5D workflow in FCP
Traveling out of the country and shooting on 2 - Canon 5d cameras.
I wanted to make sure I had my ducks in a row and had a questions about sync - we'll slate and clap for sync...but we're shooting 2 cameras...is there a way to sync time code? We were talking about running an old school TC generator into the audio input and recording LTC...has anyone done this? Can you interpret LTC in FCP? Does anyone have a sample clip I could play with to test?
Also, I'll be using Cinema Tools to convert the frame rate from 30 to 29.97. Does the conversion from 30 to 29.97 in Cinema Tools change the clip at all? Does it speed it up by .03% ? is it noticeable?
[Jason Brown] "is there a way to sync time code?"
On a STILL camera? No. This camera does not have professional video inputs/outputs. Not designed for them. The camera doesn't even record any sort of timecode. Starts from 00:00:00:00. Slating would be your best bet.
[Jason Brown] "We were talking about running an old school TC generator into the audio input and recording LTC...has anyone done this?"
Again, won't work with this camera. Do you have one? Can you see any inputs for that? Audio inputs? It doesn't have those.
[Jason Brown] " I'll be using Cinema Tools to convert the frame rate from 30 to 29.97."
Uh, you'd better be using COMPRESSOR to do that...and converting the footage to PRORES at the same time. H.264 isn't very editable in FCP. Convert to ProRes, and 29.97 timecode in one pass.
So you are trying to do a professional multicamera shoot, designed for studio cameras...with still cameras that have the ability to shoot movies? I think that is unwise.
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Changing from 30 to 29.97 is .1% . Don't forget to slow the audio down as well before syncing to the prores files. Avoid wav files (particularly broadcast wavs) as FCP seems to be making a mess with them right now.
Make vari speed aifs @ 47.952Khz. Pitch is insignificant at .1%
Shane...I share your concern, but I've shot some footage already with this...I love the look, and YES the 5D does have an audio input, albeit a mini plug...but you CAN record audio...(not balanced) but I'm wanting to record LTC in that audio track. Curious if any of you editors have run across this and used it successfully. I intend on doing extensive testing, as this is a rather large shoot...but I feel very comfortable about everything else other than the syncing of time code. There are SEVERAL people that I've talked to that are using this camera in conjunction with RED cameras and for very large shoots.
As I'm typing this...I'm wondering if I can make multicam clips like in the avid based on the slate clap...and just cut one main edit...then switch to the other cam like I can in AVID. Maybe that's a better way to go.
Not sure about the 5D, but i know about audio timecode.
You need this:
If you have a TC generator, use it.
But you can also use this:
No idea what will happen with slowing down in what stage.
But if you use the merge app. that comes with the FCP auxTC reader,
you start with synced clips.
I would like a few Canon clips to toy around though, so if someone can provide me a few, i would be grateful.
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I have a few tests I've ran...just sitting at a desk.
The tests I did were with the 7D at all 3 frame rate options. 23.98 - 29.97 at 1080 - and 59.94 recorded at 720.
I can post them somewhere if you want them:
*they aren't very scientific...no lighting...no specific framing or focusing...just simply a technical workflow test with on camera talking for sync*
[Jason Brown] "Also, I'll be using Cinema Tools to convert the frame rate from 30 to 29.97. Does the conversion from 30 to 29.97 in Cinema Tools change the clip at all? Does it speed it up by .03% ? is it noticeable? "
You can not "Conform" GOPs based stuff (H264, GOPs MPEG-2,..).
You need to transcode first to any Intraframe format.
So, transcode to Prores (keeping the p30 time-base), then conform to 29'98 in CinemaTools.
The speed difference is absolutely unnoticeable.
I understand that...I didn't mention the transcode to prores because it's kind of a give...I wouldn't try to edit the native h264 in the timeline...but I read someone else mention the conversion to prores AND the frame rate conform in the same step through compressor. Is that what everyone else is doing?
Yes, I think that is the most usual workflow.
There is no much problem cutting H264 in FC, but in the moment you try to apply filters, animate or whatever, you never know how FC will react.
