place directly inside the X workflow.

This is consistent with the INSIDE OUT view I've written about before. The X focus has always been to keep the editors focus INSIDE the editing app, and allow him or her to bolt-on advanced capabilities as needed. Why? Because exiting one system to move to another is essentially a break in concentration. And few would argue against the fact that preparing any program to go out to an audience revolves around long stretches of dedicated concentration.

Color Finale Pro - as demo'd at NAB last month - puts a much more robust new set of capabilities directly into the X environment.

What appeals to me, particularly, is that it's proving the value of the X approach to keeping things modular. If you just want quick shot matching, look into the automated X-Riite single-click color matching workflow for that. It may be ALL you need to avoid the downstream distractions of terribly mismatched shots. And if so, you've won big. Automation, solving problems super simply, FTW.

For an editor who who doesn't or can't use that and gets to their Event Browser and finds their shots are unacceptably unmatched, the color board is waiting to do a quick acceptable base grade inside the app - and it's FREE - so everybody gets to play.

Want to go further? Pick up Color Finale and you're back in traditional Color Wheels with much more control. In tandem with X's excellent scope array, many won't need anything else.

But if you DO need more - just pony up for Color Finale PRO and Tangent hardware get very much closer to a pro color grading system at super affordable price point.

And ALL that capability is accessible without ever needing to leave your "home" application.

Of course there will be folks who need to concentrate exclusively on color grading at a very high level. For them, FCPXML export to a Resolve or even Pablo Rio workflow like the Focus and WTF folks pioneered is a few clicks away.

That tools seem to be constantly developing to let me do better and better color work directly where I'm most comfortable - inside X application itself - is starting to seem like I can skip buying and learning so many external tools in order to improve the quality of my work going forward.

Seems nice from both a money, time, and "attention span" point of view.

YMMV.

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Andrew Kimery
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 9:19:19 pm

[Bill Davis] "This is consistent with the INSIDE OUT view I've written about before. The X focus has always been to keep the editors focus INSIDE the editing app, and allow him or her to bolt-on advanced capabilities as needed. "

Doesn't this generally apply to all professional NLEs though? Off the top of my head I can't think of an NLE that is purely edit-only (no audio mixing, no grading, no compositing, no motion effects, etc.,.). The 1st party tools will get you so far, plugins are available to add addition, specialized functionality to get you further and if that's still not enough then you have to leave the NLE for another app (Pro Tools, Resolve, After Effects, Motion, Compressor, etc.,) and hopefully the round trip doesn't suck.

With regards to staying inside the app for color grading I don't think that conversation can be had without talking about Avid. Symphony is MC with better grading tools and the Baselight plugin works within Avid and, if need be, all the grading info can be sent from the Avid to Baselight system (so one could do an initial grade in Avid and then send all that work to the Baselight colorist w/o having to bake-in any of the grades).

On a related note, before BM bought Fusion there was a plugin from Eyeon that worked kinda like Adobe's Dynamic Link. The plugin gave you some Fusion features inside Avid, but if you needed more then you could send your work to Fusion and what you did in Fusion would automatically appear in your Avid timeline. A few years ago at a LAFCPUG meeting Alan Bell (Amazing Spider-man, Hunger Games) talked about using this approach a lot in his editing.

FCP Legend and PPro have similar histories of being able to do a lot more than just cut. What it sounds like users really want are fairly robust tools w/in the NLE (either first party or via plugins) *and* a robust way to round trip between other apps as well.


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walter biscardi
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 9:46:15 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Doesn't this generally apply to all professional NLEs though? Off the top of my head I can't think of an NLE that is purely edit-only (no audio mixing, no grading, no compositing, no motion effects, etc.,.)."

Definitely nobody is an "Edit Only" app that I know of but Adobe has the the best integration of an entire suite. Basically all of their creative apps almost function as one with seamless integration across the entire suite. Even with all the capabilities inside PPro with every third party plug-in on the planet, it's nowhere near as powerful and useful as the entire suite.

