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FCP > Color - Best Workflow Practices

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Sean Kapleton
FCP > Color - Best Workflow Practices
on Oct 6, 2009 at 9:45:59 pm

I posted In the COLOR forum and got some responses (thx Noah!) but I wanted to get thoughts from some other people as well.

MacPro Dual 3.2 / 16GB RAM
FCP 6.0.6
Color 1.0.4 on fully updated Leopard

5 spots - starting with this first one which is the longest @ 2:30sec

Delivery: HDCAM sr 1080i 29.97 ( I will let FCP / my Blackmagic card take care of adding pulldown when laying off)

The FCP sequence has the following sequence settings:
1920x1080 ProRes HQ
23.98 fps

The edit consists of the following formats of footage:

ProRes(HQ) 1920x1080 23.98 (Conformed from RED footage)
DVCPRO HD 720p60 960x720 23.98 (FCP has scaled these shots up 200%)
Apple XDCAM HD422 1080p24 1280x720 59.94 (150% scale)
Apple XDCAM HD422 1080p24 1920x1080 23.98

The temporary grades done in FCP using 3-way CC need to be done now in COLOR even though picture is not locked yet.

I am concerned about the clips that are being scaled up by FCP in terms of sending them to Color and then back to FCP multiple times as we get notes from the client and have to make changes to the grading and as the edit has changes.

I am not sure whether to send it to Color as it is or try other methods such as:

1) Export Quicktime (after removing filters) bring back into FCP on a track above the edit and blade accordingly. Because its only a 2.5 minute piece and not a film I figured this would be ok and not too time consuming and will thus deal with the speed changes and multiple formats all in one shit before sending to color. (this is the method I have chosen for this first pass of grading in Color and it seems ok so far but because there are multiple spots over the next month I want to make sure to do this correctly moving forward)
2) break it up into 3 different sequences in there proper scale so that FCP will scale up back in the edit as opposed to color doing so when sending back to FCP after rendering.
3) Send to media manager which will conform it all to 1920x1080 23.98 ProRes hq and be friendlier to Color (obviously removing filters, opacity keyframes (cross dissolves) and speed changes before sending to Color. I am not sure I agree / like this workflow idea - especially since picture is not locked.

Any ideas and feedback on this would be a big help.

thank you


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Mark Raudonis
Re: FCP > Color - Best Workflow Practices
on Oct 7, 2009 at 1:09:04 am


Think of your workflow this way: What would you do if you had to go out to tape for a DaVinci session? How would you handle the changes then? That's basically how you should look at the Color to FCP workflow... it's mainly a one way street. While it is possible to deal with minor changes within the process, if you start throwing a huge amount of changes into the round tripping, I guarantee you something will go wrong. What ever happened to "Locking Picture"?


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Sean Kapleton
Re: FCP > Color - Best Workflow Practices
on Oct 7, 2009 at 3:20:43 pm

Hey Mark,

I totally hear what you are saying and agree but the bottom line is that this is what the client wants - they need to see it whether picture is moving forward did you have any advice or input on the workflow and / or my ideas?

Does anyone else have feedback or thoughts about my post?


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