[Jason Brown] "but I read someone else mention the conversion to prores AND the frame rate conform in the same step through compressor. "
When you transcode and Conform, you end up with the original picture pixel by pixel. Just wrote in a different codec.
With Compressor only when you make a Linear re-timing you keep the original picture.
The better the re-timing the more "synthetic' is the picture.
I would never go to Compressor for this task.: MPGStreamclip and CinemaTools.
[Jason Brown] "Traveling out of the country and shooting on 2 - Canon 5d cameras. I wanted to make sure I had my ducks in a row and had a questions about sync - we'll slate and clap for sync...but we're shooting 2 cameras...is there a way to sync time code? We were talking about running an old school TC generator into the audio input and recording LTC...has anyone done this? "
Aw, why do you want to do this?
Hey, I understand the attraction of those little cameras -- great-looking pictures, and at a fraction of the cost of an actual -- and actually useful -- TV camera. But it also sounds like you want dual-system sound, which implies you'll have a crew plus several rental items, which in turn implies that you have a budget. And to get this project done within budget, you're willing to let your bargain-basement equipment make you jump through hoops.
If the only way you can get this project done is by using still cameras, you may want to consider saving up some more dough to get proper TV cameras, which after all are just one line item of many in your production budget, albeit a fairly crucial one.
Using still cameras to substitute for TV cameras just 'cause they're cheap? You pretty much always get what you pay for.
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA
I'm with you Dave. Get two real video cameras with a depth of field adapters and save yourself a metric shit ton of grief (you did say you were going overseas, right?).
If not, test your ass off. It's possible, but if you're trying to do this on a shoestring budget and a limited crew, I would say godspeed to all of that.
What you should tell the people that hold the purse strings is that, yeah, you have two little cameras that might cost relatively little money, but the sheer amount of time that you are going to spend conforming and syncing two cameras from h264 and double system sound is going to totally kill the post budget. With two video cameras that can handle the things you are trying to do right out of the box, add a DOF adapter and some lenses (hey, you can even use the lenses you were going to use on the 5D) you will save yourself time in post.
Today is swear day.
I do have a few customers who use these cams.
Dual sound is normal with video cams as well.
Timecode is around for longer than most of the users of this fora are alive, nothing fancy.
Testing, yes, very much needed.
And i agree that for run 'n gun work traditional cams are better.
But if you control the shooting situation, using still cams is very well possible. (And the moment 24 or 25 is available i'm going to buy one!)
But if you think that two 'real' HD cams with DOF adapters will be cheaper in the end, think again, and go back to school to learn math.
A decent HD rig is about 50K. A still cam is about 5.
That is 90K difference for two cams.
Cost of rendering? Just time. Perhaps a few extra CPU's at a value of 10K.
Still 80k difference.
Software? You need my stuff, that's nothing in comparison.
A BWF recorder is some 2K. Do it with a laptop and slave to LTC, it's the price of a laptop and input board. Also close to nothing.
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[Bouke Vahl] "Dual sound is normal with video cams as well."
Normal? I doubt it. Does it happen? Yes. Dual system is definitely not the norm, except on features.
[Bouke Vahl] "But if you think that two 'real' HD cams with DOF adapters will be cheaper in the end, think again, and go back to school to learn math."
Come on, you think I'm that dim? I am talking rental, not purchase.
[Bouke Vahl] "Cost of rendering? Just time. Perhaps a few extra CPU's at a value of 10K.
Still 80k difference.
Software? You need my stuff, that's nothing in comparison.
A BWF recorder is some 2K. Do it with a laptop and slave to LTC, it's the price of a laptop and input board. Also close to nothing."
Put all that money together and you can rent and pocket the savings.
[Dave LaRonde] "If the only way you can get this project done is by using still cameras, you may want to consider saving up some more dough to get proper TV cameras, which after all are just one line item of many in your production budget, albeit a fairly crucial one."
Hmmm... Have you guys ever seen the latitude on these cameras? I'm with you on the functionality...the video mode was really meant as a revenue-enhancer for (still)photo-journalists, but unless you plan on moving into some sort of motion-RAW DigiCine camera, there isn't a conventional video camera that will get you the image latitude that the 5D, and lesser so, the 7D will get you.
