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How to I make an offline ProRes from DPX

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David Smith
How to I make an offline ProRes from DPX
on Jul 10, 2011 at 10:41:18 pm

Hi,

I'm using:
FCP 7
Cinema Tools (I've never used it before)
Compressor 3.5
Resolve 8 (I'm buying it this week)

My overall goal is:
To make copies of DPX to ProRes.
Offline edit in FCP with ProRes
Make an EDL (this is new to me also)
Conform, color correct and crop in Resolve

I am able to go into compressor and make a ProRes4444 offline clip from my DPX files but when I put it into my FCP timeline the timecode does not match the timecode from the Meta data in the DPX files.

For example. If I open the DPX camera roll folder in Cinema Tools the timecode is correct. If the lab transfer house told me they marked it as hour 3... yep, Cinema Tools shows the timecode as 03:00:00:00. But when I go into Compressor and make my ProRes file then go to FCP it reads 01:00:00:00

I know I can manually enter the time code I want in Compressor. But I don't understand a few things:

1. Why does the metadata not just make the hours correct in Compressor on its own.

2. If I do the timecode manually, will it reconnect to the DPX with the EDL and put it the DPX in Resolve Correctly?

3. And overall I'm not sure what to regarding the entire process of what I stated above what my goal is. I just can't find any info on how to do it.

Is there a good tutorial explaining what I'm trying to do? The Cinema Tools manual is 258 pages and just a massive overview without any specifics - and of course it doesn't mention Resolve. I could not find anything on Youtube or Lynda.com etc.

I'm going crazy trying to figure this stuff out! Thanks in advance for any help.


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Michael Gissing
Re: How to I make an offline ProRes from DPX
on Jul 11, 2011 at 1:04:29 am

Compressor is not good at transfering timecode metadata when doing codec conversions. Many people have been caught doing H264 conversion to ProRes from Canon 5D cameras.

If you have FCS3, Color can import DPX and output ProRes render files. If you place the DPX on the Color timeline at the correct code, then the ProRes renders should have the correct timecode. I haven't tested this but a short test should confirm. In Color you can also do a one light grade if required.

Exporting from your FCP cut to Resolve should be possible via EDL OR XML and then a relink to the original DPX files. Color keeps the same clip name but the render files have a different file name so via EDL make sure your naming is based on clip names not file names. Same if you decided to grade in Color.


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David Smith
Re: How to I make an offline ProRes from DPX
on Jul 11, 2011 at 2:25:31 am

Thank you Michael,

Maybe when I get Resolve I will be able to make ProRes files from my DPX as you suggested I do in Color.

The problem I'm having using Color is the DPX files need to start off with the Letter or Color won't read them. The Spirit which is making my DPX files is set up to only output a 6 digit number (I asked twice about this). Since I have about 1 million frames and I'm new to this; I'm really nervous about doing any renaming. And for every set of backup files I make I need 12 TB. So I'd like to keep the files names the way they are.

Your response helps. I forgot the Color outputs Pro Res. If Resolve does the same thing, maybe that will help me do what I need to do!


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Michael Gissing
Re: How to I make an offline ProRes from DPX
on Jul 11, 2011 at 2:39:05 am

If Resolve is installed on the same machine as FCS3, it should be able to write to ProRes codecs.

Good to find out as I am thinking of adding Resolve to my FCS3 install later in the year after a series I am grading in Color is done.


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David Smith
Re: How to I make an offline ProRes from DPX
on Jul 11, 2011 at 8:50:44 am

I'll let you know on this thread when I experiment with the ProRes exports. Possibly as early as tomorrow if I buy Resolve here in L.A. or by the end of the week if I buy online from N.Y. - I haven't decided yet if my not wanting to wait til the end of the week to get on with my project is worth $100 dollars in Calif. sales tax :)


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Everest Mokaeff
Re: How to I make an offline ProRes from DPX
on Jul 11, 2011 at 10:12:12 am

David,
your problem is that you should've done it the other way around. I suppose DPX is not your original camera raw footage. What was it? Was it film? In this case you work with telecine proxy. Was it RED/Alexa or the like? They all have their own well documented DI-to-Film workflows. DPX is something you don't want to work with until after the final cut is locked.
My advice is try to use original media (raw camera footage) to generate proxy files for editing.

Sony PMW-EX3, Canon Mark II 5D, FCS3 in Moscow
http://www.mokaeff.com


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: How to I make an offline ProRes from DPX
on Jul 11, 2011 at 11:15:51 am

Color can convert DPX files to Quicktime. Even numbered files work. As long as they are little-endian. Spirit scans work on Color. I've used them that way. And Color preserves the DPX timecode in the QT.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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David Smith
Re: How to I make an offline ProRes from DPX
on Jul 11, 2011 at 5:51:39 pm

My original format is 16mm.

"little-endian"

I've seen this term as I've been researching but am unsure what it means. I'll do some more Googling on it. Would it mean changing the original files in some way?

The reason I don't want to experiment with changing the original DPX files is simply it's very expensive for each additional back up I make. I have 12TBs of files. It costs me $1,000 (in Hard Drives) for each copy of the files I make - at a time when I'm having all the film scanned at 2K $$$$....

I have 1 untouched set of DPX as a backup. But from that I have already done something that may or may not have been a big mistake. From the copy of the originals I have copied and pasted the camera rolls from the lab rolls into individual folders. Meaning instead of having 30 folders with DPX files and an hour attached to each. I have made 150 folders for each 200 foot camera roll (discarding the DPX files which are just leader - although I have saved those files separately) The time code is still there, but broken up.

By doing this. When there are scenes I want to conform later. I only have to transfer the needed 100 GB rolls into my system instead of the 500 GB reels. Some of the scenes are only 3 shots. So I will only have to copy 1 roll (1 hour HDD to HDD transfer) instead of the entire reel (5 hour HDD to HDD transfer).

It seemed to make sense to do this for organizational purposes but I'm not sure when I make the offline ProRes if finding the source will be more complicated - or impossible - because they are not in the original folders. I just don't know...

I will confess.... When it comes to this area of film making I really don't know what I'm doing!


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Michael Gissing
Re: How to I make an offline ProRes from DPX
on Jul 12, 2011 at 1:14:55 am

Little endian usually refers to byte order in PCM audio. If your DPX files are with audio then I assume Neil means the audio will pass through Color.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endianness

It may also apply to DPX files video data as it is a measure of byte order in general. I have only seen it applied to audio in digital video work to date, but I am unfamiliar with the subtleties of DPX.


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David Smith
Re: How to I make an offline ProRes from DPX
on Jul 12, 2011 at 6:23:06 pm

I'm finding that installing and running the Resolve 8 software is not as easy as Apple Color.

I'm being told that it needs a different video card than the one I have now (I now have a Radeon 4870), it also needs another Graphics Card - the Nvidia Quatro 4000 - and also the Blackmagic Decklink 3d Extreme (I have the Decklink Studio). I'm being told without all this the software will not run on my Mac Pro. So I'm not sure what I need to do to figure out my workflow and make ProRes exports from Resolve.

I will probably still order Resolve by the end of this week but I may not know if I can import the DPX and export ProRes without buying more hardware - which I don't have the money for right now.


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