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Is it Fable or Absolutely True? Edit in low-res

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David Hunter
Is it Fable or Absolutely True? Edit in low-res
on Feb 14, 2010 at 4:58:44 pm

I have read about it but never tried it--editing in low-res for the sake of quick screen performance, and then simply rendering the whole project timeline sequence with effects and titles on the high res version of clips and footage?

Now that I have a MacPro with 12GB memory and a Sata RAID 5 and 3 monitor setup with Final Cut 7 I still run into the same problems I had with my MacbookPro laptop with video running smoothly when I am shooting in DVCPRO HD 25 or 50 frames for 720p or 1080p. I have an ATI Radeon 4870 HD with 512 MB VRAM hooked up to some Eizo 24-inch monitors, a Tempo SATA E4P controller for RAID. Blah..blah.

But HD editing uses a lot of resources.

So, supposedly I can use a low res version of clips, .MOV's, apply transitions, titles, Motion titling, change clip timing for slow mo, apply filters, use a Motion template, drop in video to the Motion drop zones, ...do the whole project in a lower res and then re-apply the finished timeline sequence to a bin of the same clips in the HD resolution and receive a finished high resolution render for further outputting to Compressor or wherever.

What are the steps that make this possible in the most efficient workflow?

Are there any "automatic" options or settings to keep in mind?

What things work in theory but not in practice?

Do you have to re-set Final Cut project preferences and change codecs, etc. from low res rendering to high res after the sequence is finished in low res and then Save and Close and then re-open Final Cut to make sure a new sequence is taking in the high resolution clips onto a timeline loaded with the new high resolution properties?

I'd appreciate a specific sequence of steps from you seasoned pros who do this all the time...assuming what I have heard is correct over the years.

Thank you!


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Is it Fable or Absolutely True? Edit in low-res
on Feb 14, 2010 at 6:54:52 pm

[David Hunter] "'d appreciate a specific sequence of steps from you seasoned pros who do this all the time..."

Step one. Read the manual. It's all in there.

Many people have been doing this for years.

Mark



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David Hunter
Re: Is it Fable or Absolutely True? Edit in low-res
on Feb 14, 2010 at 7:02:53 pm

-coool....unfortunately my manual is in German


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Phillip Van West
Re: Is it Fable or Absolutely True? Edit in low-res
on Feb 14, 2010 at 7:47:28 pm

It's also online: http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/Final_Cut_Pro_7_User_Manual.pdf

pvw

Phil Van West
Terra Nova Productions
Denver, CO
Video Production/Post-Production

Mac Pro 2009 8-core 2.66GHz / 16GB RAM / OS 10.6.2 / FCP 7.0.1 / QT 7.6


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Arnie Schlissel
Re: Is it Fable or Absolutely True? Edit in low-res
on Feb 14, 2010 at 11:07:26 pm

[Mark Raudonis] "Step one. Read the manual. It's all in there."

And for a little background:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offline_editing

Arnie

Post production is not an afterthought!
http://www.arniepix.com/


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Zane Barker
Re: Is it Fable or Absolutely True? Edit in low-res
on Feb 14, 2010 at 8:04:51 pm

It's called offline editing.

Your system should be able to handel editing just fine though. But here are a few thoughts/questions to perhaps figure out why it is not.

What speeds are you getting from your media raid? Run the AJA system test.
Have you thought about using ProRes?
What version of the OS and what version of FCP are you using?
Are you doing multi clip editing, or any other form of editing with multiple streams of video?




Hindsight is always 1080p



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matthew bradshaw
Re: Is it Fable or Absolutely True? Edit in low-res
on Feb 15, 2010 at 11:24:42 am

Here is an old description of what to do which may be helpful.
Regards, Matt.
http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/offline_rt.html



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David Hunter
Re: Is it Fable or Absolutely True? Edit in low-res
on Feb 15, 2010 at 1:44:57 pm

It used to be in the days of analog offline that you could not see many of the effects and transitions you were intending until you took them online. So, offline was really rough and didn't tell you or show you everything you really wanted to see until you really had to spend money at online rates.

I have heard of offline editing BUT my question to you experts is regarding Final Cut 7 and Motion 4 and the various effects plugins that work for the HD Final Cut Studio released in October 2009.

