Could this be possible?
Was having a discussion today with my producer about the quality of our video. The footage is XDCAM and is ingested as such into our system as HDV sized 1080i 29.97. After its offlined we then media manage it to Pro Res 1920 x1080 29.97. The producer's been very happy with this workflow, says the Media Managed conversion has a kind of "filmic" quality. Today he needed some additional shots to add to the Media Managed version of the show wo we pulled the clips, put them in Compressor and converted to ProRes. When we inserted the clips the producer said they didn't have the same "filmic" quality that the Media Managed version did. So that became our discussion, what would give the two conversions a different quality to the look? After some thought I wondered if the AJA card might have something to do with the quality change. In MM we use recompress with and "AJA prores 1080" setting. I started to wonder if the Kona cards scaling chip might come into play here and make the difference, as Compressor doesn't have a preset that refers to the Kona. My other thought is something in Compressor's additional controls might be at work.
I know this is all highly subjective, but everyone at the studio can see a difference, though we haven't done a good A/B yet, which we will when we finish this show, but I'd be interested to hear other people's opinion.
Intel Quad Mac 2.66
FCP Studio 2
[Vince Sanchez] "Was having a discussion today with my producer about the quality of our video. The footage is XDCAM and is ingested as such into our system as HDV sized 1080i 29.97."
Why? HDV is a horrendous codec and you're compressing XDCAM to another compression scheme. sorry, but that's a horrible way to ingest the material. Bring it in native XDCAM but don't convert it to HDV for edit.
[Vince Sanchez] "After its offlined we then media manage it to Pro Res 1920 x1080 29.97."
By having Media Manager re-compress your already re-compressed HDV material? Again, not something we would do here. You can edit in an XDCAM timeline and then change your Render settings to ProRes and do all of this in one timeline.
[Vince Sanchez] "After some thought I wondered if the AJA card might have something to do with the quality change."
To my knowledge, the AJA cards have nothing to do with rendering. This is all handled by the processors. The AJA comes into play during Ingest and Output. Any conversions handled during those two processes are handled by the AJA.
Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media
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The Kona card plays no role at all in transcoding. It only comes into play when you route a signal directly through it to a monitor, deck or another outboard device.
[Vince Sanchez] "The footage is XDCAM and is ingested as such into our system as HDV sized 1080i 29.97."
Which of the many flavors of XDCam is this? is it the 25MB/s version? If so, then it's really the same as native HDV. If it's any other flavor, then you're transcoding from one heavily compressed codec to another heavily compressed codec to ProRes. You want to skip that middle compression.
Post production is not an afterthought!
Don't know if it's possible, but posting a few seconds of each of the full res footage would help us see what you see.