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Workflow ideas, documentary, timecode, online/offline

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Taku Suzuki
Workflow ideas, documentary, timecode, online/offline
on Sep 10, 2011 at 2:53:25 am

Hi everyone, I'm looking for feedback and advise on my workflow.
Please try not to choke on your coffee while you read this.

Project: Documentary
Footage: 170hrs of 1440x1080i 25fps (HDV)
- plenty of timecode breaks.

Editing with MBP 2.4 Ghz Intel Core Duo/4GB

I'm about to begin a lengthy post-production process.
I'm planning to make an online footage library where I capture everything in prores 442.
It will take up to 7TB, which I have. There will be no backups of the library.

Unfortunately at the time of shooting, I've created alot of timecode breaks due to quick-rec function that was on during the whole shoot. Also, pressed by the circumstances a lot of the time I wasn't able to shoot myself enough pre-roll or post-roll to be able to handle the edit the proper way.
But I just noticed that if I capture HDV-prores 442, i lose about 5-8 frames in the handles at both ends, and it is something I can live with.

So, capturing prores 442 I'm getting 40-100 clips/tape by using the "make a new clip" preference.
But what I'd really need is one tape = one clip prores 442.
So Im thinking of taking all the little clips that I will get from the capture, lining them up on the timeline and exporting them into one full clip, which I will then add to the master online library.

Then I would create proxies of the entire library, onto a FW800/7200rpm 2.5" 1TB external which would be my "offline". (I will back it up to another external).

After my edit is done, I would then reconnect the media to the master online footage in the library.


The reasons I'm leaning towards this workflow:

1.
The only deck available to me is my camera.
Indexing every single tape, subsequent interview & dialogue transcripts and translations will require multiple rewinds and reruns to achieve the accuracy that I need, so I want to limit the amount of wear and tear my only deck has to go through. Although I don't mind if after this movie I through my camera off the bridge.

2.
I have a way of indexing tapes quite efficiently, mostly going at x2 speed and typing in codes/tags (when there's a good shot, humour, possibly an important drama point etc.) in the "content of the tape " - document that I've created for each tape. I use that in my paper edit later, and I want to be able to look for tags, keywords, good shots on the documents etc. when I re-construct the drama in the post.
For this reason I need the whole tape in ONE file and not a tape cut into 70 individual clips.
It works for me when I do fiction and I have shot logs and such but for this on-the-go documentary, it really slows me down.

3.
Trauma.
For some reason I've always thought re-capture from tape at the end of the edit is dodgy.
I think this is because I've experienced many deck problems in the past. It has never been too smooth for me. Too many hiccups, mainly due to the lack of proper decks. Quite determined this will be my last HDV project ever.

Note: I have never tried this workflow before, thus I have questions:

By doing this I know I will lose the timecode on my master files and probably what is left of my reputation. Considering my planned workflow and given that I don't lose my 7 TB master library, do I have anything else to worry about in terms of timecode, audio sync or what have yous?

Feedback, criticism, constructive ideas, "you will never work for me" - rants and the like are all welcome.

Thanks in advance.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Workflow ideas, documentary, timecode, online/offline
on Sep 10, 2011 at 3:14:14 am

How simple are your edit timelines? I have a client with a six part series shot HDV over the past five years and they captured everything as HDV, not ProRes. With simple mostly cuts only timelines they have no problems editing in FCP 6 off an old G5. Shots did break and recapture with timecode would be a nuisance but they can always go back to tape if a drive dies. So with HDV we are not bothering with an offline/ online process.

Because the storage is much smaller than ProRes422 they have mirrored their rushes to a second drive and the Media Managed finals are sent to me on small LaCie Rugged drives with a 500 gig drive holding the final edits of all six episodes for me to sound post and grade/online. I have had no issues with HDV in Color 1.5.3 and the final timelines are ProRes422 and look great.

I expect many to howl at the thought of an HDV all the way to grade process but it is working brilliantly for me as it has for about 20 other doco projects I have posted. As long as the timelines are simple it can be reliable.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Workflow ideas, documentary, timecode, online/offline
on Sep 10, 2011 at 3:59:05 am

[Michael Gissing] "I expect many to howl at the thought of an HDV all the way to grade process but it is working brilliantly for me as it has for about 20 other doco projects I have posted. As long as the timelines are simple it can be reliable."

