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Compressor Question

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Austin Reedy
Compressor Question
on Jan 4, 2010 at 9:09:06 pm

Hi Everyone,

I know this is a FCP forum, but I couldn't find one for Compressor, so I assumed someone here might still be able to help.

So without too much back story; I'm working on a Multi Format project and I'm currently working with all the different formats in FCP. Right now all the footage is in its original size and frame rate, and we're editing in a timeline that is Apple Pro Res 422, 24 fps. Needless to say, its causing some quirkiness in how FCP processes things. I'm getting the impression that I'll need to standardize the footage to Pro Res in order to help alleviate a myriad of problems. So with that said, I'm trying to figure out how to create a few Compressor Templates that will allow me to compress my source footage to 24 fps, but I'd like to retain the original sizes, so that I can either increase the scale and crop in FCP, or use the footage with a perceived pillar box if I didn't want to distort the footage by increasing the size.

So, if you're still with me: Can anyone recommend a setting for Compressor that will allow me to retain original size and aspect ratio, but convert the footage to 24 fps and Apple Pro Res 422 so that when I bring the footage into an Apple Pro Res 422 timeline, the footage is the original size but doesn't require rendering. Please let me know if this is possible, or if there is a better way to be tackling this issue, as right now we're all frustrated with the render time and worried that multiple formats/frame rates will output in a bizarre way once everything is said and done. Thanks for any help you can give!

Austin

Austin Reedy
Freelance Post
Austin, TX


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Chris Alstrin
Re: Compressor Question
on Jan 4, 2010 at 9:39:42 pm

I would say your best bet here if you have many multiple formats you're working with is to create your edit you want. DO NOT RENDER ANYTHING YET.

Once you are happy with your edit you can go to media manager add a second or two handle so you can still make small tweaks, this will duplicate all your files without all the extra footage you're not using.

Once you do this you then determine what your final output is? Is it 24p 1280 x 720 or something else? You decide at this stage. Then go to compressor and create your templates you want. You will probably have to create a new template for every type of format you are compressing from. For each output you want to compress to the exact sequence to which your new timeline is. I recommend creating tests for each new template about a second or so, this will save you lots of time if your template isn't how you wanted.

That's how I would do it, there might be better ways but it worked for me on my last film.



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Austin Reedy
Re: Compressor Question
on Jan 4, 2010 at 10:59:09 pm

My main concern with throwing everything together and rendering later is that I can't watch the video clips that are different from the sequence settings. This is why I'm trying to find a codec or a format that i can compress everything to, that retains original sizes, changes everything to 24, and doesn't lose quality. I'm not really sure what the best route is with this. Essentially there isn't really any predominant footage, so picking one over the other to be the timeline setting isn't really beneficial.

I'm hoping that either ProRes or another codec (that requires less space since most of our stuff isn't HD) would work, and then for things that are smaller than HD I can select 4x3 padding to allow them to retain their size with pillarboxes so that they don't require rendering.

I also have to admit I'm not sure what you're suggestion is, I think you're suggesting that I edit without rendering, but I am unaware of how to do that and be able to watch the edit without rendering, because when I have unrendered stuff it says "unrendered when I watch in the timeline. As for the handles in Media Manager, I have to admit I also don't really know what you're suggesting with that. Sorry to be ignorant of your help, but if you could maybe give a little more information that'd be great, thanks!

Austin Reedy
Freelance Post
Austin, TX


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Chris Alstrin
Re: Compressor Question
on Jan 5, 2010 at 2:38:29 pm

Pro Res actually requires more space than your standard DV NTSC which is maybe what you want to be editing here. If you are editing in FCP 6.0 or higher then that supports multi formats in a single sequence without rendering, I apologize I assumed that's what you were working in.

Media Manager is a way to have all your footage and continue to have a working copy of your project without all the extra footage you know you won't use. Sure you can still keep it as a backup on another drive or something but for most purposes it's pretty good. A handle is the amount of extra footage you want to keep on either end of each clip Media manager creates for you. So if gives you the option to create handles up to a certain amount of seconds.

To answer your original question though about working with all those different types of formats I would suggest using cinema tools to go from 29.97 footage to 24 or 23.976. Either way you look at it it's never a good idea to have more than one or two different types of formats in a sequence it adds a lot of work to your project.

Is 24p your final output? Is that what the majority of your footage is?

Chris Alstrin
http://www.alstrinfilms.com


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Austin Reedy
Re: Compressor Question
on Jan 5, 2010 at 3:42:12 pm

You were right to assume so, we're working in FCP 6.0.6. It does allow multiple formats to be viewed in the timeline, but rendering is required, so I'm not sure if there's a setting that allows us to deal with that, but as of now when I drop multiple formats into a sequence it requires rendering for anything different.

As for our "majority", we unfortunately don't have one, so that's what's making the decision regarding standardization more difficult. Ultimately the director wants to output at ProRes, so I'm thinking (since space isn't really an issue for us) that standardizing the footage to ProRes before a lot of editing starts is a good idea, since it allows us to work without rendering and also gives us a clearer idea of how all the different sizes and aspect ratios look together in the final output setting. However, its just a matter of doing it, which of course is a serious endeavor. If nothing else, like you said, we're thinking dropping everything down to 24 is going to be a good idea, since we have PAL stuff, NTSC stuff, and some film as well, so 24 is our LCD.

I suppose I'm just trying to get an idea of how others who've worked in multi formats would tackle this problem, I'm just assuming that its going to be lengthy but worthwhile to standardize everything before too much editing gets done, just because when everything is said and done we'll be standardizing what we edited anyways, so it would be less complicated to do it now. Does this make sense? I hope so. I think I'm getting what you're suggesting, but if you have any other ideas please let me know. Thanks a lot!

Austin

Austin Reedy
Freelance Post
Austin, TX


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Austin Reedy
Re: Compressor Question
on Jan 4, 2010 at 9:50:17 pm

Considering recent information I've read: Is there any purpose in compressing all my footage to Apple Pro Res 422? I'm wondering if my only real worry is frame rate, but otherwise isn't ProRes intended only for editing with HD stuff? Most of my footage isn't HD so it seems using ProRes as the standardizing compression would be pointless...help!?

Austin Reedy
Freelance Post
Austin, TX


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Rafael Amador
Re: Compressor Question
on Jan 5, 2010 at 3:53:14 pm

Set "Unlimited RT" to avoid the red line.
Proress is probably the best option for exporting a master from FC; whatever you gonna do with it later on.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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