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High Definition Video for Independent Filmmakers
A How To Guide for Digital Filmmakers
Welcome all! This is my blog to share my latest research,
thoughts, etc. on utilizing HD for independent filmmaking.
YES, I am available for consulting
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
All content copyright 2004-2007 Mike Curtis.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
New Final Cut Studio is here - check out my reviews of the new versions of Final Cut Pro 7, Compressor 3.5, Sountrack Pro 3, Color 1.5, and Motion 4 over on MacWorld - yep, I've already been hands on.
I'll have lots more to say about them starting tomorrow over on ProVideoCoalition.com
Final Cut Pro 7 Review | Video | Macworld
Compressor 3.5 Review | Video | Macworld
Soundtrack Pro 3 Review | Music and Audio | Macworld
Color 1.5 Review | Graphics and 3-D | Macworld
Motion 4 Review | Graphics and 3-D | Macworld
Labels: Final Cut
Thursday, November 15, 2007
So, YES, you MUST have 10.4.11 to update to 6.0.2. The MANY benefits of that are outlined in the article above.
Apple - Support - Downloads - DVD Studio Pro 4.2.1
-Compatible with 10.4.11 and 10.5
-Still images added to DVD Studio Pro project now encode correctly
-Now correctly supports following HDV formats for native use in NTSC HD projects:
DVD Studio Pro now correctly supports the following HDV formats for native use in PAL HD projects:
-Now correctly supports following H.264 formats for native use in NTSC HD projects:
Apple - Support - Downloads - Color 1.0.2
LOTS of meaningful changes in here, thanks to intern Gideon for summarizing and quoting below:
-Compatible with 10.4.11 and 10.5 (what about 10.5.1? Anybody try it yet? Let me know in the Comments, please!)
-AVCHD and AVC-Intra formats are transcoded by FCP on import as either ProRes 422, ProRes 422 (HQ), or Apple Intermediate QT files.
-XDCAM EX media is imported by Final Cut as XDCAM HD, which is supported by Color for import, but not as Original format or as an Export Codec.
-Improved Round Trip Support for Upconverted Media Rendered by Color.1.0.2
Improved Handling of Aspect Ratio and Field Dominance
The following issues with Aspect Ratio and Field Dominance handling have been fixed:
After a Final Cut Pro to Color round trip of a sequence combining standard definition and high definition HDV clips, the aspect ratio of each clip rendered by Color now matches that of the original media.
Instances where interlaced sequences sent to Color and then back to Final Cut Pro would have their interlacing set to None have been fixed.
Instances where sequences with non-square pixels sent to Color and then back to Final Cut Pro would have their pixel aspect ratio set to Square have been fixed.
Improved Image Processing
The following improvements have been made to image processing:
Improvements have been made to address color and luma shifts appearing in some formats.
Visible noise introduced by adjusting the Luma curve has been reduced.
Instances of artifacts in mattes created by the HSL qualifiers have been eliminated.
Improved Project Reconforming
Color’s Reconform command has been improved:
Instances where the Color Timeline did not match an updated Final Cut Pro sequence after a reconform operation have been fixed.
Instances where Color would send a version of the project that existed prior to a reconform operation back to Final Cut Pro have been fixed.
Color now properly reconforms altered Motion parameters from Final Cut Pro sequences.
Improved Rendering of Clips with Speed Effects
The following improvements have been made to the handling of clips using speed effects from Final Cut Pro:
Keyframed secondary vignettes now work properly with clips using speed effects.
Clips using the reverse speed effect now render with the proper frame range in Color and are sent back to Final Cut Pro with correct In and Out points.
Any Volume Can Be Used to Save Color Projects
Color will now function properly on systems with home directories saved on any volume or partition, and the Default Project Directory can be set to any volume or partition you choose.
Improved Media Handling During Final Cut Pro to Color Round Trips
The following improvements have been made to media handling during Final Cut Pro to Color round trips:
Clips that start with 00:00:00:00 timecode are now sent back to Final Cut Pro with the correct timecode.
Final Cut Pro programs containing nested sequences with cross dissolves on the first clip no longer cause problems in Color. This corrects the issue covered in the Color 1.0.1 Release Notes.
Improved Handling of Motion and LiveType Clips, and Offline Media
The following improvements have been made to the handling of Motion and LiveType clips:
Motion templates, Motion projects, and LiveType projects all appear as offline shots in the Color timeline, instead of as gaps as in previous versions of Color. These media types, although unsupported in Color, reappear when your sequence is sent back to Final Cut Pro.
Offline shots in the Color timeline no longer obscure shots in video tracks underneath them.
Fixes to Undo
The Undo command has been fixed in the following instances:
You can now undo operations in the Render Queue.
The Reset Secondary and Reset All Secondaries buttons can now be undone.
In the Primary Out room, using the Undo command after clicking the Reset Primary Out button now properly restores the Ceiling Red, Ceiling Green, and Ceiling Blue parameters to their former state.
Attaching and Detaching shapes can now be undone.
You can undo the application of a saved effect in the Color FX room.
Operations in the Shot List can now be undone.
Creation and removal of shapes in the Geometry room can be undone.
Many of these fixes correct issues covered in the Color 1.0 Release Notes.
-Superimposed text tracks no longer affect playback
-copied and pasted grades are now autosaved properly
-Improved text fields
Click once within any field to place the text cursor at the position you clicked.
Double-click within any field to select the word at the position of the pointer.
Triple-click within any field to select the entire contents of that field.
-Adjustments and corrections made in the Secondaries room now appear correctly in the Color application's video scopes
-Keyboard Shortcuts fixed and updated
The keyboard shortcuts for Copy Grade > Mem Bank 1-5 (Control-Option-Shift-1 through 5) have been fixed.
The keyboard shortcut for Set Beauty Grade has been changed to Control-Shift-B.
The Rooms > Shot List command (Command-9) has been fixed.
The Rooms > Project Setup command (Command-0) has been fixed.
-Hiding Color no longer causes rendering to pause
-Modifications to supported keys for the CP100 control surface include:
F4: Alternate panel encoders
F5: Set scope resolution to 100%
F6: Set Scope Resolution 25%
F7: Parade Waveform
F8: Histogram Waveform
In the Secondaries room:
F4: Alternate Panel Encoders
F5: Toggle Secondary
F6: Toggle Secondary In/Out Control
F7: Toggle Vignette
F8: Previous Secondary
F9: Next Secondary
Apple - Support - Downloads - Compressor 3.0.2
-Compatible with 10.4.11 and 10.5
-Compressor and Apple Qmaster updates may disable any existing clusters you have configured, so set'em up again
-To use Compressor distributed processing feature with 10.5, you must manually enable NFS
-filter pane of Inspector now includes Color tab for adjusting color space settings. Only available for H.264, Apple ProRes 422, Apple Intermediate Codec, and JPEG output formats. HOPEFULLY THIS FIXES THE GAMMA ISSUES!
-Square Pixels Pop-Up Menu is now called Correct for Pixel Aspect Ratio
Apple - Support - Downloads - CinemaTools 4.0.1
-Compatible with 10.4.11 and 10.5
-Pull lists show the correct value in Footage length, Time length, and Count length for speed changes
-Exported film lists includes information and warnings about issues occurring during export process
-Change lists exported from FCP and Cinema Tools now support same PDF formatting as other lists that you are able to export
-When importing an ALE file, the frame rate for the sound timecode now matches the Sound TC rate of the database you are importing
Apple - Support - Downloads - Motion 3.0.2
-3.0.2 compatible with 10.4.11 and 10.5
-60fps Drop Frame Timecode Support
-Master templates playback performance enhanced
-Master templates can be moved and scaled without render problems
-Master templates used in FCP sequences with mixed frame rates or rates that don't match master template are no longer improperly scaled.
-Field dominance settings are correctly reported in PAL FCP sequences containing master templates
-Printing to video renders properly in FCP sequences containing master templates with drop zones
-In FCP, opening a master template containing drop zones that have been cut and pasted no longer causes FCP to stop responding
Apple - Support - Downloads - Soundtrack Pro 2.0.2 - I'm not enough of an audio guy to detail the changes, but go knock yourself out....
Also see Red public software updates here
The Editblog � FCP updated. Now more Avid-like
Nice breakdown of the new features in Final Cut Pro 6.0.2.
Oddly, it isn't showing up in my Software Updates (probably because I need to update to 10.4.11 first, also new UPDATE YES THAT'S WHY), I had to go dig it out after hearing about it elsewhere. So here's one place to get it:
Apple - Support - Downloads - Final Cut Pro 6.0.2
NOTABLE IMPROVEMENTS (found here: Final Cut Pro 6 Release Notes)
-6.0.2 compatible with 10.4.11 and 10.5, ONLY
-Sony XDCAM EX support, but requires the Sony XDCAM extra here
-supported formats under XDCAM EX:
-1080p24/25/30 VBR, 1080i50/60 VBR, 720p24/25/30/50/60 VBR
-can either connect camera directly, or put the SxS card in a MacBook Pro's ExpressCard/34 slot
-the format suports 25mbit CBR (constant bitrate) or 35mbit VBR (variable bitrate)
-when capturing from the HVR-V1, can capture to native codec, or Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC), or ProRes422
-has some nice notes about optimal workflows for working with 24p on 60i and 3:2 pulldown removal, etc.Hell, I'll just quote it:
24p/60i on tape: Capture to the 24p Apple Intermediate Codec or Apple ProRes 422 codec, then output to the HVR-V1 camcorder in 24p/60i mode.
25p/50i on tape: Capture to the 25p Apple Intermediate Codec or Apple ProRes 422 codec, then output to the HVR-V1 camcorder in 25p/50i mode.
30p/60i on tape: Capture to the 30p Apple Intermediate Codec or Apple ProRes 422 codec, then output to the HVR-V1 camcorder in 30p/60i mode.
-support for had drive based HDV cameras via Log & Transfer, such as Sony HVR-DR60
-AVCHD o Intel Macs (1920x1080 interlaced) such as Panasonic HDC-SD3 and HDC-SD5, spanned clips NOW recognized since 6.0.1 didn't properly recognize them
-AVC-Intra support - Log and Transfer window, BUT: must transcode to ProRes, Intel Mac only, no audio playback when limited playback capability (due to too slow of a Mac???), full video preview requires Mac Pro, Panasonic's AVC Intra codec must be installed. So - LOTTA caveats there
-720p50 DVCPRO HD native support now works right
-Canon HDV 1080F24/25/30 setups!
-more setups, such as HDV-Apple ProRes 1080p24 ProRes 422 for Sony HVR-V1, and HDV-Apple ProRes422 and the same with ProRes HQ - EXCELLENT
-60fps Drop Frame Timecode support
-50 fps timecode in ALL timecode fields and project properties, including 50@25 timecode format for decks and EDL compatibility
-720p50/60 support for JVC's GY-HD200 and GY-HD250 cameras
-improved BWF (Broadcast Wave Format) support concerning iXML support
-Skipping Directories in the Reconnect Files Dialog - I'll use this a LOT, as I'm constantly relinking files
-Hiding Clip Names in the Timeline
-New Playhead-Centered Zooming Commands in the Timeline:
Zoom In on Playhead in Timeline: Keeps the Timeline playhead centered while zooming in (regardless of the selection in the Timeline).
