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Rory Keenan
Codecs and Formats (XF codec –50 Mb/s, 4:2:2 MPEG-2 format)
on Dec 5, 2014 at 9:15:26 pm
Last Edited By Rory Keenan on Dec 5, 2014 at 10:01:48 pm

I'm going to be doing a local TV show, and had some questions about workflow with the codecs and formats that the cinematographer wants to use.

Most of it will be shot on Cannon C300s
XF codec –50 Mb/s, 4:2:2 MPEG-2 format, in an MXF wrapper, 1920x1080, 23.976fps, ntsc.

The cinematographer wants to use "Cannon Log Gamma" (as it will provide a higher dynamic range in post).
So I'll need to deal with flat log-like images in post.

Am I correct in thinking that I should be able to ingest these files through the "Log & Transfer" tool (with the plug-in for Cannon C300)??

What is the advantage of "Cannon Log Gamma"?
Can someone describe what this is and how this is handled in FCP7 (treating the contrast for final delivery)?
Is this worth the trouble? Or should I ask the cinematographer to lock in a more contrasty final-look in camera??


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Shane Ross
Re: Codecs and Formats (XF codec –50 Mb/s, 4:2:2 MPEG-2 format)
on Dec 5, 2014 at 10:39:19 pm

[Rory Keenan] "Am I correct in thinking that I should be able to ingest these files through the "Log & Transfer" tool (with the plug-in for Cannon C300)??"

Yes.

[Rory Keenan] "What is the advantage of "Cannon Log Gamma"?"

Wider range for color correction. No color is baked in. The colorist can choose the look for the show that they want.

[Rory Keenan] "Can someone describe what this is and how this is handled in FCP7?"

Well, optimally you'd use Resolve or something similar to apply a LUT (look up table) to the footage so that it had a basic grade (one light) look to it...so it looked normal. If you only have FCP 7, then you either live with it looking all fuzzy, or you use the 3-way color corrector to get a decent look, and then save that effect, and then apply it to every clip you add to your sequence.

[Rory Keenan] "(treating the contrast for final delivery)?"

The colorist does this...not you. The editor just cuts story...perhaps applies the one light look. But the final grade is all done by the colorist. Are they looking for you to color correct the final?

[Rory Keenan] "Is this worth the trouble?"

Do the producers want to watch a washed out cut? Or do they want a basic look at least? In my experience, producers can't watch a washed out show. THey want a look. Simple one light should suffice.

[Rory Keenan] "Or should I ask the cinematographer to lock in a more contrasty final-look in camera??"

That's up to the producers, DP...and place doing the final grade.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rory Keenan
Re: Codecs and Formats (XF codec –50 Mb/s, 4:2:2 MPEG-2 format)
on Dec 5, 2014 at 11:02:10 pm
Last Edited By Rory Keenan on Dec 5, 2014 at 11:14:38 pm

This is a local show on a budget.
So, I just have FCP (no LUT) and There is no colorist.

I'm pretty good at 3-Way Color correction, but that's the only tool I'll have.....and I'll have 3 cameras to synch.
Does 3-Way color corrector do well finishing "Cannon Log Gamma" ?....and is it difficult to correct "Cannon Log Gamma" with the 3-Way corrector?

This may be a stupid question but can you apply a LUT through 3-Way Color Corrector?

Correct me if I'm wrong but applying an LUT is not finished color...correct??

Based on this (the fact that there is no colorist) I'm thinking I should ask the cinematographer to lock in a contrasty final-look in camera....(would you agree)??


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Shane Ross
Re: Codecs and Formats (XF codec –50 Mb/s, 4:2:2 MPEG-2 format)
on Dec 5, 2014 at 11:59:19 pm

[Rory Keenan] "This is a local show on a budget.
So, I just have FCP (no LUT) and There is no colorist."


Then they shouldn't shoot that way. They should only shoot flat like that if there's a professional colorist on board. If you've never graded, and you are the only one touching this, they need to do all the proper exposing and lighting on set, in camera.

[Rory Keenan] "Does 3-Way color corrector do well finishing "Cannon Log Gamma" ?"

Not really. I prefer COLOR or RESOLVE for this. The 3-way is decent, but not good at pushing the limits like the others are, and limits will be pushed if they shoot flat. Again, if you have no experience grading when someone shoots flat (meaning needing a LUT), then they shouldn't shoot it.

[Rory Keenan] "This may be a stupid question but can you apply a LUT through 3-Way Color Corrector?"

