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Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.

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Bill Davis
Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 6, 2017 at 6:31:22 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Oct 6, 2017 at 6:33:34 pm

I have to send a shout out to my good friend Patrick Southern and his colleague, editor David Tillman.

I’ve just learned that as of yesterday, they get to add “Emmy Winnning” to their resumes - as part of the research team that worked on “The Challenger Tapes” for National Geographic.

Patrick, particularly, was brought onto the team specifically for his FCP X expertise.

Congratulations to both!

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 6, 2017 at 11:30:07 pm

Well, not sure what FCX had to do with that Emmy at all, it was used to cut the show, but all the research was done with other tools. So your subject line is a tad misleading.

There was a big team on the research side of this, as they were looking for the very rare and "lost tapes" around the incident. The best finds were the NASA Rehearsal tapes shot on VHS that really were never seen outside NASA...and then behinds the scenes footage of CNN rushing about trying to figure out what was happening.

All those who were involved in the research were: Tobiah Black, Liza Maddrey, David Tillman, Patrick Southern, Tom Jennings and Ellen Farmer. These guys (and other researchers) produce THE LOST TAPES series, and find great, never before seen footage.

I've worked with this company for just about 8 years now...and online all of their shows (using Resolve)...including that one. Along with this award they won a Peabody award for MLK: THE ASSASSINATION TAPES (also cut by David Tillman)

Shane
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Bill Davis
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 7, 2017 at 2:06:39 am

Was actually just on-line in a forum with David congratulating him a few minutes ago and he mentioned he felt X was a direct piece of “mining” the massive research archive they set up in it to find the bits and pieces needed to tell the story.

He’s the Keynote speaker at the FCP X Creative Summit in Cupertino at the end of the month. So on the heels of this, I’m sure the nature of any link between the tool and the award will surely be discussed.

We’ll see. 😊

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 7, 2017 at 6:46:35 am

[Bill Davis] "he mentioned he felt X was a direct piece of “mining” the massive research archive they set up in it to find the bits and pieces needed to tell the story."

OK...searching the NLE for media that was researched, acquired and ingested into FCX. The thing that won the Emmy was the initial research...FINDING that footage. Not locating it in the NLE....that's completely different. That is not what the Emmy committee was referring to. Not arguing that searching for media is fast and amazing in FCX, I hear a lot about it. BUT, it is not what the Emmy was for. What the Emmy was for had NOTHING to do with FCX.

Shane
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andy patterson
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 7, 2017 at 2:42:48 am

[Shane Ross] "There was a big team on the research side of this, as they were looking for the very rare and "lost tapes" around the incident. The best finds were the NASA Rehearsal tapes shot on VHS that really were never seen outside NASA...and then behinds the scenes footage of CNN rushing about trying to figure out what was happening."

That is why I like having the Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle. It is hard for me to watch VHS tapes or even interlaced HDV tapes on a computer monitor. I would never want a client to have to view it like that either. I don't doubt there was very interesting content on the old VHS tapes even if the quality is not that great.

If I remember correct I think you stated the GUI of FCPX will not allow for video capture using 3rd party hardware. It would not be that bad using BMD Media Express but it would be nice to just stay in FCPX.



[Shane Ross] "I've worked with this company for just about 8 years now...and online all of their shows (using Resolve)...including that one. Along with this award they won a Peabody award for MLK: THE ASSASSINATION TAPES (also cut by David Tillman)"

Sounds like your company worked on some interesting projects.


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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 7, 2017 at 6:49:06 am

Andy, NASA had archived this footage as data files, so when we got the footage, it was already captured. But I know we had to capture other footage...for that I had a Beta deck and AJA hardware, upconverting and capturing in, of all things, FCP 7.

Shane
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Brian Seegmiller
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 7, 2017 at 7:43:56 am

I capture S/VHS tapes, digibeta, betacam, into FCP X using a Canopus 300.


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andy patterson
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 7, 2017 at 8:09:56 am

[Brian Seegmiller] "I capture S/VHS tapes, digibeta, betacam, into FCP X using a Canopus 300."

I think Shane had mentioned FCPX can work with DV and HDV devices. No drivers are needed for those devices. The Canopus ADVC 300 is like a DV device. I have the ADVC 110. I wanted to get the ADVC 300 but there were none left. I think I bought the last ADVC 110 from B and H Photo. The Canopus Products are less likely to need a TBC as opposed to the the BMD Intensity Shuttle but the Shuttle can do a lot more than the Canopus ADVC products. I think the ADVC 300 has a TBC built in. As far as I know they are no longer manufactured. I miss the IEEE Fire Wire converters.








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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 7, 2017 at 10:26:18 pm

[Brian Seegmiller] "I capture S/VHS tapes, digibeta, betacam, into FCP X using a Canopus 300."

Yes, and that is very doable. But it captures all those formats as DV, which is a decent format for SD, but really not the best format of SD.

The projects I work on, the one that we are talking about that just won the Emmy, are in HD, and now have a 4K deliverable as well. So I need the ability to capture SD tapes, BetaSP, Digibeta, VHS, S-VHS and upconvert them to HD. For that I need a Terranex and capture cards. Hardware upconverts via the likes of Terranex and some AJA hardware produces a superior image to capturing SD as SD and letting the software scale the image...capturing SD as DV and then scaling to HD, or 4K...you'll really notice the stair stepping of the DV resolution.