Zoom Out on Playhead in Timeline: Keeps the Timeline playhead centered while zooming out (regardless of the selection in the Timeline).
Scroll to Playhead: Horizontally scrolls the Timeline so that the playhead is centered in the window.
-Opening a Nested Sequence Displays the Playhead in the Expected Position
-Holding Down the Shift Key Forces Final Cut Pro to Open with an Empty Project
-Gamma Import Option Has Been Renamed
-“Show as Sq. Pixels” Option is Now Called “Correct for Aspect Ratio”
-Log and Transfer Window Improvements
-FxPlug Plug-in Improvements
In Final Cut Pro 6.0.2, FxPlug plug-ins display collapsible parameter groups in the Filters tab of the Viewer.
New Apple Events Support
Final Cut Pro 6.0.2 responds to three new Apple Events that allow you to:
Query which effects are currently installed
Query which projects are currently open
Select specific clips based on UUIDs.
For details, go to http://developer.apple.com/appleapplications.
-Lost Render Files for Duplicated Sequences Issue Resolved
-Final Cut Pro 6.0.2 projects are not backward compatible with Final Cut Pro 6.0.1. - SO UPDATE ALL AT ONCE!
-for latest 3rd party stuff:
For P2 driver software from Panasonic: Go to https://eww.pavc.panasonic.co.jp/pro-av/support/desk/e/download.htm.
For Sony XDCAM Transfer software and XDCAM EX plug-in: Go to http://www.sony.com/xdcam.
WHEW! Lots of good stuff and new goodies.
I wonder if retimed (especially ramped retimed) shots work after being Media Managed? One of my biggest online editor gripes.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
- The AJA IO HD is NOT an accelerator of any kind nor will they ever claim to be (cough cough Avid)
- Can be used as a converter as long as it is hooked up to a computer (a future version will allow it to be flashed into a setting, and then disconnected, keeping the setting intact)
- You cannot (as it stands now) have both a AJA IO HD and a kona card running simultaneously on the same system. They suggest doing a dual boot partition (Leopard may change this)
- If you add Virtual VTR to the mix you "probably" could use your system as a slave (they haven't tested it)
- It is designed for pro res PERIOD.
- If your machine is fast enough however it will support play out of anything from dvcpro hd to uncompressed
- There is a solid one frame video delay for digitizing (not surprising)
- Just like the adrenaline the IO HD dominates the firewire box, you MUST install a pci-e or pci-x firewire card for other devices.
- AC Power supply (this is nice, in case you lose the supply)
- Supports video output in the usual applications, however in color, it CURRENTLY only supports SD...for now.
- No Look up table support. Kona 3 will remain the "film" card
- Purely designed for broadcast television
- Has same chip set for the FS-1 as far as up-conversions and cross conversions which look really great.
- Does NOT convert frame rates, it works in hertz so that will be very tricky for 720p 60 (wasn't clear about this part) Seems like it may have the same problems with 59.94 and 60p shows that the adrenaline has
- Will not overheat, they've done all the testing, the thing is gold
- Does have LTC input but some changes will have to be made in quicktime to accommodate
- Ready to ship, just waiting for green light from apple
- 1/2 Rack size, same size as HVR-1500. They WILL sell a rack for it later, other wise the sony rack for half rack decks "should" work
- Any speculation with redcode compatibility is currently only speculation
So I pretty much think that this one is almost completely on par with the adrenaline (only missing a 35mbit pro res) and it's about 1/6.5 the price. Pretty much a no brainer for any small shop or film.
Mike's Comments: For field usage and broadcast work, this is a very useful and capable box, FOR CERTAIN APPLICATIONS. For those looking to have a portable converter, a field capture device, a field ingest device to work with a laptop, etc, this thing is GOLDEN.
For those looking to work with Color as well as possible, or get maximum performance, or do LUTs, or 4:4:4 work, or uncompressed HD, this is not the ideal tool.
But it is a GREAT tool to have in the arsenal from what I've heard so far.
As Robert alluded, Apple (with the ProRes codec) and AJA (with the IO HD) have taken solid aim at Avid's DNxHD codec and Adrenaline hardware - and come up with a winner in terms of bang for the buck.
Avid still has some well liked options in terms of software features, but in terms of high quality ingest and export and realtime mixing of formats and codecs, the price performance winner is looking strongly like Apple on this one.
Further emails - Rob suggested that Apple needs an equivalent to DNxHD 36 - a low bandwidth, full raster codec for offline HD editing. I agree! But that's a relatively easy addition that can be done at pretty much anytime they want. They COULD include it in a .0x update, or wait for marketing reasons to roll it into next NAB's version, whatever that may be.
On my wishlist: GPU acceleration for format mixing, better frame rate conversion done in GPU (3:2 pulldown not repeating 4th frame please!), cleaner Compressor functionality, bug fixes, better EDL/XML interaction & integration with Color, DVD SP Blu-ray support (and the drives to go with it!), etc. Personally, I don't care as much whether they support HD DVD or Blu-ray or both, as long as it is soon. Well yeah, I do care - Blu-ray seems to be taking the lead, although slowed by the recent Paramount buy-out/buy-off. Hate to see Apple back the wrong horse exclusively. Although they seem well set to handle both. The hat trick would be to offer a combo burner - burns CD/DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray. Pricey, but would RAWK.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
They were having trouble with their P2 import from their HVX200 - they could play back their clips on camera (verifying the clips were good, thank goodness), but when they tried to import, they got white frames and no audio. As I started through my litany of questions to verify the back story on what they had (they said they were running Final Cut on a just-purchased MacBook Pro), my Spidey Sense starts tingling - turns out they're running FCP 5.1.1 on OS X 10.4.10 (with an unknown version of QT as well, he couldn't check at the time). So right there that was a clue - he was running a version that wasn't as up-to-date as he could make it. FCP 5.1.x can be updated to 5.1.4 via Software Update for free, so I suggested he start there. I couldn't recall exactly what was supported when, so I did a little digging and found this bon mot -
Bring HVX200 P2 Clips into FCP via the FireStore FS-100 | Studio Monthly: "As of this writing, the P2 formats DVCPRO HD 1080/24P and 1080/30P are not yet natively supported in FCP 5.1.1."
A-ha - I'd also not thought to ask him what res/frame rate he was capturing, but I DID know that 5.1.4 would fully support any mode he could shoot on that camera.
Lesson to Learn
This client was in a hurry and had to travel on short notice, which made it difficult to do the right thing - ALWAYS research to make sure what version of the OS & your NLE (or QuickTime if on Mac) are appropriate to match together. With older NLE software, there can be a target range - not too old, not too new - that will be the correct, properly functioning match for your system. For instance, BlackMagic used to recommend a particular version of OS, QuickTime, FCP, and their drivers if you were using FCP 4.5 - not to update beyond what was it? I think 10.3.8 or somesuch (DON'T quote or depend on me for that number, just for example here!).
For latest NLE software, check to make sure you have the minimum recommended version (FCP 6.0 required at LEAST 10.4.9 and QT 7.1.6), but don't assume the latest is the best - some percentage of the time there may be a bug that requires a .0.x type of an upgrade to fix. So not too old, not too new - like Goldilock's porridge, you want Just Right.
Most editors know this, but field production folks having to deal with FCP on a laptop in the field for review purposes may not.
Other lesson to learn - ALWAYS have your post workflow figured out days in advance before travel - so if there is an issue, you have time to resolve it - requiring analysis, implementation, and verification testing that the fix does in fact work. Your production may depend on it - so it is worth the time to take.
Remember - as an indie, you have more time than money. But time is your least controllable asset when deadlines are looming - so as an indie, you need to spend MORE time prepping and verifying stuff like this, since you can't throw money at the problem to solve it.
These folks leaped before they looked - or put another way, pulled trigger, then aimed by going to the remote location without a solution.
I'm picking on them a bit here to make a point - in truth, they WERE trying to solve it before they left, but didn't manage to until they were on location - meaning they had fewer resources to try to solve their problems in the field than if they were at home. There was a point in the conversation when I was saying as a fallback they could reinstall the OS if all else failed - but they couldn't since all that stuff was back at home.
Which is why when I travel, I make a point of having a Commando Kit with me - enough stuff to rebuild a hard drive etc. from the ground up, including OS, NLE, compositing apps and all the standalone updates, all COPIES of original installers, not the original discs themselves - my old joke was air drop me into Somalia with a Commando Kit and some new Macs in boxes and I'll have a studio up and running by the end of the day - hopefully I'll never have to actually do that.
Which is also why my durn backpack is so heavy when you see me at tradeshows - I carry lots of junk, but I ALWAYS have That Cable Just In Case.
UPDATE - they were also having trouble with the record times on their 16GB P2 cards (and don't forget, as earlier reported, that you need to update the firmware in your camera to work with the newer bigger P2 cards!). At first I thought it was a firmware issue, then digging deeper, turns out they were recording to 720p mode, not 720pN. 720p mode records 720p24 as 720p60 with 2:3:3:2 cadence (or similar, don't recall whether that or 2:3:2:3, but the point is that it takes up more space recording 60fps not 24fps).
As always, research and test everything before arriving on set!
It's called prep, people.
Short for "preparation."
Don't forget that "pre" means "in front of" or "before."
Time on set is your most valuable asset, especially if you're in a remote location. Where do you want to be figuring out technical problems - while that perfect sunset is ending at your exotic and pricey location, or two weeks before at home while idling watching a DVD and having a tasty beverage?
A few extra days gear rental can be invaluable to be ready to roll perfectly. Think of it like combat - when the enemy comes over the hill, do you want to be reading the manual on your rifle, saying to your seargeant "Hang on, I'll be ready in 5 minutes." *
* OK in our current climate I'm reluctant to use a war analogy as I'm against that sort of thing, but this does make the point.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
-no native support - only transcoding
-no DVD based
-Sony/Panasonic hard drive based supported ONLY
-transcoding to Pro Res is Mac Pro only
-AIC only option on others, and even then some minimum hardware requirements
...so if you are thinking you want to take advantage of the latest/greatest tech by transcoding to ProRes....you'll have to have a Mac Pro. And your AVCHD camera better say Sony or Panasonic on the side, AND better be hard drive not DVD based.
As always, research your solutions carefully.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Everything you need to know about stereo/surround audio monitoring - 2 of mine and another now up on DV.com
Upgrade Your Images with Audio
I'd written a bit on audio acquisition in this article, where I stated that I basically don't know beans about audio field acquisition, just enough to know that it is important and you should get somebody good to do it.
