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HDV to Standard def - please help get past my ignorance

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Shawn Wyatt
HDV to Standard def - please help get past my ignorance
on Aug 1, 2007 at 3:52:45 pm

I just bought a HV20 and an XH A1. Don't know anything about HDV but want to use it for capture then just convert so I can edit and output for standard def broadcast on betacam SP.

I have been working with DVCPro 50. (I didn't realize how bad dv footage looks next to it) I have a Black Magic Decklink Extreme.
Does anyone know a good way to shoot HDV then just grab it as 720x486 without having it letterboxed?

I'm really starting to wonder about this whole HDV thing.

Thanks,

Shawn


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: HDV to Standard def - please help get past my ignorance
on Aug 1, 2007 at 5:43:45 pm

Some cameras do it differently, but on the HV20 if you use the camera itself to "downconvert" HDV footage to SD, it will be anamorphic (the 16:9 picture squeezed side to side to fit 4:3). I don't think there is any other way with the HV20. The HV20 is a GREAT little camera expecially considering it's almost throwaway cost, but there are limitations with it like specific capabilities like this. I'm not sure about the internal downconversion capabilities of the XHA1 (we use the similar XLH1, but never use the camera itself to downconvert so I'm not sure what all it will do).

So... you probably want to do the downconvert and resizing during capture. That will all depend on the capability of your system. I'm sorry, I'm not much familiar with the Black Magic workings... it might be the case that it will easily do this for you.

For example, when I want to caputure standard-def versions of HDV footage (my machine has an AJA XENEA board and KONA breakout box), I just take the signal in via HD-SDI... capturing via AJA Machina, I can define that I want the footage captured as SD, not HD... and can assign whether I want the footage captured as letterboxed, anamorphic, or center-cut. Perphaps there is some kind of similar capabilities with Black Magic. I would inquire over in their forum.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Chris Poisson
Re: HDV to Standard def - please help get past my ignorance
on Aug 1, 2007 at 5:47:08 pm

Shawn,

I researched the hell out of this exact topic, and here's what works for me. I capture from my A1 native Firewire. Set your playback standard to HDV, and FCP will see the camera. Put the native HDV files in an SD 8 or 10 bit or ProRes timeline, it will automatically letterbox it. Scale it up to fill the screen top and bottom, you can pan and scan or zoom in if you want, add whatever filters you like, render and go to tape.

This workflow comes from a lot of smart folks on the FCP and HDV forums including Graeme Nattress. I use it all the time and it is just great. Only one render hit doing it this way, if you conform your footage before you edit you get two hits, not good.


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Frank Tucker
Re: HDV to Standard def - please help get past my ignorance
on Aug 1, 2007 at 7:44:11 pm

One caution. The 16x9 format is very seductive and when shooting with conversion to 4x3 aspect ratio in mind, you must always be aware of the framing. Even centercut and some of the other techniques will not correct for framing outside of the 4x3 aspect ratio. I think the HV20 and the XHA1 provide shooting guides in the view finder to help prevent this. I would strongly advise thier use.

If you use the technique that describes resizing the letterbox to fill the vertical aspect of the 4x3 format (as described in the FCP workflow) you can probably fudge the framing abit at the edges of the 4x3 viewfinder guides.

Copter Doc
The spin starts here (;->)


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Bruce Feagle
Re: HDV to Standard def - please help get past my ignorance
on Aug 1, 2007 at 8:59:42 pm

[Chris Poisson] "Put the native HDV files in an SD 8 or 10 bit or ProRes timeline, it will automatically letterbox it. Scale it up to fill the screen top and bottom, you can pan and scan or zoom in if you want, add whatever filters you like, render and go to tape."

I use this technique all the time and it works great. Just watch out for reversed fields. Check your playback on a NTSC monitor. I had to apply the shift fields filter to fix it. HDV is upper dominant and DV is lower field dominant.

Bruce



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Chris Poisson
Re: HDV to Standard def - please help get past my ignorance
on Aug 2, 2007 at 1:21:36 pm

Ahh the fields issue, good point Bruce. If you use 60i footage with this method, FCP 6 will automatically put the shift fields filter on it, I forgot about that 'cause everything I've been shooting is at 30p, so it does not add the filter as it doesn't matter. It's 60i, yes, but both fields are the same. Great look too.

Good point also from Frank on framing, I didn't know about viewfinder guides on the A1, thanks for the tip.


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Shawn Wyatt
Re: HDV to Standard def - please help get past my ignorance
on Aug 2, 2007 at 4:32:38 pm

Thanks to All!

I'm working on it but I can't get FCPro to see my camera!

It has once but now it doesn't.

The computer sees it but FCPro doesn't - If you know what's causing this please let me know.

Thanks again,
Shawn


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Chris Poisson
Re: HDV to Standard def - please help get past my ignorance
on Aug 3, 2007 at 1:18:54 pm

Shawn,

It is specific but somewhat hidden in the manual, what you need to do is put the camera in VCR mode, unplug the FireWire and go into the setup menu, set the playback standard to HDV. It won't work on auto. Then plug in the Firewire and FCP will see it.


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