So when we onlined the Challenger film, if a tape was provided, I captured via the AJA KONA 3 into FCP 7, hardware upconverting the Image to Pillarboxed 1080 HD. If a digital file was given, I'd output from one machine to another and again hardware upconvert. I could have also captured with the AJA Media Center software.

Note, this is something FCX cannot do...capture and upconvert via hardware, even through a Terranex. It can be the player out, but it cannot be the capture. Avid, Adobe, Resolve, FCP 7...and software via the card makers allow this. FCX only does DV and HDV. So that right there is a limitation in FCX when it comes to cutting archival...again, you need to use third party options as solutions.

BUT, we did fine. David did the offline, using the amazing organizational and search tools within FCX to find footage and cut a VERY compelling story, and I used Resolve and other tools to make that footage pretty.

Shane
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Bill Davis
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 7, 2017 at 10:52:13 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Oct 7, 2017 at 10:55:11 pm

[Shane Ross] "Note, this is something FCX cannot do...capture and upconvert via hardware, even through a Terranex. "

Hey wait a second.

I thought that on the OJ Speaks project Patrick worked on for Chuck Braverman they tested the beejesus out of the Terrenex verses just doing direct digitizations into FCP X -letting it do the scaling internally - without any intervening transcode boxes AT ALL - and came to the conclusion that the results were indistinguishable.

Are you saying a Terrenex workflow is measurbly superior?

Can you check on that?

I’ll ping Chuck on Monday and ask him as well.

This stuff is worth knowing cuz eliminating a processing stage in any device chain is worth doing - if the results are functionally identical.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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andy patterson
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 7, 2017 at 11:20:12 pm

[Bill Davis] "I thought that on the OJ Speaks project Patrick worked on for Chuck Braverman they tested the beejesus out of the Terrenex verses just doing direct digitizations into FCP X -letting it do the scaling internally - without any intervening transcode boxes AT ALL - and came to the conclusion that the results were indistinguishable.

Are you saying a Terrenex workflow is measurbly superior?"


I thought it was just the opposite. I thought Shane said the Hardware (Terrenex) was better than using a generic IEEE Fire Wire convert for capturing.


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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 8, 2017 at 1:53:13 am

[Bill Davis] "they tested the beejesus out of the Terrenex verses just doing direct digitizations into FCP X"

The only formats you can capture into FCX are DV and HDV, correct? Or did that change with recent updates? If you capture DV into FCX, and then scale internally, vs capture via Terranex scaling...sorry, there is a BIG difference. Even if you compared DV and ProRes SD, you'd see a difference.

Where did they talk about these tests? Forum or in a presentation? I'd like do know how they captured directly into FCX.

[Bill Davis] " without any intervening transcode boxes AT ALL - and came to the conclusion that the results were indistinguishable. "

And who determined this? Engineers? On the last doc we did (Tom/David and I) we did Resolve scaling vs AJA vs Terranex vs Alchemist tests (we had a standards conversion to deal with) and the network engineers, and even myself, noticed a difference between software upconvert and hardware...and AJA/Terranex vs Alchemist. Alchemist did the frame rate conversion better.

[Bill Davis] "Are you saying a Terrenex workflow is measurbly superior?"

I myself have done tests of software in-app upconversions vs hardware and note a big difference. We did tests recently with FCX and Resolve vs Hardware when we did THE LOST TAPES: PEARL HARBOR, because we had to also see how things held up in 4K, which we could only do via software scaling. Hardware won out, so I had to do a lot of machine to machine Terranex conversions.

[Bill Davis] "Can you check on that?"

Sure...what would you like me to do? Take an SD clip (digital file already captured) and scale it in FCX, and then Resolve, and then AJA Kona 3, and then Terranex and provide all of you with a few seconds of each for you to see for yourselves? What about tape? I can capture tape as SD ProRes, and as HD ProRes too, and POSSIBLY as DV...but I don't have a Canopus box, I'd have to try to route it thru my DV deck...and use that to capture in FCX.

Shane
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Bill Davis
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 10, 2017 at 9:24:12 am

[Shane Ross] "Where did they talk about these tests? Forum or in a presentation? I'd like do know how they captured directly into FCX."

Patrick did this.

We had a LONG thread somewhere a year or two back when I was looking for info on digitizing some old VHS and Hi-8 content. Basically anything stored as 640x480 or even 720x480 non square into ANY digital medium.

We had people who pushed back, but IIRC, Chuck Braverman who produced the OJ Speaks project for A&E had them test various transcoding chains - and in the end - they rolled the SD stuff off DIRECTLY into FCP X via either S-Video or even Composite cables - or maybe what I use to do - directly into a basic DV deck like a DSR-20.

A straight dub rolloff always did fine for me, and the only issue was that you could'nt do timecode preroll control of the source deck directly into X. So you just hooked it up - put X in Record mode - rolled the tape - and you got a surprisingly good transfer.


When we were talking about it, I had a conversation with Adam Wilt about the engineering stuff behind the decision - and he said that when you start with that course a raster - there's simply not enough originating signal resolution to stress the encoding. So a Terranex wouldn't have enough pixels to mathematically improve to do much good. Basically, it's like taking a higher rez photo of a 65 line newspaper screen. You can interpolate to add lines, but the original course image stays course. Just a higher rez version of course.

Chuck is overseas right now teaching a class in producing somewhere. So I'll check and see if Patrick can help unravel what they discovered about SD transfers.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 10, 2017 at 9:45:32 am

[Bill Davis] "We had a LONG thread somewhere a year or two back when I was looking for info on digitizing some old VHS and Hi-8 content. Basically anything stored as 640x480 or even 720x480 non square into ANY digital medium."