All that said, the fastest edit scenario I've seen thus far has been a conversion in MPEG streamclip to XDcam (the rest of the project was shot on EX cameras so the editor's idea was to get it all to run on the same timeline).
He could have just as easily converted to ProRes I suppose...even though the stuff wasn't 10 bit, it was great looking...city streets at night, no additional lights. A prime adapter on a video camera will lose you a stop or two, not manufacture an additional 2...
Just another perspective.
I wouldn't shoot a feature on a still camera...and the sound is ridiculously lacking (as is the viewing), but I can see the appeal of these cameras.
[Tim Kolb] "Hmmm... Have you guys ever seen the latitude on these cameras?"
Yes, edited a couple things with these cameras so I know it decently but not intimately.
[Tim Kolb] "there isn't a conventional video camera that will get you the image latitude that the 5D, and lesser so, the 7D will get you."
I don't know, man. I really don't know if the amount of sheer greif you have to go through for a 5D edit is worth, it. A rented 2700 or even a lesser camera will get your very very close.[Tim Kolb] "A prime adapter on a video camera will lose you a stop or two, not manufacture an additional 2..."
Not on newer ones. 1/2 stop is the latest and greatest.
[Tim Kolb] "but I can see the appeal of these cameras."
The ONLY appeal I see is dof. Take that away and you have a piece of crap. Have you ever color corrected this camera and looked at it on a 1080 monitor? It is noisy and thin.
[Jeremy Garchow] "The ONLY appeal I see is dof. Take that away and you have a piece of crap. Have you ever color corrected this camera and looked at it on a 1080 monitor? It is noisy and thin."
I'm with you there... But that's only a better codec away from changing.
I still can't fault someone for wanting to use these cameras...now if the idea is that they're getting a RED workflow for $2K...well, then I'd have to shake my head and laugh piteously. However if this is the difference between being able to do something and not doing it at all...or shooting on HDV or AVCHD consumer gear, I still think I can feel a little sympathy for wanting to endure the PITA associated with the workflow.
My opinion...subject to change.
Thanks guys for all the input.
It seems that at this point...we are going to go with a 5D and P2 HPX model camera. We've decided to scrap the 2 camera option to go with a single 1 camera 5D. The P2 will be for backup shooting the same frame. I like the look with the 5D and I've never been able to have the capabilities with the lens options that I'll have with a 5D and the lenses we're taking.
The P2 will be our option if you guys are right and this becomes a cluster! I'll post our results...it's in a couple weeks.
[Jason Brown] "I like the look with the 5D and I've never been able to have the capabilities with the lens options that I'll have with a 5D and the lenses we're taking."
Have you ever used a lens adaptor such as a letus, redrock or p+s? You can stick those exact same lenses on the front of an HVX.
No, never have.
Where do I find those lens adapters?
[Jason Brown] "Where do I find those lens adapters?"
When I said depth of field adaptor, that's what I was saying. In essence, a lens apaptor.
I know there is a 5D forum now, but I said I'd post my results...so here it is:
We ended up shooting and editing with the P2 camera we had...because the first day we were there, MY MACBOOK PRO DIED!!! So I wasn't confident introducing a workflow using a laptop that wasn't optimized for that workflow.
BUT, we did shoot with the 5D and did use some of the footage.
The KEY IMHO is to record a clip for clip on your audio device and camera. We were using a zoom recorder...which allows you to customize the name, but it's too clumsy. So when you import your CF card and SD card you have a matching clip for clip audio and video.
I had setup an output module in Compressor to convert the frame rate to 29.97 and ProRes LT. That seems to work well...it's funny, cause it feels alot like digitizing footage from tape...the time you have to wait to be able to edit!
We used a cheap monitor for focus...I think you need a nicer one something like the Marshall LCD70XP which I have yet to test, but the promo video looks impressive.
The mounting rig we used was a red rock micro...it wasn't configured right, and we didn't have much time to play with it...so I can't say whether it was good or bad.
The focusing is tough to do on the fly...it's definitely not an ENG camera...all exposure controls are on the back of the camera..which is a huge departure from having a ring on the lens.
