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XDCAM, HDV and SD all in one project

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Chris Toppino
XDCAM, HDV and SD all in one project
on Mar 5, 2010 at 9:18:38 pm

Working on a project to be released for NTSC DVD and HD webvideo.

I used 3 different recording formats:

95% in XDCAM (24)
4% HDV HD (30)
1% Standard Def

Any suggestions for a best workflow??


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John Pale
Re: XDCAM, HDV and SD all in one project
on Mar 5, 2010 at 10:07:50 pm

I'd need more detail about your system and the project itself, but offhand I would say edit native XDCAM, but set your rendering to ProRes. Convert everything else in Compressor.


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Chris Toppino
Re: XDCAM, HDV and SD all in one project
on Mar 6, 2010 at 12:00:43 am

Thanks for the response. I am editing on FCP7. The project is a short documentary.

My worry about editing everything in a native XDCAM 24fps time line is that my tests so far show the HDV 30fps look really choppy when converted into XDCAM 24fps... Should I convert everything to XDCAM 30fps?

Any advice would be much appreciated.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: XDCAM, HDV and SD all in one project
on Mar 6, 2010 at 12:43:50 am

[Chris Toppino] "...my tests so far show the HDV 30fps look really choppy when converted into XDCAM 24fps... Should I convert everything to XDCAM 30fps? "

Mixed codecs and mixed frame rates are two very different issues. Despite what the Apple propaganda may say, you CAN'T mix frame rates without disaster.

Was this HDV stuff also shot at 24p? If so you remove the 3:2 pulldown to get it to 23.976... more on that number later.

If it was NOT shot at 24p, you'd need to do a frame rate conversion. Some people use Compressor for the job, but I don't know about that. I think it's better to use frame rate conversion software like ReelVision's Twixtor or Magic Bullet. They're pricey, but good.

Now on to numbers, which is something every good editor should know. 30fps is NOT 30fps in NTSC-land, it's 29.97 fps, and you must always remember that. Confusing the two frame rates leads to problems -- ask any owner of one of those goofy Canon 5D Mark II cameras who says to himself, "Hey, how tough can it be to work with this stuff?" They find out as their audio drifts and video looks choppy.

Similarly, very few cameras shoot true 24 fps. If they shoot anything, it's probably 23.976 fps, the film frame rate in NTSC-Land. It's often -- and erroneously referred to as 23.98.

Clear as mud? Hey, it's this kind of stuff that makes for good job insurance.

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


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