According to Ken Stone's article on OFFLINE editing written in 2002 about Final Cut 3 there are a number of things that are going to be significantly changed in Offline RT mode...important things which I asked about in my original questions...according to an article written in 2002, 7 years ago, MOTION effects will have to be re-created when the Offline goes Online. That is a huge consideration. Considering the number of times I use Motion in this sequence maybe it is just a waste of time to even consider going offline if round-tripping back and forth in Motion in Offline mode is going to have to be duplicated and then some when I go Online HD.

Also, Ken's article says this: "The proportions of the graphics will change slightly. This is due to the fact that the Offline RT Sequence is a Square Pixel Sequence, and your final Sequence will be Non-Square Pixels." He says this is about 10% distortion...which is even greater in HD 1080. So, the entire OFFLINE sequence is square pixels...this makes a big difference in judging title kerning, etc.

So, I can go on quoting things from his ancient article...but, I come back to asking pretty much what I asked the first time--

Here in 2010 with Final Cut Pro 7 and Motion 4 IS IT POSSIBLE TO REALLY AND TRULY EDIT an HD project in lower res footage (but NOT in Square pixels when the Online HD is in Non-Square pixels), go back and forth in Motion and then go back and apply the same actions and Motion title sequences to the higher resolution clips and have it render out exactly the same project just in the intended HD format?

The whole point of my question originally was if I could save time with shorter renders yet still get exactly the same spacing, on-screen proportions for graphics placement and title rendering while working with lower resolution. Technically this is NOT offline!

OFFLINE used to mean a limited viewing environment where you also MARK effects to take place and MARK transitions that you intended to happen with the time durations etc. You could do wipes, dissolves, cuts--the standard stuff, and get an idea of the timing but Online where you still had more work to do that went beyond simple "tweaking".

Tell me please--anyone who KNOWS, who works exactly as I am discussing-- what are the real life issues in 2010 with Final Cut HD ? Can I expect to set up a session that works like an ONLINE session with all effects and Motion templates and titling and plug-ins rendering in the fastest possible time in 1080 progressive but lower res and codec ---THEN simply "plugging in" the higher resolution footage and higher quality codec in a new sequence that uses the same .fcp file to re-render at the higher quality?

Thanks!


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Is it Fable or Absolutely True? Edit in low-res
on Feb 15, 2010 at 6:24:36 pm

Yes, you can.

Use "Off-line RT HD" which specifically addresses the "pixel aspect" ratio.

Experiment with your workflow. Nobody here can tell you what will work for your
specific situation. Only you can determine that... and the only way you'll know is
by trying it.

If you still can't figure it out, hire someone who can.

Mark




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Shane Ross
Re: Is it Fable or Absolutely True? Edit in low-res
on Feb 15, 2010 at 8:27:12 pm

If you use FCP 7 and PRORES PROXY, things are better. That is a full raster, full sized codec. So you can see things full sized, and in far better quality. Just render out all your Motion graphics in full resolution and mix the formats...FCP allows for that. Then you don't need to redo your motion graphics, all you need to do is recapture/reimport your main footage.



Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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David Hunter
Re: Is it Fable or Absolutely True? Edit in low-res
on Feb 16, 2010 at 10:03:07 am

Thank you, Gentlemen.

Shane, I actually bought one of your books two years ago and it was very helpful as I was just getting introduced to FCP. I brought it with me from Mexico to Austria but it is still boxed up! I am just now reading your STOCK ANSWERS...which are great.

The reason I am diving back into FCP is because video is now again a business and I have some better gear to handle the back end of shooting video. The first thing I had to do in this past year is to dive into the issue of online video specs and compression and Content Delivery Networks and .flv's, blah blah, Flash Servers and all that jazz.

Where you "after market" authors come in real handy is explaining various PROCESSES instead of "then there is this tool and that tool".

I am confused now about codecs in the editing process.

Shooting with DVCPRO HD 50 in the Panasonic AG-HVX200A when I choose 1080i/50i as the highest resolution and frame rate (as set for European cameras) I record it on P2 cards. I log and transfer the .mxf files and FCP creates .mov files with this codec.

I figure I should be editing my sequence in this codec since it is the encoded codec of my footage.

Technically shouldn't this DVCPRO HD 4:2:2 codec be even higher quality (more original information) than converting it to any ProRes native Apple codec since any conversion is an algorithmic interpolation or corruption of the first data, in a strictly technical sense?

If I keep the sequence at DVCPRO HD for the whole process until it is time to take it into the final delivery medium such as online video, or broadcast NTSC or PAL interlaced, or progressive HDTV...etc isn't this the time at the end to convert it to one of the ProRes codecs or H.264, etc?


