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Robert Rittenhouse
Custom Render Settings
on Oct 7, 2009 at 8:54:14 pm

I am in need of a simple render "preset" or "profile" so that our reporters are able to export their video and have the settings already be chosen for them (to lessen the chance for error).

Is this possible?

I'm an IT guy and not really a final cut pro person. So I'm an FCP newbie.

Any tips you can give me to point me in the right direction would be much appreciated.

Thank you


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Custom Render Settings
on Oct 7, 2009 at 9:51:40 pm

We'll need more information before we can give you a straight answer:

What kind of video are they shooting? DV? HDV? Something else? Do they record on videotape, a card, or a disc? Will they be using a laptop for editing out in the field? Do the photogs all shoot video with identical technical standards, or does it vary from camera to camera?
When the edit is over, where is the video going? Videotape? Exported to a server? If so, what does the server need?

I feel your pain. You have an unenviable task: trying to get FCP to work in a newsroom environment, trying to keep the editors from messing with the settings, and trying to keep the computers running. FCP isn't really cut out for use in newsrooms. It isn't. It's a darned nice tool to use for spots, promos and other interstitials where you can take a little time, but News? Uh-uh.

There's a reason why guys like Grass Valley and Avid make editing systems specifically for newsrooms. Yeah, they're extremely pricey... yeah, they don't come with a lot of bells & whistles... but they're really, REALLY fast, and they ALWAYS WORK. That's a good thing when you get back from a story at 4:30 and your pak runs near the end of the first block in the five o'clock show.

FCP in a news edit bay? What a scary thought....

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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cowcowcowcowcow
Robert Rittenhouse
Re: Custom Render Settings
on Oct 7, 2009 at 10:11:39 pm

Well they are shooting to tape and importing that in through some AJA interface. It will then be output to mpeg4 (m4v) with out specific settings for the web. The file that is spit out is uploaded through our web interface to it can be played through our flash video player.

Currently they use a TV tuner card to capture the video played out through a deck over svideo. What a mess.

It wasn't my choice to use FCP in the newsroom but it was our previous Cheif Engineer's wise idea. He also thought it would be smart to buy iMac's and run Parallels on top of the mac's so they could run the Avid iNews client in Windows. He had the impractical thought that they could use the machine to edit their video and work on stories at the *same time*!

Now we have like 3 FCP licenses and that's what we were instructed to use.

I basically want to make it as easy as I can for the reporters to export to the appropriate format. They shouldn't be "touching" the settings but you know how that goes!!!

A little more background: A reporter and a photog go out and shoot their video that they are taking to one camera (to tape). They bring it back and import it into whatever system we have available. At this time is is the ATI TV Tuner card system until we can get FCP straightened out.

Robert Rittenhouse
WHIZ Media Group (WHIZ-TV)
Zanesville, Ohio


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Custom Render Settings
on Oct 7, 2009 at 11:00:57 pm

[Robert Rittenhouse] "Well they are shooting to tape and importing that in through some AJA interface."

If they're shooting on a DV camera, they can capture video & audio through firewire. Beta SP? You need that AJA card, not to mention a tiny audio board and other associated hardware.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Robert Rittenhouse] "It will then be output to mpeg4 (m4v) with out specific settings for the web. The file that is spit out is uploaded through our web interface to it can be played through our flash video player. "

So you're playing news stories on a flash video player? The encode to mp4 will take time. Ouch. But I guess the newsroom's already used to the delay.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Robert Rittenhouse] "Now we have like 3 FCP licenses and that's what we were instructed to use. "

Gotcha. You'll STILL need a lot of storage, probably something in a RAID 5 configuration. How much do you plan to have in each bay? If I were you, I wouldn't look at anything less than 2TB. Really. If it's common storage on, say, 4G Ethernet, 8TB would be good.

And what kind of computer do you plan to use to run FCP? What kinds of processors, and how much memory and internal storage?


You have to remember -- I'm just an FCP user. We got our FCP bays for commercial production and promotion, and we got them from a VAR. Our engineers maintain them. For your sake, I really hope more knowledgeable people join this thread to offer more than the meager information I have.

But I can offer some anecdotal information: FCP is not the most stable piece of software on the planet. We both know how newsies can abuse gear, and these edit bays won't be any different: they're just different pieces of gear to abuse. You can count on spending half your work day -- if not more -- simply keeping those bays running.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Michael Gissing
Re: Custom Render Settings
on Oct 7, 2009 at 11:18:49 pm


You can setup a standard setting in Compressor. It has numerous presets so it would be a matter of adjusting one of them to match your needs and saving that as a custom setting. A suitable name for the preset like "This one knuckle head" might help.

