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workflow for syncing footage and converting 7D footage to pro-res files

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David Palmieri
workflow for syncing footage and converting 7D footage to pro-res files
on Jun 11, 2015 at 8:24:03 pm

I shot a bunch of video shots (about 1,000) with my canon 7D for a film. I recorded audio separately with a Zoom H4n recorder. I have to deliver the footage to the editor in the following manner: ProRes files with the external audio already synced and placed within the video file. (scratch audio track removed).

What is the best workflow to achieve this?

the files right now are the native 7D files (eg. MVI_0124.mov, etc.) and the sound files from recorder are .wav files.

i have fcp7 and osx10.6.8.

So, again, I need to relabel every clip to a recognizable scene #/take # format. and replace the scratch audio track on the video file with the external audio file (synced up). and convert the video to proRes file.

is it best to sync up the audio before conversion to Prores?, what is easiest, quickest way to sync up audio to video?, is there any image degradation in this process of converting files and syncing files, etc. etc.

Sorry for the complex question. I just need to make sure I use the most efficient means possible since this is already a quite formidable task.

thanks.

David


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Shane Ross
Re: workflow for syncing footage and converting 7D footage to pro-res files
on Jun 11, 2015 at 9:47:18 pm

[David Palmieri] " I have to deliver the footage to the editor in the following manner: ProRes files with the external audio already synced and placed within the video file. (scratch audio track removed)."

Does the editor know this is a monumental task? Because you have to convert the footage to ProRes, then sync the audio, then export it with the audio...BUT MAINTAIN THE SOURCE CLIP TIMECODE! That means making a sequence with TC that matches the footage TC, putting the footage in the right location...exporting. So that means two layers of compression before it even gets to editing.

AND...if you lose this footage...if a drive dies...there's no way to simply batch import it...you'll have to redo this process and overcut. So have three copies of this new media. Relabeling means that tracing this footage will be very difficult.

This must be a new or young editor...I don't think experienced editors would ask for this. They'd know what getting sync'd master clips in ProRes would entail.

[David Palmieri] "is it best to sync up the audio before conversion to Prores?"

After. Trying to work with H.264 in FCP...exporting an maintaining sync...iffy. FCP and H.264 don't mix, and sync loss is the biggest issue.

[David Palmieri] "what is easiest, quickest way to sync up audio to video?,"

Pluraleyes. Hmm...having never used Pluraleyes, I wonder if you can sync the H.264 files in that, and then export ProRes sync'd files. And how, at all, they will connect to the originals if you lose the drive. Beyond that...I hope they slated, or jam sync'd the audio. If they jam synched it...then you make a multiclip based on timecode. If not, then you need to mark an IN on each clip where you hear the slate and then make the multiclip based on IN point. Pluraleyes in the quickest, though.

[David Palmieri] "is there any image degradation in this process of converting files and syncing files, etc. etc."

In the exact wants they have...yes...although it is minor. H.264 to ProRes is normal. ProRes to ProRes is minor...might not even notice it. The biggest issue, and it's a biggie...is tracking all of this back to the source footage. You will lose connections in this process...that's why I recommend against it. Even if Pluraleyes allows export of the clips as ProRes with the audio embedded...then IT would need to track the footage...if it does this.

This, to me, is unnecessary, and damaging. You lose the ability to track the footage, and you the AE will spend a LOT of time doing this task. What's wrong with multiclips with audio synched? why do they need new clips?

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


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David Palmieri
Re: workflow for syncing footage and converting 7D footage to pro-res files
on Jun 11, 2015 at 10:41:12 pm

Shane,
Thank you for the informed response.

Let me fill you in on some further details with regards to my project, if you have the time to give me some further input.

It is micro-micro budget. So, the money that they are paying the editor is miniscule. So, in order to make it feasible for the editor to say yes to the gig, one of the stipulations is that he would not have to do any of the audio syncing.

Me, as the director/DP of the project, racked my brain in regards to how I could shoot this on a camcorder type camera with XLR audio recording straight to the video file. I tried my damnedest knowing full well that what I would have to deal with later with external sound would be a s%$t show. Alas, given the resources at hand, i was just forced to use my 7D and external sound recorder for principal photography. all the other camcorders that I had access to would not be able to handle my low light situations on set, etc, etc.