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David Hunter
Re: Is it Fable or Absolutely True? Edit in low-res
on Feb 16, 2010 at 1:15:32 pm

Of course I realize my last question about whether to keep editing with DVCPRO HD is a new question contrary to my original thread question about FASTER Render for the editing of HD.

I am guessing...have not tried it yet...that for my original question about creating a low-res, faster render project for more like an offline session I could copy the high resolution clips contained in the main project bin into a new bin in the same project and then send them out to Compressor to batch convert to a lower resolution, lower file size version that still keeps the original frame rate and frame size, such as 1440 X 1080 pixels. Import them back and use that bin with the same Compressor codec as the project timeline setting.

When time comes to re-enocde to the highest quality I could reset the project properties to the higher DVCPRO HD or ProRes settings, close the project, re-open FCP 7, make sure I have the last .fcp file, and then open up the high-resolution bin....and do something to make sure that I can lay all of these back into the finished project timeline for a re-render at the higher resolution encoding....

This is my guess at a possible workflow but I must be missing some necessary steps or shortcuts.


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Shane Ross
Re: Is it Fable or Absolutely True? Edit in low-res
on Feb 16, 2010 at 6:05:31 pm

[David Hunter] "Shane, I actually bought one of your books two years ago and it was very helpful as I was just getting introduced to FCP."

Book? I wrote a book? I don't remember writing a book. COOL! What's it called? I want a copy!

[David Hunter] "Shooting with DVCPRO HD 50 in the Panasonic AG-HVX200A "

Uhh...you mean DVCPRO 100, or DVCPRO HD. DVCPRO 50 is a Standard Def format. Or do you mean DVCPRO HD PAL (thus 50?)

[David Hunter] "Technically shouldn't this DVCPRO HD 4:2:2 codec be even higher quality (more original information) than converting it to any ProRes native Apple codec since any conversion is an algorithmic interpolation or corruption of the first data, in a strictly technical sense? "

Well...yes. Converting to any other format means loss of quality. Some people...not me...like to convert to ProRes because DVCPRO HD is an 8 bit codec and ProRes is 10-bit, so they feel like they have better quality...or they want to really push things in Color Correction and want the extra bits. I can say that I edited, color corrected and delivered 3 two hour specials and 16 episodes from two different series by capturing and editing DVCPRO HD from the start, no conversion, and it looked great. No issues. Transcoding this format, IMHO, is a waste of time and resources. But that's MHO...

[David Hunter] "If I keep the sequence at DVCPRO HD for the whole process until it is time to take it into the final delivery medium such as online video, or broadcast NTSC or PAL interlaced, or progressive HDTV...etc isn't this the time at the end to convert it to one of the ProRes codecs or H.264, etc? "

I sure think so!


Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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David Hunter
Re: Is it Fable or Absolutely True? Edit in low-res
on Feb 16, 2010 at 7:17:40 pm

HI SHANE, thanks for taking the time to comment!

Now that I look back I bought two books and I must have been confusing you with Lonzell Watson!

As for DVCPRO HD 50 I was confused again. referring to the camera setup that allows shooting up to 50 frames per second. And yes you are correct that sometimes the DVCPRO HD codec has a "100" appended.

As far as picking up 2 bits--from native 8 bit DVCPRO HD to 10 bit PRO RES--are you implying or working under the premise that this gives you extra specs room to play with when Color Correcting?

Are you working in ProRes 422?--the one called "an intermediate codec intended for video editing and not for end user viewing"?

Or do you use ProRes 4444?

Apple says this: "The family now includes ProRes 422 (Proxy), ProRes 422 (LT) and ProRes 4444, in addition to the original ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 (HQ)."

One more area of confusion is that it seems if you are preparing clips for online...the variants of mpeg, or .flv files, or QuickTime mov files that now you have to dumb it down even farther because these are just wrapper formats that depend on the client side online to be able to decode the CODEC you used when creating an online player friendly version. And that this extends to .flv files controlled by a .swf file or to Flash Video encoding.

So if you have a video that will be mastered to DVD, yet also clipped for Youtube, Vimeo, etcetera...and Quicktime video players you have to abandon the ProRes codec or the ten thousand other codecs to re-encode for some things like H.264 because of more widespread codec support for online video purposes.

I have videos running on various websites in .mov and .flv formats and this compatability of codecs seems to be the small hole in the hourglass that all the sand of competing recording and editing codecs has to pass through to reach the web.


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