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edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?

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Adam Berk
edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 16, 2011 at 4:24:57 pm

We are just getting starting on a multi facility vfx project and our first task to be completed is a vfx edit of the approved selects from the raw original camera footage. Files are prores4444 Log-C from Alexa. What I'd like to know is this; would it be possible to cut the selects in an FCP sequence and export to a flame readable uncompressed format without destroying the bit depth and color space of the Alexa files? To the best of my knowledge, FCP only supports 8-bit material when working with RGB and will often produce gamma shifts in this situation as well (thus destroying the Log-C curve). Will this hold true in my situation?


Thanks for any input.


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Shane Ross
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 16, 2011 at 4:47:53 pm

FCP can edit ProRes 4444 natively just fine. Sequence settings for it and everything. How to get it to a Flame? No idea. But FCP edits PR4444 as 10 bit. Apple invented the codec, and the NLE supports it. It'd be silly if it didn't.

Shane

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


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Adam Berk
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 16, 2011 at 4:55:48 pm

It certainly would be silly. So even though we're talking 10bit RGB here, you're saying that PR4444 is a situation where the 8-bit limitation of FCP's RGB implementation and gamma shift issues no longer apply?


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Chris Kenny
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 16, 2011 at 6:01:31 pm

[Adam Berk] "It certainly would be silly. So even though we're talking 10bit RGB here, you're saying that PR4444 is a situation where the 8-bit limitation of FCP's RGB implementation and gamma shift issues no longer apply?"

ProRes 4444 can encode either RGB or YUV data (YUV lets you store subsampled color, it doesn't require you to). It's possible ProRes always represents itself to FCP as YUV to take advantage of high bit depth rendering, performing conversions internally. Red's Redcode codec uses this trick, I think. I've never been able to find a definitive answer to this question.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read What is FCP X’s relationship to iMovie? on our blog.


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Rafael Amador
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 16, 2011 at 7:37:52 pm

Hi Adam,
You need third part software to render that in FC without destroying the bit depth.
FC can render just 8bRGB, so with that stuff you can only cut and export with NO RENDERING.
You can also make FC-Color and out keeping your bit depth.

[Shane Ross] "FCP can edit ProRes 4444 natively just fine. Sequence settings for it and everything."

FC can't render 10b RGB.
When conform a sequence to Prores444, the sequence sets automatically to "Render in High Precision YUV".
If you render and export that from FC, I don't know what a heck you are getting?
Prores444 RGB?
Prores444 YUV?

[Chris Kenny] "ProRes 4444 can encode either RGB or YUV data (YUV lets you store subsampled color, it doesn't require you to). It's possible ProRes always represents itself to FCP as YUV"
Prores444 needs further development yet. The color space (RGB or YUV) must be a choice on export.
Also needs an option for Video-Range/Full-Range, like any pro 10bRGB codec.
Hopefully on FCX.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Adam Berk
Re: dit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 16, 2011 at 8:20:54 pm

Has it been confirmed/tested/proven by anyone that it's possible to do a cuts only edit of 10bit RGB material and export from FCP without modifying the picture data? Has apple confirmed this in a tech paper somewhere?

If so, does this rule also apply when exporting to a different codec than the source/sequence? In this example, I'd like to cut the PR4444 and export to a discreet readable 10bit RGB format. The prores import features on the discreet systems are highly unreliable and basically don't work. If they did, we could avoid all of this.

Thanks so much for all the weekend responses.


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Rafael Amador
Re: dit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 16, 2011 at 8:56:44 pm

[Adam Berk] "Has it been confirmed/tested/proven by anyone that it's possible to do a cuts only edit of 10bit RGB material and export from FCP without modifying the picture data? Has apple confirmed this in a tech paper somewhere?"
Hi Adam,
I asked the people of "Sheer" (Bitjazz), to do that test.
They tested with their 10b/444/RGB (no Apple 10bRGB).
They compared the files (before/after FC with NO RECOMPRESSION) and they found that both files were identical pixel by pixel.
If there is not recompression, what you put in the time-line is what you get on export.
FC makes the movie putting together the cuts but keeps all the original setting.

[Adam Berk] "If so, does this rule also apply when exporting to a different codec than the source/sequence? In this example, I'd like to cut the PR4444 and export to a discreet readable 10bit RGB format."
The only problem is that any conversion in FC pass by going to 10bYUV. You would make 10 bRGB > 10bYUV > 10b RGB. FC would manage the color space conversion. If you don't see any kind of gamma or color shifts, should be OK.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Adam Berk
Re: dit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 16, 2011 at 9:09:45 pm

Ok. So theoretically, as long as we export using the same settings as what's in the sequence, we should be fine. We could then theoretically take an EDL from the edited sequence, preconform in resolve with no grading and render out to DPX in source mode to get the individual shots in a format that's compatible with our pipeline.

This sounds like a plan that may be worth a try.


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Matt Lyon
Re: dit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 12:12:36 am

Sorry if I missed something, Adam, but if you are doing a pre-conform in Resolve, why bother re-exporting footage from your FCP timeline. Couldn't you just use an EDL in conjunction and the camera original files to the Resolve system. Then you can be 100% sure that FCP isn't messing with anything.

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: dit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 12:17:30 am

[Matt Lyon] "Sorry if I missed something, Adam, but if you are doing a pre-conform in Resolve, "

Woops, I missed that. Sorry!


