Creative COW SIGN IN :: SPONSORS :: ADVERTISING :: ABOUT US :: CONTACT US :: FAQ
Creative COW's LinkedIn GroupCreative COW's Facebook PageCreative COW on TwitterCreative COW's Google+ PageCreative COW on YouTube
LIBRARY:TutorialsVideo TutorialsReviewsInterviewsEditorialsFeaturesBusinessAuthorsRSS Feed

A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher

COW Library : Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate : Walter Biscardi : A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
Share on Facebook
CreativeCOW presents A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher -- Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate Editorial


Biscardi Creative Media
Buford Georgia USA

©2012 CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


Herein lies the cautionary tale of a long-time user of Final Cut Pro, penned for those who would consider switching NLEs. Are there tools that will positively replace FCP 7? Are there NLEs that are even more powerful than our now evanescent favorite?



What follows is a cautionary tale for anyone switching from Final Cut Pro 7 (or earlier) to anything else. If you are looking for an exact replacement for FCP, you'll be sorely disappointed. There is nothing on the market today that is as flexible as that tool was. Multiple NLEs have similar and better ways to do some things, but as someone who has edited on FCP since 2001, I have found absolutely nothing that absolutely positively replaces that tool completely. So you will most likely end up in a similar situation as I have, installing multiple tools and using the right tool for the task at hand. Well, sometimes even picking what you think is the right tool might go awry.

This entire story revolves around a magazine styled show that features reports shot by photographers all over the United States using every camera and format imagineable along with completed stories submitted by stations nationwide.


THE BACKGROUND
As I reported previously in my blog, we made the decision to switch from Final Cut Pro 7 to Avid Media Composer 6* for our broadcast projects after extensive testing with both Avid 6 and Adobe Creative Suite 6.

Please visit the original articles at: http://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/11331/biscardi-creative-switching-to-avid-media-composer-6-for-broadcast-projects and http://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/11334/because-you-asked-more-on-our-switch-to-avid-media-composer-6.

In particular, we really wanted that extensive media management Avid is famous for and it was nice to see the AMA linking feature make it a bit quicker on the ingest side. Also, we still do a lot of documentary and broadcast projects that involve tape capture / mastering from professional VTRs and that's one area where the Adobe Creative Suite just falls flat. (*Note: I ended up buying 5 copies of Avid Symphony since it was cheaper with the cross grade offer than Media Composer)

For those who don't know, the AMA linking is Avid's first step into supporting native file based workflows allowing the editor to mix and match files, formats and even frame rates in a timeline. P2, XDCAM and other file based camera formats can essentially be brought into a project, in their native formats, and the editor can start using those files right away. In the past, Avid required the editor to transcode everything to a conformed codec / frame rate / frame size before the editor could start working. We have since discovered that the AMA comes with a price, as you will see.

Now moving away from Final Cut Pro, one of our main goals is to speed up our turnaround times by reducing or eliminating the need for a Log and Transfer type of process. That is the need to conform all our footage to single format / frame rate / frame size, etc... BEFORE we start the edit. As we tested both products, it was obvious that Adobe Premiere Pro is superior in the "anything into your project and timeline" aspect. Heck even with missing data from the cameras, Premiere Pro can still read many files that nothing else can.


Fairy Tale illustration by Arthur Rackham. This image is in the public domain.
But at the end of editing process, especially for broadcast series, I flat out love DaVinci Resolve. That is our color grading tool of choice and that DOES require conformed footage to grade. Single codec, single frame rate, and preferably a single frame size and most importantly, conformed TC type (DF/NDF). Premiere Pro has no way of doing a transcode / conform type of process at the end of the process. Prelude adds that capability before the edit, but then we have to transcode everything. Add to that Prelude is currently a 1.0 software and quite honestly, I'm not sure I want to trust my broadcast series to a 1.0 software just yet. So at the end of the Premiere Pro edit process, we would have to export a flattened self-contained movie and EDL to Resolve and use Scene Detect to slice up the episodes using the Dynamic Mark feature to handle dissolves.

