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Documentary with RED, 5D, and others. Mixed format workflow questions.

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keith roberts
Documentary with RED, 5D, and others. Mixed format workflow questions.
on Apr 23, 2010 at 3:12:26 am

I am starting to cut a documentary soon, and I've got some workflow questions. The source footage is coming from RED, 5D, 35mm, 16mm, DigiBeta, BetaSP, and even a clip on Hi8. Some of the 5D footage was shot at 30 fps and some at 24 fps. The film was transferred to HD tape at 23.98 and miniDV at 29.97. The finished cut will be onlined at a facility with a Spirit.

I plan on having our assistant use either REDcine-X or Clipfinder to convert the RED to ProRes 422 or DVCPro HD. I've heard log and transfer is flakey on batch transcodes. Any thoughts on which software and which codec would be better. DVCPro will make smaller files and since we are not finishing in FCP, I'm not too concerned with working at a lower resolution. Is ProRes LT worth a look? Can Clipfinder do TC burn-in like REDcine-X? I like that.

I read about the new Canon plug-in for log and transfer. I'm assuming this would be the best way to bring in the 5D footage to ProRes (will it convert to DVCPro HD?) If not, I guess I'll convert the RED and 5D footage to ProRes (422 or LT).

The producer planned on us using the miniDV film transfers (29.97), then the online house using the HD film transfers (23.98). Apparently the online house said this won't be a problem, but how does that work? Will FCP remove pulldown on the 29.97 footage while digitizing allowing us to work with that footage at 23.98? I've done this with DigiBeta, but never miniDV. How will the timecode of the clips captured from miniDV match the timecode of the HD transfers?

I am wondering what advice/tips anyone might have with mixing so many formats/frame rates in one project ... knowing that it will have to make it's way out to a Spirit for online. I read not to change the clip/file names of any of the RED footage.

We are using Burly e-sata enclosures as a JBOD for the media, which I'm assuming is suitable for this workflow.

Thanks in advance for any help,
Keith





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Michael Gissing
Re: Documentary with RED, 5D, and others. Mixed format workflow questions.
on Apr 23, 2010 at 11:28:46 pm


I see no reason to telecine the film footage to anything other than an HD file @ 23.976. This file can then be used in the final online. If you can stay with the one frame rate that would be best.

RED Rushes is used to batch convert the RED codec to ProRes 422. I would stay with ProRes throughout. DVCProHD would only make sense if you had a lot of footage already in that codec from a camera source. Otherwise, ProRes is a better codec.

A lot of this sort of pre planning should be done with the online people to make sure you are not going to deliver them a headache. You should be talking to them. If someone approached me with a grade/online job and said they had worked it out with the COW forum without asking me what I want, I would be more than a bit miffed.


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keith roberts
Re: Documentary with RED, 5D, and others. Mixed format workflow questions.
on Apr 24, 2010 at 6:51:33 am

Thanks for the response, Michael. The production company I'm working with got the miniDV transfers because they didn't have an HD deck for digitizing. I'll check into getting HD files from the transfer house. That would be great to have that stuff at 24fps. If we can't get HD files, though, can FCP remove pulldown on film footage transferred to miniDV?

We are going to stick with ProRes and use Clipfinder to transcode the RED footage.

The producer has already been in talks with the online house. All the prep work thus far has been based on their input. This job is out of town and the assistant is prepping all next week. I have a meeting with the online people once I get in town to go over the editing process. I'm trying to get some clarity on the prep for this workflow.

thanks again,
Keith



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Michael Gissing
Re: Documentary with RED, 5D, and others. Mixed format workflow questions.
on Apr 24, 2010 at 12:22:52 pm


I don't have experience with pulldown as I am blessed to live in the PAL world but a quick search of this forum should reveal some sage advice by the poor sods who are forced to deal with 29.97 to 23.976 conversion.

It is always a shame to hear that telecine has already been done to DV. By going straight to HD files, you don't have to capture off tape so the injest tape machine is not an issue and the same files can be used in the offline and online.


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