I think the point that X tries to keep everything self contained within the one application, especially with the wealth of plug-ins and tools, is a valid one. That's an excellent option for many editors who don't want to deal with multiple apps and it does a great job of being an all-in-one tool.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Craft and Career Advice & Training from real Working Creative Professionals

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Bill Davis
Re: To jump or not
on May 8, 2016 at 2:36:57 am

I think it's a matter of design intent.

Correct me if I'm mistaken, but in the Adobe suite, when you change modules, aren't you in a distinct interface? You leave the premiere layout to work in Speedgrade, for instance? Same with AE, Audition, whatever. Basically, you are moving one program to another. They interchange well, but they each must be learned separately.

I suppose Apple does a very limited version of the same thing with Motion and Compressor. But those can be seen as special-ist tools because many of their capabilities are already available to editors inside X itself.

That's the distinction in my thinking.

X is built to keep the editor "at home" in a single unified interface, where the Adobe approach is a large connected web of individual programs where you are expected to work in and know the peculiarities of the distinctive and different tools to accomplish your regular work.

Described this way, Isn't it unteresting that Resolve basically splits the difference? The color cirrection suite as a thing apart - bolted onto a somewhat X-like NLE (without the database, magnetism and trackless/roles stuff that actually makes X what it is.

Interesting design thinking.

Or am I misinformed in thinking this?

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Andrew Kimery
Re: To jump or not
on May 8, 2016 at 5:18:12 pm

[walter biscardi] "I think the point that X tries to keep everything self contained within the one application, especially with the wealth of plug-ins and tools, is a valid one. That's an excellent option for many editors who don't want to deal with multiple apps and it does a great job of being an all-in-one tool."


I agree, but I don't think it's a concept unique to X. For example, my first NLE was Avid (which very much has its roots in offline editing) and I remember trying Premiere (not PPro) and FCP back at the the turn of the century (I love saying that) and being surprised at how much more you could do inside of those NLEs (compositing, key framing, gfx/still manipulation) out of the box than you could in Avid. And when FCP got the 3-way Color Correction in FCP 3 (or was it 4?) holy crap that was amazing.


[Bill Davis] "Correct me if I'm mistaken, but in the Adobe suite, when you change modules, aren't you in a distinct interface? You leave the premiere layout to work in Speedgrade, for instance? Same with AE, Audition, whatever. Basically, you are moving one program to another. They interchange well, but they each must be learned separately."

If you go to AE or SpeedGrade, yes, the UI is different since you are in a different program, but Adobe has been cherry picking tech/functionality from AE and SpeedGrade and putting it directly into PPro for years now. Adobe is expanding the functionality of PPro while at the same time making it easier to roundtrip between apps in their suite. It's not an either/or situation for them.

When Apple launched X I seem to remember them saying they saw X more as platform which I took to mean that Apple would supply base/broad spectrum functionality and then leave it up to third parties to fill in the niches, and I think we are certainly seeing that play out. For example, getting FCP 7 projects into X was solved by a third party as was getting better connectivity between X and Motion. When Apple added 3D Text I was kinda like 'meh' but then when third parties got a hold of it they started doing some cool things with that functionality. In the NLE space I think leaving so much up to third parties is unique to X and it is working out for them.

One reason the plugin space for X is so vibrant is because plugin makers don't really have worry about their plugins being made obsolete by Apple introducing the a similar feature. For example, 7toX is always going to have its place because Apple isn't going to add that functionality to X. The color grading tools in X probably aren't going to get improved either so it's safe for third parties to spend time/money in making better grading tools for X.

On the flip side, in PPro 2015 Adobe really improved the color grading tools inside PPro so that kinda puts them at odds with the grading plugins Red Giant offers. This might be why X upgrades from Apple will be fewer and further between because first party tools aren't as inherent to the software's usability since it, by design, has such a robust plugin community supporting it. That, AFAIK, is certainly a unique path to take in the NLE space.