Here it is:
https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/335/85274

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 10, 2017 at 1:48:05 pm

[Bill Davis] "and in the end - they rolled the SD stuff off DIRECTLY into FCP X via either S-Video or even Composite cables "

There is no way to do DIRECT into FCP X via either S-Video or even Composite cables. Connected to the computer how? You can't plug those directly into the computer Via a capture card? FCX doesn't work with capture cards for input....only output. The only way to capture directly into FCX would be to convert the signal to DV.

[Bill Davis] "or maybe what I use to do - directly into a basic DV deck like a DSR-20. "

Exactly. But VHS captured as DV vs VHS captured via a capture card as ProRes or other higher end SD format would look VERY different. DV has a stair step quality to it that, when you blow it up to HD size, would be very apparent.

[Bill Davis] "So a Terranex wouldn't have enough pixels to mathematically improve to do much good. "

Well, using that and capturing as a non-DV format would produce much better results than capturing as DV and blowing up. Again, it's the DV format that is in question here. Not SD blown up vs capturing as HD via Terranex. Although sorry, I disagree with Adam here. Using hardware scalers DOES do something to the image to make it better. I know that AJA's trick was to slightly soften the image to help mask the pixels as they got larger. A trick that the Terranex also does. Scaling directly in the apps doesn't do that, so the pixels just get bigger and are more pronounced.

I can tell you that I definitely see a difference if I scale in the app vs using a Terranex or AJA. This is something you might need to see for yourself, Bill, in order to believe it. It's not as Adam points out...just a scaling of a photo. Yes, if you did that it would look the same, but there is a plugin for Photoshop called GENUINE FRACTALS that also does some mojo to help mask the pixel scaling.

I'll read the thread to see what was done.

Shane
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Bill Davis
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 10, 2017 at 6:42:44 pm

[Shane Ross] "There is no way to do DIRECT into FCP X via either S-Video or even Composite cables. Connected to the computer how? You can't plug those directly into the computer Via a capture card? FCX doesn't work with capture cards for input....only output. The only way to capture directly into FCX would be to convert the signal to DV.
"


That's trivial Shane. I've done it VERY successfully with a $250 BlackMagic Video Recorder Dongle (my target was H-264 archiving and it had real-time encoding on-board - so it was just play and capture. BlackMagic and AJA have lots of inexpensive boxes that do Composite capture and transcode to USB etc.

As I understand it, the 3.5 Mbps DV stream is MORE than enough to totally capture every detail of an analog SD NTSC signal without breaking a sweat with complete fidelity. (at least the fidelity allowed by the reading unit - which is likely to be the limiting factor.) That was why I came to see the idea of hauling out a Terrenex as significant overkill for these transfers.

You put a garden hose stream into a bucket, the amount of water remains the same whether that bucket is emptying into a sink or a storm drain.

FWIW.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 10, 2017 at 6:47:07 pm

[Bill Davis] "As I understand it, the 3.5 Mbps DV stream is MORE than enough to totally capture every detail of an analog SD NTSC signal without breaking a sweat with complete fidelity"

Completely untrue.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 10, 2017 at 6:52:11 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Completely untrue."

Then enlighten me.

Is there a white paper or properly curated test somewhere you can reference where SD off tape captured on one of these systems is compared to SD captured through a Terenex or something similar and can be objectively demonstrated to be visually distinct at a level a viewer can see?

I'd be happy to change my opinion if that info is out there somewhere.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 10, 2017 at 7:11:11 pm

[Bill Davis] "Is there a white paper or properly curated test somewhere you can reference where SD off tape captured on one of these systems is compared to SD captured through a Terenex or something similar and can be objectively demonstrated to be visually distinct at a level a viewer can see?"

Again...the use of the Terranex isn't to simply capture SD as SD...it's to UPCONVERT it to HD. To capture SD as SD, the use of a capture card, any capture card...AJA, BMD, Matrox, etc...will do. They pass an uncompressed signal through to the computer, and the computer is what does the compression...to ProRes, or Uncompressed, or DV if you want. And ProRes and Uncompressed have higher data rates than DV, and preserve more of the image. DV compresses the image..converts it to the DV codec, which has a stairstep quality to it.

Would you trust me to provide examples? I can capture a tape via my AJA Kona 3...capture the same tape via BMD Ultrastudio 4K Extreme...and then routed thru my DV deck. And then also capture upconverted via the BMD, and AJA...and Terranex if you want (I can borrow one)...and then scale the image in FCX for comparison. Will you trust that?

Shane
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Oliver Peters
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 10, 2017 at 7:11:21 pm

[Bill Davis] "Then enlighten me."

1. DV is 480 high versus 486 in the SD stream.
2. Color space is 4:1:1 versus 4:2:2 or even 4:4:4 in some SD signals.
3. It is highly compressed versus potentially uncompressed.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 10, 2017 at 7:16:37 pm

Thanks Oliver, I did forget to include actual figures when I talked about the footage being compressed.

Shane
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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 10, 2017 at 6:52:57 pm

[Bill Davis] "I've done it VERY successfully with a $250 BlackMagic Video Recorder Dongle"

FCX captures from a capture card now? if so, this is new. i'm not trying to sound snippish at this, I'm truly curious. Because one of the BIG issues I had with FCX is the inability to capture from tape via a capture device...unless it was HDV or DV. So this isn't trivial, this is a major thing.