Avid offers the Transcode / Consolidate function so in theory, we could "edit anything" and then conform our finished timeline at the end of the process, create an AAF from the consolidated timeline and send that over to Resolve for color grade. That would give us the flexibility of not transcoding anything in the beginning and having fully conformed, independent clips at the end for Resolve. No scene detect or EDLs necessary.

Now here's the first place we messed up during all of our testing. We never actually tried this consolidate / transcode process send AAF to Resolve because quite honestly I didn't think we had to. Avid's Transcode and Consolidate functions are well known and I just figured that would be the least of our worries. We edited news stories, promotional spots, created files for the web, laid masters to tape and it all worked. But we never actually tried to to Consolidate / Transcode and send an AAF of a project to Resolve. In hindsight, Mistake #1.

One thing we did discover during our testing is that AMA Linking just didn't work as well as we would have liked. When we just linked to the media, that is, just left it in its native format, the systems were sluggish. Avid was happier if we transcoded all our media over to a single codec, in our case we did everything to DNxHD. Ok, so why did we continue with Avid if that defeats the purpose of trying to speed up the turnaround time of our editing by using native formats? Avid's fast import really is fast. That is, it'll transcode everything to DNxHD or ProRes MXF much more quickly than FCP's Log and Transfer function. We did not conform everything to a single frame rate / frame size, we just left everything in the native frame rate / frame size so it would do the fastest import possible, again planning to do a full Transcode / Consolidate at the end of the editing process.

Now the second place we messed up in all our testing, I didn't know that Resolve required Tape Names for all clips to accurately assemble AAFs from Avid.* I discovered this as we were finishing up Episode 1 of the second season of a series. BlackMagic tried to give us a few workarounds but talking to multiple long time Resolve artists confirmed that if you really want an accurate AAF to go into Resolve, you really wanted to have tape names on everything. File based cameras don't have tape names, but of course, coming from Final Cut Pro, I figured no big deal, we'll just add fake tape names to all the file based media. Ah well, if it was only that easy. (*Note: this tape name requirement applies to Resolve 8.2 and earlier, I'm told 9.0 may remove this requirement, but as I don't have it here for testing, I don't know.)


ISSUE #1: 720p 30 OVER 60

The current series we cut requests that all photographers shoot in 720p / 60 or if that's not available, 1080i / 29.97. That's what the Producer likes and quite frankly, so do I, especially 720p/60. This series uses a a lot of stringer photographers around the country using just about every make and model of camera. One of the biggest issues we have to deal with is working with the myriad of formats and when the photographer tells us "Sorry, I shot a commercial last week in 24p and forgot to switch the camera back for your shoot." So we end up with many MANY formats and codecs for each 1/2 hour show.

First off, the very first episode of season two of series we could not get the AAF working and after three days of struggling with the issue, I finally told my editor to create a flattened file for Resolve. Well that failed constantly so we ended up playing the timeline out of the Avid and into an AJA Ki Pro to create a Quicktime ProRes file which I used Resolve's Scene Detect to slice up into the 430 or so shots that are in the episode. It worked, but was not elegant and not what we expected from the Avid to Resolve workflow.

I was determined to get the AAF workflow working for the second episode because that was the whole point of using Avid. Get all the raw clips into the application and not a sliced up flattened file. This is where things got really really interesting.

Jessie Willcox Smith Fairy Tales: Public Domain
"Fairy Tales" by Jessie Willcox Smith. This image is in the public domain.
As I mentioned previously, Resolve really requires a Tape Name for each clip to properly reconnect all the media in an AAF for color grading. When we attempted to do that with episode two, we ran headfirst into a bug in Symphony 6 that literally only affected one frame rate, one frame size. P2 material shot in 720p 30 over 60 would not allow a Tape name to be added to the clips. Period. That is clips from P2 that show as being 59.94 fps in the bin, but in reality were shot with 30p TC. If the shooter had used 720/30pN that would have actually recorded at 30p. Why did the photographer shoot that way? They most likely didn't set up the menu correctly and ordinarily, it would not have been an issue.