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Bill Davis
Re: To jump or not
on May 8, 2016 at 6:01:33 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "On the flip side, in PPro 2015 Adobe really improved the color grading tools inside PPro so that kinda puts them at odds with the grading plugins Red Giant offers. This might be why X upgrades from Apple will be fewer and further between because first party tools aren't as inherent to the software's usability since it, by design, has such a robust plugin community supporting it. That, AFAIK, is certainly a unique path to take in the NLE space."

A fair and interesting assessment, Walter.

It remains to be seen if considering X as it is now as a "platform" means that the X we think about today will be the X we work in tomorrow. Witness the announcement of SAP for the iPad just days ago? Wow! That could potentially be a huge puzzle piece just now slipping into place in how data will eventually get processed and distributed, including video data.

I do a large part of my work in the corporate training space.

Back when I was starting out in the video dark ages, my clients had to ship hundreds and hundreds of VHS tapes to client stores. AND we were effectively locked out of delivering any video of note via the IT department, because their stuff was was always tied up with "mission critical" data polling for sales results and the like. Today, the data pipes are increasingly bi-directional. And so the idea of maybe someday serving corporate video directly out of X via Share to tens of thousands of iPads inside a corporately approved SAP implementation - is almost intoxicating.

I'm sure Premiere Pro will (or perhaps already has?) accomplish(ed) their own implementation of the Share destinations thinking that X unveiled along with X back in 2011.

Now they just need something similar to what Charlie Austin demo'd at NAB where X's ROLES lets you pre-target affinity group for customized exports inside a unified export system.

Things are changing so fast! It's cool.

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Andrew Kimery
Re: To jump or not
on May 9, 2016 at 6:28:58 am

[Bill Davis] "Back when I was starting out in the video dark ages, my clients had to ship hundreds and hundreds of VHS tapes to client stores. "

My first foot in the door was a dub monkey so I am well acquainted with miles and miles of video tape. First place I worked at had 13 decks (mix of VHS, BetaSP, DVD player/burner, DigiBeta, 3/4" and 1") but only a 6x6 router. That required some creative cabling on more than one occasion! haha

I'm not sure which was worse though, making piles of VHS tape screeners or the early days of DVD screeners where you had to use the remote to enter chapter info/labels one character at a time. Just thinking about it gives me a repetitive stress injury!

[Bill Davis] "I'm sure Premiere Pro will (or perhaps already has?) accomplish(ed) their own implementation of the Share destinations thinking that X unveiled along with X back in 2011."

It was either PPro 7 or 8 I think.


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Richard Herd
Re: To jump or not
on May 9, 2016 at 5:55:52 pm

[Bill Davis] "They interchange well, but they each must be learned separately."

Understatement of the year!


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Bret Williams
Re: To jump or not
on May 8, 2016 at 1:44:49 pm

What about slice X with color finale? If you have slice X and color finale it adds a special slice X enabled mocha powered mask to color finale. IOW cf is only applied to the mask.


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Steve Connor
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 1:30:38 pm

[Scott Witthaus] "There ya go. Why jump?
"


Because he wants to shoot in Cinema dng RAW and FCPX doesn't handle it?

Personally I'd use Resolve to ingest and make Proxies, edit in FCPX then go back to Resolve for output


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David Mathis
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 3:06:01 pm

I agree totally with Steve on the raw workflow scenario. I would prefer to do titling in Final Cut with stuff published from Motion which really does not complicate anything. My thought is to export audio from Resolve (when needed), export a movie to Final Cut for title work but probably will use Fusion somewhere for touching up shots. One thing I hope for in a later update is the ability to have custom transitions available in Resolve as is possible with Motion, time will tell. Of course there is Sapphire but a bit on the expensive side.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 3:30:44 pm

The nice thing about Resolve having edit capabilities is that you can move to the finish a little earlier. If you are getting close to being done, Resolve will be able to handle changes to the edit/timeline.

Resolve also does weird things with alpha channel stills, regular stills, and alpha channel movies, so testing many different types of timelines/Projects is well worth it. With Fcpxml, moving to Resolve is pretty decent.


