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Todd Stanley
on Jul 23, 2009 at 10:13:13 pm

I first wanted to say thanks to everyone who contributes on this forum. I almost always can find the answers to my many questions by searching the forums! This time I'm going to say that I need some help. Thank you thank you thank you to all!!!!!!!

Here's my system
1. Apple G5 8-core
2. Kona LHi
3. four channel fiber card
4. Active XRaid 16t Array
5. Sony M25U HDV edit deck
6. Addenda RS-4/L to give RS422 control to the Sony HDV VTR

We are currently in post with 12 1/2 hour episodes for broadcast. Our delivery specs are 1920X1080 Apple Pro Res 422 QuickTime Movie. I love the fact that I don't have to master to tape - yay! We have already delivered and aired our first show. I just think that there's got to be an easier, smoother work flow with less rendering????

We're shooting on the Sony Z1U's HDV and we've been capturing via firewire Apple Pro Res 422 (1440X1080 60i) We've been capturing on everything from Macbook Pro's, Imac's, older G5's and then copying all of the footage to the XRaid which is attached to our main edit station, import into FCP and start cutting on an Apple Pro Res 422 (1440X1080 60i) and later nesting in a 1920X1080 60i Time Line for final output to QuickTime Movie.

I also have a G5 quad core (late model just pre Intel) with an AJA Kona LHe card. We've also been capturing video on this station as well. The only difference is - this machine allows us to bring in the footage using Apple Pro Res 422 (1920X1080 60i) as well as the new station. Hence the two frame sizes.

Another important thing to know is that we are a multi camera shoot and therefore are using Time of Day timecode (FREE RUN) This makes it easy to find multiple angles when editing but FCP has a horrible time with the time code breaks. I'm pulling my freaking hair out here.........oh wait I don't have any hair! Maybe that's why!

Being that we have a mixed frame size we always have to render if using 1920X1080 source footage in a 1440X1080 time line and vice versa. Duh! I get that. Unfortunately, We have about 80% of the footage was captured at the 1440X1080 frame size and roughly 20% at the 1920X1080 frame size therefore we always try to work in the 1440 timeline. I realize that we could simply recapture all footage at the 1440 or 1920 frame size in order to get around the rendering due to the mixed sizes. The problem is we have to deliver it at 1920X1080. So far I just been living with the workflow using mixed sizes and then nesting the final cut to a 1920 timeline, conform to sequence, render and export to QuickTime for delivery. The other advantage I see to sticking with the 1440 capture via firewire is the luxury of using other laptops and imacs, etc for capture so that the two edit suites can continue working instead of digitizing. I guess my question is - AM I THINKING CLEARLY HERE OR AM I MISSING SOMETHING??? IS THIS A GOOD IDEA? I'D LIKE NOT TO HAVE TO RENDER EVERY TIME I MAKE A CUT and I'd certainly rather edit in a 1920X1080 timeline anyway since that's my delivery spec.

When using the edit station(s) with the Kona Lhi card or Lhe - I've modified a capture preset with the following.
1. capture preset - AJA KONA Apple Pro Res 422 60i 1920X1080 Via Component (LHE) HDMI (LHi)
2. Device Control - Addenda RS-4/L via LANC on my M25U (which doesn't seem to work)
3. All of the check boxes are UNCHECKED that ask for anything to do with time code breaks etc.
4. The drop down menu I've selected "ON TIME CODE BREAK" MAKE NEW CLIP
This doesn't seem to work! I prefer a new clip be made at each and every start and stop of the camera This option is only available when capturing in the 1440X1080 AppleProRes422 via Firewire. Because we capture the entire tape it makes it nice to have a new clip made with each start and stop. WHY CAN'T I GET THIS FEATURE TO WORK using the either Kona system?????

1. Device Control - Addenda RS-4/L via LANC on my M25U (which doesn't seem to work)
This has always been a baffling problem that I've just never seemed to figure out. AJA doesn't even know how to help me here and usually just ends up saying that it's a final cut issue. The problem is that while capturing video at the "TIME CODE BREAK" OR "START AND STOP" which really is a time code break because we're recording in free run - FCP will stop capturing and then try to "searching for time code break" it will make several attempts and then quit capturing all together" I've tried using firewire as the control source to no avail. I've tried modifying the device control preset and changed the method of time code to every one offered...... LTC, DV TIME, etc nothing works. The only way I can successfully capture a tape is by turning off device control all together. LAME! WHY CAN'T I USE THE "ON TIME CODE BREAK" "MAKE NEW CLIP" I've never been able to get this to work! WHY?

I realize that I've been all over the place with this post. I'm trying to find someone who's had similar issues? Someone with some answers to this type of work flow.

I know what I'd like to do in perfect world and that is..........
1. shoot HDV footage using FREE RUN timecode
2. Capture full res 1920X1080 60i Apple Pro Res 422 utilizing any machine, laptop, desktop, Kona system available in the studio via firewire or either KONA system!
3. Capture entire tape all while making a new clip at each and every start and stop of the camera.
5. edit in an AppleProRes422 1920X1080 60i Time Line WITHOUT RENDERING!!!!
6. Output to 1920X1080 60i QuickTime movie for delivery

Sounds simple right? What am I doing wrong???? and or right?????


Todd Stanley
DP/Producer Deadliest Catch

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Bob Zelin
on Jul 24, 2009 at 8:39:14 pm

what a long post. I did not read the entire thing, so I apologize in advance for my stupid answers.

Whats best? you ask -
DO NOT USE THE HDV CODEC. Don't want to render, want everything to be nice and easy - use one of the AJA Codecs, and bring in your HDV media with a professional VTR like the HVR-1500 (at ProRes422, for example as the Codec - NOT HDV). Forget firewire injest. Use your Kona. You will never have weird problems ever again.


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Jerry Alto
on Jul 25, 2009 at 5:34:09 pm

Hey Todd- I believe the issues you are having come from machine control. We came up with a FCP workaround so we could digitize component with our Kona card from the Z-1 or M-10. We use firewire machine control.

It's a bit convoluted but it works. You start at the deck menu and you need to turn iLink convert to ON. This is for machine control only. FCP's Audio/Video settings will not let you choose this component/firewire workaround. For the workaround just launch Log and Capture and choose firewire machine control from the Capture Settings tab inside the Log and Capture window. Our best machine control was with DVC Pro (go figure). After you get everything working exactly the way you want it be sure to create a custom Easy Setup.

I believe this would fix your Create New Clip issue.

We learned early on with FCP it is best to bite the bullet and digitize and edit in the mastering codec. It looks like this would be the Pro Res 422 1080i codec in your case. The downside of this workflow would be that you couldn't use your iMacs and older gear for digitizing.

Hey... digitize at night and edit in the day. Buy/rent another Mac Pro.

I hope these ideas help.

G5 Dual 3GB Ram
FCP Studio 6.02
External 1 TB SATA Raid 0
Kona LH, Second system w AJA ioLA
Sony Z-1

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