Set me up- help please- its been 5 years!

Posted by TimMirk 
Set me up- help please- its been 5 years!
October 19, 2007 12:27PM
Okay, so I have 2 Avid MC SDI that I need to switch to FCP for a feature gig. It's been 5 years since I'vebeen on FCP. Last version I was on was FCP2!!! Kona with the film option was the big ticket in feature world back then.

Needless to say so much has changed.

6 weeks shoot, shooting in HDCAM 23.98 1080p. Downconverting to DVCAM (I think- is there a better way?) All going out to film at the end.

I would like to cut in 23.98.

I would like to avoid reverse telecine via cinema tools. (Any capture cards do this on the fly both ways?)

I would like 3 channels of analog audio out so I can cut L-C-R.

I have to make dvds weekly, and would like to use my external recorder (standard avid type setup with a video router etc. is what I have now)

I need new drives as well.

What is my solution here?

Is there a better way for this process? Is there a way for me to cut in HD yet still have the ease of monitoring/recording to an SD monitor/dvd?

I don't mind spending money, but after going through everything I'm sort of lost.

Help!

Tim
Re: Set me up- help please- its been 5 years!
October 19, 2007 12:51PM
If you think your confused now wait until you read all of the differing opinions you get here smiling smiley

Yes a lot has changed in five years and I'm sure FCP can meet your needs, however, I'd recommend either hiring a consultant to walk you through the purchasing process in context of your requirements or purchasing from a dealer who works a lot with film clients, Mac Hollywood or HomeRun Media for example [I'm sure other here might have suggestions on where to purchase]. This will save you money in the long term.

Building a system via committee, even one as helpful as the lafcpug will lead to protracted debates and probably cost you more.

Or you can just cut to the chase and purchase Adobe CS3 on a PC... smiling smiley

[That was a joke!]
Re: Set me up- help please- its been 5 years!
October 19, 2007 01:39PM
Well without going into endless specs as Chuck suggests we might! tongue sticking out smiley

The main things you need to factor in and to get you started are:

? A MacPro with at least 4GB RAM

[store.apple.com]

? A Computer monitor - many people here suggest either the Apple Cinema Displays or their Dell counterparts

[store.apple.com]

[accessories.us.dell.com]


? Final Cut Studio 2



? Option A: a Kona HD or Blackmagic HD card to ingest the HDCAM

[www.aja.com]

[www.blackmagic-design.com]

You can connect certain cards directly to HD and/or HD monitors via SDI, component, s-video or composite (check their relative specs).

This basic setup is the start of an HD suite that you could use for finishing the film rather than just offlining it. So...


? Option B: A cheaper alternative is to buy or rent a SONY JH3 player then you can digitise in a downconverted DVCAM format directly from the HDCAM tapes via firewire for offline (no need for an HD card): [www.sonybiz.net]

? Also if you went for this option you could do away with a MacPro and get an iMac instead

[store.apple.com]


? You will also need to work out how much fast storage you needto handle the amount of DVCAM (approximately 1GB per 3.5 minutes including stereo audio) you will be using.

? If you get the iMac you should get a FireWire800 RAID however if you are looking at the big toys for online then eSATAII RAID or FibreChannel is the options you will need to get quotes for.

? Remember Render files and overheads needed to maintain the hard disk speeds! (20%-30% free unused space on each drive)



Seeing as you want to make DVDs each week you can make them in iDVD (come with every Mac) or DVD Studio Pro which is part of Final Cut Studio 2

Or if you prefer to go via your DVD recorder then you will have you wire it up from the Kona/Blackmagic card from the MacPro option or get another output device for the iMac such as a firewire DV to Video adaptor this could also be used to monitor the video on an SD monitor.

For monitoring sound the world is your oyster but many people go for Genlec [www.genelec.com] or a good quality HiFi hooked up to the optical/coax or analog out(s) of the Mac or HD cards.

If you want to edit the audio L-C-R why don't you just pan the tracks as you need them on a simple stereo setup? Correct me if I am wrong but you would need to do this if you use your external DVD Recorder as I doubt it will record L-C-R. But rather simple L-R Stereo.

However you could hook up the audio outputs from the HD cards (if you get the right ones) to a mixer or surround system and map the tracks you want to the channels you require. For output you would make a L-C-R Dolby encoded AC3 in Compressor for your DVD.