But because of the bug on this very specific format, and no others, we were unable to modify the clips in any way to add a Tape Name. Even if we had attempted to add a Tape Name during ingest from the P2 cards, the software would not have allowed it due to the bug. Avid technicians were logged into our systems for a couple of days trying to modify the tape names and understand the problem. It was vexing even for them. We could change the tape names of many of the clips in the show but just not the ones from this one camera, even though they showed up at 59.94 fps just like much of the rest of the show. It was only after we sent a test clip to them, did they discover the shots were actually 30 over 60 and find this bug. And of course, those clips formed about 1/2 of the particular episode. Avid did send us a copy of Media Composer 5.5 which did not have the issue as a temporary workaround while they fixed the bug. But they did end up fixing it over a weekend so we were able to continue on with the Symphony 6 systems. I would say we were about 5 days behind schedule at this point in the process. Not great, but not horrible yet for us.


ISSUE #2: TAPE NAME CHANGE REQUIRES MATCHING FRAME RATE

The 720 30 over 60 problem discovered and mitigated, we still could not change the tape name of many of the clips in the project. Turns out we ran into a "safe guard" in in the software. Avid ONLY allows the user to Modify the Tape Name of a clip if you are in a project with a frame rate that matches the clip. So if a clip is 29.97 frame rate, you must be in a 29.97 frame rate project to modify the clip. If the clip is 59.94 frame rate, you must be in a 59.94 frame rate project.

The timeline was 720p / 59.94 and of course we had an entire story in 1080i / 29.97 and even a few 23.98 clips in the timeline so no matter what my editor did, she could not Modify the names of those clips. It was explained to me by the folks at Avid that it has to do with the deep database structure of of the software. What makes that database so strong is the fact that "everything matters." Avid doesn't want the end user to be able to make changes to the core information of a clip too easily that will have ripple effects right down the database. One of Avid's core strengths that literally no matter where you are in the edit, how long you've been editing a project, it will always know where all of the media is all the way back to the original tape captures / raw camera files. So this means, something that should be as simple as adding / changing a tape name is locked down tight.

It does NOT explain to me why we can't change tape names in any other than a project of the same frame rate as the clips and quite honestly, this was the point at which I was ready to throw in the towel. My editors were frustrated, I was frustrated, that something so seemingly simple as changing a tape name should be made so difficult. Having to create bogus projects just to add a tape name was vexing. But she spent another day working through the various clips and formats and finally got all the clips to have tape names so we figured we were done. I think we were about 8 days behind schedule at this point, but it seemed the worst was behind us and we finally had a handle on the problem. This was only Episode 2 and I figured what we learned in this episode would apply to the rest of the season.


ISSUE #3: AAF EXPORT WITH COPIED MEDIA

With the final edit selected, my editor chose to Consolidate / Transcode and conform everything to DNxHD to get ready for the AAF file. This process creates all new files from the finished timeline that are all conformed and into a single codec, frame rate and frame size. That process done, she then proceeded to the AAF dialogue choosing the "Copy Media" command which would copy all of the clips from the finished timeline into a single location. Our Resolve is on a stand-alone system so this makes it very easy to point Resolve to the media when it's in a single location rather than pointing it to the main media database that might have thousands of clips in it, especially on a shared media array. This is a standard workflow for working with an independent Colorist that's in another facility as well. You just want to give the colorist what they need, not thousands of extra files that aren't in the final timeline.

She received an error to the effect of "Creating an AAF using anything other than 'Link To' is not permitted with ProRes files." The original project included ProRes files from story that was originally delivered in Final Cut Pro, but the error didn't make sense because everything had been transcoded over to DNxHD and she was creating the AAF from the newly consolidated timeline. Another call into Avid and more remote sessions with their technicians and we could not get the AAF to work. I'm going to admit at this point I about lost it and made Avid very aware of my feelings. Every step along the way we were stymied by things that should not have stopped us.

