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Batch Converting XDCAM HD Quick Questions

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Ben Lindemuth
Batch Converting XDCAM HD Quick Questions
on Oct 7, 2011 at 7:51:36 pm

I looked for about 20 minutes on other threads to see if they would answer my questions, but I think I just need some extra confidence here, apologies for redundancies to other posts. Any answers to any of questions 1-4 would be helpful.

Project background/History:
I have mixed res footage (all full 1080 HD) Made up of pro res and xdcam hd 422 50Mb. I was having mad crashes around every 10 minutes or so, in particular when I was jumping back and forth between the pro res and xdcam codecs - A little research helped me deduce that final cut hates mixing codecs with xdcam because of the nature of the mpeg encoding going on. So I was going to convert all my XDCAM to pro res.

Questions:
1. Should I re-encode my native XD to pro res 422? I know the bit rate for pro res 422 is higher - so I should not get any quality loss correct? I know of the gamma shift due to the 10 bit nature of the Pro res files, but that is essentially fixed with gamma correction in color timing correct?

2. Instead of converting my XD to pro res, should I go the other way around? there is far more XDcam than pro res, so the batch process will take shorter, as well As I would be able to save space (pro res material is from 5D, again where bit rate of xdcam codec is higher than camera.

3. Will I get better quality going back to the source XD-Discs to convert to pro res, vs re-encoding the native xdcam footage to pro-res?

4. The Hail Mary - Am I totally missing something obvious as to why i'm crashing all the time - symptoms are hard crashes and green bars / full green screens appearing all the time.

Thanks.


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Batch Converting XDCAM HD Quick Questions
on Oct 8, 2011 at 2:02:22 am

I personally don't care for editing with any GOP structured media files. Maybe it's an old habit, but I sure like ProRes, and how friendly it is with FCP 7's RT Extreme.

True the file sizes are larger, but drives are cheap. But the render and compression times are better, plus all media other than the XDCAM will end up 10 bit, so theory says better. (graphics, stills) AND I bet you don't have the problems you're seeing if you do this.

That said, I've students who are editing native XDCAM, renders are slow, but it's stable. It's not being mixed with another codec however. LT is broadcast quality, however the more you composite and use shots with a lot of movement from frame to frame, the higher the flavor of ProRes you want to chose. They'll all look almost the same otherwise.

Further, ProRes files will go down MANY more generations. That's important to some projects. You can rely on renders of rendered files to not exhibit generation loss.

So I'd batch encode it all to ProRes. Using use ProRes 422 or HQ there will be no visual loss at all. Do it overnight?

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

Current DVD:
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Dean Neal
Re: Batch Converting XDCAM HD Quick Questions
on Oct 8, 2011 at 11:59:52 am

With my work with XDCAM, we tend to work exclusively in the predominant type of content.

In a perfect world, yes - ProRes is a bit better, but because we often print to XDCAM disc anyway, we tend to work (hence render) to XDCAM on the timeline.

I think the key is here, decide which way you want to go - and you should be fine.

Dean Neal...


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Neal Broffman
Re: Batch Converting XDCAM HD Quick Questions
on Oct 8, 2011 at 12:13:11 pm

Don't convert the source XDCAM HD to ProRes, set your sequences to ProRes instead.

Neal Broffman
One Production Place, Atlanta, GA
http://www.oneproductionplace.com
Latest short: "Line of Sight"
http://deyoung.famsf.org/deyoung/exhibitions/marco-breuer-line-sight
Produced for the deYoung Museum in San Francisco


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Batch Converting XDCAM HD Quick Questions
on Oct 8, 2011 at 1:18:09 pm

Not a bad idea... saves the transcode, and might make stability come back. Try it with a copy of your sequence, so you save any renders you might have in the event it doesn't work.

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

Current DVD:
http://store.creativecow.net/p/81/jerry_hofmanns_final_cut_system_setup

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX - Cinema Displays I have a 22" that I paid 4k for still working. G4 with Kona SD card, and SCSI card.


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Ben Lindemuth
Re: Batch Converting XDCAM HD Quick Questions
on Oct 10, 2011 at 6:18:27 pm

Got it, I appreciate the input - I will try to set sequences to pro res and see how it goes - But just to clarify - the transfer to pro res from xdcam should carry no quality loss correct? I am only using about half of my HD space so the transfer to pro res is not really an issue - I just want to make sure I am not losing anything with that transfer to pro res.

Thanks

Ben


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