Ben



For instant answers to more than one hundred common FCP questions, check out the LAFCPUG FAQ Wiki here : [www.lafcpug.org]
Re: Set me up- help please- its been 5 years!
October 19, 2007 09:06PM
I like the DVCAM offline model very much-- you can build everything right up to final presentations-- conform to HDCAM in a dedicated suite with huge terabyte drives and gobs of RAM. But you need to reverse telecine to convert 23.x to 29.x for the smoothest ride available in your offline timeline.

Getting into HDCAM that really works ain't trivial. Ask yourself: are you an editor or an engineer?

- Loren
Today's FCP keytip:
Invoke the Audio Mixer with Option-6 !

Final Cut Studio 2 KeyGuide? Power Pack.
Now available at KeyGuide Central.
www.neotrondesign.com
Re: Set me up- help please- its been 5 years!
October 21, 2007 02:50AM
We have been doing this workflow for a while now. HDCAM original camera masters or HDCAM telecine masters (if we shoot film).

We cut in DVCPro HD 720p 23.98 and avoid all the timebase issues. The only time our projects ever see 29.97 is in the final deliverables if they require a television master.

It's a really lean and mean workflow that impresses, as we are doing HD offline!!! The DVCPro HD codec allows you to cut off a firewire drive! Now I don't recommend that, but it's "doable." I have an editor who is using his 1 TB firewire G-Drive to cut on becuase he wants the project to be more portable. And he is doing 1080! I recommend doing the offline in 720.

Our offline stations are in the following config:

MacPro quad core 2.0 w/ 4gigs of ram + 2 addl 500 GB Drives
Kona LHe
1 23" cinema display (project monitor)
1 20" cinema display (bin monitor)
1 AJA HDP HD to DVI converter connected to...
1 23" cinema display (HD client monitor)
Yamaha mixer
2 KRK 5" Rockit Audio Monitors

and there you have it, an HD offline cutting station for less than $8.5K (assuming you already have FCS 2. If not add another grand. smiling smiley

You could go even more bare bones and eliminate the bin monitor and the client monitor and shave a little less than $2K off the price, but that is quite a sacrifice.

We rent a HDCAM player (not a recorder, player only) for ingest.

- Jackson
Re: Set me up- help please- its been 5 years!
October 21, 2007 08:18PM
That's a great description.

[ 1 23" cinema display (project monitor)
1 20" cinema display (bin monitor) ]

Oh, I just don't know about that setup, the heights don't match.... ;-)

- Loren
Today's FCP keytip:
Invoke the Audio Mixer with Option-6 !

Final Cut Studio 2 KeyGuide? Power Pack.
Now available at KeyGuide Central.
www.neotrondesign.com
Re: Set me up- help please- its been 5 years!
October 21, 2007 08:24PM
I'd be a liar if I said those thoughts don't echo in my Virgo brain! winking smiley

- Jackson
Re: Set me up- help please- its been 5 years!
October 22, 2007 07:41PM
Nice.

Thanks for some ideas. I have a meeting regarding workflow. Since I'm not sure how they are thinking of getting me this material.

I really don't have a preference at this point. If they downconvert, do any of the cards support real time 3:2 pulldown on capture/playback?Do I need to even think of adding back 3:2 pulldown if going to an external recorder or monitor? Or is it really more necessary when going out to say digibeta?

If I cut in HD, what is the fastest way to make DVD outputs? If it is going out to my external recorder, I'm guessing a card that will do the SD downconvert. However, do these cards also add back the 3:2 pulldown?

What about something like the IOHD? Is this something I should think of considering? Or even the IO if I'm sticking with SD?
Re: Set me up- help please- its been 5 years!
October 23, 2007 12:22AM
The Kona cards will do a down-convert in realtime. And FCP adds the frames (on the fly) if you are doing a pull-up from 23.98 clips to 29.97 output.

If you cut in HD (which we do) and you need to make a DVD check disk or viewing copy (which we do) you can have the Kona and FCP do the pull up to 29.97 and down-convert to an NTSC composite signal. You then take the composite out from the kona into your DVD recorder and produce realtime DVD screeners (just like we do).

I've thought a lot about the ioHD but I have not had the chance to fool with it yet.

- Jackson
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