Conversations back and forth resulted in Avid sending down Bob Russo to personally diagnose and fix the problem. Even though we had transcoded everything, Avid was still referring back to our original files. Bob even did did a brand new Transcode / Consolidate to ensure that there was nothing wrong with ours. His didn't work either.

So then he literally spent the entire day going through the timeline, shot by shot and transcoding material yet again. This is a guy who knows the software backwards, forwards and upside down and it still took him all day to go through the process, I can't imagine how long it would have taken my editors to go through that entire process. By the end of the day, he was confident that everything was ready to go, and the next day the AAF process should go smoothly. We felt pretty good too.

Only it didn't. The next morning she got the exact same "Creating an AAF using anything other than 'Link To' is not permitted with ProRes files" error from Bob's timeline. This was the one Bob spent all day making sure every single file was transcoded and linked correctly to the proper file.

Now the editor working on this particular episode is a very low key person and I will tell you I've never seen her so upset in the three years she's worked with me when that error came up. Bob Russo finally proposed that the software was still linking to the rendered media from my editor's offline cuts and we'd have to go in there and find all those clips and convert them too. After two weeks of frustration, more errors and to have yet more files that need to be transcoded she was done. This made absolutely no sense to us that a fully transcoded / consolidated timeline with all new DNxHD files would still refer back to old renders. Why would we still want older renders to hold when we've changed the codec and format of the entire timeline?

At this point both of my full time editors were completely and utterly frustrated with the entire situation. They were no longer editing and creating, they were just troubleshooting and working with Avid engineers. We had been discussing for the better part of a week whether we should just go over to Adobe for the series since it was so much more flexible.

We jointly made the decision that day to switch the series over to Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 starting with Episode 4 (episode 3 was already in edit in Avid). I had the editor make a flattened file of Episode 2 along with an EDL for Resolve, which is what I should have done 11 days earlier, but again, hindsight is always 20/20. I got the show graded, and Episode 3 we did the same thing, flattened the file and sent the EDL to Resolve. Episodes 4 and 5 are in Adobe Premiere Pro and I have been working with my editors to help us get caught up to where we're back to about 5 days behind at this point, which includes me editing through the Memorial Day holiday weekend.


AVID
To their credit, Avid listened to everything we had to say and tried to help. In fact, they did help a lot addressing some issues along the way. Sending Bob Russo down here spur of the moment was above and beyond what I would have ever expected, given how small of a shop we are. I had multiple conversations with product managers, engineers, and others at Avid. They really were all trying their best to help us through the situation and get us back on track.

But the software itself was throwing up roadblock after roadblock, mainly because of the way the database works. It was doing what it was designed to do, make sure that all of the media was tightly controlled so that the editor can always find the original clips. And as such, it had a very rigid way of working which conflicts with the "new, more open Avid."

In short, Avid has opened up the workflow on the front end of the process by allowing editors to work natively with multiple formats via AMA, but on the backend the software itself throws up a lot of roadblocks when trying to conform and export a timeline from the application. I describe as "We've made it a lot easier for you to start editing, but good luck getting your project out of our software." If you're going to finish your project inside Avid, you're good to go. But when trying to get outside the software, the tightly controlled database gets in the way.

Speaking to other editors and much larger facilities than ours, I got the same universal answers. The workflow between Avid and Resolve is a bit of a nightmare right now, especially if AMA is involved. The "new, more open Avid" is a lot like the old Avid. If you truly want the smoothest operation in that application, you MUST conform all of your footage BEFORE you start the edit. Especially if you want to send your project to another application, say like Resolve.

So the back-end workflow is something Avid is going to have to address. You can't make the front of the editing process more flexible to appeal to the former Final Cut Pro market but leave a rigid back-end workflow that gets in the way of the editor and using other tools. Based on my conversations with them, they do acknowledge that the workflow is not perfect right now, but what they will do moving forward is anyone's guess.


