Excellent article, Tim! Thanks for taking the time to do this.
One quick question about the ProRes quarter-res/Medium Quality:
If one edits at this resolution, what would be the workflow for archiving or mastering if you wanted to use a higher quality? Would you capture everything again, then transcode it to the higher ProRes quality (unless you have a machine fast enough to do transcode it on the fly)?
[reel2reel]"what would be the workflow for archiving or mastering if you wanted to use a higher quality? Would you capture everything again, then transcode it to the higher ProRes quality (unless you have a machine fast enough to do transcode it on the fly)?"
I think you have it exactly right. I know that Apple prefers not to talk about ProRes as an intermediate codec -- in fact, goes pretty far out of their way to NOT talk about it as such. But this is an example where it really can work quite well for it.
Out of curiosity, what do you want your workflow to be? I haven't tried this workflow yet -- just reporting so far ;-) -- but it seems to me that the primary benefit would be for uncompressed HD, right? Although now that I think about it, quarter-res would be smaller than DVCPRO HD or uncompressed SD, so maybe it could work there....
Anyway, just curious what you'd like to do with it in this context.
Or were you just asking? In which case the answer was always within you, Grasshoppah. ;-)
No need to capture anything again - Medium quality is only a timeline playback setting in FCP it doesn't affect the source files in any way. Many codecs in FCP support this feature. It simply means that you can apply more effects because the Mac is having to process 1/4 of the number of pixels that it does at full res.
Less pixels to process = More RT effects
Renders are done at full res regardless of the playback quality setting.
The article was a great preview of things to come with ProRes and FCP2. As always for the soiled masses, of which I'm one, playing catch-up with the latest stuff is like dodging bullets in Baghdad (replace "bullets" with "bucks"). I want FCP2, I want Color, I want ProRes, I want to hit the lottery...It's like going to the car lot and saying,"here's what I want and here's what I got.' All the joy goes out of the salesmans face, the sky darkens, and you shuffle back to your cardboard box under the bridge, thinking, "well of course my 18 month old G5 is obsolete! What was I thinking?!" Ok, ok so to make a long metaphor short, here's my question (I've got my body armor on so berate me as you will): While I continue to work the nightshift at DairyQueen trying to earn enough cash for a new dual core 2.8, can I install FCP 2 on a powerpc G5 and at least rest assured that everything will function? I know what Apple sez but say I've got endless amounts of time to finish a project, can I operate in FCP2 temporairly until Santa Claus delivers my new Intel Quad? Knowing that FCP2 will be extremely unhappy until it's provided the "penthouse" it so richly deserves?
[COW Articles]"Able to run on computers without FCP 6 installed. You can use ProRes in other current QuickTime-aware applications--as long as they're on a machine that also has FCP 6.
I read this in quite a few posts. To which I say, Really? It's not just a codec you can install on, say, your After Effects machine on the desk next to yours that doesn't have FCP 6?
Or do I misunderstand? Perhaps you mean that the codec doesn't work with earlier versions of FCP. I wouldn't expect this, for the rest, maybe I'm missing something. I welcome your corrections and clarifications, posted in the COWmunications forum.
I copied the ProRes Quicktime Component to another G5 that did not have FCS2 installed. Long story short, it works but be careful.
It works just like any other QT component. You can encode and decode ProRes using any QT app.
I made a custom Easy Setup for Final Cut 5 using ProRes. NTSC. The machine had FCP 5.1.4 and a Decklink Extreme card. Capture and playback functioned just like any unsupported QT codec would in Final Cut. However, when playing back, the field order was screwed up on the broadcast monitor. There were nasty interlacing "artifacts".
I could have messed up on the Easy Setup. I really don't know what was going on. But it was ugly. The test machine was then upgraded to FCS2 so I didn't test anything else (QT Pro Export, Compressor, etc.).
All I can say is that there are no restrictions locking it to FCP 6. But it still may not be usable.