We brought a few lenses and I love the look of that camera. I was really impressed. I think this has some legs...if they can get the workflow cleaner and reduce the need to go to the h264 as an interim...this camera will change the game.
Here's a short clip...just a quick shot I shouldered in Marrakech.
Hope that helps...
Not just cheap - SMALL...we're going to Morroco and I anticipate customs issues bringing cases and cases of camera equipment. Also, I've not experienced the capabilities to get the kind of cinematic DOF that I have with still lenses that can open to F1.8-F1.2 ... the DOF is really nice for portrait stuff. The expense isn't that much of a factor...
Thanks for your input though, I'll let you know how it turns out.
Okay, point well taken, but if you do indeed intend to shoot dual-system sound, make darned sure the recording device does it at 30fps and not 29.97.
Depending on what you're doing, it could save you a boatload of grief later on.
So if size is the crucial thing, how do you intend to get fancy mics and audio recorders through customs, then? They too need cases.....
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA
Audio we're bringing - Boom pole (in tripod cases) - Shotgun mic - along with lectro wireless system (lav). Will be in a pelican case along with 2 5D bodies - lenses - batteries - should fit fine in a 1500 series case.
We've just run a test - 2x Samson H4n (one for redundancy) records wav at 48khz - 16bit.
Syncs up beautifully with a 5D source h264 flip @ 30 - converted to ProRes LT - 29.97 in compressor.
I think I figured out a solution on match framing 2 cameras - create a multicam clip based on an in point (set at the clapboard) - Then edit off camera one...edit in cam 2 where needed.
I think this is a great solution and its working so far based on my tests.
Thanks for the input...my biggest concern was match framing the cams...but it seems like Multicam is a great solution for that. (only issue - the Multicam clip is green above it in the SEQ which is set to match the settings of the source clip) If I drop the source clip into the timeline by itself...it's grey and doesn't need rendered.
[Jason Brown] "(only issue - the Multicam clip is green above it in the SEQ which is set to match the settings of the source clip)"
That's because it's a multiclip. Once collapsed after your edit, you're all good.
[Jason Brown] "Thanks for the input...my biggest concern was match framing the cams...but it seems like Multicam is a great solution for that."
No stretch that out times 2000 clips or whatever you're going to shoot.
Look, I just reread my posts and I sound snippy. I don't mean to be that way, but seriously, you're going to a land far away and dealing with equipment hassles is going to be one of the last things you are going to want to deal with. Just trying to look out for you. And I'll add what I said before, what you propose can be done, just be prepared.
I appreciate that...I'm just looking for thoughts. And I appreciate everyone's feedback.
I did collapse multicam...but it's still green. Using ProRes LT media in a ProRes LT sequence compressor...matching frame rate...dimensions, etc.
We're shooting headshots (5) ... maybe 15-30 minutes each...cut all 5 down to a 3-5 minute video. So the number of clips isn't going to get out of hand for this shoot.
Right click on the clip and choose remove attributes. Is there any check boxes that are available in the video section?
Even though I probably won't be using this 2 camera option anymore...I did get this working...once I collapse, it changes back to real time...sequence codec...full playback. I don't know why it didn't the other day. I restarted and it's all working as you described Jeremy. Thanks!
I am PC user and the proud new owner of a Canon 7D. I know that on the Mac side most convert their h.264 to ProRes for editing.
Does anyone have a similar recommendation on the PC for a frame-accurate transcode stream that preserves max quality?
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[Jason Brown] "
Not just cheap - SMALL...we're going to Morroco and I anticipate customs issues bringing cases and cases of camera equipment."
Three words. Carnet, my man. Try getting wireless audio equipment into China without one. You go from Video Dude to Spy in no time flat.
Hope you have a local production contact in Morocco.
My biggest recommendation is to bring a hood or an external monitor with HDMI to be able to pull focus. Trying to look at the back of the camera in daylight is really difficult. You cannot look through the lens when you are shooting! Also make sure to check out prolost.com to back off the sharpening and contrast as well as to turn on the highlight smoothing features to get a good exposure to grade. I am in love with everything the 5D represents thus far and it is only going to get better. You will need ND filters to keep the right shutter angle in bright daylight.