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Adam Berk
Re: dit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 12:50:15 am

This probably would be the best course of action here. It's just a matter of finding time between bookings in that suite.


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Paul Provost
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 16, 2011 at 7:33:30 pm

It's great flying blind on this stuff isn't it?

http://www.postandbeam.tv
grade and finish @ post + beam


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 16, 2011 at 8:52:40 pm

Just curious, why export? Why not give orig files/EDL/XML?


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Adam Berk
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 16, 2011 at 9:04:50 pm

Sorry if I wasn't clear in my last post. The reason for conversion is that prores files can't be reliably imported into the autodesk systems. This is a flame job.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 16, 2011 at 10:18:44 pm

[Adam Berk] "Sorry if I wasn't clear in my last post. The reason for conversion is that prores files can't be reliably imported into the autodesk systems. This is a flame job."

First this:

http://wikihelp.autodesk.com/Creative_Finishing/enu/2012/Help/01_Flame_--_F...

Second, perhaps an image sequence is better from Color? Or UC?

Using QT Conversion out of fcp is horrendous.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 12:06:04 am

I should add I've used Color as a "conform" tool before. Not the greatest, but it does allow high quality file conversion and tc/reel are preserved. Also allows rendering shot by shot w/handles and you can send back to fcp and export XML/EDL to provide with the renders. Naming convention is not the best, though.

Jeremy


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Adam Berk
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 12:50:57 am

This is certainly another option, though the rounding errors produced by the float conversion with Nvidia gfx boards in Color are not too desirable. We have no systems with ATI graphics adapters, without which one cannot render in less than float/more than 8bits.


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Adam Berk
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 12:47:30 am

As I've noted, the WTG prores import method very sporadicly works, even with smoke for mac. 99% of the time it does not. This is one of those times.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 12:50:17 am

[Adam Berk] "As I've noted, the WTG prores import method very sporadicly works, even with smoke for mac. 99% of the time it does not. This is one of those times."

So why are you staying in ProRes during your "pre-conform"?


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Adam Berk
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 12:54:25 am

To avoid generating a massive amount of unnecessarily duplicated uncompressed media.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 12:58:30 am

You are confusing me now. First, you can't use Prores, but now you are stuck using ProRes.

I would send to Color/Resolve just what is needed and render something that resolve will like. No reason to do all the media, just want you need. You continue editing in Prores. The only UC stuff will be what VFX needs.

Am I missing something again?

Bummer about the ATI situation. You could use Resolve in a similar way.

Jeremy


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Adam Berk
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 1:06:29 am

Sorry if I've confused you.

My goal is to pull selects from the PR4444 media without decompressing, then decompress only those selects. Simple as that. We are not stuck using any one tool, though it is much easier to give this task to an assistant to perform in FCP in the machine room than it is to have to involve multiple systems in rooms that are booked (resolve, flame, etc). The goal here is to have the uncompressed selects sitting on the SAN monday morning for me to start ingesting into flame.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 1:20:42 am

Got ya. That's what I thought you were trying to do.

Not sure about the complexities of your bookings, but an ATI card and Color would plow through this.

Since that doesn't seem to be an option, can you get Resolve on the assistant machine assuming you have the Mac version?


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Adam Berk
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 1:43:09 am

Can probably just issue a shake terminal command to file-out the FCP edited PR4444 file as DPX as well. Then chop it up with the EDL once it's in flame. No need to involve the Resolve at all in that case.

It will be interesting to see if FCP X will fix any of these age old quality issues that have plagued FCP and quicktime since the beginning.


Anyways. Thanks so much again to everyone for their responses and input on the weekend.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 2:45:20 am

Of Shake is alright with 12bit Prores. I have no idea.


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Matt Lyon
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 3:03:19 am

Just thinking out loud here, but /if/ Shake can handle the conversion, could you use Media Manager to export a folder of trimmed selects from your timeline? Then you avoid the FCP re-export. Then you can run the Shake script on the folder of trimmed quicktimes.

Of course, maybe there are some "gotchas" that I'm not thinking about...

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Chris Kenny
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 4:50:37 am

[Adam Berk] "It will be interesting to see if FCP X will fix any of these age old quality issues that have plagued FCP and quicktime since the beginning."

Presumably, since it's based on neither. Apple mentioned at the Supermeet event that it processes in a linear float color space.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read What is FCP X’s relationship to iMovie? on our blog.


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Rafael Amador
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 9:18:11 am

[Adam Berk] "Can probably just issue a shake terminal command to file-out the FCP edited PR4444 file as DPX as well. "
FC has a "Send to SHAKE" function that, although with certain limitations, transfers to SHAKE your sequence.

Be careful with the SHAKE version.
SHAKE 4.1 has a bug and can't export to more than 8b.
You need SHAKE 4.1.1
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Adam Berk
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 12:57:16 am

What is UC?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on Apr 17, 2011 at 1:02:24 am

[Adam Berk] "What is UC?"

Sorry. Uncompressed. Much easier to type UC on an iPhone. ;)


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Roberto Delgado
Re: edit alexa prores4444 in fcp without destroying bit depth and color?
on May 13, 2011 at 3:14:27 pm

Hello, we bought an Alexa and we edit with final cut pro using Prores 444, when we finish the edit I export to xml (Don´t Export because finalcut will recompress your data using it's quicktime conversion). I use After Effects, set the project to 16 bits and export the xml to DPX. Now I can use it with Smoke, Flame or Lustre.


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