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Storage needs are getting out of control... switch codecs mid-project?

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Schureman Lear
Storage needs are getting out of control... switch codecs mid-project?
on Jan 18, 2012 at 7:34:33 pm

I'm working on a documentary that currently has 12 TB of media, transcoded to ProRes 422, and we expect that amount to triple as the year progresses. We're started to balk at the cost of storage and back-ups, etc, and I'm wondering if it's possible to find a more economical codec solution as we move forward.

If we take the current media and convert it to ProRes proxy, will it break all of our links in our current timelines?

If we leave the current media as-is, can we bring in future media as proxy and mix codecs without a problem?

The only thing that makes me nervous about re-transcoding our current batch of clips, is that even if they'll relink, I'm worried that the team who did the original ingest may have set in and out points on some of the clips. If we re-did the ingest, we'd have every frame that was shot... but it would completely blow our timelines, re-links, etc. Nightmare. So we'd have to go from our existing ProRes 422 clips to ProRes Proxy, I'm guessing? Is that possible/easy/sane/good practice?

Working on FCP 7.0.3


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Matt Lyon
Re: Storage needs are getting out of control... switch codecs mid-project?
on Jan 19, 2012 at 1:43:28 am

Sounds like it might be worth doing a test with a couple reels of material. What's the source of the original media? You could try transcoding some footage and then seeing if you are able to take it offline and re-ingest at full quality. Whatever process you use will have to preserve the timecode and reel names.

[Schureman Lear] "If we leave the current media as-is, can we bring in future media as proxy and mix codecs without a problem?"

I've done this in the past (mixing proxy and "regular" pro res). It didn't pose a problem. The footage that didn't match the sequence setting will simply be played as a real-time effect (assuming your computer is powerful enough).

[Schureman Lear] " If we re-did the ingest, we'd have every frame that was shot"

I've done a re-ingest on a job (actually still in the process of doing it!) and it is working fine so far. As long as the file names match EXACTLY, you can point FCP at the new material and it /should/ work (test, test, test first!). BUT, in my case, both ingests were of the full clips. I'm not sure what will happen if a file has mis-matched in and out points (very likely it breaks your edit!)-- another test is in order, perhaps? :) You can make a new project with a sample timeline to mess around with, so it won't break your other sequences.

In any case, I'd be interested to hear how this goes!

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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