However, I learned quite a bit researching for the DV article about the plugs, formats, budget considerations and whatnot for audio monitoring in stereo, and now with Final Cut Pro 6, surround (5.1 channel) audio monitoring. This article is really a follow up to my previous DV article a few months ago on building an uncompressed HD workstation. Read all about the various audio outputs that you have or can get, the same 3 tiers of Starving Indie, Moderately Equipped Individual, and Well Equipped Invididual/Small Facility Room. For each, I discuss stereo and surround monitoring options, what the interfaces and options and prices are, etc. I'm really proud of this one.
Similarly, for Windows specific info, I wrote a second article (exclusively available online, won't be in the print edition) here:
Upgrade Your Images with Audio: PC Edition
I discuss the more popular options on the Windows side (see? I DO try to cover The Other Side! :D ) - Avid, Adobe, and Sony's Vegas. I talk about the audio I/O hardware/software options available/appropriate to each, and run down some the Windows specific issues that weren't mentioned in the other article.
One mistake that was made in my own editorial process in that Windows specific article - in Group 3, I didn't come back and mention/recommend Avid Media Composer with Adrenaline, which is an entirely valid and appropriate choice for high end editorial individual/small facility setups as discussed in the article. Tomorrow I'll look into getting that fixed (it is well after midnight after an especially taxing few days).
Another area I don't know as much as I'd like to about is proper room setup for serious audio work - I was pleased to see as a companion piece to the articles I wrote there is a nice long article by Dan Daley (or the MUCH more experienced Dan could very fairly call my articles companions to his!) on how to set up a serious, "for real" audio monitoring environment to get accurate, unbiased sound reproduction. He discusses room dimensions, proper speaker setup, proper acoustic treatment of the room, etc. In my brief skim (I'll read the whole thing just haven't yet) I saw a lot of promising stuff, and already learned some good info on minimal room size to get good, accurate acoustic reproduction, etc.
The Sound of Science: Acoustical considerations for the DIY HD studio"
These three articles should give you plenty to work from to set up your own studio. Good luck, and as always, Comments welcome using the link below.
UPDATE/NOTE: One thing I glossed over and was eventually edited out along the way - YES, an SDI or HD-SDI CAN carry enough discrete audio channels to do stereo or surround - so when mastering, the audio flows with video for multi-channel work (want a multi-channel mix on HDCAM? Dolby E is your answer, but you more than likely can't prep that inhouse and will have to send out to have it done, but it "fits" on two channels of uncompressed audio while mastering). Anyway, point being, while audio DOES flow over SDI or HD-SDI, it isn't likely/viable that you have an SDI or HD-SDI deck, sitting around, all the time, such that you can do your audio monitoring through it/on it. If you've got an HDCAM SR deck permanently attached in the same room, GREAT, the HD-SDI can flow through that and (I believe but would need to verify) has enough audio monitor passthroughs that you could do it that way. While it is technically possible to de-embed the audio from an SDI or HD-SDI stream to discrete analog outputs, other than the Blackmagic HDLink Pro (mentioned in the article), I couldn't find a viably affordable means of doing that. So I skipped it.
OH! And big, BIG Special Thanks and Luv to Craig Negoescu, Stu Maschwitz, and SEVERAL folks EACH from Blackmagic, AJA, Avid, and Apple. I wasn't able to contact anybody specific at Adobe but would have loved to talk to somebody over there, simply because I don't have a good direct connection with them (yet).
If you are, or know somebody who should be my connection at Adobe's video group, I'd love to be in direct contact with someone at Adobe's video group to ping for feedback/answers/etc. to make sure I can get accurate, timely, detailed info out into the wild. And with CS3 purportedly coming out within a couple of weeks....
And OK, I am guiltly of headline pimping on this one, and there is no way to learn "everything you need to know" from three articles, but boy, (I maybe-not-so-humbly think) there is a LOT of useful info in there!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
(I dedicate this post to all the HVX users waiting on their free P2 cards)
Anyone who owns an HVX can feel timid with the first experience with their camera. Yes, I am one of the many who purchased the camera back in March thinking I would be shooting and editing projects in the weeks to come. Wrong.
Up until March 31st, Panasonic had a great offer: buy the camera, and you receive a free 8gig P2 card. Estimated delivery time: 4-6 weeks. It's been ten weeks and counting and still no P2 card. I received a letter from them explaining that the 8gig cards reached full production and they would be replacing them with 16gig cards. AWESOME! Right? Wrong.
As the 11th week has approached, I've completed two projects, both of which have not been shot on my own personal P2 card. I've had to rent P2 cards numerous times (4gig = $25/day, 8gig = $60/day from local vendors... it adds up) and have been lucky enough to have a friend lend me his 4gig card for the longer shoot.
I browse the forums at dvxuser.com and see numerous people complaining on why they haven't received their cards yet. I'm a pretty patient person, but going on three months is pretty long. Imagine if PEZ had a shortage of candy and all you could do was click the head back and forth all day long.
I have a $5000 camera and am always anxious to shoot HD, but wait, I could shoot DVCPRO 50 with the same color sampling and lesser compression without the P2 card. Wait, no I can't... you can only shoot DVCPRO 50 on the P2 card. So that leaves me with a mini DV tape shooting SD for the last three months on a $5000 camera. NOT COOL!
Prepping the HVX for a 16gig card
If you have an HVX and are planning on getting a 16gig P2 card, you must download the proper firmware update from Panasonic. Here are the links to the Firmware Update and the .pdf instructions to update your camera.
Note: You also need a SD Card (64MB or higher) to upload the update on it. You can buy a USB Adapter for the SD Card to put the files from your computer to the card. You then put the SD Card back into the HVX and follow the instructions on the .pdf.
Also, if you have a PCMCIA slot on your computer, such as a Powerbook, you need to download this driver to update your computer so it can read the card:
Panasonic Support page
You definitely need more than one P2 card when you're shooting. There's a reason for two P2 card slots on the camera, so take full advantage of them. One 4gig just doesn't cut it. I bet an 8 gig would be great, 16gig would be awesome, but here are the downsides...
On a 4gig card, you can shoot about 8 minutes of 720p/24pN (Native mode~literally 24 progressive frames/sec). It sounds like a lot, but when you're shooting it goes by in a flash... The positive side is that after you copy the contents of the P2 card onto your laptop/hard drive/etc... you need to have someone archiving the folder on a DVD using a DVD burner. It's really the only way I feel safe with my footage- I have a physical form of footage rather than just data on a computer.
15" and 17" Powerbooks
These are the only two Mac laptops that can read the P2 cards directly from the PCMCIA slot.
First thing learned: ALWAYS HAVE A PERSON ON SET TO DUMP THE P2 FOOTAGE... a.k.a. P2 WRANGLER. I can't stress this enough.
The drives on the 15" and 17" Powerbooks are either a combo-drive or super-drive. The super-drives can only single-layer burners, so if working with 8gig cards you would need to purchase an external dual-layer DVD burner (Mike note - a quick search didn't indicate that Apple made a G4 based Powerbook with a dual layer burner - are we wrong? Was there one?). The downside to the 16gig P2 card is that you can't fit its entire contents on a single DVD (mikenote - thus losing the 1-to-1, P2-to-burned-disc ratio which keeps life simpler). So how do you transfer/back-up your footage?
UPDATE - Mike here - we forgot to include the Duel Systems Adapters - an ExpressCard to PCMCIA adaptor that lets you use MacBook Pro computers (MacBooks can't because they have NO expansion slots of any sort). They worked OK with 10.4.8, ther were issues with 10.4.9 that may not be fully addressed yet, dunno about 10.4.10 - somebody who knows please comment or email me so I can update this. Around $100 though, not bad.
5 Options to transfer/archive P2 Footage
A) Have a dedicated hard drive to store your footage via a direct data dump from camera to drive, no computer necessary. By dedicated, I mean buy a hard drive and don't use it for anything else. ONCE YOU CONNECT THE CAMERA VIA FIREWIRE TO THE HARD DRIVE, THE CAMERA FORMATS THE DRIVE AND CREATES FAT32 PARTITIONS FOR EACH TIME YOU DUMP THE P2 CARD CONTENTS. (mikenote-thus obliterating anything you had on there before!) The size of your P2 card determines the of size each partition it will create. Meaning if you only have 2 gigs of footage on a 4GB card and dump the card to the hard drive, it will create a 4 gig partition instead of only 2.5 gigs. There are a maximum of 15 partitions that can be made on the hard drive, so that means you can only dump the card contents 15 times on the hard drive, which turns out to be ~ 60 gigs. (mikenote - or 120GB if dumping 8GB cards, or 240 GB if dumping 16GB cards...a 250 GB drive probably isn't QUITE big enough to dump 15 full 16GB cards to - formats to 232GB usable.) Advice: don't buy a dedicated hard drive over 150 gigs (if shooting with 8gig cards) and nothing over 80gigs if shooting with 4gig cards. The hard drive must be bus powered, meaning the camera cannot power the hard drive directly - thus the hard drive needs power from somewhere else.
B) Dump the P2 card directly through the PCMCIA slot (note: MACBOOK PROS CAN'T READ THE CARDS, ONLY 15" AND 17" POWERBOOKS CAN). If you own a Powerbook, I advise you to make sure the PCMCIA slot is clean and dust-free. The card will show up as a disk image with NO NAME as the label. *****************CREATE A NEW FOLDER ON THE DESKTOP/HARD DRIVE AND COPY THE FULL CONTENTS OF THE CARD: THE "CONTENTS" FOLDER AND THE "lastclip.txt" FILE.************* If you don't coy the text file then FCP won't be able to read your folder.
C) Connect the HVX directly to the laptop via firewire cable, the camera should show up as a drive labeled "NO NAME" just like the P2 card. Again, COPY THE ENTIRE CONTENTS OF THE FOLDER, same as above. LABEL YOUR FOLDERS ACCORDING TO P2 DUMP # AND ITS CONTENTS... FOR EXAMPLE: "p2_01_beach", "p2_02_beach", "p2_03_beach" etc... There is no alternate solution for changing the "NO NAME" label when the P2 card shows up.
D) Use a USB2 Hard Drive that has the USB "On-the-go" protocol. Connect the camera via USB 2.0 and in the camera menu choose OTHER FUNCTIONS>PC MODE so the camera will operate as a USB device. Switch to dubbing mode on the camera and press the "copy" button on the hard drive and it will copy the contents of the P2 card on the first slot it sees.
E) Open FCP 5.1.4 and click File>Import>Panasonic P2 (On FCP 6 it's File>Log and Transfer, and it has some enhancements over FCP 5.1.x). The P2 import window should pop up. Before you do that, you should create a logging bin to dump the P2 card contents. With the P2 import window open, click the add button and just choose the whole P2 folder you want to dump, don't toggle the contents folder, etc... Click open and the clips will show up in the viewer. This is a great way to log/label/note all your clips before importing. I do not recommend this option...
Here is a little video tutorial on how to import p2 cards to your hard drive/computer/FCP:
FCP 5.1.4 P2 Import Tutorial
FS-100 Portable DTE Recorder (Firestore)
"Weighing about one pound and only 1.5 inches thick, the FireStore FS-100 is an HD recorder designed to work with the new Panasonic AG-HVX200 P2 camera, supporting DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO 50, and DVCPRO/DV recording formats. The FS-100 provides long recording times and improves workflow with Direct To Edit® technology. It can also be used with other Panasonic DVCPRO/DVCPRO 50 and DVCPRO HD devices that have a FireWire port."