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Scott Witthaus
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 3:32:48 pm

[Steve Connor] "Personally I'd use Resolve to ingest and make Proxies, edit in FCPX then go back to Resolve for output

"


Exactly. If there is something in X I can't do, then it's a perfect time to use the software. And if the free version of Resolve can do that, it's a fine use of the tool.

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Claude Lyneis
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 5:18:07 pm

That looks exciting. Hope they work out the crashing though, I still get some crashes on the current version.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: To jump or not
on May 8, 2016 at 8:38:11 pm

[Claude Lyneis] "Hope they work out the crashing though, I still get some crashes on the current version."

I've been using 12.5 pretty heavily over the last couple of weeks and the only crashes I've had have been due to media storage that isn't fast enough. Could it be that?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Charlie Austin
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 5:22:55 pm

[Scott Witthaus] "[Charlie Austin] "Also, this may be of interest... https://player.vimeo.com/video/164772138"

There ya go. Why jump?"


This is also a nice addition included with Slice X (which everyone really should have)


-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Steve Connor
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 1:27:30 pm

[Charlie Austin] "Personally, tracks and bins and tabs make me want to scream these days, but YMMV of course. :-)
"


Just spent a week on an intense project on PPro with no screaming at all! I prefer FCPX in most respects but I really wish it had a more customisable interface


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Charlie Austin
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 2:35:08 pm

[Steve Connor] "but I really wish it had a more customisable interface"

Can't say I disagree, hopefully Apple is listening. I like the workspaces. The rest of the UI? meh. Obviously personal opinion...

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Steve Connor
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 2:37:15 pm

[Charlie Austin] "The rest of the UI? meh. Obviously personal opinion...
"


As are most things we all post :)


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Charlie Austin
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 5:18:26 pm

[Steve Connor] "[Charlie Austin] "The rest of the UI? meh. Obviously personal opinion...
"

As are most things we all post :)"


Speak for yourself... everything I post is incontrovertible fact! lol

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Tony West
Re: To jump or not
on May 8, 2016 at 12:53:11 pm

It's a very nice product, let me say that right up front, but I had to smile at that example he used in the demo with that blue footage.

Come on now, who is out there shooting footage that poorly and getting paid to do it?

I'm old enough to remember B and W viewfinders and folks would get in a hurry and not want to take a 9 inch with them, forget to balance and bring back something like that.

No excuse these days to bring back anything that looks like that.

Yes, he is trying to show an extreme example, but the standards have really gone down.

On this level, at best you should be slightly adjusting.


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walter biscardi
Re: To jump or not
on May 8, 2016 at 1:26:28 pm

[Tony West] "Come on now, who is out there shooting footage that poorly and getting paid to do it?"

If you watched any of the Planet Earth series when it aired on BBC / Discovery a few years back there was a lot of footage that was miraculously color graded in post. Just because of the changing conditions where they were and the changes in lighting on the fly. In particular, there is a polar bear fight in one of the episodes that's 20 shades of blue in the original. I would loved to have sat in on the color grading of that series.

So yes, footage does come back that bad sometimes and yes, it's very experienced photographers bringing it back. Don't even get me started on color grading "Good Eats." I still cringe every time I see those stupid red lights over AB's table.......

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Craft and Career Advice & Training from real Working Creative Professionals

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Tony West
Re: To jump or not
on May 9, 2016 at 2:21:52 am

[walter biscardi] "Planet Earth series"

That's a pretty extreme show, the far majority of shoots that most people work on are not anywhere near running from giant snakes : )

I don't care what job you are on, you need to white balance the camera. That's gonna get you in the neighborhood.

Then it just comes down to exposure. Pick the right amount of ND to get close. I would be curious how much they ran in auto iris for something like that.

They used the Varicam mostly.


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Darren Roark
Re: To jump or not
on May 7, 2016 at 7:25:58 pm

[David Mathis] "Just read the recent article from Walter, now trying to decide whether to make the jump. "

You can't really beat the price so why not? Worst case is you can send your timeline back to FCP X if you want.


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