ADOBE
So you may be wondering, if we're flattening everything at the end of the workflow, why switch to Adobe Premiere Pro? I figured if we need to flatten at the end of the process anyway, we might as well use the software that's the most flexible on the front end. Zero conforming, zero transcoding, just throw the entire mix into the soup and flatten it all at the end for Resolve. And as I mentioned in the beginning of this article, we've run into situations where no other software can even read the camera files due to missing data except for Premiere Pro.

Is it perfect? Heck no. In fact the database management is about 180 degrees away from Avid. We have to very carefully manage and put our data in the right locations before we import them into our Adobe projects because Adobe doesn't move anything when it comes in. We're following the management structure suggested by Richard Harrington in his "Editor's Guide to Adobe Premiere Pro" as our guide. Even with that, even with use the exact same shared storage system, we already ran into a project this week where one of the four stories would not re-link to the media when opened on a 2nd computer. No idea why, had to manually relink everything.

That Consolidate / Transcode tool from Avid is something that is sorely lacking in Adobe and we do all hate the lack of audio controls before a clip goes into the timeline. Nothing like loading up a song in the Source and having it blast you out of the seat because you can't just drop the levels in that window. Tape capture / output is just not there reliably at all, we'll have to use other tools for that. And of course right now our AJA Kona boards work about 50% better with Avid than they do with Adobe Premiere Pro.

So it's not perfect by any means, but my editors are starting to pick up the pace again and quite honestly, it's a mental thing now too, just working on a different platform with a fresh start.


MOVING FORWARD
I want to stress again, Avid worked very hard with my editors to address the situation. Multiple phone calls, remote sessions, Bob Russo on site, it was way beyond anything I would have expected for our project. It's just the way the software is designed to operate right now means the workflow still works best if you adapt a traditional Avid workflow of conforming everything first. We are going to continue our conversations with Avid after we get caught up with our series and hopefully we can all work together to help open up that back-end workflow and make it more flexible in the future.

By the same token, we're talking with Adobe too about what we like and don't like with CS6. Their backend workflow needs to be addressed as well. There really isn't another software out there that can handle so many formats in a single timeline. So to work with outside software like Resolve, or even to hand a project over to another shop, they need to figure a way to make a conformed timeline to a single codec that isn't a flattened file. And of course we'd like to see some better media management to help prevent those projects losing links to files on occasion.

So where does leave me right now? I had originally purchased five sets of Avid Symphony and I'm going to sell three of them. I originally purchased two sets of CS6 Production Premium and I'm going to purchase four more of them. As I write this, Adobe CS6 works a little better for our current workflow, which really requires the maximum flexibility we can have.

And this certainly means that as we test software in the future, we will have to test every single scenario and make zero assumptions. Who knew FCP 7 was as flexible it was? You just don't realize what you had until you move on to something else.







  View 206 Comment(s)

  Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate Tutorials   •   Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate Forum
Reply   Like  
+3
Share on Facebook
Comments

Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Robb Harriss
Very interesting. And thanks for taking all the time it must have required to write such a detailed report.
Right now I'm going through the process of moving us away from FCP. Avid is at the top of the list for day-to-day work, especially for our longer-form documentary work. And for some of the reasons you've described, Premiere will be in the wings to deal with short term projects of very mixed media.
Fortunately for me, I have a very tightly controlled walled garden. I don't have to deal with lots of different formats. And what we've had we've generated ourselves. For long into the future we'll be dealing with our DigiBeta and HDCam tapes. But we've been going through and capturing them to ProRes .mov files. That will undoubtably change to DNxHD mxf files. (I do a realtime uprez of DigiBeta footage with the Kona 3 cards, and the same with the handful of HDV tapes, so everything is 1920x1080i as far as we're concerned). With AMA I won't have to abandon my existing ProRes files. I'll just blend them in as necessary.
After years of Color, Resolve 9 is my new favorite. So I read everything you wrote with great interest. I still have to go through the comments. But I'm guessing, from my experience, that some of the problems (not all) have been or are close to being resolved (pun intended).
Should put a day and date at the top of the post. It seems like everything is changing week by week with incremental updates to all the software. MC 6.5 works for me in ways that 6.0 just didn't, for example.
It's interesting too, that after 11 years away from Avid, getting back into it isn't that burdensome. It seems that the changes I've found have all been for the better. I like that.
Robb
@NLEdit