Although HDV is not an ideal codec, but it's workable on a beefy 8-core or higher. I'd probably stick with HDV until picture lock myself now rather than transcode 7Tb worth of video.


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

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Workflow ideas, documentary, timecode, online/offline
on Sep 10, 2011 at 6:26:06 am

I would advise against using the capture HDV-to-ProRes feature in FCP. I've used that feature in the past and had odd problems w/those clips during exports or transcodes (such as round tripping with Color). When I've used software to transcode HDV clips into ProRes I've never had issue before.

Maybe mine is a unique case, but once bitten twice shy.


-Andrew

3.2GHz 8-core, FCP 6.0.4, 10.5.5
Blackmagic Multibridge Eclipse (6.8.1)



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Taku Suzuki
Re: Workflow ideas, documentary, timecode, online/offline
on Sep 10, 2011 at 7:27:50 pm

I'm thinking about staying HDV since 7TB really is ridiculous.
But the problem is that I need those one tape = one file clips, which would mean that I'd have to ingest HDV, get all the little clips and export them to HDV again. For some reason transcoding to HDV "twice" with the GOP monsters that live in it doesn't appeal to me.

Are my concerns justified?


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Pradip Patil
Re: Workflow ideas, documentary, timecode, online/offline
on Sep 11, 2011 at 7:03:20 am

[Taku Suzuki] "For some reason transcoding to HDV "twice" with the GOP monsters that live in it doesn't appeal to me."

MPEG Streamclip lets you join and save multiple files into a single file and it's faster than FCP.But I am not sure whether there is a loss or not. I have done it a number times for HDV and the output seemed satisfactory to me.

Pradip Patil
Mumbai,India


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Jamie Pickell
Re: Workflow ideas, documentary, timecode, online/offline
on Sep 12, 2011 at 12:57:07 am

Another idea regarding your multiple clips is what I do when I have footage shot on cards. I take all the clips from a particular card and drop them into a new sequence naming the sequence to match the card. You can then load the sequence into the viewer to scrub through and find your shots the same way you do a clip. Then when you edit a shot in, use Command F9 for insert and Command F10 for overwrite and this will put the original clip rather than the sequence into your timeline. One thing to be aware of is that you need to mark the IN and OUT out on the Sequence in the viewer if you're doing 3point editing. FCP has a bug that if you only mark an IN or OUT on the sequence in the viewer it will proceed to lay the entire clip onto the timeline.

If you use markers on your clips, you can add markers in the sequence as well. The downside is that unlike the clips in your bin that you can twirl down to see all the markers, you can't do the same to a sequence with markers. The work around to that is to get a copy of Digital Heaven's Final Print. It will open an XML of your sequence showing all your markers and frame grabs and let you print it out. You can download it and it will print the first 5 clips for the demo version. I used this on my last job and worked like a charm in helping to locate shots and my markers. The show I cut was over 80 hours of footage all shot on EX1, Canon D5s, D7s and GoPros, nothing was shot on tape so I had thousands of little clips to wade through. Loading them into sequences for each card worked well and using Digital Heaven's Final Print to print out my markers really helped.

Cheers,
Jamie Pickell



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Nick Meyers
Re: Workflow ideas, documentary, timecode, online/offline
on Sep 12, 2011 at 1:59:51 am

i dont have a huge amount of experience capturing HDV,
but i now there is a button in the Log & capture window that lets you break the clips into individual files OR NOT.

so it's easy to capture each tape as a single file.

i think what you are saying is that you have TC breaks on each clip.
with DV tapes with TC breaks you can set Log & Capture to "non-controlable device" and do a capture now.
im pretty sure you cant do this with HDV.

nesting your tapes in to sequences may be the solution, as Jamie suggests.

a good thing to do if you work that way is to re-map your keyboard.
set "Overlay Sequence Contents" to F10 and "Insert Sequence Contents" to F9
good thing is, normal Overlay and Insert still work with F10 & F9


nick


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