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HDV FCP7 ProRes 422 files - how best to edit in FCPX ProRes Proxy?

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Robert Esmonde
HDV FCP7 ProRes 422 files - how best to edit in FCPX ProRes Proxy?
on Aug 21, 2013 at 4:32:10 pm

I'm about to get started with FCPX yet again:-)

I have some captured HDV multicam footage from a project that was begun in FCP7, but never edited. The files are ProRes 422 1440x1080, 25 fps, 16x9.

I would like to begin the project again in Final Cut Pro X but this time edit in ProRes Proxy with final output to HD 1920x1080. Can I just import the ProRes 422 files into FCPX with the Proxy option selected?

Thanks.


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Bill Davis
Re: HDV FCP7 ProRes 422 files - how best to edit in FCPX ProRes Proxy?
on Aug 21, 2013 at 5:20:39 pm

Here's the best general advice I can give you.

Start with as close to original camera clips as you can. That usually means taking the original camera cards or digital clones of those cards - and import them directly into X.

The reason for this is so you don't have unnecessary transcoding muddying up the files.

Maybe the ProRes files you've already transcoded will work fine, but maybe X's more modern transcoding algorithms will do better. Hard to say. I will note that X moving AWAY from the Quicktime world of FCP-Legacy into the more modern AV Foundation and Core Video code of X has been a BIG improvement in quality to my eye - so I simply don't recommend a Quicktime step unless you can't avoid it.

So bring your original files into X.

If they are ANYTHING other than Native ProRes 422 - let X make Optimized Media Files. This will do one clean transcode into the format that X likes best.

If you're not in a huge hurry, give X the time to transcode those into X Proxy files as well. It's a simple import menu function.

If you don't have the luxury of time you CAN start editing the moment you import your originals, but if you have time, let X use all the processor cycles it needs during the transcoding stage.

When X gest done, you'll have BOTH optimized ProRes and Proxy files on your system in places the database in X can locate.

Then point X at the proxies and go to town editing. When you're done - or even just when you need to output a full rez version, switch to Full Rez and output a master. Then switch back to Proxy and do more work.

It's all very easy once you get your footage into X in both forms.

Thats the basic X editing process. No need for a lot of fancy prep. Just import - let X do the work - and get to editing.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Robert Esmonde
Re: HDV FCP7 ProRes 422 files - how best to edit in FCPX ProRes Proxy?
on Aug 21, 2013 at 8:15:42 pm

Thanks Bill.

I really appreciate you taking the time to spell it out in such detail.

The material is multicam of a 90 minute concert so there's quite a lot of material. Most was shot on HDV tape, with some extra stuff on my Canon 5D. I do have the time to transcode again if necessary, as you suggested. The concert edit will eventually be cut with interview, archive, and rostrum, but I want to get a concert edit done to begin with.

It's a labour of love that got left on the shelf, so there's no great rush now. I want to eventually have a 1080 HD final product, so I was going to set my Project to 1080. Any suggestions on whether to select 1080i or 1080p in this situation?

I'm going to take the option of a Proxy workflow for editing and then switch to full res for the output.

Thanks again.


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Bill Davis
Re: HDV FCP7 ProRes 422 files - how best to edit in FCPX ProRes Proxy?
on Aug 22, 2013 at 5:09:01 pm

The call on interlace or progressive depends totally on what the original footage was and where you need to go on output.

If the original footage was shot interlaced (most common, probably) then you've got to toss out the second field temporal data to make clean progressive frames. Simple line doubling doesn't really improve anything since it's twice the pixels but just half the temporal data.. So I'd be tempted to just keep it in interlaced, especially if there's a reasonable expectation that it's ever going to be broadcast. But YMMV.

If you've got time, X will be super easy for you. Understand that there's absolutely no penalty for dumping your footage into X and just going right to work. You don't have to wait for anything under the hood to calculate. You might notice that footage looks soft or fuzzy on playback (viewer size and footage type depending) if X is using it's initial thumbnail proxies to get you started - but if you're worried, just park your playhead on any frame and X will almost instantly render out the full rez composite still that shows you what your footage actually looks like.

This is why many of us turn background rendering off. It's not needed unless you're in a hurry to get to a final output FAST and want to have your system use all possible downtime for rendering. If you've got time. Just run a "render all" when you go to lunch or overnight, and you'll get to the same place, just slightly slower.

The point is that even with thumbnail video in place (the immediate "on import" default) - you can get to work essentially instantly and start making and saving your editing decisions.

On a big project like yours - the huge win will be living a lot in the Event Browser applying range keywords to your source footage. I think it's pretty important to sit down and try to figure out a strategy for that in advance, but if you haven't done much of that before, the problem is that it's hard to understand what type of key wording strategy is best without experience in how it works.

Keywording is like being given a box of crayons with a different color for every word you know. It takes time and practice simply because it's so deeply powerful and flexible.

If it helps, I think the Tagging and Keyword Strategies in VCP-X webinar I did for Movieola a couple of months back is on their site. (search: Tagging) You might check it out to get some of my strategies - which does NOT say mine are any better than anyone else's, just that I tried to concentrate on strategic stuff more than what buttons to push and that might spark your own thinking so that you can develop an approach that works best for how you prefer to organize and edit.

But the real thing to understand is that every hour you spend in the Event Browser doing organization, can save you HUGE time in the long run when you sit down to actually cut your video.

The combination of being able to rapidly FIND anything you saw and tagged - plus the magnetic timeline and simple single keystroke editing shortcuts let an X editor really FLY through initial rough cuts and subsequent structural changes.

And the better you get at the upstream processes, If find the less I have to "tweak" things downstream to get out a final that I like.

Good luck.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Robert Esmonde
Re: HDV FCP7 ProRes 422 files - how best to edit in FCPX ProRes Proxy?
on Aug 22, 2013 at 10:20:49 pm

Thank you very much Bill for all that detailed and sensible advice.

I'll take a look at your webinar at the Movieola site and check out the keyword strategy too.

You've really been extremely generous with your help, and it should save me a ton of time in the edit.


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Bill Davis
Re: HDV FCP7 ProRes 422 files - how best to edit in FCPX ProRes Proxy?
on Aug 23, 2013 at 2:32:30 am

Happy to help.

When you get solid at X - all i ask is that you take a little time to pass along the same help to others.

Makes things better for everyone.

: )

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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