Several years ago, when High Definition (HD) first started to
hit the market, the one thing that everyone hoped for would be
a standardization of the format. All progressive frame video,
fixed color spaces, field order, anamorphic/16:9, standard frame
sizes and rates and of course common codecs. Life was going to
Well, as we now know, the exact
opposite happened. Each camera manufacturer came out with their
own propriety formats that shared nothing in common with any
of the other manufacturers formats. To make matter worse, each
manufacturers introduced a number of different formats within
their own line of HD cameras. With each update of FCP, new codecs
(Easy Setups) have been introduced in an effort to keep up with
the deluge of new formats pouring out from the camera manufactures.
Even Apple got into the act by introducing it's own codec, ProRes
422, which we now can use to wrangle these new codecs, to have
some semblance of order in this 'Brave New World of HD'.
Of course, for the working FCP
editor, all of this can be a bit of a nightmare. It's not just
a matter of getting sequence settings to match the format of
a particular camera, but issues of codec, color space, bandwidth,
storage space, square vs. anamorphic pixels, progressive vs.
interlaced, Pulldowns, etc. Questions about archiving video footage
(for those cameras that shoot to solid state memory cards), and
sometimes, the need to transcode to a different codec for post
production work or for final delivery. It is a virtual quagmire
and help is needed.
Help has just arrived in the form
of the "HD Survival Handbook (2008)" by Philip
Hodgetts. Philip has been providing educational tutorials for
us since FCP first shipped and not just about FCP workflow, keyboard
shortcuts and the like, but equally about the more technical
aspects of video editing. Philip's great gift is not just that
he understand the technical aspects of video, but that he can
write about all of this in a clear and concise manner, provide
the information required, but in a way that non-tech savvy editors
can understand and then employ. The "HD Survival Handbook
(2008)" is about answering any questions you might have
about "HD" and it does.
The "HD Survival Handbook
(2008)" is a 217 page PDF document available for download
with 22 chapters, shown below, which are further broken down
Table of contents
- Why do HD?
- What is HD?
- Counting Resolution
- Progressive Good, Interlace Bad
- HD Acquisition Technologies
- Camera sensors and resolution
- Acquisition Formats
- Affordable HD Cameras
- Camera Comparison Summary and
- Capturing HD
- Getting video into the computer
- Monitoring HD Video
- HD Workflows
- 24P Workflows
- Storing and Archiving Tapeless
- Blu-ray Disc
- HD Data files
- Getting the files out
- Standard Definition Distribution
from HD Masters
page from the HD Survival Handbook.
Here are two sample excerpts from
the handbook that you can check out: What
is HD? and RAID.
Now I know that 217 pages of HD
information might sound a bit 'cut and dried' but this not the
case with the "HD Survival Handbook (2008)". The PDF
is thoughtfully constructed and broken into meaning full sections.
The writing style, while dealing with technical information,
is actually a good read. There is an abundances of art throughout
the handbook which is both high quality and relevant. Additionally
there is a large section on all most all of the new 'HD' cameras,
each camera is well described with pertinent information and
all specifications are provided that would help you in deciding
which camera to purchase and runs from consumer cameras all the
way through high end Pro cameras.
The "HD Survival Handbook
(2008)" is intended to answer any and all questions you
might have about "HD" and this handbook really does
cover the gamut. The heart of the handbook is the large 'Post
Production' section which covers everything from bringing video
into FCP, to final delivery including Broadcast, SD DVD, Blu-ray
and the Web. I could go into great detail about the contents
of the 'HD Survival Handbook (2008)' but it would take me 212
pages to do it, and at $15.95, you might as well buy the handbook.
I have always recommend that anyone working with FCP have a copy
of Lisa Brenneis' Final Cut Pro book, now I have a second recommendation
to make. For "HD" video, I strongly recommend that
you get "HD Survival Handbook (2008)". In this 'Brave
New World of HD', you are going to need it.
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