So I made the conscious decision to suck up what would be this monumental post production nonsense.
* Note: the project was for me to direct and shoot 3 feature films in 9 days by the way. :-) hows that sound! haha, nuts, i know. But it worked. So far. So this next task, doesn't seem as ominous as it maybe would to someone else. but I do want to go about it the most efficient way possible.

I am not too concerned about being able to point back to original footage. i will rename each file so that the editor can find stuff easily. I will create 3 new backups of each file so that the footage is safe and presumably noone will ever have to visit that original source footage ever again. (i have done this process before for one of my editors…minus having to sync up the audio files and deliver in prores.)

This is a post workflow learning experience for me as well so I will chalk up all this to that experience. I normally just dump all the raw stuff onto an editor's plate.

what else….ah…ok, so in pluraleyes, it may be better to use the native 7D video file to sync with the external audio file? in that case, i should try to do the syncing first? then prores export?

i have not yet used pluraleyes either. unfortunately, i have to update my OSX first, so I have a whole other batch of issues in regards to backing up my laptop stuff before i even do my upgrade.

I do appreciate all the feedback and info that you have supplied and possibly will supply further. Thank you.

David


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Michael Gissing
Re: workflow for syncing footage and converting 7D footage to pro-res files
on Jun 12, 2015 at 12:38:39 am

Download da Vinci Resolve lite (free). Sync the rushes in Resolve and export your ProRes. Resolve is fine with H264 files and has a solid but basic editor, perfectly capable for syncing.

FCP7 is not a good choice for that file format to sync.

If you have decent guide sound on camera you could also consider Pluraleyes or other auto syncing software.


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Shane Ross
Re: workflow for syncing footage and converting 7D footage to pro-res files
on Jun 12, 2015 at 12:49:28 am

[David Palmieri] "It is micro-micro budget."

All the MORE reason to not make lots of time consuming work. Adding more to your hours...thus you making less money. If they want to save money...don't do time consuming things. Making stand alone ProRes files with second system audio built in...and with matching TC to the masters...will take an INORDINATE amount of time.

[David Palmieri] " So, in order to make it feasible for the editor to say yes to the gig, one of the stipulations is that he would not have to do any of the audio syncing."

That's fine...that's normal. The AE's sync the footage. Always have. Only times they didn't was when there was no AE on the show. So you sync the footage and give him bins of multiclips...that is clips where you mix the picture with the second system audio. Very normal. So convert to ProRes, then either jam sync, or sync via the slates.

[David Palmieri] "
Me, as the director/DP of the project,"


Wait...you aren't the assistant editor? You are the DP? And they wan't YOU to provide ProRes files with synched audio? Not your job...not at all. Not part of the program. If they want you to do the task of an AE, then you need to be paid, YOUR RATE, for this. Micro Budget people are NOTORIOUS for demanding more from people they pay little. What the editor is wanting from you is unreasonable. If you had a DIT on set, then THEY would do this...and of course be paid. If they don't want to pay the editor...they are going to have to pay you. If they want this done, they have to pay someone.

I guess you are roping yourself into this mess by volunteering. Something you should not do! Because now they will expect this of you, from now on, with no cost. Because you did it before. Don't do this. Explain that this is outside your job description, and a monumental task....especially when you haven't done this before. This is not the job of camera...this is the job of the DIT, or post.

If you insist on doing this...look to RESOLVE as well. I know it makes dailies from all sorts of types. But SYNCHED? Dunno. That's always done inside the editing system...by post people, or the DIT.

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


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David Palmieri
Re: workflow for syncing footage and converting 7D footage to pro-res files
on Jun 12, 2015 at 1:39:35 am

Yes. no assistant editor. It is a friend project. I am aware of how much people should be getting compensated for their work. I consider this an art project. My main concern here is, again, efficiency. And for the editor to actually create a good cut of the film, not spend all his time prepping and no time editing. It is an abnormal process due to its size, I know.

So now it seems I am down to 2 options: use davinci resolve and manually sync up my native clips with audio OR use pluraleyes with autosync.

Does anyone have a preference as to which is a better bet? for those that have used both? I have heard people say that pluraleyes doesnt always work. is that true?

thanks.


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