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Faster way to encode from XDCam to ProRes

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Margot McMaster
Faster way to encode from XDCam to ProRes
on Jan 3, 2012 at 10:41:58 pm

I've been looking through the postings and there are many comments about how to transcode from XDCam to ProRes. I've run into 'general error' messages batching from FCP 7 so now I'm using compressor (tried MPEG stream clip but it lost the timecode reference). So my question is, coming from a U1 is there any intermediary device that I can plug into that will encode to ProRes in real time?

Thanks
Margot


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Shane Ross
Re: Faster way to encode from XDCam to ProRes
on Jan 3, 2012 at 10:50:20 pm

DEVICE? Well, you can use Log and Transfer to bring the footage into FCP (with the XDCAM plugin)...or use XDCAM TRANSFER UTILITY to wrap as QT and bring into FCP. Then output from FCP via a capture card to an AJA KiPro, or KiPro Mini. They record as ProRes.

But I'm guessing that's not what you want.

The only steps I know to get XDCAM EX to ProRes is to convert to QT, and then transcode via Compressor, or MPEG STREAMCLIP (but I prefer Compressor...I can enable multiple cores via QMASTER...and it retains the original timecode).

There is nothing like a CompressHD card from Matrox or Elgato Turbo device that enables encoding to ProRes.

Shane
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Margot McMaster
Re: Faster way to encode from XDCam to ProRes
on Jan 4, 2012 at 12:00:27 am

Thanks for the reply. Currently I'm using compressor and XDCam transfer. I'm running into huge issues editing with XDCAM and EX footage (general errors, memory errors) Just called Sony, they had similar issues until they changed graphics cards on their Mac system. This might be at the heart of my problems. If I find a solution that can avoid transcoding I will post it.
Happy New Year.


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Philipp Hampl
Re: Faster way to encode from XDCam to ProRes
on Jan 4, 2012 at 7:28:28 am

We were having hardcore problems ourselves, using xdcam hd 422. Transcoding to prores solved most of them and is absolutely recommended!! We used the media manager as we were pretty much into the film when we decided to move to prores (and we have approx 5000 clips (3,5 tb of material. So transcoding has also been a question of available diskspace.)
Please keep us updated if you find any software that is able to straight transcode during copying to disk. the best way would be, if you could tell for example sony's transfer tool to not just wrapp it but also transcode it. Has nobody yet programmed such an app somewhere in the wide world? I'd buy it!!


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Alex Elkins
Re: Faster way to encode from XDCam to ProRes
on Jan 4, 2012 at 1:30:57 pm

[Philipp Hampl] "the best way would be, if you could tell for example sony's transfer tool to not just wrapp it but also transcode it."

I doubt Sony would ever do something like this - they want you to edit in Sony Vegas, so the harder it is to get their media into ProRes, the better it is for Sony. I agree though, it'd be a useful application if someone would make it. I don't think anything like it exists at the moment though.

One thought: Premiere will read XDCAM EX natively (not sure about XDCAM HD 422 but I assume it does read those natively too) - with CUDA acceleration might Premiere transcode the native files to ProRes more quickly than the two-step process of re-wrapping in FCP/XDCAM Transfer then transcoding with Compressor?

Alex Elkins
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Philipp Hampl
Re: Faster way to encode from XDCam to ProRes
on Jan 4, 2012 at 1:42:24 pm

Good thought - but: Premiere pro and the media Encoder can NOT handle more than one Mono Audio Track! that is such a shame- only stereo or single mono. So you end up losing 3 mono tracks (with xdcam hd 422) or get a nice stereo-mix of your single audio tracks.

And ppr really is much faster with the transcoding- but we cannot use it..


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Alex Elkins
Re: Faster way to encode from XDCam to ProRes
on Jan 4, 2012 at 1:53:56 pm

[Philipp Hampl] "Premiere pro and the media Encoder can NOT handle more than one Mono Audio Track!"

It's things like this that make me glad we've switched to Avid here! I'm sure Adobe will fix it, but to me it just indicates a lack of understanding that Adobe seem to have when it comes to editing. They're trying hard but they just don't quite get it.

Alex Elkins
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Paul Hillman
Re: Faster way to encode from XDCam to ProRes
on Jan 12, 2012 at 6:40:18 pm

Just started using an EX1R and will transcode the XDCAM EX footage to ProRes422 for compatibility with a huge library of ProRes footage. Along the way, I like to cull out the garbage footage and output multiple clips into one master file with new, sequential, timecode that is kinda akin to a tape, and then I back up that master file to BluRay disc for archiving. I then subclip this file in FCP for my logs and bin organization.

So my question is, what's the best way to transcode from XDCAM EX to ProRes. Will either of these options below yield better transcoding results, in terms of quality? I'm not so concerned about speed of transcoding as much as preserving the quality of the footage.

OPTION 1 - put culled XDCAM EX clips in a Final Cut Pro ProRes timeline and export (all audio settings are set to preserve discreet channels).

OPTION 2 - export culled XDCAM EX clips from a Final Cut Pro XDCAM EX (native) timeline, and then transcode to ProRes using Compressor.

OPTION 3 - something else?

thanks,
paul



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Alex Elkins
Re: Faster way to encode from XDCam to ProRes
on Jan 13, 2012 at 6:16:46 pm

Option 2 - export a QuickTime reference file from the XDCAM EX timeline, the in Compressor you can add a timecode generator filter. That'll be the quickest way.

Alex Elkins
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Paul Hillman
Re: Faster way to encode from XDCam to ProRes
on Jan 13, 2012 at 6:42:10 pm

thanks for the quick tip. Do you think either method makes a difference in terms of quality? Or do they produce the same results? Would using MPEG Streamclip also yield the same, better, or worse quality?

I'm also curious about transcoding directly to ProRes from camera-original SxS cards using ProxyMill. Any quality loss (or gain) using ProxyMill vs these other solutions?



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Alex Elkins
Re: Faster way to encode from XDCam to ProRes
on Jan 13, 2012 at 6:50:50 pm

[Paul Hillman] " Do you think either method makes a difference in terms of quality? Or do they produce the same results? Would using MPEG Streamclip also yield the same, better, or worse quality?"

All will produce the same results, (although Compressor is the only one that will generate timecode during the transcode).


[Paul Hillman] "transcoding directly to ProRes from camera-original SxS cards using ProxyMill"
I've never used or even heard of ProxyMill so I can't answer that. Having had a quick look at their website it sounds like it's for creating proxy files (i.e. low quality), which isn't what you're after. I may be wrong though, it's probably quite likely that you can customise the settings.

Alex Elkins
Twitter: @postbluetv
http://www.postblue.tv
View Post Blue showreel
Shot on RED @ 100fps, Post on FCP/Color: Capoeira Film
My Vimeo Pro page


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