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.
@Robb Harri
by walter biscardi
The article is from May 31st, 2012 so it's less than a year old. Avid did not ask us to participate in the 6.5 update that supposedly fixed a lot of the AMA issues we showed them in this article. So I can't comment on how that update is working out as we have not purchased it.

Since this article was released we are near 100% on Premiere Pro. I sold off 3 of the original 5 Symphony licenses we owned and we have not looked back. Documentaries, episodics, corporate and short form are all performing brilliantly in Premiere Pro and I'm very happy with where I see Adobe taking Premiere next. They are actively listening to the users and addressing some of our primary workaround issues in the software.

Last month the Cow published my latest Premiere Pro workflow update which includes our transition to iMacs from the Mac Pro.

http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/workflow-update-imac-adobe-the-x-fa...

Either way, Avid or Adobe, you'll be in much better shape than continuing to work in FCP 7.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Foul Water Fiery Serpent, an original documentary featuring Sigourney Weave...
MTWD Entertainment - Developing original content for all media.
"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.
"Science Nation" - Three years and counting of Science for the People.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Brian Cooney
I've been studying PPro like crazy. Just actually started working with it officially this past week on a Post Grape Nuts spot. I htink I have to say I love it. I like os much abotu it and I'm purposely learning to mimic some of my VFP effects configurations and workflow .. Things I really like: Automated mixdown, grabbing ends of clips and having the transition move with the roll, search window in the fx pallet, rate stretch tool... I'm really liking this. The only thing I could like to see would be the ability to copy and paste transitions in the timeline, more control over selecting and pasting attributes, and the ability to have instand wireframe in the canvas window when you select the clip in the window. But I can live with these things.. also, multi-cam in PPro blows away MC in FCP7 if you ask me. NICE!

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@Brian Cooney
by Brian Cooney
oops on the way out the door and lots fo typos. FCP effects configurations and workflow..

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@Brian Cooney
by Stephen Smith
I agree the multi-cam in PPro is awesome.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by walter biscardi
Still running RAID 5 everywhere. No need for RAID 10 here.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Foul Water Fiery Serpent, an original documentary featuring Sigourney Weave...
MTWD Entertainment - Developing original content for all media.
"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.
"Science Nation" - Three years and counting of Science for the People.

Blog Twitter Facebook
+1
@walter biscardi
by Brian Cooney
Thanks Walter. Now I need to pick your brian on how to prepare a real nice beef bourguignon!

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@Brian Cooney
by walter biscardi
That I can't help you with. Seafood feast for 30, Big Night Dinner for 20, Pizza On the Grill and all manner of Italian cooking, definitely. :)

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Foul Water Fiery Serpent, an original documentary featuring Sigourney Weave...
MTWD Entertainment - Developing original content for all media.
"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.
"Science Nation" - Three years and counting of Science for the People.

Blog Twitter Facebook
+1
@A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Brian Cooney
Hey Walter. Was reading an older post you had in the forum about your company using and preferring RAID 5. Just purchased a pegasus R4... it comes set up in RAID 5. But reading several articles on RAID 5 vs 10. Are you still using 5 exclusively and satisfied with it? As far as redundancy and restoration ability, do you feel it's more than adequate? Was reading an article that if you have one sector fail on one drive and one sector on another in a 4 drive configuration, you're pretty much out of business or at minimum RAID 5 parity and repair will fail with minimum damage to 2 drives. I'm thinking of hanging wiht 5.. but before I start the 10 hour process of formatting, I wanted one more opinoin. thanks.

