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How to setup files for editing - footage shot on z1 (hdv) and ex1 #workflow #transcode #fcp final cut pro

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alex robertson
How to setup files for editing - footage shot on z1 (hdv) and ex1 #workflow #transcode #fcp final cut pro
on May 2, 2012 at 12:19:21 pm

Hi, urgently looking for the answer to this; answers greatly appreciated.

I recently dug out my old Z1 for a multicamera shoot with an Ex1 and a 5D, of a stage performance. Before we did this the director/editor asked me specifically if there would be an issue editing the different codecs. I have never mixed these two before, so I researched in these forums and saw various comments that it was easy, and all you had to do was 'conform clip' for the files that weren't native to the timeline (and that shooting the EX interlaced to match the Z1's settings couldn't hurt).

Therefore I now feel a right pillock (and I am one), for reassuring said director/editor with second hand knowledge. She is having problems now that she's ready to edit, and I need to give her definitive answers on a couple of things so we can sort this out.

We shot the EX1 in 1080i, the Z1 in 1080i, and the 5D in 1080p (no interlaced option available), all PAL, 25fps. Output will be as high resolution as possible, and deinterlaced. 1080p ideal, mp4.

1)Should the project be square pixels or 1.3333 pixels?; I was hoping to use a full res, square pixels project and have the Z1 footage 'upscaled' so that we do not lose the extra quality of the EX1.

2)How do we permanently fix the HDV footage as manipulable in this timeline? At the moment you can watch it in the bin, and drag it into the timeline, but it is all red-bar before rendering, and plays stutteringly with a beep, beep, beep for audio. Re-rendering during edit is not an option as it will take forever. Can I somehow transcode the HDV footage to a new mp4 file with square pixels? Or as per question 1, am I approaching this the wrong way round?

3)The 5D footage is behaving fine in the timeline so far, even though it is progressive footage in an interlaced project. Don't worry about this in your answer unless you recommend switching to a 1.3333 pix HDV-native project. Then I don't know if the footage will need further treatment too.

4) What is the step by step process for preparing the files, setting up the project and importing the files correctly?

I hope I haven't missed anything in my description. HUGE THANKS in advance to anyone who can set me straight!

ps I normally edit in CS5.5, which probably explains my blase attitude to having different filetypes in one project (never been an issue so far! damn you fcp...)

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Shane Ross
Re: How to setup files for editing - footage shot on z1 (hdv) and ex1 #workflow #transcode #fcp final cut pro
on May 2, 2012 at 2:12:02 pm

What are then sequence settings? For best performance when mixing these formats, you need to use ProRes 422. The Canon 5D should be converted to that format before you begin editing. You should NOT be editing the native files that camera uses. If you have a red bar in the timeline when you add HDV...then something is horribly wrong. If you use a ProRes 1080i69 sequence, all should be fine to mix. And you should only get a green render bar.

I believe that you started with the 5D footage, without converting it to ProRes...keeping it H.264, and the sequence is not H.264, thus the red RENDER bar. FCP doesn't edit H.264 native like Adobe CS5.5 does. It must be converted.

Here's how to do that: Tapeless Workflow for FCP 7 Tutorial

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alex robertson
Re: How to setup files for editing - footage shot on z1 (hdv) and ex1 #workflow #transcode #fcp final cut pro
on May 2, 2012 at 5:41:27 pm

Hi Shane, thanks for the reply.

Unfortunately it isn't that simple a mistake..

The sequence settings are correct for 1080i xdcam. The 5d files have indeed been processed already before import (by the cameraman of that camera) and are sitting prettily in the bin and timeline.

I only have access to the mbp on which this is being edited for short amounts of time in the day, when I visit the editor/director, so I can't check specifics right now.

The hdv footage went from tape to computer as mpeg files first (I digitised it in CS5) then when that didn't work in fcp, I tried converting it to mov files using some freeware. Now it all reads OK in the bin of CS5, but won't sit in the timeline without a red bar. I'm tired and frustrated!

I tried setting up apple's compressor to change the mov files to xdcam 1080i files, but then I had to go off to another gearcheck and the editor tells me the program crashed before it finished.

I feel like I'm hacking away at these stupid files in way too complicated a process. What is the route they SHOULD have taken? I still have the tapes, so I can just start again if need be. Time is short because I have two consecutive shoots to do, and I hate leaving my director in this steaming pile of..

I'll be able to get back to the computer tomorrow afternoon.
What is the best sequence setup?
How should I import the hdv stuff?

THANK YOU in advance!

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alex robertson
Re: How to setup files for editing - footage shot on z1 (hdv) and ex1 #workflow #transcode #fcp final cut pro
on May 3, 2012 at 9:20:35 pm

Yup, answer seems to have been to convert all footage to prores 422. From all three cameras. I didn't see the process so I can't leave detailed info for others to use in future, but they used freeware called 'mpeg streamclip' to convert all the files into prores 422.

My Z1 is now for sale. Just too fuzzy after 7ds and ex1s for so long!

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