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SLOG workflow FCP7 to Color

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Mickey Power
SLOG workflow FCP7 to Color
on Nov 28, 2012 at 3:59:23 am

Would any FCP7 users be able to describe their workflows editing SLOG footage shot on Sony F3, please.

I've recently installed the SLOG firmware for a new documentary project and have shot some great material (all to internal SXS cards). I've tested de-logging and grading scenes in Color and have been very happy with the results.

I've also experimented with LUT plugins for FCP but have been disappointed. They also take a long time to render.

So, I'm trying to figure out a good simple workflow that enables us to edit in FCP, output draft versions with basic colour correction or LUT (to avoid test audiences wondering why SLOG material looks so washed out), and then do a final grade in Color at the end (very nervous here having never done a full scale round-trip grade from FCP to Color).

Thanks.

Mickey


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Michael Gissing
Re: SLOG workflow FCP7 to Color
on Nov 28, 2012 at 6:42:07 am

Did an sLog job from the F3 and there were issues. Firstly the images from using just curves instead of a LUT in Color looked great but on some extra low con scenes with smoke and some diffusion filters we had pixel blocking artifacts which were actually baked into the original codec. I would not recommend using XDCam codec with sLog. We used DNxHD 220X and still had some issues. The pixel blaocking became much more apparent after grading and were not caused by Color.

The editor used AVID and put a temp grade on. In FCP7 the rendering will be a constant issue. The director was advised to watch rushes on a TV and adjust the contrast, lower the blacks and store that as a user setting to switch to when watching DVDs of raw camera footage. The editor could also have made a similar setting for an external monitor rather than applying a grade or using a LUT.

I wouldn't advise and offline/ online workflow and make proxies with the LUT or a grade applied. Try the monitor trim first rather than rendering.


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Mickey Power
Re: SLOG workflow FCP7 to Color
on Nov 30, 2012 at 5:34:18 am

Thanks for your info. I've already told my clients what's going on with slog and no doubt they'll forget and ask me about it later.

I was cautious going into shooting slog to XDcam and on certain low contrast shots I can see the pixel blocking. However, the cost of rigging a Samurai to the camera was not the issue, more about shooting solo and trying on one project to have the widest tonal range possible for filming very dark skin tones in uncontrollable light.

Are you editing in FCP 7 and then round tripping to Color? I'm trialling this, wondering about how filters and transitions applied in FCP finish up. Any tips?

Did you used to work in North Sydney with John Marsh?

Mickey


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Michael Gissing
Re: SLOG workflow FCP7 to Color
on Nov 30, 2012 at 8:25:03 pm

I was grading and onlining. The edit was done on AVID MC6. I imported using the auto duck importer and transcoded to ProRes to grade. Round tripping to Color leaves filters and framing intact. In Color you can't see any filter fx but they reappear on the renders when you send back to FCP. Years ago Walter Biscardi did some excellent tutorials on prepping for round tripping.

I know Swampy but never worked with him. I run Digital City Studios which I have now moved to rural Tassie. I specialised in docos while John was more TVCs.


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Mickey Power
Re: SLOG workflow FCP7 to Color
on Dec 2, 2012 at 7:45:17 am

I recall meeting you at the offices you shared with Swampy.

I thought Biscardi's tutorials looked good but then I went cold on the idea of spending months training myself in Color, opting to stick to simple grading in FCP for smaller projects and go outside for bigger jobs. However, with slog and FCP7 I'm going to have to jump in. I have used Color regularly for fixes and one-off scenes, just not on something like the 30 min projects going on at the moment.

Once at the grading stage, would you recommend using a basic LUT in FCP across the whole project as a a first step de-logging pass before grading each shot individually?

Mickey


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Michael Gissing
Re: SLOG workflow FCP7 to Color
on Dec 2, 2012 at 9:30:02 pm

When I did the sLog grade 7 months ago I couldn't find a LUT for the F3 to use in Color so I made a basic luma curve and applied that to all clips. If a LUT is available then that may be a better approach.

I never shared offices with Swampy and only remember dropping in there a couple of times.


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