Here are the new features they just came out with:
- The ability to record native 720/24p, 25p and 30p in the MXF pN format; Allows users to only record the required frames in a DVCPRO HD stream, eliminating the need to remove advanced pulldown or duplicate frames during import to the edit system.
- QuickTime support for native frame rates as well as other 720p and 1080i DVCPRO HD record modes for DTE workflow within Apple Final Cut Pro; Allows DV, DVCPRO 50 and DVCPRO HD clips to import directly into the FCP timeline.
- Extended record time; Native frame rate recording allows users to double the record time from 100 minutes to over 200 minutes
- New included accessories such as a high-capacity 180 minute battery, a cradle to mount FS-100 onto all shoulder-mount camcorders with an Anton Bauer adapter, and a new 4-pin right-angle FireWire cable for an extra secure connection to the camera.
- The ability to easily bring non-P2 Panasonic cameras into a DTE workflow; Any DV, DVCPRO 50 or DVCPRO HD camera with 1394 can take advantage of IT workflow.
Visit Focus Enhancement's Official Website for more information.
AJ-PCD20 P2 Drive
"The AJ-PCD20 P2 solid-state memory drive answers the need of today's video professional for faster, easier file transfers on the desktop or in the field. This flexible, time-saving internal/external drive allows users to mount five 8GB P2 cards simultaneously for instant access and continuous editing of all recorded content in sequence. The P2 drive now offers an IEEE1394b interface (in addition to USB 2.0) for high-speed transfers of DVCPRO, DVCPRO50, or DVCPRO HD content into nonlinear editing systems and servers. Compatible with Windows 2000, XP and MAC OS X, the AJ-PCD20 can be installed directly into a standard PC 5.25" bay drive enclosure or connected to a computer and local area network (LAN) via its USB 2.0 or IEEE1394b interfaces. The flexible AJ-PCD20 also serves as a stand-alone external drive when connected with laptops for in-the-field use."
Visit Panasonic's Official page
AJ-PCS060G P2 Store
P2 Store is a 60gig hard drive and is battery powered, so no computer necessary. it serves as a great buffer when working in the field. It can then be used as an external hard drive to link to a computer via USB 2.0.
Visit Panasonic's Official Page
And now a very important message from the trenches, aka "See this scar here? That's why I don't that anymore."
If you want to view the contents of a P2 folder while you are on set, do so from the archived DVD. BURN THE DATA DVD FIRST, THEN REVIEW THE FOOTAGE IN FCP. This way your files are FOR SURE safe and won't be deleted.
I was toying around importing P2 footage with FCP 5.1.4. When importing footage, DO NOT delete the video files from the P2 log window. They will be deleted forever... you will end up with a P2 folder with all it's sub-folders but no contents within the sub-folders.
Let's set up the rules of P2:
1. Always have a person on set to dump the P2 footage... a.k.a. P2 Wrangler.
2. Always have a person on set to dump the P2 footage... a.k.a. P2 Wrangler.
3. Have at least 2 or 3 places to store your p2 folders. You never know when that day will come when your computer/hard drive crashes.
4. Burn data DVD's if possible and asap.
5. If dumping directly to a hard drive, use it strictly for P2 dumps and nothing else. remember it makes FAT32 partitions on the hard drive.
6. Always copy the entire contents of the card, including the "LAST CLIP" text file. if you don't, you're S.O.L.
7. If importing with FCP, do not delete the clips from the P2 import window, just leave them be. I REPEAT, leave them be.
8. Format the P2 card within the camera, not from the computer. it makes things much easier.
9. Label your folders according to P2 dump # and its contents. For example: "p2_01_beach", "p2_02_beach", "p2_03_beach" etc...
10. If you are on set and want to reviwew the P2 contents safely, view them from the archived DVD and not the Hard Drivesource footage
Panasonic really put a lot of effort into the P2 workflow, which in turn spoils the shooter to never want to revert back to tape. But there's something that doesn't feel right when you're shooting and dumping, almost like you never feel reassured that your footage is safe. with tape, you can hold it in your hand and say to yourself "I control you and I decide if I want to get rid of you." You should do the same with P2 to data DVDs.
Keep the P2 folders on multiple hard drives and back them up on DVD's if they are less than 4 gigs. Hopefully within a year, BLU-RAY/HD DVD burners will be affordable and you can back up 16gig/32gig cards on the discs for just a few bucks. Hopefully that day will come sooner than we think.
If you don't own a Powerbook and want an easy workflow in the field without tying up tha camera, a good choice would be the P2 Store. the downside if you have a 16gig card you can only dump it 3 times, but up to 15 dumps if you have 4gig cards. working with multi-P2 camera shoots, the P2 Drive would be a great option. If both of these choices are out of your price range, another option would be to buy a modestly priced PC laptop with a PCMCIA slot. Even ANOTHER option could be to somehow get your hands on a 15" or 17" refurbished Powerbook for a pretty modest price.
Mike's Comments: First off, thanks to Geoff for spending all the time to put this together.
As you can see, there are a BUNCH of options for how to deal with your P2 footage. One way not mentioned, because it isn't very budget/indie viable, is to just have a stack of P2 cards. With the recent price drop, the 16GB cards are awfully compelling, as their GB/$ ratio is MUCH better than the 8GB cards. Geoff did some spot market research and found that 8GB cards were going for around $675, and 16GB cards were going for about $900 on the street - so why NOT get the 16GB ones if you're on a budget? The "fits on a disc" is the only reason I can think of to even consider not doing so.
The P2 Store gets points for being small, battery powered, and simple to use - load and go with a a readout. The downside is the price. The other good thing about it is that the camera isn't tied up while you're using it. So if small size, portability, and immediately freeing up the camera is your goal, P2 Store makes some sense (or multiple ones).
Keeping track of which cards have been dumped and are ready to wipe and recycle from those that haven't is KEY if you have multiple cards.
The P2 Gear is good for better funded field work as you can review on it - think of it as an HVX with the lens and sensor sawed off.
The direct to drive option is nice, but makes me slightly nervous in terms of being sure you've got the footage- I'd want to plug it into a laptop right away.
The FS-100 is still kinda big and bulky, and P2 cards are finally starting to catch up with it. But for shooting a lot of footage in one go, it is a good answer for that.
The P2 economy/ecology is growing and advancing, and you have lots of choices as you can see. If you have budget for it, and/or need to be sure you can keep shooting, having a pair of cards to shoot with, the pair of cards you're backing up, and a spare pair keeps you guaranteed rolling.
Carefully analyze the needs of your shoot, see if you can spare staff to wrangle P2 cards, see if you need to keep the camera free to shoot, or if it won't be a problem to have it tied up offloading in down time. Standing around waiting for the P2 cards to download while everyone impatiently taps their feet as the good light is fading is definitely not a situation you want to put yourself into.
OK, happy shooting!
And keep multiple backups of that footage!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
My Apple contacts dropped me a note to let me know Final Cut Studio 2.0.1 was out:
About Pro Application Update 2007-01
Pro Application Update 2007-01 updates the following components
Apple ProRes 422:
Delivers improved encoding performance for Power Mac G5 computers.
Delivers filter improvements for Motion 3.0 and Final Cut Pro 6.0 customers.
PluginManager, FxPlug, ProFX, and FxPlugWrapper:
These shared components deliver updates to Effects Support, 3D Support, and Versioning Support.
Delivers improvements for SmoothCam. This update is required for customers using Motion 3.0 and Final Cut Pro 6.0.
Requirements for this update:
Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later
QuickTime 7.1.6 or later
Apple - Support - Downloads - Final Cut Pro 6.0.1 : "Final Cut Pro 6.0.1 contains several updates, including:
- Improved stability
- Support for the AVCHD format through the Log and Transfer interface
- FXPlug improvements with Motion and third-party applications
- Improved master template support
- Resolution of issues with long filenames (greater than 32 characters, up to 255 characters) on non-HFS file systems (network or Xsan volumes, FAT32 volumes, and so on)
This software update is recommended for all users of Final Cut Pro 6.0."
Final�Cut�Pro 6 Release�Notes
Apple - Support - Downloads - Color 1.0.1 : "Color 1.0.1 contains several updates, providing the following fixes:
- Improved stability
- Improved metadata support from Final Cut Pro
- Improved single-display mode
- Floating-point processing on computers with NVIDIA graphics cards
- Dissolves of 2K files during rendering
This software update is recommended for all users of Color 1.0."
Apple - Support - Downloads - Motion 3.0.1 : "Motion 3.0.1 improves stability and resolves performance issues that may be encountered when using Motion 3.0 on both PowerPC-based and Intel-based Macintosh computers. This software update is recommended for all users of Motion 3.0.
This update Includes specific fixes for:
- 32-bit float projects
- Rendering of intersecting 3D groups
- Final Cut Pro integration"
Motion 3 Release�Notes
Apple - Support - Downloads - Soundtrack Pro 2.0.1 : "Soundtrack Pro 2.0.1 contains several updates, including:
- Improved stability
- Improved performance
- Delay Designer surround effect plug-in
This software is recommended for all users of Soundtrack Pro 2.0."
Apple - Support - Downloads - Compressor 3.0.1 : "Compressor 3.0.1 contains several updates, including:
- Improved performance
- Improved stability
- Provides compatibility updates for Apple Devices
This update is recommended for all Compressor 3.0 users."
the good stuff is:
-AVCHD support - as expected, ONLY transcoding to ProRes or AIC is supported - this dodges the whole huge processor load and having to handle another long GOP format. Actually, AIC is an unexpected option - ProRes is what they discussed at NAB.
-FCP doesn't calculate transcoded sizes, so you need to pay careful attention to disk full situations when ingesting. Once again, VideoSpace (see blog from a few days ago) will help.
-AVCHD files are tiny. AIC and ProRes are NOT. From the release notes:
AVCHD has a much higher compression ratio than the Apple ProRes 422 codec, so the ingested files are significantly larger than the original files. For example, a 2-minute native AVCHD file is about 200 MB. After transcoding to the Apple ProRes 422 codec, the file size can be as large as 2 GB.
-can't set in and out points for AVCHD in Log & Transfer - bummer. Gotta pull in the whole clip at once. Maybe will be fixed in future, maybe not. So long takes - ESPECIALLY pay attention to estimated converted size. FCP really should give you some guidelines on this - while AIC and ProRes are variable (non-fixed) bitrate, a guess would help.
buncha little fixes, over a dozen bug fixes, some nice tweaks and changes to in depth stuff - read the release notes (link above)
-drop frame now supported in sequences and media timecode - hooray!
-Color Corrector 3-way now converted to Primary In filters - NICE! Obvious and needed to happen. But due to Y'CbCr vs RGB issues, the conversions are approximate and not exact. But a good place to start. But only one CC 3way filter per clip - stacked 3way filters (wait, that sounds dirty) won't carry over.