[Bill Davis] "(my target was H-264 archiving and it had real-time encoding on-board - so it was just play and capture. "

Did you capture, with FCX, from tape...via a BMD device? Or did you capture with the BMD capture software, and bring that into FCX? THIS is what I'm asking...and this is a major thing.

[Bill Davis] "As I understand it, the 3.5 Mbps DV stream is MORE than enough to totally capture every detail of an analog SD NTSC signal without breaking a sweat with complete fidelity."

But it converts it to a DV signal. In order to capture via firewire, which is the way that I understood FCX to only be able to do...to capture via Firewire, the signal it received had to be a DV signal, or HDV. And a DV signal isn't a full SD, uncompressed signal. It's compressed to DV. A DV signal and an SD uncompressed signal are very different. DV is compressed...yes it is. I guess I"m going to have to post a couple test images to explain this.

[Bill Davis] "That was why I came to see the idea of hauling out a Terrenex as significant overkill for these transfers. "

A Terranex is for UPCONVERTING that image to HD. Because it will convert the SD signal to an HD signal and produce better looking results than simply scaling the video in FCX. Again, if I need to test this for you to see, I will. But many broadcast engineers and online editors see the difference.

[Bill Davis] "You put a garden hose stream into a bucket, the amount of water remains the same whether that bucket is emptying into a sink or a storm drain. "

UH...not really. If you compress an SD signal to DV, that's throwing out some data. That's like using a soaker hose to transport water...some water is lost on the way. DV doesn't compress the signal and then UNCOMPRESS it on the other end. It's a DV signal...video is compressed to fit that stream.

Shane
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Bill Davis
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 10, 2017 at 7:21:18 pm

[Shane Ross] "FCX captures from a capture card now? if so, this is new. i'm not trying to sound snippish at this, I'm truly curious. Because one of the BIG issues I had with FCX is the inability to capture from tape via a capture device...unless it was HDV or DV. So this isn't trivial, this is a major thing."

Now I understand the problem. You're still thinking that "a capture card" in the old context of something that sits in a desktop computer.

THIS is also a capture card.



The PCB board is simply in the body of the unit. Like everything about computers, the functions have miniaturized and it's no longer REQUIRED that a card sit inside the computer.

Not for a long time now.

(I'd love to discuss this more, but I've got a boatload of deadline work heading my way this afternoon. I'll try to pop in as things ease up.)

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 10, 2017 at 7:36:53 pm

[Bill Davis] "Now I understand the problem. You're still thinking that "a capture card" in the old context of something that sits in a desktop computer. "

No...I'm not. I also said, in that above quote you pulled, "a capture device." I have the Ultrastudio Extreme 4K...external box that sits on my desk. Before that, AJA IoXT...external box that sits on my desk. These are capture devices, I simply say "capture card" out of habit. I know what I'm talking about.

[Bill Davis] "The PCB board is simply in the body of the unit. Like everything about computers, the functions have miniaturized and it's no longer REQUIRED that a card sit inside the computer.

Not for a long time now.

(I'd love to discuss this more, but I've got a boatload of deadline work heading my way this afternoon. I'll try to pop in as things ease up.)"


Yeah...go ahead and be snippish and jerkish towards me as if I don't know what I'm talking about. I know exactly what that is. And I know that the exact device you are using there was designed to capture and compress to H.264 any video signal fed to it. That's it's express purpose, capture and convert to H.264. So it doesn't bring in an uncompressed SD signal.

But you have yet to answer my question...how do you directly capture video into FCP-X? What capture DEVICE can you use, within the FCP-X interface, to capture video? Does that device you post do that? That is what I have been asking for 2-3 posts now. HOW was the video signal captured directly into FCX?

Shane
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andy patterson
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 10, 2017 at 8:57:18 pm

[Shane Ross] "These are capture devices, I simply say "capture card" out of habit. I know what I'm talking about."

It is OK to call them video capture cards even if they are external.


[Shane Ross] "Yeah...go ahead and be snippish and jerkish towards me as if I don't know what I'm talking about."

That is how I read it.



[Shane Ross] "But you have yet to answer my question...how do you directly capture video into FCP-X? What capture DEVICE can you use, within the FCP-X interface, to capture video? Does that device you post do that? That is what I have been asking for 2-3 posts now. HOW was the video signal captured directly into FCX?"


I agree. Simply having a capture device connected to a Mac does not guarantee it works with FCPX or Premiere Pro. You may have to use Media Express exclusively with that product.


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:04:14 am

[Shane Ross] "how do you directly capture video into FCP-X? What capture DEVICE can you use, within the FCP-X interface, to capture video?"

Per the FCPX help document:
"Final Cut Pro supports tape-based import of the DV (including DVCAM, DVCPRO, and DVCPRO50), DVCPRO HD, and HDV formats".

So the only "direct" capture is from DV based tape formats. If you have a new MacPro, you would need a DV to Thunderbolt cable to connect the tape deck. An older Mac Pro with a Firewire port would be able to connect directly.

(Of course DV is a compressed format and doesn't allow for the best upscaling of SD video. Obviously, DVDPRO50 and DVCPRO HD would be the least compressed, but still not uncompressed. And the reduced color sampling is always going to be an issue.)

Other "direct" capture is via Thunderbolt, Firewire or USB from modern file-based cameras

Isn't this a bit of a tempest in a teapot? FCPX wasn't really made with tape capture in mind. It's built for file based import and export. We all know that. So use the AJA capture utility or the Black Magic device of your choice and move on.

