Ask any video professional about high definition formats and you'll likely get eight different answers. What is confusing is that all of them would be correct. The good news is that a new DVD ROM training series from DMTS brings some clarity to the mix. The companion disk to the "Inside Editing with FCP HD/4.5" series dedicates two hours to exploring the nuances of HD. The two disc set is available for $99.00 at the company's web site or at LAFCPUG.org's store.
Narrated by FCP editor and founder of
Evan Schechtman, the series introduces various HD formats
and more, in eleven well-paced video segments. The disc topics
include HD fundamentals, formats, editing and equipment, alternative
workflows, capture cards and HD monitors. Suggestions on when
to use Panasonic or Sony cameras are also provided.
Disc One: Inside Editing With FCP
4. The first disc of this two
DVD ROM series explores how to professionally edit using the
newest version of FCP, v. 4.5. Chapters on interface layout,
set up, capturing media, editing, and audio editing are explored
in concise, hands on instruction. Additional chapters on Color
Correction, Compositing, Workflow, and Media Management are provided
with the clarity and thoroughness characteristic of all the DMTS
training aids that I have reviewed. The seven hours of instruction
on this disc provide a basic and advanced editing foundation
that the second disc builds upon within the context of the HD
Disc Two: Introduction to High Definition. Schechtman initially provides introductory details
of the ATSC standards for
both digital SD and HD formats. He then discusses why high definition
provides a richer acquisition format than standard definition
because it is scalable for delivery in its original format, to
film, and internationally. This he characterizes as "future
proofing in high definition." What he means by this is that
video acquired in high definition has a number of potential uses
that simply cannot be matched by standard definition video. Once
acquired, that versatility can be preserved and exploited in
a variety of ways down the line.
Most initial segments of the disc are
provided in lecture format augmented by a series of onscreen
graphics. Schechtman explores virtually every aspect of the different
formats of high definition. Comparative explanations of progressive,
interlaced, and progressive segmented frame (pSF) formats are
made . . . . .
. . . . as well as various frames rates
and different aspect ratios of HD that add up to eight flavors
HD System Workflows. One recurrent theme is how acquisition formats
dictate mastering. Four mastering scenarios are compared that
range from firewire-based HD to 3rd party card HD-SDI uncompressed
or transcoded mastering. The pieces on BlackMagic's Decklink
HD Pro, AJA's Kona 2, and Pinnacle's Cinewave explore pricing,
capabilities and other options. Uncompressed and HD compressed
storage options are also evaluated, including SCSI Ultra-320,
and fiber-based full duplex channel systems.
The remaining sections deal, in part,
with FCP HD set up and editing workflow. The differences between
the HD and SD user and system preferences in FCP are detailed
as well as information on audio/video settings.
Finally, Section III of the DVD ROM explains
many of the new, time saving features added in FCP HD 4.5.
Schechtman provides illustrative examples
of each the new features and suggests ways to both improve workflow,
and avoid pitfalls.
The series contains numerous suggestions
on hardware, camera, and deck use not detailed in this review.
The information goes a long way to eliminate much of the confusion
on exactly what is high definition acquisition and mastering
for both the potential new user and those more experienced in
HD. As such, it is well worth the admission price. And the companion
disc is an excellent aid in learning the new features of FCP
Copyright ©2004 David
Purchase in the lafcpug Store for $84.15
A. Saraceno is a motion graphics
artist located in Spokane, Washington. He has written for DV
Magazine, AV Video, MacHome Journal, and several state and national
legal technology magazines. David also moderates several forums