-Cineon/DPX sequence EDLs support transitions now (biggie for film crowd), but linear dissolves only
-256MB or greater NVidia cards can now do floating point processing, they couldn't before
-ceiling and floor IRE now purportedly works right - I had trouble with this in Final Touch a year ago
-Pan & Scan settings now flow to FCP correctly
-960x720 render artifacts fixed
-read the known issues, there's still lots of things to be careful of. You absolutely cannot assume that any FCP project that you make will flop into and out of Color just dandy - there's still lots of things that can go wrong!
-256 kbps for iTunes plus audio stuff
-custom pixel output ratios
-auto-center cropping (nice!)
-iPhone format support
BTW - I just realized I can blog from my iPhone. Oh My God.
Pro App Update
-encoding improvements for G5's for ProRes - should improve performance
I happened to be working on some workflow issues for a client (they wanted to efficiently color correct hundreds of individual HDV shots and deliver to 8 different deliverable files from HDV down to 160x120 quicktime files...for an interesting usage scenario), and I sent them a bunch of customized Compressor settings to use for their specific needs. Final Cut Pro doesn't quite want to work in individual file batch mode, you have to alternately cajole it and beat it with a stick to get it to do it.
But in doing so, I learned a bunch of cool new stuff. I had sent them some presets that cropped 16:9 source down to 4:3 center cut - but it wasn't doing it for them. A little R&D later I figured out that was one of the new features in Compressor 3.0.1 - the ability to intelligently crop down to a given aspect ratio, THEN scale those results down. A very common need in this world of 16:9 source and 4:3 deliverables - awesome!
So DEFINITELY run Software Update for Compressor 3.0.1. And be clear and careful about usign it on 3.0 version of Compressor, because 3.0.1 has features 3.0 doesn't - so update ALL your machines. On the 3.0 system, the intelligent cropping got ignored, so their 16:9 source got squarshed into 4:3, rather than center cut and scaled down.
FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE - a sharp eyed reader noticed that AVCHD support apparently is only for Intel Macs - can anybody else verify? Read the comments for more on this.
Friday, June 22, 2007
My review of Final Cut Pro 6 for MacWorld Magazine is up right now on their site (top article at the moment, ahem. Pride.).
I discuss Open Format Timelines, the advantages of the ProRes codec, touch on some issues with SmoothCam (which is otherwise way cool), surround sound audio, the (optionally) huge 55GB install (make room on that boot drive, buddy!) and some of the other refinements to the application.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I use this thing DAILY, and other than Safari, Final Cut, TextWrangler, etc. is probably one of my most used pieces of software. Simple but perfect for the task of figuring out how much space and/or how much time is a given codec, frame size, and frame rate. I emailed to whine about lack of ProRes inclusion a few weeks ago and they said they were working on it - excellent answer.
If you're an editor (or producer) trying to figure out how much space you'll need, this is PERFECT. You can even specify how many tracks of what type of audio for perfectly accurate datarate calculations. Also useful to figure out how fast your storage needs to be. Can I say any more nice things about it? I don't know, I just Luvs It - and it is Free As In Beer.
Other handy info as long as we're talking datarates -
MB/sec * 3.6 = GB/hr
What's that mean? If you multiply the megabytes per second of a given datarate by 3.6, you get gigabytes per hour. MB/sec is handy for figuring out how fast your storage needs to be (add 25-35% for healthy QuickTime overhead room), and GB/hr is handy to know how MUCH storage you need. (Yes, I figured that out by myself, and am thusly proud of it - see the screen grab above for an example of MB/sec as compared to GB/hr) : )
Other Digital Heaven news:
DH_Grid and DH_Guides are two other bits of FCP related freeware you can download when getting VideoSpace.
Digital Heaven's Final Print:
"Final Print is a standalone application which prints a list of clips in a bin or markers contained in a clip or sequence. This provides a very useful workflow enhancement when handing off a project to someone else for further work.
NEW! Version 1.5 now available
Adds printing of bins and markers on source clips"
Not free, but still darn handy.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Big long article I wish I'd had the time to do on the ins, out, details, and caveats of Apple's ProRes codecs. I'm not saying much here, but this is a long, detailed article going into the pros and cons of this new codec that you'll likely be using in the future if you're on a Mac.
Footnote: I have detailed, extensive, further thoughts on Final Cut Studio 2, ProRes, Color, etc., but I have to wait for certain articles to be released in other publications before I can say more. All my info and knowledge is, of course, available to my paying consulting clients at any time.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Hmmm. Since we can transcode (or really just re-wrap) to QT, that doesn't require this. I can envision situations where it is useful, but I don't know if native editing is that big of an advantage. The fact that there is now a cross platform solution is nice, but...I'm not convinced how useful this is. Keep tabs (as will I) on Shane's progress as he doodles with it.
In some cases this may result in bright, saturated colors in the highlight areas of the rendered result."
Read on for the fix.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Doodling about making some test footage to take with me out of town, I'm getting ready to cook the DCI StEM footage down to ProRes.
Suddenly I notice an option on the export dialog in After Effects 7.0 - a checkbox for "Enable 4:4:4 chroma filtering" - now, is this a smoother cleaner way to get 4:2:2 results, or is this enabling 4:4:4 sampling? I notice it says filtering not sampling, so that gives me pause. Anybody got any more details on it than that?
I'm about to leave town, can't look into it now.
Wizdom of the Interweb Tubez, Inform Me!
Further note 1/2 hour later - you have to edit your After Effects setup text file (I've blogged on it in the past, don't recall off teh top of my head) to get ProRes to write out to ACTUALLY 10 bits - so that "Trillions" will be available instead of just "Millions" - my test files are going to be 8 bits worth of data, even if in a 10 bit codec. All part of the due dilligence thing, doncha know...
Tuesday night update - "Enable 4" does not appear in the FCP user manual, nor in the Compressor manual.
Consensus is that it is to help with chroma aliasing, so it truly is chroma FILTERING, not chroma SAMPLING. I emailed Adam Wilt on the issue and he sent me a test file to verify, I'll get to it when I can to have specifics.
I'm pretty much incommunicado this week, so if elsewhere on the web somebody has details, please email or add a Comment (link below) to fill me (and the rest of us) in.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Today, I called the Apple Store to see if they'd received any of the $499 upgrades instead of the $699 upgrades - she said yes. I said is that the $499 upgrade or the $699 upgrade? She didn't know had to go check (trepidation!). She came back and said yes, they had the $499 and plenty of them.
So I drove up there, walked up to the counter, and within 2 minutes someone was fetching it out of the back. I got rung up, tax exempt was no big deal (Texas has a sales tax exemption for products directly used in production, software/hardware counts).
All in all a good experience, with the one tiny quibble that the woman I originally spoke to had to double check that she had the right one when I asked.
I got some flack from folks when I originally said:
Lesson to Learn - nice enough people, but they do not know what the frickazoid razzle frazzle mumfaluff they are talking about. Remember, they are making Mall Wages.
Was I angry and irritated after spending nearly an hour of driving time for a fruitless quest? Yes I was. But I think part of what I do on this blog, legitimately, is express how an experience was for me - and from that perspective, I think that was a fair thing to express at the time. Do they ALL not know what's going on? NO. I've known some very knowledgeable and cool people up at my local Apple Store (Barton Creek Square Mall). After recognizing Naka in a movie line at Alamo Drafthouse once and geeking on moviemaking with him, I always sought him out when I went up to the Apple Store thereafter (he's since moved on I think). The biz sales guy went out of his way for me a number of times and I very much appreciated that, he was thoroughly knowledgeable and helpful and nice. That said....the Apple Store is, in fact, in a mall. And I've heard tell online and elsewhere folks that work there talking about how the pay is not stellar for those who know what they are doing. It was unfair of me to paint with that broad of a brush, but it is ENTIRELY possible to run into folks there who talk well beyond their knowledge.
And it isn't entirely their fault, either - it is, in fact, in mall, and they are, in fact, getting paid retail employee wages from what I can tell and have heard. Which is why many of them move on after a time there. If someone isn't an audio or video afficionado, to expect them to sell iPods and laptops and also know Final Cut Pro upgrade options is expecting a lot for what these folks are getting paid - Apple has a LOT of products, and they change fairly often. And that's a dig at Apple corporate, not Apple retail employees. An Apple retail store is a GREAT thing to have, I love it, but there are times as a professional working with high end Apple gear that it can be frustrating dealing with them - and this was one of them. The timing belt is off on my S2000, can Bubba Joe stop working on the Accord station wagon and see what's up when I take it over 8500 rpms under load....
An Apple Store makes great sense if you want an iPod, want a MacBook, want to buy & learn about iLife, etc. But if you want Final Cut Pro, or need to know about hardware intricacies for Logic, etc., it is a bit like having a Corvette and getting it serviced at the local Chevy dealer (or an S2000 at the local Honda shop) - if you've got a high end gadget, do you really want the folks who work on the soccer Mom vehicles working or recommending stuff for you? Maybe they know their stuff, maybe they don't, but the high end stuff is a fringe part of their job, not the day to day things they HAVE to know about(another reason to get a consultant or go with a VAR, IMHO...or just have someone to ask who KNOWS). Sometimes you get someone knowledgeable, sometimes you don't.
OK, back to installing Final Cut Studio 2:
-notes on installing FCS 2 on a MacBook (yes, a lowly Macbook, not a Macbook Pro)
it asks right up front about installing distributed Compressor & Qmaster - nice!
-lets you customize what to install, which is good, because full install is 55 GB (!!!!)
I tweaked mine down to a 6.7 GB install, and that is LIGHT - no PAL presets, no Motion Library content, no PAL DVD Studio Pro presets....LIGHT install
These days, a 250 is dead minimum for a "full install box" - what if you want all of FCS 2, all of CS3, all of our pics, movies, and music all on your boot drive?
For me these days, that'd require a 500 GB drive right there probably.
I clicked INSTALL at 10:01 pm...took to 10:35, but I missed a disc swap or two...
FCP 6 launches!
720p24 SF Bay project opens!
Digital Cinema Desktop seems to be working OK as well, and a cross dissolve played back in realtime with no rendering required.
Color launches, but doesn't really work right - screen is too small
On to installing Final Cut Studio 2 on the Quad G5:
started the install (double clicked installer) at 11:09pm, by 11:10:30 it was installing after entering serial #, distributed rendering preferences, and what I wanted to install (everything!)
Some other notes - sounds like, from emailing somebody who already has installed it, that Media Manager no longer clips over 100 IRE values when Recompress To is used....but I wanna test that myself..
I was hoping to see some presets for things like live transcoding of HDV to ProRes on capture, or similar for P2 import of P2 media - I haven't found it...yet. I also noticed that while there are AIC presets for HDV at 720p30, 1080i60, 1080i50, but NOT 1080p24. Can we capture 1080p24 as HDV then transcode to AIC or ProRes? And do so WITHOUT clipping over 100 IRE values? (Hint: FCP 5.1.4 can NOT).
I'll update as this progresses.