This is silly. I don't think anyone is trying to be insulting. I think it's more of a terminology misunderstanding. No need for yet another video "tutorial."

The Terranex vs. software upscaling discussion, on the other hand, is interesting. Terranex used to be the gold standard. I'm curious if the choices (softening vs sharpening, for instances) are different for stills vs. motion when upscaling. Does one method work better for interlaced vs. progressive, etc.


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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:12:48 am

Thank you Jeff, I figured the only tape capture options in FCX were DV and HDV (DV50...firewire based capture). Bill just mentioned that the producer and AE on this OJ doc tested direct capture into FCX and upscaling and compared that with a Terranex upconvert and found no noticeable difference. I wondered what was meant by "direct capture into FCX" of archival materials...tapes...entailed. Did they say what they used and how they did it?

I am fully willing to test capturing a tape as DV via routing through a deck, and then SD with a Capture DEVICE as ProRes 422 (even HQ if you want)...VHS as well as betaSP...and then upconvert via Terranex and AJA. And compare the scaling ability of FCX vs what AJA and Terranex can do. And even push it to 4K as that is part of the current deliverable for the LOST TAPES series. (there is only software scaling to 4K available, hardware upconvert to 4K doesn't exist yet).

Shane
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Bill Davis
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 11, 2017 at 4:47:36 pm

Checking back in the midst of work and took a moment to ping Patrick Southern in case he has time to weigh in with his experience. I’m still swamped. Sorry.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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J.Patrick Southern
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 11, 2017 at 6:01:36 pm

We didn't capture the footage directly into FCPX on OJ Speaks. We captured the tapes using Blackmagic's Media Express. The tape was captured at its original resolution and then upscaled in FCPX. The footage we received back from the post house looked worse than the footage we'd been cutting with in FCPX. They had used a Terenex for the conversion. In this case, they were converting digital files to digital files. Had they been converting tapes to digital, they may have had a better result. As it was, there were all sorts of frame blending artifacts, and the image was soft.

As Shane may have mentioned, we used an AJA Kona 3 on Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes and captured within FCP7. When working from tape, this seems the best solution. For upscaling footage downloaded from a resource like AP, Conus, Getty, or Critical Past, software solutions probably fare best.

FCPX has great software scaling. So does Resolve. I'd take Shane's advice on upscaling & conforming frame rates any day. He's been a delight to work with on all of the 1895 Films projects. In fact, we collaborated on the workflow we used on Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes. And despite the fact that he consistently drops the "P" from FCPX, he still does a great job with the online edit of some of the best documentaries cut in it.


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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 11, 2017 at 6:35:01 pm

[J.Patrick Southern] "For upscaling footage downloaded from a resource like AP, Conus, Getty, or Critical Past, software solutions probably fare best."

I have been finding that trying to convert file based interlaced sources to Progressive via Terranex was iffy. AJA was spotty as well. For those I do use software solutions like AE or just let Resolve do the scaling...which would come right from the FCP-X cut where the scaling was done before. Interlacing is a delicate beast to deal with, for sure.

Shane
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Oliver Peters
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 12, 2017 at 9:54:41 am
Last Edited By Oliver Peters on Oct 12, 2017 at 11:52:18 am

Apologies in advance for this longer and somewhat rambling post. First of all, for the sake of accuracy, it’s Teranex, one ”r”. They’re a hometown company and I’ve been involved on and off with them since their start. Conversion and scaling of any sort is complex and there’s no single “best” tool. It often gets back to the task you are doing. But I’m really surprised that Patrick indicated such poor results. It really smacks of operator error at the post facility, but that’s hard to say from a distance and probably a bit unfair on my part.

The modern Teranex units from Blackmagic are combo i/o and standalone converters. Hardware conversion is best when using the units in a standalone fashion. When you use them for i/o, the NLE software overrides the settings, so you can’t work in SD and use the hardware to create an HD output. But when you use one of these as a standalone converter, then you have full hardware control. These units were designed for tape-to-tape processing. If you are doing file-based conversions (as if tape were in between), then you really have to play out of one computer with its own i/o, run the signal as SDI through the Teranex unit, and then capture the conversion on a second computer - again with its own i/o.

A lot more detail here in my review last year:

https://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/blackmagic-design-teranex-pro...

Over the years I’ve done a lot of conversions and a lot of testing along the way. I created the HQV Benchmark Test DVD and Blu-ray for Silicon Optic when they were Teranex’s parent for a few years. SO made the chips and these were also going into consumer TVs and DVD players using Teranex algorithms. The point of the DVD was to create tests you could use to evaluate various processing functions. You can probably still buy these somewhere and the tests are still valid today.

https://www.qualcomm.com/documents/hqv-standard-definition-sd-benchmark-ver...

https://www.markertek.com/product/hqv-hddvd/silicon-optix-hqv-benchmark-hd-...

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/HQV-Benchmark-Blu-ray/16605/

In general what I’ve found is that Teranex hardware did the best upscaling. The thing to look for is texture in the face and hair and generally how “open” the image looks. The tricky part is interlacing and cadence removal. Teranex does a great job of deinterlacing and creating good progressive frames. If you have 24fps media that was cut to a 60i NTSC master, you have 3:2 pulldown to deal with. If this is a consistent cadence, as would be the case if you transferred a complete film print without any video edits afterwards, Teranex does a good job, because it can predict the cadence pattern. However, old masters are often film transfer sources, which were then edited electronically, meaning that every video edit changes the cadence pattern. In my experience, the best application to get back to a 24p progressive timeline is Avid Media Composer. That’s because you can “blade” all the cuts and then adjust the cadence pattern with each any every clip if needed. Time-consuming but viable.