In FCP you then mark an In and Out point, export to Compressor, select the preset and then you are ready to submit. There is still room for operator error, so a laminated instruction sheet nailed to the wall might help as well.

Matrox make an accelerator card for H264 encoding which might be useful to cut down long file render times. H264 is otherwise slow but nice results.


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Robert Rittenhouse
Re: Custom Render Settings
on Oct 8, 2009 at 1:12:52 am

"If they're shooting on a DV camera, they can capture video & audio through firewire. Beta SP? You need that AJA card, not to mention a tiny audio board and other associated hardware."

I don't actually deal with any of the engineering gear but only the machine itself. I believe they just have a silver AJA box sitting there.

So you're playing news stories on a flash video player? The encode to mp4 will take time. Ouch. But I guess the newsroom's already used to the delay.

For our website we have to encode these videos to a format that it accepts. One of those formats is mp4. We still need to tweak it to help out with motion. Basically now they are having to capture from tape on a TV tuner card. Save that file and run it through a 3rd party converter to spit out the file they need. If we can get them using a preset in compressor I think we will be OK. We tried to get the server to do the mp4 compression after they upload it but its just not possible in this short time frame.

They are actually only doing this to short clips of video that are associated with a news or sports story that is posted to the website.

Gotcha. You'll STILL need a lot of storage, probably something in a RAID 5 configuration. How much do you plan to have in each bay? If I were you, I wouldn't look at anything less than 2TB. Really. If it's common storage on, say, 4G Ethernet, 8TB would be good.


The engineering department are trying to handle this buy purchasing some 6TB NAS devices to store their video on. With our station the reporters actually have to import and edit their own video and they are their own editor before everything goes up on the web. I think our station is ran very different than the optimal environment but its what we have.

Thanks for the replies.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Custom Render Settings
on Oct 8, 2009 at 3:11:56 pm

It seems like we're dancing around the core of your problem: you want to have a set of standard capture settings, edit timeline settings and such. That's easily done in FCP with what's called an Easy Setup.

However, easy setups are all all dependent on the type of video that goes into the application, and how you plan to get the video out of the machine. You change one parameter of how you get things in and out, and you invalidate the easy setup. We still don't have any good information on how you plan to do this.

You say you currently use a TV tuner card for web use. That's the CURRENT setup for your CURRENT editing system. You're going to have THREE NEW FCP EDIT BAYS. Are they all going to have those TV tuner cards? To give you a straight answer, we need to know how these three new FCP seats are going to be configured... the kinds of cameras the new department plans to use for shooting... how the news department plans to use these three new seats... and how the video is going to get out for its eventual use.

I doubt you plan to use all three seats for web video. I bet the news department has other plans for them, and we need to know that.
I doubt the news department photogs still shoot on Beta SP. They might, but I bet they have other cameras with digital outputs on them, and we need to know that -- plus the MIX of cameras they'll use on a regular basis.
I doubt you'll continue using antiquated TV tuner cards. I bet there will be newer hardware, and we need to know that, too.

If you DON'T have these answers, there isn't much we can do to help. We'll only be a liability. When you can start getting us some answers, we can start getting you some useful information.



Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Marc Enette
Re: Custom Render Settings
on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:21:02 pm

Your best setup is to create a template for the reporter's editing format... If they capture DV 4/3- 3:2 -48k 16 bit audio then just just label the template so they always use it.

M4v Workflow...
They can export to m4v pretty fast It can be done straight from final cut .. no settings involved use Export for Apple TV... great quality and no messing with settings..

I also use avid, lol Avid stations they do require an Avid Tech for maintenance.. they also have their pro and cons... Very expensive solutions for simple tasks...

Pros with Avid is that imported media is converted at import that's a plus, it also spends time converting media that does not need conversion on import... Quicktime dv files...... file handling in avid omf and mxf is just a plain mess for most regular users...
The advantage is the realtime hardware they use for their solution.

Exporting from a timeline in final cut in quicktime native dv format is a super fast process only a couple of minutes... in Avid it takes between 12 and 15 minutes to export a 28 minutes segment from a timeline...
Final cut is annoying by not providing any realtime preview for m4v, and mp4 formats... It makes editing a pain... No cheap pci or plugin to import and convert for realtime editing so far to my knowledge...

Best,

Marc Enette
Audio / Video Editor - A/V Post Production - Engineering - Sound Engineering - System Development - Workflow Optimization - System Customization


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