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@Brian Cooney
by Walter Soyka
RAID 10 (really RAID 1+0, or a stripe of mirrors) is not necessarily safer than RAID 5 in a 4-disk configuration. A 4-disk RAID 10 is two sets of mirrored drives, striped together. A 4-disk RAID 10 can tolerate the failure of two drives if and only if one drive from each set of mirrors fails. If both failures are in the same mirrored set, all data on the array is lost. I don't think this offers significantly more protection than a 4-disk RAID 5, as in either case, two back-to-back disk failures can ruin your day. Hot spares for either either level are a good idea, but offer no guarantees.

No matter what RAID level you choose, this conversation highlights a critical point: RAID is not backup.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events
@Walter Soyka
by Brian Cooney
Thanks. that's good info. appreciate the help.

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Brian Cooney
Really been racking my brain researching this the last few months as I was going to try to move to the PC world using CS6 because the future of the MacPro seems dismal. I've been using FCP since 2001 as well. This past year I purchased CS6 (already an AE user) to begin to transition to Premiere Pro as my primary editing tool - still using FCP7 when needed. I love Adobe's media encoder over Compressor, that has been a plus. But I'm so fluent in FCP7 that I'm finding the learning curve while trying to crank out deliverables for clients, well, brutal. So I keep falling back on FCP7 for speed sake. I would edit simple projects like interviews, etc in PPro, but when it comes to cutting and stylizing fast paced, edgy, projects in PPro, I'm slowing down to a snail's pace.

I've come really close to purchasing a 16 core PC for future speed and expandability, etc... but I've put the breaks on. I'm thinking I may purchase a 12core 3.06Ghz MacPro and continue with FCP7 while using AE as I do and PPro when I can, until I get more comfortable with it.

Do you think FCP7 and the MacPro have a few more years left in them? Maybe I need to move slower with this, give FCP7 2-3 more years of use on a beefy MacPro and stretch out the PPro learning curve a bit. Just wondering what a lot of folks are doing in regard to this and if this is a tract a lot of editors are taking. Maybe start the transition over... but not too fast. Seems like the industry lags a bit behind in some areas of equipment transition anyway... mainly broadcast.. But with other projects that are moving into 4 and 5K (been getting more Red based work), just wondering how long 32bit FCP7 will hold out in the near future. Anyway... this has been quite the business decision for me... I also own FCPX, but even with the addition of multicam and the viewer, I just don't like it at all frankly. GAH!

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@Brian Cooney
by walter biscardi
I personally see no reason to use dead software and putting off the inevitable. The longer you keep working the "old way" the more folks that are passing you by each day working with native workflows and such.

The best decision I made for my team was to purchase "An Editor's Guide to Adobe Premiere Pro" by Robbie Carmen, Richard Harrington and Jeff Greenburg. In particular the section on Media Management was vital to our success. The first few months my editors were all thumbs, but now they fly through projects in sometimes half the time as before because we do zero transcoding on the front end of any project. In fact I just documented our current workflow here on the Cow:

http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/workflow-update-imac-adobe-the-x-fa...

We ONLY use FCP 7 for tape capturing as this is the one area where PPro currently needs more work. The way I see it, CS6 is a very good editing system, not perfect, but very good. My conversations with Adobe give me great confidence in the application moving forward so we're making CS6 work now and whatever comes next, will just make our workflow that much easier.

There's no doubt it's a bit of a frustrating change from FCP 7 to Adobe because Adobe is more of an engineer designed app and not so much "for the editor" design. But once you start moving around in it, the collaboration between AE / Photoshop and tools such as the Text Tool suddenly start making you that much more efficient in your work. And now that we've completely gone whole hog "edit EVERYTHING native" we're flying through edits and changes.

Unless we have a client specifically request FCP 7 or they bring us a huge project already started in FCP 7, we have moved completely away from that application in just one year. No plans to use X anytime soon. We do have two copies of Avid Symphony 6.0 that also see some use as well and we'll be installing Smoke 2013 in short order now that it's shipping.