When it comes to pure scaling from progressive to progressive, you’d think that would be pretty well equal, but it’s not. I just did a test today with some drone footage. UHD 29.97p down to 1080 29.97p. I tested Edit Ready, Compressor and Adobe Media Encoder. Of the 3, AME did the best job. ER had a lot of visible aliasing on fine detail, which is something I hadn’t expected at all. I had also expected Compressor to be better than AME, since AME was using OpenCL and not a software conversion. But, in fact, AME looked better.

Then in these conversions, you have other factors that are often something one can’t really predict. This ties us into the discussion of DV and FCPX capture. So, first the DV part. With FCP “legacy” and a Mac tower you could do a direct DV capture over Firewire. This was a data transfer and, therefore, shouldn’t have induced any extra loss. However, back in those days you had professional DV decks and the AJA Io. If you took a DV tape, played out through a pro deck’s component analog or SDI connections into the AJA Io, you got a better-looking image. This was not because of compression, but because the DV deck had extra electronics to actually process the output video and add error correction. A lot better image from a Sony pro DV/DVCAM deck versus tapping the DV output from a cheap deck or a camcorder. Typically this would clean up tape drop-outs and other tape artifacts, which were usually passed through on the DV stream.

Now as far as FCPX is concerned, it can capture these signals, but only as a live stream. Essentially the software is “mounting” the tape deck like a camera card, so you have no deck control or mark in/out of segments with batch capture. So yes, you can capture into X, but it’s a “dumb” process (not intellect, but interactiveness).

- Oliver

Oliver Peters | oliverpeters.com

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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andy patterson
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 12, 2017 at 11:59:29 am

[Oliver Peters] "When it comes to pure scaling from progressive to progressive, you’d think that would be pretty well equal, but it’s not. I just did a test today with some drone footage. UHD 29.97p down to 1080 29.97p. I tested Edit Ready, Compressor and Adobe Media Encoder. Of the 3, AME did the best job. ER had a lot of visible aliasing on fine detail, which is something I hadn’t expected at all. I had also expected Compressor to be better than AME, since AME was using OpenCL and not a software conversion. But, in fact, AME looked better."

That is good to know.



[Oliver Peters] "Then in these conversions, you have other factors that are often something one can’t really predict. This ties us into the discussion of DV and FCPX capture. So, first the DV part. With FCP “legacy” and a Mac tower you could do a direct DV capture over Firewire. This was a data transfer and, therefore, shouldn’t have induced any extra loss. However, back in those days you had professional DV decks and the AJA Io. If you took a DV tape, played out through a pro decks' component analog or SDI connections into the AJA Io, you got a better-looking image. This was not because of compression, but because the DV deck had extra electronics to actually process the output video. A lot better image from a Sony pro DV/DVCAM deck versus tapping the DV output from a cheap deck or a camcorder. Typically this would clean up tape drop-outs and other tape artifacts, which were usually passed through on the DV stream."

Interesting? I am not doubting you but I hope to a get a client with a DV deck (I doubt it will happen) so I can test it out for myself.



[Oliver Peters] "Now as far as FCPX is concerned, it can capture these signals, but only as a live stream. Essentially the software is “mounting” the tape deck like a camera card, so you have no deck control or mark in/out of segments with batch capture. So yes, you can capture into X, but it’s a “dumb” process (not intellect, but interactiveness)."

You are saying FCPX can capture using the BMD, AJA and Matrox products? Can it output back to a Sony HDCAM SR deck or just to a monitor? This thread may have went off course but it has been very interesting. It is good to hear about real world situations when using FCPX, Premiere Pro, AME, Compressor, AJA, BMD, Matrox etc.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 12, 2017 at 4:31:55 pm

[andy patterson] "You are saying FCPX can capture using the BMD, AJA and Matrox products?"

Nope. Didn't say that. FCPX wants to see something that looks like a connected camera. Therefore it has to be a DV/HDV stream over Firewire of something else via adapter. This eliminates all standard i/o products. From the FCPX manual:

Import from tape-based cameras

You can import media from a tape-based camcorder or device. To determine which clips you want to import (rather than importing all of them), you can view them using Final Cut Pro before you import them.

Final Cut Pro supports tape-based import of the DV (including DVCAM, DVCPRO, and DVCPRO50), DVCPRO HD, and HDV formats.

To check whether your camera is compatible with Final Cut Pro, see the Apple Support article Cameras supported by Final Cut Pro X.

1. Connect the camcorder to your Mac using the cable that came with the camcorder, and configure your device for remote control over FireWire, if necessary. 


If your computer does not have a FireWire port but does have a Thunderbolt port, you can connect the FireWire cable using an Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter or an Apple ThunderBolt Display (which also has a FireWire port).


Note: For best results when importing from a tape-based camcorder, it’s recommended that you import the video using the same camcorder that you used to record it.


It goes on from there.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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andy patterson
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 12, 2017 at 7:29:22 pm

[Oliver Peters] "[andy patterson] "You are saying FCPX can capture using the BMD, AJA and Matrox products?"

