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FCP Workflow XDCAM vs PRORES

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Benjamin Hirsch
FCP Workflow XDCAM vs PRORES
on Jun 6, 2012 at 4:31:26 pm

Hi All.
Need some advice for an edit we are going to be doing.

Shooting on Sony PMW-500s and Canon XF-305s and we will be using footage from both in the same FCP project.

My question is, is there any reason to Log & Transfer the footage from the Canon as ProRes rather than Native as XDCAM? As the footage comes in from the Sony as XDCAM, surly it makes sense (and saves storage space) to ingest the Canon footage natively in XDCAM also, rather than transcoding it to ProRes.

Are we likely to encounter any problems by doing this?

Also, we need to render the final edits out for broadcast at ProRes 422HQ & 4444. Will this be possible after we have cut the project using an XDCAM sequence?

Any help and recommendations would be much appreciated. Thanks.


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: FCP Workflow XDCAM vs PRORES
on Jun 6, 2012 at 5:39:48 pm

The plus in working in ProREs instead of XDCAM is speed, and quality of any elements not shot XDCAM such as graphics and stills possibly. It will render a lot faster throughout the post process if you transcode the XDCAM up front. (at the cost of drive space of course)

You can export any sequence to the two codecs you list there, but preserving the 10 bit color in all other clips you add (except the XDCAM material which was recorded 8 bit) You need to edit in a ProRes sequence. If you don't transcode, you'll eventually have to render all of the XDCAM if you simply render it to ProRes. So... up to you.

Jerry

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Rafael Amador
Re: FCP Workflow XDCAM vs PRORES
on Jun 6, 2012 at 5:42:46 pm

[Benjamin Hirsch] "My question is, is there any reason to Log & Transfer the footage from the Canon as ProRes rather than Native as XDCAM?"
No.
Once you have the sequence ready, change the codec to ProresHQ and set "Render in High Precision".
rafael



[Benjamin Hirsch] "Also, we need to render the final edits out for broadcast at ProRes 422HQ & 4444. Will this be possible after we have cut the project using an XDCAM sequence?"
No benefits with PR444 unless you are using some kind of Chroma filtering to go from your 420 stuff to 444, or you are using an application that process i 16/32b.
Prores HQ will be OK
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Jeff Meyer
Re: FCP Workflow XDCAM vs PRORES
on Jun 6, 2012 at 8:16:29 pm

For simply cutting I'd say XDCAM is great. I've found that when adding filters (mainly 3-way CC and broadcast safe) or ProRes4444 layers with alpha above, even in a ProRes422 sequence, Final Cut gets rather unstable. If you just cutting save the disc space, if you're going to be stylizing the video I'd say save yourself the headaches and work in ProRes.


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Bret Williams
Re: FCP Workflow XDCAM vs PRORES
on Jun 7, 2012 at 4:19:03 am

Edit in an XDCAM seq, set to render as ProRes. Additionally, make sure "Full" isn't checked in you render options. If it is, it forces a conform every time you render something. Exporting a ProRes file when you're done takes quite a bit longer because the xdcam then gets converted to pro res. But only the once.


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Benjamin Hirsch
Re: FCP Workflow XDCAM vs PRORES
on Jun 7, 2012 at 10:50:50 am

The finished products are only likely to be 2-3mins in length, but they will be uploaded straight away. So chances are, the clips will need Colour Correcting or will have some effects applied to them?

So are we best to transcode to ProRes then?

Also, if we are working in ProRes for the Canon footage, should the Sony footage also be transcoded to ProRes? I've only been able to find the option to transfer using Sony XDCAM Transfer in XDCAM format.

Thanks for your help.


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Rafael Amador
Re: FCP Workflow XDCAM vs PRORES
on Jun 7, 2012 at 1:54:37 pm

[Benjamin Hirsch] " I've only been able to find the option to transfer using Sony XDCAM Transfer in XDCAM format. "
The XDCAM stuff needs to be packed as QT movies but doesn't need to be transcoded to be edited.



[Benjamin Hirsch] "The finished products are only likely to be 2-3mins in length, but they will be uploaded straight away. So chances are, the clips will need Colour Correcting or will have some effects applied to them? "
Color works with XDCAM footage.
Normally you should cut in FC and them send to Color for grading. This you can do it from an XDCAM sequence. Then render in Color and send to FC to finish. Apply your effects and graphics on the new Prores sequence from Color.
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Benjamin Hirsch
Re: FCP Workflow XDCAM vs PRORES
on Jun 7, 2012 at 2:54:11 pm

...and are we likely to encounter any problems with the XDCAM footage being LongGOP?


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Jeff Meyer
Re: FCP Workflow XDCAM vs PRORES
on Jun 7, 2012 at 8:31:34 pm

It has proved to be an issue with the four seats at our shop. Most of our projects require a fast turn around and pulling older footage. Because of this files come from several places and color correction is done with the 3-way. Even on a ProRes sequence Final Cut crashes. If we have a project that's just going to be some simple cutting I use XDCAM because of the file size.

I'd say give the XDCAM a shot, if Final Cut crashes regularly you'll quickly discover you need to work in ProRes. If it works fine in XDCAM then you've just saved a lot on disc space.


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Rafael Amador
Re: FCP Workflow XDCAM vs PRORES
on Jun 8, 2012 at 2:09:24 am

I work everything in XDCAM since 2007 and never transcode.
Not crashes.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: FCP Workflow XDCAM vs PRORES
on Jun 8, 2012 at 9:06:13 pm

I've been working with XDCAM EX footage natively (and in mixed timelines) for a few years and everything has gone just fine.

My most recent project was all shot on Canon XF305 cameras (422, 50mbit) and all four Mac Pros are having stability issues and odd playback errors on this project. I won't say conclusively that it's related to the Canon codec (which is similar but not the same as Sony's codec) but whatever's going on is maddening as hell. We have hundreds of hours of footage so converting to ProRes isn't an option but if I was to use the Canon cameras again, and time & storage space weren't a big issue, I'd transcode to ProRes on ingest.

But that's just me being once bit and twice shy.


-Andrew




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Daniel Clark
Re: FCP Workflow XDCAM vs PRORES
on Jun 10, 2012 at 1:45:47 am

I've had issues with XDCAM.

I worked on a feature doc, and we shot on the Sony EX1. When we started, we obviously converted to XDCAM, but during the edit, we started adding tons of motion graphics, archive footage, and (would-be) overlays.

XDCAM isn't great as an export for motion graphics nor is it a good format for converting archive material. And it doesn't seem to carry an alpha channel, so that makes things difficult at times.

In my experience and opinion, ProRes is cleaner and stable, but some people here are having the opposite feeling. It also takes up nearly twice the space (so I'd suggest ProRes LT if that makes sense to others).

Good luck!


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