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Historical project mixing formats

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David Butterfield
Historical project mixing formats
on Aug 2, 2010 at 6:40:43 pm

Going through threads about mixing SD and HD footage, most are a few years old, so I apologize if this is redundant. I have an historical project set up in HD where a lot of incoming B roll will be 3/4" and Beta SP origination. I realize I can drop in and rescale, or jazz up the pillar box. But I also see mentions of options like Aja Kona and i/o, Instant HD from Magic Bullet, etc. Has a consensus evolved for the best way to up-rez SD? And a deeper level question, what really is happening to the SD material in various schemes? Are lines getting doubled or repeated? Stretched. Pixie dust sprinkled on? Thanks in advance for advice on the best way to make SD vintage video look and fit well with contemporary HD.

Project is in FCP 6.06, DVCPROHD 1080i 30p, and will go out via Animation codec to the station which is an Avid house -- they have it from there.


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John Fishback
Re: Historical project mixing formats
on Aug 2, 2010 at 6:54:41 pm

I think most folks would say hardware conversion is superior to software. The Kona 3 is excellent if you capture material from tape (or another device). Also, it has hardware acceleration for DVCProHD (it takes over the scaling from FCP which doesn't do a great job, anyway). The best hardware converter (of all sorts) is a Teranex. But, due to its cost you usually only find them in large facilities. I've used Instant HD and was not overly impressed. I use Compressor for SD to HD file conversions.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.2, Motion 4.0.2, Comp 3.5.2, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.2)

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David Butterfield
Re: Historical project mixing formats
on Aug 2, 2010 at 11:45:12 pm

Thanks John, appreciate the reply. I'll do some tests with Compressor and see how that works out. New hardware may have to wait for now.


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walter biscardi
Re: Historical project mixing formats
on Aug 3, 2010 at 12:52:45 pm

We run all Kona 3's here for the very reason you mention. We are working a bunch of feature length documentaries right now. In the first one I'm finishing up, we have mixed pretty much everything under the sun except VHS, though we did up-convert VHS for another project earlier this year. All media was digitized to 720p / 59.94 ProRes for the edit so everything is in one format, one frame rate before the edit even begins.

The beauty of the Kona 3 board is everything is done in realtime. So DV, DVCAM, 3/4", Beta (all the flavors of Beta) and anything else is upconverted as we digitize. No waiting for software to convert anything so it's much more efficient to have a video card like the Kona.

As John notes, the king of conversions is a Terranex, but at 6 figures, it's a very expensive box. The best thing for FCP as far as up / down / cross conversions that I've seen is the Kona 3.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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David Butterfield
Re: Historical project mixing formats
on Aug 3, 2010 at 3:00:32 pm

Thanks Walter. If I knew there would be more demand for this kind of up-vert, I might go with a Kona 3, but 3 as in $3 grand might still be too pricey for this one project. Hmmmm. Going to go ahead with Compressor tests and also fish around for a facility that has a Terranex or K3s and see how much farming it out might be. (I'm in the mountain West and might want to be there so travel is a factor.) Very stoked about the way COW is helping me with this strategy. This is just a great site. Thanks again and good luck with the new BCM facility and docs.


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Ray Conkling
Re: Historical project mixing formats
on Aug 3, 2010 at 6:51:17 pm

David,
Just want to throw in a word about Teranex pricing. Historically as in about 5 years ago there were boxes costing 6 figures - there's nothing at that price point now. The Mini which will give you up/down/cross conversion retails at $2995 and is a real time converter that will give you a very high quality conversion. Let me know if you have more questions.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Historical project mixing formats
on Aug 5, 2010 at 5:34:26 pm

David, if you are interested in a used Kona3 board contact me off forum.

onthecow (at) michaelangelodv (dot) com


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Robert Read
Re: Historical project mixing formats
on Aug 3, 2010 at 6:58:14 pm

Not trying to advertise, but there seems to be a lot of misconception about pricing of Teranex equipment, especially 6 figures. Teranex has a range of products competitive with other converters on the market. For example, the Teranex Mini starts at under $3K(US). Even the new VC80/VC100/VC120 platforms start pretty low per channel... much lower than you may think. If you haven't lately, you may want to contact a local distributor or check out websites like B&H to get a better idea of pricing and product availability.

Robert Read
http://www.teranex.com


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