Nope. Didn't say that. FCPX wants to see something that looks like a connected camera. Therefore it has to be a DV/HDV stream over Firewire of something else via adapter. This eliminates all standard i/o products. From the FCPX manual:"


Thanks for clarifying. So as it stands FCPX will only work with cameras and devices that use the IEEE Fire Wire based protocol.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 12, 2017 at 11:50:10 pm

[andy patterson] "So as it stands FCPX will only work with cameras and devices that use the IEEE Fire Wire based protocol"

Correct. I would point out that there was an SD i/o product that converted to DV. That's the Canopus ADVC-110, which would take in and/or put out composite SD, s-video and DV. Great for capturing things like VHS. I haven't specifically tested this with X - at least recently - but I believe that type of i/o box would work, since it creates a DV signal stream and connects over FireWire.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 12, 2017 at 11:56:05 pm

[Oliver Peters] " I would point out that there was an SD i/o product that converted to DV. That's the Canopus ADVC-110, which would take in and/or put out composite SD, s-video and DV."

I believe this is something in which Andy is very aware of, as he has one and talks about it a lot...even has videos about it.

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


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andy patterson
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 13, 2017 at 12:34:14 am

[Shane Ross] "[Oliver Peters] " I would point out that there was an SD i/o product that converted to DV. That's the Canopus ADVC-110, which would take in and/or put out composite SD, s-video and DV."

I believe this is something in which Andy is very aware of, as he has one and talks about it a lot...even has videos about it."


You are correct. I like to post a quick video tutorial if I think it will help. I love the IEEE Fire Wire converters just because they are so easy to use (no drivers). Don't get me wrong the BMD Intensity Shuttle is awesome but the drivers can be buggy at times. Not sure about AJA drivers. Having said that it was interesting hearing about the SD to HD conversion process using 3rd party hardware. It sounds like a pain in the buttocks to me but it was a very interesting to read. You, Oliver and myself are into hardware. I know most people don't like discussing 3rd party hardware but for some people it is still needed. I will not look at VHS video or SD sequences/timelines on a computer monitor when Premiere works so good with 3rd party hardware. The IEEE Fire Wire converters work great for outputting to the old SD CRT monitors. To bad they are no longer made for the occasional SD project that sneaks up.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 13, 2017 at 2:08:34 pm

[andy patterson] "Interesting? I am not doubting you but I hope to a get a client with a DV deck (I doubt it will happen) so I can test it out for myself. "

If you want more info, here is a link to a pretty comprehensive look at it by Graeme Nattress, "
Chroma Sampling: An Investigation".

http://www.nattress.com/Chroma_Investigation/chromasampling.htm


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andy patterson
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 13, 2017 at 8:56:54 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "[andy patterson] "Interesting? I am not doubting you but I hope to a get a client with a DV deck (I doubt it will happen) so I can test it out for myself. "

If you want more info, here is a link to a pretty comprehensive look at it by Graeme Nattress, "
Chroma Sampling: An Investigation".

http://www.nattress.com/Chroma_Investigation/chromasampling.htm"


Interesting. They did mention the Apple DV codec. I wonder if the Canopus DV codecs would yield a different result. I know Canopus made DV converters form $50.00 all the way up to $3,000.00 ( 3000) with SDI, component etc. They even had a Fire Wire converter that would convert to HDV. I think it was the HD 50. Not sure if the Canopus ADVC 700 would yield a different result but I think it looks cool.

http://www.vtservice.kiev.ua/images/mod_catalog_prod/18/13001859980.JPG


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Steve Connor
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 12, 2017 at 1:34:01 pm

[Oliver Peters] "However, back in those days you had professional DV decks and the AJA Io. If you took a DV tape, played out through a pro deck’s component analog or SDI connections into the AJA Io, you got a better-looking image."

I agree, we used to do this all the time when I was an online Editor and there was a visible difference


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Walter Soyka
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 12, 2017 at 2:27:54 pm

[Oliver Peters] "If you took a DV tape, played out through a pro deck’s component analog or SDI connections into the AJA Io, you got a better-looking image. This was not because of compression, but because the DV deck had extra electronics to actually process the output video and add error correction. A lot better image from a Sony pro DV/DVCAM deck versus tapping the DV output from a cheap deck or a camcorder. Typically this would clean up tape drop-outs and other tape artifacts, which were usually passed through on the DV stream."

I would just add that different implementations of the DV codec (or any codec, really) can yield different results, and this is true in both hardware and software implementations.

The standards define how the data is stored, but different developers will interpret the standard differently, use different math to compress or decompress the data, and give different results. The same exact bitstream may be visualized differently by the Apple DV codec, Avid DV codec, Canon DV codec, Canopus DV codec, Microsoft DV codec, Panasonic DV codec, Sony DV codec, etc.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 12, 2017 at 8:03:12 pm

Oliver-

Sorry about the misspelling. Haven't used a Teranex in years (last used one to convert SD PAL to SD NTSC).

Do you know if Teranex's basic technology has changed since Black Magic bought the company? Any change to their "secret sauce" algorithms?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 12, 2017 at 11:45:50 pm

[Jeff Markgraf] "Sorry about the misspelling."

I wasn't pointing any fingers ☺ Quite a few different posts had various wrong spellings. No big deal.

[Jeff Markgraf] "Do you know if Teranex's basic technology has changed since Black Magic bought the company?"

It's my understanding that the full-sized units have the same Teranex processing. I don't know if they still have every feature, though, since I've never done a side-by-side feature comparison between BMD versions and pre-BMD versions. Naturally the older units were a lot more expensive. However, I believe the small Mini units are Teranex in name only.