Took until 12.17 to get installed (started 11:09, and I stayed right on top of the disc swaps - comes with 9 discs!)
Friday, May 18, 2007
(edit - no, I didn't really try to play the "But-but-but....I'm SPECIAL...[sniff]" card)
Insert driving video game.
3, 2, 1....GO!!!!!!!
and I'm off....
The Fun Part:
Music To Exceed The Posted Speed Limit By, By More Than A Little Bit, from the playlist labelled doitdoitgogogo (aka Finish Da Race for the last few miles of a footrace):
Track 15: Underworld - Cowgirl ("Everything everything everything....I'm invisible...")
Track 16: Snatch Soundtrack - Hernando's Hideaway - good castanet action - I can't believe iTunes doesn't have this!
Track 17: Moulin Rouge Soundtrack - Lady Marmalade - it's nice when life times out such that the engine is hitting the high note at the same time as Christina Aguillera. My baby hit a high note around 8000 rpm's, I dunno what the Khz was for Christina. I did like the symmetry of those two pure, high, clean notes in perfect, crisp synchronicity.
....aaaaaaand shift. :D
Track 18: Fight Club Soundtrack - Stealing Fat This one lives on another playlist, truly and literally entitled "Music to Conspire To Take Over The World By"
....and that was enough to get me to the mall in rush hour traffic.
The Not So Fun Part
YES they have Final Cut Studio 2.
YES they have an upgrade box.
YES I called ahead and specifically asked if it was the one for Final Cut Studio, NOT Final Cut Pro.
YES they said they had that.
Upon arrival and inspection, GEE, it is the $699 one that upgrades BOTH Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Studio.
NO, I do NOT want to pay an extra $200 more than I need to.
They called the one other store (WAaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy on the other side of town in Friday rush hour traffic) and they had the same thing, so no need to spend 2 hours driving.
Lesson to Learn - nice enough people, but they do not know what the frickazoid razzle frazzle mumfaluff they are talking about. Remember, they are making Mall Wages.
NOW I remember that this is exactly what I went through a year or two ago with a prior upgrade, a false start run up to the mall for...the wrong version.
IF you face a similar predicament, THE WAY to fix it - when you call ahead, tell them to tell you the price on the box - the Final Cut STUDIO upgrade is $499, the Final Cut Pro upgrade is $699.
I want it, but not $200 for 4 days want it bad.
I Am Jack's Impotent Rage.
I bought a book on iLife '06 so my parents maybe won't call me with, shall we say, BASIC questions quite so often just to make the trip not QUITE such a loss. I then realized it was 5:30pm (I left the house around 5) on a Friday and I'd be fighting all the other salmon upstream, so decided to check out what movies they had in the mall. The thought of Shrek 3 ("On Four Screens!) makes my skin peel, so I went to see The Invisible. Ehh - wait to rent it, or even for Cinemax to carry it.
Back in the car, the perfect denouement music was queued up for me - Fight Club Soundtrack - What Is Fight Club?" - truly music to brood and mull and conspire to take over the world by.
And When I Am King, false answers on software in stock shall be dealt with....harshly....where'd I put that lye?
Only kidding when thinking about telling mall employees, in a calm,perfectly perfunctory chipper tone: "This is a chemical burn. This will hurt more than anything in your life."
....or maybe I just need a hug to deal with my disappointment...
I'm Tyler behind the wheel (or at least _I_ think so), but I Am Jack's Bitter Disappointment sitting at home in front of machine NOT running the new toyz I know are out there...
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Final Cut Studio Manuals
LiveType 2 manual (appears unchanged since FCS 1)
Motion 3 manuals
Qmaster 3 manuals (distributed processing/compressing stuff)
DVD Studio Pro Manuals - includes DVD SP 4.2 new features
Compressor's page doesn't list the latest manuals, but they are listed on the main Apple - Support - Manuals page. Direct links: Compressor 3 New Features and Compressor 3 User Manual - Note some manuals not found elsewhere can be found in the "Recent Manuals" list on the lower portion of this page!
Cinema Tools 4 User Manual
Cinema Tools 4 New Features (manual)
Apple Qmaster 3 and Compressor 3 Distributed Processing Setup
A few goodies: finalcutpronews: More nuggets on FCP 6.
A bunch of new Apple support docs have been posted over at Accelerate Your Macintosh! News Page - 5/17/07, including FCS 2 issues, color issues, Motion 3, Soundtrack Pro, etc.
UPDATE - reader Michael Ryden found the Color Manual online, so download and learn...
...and here's the Color 1.0 Release Notes - just read'em, and WOW there are a lot of caveats to be cautious of - when sailing those waters, there are lots of rocks and reefs just below the surface, and the occassional sandbar as well. Consult this map to safely navigate!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
In the meantime, it would appear that existing loyal upgrading/updating clients are getting served...after that. Maybe it is just that the new/standalone versions were ready or ordered first, and the upgrade versions were ready or ordered second, but it does stick in my craw a little bit - couldn't they have both been ready at the same time?
In any case, update versions are stated to ship in 2-3 weeks, new versions ordered now will ship in 3-5 days according to Apple Online Store as of Wednesday afternoon (May 16, 2007).
If you haven't ordered yours yet, now that it IS shipping it might be a good time to do so. You can order your new copy, or an upgrade from Final Cut Studio, or an upgrade from any prior version of Final Cut Pro from the HD for Indies Online Store. It is an Amazon Affiliate store, so you're dealing with Amazon and paying the same Amazon price, but HD for Indies gets a cut to help support the site.
OH! And kudos to Apple for shipping EXACTLY when they said they would! That is SUCH a rarity for an NAB announced product - they said it'd ship in about a month, and they actually beat that estimate! Congrats, FCS team....go sleep!
UPDATE - and Michael Horton of the LA FCP UG pointed out the manuals can be downloaded here.
Rockin', thanks Michael!
Time to go scratch 'n sniff around in those....as if I didn't have enough to do already tonight...and for the record, as expected, the word "Redcode" does not appear once in the FCP 6 manual, the Working with High Definition
and Broadcast Formats manual, nor the New Features in Final Cut Pro 6.
A future version is expected to support Redcode RAW 4K, we don't have specifics on that as yet.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
And takes a looooooong time to encode/process. Many many times realtime.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Some background for those not up to speed:
Redcode RAW is the native compressed recording file format of Red, recorded as data to files in a folder structure on a Red Drive, Red Flash, or Red RAM. Redcode RAW is a 12 bit linear RAW (Bayer pattern, color filter array) wavelet based compression scheme.
All above recording media have about the same performance envelope - based on public statements, all can record the same frame sizes/rates as all the others - so long as you have a properly spec'd CF card, for instance, the only limit as compared to Red Drive is the recording capacity. Recording quality, frame rate/size, etc. all the same. Red gives you LOTS of recording options - single/dual link HD-SDI to deck or DDR/DFR, uncompressed 4.5K out the high speed link, or the more likely/useful Redcode RAW to one of two external recording modules (320GB, $900 Red Drive or 64GB, $4500 Red RAM), or to one of three $500 internal Flash RAM based adaptor modules that fit on side of camera body (CF, ExpressCard 34, or eSATA).
Anyway...after you record all this stuff, how do you use it? Redcode RAW is the native format, but it is also proprietary - nobody else's camera generates it, it is specific to the Red One at this time. How to edit it, do VFX work with it, etc.?
If you hadn't heard, Redcine is the tool to convert Redcode RAW to...whatever you want (I'll skim over the basics previously covered and get to the juicy stuff here shortly). Standard image file format sequences or any "normal" codec you have installed on your Intel Mac (no PPC Mac support, drat) or Windows based system.
Click the pic above for a larger view of what Redcine looks like.
As you can see, there are four tabs, and I'l zing through what they are for:
In the project tab, you set up your, well, project. What is a project in Redcine? If you're used to working with film and the telecine process, think of this as your telecine session, saveable to disk, same as you'd save your color grades for a given tape on your daVinci setup. If you're a software jockey, you can think of a project as being akin to an FCP timeline settings or an After Effects composition settings (not exactly for either of those, but that's the general idea).
From here you can load a shot or a full mag - one of the nice features of Red One is that on camera, during the shoot, you can do some digital slating - specifying shots, takes, etc. The files are filed in folders that fall to that order - takes inside shots inside scene folders, etc. Redcine understands this struture, so when you import, shots are stretched out horizontally, and multipe takes are stacked vertically - just like Scratch, which this owes a very obvious debt to. So much so that the UI (user interface) pretty much IS a very cut down version of Scratch's toolset with some modifications.
One of the coolest features of Redcode, which makes it more like anybody else's v3.0 software than a beta release, is the use of gestural controls - if you flick the mouse pointer (no clicking involved) towards a screen edge, controls and UI elements will appear or dissapear (or even build/reduce in terms of how many/how simple things are shown). Sounds a little complicated/scary at first, but once you start using it, is super fast and easy. It's the little touches - things like you can click and drag horizontally to control some things where they make sense, but in other areas you click-hold and twirl mouse clockwise or counter-clockwise to increase/decrease values...just like a knob or wheel. Very clever.
Anyway, in the project, you can set things like your format, your aspect ratio, your frame rate, etc. You can also control display reticles and masking areas (opaque or transparent, your color of choice), show timecode, all kinds of useful stuff and powerful stuff.
It is important to remember that Redcine is a prep/conversion tool, not intended to be an editor or full coloring tool. It is a pre-grading tool for one light type color corrections, and a prep tool to deliver assets in format of choice.
You can flip between Library View which shows all your shots (horizontally) and takes (stacked vertically atop each other) - is a pre-editorial organizer so you can get a sense of your shot coverage - instead of a long vertical text list for your to organize, is thumbnails in a timeline like interface. Fast and efficient.
Next up, you can proceed to the Shot portion of the application. In here you can see and edit the shots metadata, name, position and scale. Want to crop? Want to scootch it around in that cropped area? All doable, and those shot-by-shot decisions get saved in your project for later recall and usage (handy when it comes time to generate your online res copies). You can play back, even on a laptop. That's right - play back 4K footage without pre-rendering - it is extracting a fractional res version on the fly. You have pop-ups for playback quality at full/half/quarter res, in preview through high quality. Higher res, higher quality slower to process. Wanna see realtime playback as you adjust scale or whatever? Quarter res preview is your friend. Wanna zoom in on that blown highlight for subtle tweaks? Crank up the res to see all the detail. The wavelet nature of Redcode makes it cake to extract fractional resolutions on the fly, no problem. So scale and repo as it is playing back - nice! Can't keyframe though - for that kind of subtle work, just take it to Motion, After Effects, or tool of choice at full res and manipulate it there.
In the Color tab, you have control over a bunch of the color attributes of the shot - you've got three point curves (toe/gamma/shoulder), you've got tint, exposure (measured in stops, very nice), white point (measured in Kelvin and properly executed without just chopping channel data), color channels, a special highlight recovery tool that manipulates digital blowout (ever see a magenta highlight in an overexposed area? This tool can fix it!), and several other things I can't recall.