Not a stupid question at all. No, you can't. Only thru COLOR or RESOLVE. There is no way in FCP 7 to apply a LUT.

[Rory Keenan] "Correct me if I'm wrong but applying an LUT is not finished color...correct??"

No...it's a base line. A starting point.

[Rory Keenan] "Based on this (the fact that there is no colorist) I'm thinking I should ask the cinematographer to lock in a contrasty final-look in camera....(would you agree)??"

I concur.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rory Keenan
Re: Codecs and Formats (XF codec –50 Mb/s, 4:2:2 MPEG-2 format)
on Dec 6, 2014 at 12:20:55 am

I just spoke to the cinematographer.

He seemed to think that Gamma correction (in addition to 3-Way Corrector) in FCP applied to the whole sequence would work.
But I'm concerned that I'm hearing something different from a professional finishing editor (you).

The cinematographer was pushing the "Log Gamma" because he thought it would be easy to synch all 3 cameras.
He also mentioned a free plug-in for FCP by Red Giant called "LUT Buddy"
Have you heard of this?....If so is it a solution??

I told him that I'm a story editor, and anything high-end I've done has always been sent to a colorist.
He offered to create an LUT in the Red Giant plug-in, or in FCP to apply to the footage....then I can spot correct the things that need it.

This is kind of a judgement call but: is it worth dealing with the "Log Gamma" to have better synch between the 3 cameras?
I could take him up on his offer to create an LUT then make a pass with the 3-Way to finish.
OR
Should I continue to push him to shoot it in a finished look on set (I'll synch the contrast between cameras in 3-Way Corrector)?


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Shane Ross
Re: Codecs and Formats (XF codec –50 Mb/s, 4:2:2 MPEG-2 format)
on Dec 6, 2014 at 8:07:31 pm

Well, if he knows what he's doing...go with what he says. I haven't done any of the things he's describing, so I can't say. Other than test. Shoot a test, then try all of this out. Don't get caught with your pants down during production or post.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rory Keenan
Re: Codecs and Formats (XF codec –50 Mb/s, 4:2:2 MPEG-2 format)
on Dec 6, 2014 at 8:15:58 pm

I went with your original advice Shane (I said: shoot a finished look)

I told the DP I've got too many other moving parts (getting a graphics person, music rights, nail down a work-flow, etc) all on a tight deadline and budget.
So I told him we don't have the resources bring "Log Gamma" to a finish.

After the shoot he told me he shot a "90% look".
I have an idea of what that means but do you have any insight on that term: "90% look" ???


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Tom Matthies
Re: Codecs and Formats (XF codec –50 Mb/s, 4:2:2 MPEG-2 format)
on Dec 8, 2014 at 4:13:50 pm

I notice that you are also planning to shoot at 23.98. If you edit in 23.98, do you have a way to convert your final show to 29.97 for broadcast. TV or cable won't take a 23.98 program since it can't be aired at that frame rate. Shoot 24 over 30 perhaps?

Not my monkeys. Not my circus.


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Shane Ross
Re: Codecs and Formats (XF codec –50 Mb/s, 4:2:2 MPEG-2 format)
on Dec 8, 2014 at 4:27:45 pm

[Tom Matthies] "TV or cable won't take a 23.98 program since it can't be aired at that frame rate. "

Sorry, but that is incorrect. I've been delivering 23.98 masters for broadcast for 8 years now. They prefer this format as that can be easily converted to PAL for over seas sales.

The network converts the masters to 29.97 when they make their broadcast file.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Tom Matthies
Re: Codecs and Formats (XF codec –50 Mb/s, 4:2:2 MPEG-2 format)
on Dec 8, 2014 at 8:21:55 pm

Networks yes. But the reference was made to airing on a local station. Most smaller, non-network stations will only accept a 29.97 show. They don't have the facilities to convert from 23.98. Just playing Devil's Advocate.

Not my monkeys. Not my circus.


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Rory Keenan
Re: Codecs and Formats (XF codec –50 Mb/s, 4:2:2 MPEG-2 format)
on Dec 8, 2014 at 8:30:28 pm

They shot in 23.98.
The cinematographer was coordinating logistics for a new producer, so I'm guessing he shot that format based on the requirements for delivery.

I'm still waiting on word from the local station to confirm their specs for delivery. If they can't take 23.98 then I'll have to decide to transcode the footage. Or edit it native fps, then transcode the final output.


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