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AVIDvsFCP Online workflow

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Ian Lamb
AVIDvsFCP Online workflow
on May 8, 2008 at 10:02:40 am

I'm trying to get a workflow going at a post house that just bought a FCS2 system.

For years I've been cutting on final cut pro and working a second job as a digitizer (cheaper version of online assist...) on Avid DS and symphony nitris systems.

We have a solid workflow for online digitizing for Avid, but I've been tasked with figuring out how to do the same thing on FCP and I'm running into some walls...

I'm given a project with only a sequence file in it, which I need to recapture at 1080p 422 uncompressed. How do I "decompose" this sequence to create new offline media clips with only the media required for the sequence plus 12 frame handles? I tried the media manager, but it seems to be creating way too many clips (needs 35 minutes of capture material for a 12 minute sequence?!? Even with handles this seems a little too much).

Also, is there a way to tell FCP to rewind the tape after each reel, eject the tape, and start the next reel as soon as another tape is inserted? This is required for all our digitizing since our decks are on one floor and the edit bays are on another. I can select all my master clips in AVID, batch capture, go downstairs and as long as my tapes are in order, and there aren't any timecode problems I can run through the entire session without going back in the bay.

any help would be great, thanks in advance!

-Ian



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Dylan Reeve
Re: AVIDvsFCP Online workflow
on May 8, 2008 at 10:48:07 am

I've been an Avid online editor for the last five years or so, and have just started to do online in FCP.

It's my impression that FCP really isn't well-featured for the basic ingest and management aspects of this particular task. It's certainly possible, but not anywhere near as efficient (it took nearly twice as long to digitise a sequence in FCP, vs Avid in a test I did).

The closest thing I've found to a decompose in FCP is to use the Media Manager, I can't remember the options, but there's something in there that's supposed copy the sequence and make retain only the clip segments required to make it. Although in my experience it's a bit flaky (others know more about what to watch out for).

In our case, with an Avid-edited project, we're decomposing the sequence in Avid before exporting it to FCP. It's a whole lot more reliable.

I haven't found any rewind and eject options - FCP requires very direct user intervention to make batch capture work. Also, in my experience so far, there have been a few situations where's it's been necessary to exit the capture process and start it again after certain errors (losing remote to the deck is one, it doesn't pick it up again properly until you start the batch again).

I also find the lack of feedback on what clip is being captured at any given time to be hugely frustrating (in Avid I can tell really quickly if it's looking for the wrong timecode or something).



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Kris Anderson
Re: AVIDvsFCP Online workflow
on May 8, 2008 at 12:07:23 pm

Agree. I love how Avid handles decomposing/batching. FCB has the batch export thing down (wish avid would do that) but as for re-digitising a sequence.... avid wins hands down.

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walter biscardi
Re: AVIDvsFCP Online workflow
on May 8, 2008 at 12:13:48 pm

[Kris Anderson] "but as for re-digitising a sequence.... avid wins hands down."

And Media 100. It can also simply recapture just the media in the sequence.

With FCP, Media Manager is your best best, unfortunately. Apple really doesn't seem to understand the Offline / Online workflow at all and insists that you capture all the media from a said clip instead of just the In / Out point in the timeline.

Media Management is the one hugely glaring weakness in FCP. That and how it handles speed changes in the timeline.

Hey, but we have RED support, Smoothcam, Multiple codecs in one timeline and a lot of other really neat features! Doesn't that make up for some silly basic workflow things that don't work correctly? :-)

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

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Kris Anderson
Re: AVIDvsFCP Online workflow
on May 8, 2008 at 12:15:15 pm

True! And with a Kona 3, RED absolutely rocks.


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Dylan Reeve
Re: AVIDvsFCP Online workflow
on May 8, 2008 at 8:29:11 pm

[walter biscardi] "With FCP, Media Manager is your best best, unfortunately. Apple really doesn't seem to understand the Offline / Online workflow at all and insists that you capture all the media from a said clip instead of just the In / Out point in the timeline.

Media Management is the one hugely glaring weakness in FCP. That and how it handles speed changes in the timeline."


Does Apple know this and just not care, or are they genuinely oblivious to the offline/online paradigm that's still widely used by many in longer form production?

[walter biscardi] "Hey, but we have RED support, Smoothcam, Multiple codecs in one timeline and a lot of other really neat features! Doesn't that make up for some silly basic workflow things that don't work correctly? :-)"

Absolutely! Although we've edited three RED music videos on Avid. I can mix any Avid format in any timeline, and I think there's something like Smoothcam in Media Composer. Of course, right now we can't get HD-SDI into Avid for a reasonable price (although Mojo DX makes an impact on that)



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Peter McAuley
Re: AVIDvsFCP Online workflow
on May 8, 2008 at 12:57:10 pm

I just onlined a 90 minute show and it went very quickly. Take your sequence and export edls. then import your edls and select recapture, add handles if you wish. FCP creates a new sequence and puts al the individual clips in a nice little bin. Sort the bin by reel numbers. Select all the clips from a given reel and hit batch capture. When that reel is done save your project and move on to the next one. There was over 800 edits from over 35 reels and the whole thing took just over five hours. Alittle convoluted I know. But saving after each reel prevented me from loosing anything in the event of a crash (didn't have any) or other trouble.

Peter McAuley
Axyz
Toronto

Peter McAuley
Axyz Edit
Toronto
G5 dual 2.0
4 gigs ram
10.4.3
FCP 5.04
QT 7.03
Kona 2 v1.1.4 with K Box
4 X 250 gig external F800 Lacie firewire drive
2 X 23" Apple cinema display


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Tom Matthies
Re: AVIDvsFCP Online workflow
on May 8, 2008 at 1:42:02 pm

I have been using basically the same work flow. I export EDL's from the Avid along with an Avid ALE. I take the ALE and run it through Sebsky Tools to produce an FCP batch list that I use for recapturing along with handles. Bring in the EDL's to produce the sequence and you're good to go. Actually pretty painless on a show that's not heavy on effects or filters. If it a very complex show, it's not going to work as well. I've used it to transfer simple projects offlined on Avid to FCP for finishing. We've been offlining SD on the Symphonys and onlining HD on Final Cut. How the times have changed, eh?
Tom



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Ian Lamb
Re: AVIDvsFCP Online workflow
on May 9, 2008 at 3:43:35 am

Thanks for all the input, I'm glad everyone else has the same difficulties I'm having and I'm not missing anything. EDL's are cake to import and digitize, but the majority of our shows are effects heavy so the project needs to come across.

I think I figured out why media manager made so many clips... The offline editor used multiclip angles on almost everything and I didn't turn them off when creating the new clips.

Would there be a way to write an automator script to help with the digitizing? I've never messed around with it before but I think I might give it a try.

As is, my sessions are running faster due to the simple ability to use a supplied quicktime offline for our reference split instead of upconverting a chase cassette then digitizing the whole thing in, so I'm not too frustrated.

thanks again,

-Ian





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