One major feature of this: the color controls on camera, and in Redcine, and in the FCP plug (more on that below), are all the same, on purpose...because you can save in any one of them and move them to the other. It takes a little time for the full meaning of that to soak in, but do so. Hypothetical: imagine shooting a few test frames, throwing on laptop, previewing the shot there. Tweak color until you like it using the convenient mouse/keyboard interface (could do all same stuff on camera UI, just harder, like iPod vs. iTunes playlist organization...in fact VERY much the same metaphor). Save those settings as a file, put on an SD card, and load back into camera. Bang! Your tweaked nondestructive look metadata now rides shotgun with all footage shot with those settings...and gets baked into the HDMI and HD-SDI outputs. Doing a live shoot? Save those settings and put it on all 8 (or however many) cameras used for them to match. Calibration issues in what I just suggested, but you get the general idea.
Anyway, as you tweak the color settings, you're working from the 12 bit RAW source, manipulating in a 32 bit floating point color space - very precise. And of course, GPU accelerated as well. You can adjust colors WHILE the footage is playing back - very handy.
Oh - you can also define the color space you're working in - be it Rec 709 for HD destined work, or Camera RGB for the native color space, Adobe 1998, etc. as desired.
When you're done there, you can go to Output. From the Output settings, you pick what size you want to generate, what file format, what bit depth (auto-governed by what's possible with the format, so you can't try to create something impossible), and what codec. Now, for everyone who's concerned about will their NLE be supported, the answer is pretty much yes. If you can write to the codec you want to edit with on an Intel Mac or a Windows box, you're in luck. If you need a high end image sequence like TIFF, DPX, OpenEXR, JPEG2000, etc., you're also in luck - as all those formats are already working in the build shown at NAB. As for codecs, here's the drill - if you have a codec installed on your box that you could "normally" use, such as with After Effects or similar programs...you can write to it from Redcine. Simple as that. If you're on a Mac running FCP 6, you could convert to the brand new ProRes422 codec. If you're on a Windows box running Avid, you could convert to DNxHD 36 for your offline, and then later DNxHD 220 for your online. Or the same from a Mac with Avid stuff installed. Just bought the Sheer codec from BitJazz.com, or any other third party codec? Install in on your box, and you write to it from Redcine, no new version of Redcine required. It is that simple.
I mentioned offline/online - if you aren't converting to your final format (and if you're doing an indie feature, you probably aren't, or shouldn't), then convert the first time to your offline codec, save your Redcine Project, and Red is working on something they'll call a Red Pull List to help with your conform - you kick an EDL or XML out of your NLE, then bring that back to Redcine which parses it for all the shots and selects you used - those selects can then be processed to your online format of choice (frame size/codec/etc.) Software conform (easy with FCP I know, I'd imagine so with Adobe, dunno enough about Avid to say), and you're in bidness. Redcine and Red Pull List don't DO the conform for you, they just HELP in the conform process.
Or, if that all seems to complicated, there's another option...read next article posted.
If you have workflow questions about how Redcode RAW will fold into your existing pipeline, be it editorial, VFX, offline, online, hardware, software, whatever, I do exactly that kind of consulting for a living - contact me at the email address at the top of this page in the header. I charge by the hour, rates are indie viable/affordable.
UPDATE - I'll keep adding extra bits of info to this post -
Q: What about subclips?
A: you can "dupe" the shot in Redcine (doesn't replicate any data on disc, just makes another instance of it in the timeline...like making a copy of a clip in your NLE - no new media generated). You can set separate ins and outs for that VERSION of that shot...this is a big deal for doc makers that roll for an hour and want to pre-slice into shots, but not have to process that one hour shot for the online if all they need is 5 second subclip.
Q: What about conversion times in Redcine?
A: They haven't released official stats, because it'll depend on a lot of things - what clock speed your CPU/s, how many cores, what GPU, what bus speed, what read/write storage & speed; then on top of that what size frame are you rendering to, what color/cropping/repo are you doing, what quality and scaling settings are you using....lotsa factors. What they want to avoid is posting a "it took my box x.y secs/frame" on some pimped out 8 core box doing draft quality SD to a RAID, and some Moe Ronn getting upset stating "Hey! It took WAY longer than that for me!" ....on his Core Solo Mini cooking 4K Hi-Q DPX files to a USB 1.0 drive or somesuch. So they need to get organized and test in an appropriate fashion, and then publish the results in a detailed, well documented and qualified fashion.
All that said...if they are managing to play back at 1K on a Macbook Pro and 2K on a Mac Pro in REAL TIME...I'm not too worried about how long conversion is going to take in Redcine. Rob's on the job.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Not exactly sure how it happened, but I ended up in the VIP section and got a good seat, also got to hobnob a bit beforehand and talked to the crews from CreativeCow & Silicon Color, makers of Final Touch (bought by Apple and been busy bees I'd bet since). I bet Apple will shut down the WiFi shortly before they get going, so keep checking back on this page, I'll update as I can.
I'm sitting next to Graeme Nattress of Red, I'll see what thinks he smirks at to read the tea leaves.
ROB, VP of something
-2 yrs ago, 250K FCP editors worldwide
-doubled to 500K last year
-over 800K paid FCP users,
-over 100 training centers around the world
-Amazon search on FCS, find 100s of books
-dozens of 3rd party plugins
-high end extensions to FCP - Automatic Duck, Pixel Farm, Omneon, Digital Heaven, etc.
-"It's a Final Cut World"
-sampler of FCP cut stuff video shown
-watching video....commericals, movies, TV, etc.
feedback from the world -
-"massive amounts of digital content"
-non-linear collaboration required (this bodes well)
-srhinking production schedules
FINAL CUT SERVER
=media asset management and collaboration
-works for 2 person collaboration up to multi-national news org
-cross platform client
-producer on a PC has a client as well "stuck on a PC"
-over 100 file types recognized
-auto proxy generation
-sophisticated access control
-watch and respond system
-review and approve tools
-automated encod and publish
-is an event based system, triggering as things happen
-if producer needs to be alerted to review, email gets sent out
-baked Compressor into it - can control delivery from Final Cut Server
FINAL CUT INTEGRATION;
-time saving shot selection tool
-proxy rough cut editing
-save as FCP project
when you check out a low res proxy of a project, can connect and conform back to high res project, automated system
-KCAL in LA been testing for a couple of months
-they've bet big on Final Cut Server as a foundation for their system
-WATCHING VIDEO FROM KCAL - HD news
-up to 16 individual units, 300-400 promos/week
-promo world, assets come from all over
-can search by date, person who created, etc., can play back PC or Mac (implies codec stuff)
-can mark notes & communicate to editor/graphics person
=screening tool - can kick out a small QT file,
-being able to play realtime HD in quantity was necessary (more hints of codecs)
-everybody is able to be in/out of projects without waiting on next domino to fall, can work faster
-decided they wanted to be aggrressive - $999 w/10 concurrent licenses
-$1999 UNLIMITED concurrent users
-available this summer
FINAL CUT STUDIO:
-wanted it to be the biggest upgrade ever
-FINAL CUT STUDIO 2
-Final Cut Pro 6
PRO RES 4:2:2 codec
-10 bit 4:2:2
-uncompressed project was 1TB, converting to highest quality was 170GB
-bandwidth efficiency, gotta work across a SAN OK
-color space headroom - 4:2:0 converted to 4:2:2
-support for next gen devices
-translates whatever may come
-SONY - introducing new HDCAM SR system, 1080p60 w/ProRes 4:2:2 will be a good solution according to Sony
-to use that 1080p60 stuff, want it in an edit friendly format - can capture as ProRes 422
-PANASONIC - betting big on AVC Intra, ProRes 422 is an "outstanding post-production format for Panasonic's new genration of AVC-Intra based camcorders"
-RED (FIRST TIME THERE'S APPLAUSE) - VIDEO
-edit 4K w/ease & elegance
-2 ways to work w/4K files in FCP
-native Redcode for DI finishes
-ProRes for broadcast work
-can plug 4K footage, plug into laptop, convert to ProRes 422 (!!!!)
-CineAlta cameras - MacBook Pro running Final Cut, how to get F900 into
-NEW HARDWARE - AJA device to get HD-SDI into FW800
-looks like a little G5 w/a handle on it, crapload of ports on the backside
-"I/O HD" hardware
-has ProResHD codec IN THE HARDWARE can move 10b422 ProRes - SD/HD up/down/cross conversion all in hardware
-10"x12"x15" or so guesstimated size based on seeing it
-PRICE? introduced at $3495, available in July
-exciting to work with upstarts like Red, AJA
OPEN FORMAT TIMELINE:
-5 minutes after using it, you stop worry, IT JUST WORKS
-Smoothcam - remove unwanted camera motion right in FCP
-background optical flow analysis
EDITABLE MOTION TEMPLATES:
-access Motion templates directly w/in FCP
-can access templates in timeline in fCP
-can change instances to edit the master - IS LIKE STYLE SHEETS
-Motion is more integrated, and is a part of, Final Cut Pro
-Open format timeline, Paul demoing
-drag a file to timeline, FCP can set timeline to match
-22 MB/sec for 1080p24 4:2:2 ProRes
-if you drag a DVCPRO HD to timeline that is 1920x1080, it'll scale and aspect ratio correct on the fly to make it right
-mixing uncompressed w/ProRes to DVCPRO with a realtime effect, UNCOMPRESSED 10 BIT with realtime effects
-have interlaced DV footage, drop on timeline that is progressive, it just figures it all out
-could always send video to Motion, now can bring graphics to you - add templates from Motion are in FCP, can Superimpose, Overwrite, or Insert
-opens in Viewer to edit the text in FCP
-(has an orange render bar)
-unrendered Motion Template over 10b uncompressed video, plays...but w/low frame rate
-when change a template, ripples through EVERYWHERE you used that template - style sheets!
-FXPlug stuff - drop a plugin onto timeline, GPU realtime stuff
-plays back in pretty damn real time
-ProRes vs. Uncompressed video (using DCI StEM footage) - has split screen, plas it fullscreen
-the sample they are showing us, that I don't see a difference in, is TENTH generation - they've encoded and reincoded
back to Paul Saccone
-multiple cameras and light sources
vector based paint- particles, pics, etc.
