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Final Cut, Media Manager, Creating Offline, Varied sized source material

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James Statham
Final Cut, Media Manager, Creating Offline, Varied sized source material
on Feb 21, 2011 at 4:51:25 pm

Hi Everyone,
Although this is my first post, I have been using the forums for years as reference. However I am on a project that poses an issue that (from my searches) nobody has touched on (Please forgive me if I am missing the obvious).

I've shot a short film on RED, 5D and 7D (I know, but the 5&7D were suppose to be as back up but the footage has become integral to the film). So I have all my footage converted to ProRes 4444 and set out in my project (I also know 4444 is overkill but for colouring I will hopefully have access to a machine that will handle it with ease). In the meantime I will need to do the edit on my Macbook Pro, thus need to make an offline. However, I have some footage at 1920x1080 (Canon), some at 2240x960 (RED) and some at 4480x1920 (Red for punching in tighter). I want to create an offline in Prores (LT), half the size of the sequence (to 960x411) and half the size of the various footage. So when I link back I will simply double the sequence size to 1920x823 and everything should match up bar a few adjustments (I don't mind).

However as far as I can work out (but I am no expert!) if I use Media Manager it will compress all my footage to the same size, but that will prevent me from being able to punch in on the Larger red footage, and also prevent me from being able to select what part of the Canon Footage I can select to fit into the wider aspect ratio.

Does anyone know a way around this? Please................

Cheers, James (First time poster)


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Final Cut, Media Manager, Creating Offline, Varied sized source material
on Feb 21, 2011 at 6:15:10 pm

James,

Welcome to the cow. Since you're a first time poster, I'll be nice!

As you've discovered the "on-line/off-line" workflow ALWAYS represents a compromise... especially when it comes to multiple formats.

Bottom line, YOU'RE HOSED! I won't berate you about the wisdom of your production choices, but now you've got to live with the consequences. You can't enter post with the kind of mismatch of formats you're presenting and NOT expect to spend time adjusting, correcting, and rendering to fix a questionable production decision.

While it's fairly easy to transcode everything to a common off-line format (which you've done), there is NO WAY to avoid the fact that the different original frame sizes will complicate your on-line conform process.
If EVERYTHING you had was a common format, then yes, you could simply calculate the resize and adjust accordingly. In your case, you should pick the predominate format, and match everything to that. In your final on-line session you will have to go through shot by shot and identify the source to calculate it's correct resize. Three different formats equals three different resize calucations.

The transcoding process to off-line (ProresLT) will not crop your frame size, it will only reduce the large format to fit in that space. So you will still have the visual material to zoom in on or reposition, but when you do so, it will look much worse than if you did it at full rez.
So, to summarize: All of the resizing work you do in the off-line format will have to be REDONE in the on-line because you are mixing three different frame sizes.

There's no free lunch here. Either pick one acquisition format and stick to it, work at full rez throughout post, or pay the price in time and effort in the conform.

Good luck.

Mark



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James Statham
Re: Final Cut, Media Manager, Creating Offline, Varied sized source material
on Feb 21, 2011 at 7:57:46 pm

Cheers Mark,

Firstly, Thanks very much for getting back so soon, really appreciated.

I understand completely your confusion about the production choice! I felt the original post was getting long enough without me rambling on about the choice of cameras. And I know I can ramble on a bit! The simple fact of the matter, was at the eleventh hour something happened that meant, shoot like this or dont make the film... Even the option of postponing the shoot wasn't an option. I wish it was, but it is what it is and making the best of it....

Anyway, back to the workflow. I think I have found a way around it, just need to do a little more experimenting. I will let you know how it goes, I just wanted to give a quick response. When you say it will reduce the format to fit the space, will it stretch the footage to fit the frame or will it just put it in and leave the rest of the frame blank (black)?

Cheers, James


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Final Cut, Media Manager, Creating Offline, Varied sized source material
on Feb 21, 2011 at 9:33:27 pm

Do a test to see what happens.

Quick answer: Original media: 4K Off-line REZ: ProRes LT Editing sequence settings: ProRez LT.

Media transcoded from 4K to Prores will fill the frame completely, but just be degraded quality. The problem is NOT in the off-line, but when you go to Up Rez the other footage. Assuming a 4K timeline,
every other piece of media that's NOT 4K will show up as a SMALL picture with black around the edges. You will have to BLOW UP to fill the 4K frame. The reverse is also true. If your UpREZ format timeline is
just HD (1920 X 1080) then your 4K images will be HUGE and must be shrunk down to fit within the frame. This is where your repo or reframing is easily possible. Make sense?

My guess is that your uprez process will take place on a HD timeline 1920 X 1080, and therefore you will have to shrink the 4K stuff to fit. Hope this helps.

Mark



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Shane Ross
Re: Final Cut, Media Manager, Creating Offline, Varied sized source material
on Feb 22, 2011 at 4:15:18 am

And by the by...Canon DSLR footage converted to ProREs 4444 is actually WORSE then converting it to ProRes HQ or just ProRes. When I got ProRes 4444 footage from a 5D, it was clipped at 98IRE...and wouldn't go lower than 0IRE. This is bad when trying to color correct. When they gave me the footage converted to ProRes 422 (normal), everything was fine and MUCH better. I could color correct better, have more flexability.

Just because the number is bigger, doesn't mean it is better. You need to choose the RIGHT codec for what you are working with. 4444 is just too much for DSLR.

Shane

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


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James Statham
Re: Final Cut, Media Manager, Creating Offline, Varied sized source material
on Feb 22, 2011 at 11:34:03 am

Yeah, I agree. I found the same issues the last time I did a 5D project, I had the same issue and got around it using plain old 442. But that was before the Canon plugin made life easier. It was converted using MPEG Streamclip, a method that always made me ponder regarding quality. I dont know why, something just didn't ring right about it. The fact that it interlaced my progressive footage even when I asked it not to made me question its ability to output quality footage.

However, this is the first time I have done a 5D project since the release of the plugin. So I brought a clip in at 4444, did some grading on it and it graded much better than the last time. So I went with it, not caring about the size of the files I was creating. However, it was shot better and I have more grading experience under my belt now so that could also be a contributing factor. But based on that grade I went ahead and imported it all as 4444, that was probably a bad decision (because of bloated files if nothing else). I am going to fetch a dark clip in at 4444, HQ, LT and plain old 442 and do a side by side by side by side test on the lot. I am most certainly not saying you are wrong, in fact I believe you are right, its just nice to see with my own eyes. plus I can post the results and hopefully prevent others from creating bloated files and actually decreasing quality.

As it stands


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