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Least lossy way to convert FCP footage to DNxHD for color grading?

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Ben Popik
Least lossy way to convert FCP footage to DNxHD for color grading?
on Oct 9, 2011 at 4:10:49 pm

Hi all,

My colorist is working on an Avid system, so he's recommended that I output all my footage from my Final Cut sequence to the DNxHD codec so he can work with it on his system. Since I know that DNxHD is a lossy codec, I was wondering what's the best workflow for transcoding the footage while preserving all the data. The codecs I've been working with in FCP are ProRes LT and XDCAM EX.

Thanks for your help.


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Keila Borges
Re: Least lossy way to convert FCP footage to DNxHD for color grading?
on Oct 9, 2011 at 4:29:14 pm

this is a very good way. I am doing this right now. the dnxhd is an avid codec so there will no problem to avid working with mov files, right. i think you don't need to worry about the compression of the material because working with the original prores sometimes is very heavy.
you have to download the avid codec on avid site and later you can use compressor to convert all medias.
best!!

Keila B
post prod co-ordinator
rio de janeiro - brasil

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving" AE


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Ben Popik
Re: Least lossy way to convert FCP footage to DNxHD for color grading?
on Oct 9, 2011 at 4:31:34 pm

Two roads I could think of:

1. I could export a full-res mixdown of the whole project, and convert it in Compressor.

2. I could use Media Manager to transcode the project in Final Cut.

Is one method less lossy than the other? Is there a reason to favor one route over the other?


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John Pale
Re: Least lossy way to convert FCP footage to DNxHD for color grading?
on Oct 9, 2011 at 4:40:51 pm

The Avid DNX codec is very similar to Pro Res. You should have very little degradation unless you go down many generations.

It's actually better to do the transcoding on an Avid system, opening the ProRes files using AMA in Avid, rather than creating QuickTime files. This method creates Avid MXF media in one step, bypassing creating Avid DNX Quicktimes, which the Avid would still have to convert.

If your colorist doesn't want to do it on his Avid, you can download the fully functional 30 day trial of Avid and do it yourself.


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Ben Popik
Re: Least lossy way to convert FCP footage to DNxHD for color grading?
on Oct 9, 2011 at 5:17:33 pm

Oh, that's a great idea. Thanks John!


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Ben Popik
Re: Least lossy way to convert FCP footage to DNxHD for color grading?
on Oct 9, 2011 at 5:31:16 pm

Can I do that type of transcode in Media Composer, or only Avid Studio?


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John Pale
Re: Least lossy way to convert FCP footage to DNxHD for color grading?
on Oct 9, 2011 at 5:48:39 pm

You do it in Media Composer. Just use the Consolidate/Transcode command.


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Ben Popik
Re: Least lossy way to convert FCP footage to DNxHD for color grading?
on Oct 9, 2011 at 5:57:25 pm

Final question on this subject:

If I export a full-res mixdown from FCP, bring it into Media Composer, and transcode the Pro Res footage into Avid MXF footage, obviously there will no longer be any sort of record of where the cuts exist.

To save my colorist the time of having to go through the 90-minute file and manually make cuts before grading the shots, is there a way to export a document from FCP that Avid will be able to interpret that will relay where the cuts need to be in the new Avid MXF footage?


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Shane Ross
Re: Least lossy way to convert FCP footage to DNxHD for color grading?
on Oct 9, 2011 at 11:54:19 pm

[Ben Popik] "is there a way to export a document from FCP that Avid will be able to interpret that will relay where the cuts need to be in the new Avid MXF footage?"

Automatic Duck Pro Export will take your sequence, send it to Avid MC, and convert all the individual clips into MXF files. I do this all the time for shows that edit in FCP, but require Avid media and project file as a deliverable. FREE? No...$500. You aren't going to get this thing for free.
You can try Boris AAF...cheaper at $199. Not as robust but an option.

Shane

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


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