-pressuure pen, speed sensitive
-edit strokes in 3D space
-apply behaviors to strokes
-autmatically follows the path of any animated object
-suggests points and inltelligently creates motion paths for video
-associate a path to an object, it handles it
-track, match, move on
-retiming w/out keyframing
-hold frame, set speed and other creative timing effects
-slip and slide retiming effects
-isn't tied to the piece you started with, can apply behavior elsewhere
-aimations respond to the soundtrack
-control animations based on volume and frequency (After Effects already did some of this years ago, but was work)
-assign to any parameter on any object
DEMO OF THE NEW MOTION:
content library in Motion - tons of new stuff
-animated lines & widgets and stuf
-can animate the details of those library things to find the track you want it to effect, set scale to amplify it
-no copying of keyframing, is just a behavior
-tracking - new behaviors for tracking behaviors
-tracking points gives a 4x zoom, just shows the zoom
-hold down option and it shows you good tracking points WOWOWWOWOWOWOOWW
-Motion analyzes and figures out color space and subsampling etc. FOR YOU
-can also track in 3D space, does cool 3D parallax thing
-true 3D stuff in Motion:
-can move "observer" camera of scene w/out altering the shooting cameras
-while working in perspective view, get a live feedback of the camera's view
-there's sweep and dolly behaviors for cameras that do those move for you
-all behaviors have a little text description as well
-cameras can have targets to watch "scenes" that you set up
-as a former 3D guy, this is SOOOOOOOO much easier - isolate the movements by type not just axis
-Motion's new paint tool to add a "swoosh" around the text
-can create a paint stroke from anything, as well as their existing large library
-a lighting effect can be a brush
-can alter every attribute
-can edit the path of the stroke to move the stroke through 3D space
-can click a "make particles" based on a glowy bit
-have full controls of particle system
-but can click the "3D" button for particles to make them 3D (coooool, and applause)
-can alter the size of the emitter - be a point or even a box
-IMPRESSIVE realtime performance!
SOUNDTRACK PRO - marriange between picture and audio
-3-up video HUD for placing clips (of audio)
Advanced Take Management for dialog replacement
-bring in multiple tracks and composite multiple track out of portions that work for you, take the composite down the road, and be able to dive back in and change the settings of that comosite
-surround sound embraced at core
-single project for 5.1 an dstereo
-intuitive panner w/automation
surround sound plugins
-library of over 1000 music tracks and sound effects in 5.1
-good panning tools for speaker to speaker controlled by mouse in realtime as you do it
-sync changes between picture and sound
-see diffferences highlighted in the grpahical view
audition, then accept or override changes
-if the edit changes for picture, can go through changes to accept or reject, or just let it work to move all the stuff where it is supposed to go
Soundtrack Pro 2 Demo
common to make fades in audio
-just drag corners
-drag clips over each other to do cross fade
-to detail crossfades, double click and you have a fade selectior HUD
-location dialog - lots of potential problems
-showing a base thump in a clip (bumped microphone)
-waveform editor for any clip
-hit tilde key and get tool you need under mouse cursor (nice!)
-can scrub and find the problem
-have a frequency spectrum view
-can see brights for amplitude and frequencies
-can draw a box around an area in frequency spectrum view to edit just that part
-and it fixes the thump REALLY well
-and it is all non-destructive, so is all editable
-if there's a bad clip from set, they have 3 ADR options to try to fix it
-they can do a multi-clip take
-can take the 3 editors into multi-take editor to find which one works better
-can create a composition that will fix it
-with the take editor, can cut into the phrases and drag around and do fades to find which portion of which take you want to use....and all the bits and pieces will remain with the clip - at any time can go back and fix, if goes into a different comp, that all comes along for the ride
after dialog, want sound effects
-ships w/over 2000 royalty free sound effects
-does a search for "door" to get a door slam sound
-traditionally is tough to sync, gotta add a marker on picture to target where I want it to go, there is a multi-point video HUD
-get a 3up view for before, after, and where the mouse is
-didn't catch how all that works, but looks very cool, quickie drag and do
-drag & drop it in, drag around, hold donw V-key, and it is done to sync an effect to the shot - yeah is FAST
(LIVE COMMENT FEEDBACK - THE I/O HD BOX IS $3495, WE DON'T HAVE PRICING ON FINAL CUT STUDIO 2 YET...dunno if you need other stuff for converting to ProRes - I/O HD does it in realtime, but how long does it take without? Dunno yet)
-he's doing audio stuff - the updated revised picture edit comes in, and get to see an overview w/changes
-conform audio to adapt to picture changes is quick and easy, w/overview view that makes it simple to see what's up and where things have changed, can review it to make sure it all correct before committing and finding out might be incorrect
-has many dish panners, double click and get a new HUD that is NICE - get a circle that oyu can drag source around in the circle, and it shows you what speakers those are getting mapped to
-can do it live in realtime too - so play it back, and move the audio source sound around
-cranks the LFE knob to make the fireworks hit be heavier
-can have surround and stereo mix in same project - can optionally use surround panners for the full project
-stereo mix lives separately from 5.1 mix, but stays all in sync (nice!)
-over 150 royalty free sourround mix music beds for temp tracks or final delivery
-over 1000 new surround sound effects
-when you pull in surround clips, all 6 channels come along for the ride with all channels along for the ride - is just ONE thing to drag around and control
-professional multi-track editing,
-is a major item now
-they use it inhouse to do all content for iTunes Store
-MPEG-2 broadcast streams
-Telestream Episode Pro for VC-1, WMV, FLV, GXF, & MXF as a third party plugin to drop into place (big deal)
-timecoe overlays (!!!)
-audio and video fade in/out
-animated Motion watermorks (even unrendered Motion stuff)
-w/an 8 core station
-10 min HDV video to H.264 for iPod, takes 16:45 to do w/version 2
-compressor 3 talks to each thread on SAME BOX to 6:08 - 2.8X
-faster than realtime encoding
RICHARD TANNER talking about compressor 3
import a project as was done in FCP
-in compressor, can see markers from timeline
-new looking UI
-presets are better organized, defined by targets/presets for devices
-for the stuff you use over and over
-can create a custom folder with all your custom presets
-can drag it onto a clip to start the batch and applies all the presets
-can inspect settings as applied to a clip
-new features - can see source and change the settings for that clip
-16:9 content for iPod, for instance - can over-ride to make 4:3 if wished (stretched or cropped?)
-filters in Compressor are new
-Watermark & timecode generator
-timecode generator - can be either to start at zero or can pick up from original source clip (or from timeline for first option I take it)
-watermark - can "choose" a Motion project or a QT file
-doesn't even have to be pre-rendered
-a renderless pipeline between motion and compressor
-for the chapter markers in FCP timeline, can select one and open the edit window for it. HAve a # of devices on my list - can be relevant to all of them
-can give the chatper marker a name and URL or even an image - can be picked up from a file, or from a frame (for podcasts to pick the poster frame you want)
-iTunes will show the URL and the poster frame
-in System Prefs, can select # of instances (aka cores) to run 8 instances of Compressor to run one per core (this is in Qmaster settings)
-there's a badass core gauge that looks like %age utilization, and they swing up till all 8 processors get up to 95-100%
-in iTunes- chapter points all work with a pop-up, links that you typed in will take you out of iTunes to the web to the URL you set if you click in iTunes
-can publish to any device on the planet now
PRICING - IS STILL $1299 for Final Cut Studio 2
$499 upgrade from Final Cut Studio
$699 to upgrade from ANY version of Final Cut Pro
AVAILABLE NEXT MONTH
Back in 1999 in Final Cut Pro 1.0
-pro editing was $100K back then
Pro solution for color grading
-pro coloring is upwards of $100K
"SO not OK!"
-want to do for color grading what they've done for editing
(this is where Final Touch went)
-realtime pro color grading for the FCP editor
-inherent all the goodies of FCP for color
-Coen Brothers have been FCP since 2003
-video of Coen Brothers talking aobut color
-color is an element you use in a film
-in Oh Brother, was first DI process
-only way to target what they wanted
-have done DI since then
-looks just like Final Touch - seeing footage
-the UI looks exactly like what I've seen before in Final Touch HD
-3D color viewer is new (some kind of 3D graph of color)
-(and that 3D think plays in realtime!)
-Send To Color is an option in FCP
logical task based workflow
-starts w/primaries, on to secondaries, then color FX, then geometry
-all same as final touch HD was
-3 way color corrector
-rgb & luma curves
-pull mattes based on crhoma, luma, and saturation
-custom chaped vignettes
-custom hue & sat
-up to 8 secondaries/shot
-ColorFX - over 40 effects to start
-exposure, film grain, vignette, alpha blend, noise reduciton
chain nodes together in any order
geometry - pan and scan, apsect ration conversions, zoom/pan/rotate
-can create looks that are saved & emailed
DAVID GROSS DEMOING:
-music video working on
-got an edit in FCP
-go to file and use Send To Color
-shots drop in
-preview up in top corner, works on one screen (this is new from FTHD)
-working custom 1920x717 2.35 aspect
-have our 3 wheels as always, but now has curves below on same screen
-can make chnages to curves and get realtime feedback on screen
-secondaries room, have 8 tabs for 8 secondaries - have 9 ways to fiddle w/image
-he wants to drop a grad in, but didn't shoot it (as was wise)
-so grabs vignette tool, defaults to circle, switches it to square, can drag around in UI to get it the way he wants it
-secondaries have inside and outside control for masks, so can give secondary #1 look A inside and look B outside the selection
-so really 17 total adjustable color things - if you can't do it there, you've kinda blown it
-MY BIG QUESTION - REALTIME OUT HD-SDI?
-another shot - has grainy shot
-has an auto-balance tool (think Photoshop)
-can do sat curves - saturation control on a curve, add markers to a curve
-can do secondary color corrections - to suck the blue out
-can drag and drop grades between shots
-to play with color on his shirt, can go to preview tab and key the shot, got a 3D scope - all the pixels in 3D space, like an MRI for the picture
-can zoom in on it
-like a lamp-post - whites at the top, shadows at the bottom, and colors in a ring around
-a good way to learn how to read color
-can see the blues of his shirt in the scope
-can "paint" your key (like FTHD did), but dragging the eyedropper along, see the matte appear - drag it over different colors to add'em to key
-then have a "cage" around the pixels in the 3D scope, can edit in the 3D scope to isolate
-but it changed his hair, so added a vignette to isolate and soften, so only does shirt not hair
-another shot - geometry room - can pan & scan and rotate
-drag & dropped a look from another shot, made a secondary, made a vignette, so adds a b-spline custom shape
-can light more flatly as you shoot, can then tweak more in post - can soften the shape differently inside than out
-can even edit the b-splines of the sottness inside and out - drew one spline for the shape, added softness, THEN that made new splines for inside out, and THOSE can be edited on a point by point basis (and perhaps keyframed?)
-ColorFX room - bleach bypass, etc.
-(Graeme's plugins from before for FTHD - should work here too?)
-saved looks that are node trees in Final Touch
-can drag those looks of node chains to other shots in bulk or onesy twosey
-showing before/after - major differences
-they aren't demoing exactly how it gets back, but I assume it is MUCH easier than it used to be - still have to render all your shots
-questions in my mind - realtime preview runs where? Where do we see it? Can run through BMD or AJA card in realtime for 1080p24? Can we run it through the AJA I/O box?
-SD, HD & 2K grading
-primary & secondaries, custom curves, scopes, 8 secondaries, saveable looks, naturla extension of Final Cut
-PRICE - gotta make it accessible to everyone
-IS INCLUDED IN FINAL CUT STUDIO 2
-huge applause from audience
AND THAT'S IT - NO MENTION OF DVD STUDIO PRO - so probably no new killer features there - are they waiting for a winner to emerge?
Tune in later today, I'll report from the Avid event if I can, and there's lots more news coming this week!