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Working with BITC Archive Screeners for edit and EDL workflow ?

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Rosie Walunas
Working with BITC Archive Screeners for edit and EDL workflow ?
on Nov 29, 2012 at 8:06:37 pm

I'm an assistant editor at the moment, but I suppose I should get this down as soon as possible.

Usually when I get archive screeners with burned in time code I have to transcode everything to match the timeline settings. The archive person will want an EDL when it comes time to license the footage. So the clips' source TC needs to match the BITC.

I understand that I can change the clips source TC in FCP. The problem I just discovered is that more often than not, the frame rate of the screener is different than the timeline and I'm dealing with progressive verses interlace, etc. So when the clip gets ripped or transcoded, the BITC tends to blend frames or drop, and if I change the clips' source TC when in the timeline the source TC which is supposed to match the BITC migrates out of sync, thus the EDL would not be accurate.

On the last doc I assisted, when BITC was needed for the EDL, I eye-matched all the clips' video and audio BITC and typed them into the EDL spread sheet - obviously a tedious task!

Does anyone know of a proper or preferable workflow for handling archive with BITC for an EDL as I describe?

Most of the editors I assist leave it to me to figure this out, but I'm not seeing too much out there and this is pretty important for the long run even if I'm not a lifelong assistant.

Right now I'm on FCP, and MPEG Streamclip seems to be the fastest transcode tool to work with. The current frame rate I'm working with is 23.976. Last job was 25p.

Any thoughts, advice, and/or experience is appreciated!

Thanks!!!


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Nick Meyers
Re: Working with BITC Archive Screeners for edit and EDL workflow ?
on Nov 29, 2012 at 10:40:19 pm

i think there are two choices:

one is to do a decent frame rate conversion now and eye match later,
which is what you are doing
OR

leave the footage at it's native frame rate when you convert to your edit codec.
FCP will do an "on the fly" frame convert which consists of either dropping or duplicating frames.

unless your footage is nice slow pans or tracking shots, most people wont notice.

this should allow for an easier replacement of the footage, and you'd be passing the problem of a decent frame-rate conversion on to the online.
you'd have to check with your online people about this.


oh, another factor is if your archive footage frame rates is close to yours.
for instance it's 23.976 and you are 25.
in this case rather than trying to convert the frame rate you'd be better doing a "Conform" in Cinema Tools which simply makes the footage play at a different speed.
looks great.

you would do this to your footage AFTER you've converted to your edit codec,
new TC you give the clip will drift form the Burn In,
so when you come to replace it, it's another eye match, but the code might be similar.

i wouldn't entirely trust TCs on archival footage anyway, and you do have to eyeball everything that you put back in.

one gets pretty good at eye matching after a while!

as a further safety check when replacing something, i tend to layer the two up on the timeline,
(option shift drag the original up one track to make a dupe, then use replace edit to put the new material in place)

i then set the COMPOSITE MODE of the top layer to DIFFERENCE.
(assigne it, and NORMAL comp mode to shortcuts)

helps a lot.



cheers,
nick


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Rosie Walunas
Re: Working with BITC Archive Screeners for edit and EDL workflow ?
on Nov 30, 2012 at 2:25:08 pm

Nick, thank yo so much for your thoughts.

I definitely don't think I want to Conform the frame rate (at least for this project) because it seems most vendors send us 29.97 rather than 25, and if that footage gets Conformed to our current base it will play back on the slow side. (That's actually what we're doing with our underwater footage to smooth any abrupt shakes out. Looks good!)

I'm pretty good with eye-matching, and may or may not end up re-cutting in audio and clips before the online. My biggest concern is the source time code matching the BITC on the screeners for the EDL because the archive person needs to license the footage this way, and, like I said, it's just so tedious to go into the timeline and type the BITC into a spreadsheet.

You write, "leave the footage at it's native frame rate when you convert to your edit codec.
FCP will do an "on the fly" frame convert which consists of either dropping or duplicating frames."

But if I don't convert the frame rate - and will have to convert the frame rate for the timeline for the finish isn't that going to effect the cut because the duration of the clips will differ? Also, usually editors don't want to have to deal with the poor playback of different frame rates, so that's a factor. And, the current edit team before I came on board this one project already converted the frame rate's of most of the archive to 23.976.

Maybe it's looking like for this project, noting the BITC by hand will have to be mandatory?

Any other thoughts?

Thanks! Really appreciate these options being noted.


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Nick Meyers
Re: Working with BITC Archive Screeners for edit and EDL workflow ?
on Nov 30, 2012 at 11:50:16 pm

re: Conforming.
its definitely a case-by-case thing.
your underwater for instance looks good conformed.
other nature footage is probably fine too.
maybe other neutral establishing shots,
shots without humans,
some shots with humans.
you never now until you try

anything with sync dial, obviously no.



"But if I don't convert the frame rate - and will have to convert the frame rate for the timeline for the finish isn't that going to effect the cut because the duration of the clips will differ?"

no, as i say FCP, will adjust the clips. durations will be the same.

"Also, usually editors don't want to have to deal with the poor playback of different frame rates, so that's a factor."

well, there is that.
but if the codec & frame size matches, the playback is really not that bad.
but i've only had to deal with a few clips like this.
a show with a lot might get tricky.


"My biggest concern is the source time code matching the BITC on the screeners for the EDL because the archive person needs to license the footage this way"

understand.
but there isn't a way in FCP7 to have your TC jumping or repeating numbers to follow the BITC.
well, there is on one instance and that is if your source is 25fps an your edit is at 24fps,
FCP lets you set the TC rate to 24@25

but of course you'd be a lot more likely to conform (even sync dial) if the difference is only 1fps


might be out of options here!


nick


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