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Pro Res, MultiClips, Upgrades Kona & eSata Raid?

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Chris Simpson
Pro Res, MultiClips, Upgrades Kona & eSata Raid?
on Nov 15, 2009 at 3:36:59 pm

Now I could probably post this in parts, in any number of forums on here, but most of it is dependent on each other, and fundamentally it's do with what my Mac Pro & FCP can handle.

So here goes...

I've been running for the last year 8 to 10, 15min streams of DV video in about 10-12 FCP Multiclip sequences of motorsport events I cover. Editing a highlights package for Standard Def DVDs.

Seven of my cameras are shooting HDV 1080i (3 Sony V1's and 4/5 HC5-9), and I'm down converting in camera on capture to DV, (mostly cos its for Standard Def DVDs) which seems a shame, but also because my Mac Pro can only handle that number of streams in DV, I'm also employing 4 onboard cameras which are shooting QT files at 720p 30, converted through Compressor to DV, in that 8 to 10 DV streams, then splitting the best 8 to 10 streams of DV capture scratch over 2 drives. I know, I know, but you can never have enough coverage!

Now I'm constantly trying to improve "the show" and giving serious thought over the winter to ramping up my output to another level, working in Pro Res, and outputting High Def, as well Standard Def, and maybe a highlights package for "broadcast" or at least getting close to that "standard".

So, I'm using a Mac Pro, 3Ghz, 16Gb Ram, 2.5Tb of hard drive, Radeon 4870HD.

So doing a bit of reading, which always leads from one thing into another, and puzzling over one or two things, I'm struggling to grasp, I'm wondering if anyone can help me understand if it is even possible to work 8 streams of Pro Res into MultiClip Sequence.

And the set up required.

I was wondering if it was possible with a powerful RAID, maybe G Tech eSata RAID for instance (that would need a PCi Express controller card as well). Which one?

I've also been reading about Kona cards (another PCI express slot) (and Graphics card would make 3 of 4 PCI slots filled, could a Mac Pro handle that?),

And I was wondering if the Kona could improve the quality of captured material from the HDV tape, as Pro Res, compared to a Firewire800 capture. Remember I'd be capturing from tape, not straight from chip, would a Kona be any value then? I've been trying to decide if that even matters, as would a Sony V1's Component Out or HDMI from tape, even work, never mind provide better captured video (as Pro Res) through the Kona, than captured as Pro Res over the ordinary Firewire.

I was thinking about the LHi Kona card, seems good value, maybe help with cross conversion QT 720P onboard camera? And the possible output formats and quality at the end?

Anyone want to take a stab at any part(s) of that? (I know you must be thinking I have plenty of spare time on my hands, or money. Certainly true on the former, and some on the latter).

Chris Simpson

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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Pro Res, MultiClips, Upgrades Kona & eSata Raid?
on Nov 16, 2009 at 5:47:11 am

The LHe card would certainly capture the video as ProRes. ProRes will not improve what you've shot, just make it easier to work with, keep your HD, HD without having to work with HDV in post. (not a pretty thing especially with multiclips). The LHe will also cross convert, up and down convert too in real time, so you could deliver HD, or SD tape in the end as well as change any HD format to another as long as you don't change frame rates. aka 1080 to 720 or vice versa.

I'd look at some speedy drive setups for sure. SAS is faster than eSata...

Rigs such as this: should be able to easily handle the number of ProRes streams you need, even in a Raid 5 or 6 (so you could lose a drive and still recover the data you had on the array).

Even your SD DVD's will look better BTW if you don't down convert your HD to SD then compress. Also if you capture as ProRes, your graphics will be 10 bit video, and should look much better as well.


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Steve Oakley
Re: Pro Res, MultiClips, Upgrades Kona & eSata Raid?
on Nov 17, 2009 at 9:12:36 pm

well for multi cam editing, yes prores would be a bit easier for the machine to work with. a 4-5 drive array should be way more then fast enough. you could also take a look at the MXO2 since it can cross convert your different formats during capture to a common format like 720. working with one format make things easier too.

Steve Oakley
DP • Editor • VFX Artist

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Chris Simpson
Re: Pro Res, MultiClips, Upgrades Kona & eSata Raid?
on Nov 19, 2009 at 2:23:26 am

Thanks Jerry & Steve,

I like the portability of the MX02, I have a MBP as well, could I transfer a finished Pro Res file to my Mac Book Pro then output through the MX02, in say a production house, through the SDI to Digideta? Do you think?

And Jerry, the CalDIgitalHDOne looks a tad on the expensive side, anything else with the horsepower, to handle 8 streams of Pro Res as my budget was more akin to Caldigital HDElement.

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