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FCP 8 bit???

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Kevin Watkins
FCP 8 bit???
on Nov 30, 2007 at 3:12:25 am

I was poking around on the site today and discovered this post which sort-of surprised me:

"All RGB is rendered to 8-bit in FCP. One can apparently assemble in FCS2 Color with a float renderer, BUT as far as I know, there is still a bug in Final Cut Studio 2 and/or AJA Kona 3 drivers preventing the use of 4:4:4. That was the case last time I had a project needing this workflow. I have not seen nor heard of AJA posting a fix.

To work in 4:4:4 you have to revert back to FCP 5.1, but then you are stuck with 8-bit rendering which I think is clearly unacceptable for a film out...

Wolf Austad

DP"


I say sort-of because I had noticed weird banding issues in the film, particularly on fade ups. I don't need film out, but have been trying to keep this project as a 10b, master quality since its inception some 3 years ago (before ProRes!) - its an animated short. Right now I'm at the final output stage...

So my questions are:

1. Is this true (I'm not doubting Wolf, just making sure.)

2. If so, would the following work-around work:
- Send AJA 10 bit RGB files from FCP to Color for color correction.
- Render the media out from Color, and re-conform (assemble) in FCS2
- Use Automatic Duck to send the files to After Effects using the XML format that I believe Auto Duck uses (never used AD before hence the post). My understanding is that it'll assemble the original rendered media from Color.
- Render out an Uncompressed HD file with audio from AE and send this to post house for Tape output (I don't have HDCam deck and need HDCam for festivals. It's actually cheaper to get them to output that to rent deck.)

3. Would those files from FCP to Color that are rendered out really be 10b? They don't come up as Trillions files when I check them in QT. I know from experience that this is a known problem with the QT info...so how do I know..? Ramp test?

My deliverable right now is HDCam for fests, but I might need better in future. I've been working with 10bit AJA RGB files (animation DSC stills outputted from AE and 35mm transfered as same). I'd hate to loose the bit depth at this stage. I want this thing out of my life and so I don't want to have to come back to it again...

Any input will be much appreciated.

Kevin Watkins.
2.7 GHz Dual G5 PowerPC (10.4.11), Atto Fiber, Kona 2 (v4.0 drivers), ATI XT800, 8GB RAM, APPLE XServe Raid 5.6TB. FCS2 ( point whatever latest upgrade was), AE7.1


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JeremyG
Re: FCP 8 bit???
on Nov 30, 2007 at 4:10:18 pm

I'd hit up support@aja.com

Just one email should get thier attention, no need to write them a bakers dozen of the same email.

Just kidding man, these things happen.

Jeremy




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gary adcock
Re: FCP 8 bit???
on Nov 30, 2007 at 8:43:49 pm

[Kevin Watkins] "To work in 4:4:4 you have to revert back to FCP 5.1, but then you are stuck with 8-bit rendering which I think is clearly unacceptable for a film out... "


First off. No one I know would finish for a Film out in FCP, that is what Color and possibly Motion are used for.

Apple Color directly supports the AJA 10bit Codec and can handle the colorspace correctly. Motion can additionally handle the AJA 10bit Log codec. That way all the rendering is done in the correct 10bit RGB codec for output and FCP is only being used the ingest, since most Film recorders want DPX files rather than work from even HDCam SR.

"Would those files from FCP to Color that are rendered out really be 10b? They don't come up as Trillions files when I check them in QT."

10bit is NOT trillions of colors, Trillions of colors is considered 16bit by AE and that bit depth is not supported in FCP at all.

FYI film is only millions of colors, and my guess is that your files do not have that much (16bit) color depth if you started working on this project 3 years ago.


Why don't you let us know what the originals were created in and how you've handled them for the last 3 years.




gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows
Inside look at the IoHD




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Kevin Watkins
Origin of files
on Nov 30, 2007 at 9:28:18 pm

Gary,

Sorry, I should have mentioned how I created these files: They are Digital Stills from a Canon 8.2MP D20 (this film is a combination of animation and some 35mm live action.) We shot the stills in RAW, converted to PSD (AE doesn't support 16bit TIFF) and have kept everything at 16 Bit RGB since. FCP has been used to edit, but all work on files has been in AE. Where we might have needed in-between files, we rendered out in either Sheer or Microcosm. Mostly we just nested the comps. When creating the final clips, I used AJA's 10-bit RGB codec. The film was transfered to the same codec and provided on a drive, by a large post house here in NYC.