One of our local documentary crews have been using 5d's abroad for their next film. Thanks Canon! (Please feel free to make it 10bit raw or turn on the HDMI so we can all buy Kipros)
Also if you have not seen synth eyes product for syncing your dual system you will be very happy as you life will be much easier.
I use a Canon 5D mkII sometimes and what you suggest is feasible, but you definitely will want set up your rigs weeks ahead of time, do some simple tests and work out your preferred workflow.
The 5D mkII shoots at 30fps so you will want "conform" to 29.97 using Cinema Tools. This doesn't really change the video file, it simply changes the clip header information from 30fps to 29.97 and there is no rendering at all. It is an almost instant process and an entire folder of 40 or so clips will take only seconds to complete, no matter how big the media file. The clips now will play at 29.97fps in Final Cut Pro and QT Player (depending on host CPU), which of course means they are playing with a .1% slowdown and any audio clip recorded double system to be synced later will have to be slowed .1% also. As I said, it doesn't process the video itself, but if this makes you nervous you can backup the camera original files before doing it. Only after conforming the clips do you do any transcoding to your favorite codec for editing in FCP. I prefer ProRes. Here is the conforming workflow:
Start Cinema tools > Get past the opening dialogs about making a new database, etc. (not needed) > select "Batch Conform" from the "File" menu > in the resulting dialog, navigate to the folder with your media in it and select the first clip listed and click "open" > in the resulting dialog select from the menu the speed you want to conform your footage to (29.97) and click "Conform."
In a matter of a few seconds your clips will be conformed to playback at 29.97 and placed with a new folder labelled "conformed 29.97" within the folder they started in. If the original THM files (camera metadata files not usable by FCP at this time) were in the initial folder then they remain there, separated from the matching camera media files now moved into the new folder I just noted.
You can now transcode these files to whatever available codec in MPEG Streamclip or Compressor to facilitate editing. Incidentally, you can shoot 60p on the 7D and conform using this method to 30, 24, 25 (what ever the editing timebase) for true slow motion.
FWIW, using the Canon 5D mkII or 7D involves some workarounds, which you seem to be aware of, but if you want a markedly limited depth of field, it gets my vote over using a camcorder with a 35mm lens/depth of field converter which are clunky, expensive devices which require a lot of tweaking and futzing. The stuff Bouke links to above looks like it deserves a serious look.
Great...thanks for the info on the workflow.
That's almost the exact same process I did use, with the exception that I conformed to 29.97 AND transcoded to ProRes in one step in Compressor.
I recorded a 6 minute clip...with audio recorded to the Zoom H4n audio recorder...and I had NO sync issues. I had read that I'd have to slow audio down 99.9%, BUT at the beginning of my clip and at the END of my 6 minute clip...the audio was still in sync.
I don't know why the sync didn't drop out like I've read, but in my testing...I haven't experienced audio sync issues with the conversion from 30 to 29.97.
[Russ Johnson] "Only after conforming the clips do you do any transcoding to your favorite codec for editing in FCP. I prefer ProRes. Here is the conforming workflow: "
Are you really able to conform H264 in CinemaTools?
Here with standard H264 is impossible.
If you are able to conform the H264 from the Canon, that means that the camera is making a kind of "Intraframe H264".
All that is changed is the fps spec in the clip header. It doesn't mean that it is intraframe media.
I don't know, but here I'm unable to conform any kind of H264 or GOP MPEG-2.
The Conform button is grayed.
However no problem with the Intraframe MPEG-2 from the nano-Flash.
Hmmm. I'll take a look at it again tomorrow and try to get back.
I thought I had some info on this at my office, but couldn't locate it. AFAIK, 5D II clips are formatted as QT H.264 clips, and yes, Cinema Tools is able to change the frame rate. I was under the impression they are interframe encoded and I thought that explained why my MacPro doesn't play them in FCP all that well (it actually kind of chokes on them). Maybe not, there are flavors of H.264 which are intraframe.
Sorry not to be of help.
Some H264 profiles are Intraframe, so this may be the case with the Canon files.
My only experience is with the standard QT H264 and those are GOP based.