There are other image restoration products that used to be in the Teranex line-up that I don't think BMD has brought back to market. Those did excellent processing for things like scratch and dirt removal/repair.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 11, 2017 at 5:43:32 pm

[Jeff Markgraf] "The very small percentage of users who need tape capture or output will use one of the several third party capture utilities available. The vast majority of users will wonder what the controversy is all about -- in the unlikely event they think about at all."

I agree...this feature really isn't needed in FCX as easily 99% of the users won't need tape capture. I only brought this up as it was mentioned that on an archival doc, tests were done comparing directly capturing archival footage into FCX and upscaling vs using a Terranex. And I simply asked if there was a recent update that allowed direct capture of non-DV/HDV footage into FCX. If there was, I was surprised, as it would be a very un-Apple thing to do. It was just a curious question, but one that got blown out of proportion.

Although it did bring up the debate about what is best, software or hardware scaling...and many do have curiosity about that, so I'll have to do some tests, and provide video files to people of the results.

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


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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 10, 2017 at 7:40:12 pm

That device:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/558914-REG/Blackmagic_Design_VIDREC_...

"The Video Recorder USB Capture Device (Mac OS-X only) from Blackmagic Design is a compact video capture device that is designed with ease of use in mind. The device features RCA connectors for component, composite, and S-Video video input, which it uses to capture video directly to the commonly-used H.264 format. "

So that device captures and compresses to H.264. Something like the BMD Ultrastudio or AJA Io devices don't...they bring in an uncompressed signal, and then the computer compresses it. To ProRes 422, or HQ...or Uncompressed. For a superior image than that device can provide.

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


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 12, 2017 at 7:58:36 pm

Andy -

You stepped into a thread about research and winning an Emmy, and what role FCPX may or may not have played, with this nonsense:

"And everyone says FCPX allows you to edit in ways not possible in any other NLE : )"

As the thread became more about hardware vs. software methods to upscale SD to 4k, and threatened to derail over confused terminology, you added nothing to the discussion except to call out FCPX for its inability to do things it wasn't designed to do.

You presented no new information, solved no problem, provided no insights, cleared up no confusion, saved no new or potential users from hours of confusion or frustration.

Your incessant trolling is tiresome. Please stop. Please contribute meaningfully to the conversation and the community.


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andy patterson
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 10, 2017 at 9:14:09 pm

[Bill Davis] "Now I understand the problem. You're still thinking that "a capture card" in the old context of something that sits in a desktop computer."

[Bill Davis] "The PCB board is simply in the body of the unit. Like everything about computers, the functions have miniaturized and it's no longer REQUIRED that a card sit inside the computer.

Not for a long time now."



I have to say this a tad bit offensive. You really don't think Shane is aware of the DV converters and external Thunderbolt A/V capture cards? Not only does Shane know about them he has them. I would also like to add even though the device you posted is external it can still be classified as a video capture card.



[Bill Davis] "(I'd love to discuss this more, but I've got a boatload of deadline work heading my way this afternoon. I'll try to pop in as things ease up.)"


Just because the video capture card works on a Mac does not mean it works with FCPX. It depends if FCPX has driver support for capturing with the device or not. In the video below I show how to capture video using Premiere Pro and Media Express. It would work with Premiere Pro on a Mac or PC but it may not work for capturing using FCPX. Does it kind of make sense?







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Brian Seegmiller
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 7, 2017 at 10:56:21 pm

Thanks for sharing.


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greg janza
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 8, 2017 at 4:25:41 pm
Last Edited By greg janza on Oct 8, 2017 at 4:36:08 pm

This is an excellent thread due to the fact that real world usage is being compared instead of opinions. thanks for sharing the info.

I Hate Television. I Hate It As Much As Peanuts. But I Can’t Stop Eating Peanuts.
- Orson Welles


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Oliver Peters
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 8, 2017 at 10:59:20 pm

I'm currently working on a doc that's passed through a number of editors and unfortunately most of the recorded interviews were done on DV. I did a conversion through Teranex and compared that with software conversion and there was a noticeable difference. As far as software up-conversions, Resolve will give you the best results of the various software options. You get best results if the material is progressive or film. Worst results with interlaced material, which Teranex handles quite well.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Michael Hancock
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 9, 2017 at 12:59:16 am

[Oliver Peters] "As far as software up-conversions, Resolve will give you the best results of the various software options."

Better than After Effects? That would be great news because Resolve is lightning fast compared to AE.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Shane Ross
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 9, 2017 at 3:49:04 am

I might have to compare this to AE. Because I still think AE is the best software conversion, but it doesn't retain the source TC, so I only use that when pressed. Resolve would retain the TC. I know I use Resolve to bump 1080p to 4K...and that looks pretty good.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 9, 2017 at 12:14:59 pm

[Michael Hancock] "Better than After Effects? "

I think yes, but it’s highly subjective. In Resolve, you can choose from smoother to sharper, which will vary depending on the nature of the video. Even multiples also help. For example, 1080p to 2160p (UHD). So on some shots AE may be better and in others, Resolve.

Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Yesterday’s Emmys & FCP X.
on Oct 9, 2017 at 7:41:38 pm

[Michael Hancock] "Better than After Effects? That would be great news because Resolve is lightning fast compared to AE."

I'm surprised at the love Ae gets for scaling; it used a naive scaling algorithm (bilinear scaling) until relatively recently. But now Ae has three high-quality scaling options:

1) Normal bilinear layer scaling
2) Bicubic layer scaling (new in After Effects CC v12.0)
3) The Detail-Preserving Upscale effect (new in After Effects CC v12.1)

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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