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Catherine Tosko
Print to tape quality
on Sep 20, 2012 at 10:06:16 am

What I am thinking of doing is printing my timeline back to my tape and using that as a kind of bounce down to produce a much smaller, independent piece of footage instead of compressing the bejesus out of it. Is this a mad idea, or sensible? Seems sensible? My footage is movie length at 1 hour 20 mins with a mix of qualities from HD to standard to bad (it's a documentary, this isn't important aesthetically) but I had seen some nice effects with recording off TV screens and just thought this may work? The issue is I have so much reference stuff, millions of files that are huge and some are only on for a few seconds, so I am dragging the albatross of all the clips all the time. It's huge. So my question is, would this work and how is the quality? My plan would be to then re- import it as a fresh clip to finish up the post. If anyone has any experience of this please let me know asap! Thanks


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Mark Suszko
Re: Print to tape quality
on Sep 20, 2012 at 2:53:42 pm

It works in a quick-and-dirty way, if your tape export is via SDI and not analog, but it is going to eventually lead you into problems because the archived tape has no direct time code reference back into the source material. As long as all you're going to ever do is shorten, maybe not a huge deal. As soon as you decide to start moving sections around in the master or insert new material, now this reference copy becomes less and less relevant to the master. Or put another way, doing what you suggest means you're going to end up doing much of the work more than one time. So, depending how much you value your time, it may work out for you or not.

I have done what you describe, but not for anything of the kind of scope you describe. I'm working on a doc now that's based on 2 TB full of SD material, at a guess, 50 hours of stuff. I handle it by making the program modular, and mastering it in smaller sections or chapters first, then making a final master that's either a nested comp of all the other sequences, or a "flattened", i.e. rendered ref movie, of the final assembly.

I DO lay off several submasters to tape or disk along the line. I will make one that's not got any lower thirds on it, for example, because changing thirds is such a common client request after the fact. And I will save off submasters with audio mixes and music mixes as "stems". Any very complicated effects sequences are also saved off with "handles", for minor touch-ups. This covers 90 percent of my needs when I have a re-edit to do down the road, and keeps me from having to re-load much more footage into the system to make relatively small changes. But it basically writes off the use of EDL's completely, as you break the relationship to the original sources .


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Catherine Tosko
Re: Print to tape quality
on Sep 20, 2012 at 8:17:18 pm

The modular approach is probably what I need but I'm looking at a jock method, eh?!


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Alex Elkins
Re: Print to tape quality
on Sep 20, 2012 at 4:50:40 pm

Hi Catherine,

It sounds to me like you just want to purge all of the excess material you have, right? If that's the case, the most sensible option is to use the Media Manager. You can set it to save only the clips you use (with handles if you want), but you get the added ability to move clips around, replace graphics, remix audio etc.
Dubbing it to tape and re-importing is a very strange way of working in my opinion. If you do just want a flattened file, why not just export one out of FCP?

Alex Elkins
Twitter: @postbluetv
http://www.postblue.tv
Post Blue showreel
Latest work: Greyhounds in Motion at 500fps
My Vimeo Pro page


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Catherine Tosko
Re: Print to tape quality
on Sep 20, 2012 at 8:15:46 pm

I just want a final flat version before I add all the bits like thirds and colour it. My issue is the size it's huge as is, around 100 GB, which means it's too glitchy to watch in real time except if I view it on the Print to Video screen. I think I will try Media Manager out as I never tried, but I haven't even added the soundtrack yet so it's literally a bouncedown. The reason I can't just export it is maybe my lack of knowledge but it seems to compress into pixels too much with any of the options given. I thought at least if I record it down I get a small version with no crapola.

Although now my problem is the camera is not recording the timeline...Any other comments would be cool!

Thanks for the help you guys! :)


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Alex Elkins
Re: Print to tape quality
on Sep 21, 2012 at 12:49:14 pm

[Catherine Tosko] "it seems to compress into pixels too much with any of the options given."

Sounds like you're doing something wrong here, but we'll need some more info in order to diagnose and solve the problem.

If you could follow these steps it'd help us to help you:

1. Click anywhere in your timeline and then press CMD+0 (Apple 0)
2. Take a screenshot or make a note of the Sequence Settings window that opened and post it here.
3. Close the Sequence Settings window and now select one of your clips in the timeline that is stuttering during playback.
4. Press CMD+9 (Apple 9)
5. Same again - take a screenshot of that and post it here.

What I'm expecting to see is a mismatch between your Sequence Settings and the format of the video files you're working with.

Alex Elkins
Twitter: @postbluetv
http://www.postblue.tv
Post Blue showreel
Latest work: Greyhounds in Motion at 500fps
My Vimeo Pro page


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