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Preparing FCP Sequence for color grading Question

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Timothy Anderson
Preparing FCP Sequence for color grading Question
on Nov 21, 2010 at 8:36:53 am

Hello,

I am delivering an HD feature edited in FCP to a post house for color grading/correction. The project will be graded on a Mystika for final output to DCP and HDCAM/SR (as well as a QT master I am sure).

The project specs are:
24p HD feature with 23.98 timebase, native codec is DVCProHD - which I cut it in as well.

The post house has requested I deliver the sequence in either a .dpx of .tiff sequence + a ref. QT. My questions are:

1. I am running FCP 7, but I do not know have to generate a .dpx using it. Somebody referenced GlueTools to me at work, but I have never used it and do not know if I need it or not. Is it the only way to properly do a .dpx from FCP?

2. What is/are the differences between a .dpx and a .tiff sequence in terms of grading/correction? Is one 'better' or more preferable than the other as it relates to quality results and/or workflow?

3. What are (if any) necessary settings/steps I must do in FCP to prep/export the sequence at for either .tiff or .dpx to make sure full quality is optimum for the grading/correction process? Any issues that I need to be aware of (bit depth, frame rate etc...)?

I am not a colorist so I don't really know much about the dark art. Any answers and information would be greatly appreciated!

Regards,
Tim


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Preparing FCP Sequence for color grading Question
on Nov 21, 2010 at 10:58:29 am

First, you can never get any better than what is on the timeline. So, however you choose to export, your video will never improve beyond the quality of your DVCProHD original. Text and graphics are another matter, but since you didn\'t mention them, or a title sequence, or a credit roll, I\'m going to assume you are adding them after color correction. If that\'s not so, then that changes things slightly and you\'ll have to write back to get more information on that.

In any case, since the actual video never gets better than what\'s on your timeline, any export that preserves that information is also as good as things will ever be. And, since both DPX and tiff image sequences are considered uncompressed, and since both are capable of handling frames that far exceed DVCProHD size, bitrate, and color space, either is of those types of image sequences is perfectly adequate for export and delivery of franes that are essentially identical to your original sequence.

You failed to mention whether your project was shot at 720 or 1080 frame size, and whether it\'s progressive or interlaced material. Whatever, both types of image seqs. can handle any of those. You should export full raster frames with square pixels at the current framerate and you\'re good to go.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Preparing FCP Sequence for color grading Question
on Nov 21, 2010 at 7:12:51 pm

I realize now that you did say your project was 24p, so obviously exporting progressive full raster frames at 23.98 or 23.976 (Apple uses 23.98, Adobe and others ise 23.976) is the ticket...

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Timothy Anderson
Re: Preparing FCP Sequence for color grading Question
on Nov 21, 2010 at 10:22:30 pm

Hi David!

Thanks for the response and information - it was really helpful because as I said I really don't know much about the grading/correction process once everything leaves me.

Yeah everything was natively shot/captured at 24p/1080, so 23.98 it is (working from Apple).

In response to your inquiry concerning titles, credits, etc...There is a scene with subtitles that I know I must remove when exporting the entire sequence to .tiff, but currently there is a title sequence and temp. end credits. I realize the end credits will be replaced/completed by the post house, but I was going to export the opening title sequence along with the rest of the film in the timeline because the opening sequence is all titles over black that were created in Illustrator and brought into motion where the matching frame rate and codec were assigned. This .mov was then brought into the sequence as a 'clip'. I figure the post house will either replace the sequence with something close to identical depending on what the director says, or they can keep the current HD titles (or just use for reference). Either way, it is ok because ALL of the opening title sequence takes place over black and does not infringe on any shots/frames of action, right? Think Woody Allen style credits...

Thanks for your time and expertise,
Tim


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Preparing FCP Sequence for color grading Question
on Nov 21, 2010 at 10:56:04 pm

[Timothy Anderson] "I figure the post house will either replace the sequence with something close to identical depending on what the director says, or they can keep the current HD titles (or just use for reference). Either way, it is ok because ALL of the opening title sequence takes place over black and does not infringe on any shots/frames of action, right? Think Woody Allen style credits...
"


This may be splitting hairs, but in a perfect world DVCProHD compression on your titles is a compression hit you could/should avoid. If it were me, I'd export them separately from a ProRes or uncompressed timeline as image sequences and deliver those to the post house doing your color grading. This is not absolutely imperative, but it is the best.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Timothy Anderson
Re: Preparing FCP Sequence for color grading Question
on Nov 21, 2010 at 11:51:05 pm

Hmm, ok -

That's a good idea - will do. Although upon my first test, the two seem to be identical in this case because the titles are so simple I surmise. Thanks for the tip though...

Also, just to clarify, if I am going to export as a .tiff sequence, this will work just fine, right? In other words, I don't have to locate GlueTools to do .dpx - the quality will be the same?

Thanks!
Tim


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Preparing FCP Sequence for color grading Question
on Nov 22, 2010 at 12:30:42 am

Tiff is dandy

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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