If you render the files out in color, how do you output the file, except through FCP? I would rather send this to AE than Motion. Hence Automatic Duck.

I am not intending to do a film out, just HDCam. But I need to create a Master file for the post house to lay-off. I ideally want to end up with a 10 bit RGB Master.

Thanks.

Kevin Watkins


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gary adcock
Re: Origin of files
on Dec 1, 2007 at 3:28:01 am

[Kevin Watkins] "If you render the files out in color, how do you output the file, except through FCP?"

you confuse output of a file and render of a file.

FCP renders in 8bit. If you are not rendering the file for output FCP is passing thru what you are giving it.

[Kevin Watkins] "I am not intending to do a film out, just HDCam. But I need to create a Master file for the post house to lay-off. I ideally want to end up with a 10 bit RGB Master. "

render the graphic elements in Motion , pass those files to Color for correction - render back out as AJA 10bit RGB and output the rendered files in FCP or AJA TV via your Kona Card and to the deck. IF you do not need to render in FCP the file is unaltered.


the reality is if you sell it, they will want the masters for their version of the finish....


[Kevin Watkins] "We shot the stills in RAW, converted to PSD (AE doesn't support 16bit TIFF) and have kept everything at 16 Bit RGB since. "

you do know that depending on what version of the PSD camera raw plug in you used, (you said 3 years on this project) you are working in a color space beyond the limits of the Raw conversion that could be done at that time, unless you were treating the images as HDR captures with both High and Low passes in Raw, later to be processed into the 16bit images.








gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows
Inside look at the IoHD




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Kevin Watkins
Re: Origin of files
on Dec 3, 2007 at 4:44:46 pm

Gary,


Thanks for your reply. You're absolutely right - I am switching out the terms 'render' and 'output'. As I understand it now, when I send the Color file back to FCP and have to render the fades & dissolves, FCP is rendering down to 8 bit?

I intend to make a final Master file using Compressor. I assume this would be simply 'output' rather than a render and I'll get by 10 bit files...? (Not going out onto a deck.)

"the reality is if you sell it, they will want the masters for their version of the finish..."

True, but the objective with the post side of this film was to learn as much as possible about finishing a 10 bit RGB uncompressed HD project. Better to do it on my time and dime...Been quite a ride too!

"depending on what version of the PSD camera raw plug in you used, (you said 3 years on this project) you are working in a color space beyond the limits of the Raw conversion"

It was PSD CS2 which I am pretty certain can do 16 bit conversion. (We started shooting in Summer 2005, so its not quite 3 years.)

Thanks again.

Kevin Watkins.


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Wolf Austad
Re: Origin of files
on Dec 7, 2007 at 3:10:02 am

To Kevin:
If you browse further back in this forum you will find that contributors much more respected and knowledgeable than me (i.e. real post people) are saying the compatibility problems between Kona 3 and FCS2 in 4:4:4 is a "known bug".

Gary wrote:
...render back out as AJA 10bit RGB and output the rendered files in FCP or AJA TV via your Kona Card and to the deck...

The question is: Would this output work if there is still a bug in FCS2 and/or the Kona3 4.0 drivers that prevent the Kona card from working in 4:4:4 with FCS2? (presuming this does not affect AJA TV, so that would work...?)

I would like to reiterate that my experience with this is that there WAS a bug preventing 4:4:4 from working with FCS2/Kona3. I don't know if it still exists. If it is gone, or there is a workaround, it would be great if somebody could confirm.

Wolf Austad
DP, Los Angeles based


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gary adcock
Re: Origin of files
on Dec 8, 2007 at 12:16:03 am

[Wolf Austad] " would like to reiterate that my experience with this is that there WAS a bug preventing 4:4:4 from working with FCS2/Kona3. I don't know if it still exists. If it is gone, or there is a workaround, it would be great if somebody could confirm. "

Wolf
there is a 444 specific driver for the Kona 3 - contact tech support.


and yes it does work- in spite of FCP not liking RGB content at all.





gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows
Inside look at the IoHD




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