With today's Post world, it's so cost effective to have all the tools in the toolbox, you'll might as well take advantage of all that Adobe, Avid and Autodesk have to offer.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Foul Water Fiery Serpent, an original documentary featuring Sigourney Weave...
MTWD Entertainment - Developing original content for all media.
"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.
"Science Nation" - Three years and counting of Science for the People.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Brian Cooney
Thanks Walter. I agree. I'm in the proces of making the transition to PPro.. Just gonna have to bite the bullet I guess. My only quesiton now is do I invest in a MacPro or go to windows. I'm thinking in the short term MacPro is still the way to go. I havea 27" quad 3.4Ghz iMac and I like it's response but I'm still finding it somewhat deficient. The new iMacs are out and they're built on the i5. My expereicne with the i5 has been less than exciting having purchased a Macbook with i5 and found it really lagging. I ended up putting it on eBay. Maybe with the Mercury playback engine things are better. But even with Davinci Resolve, I don't see any viable option in the near future apart from the MacPro. thoughts?

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@walter biscardi
by Brian Cooney
Well Walter. I just launched... since I needed to make a purchase by the end of 2012..


3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz

32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x8GB

3TB Fusion Drive

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5

Apple USB SuperDrive

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@Brian Cooney
by walter biscardi
Best of luck to you! Sounds like a good machine.

We're loving the iMacs as we transition away from the Mac Pro.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Foul Water Fiery Serpent, an original documentary featuring Sigourney Weave...
MTWD Entertainment - Developing original content for all media.
"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.
"Science Nation" - Three years and counting of Science for the People.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Brian Cooney
thanks Walter. Now just up in the air when it will be available. Applestore says some time in January. I know they have an exact avail date for the 21.5" but not the 27.

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@walter biscardi
by Brian Cooney
Walter. Last post on this subject. promise. ha. Are you doing any 4K/5K work with the iMacs, using native Red footage in PPro on iMac? Adding external PCI and another video card?

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@Brian Cooney
by walter biscardi
No 4k / 5k work yet, though we will have some 4k materials coming in on the horizon.

We have the AJA IoXT, the AJA T-Tap and the BMD Ultrastudio 3D Thunderbolt boxes here. All great.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Foul Water Fiery Serpent, an original documentary featuring Sigourney Weave...
MTWD Entertainment - Developing original content for all media.
"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.
"Science Nation" - Three years and counting of Science for the People.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Brian Cooney
cool. sounds like the new iMacs amy be able to handle it. I'm hopeful. I only do 1080p format as of now. but seeing how the future is going... big push on 4K cameras and displays this year I guess.

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@Brian Cooney
by Walter Soyka
[Brian Cooney] "Are you doing any 4K/5K work with the iMacs, using native Red footage in PPro on iMac? Adding external PCI and another video card?"

I'm a different Walter, but the last I heard, Mac OS does not support external GPUs in external PCIe enclosures connected via ThunderBolt.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events
@Walter Soyka
by Brian Cooney
Thanks Walter S! Hopefully there will be a solution in the future.

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@Walter Soyka
by walter biscardi
Here's a nice chart from Sonnet on what has been approved for use with their expansion chassis. Probably a good overall guideline for what can and can't be used with thunderbolt.

http://www.sonnettech.com/support/charts/thunderbolt/index.html#videocaptur...

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Foul Water Fiery Serpent, an original documentary featuring Sigourney Weave...
MTWD Entertainment - Developing original content for all media.
"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.
"Science Nation" - Three years and counting of Science for the People.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Brian Cooney
Awesome. I have a BMD Ultrastudio 3D Thunderbolt box for capture and playback. Although I hardly capture anymore. And I have the Lacie Thunderbolt to eSata x2 hub. I hate it though. Can't find any other alternatives there. But half the time the eSata drives don't boot. or only one boots.. can't find any new drivers out there..

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@walter biscardi
by Brian Cooney
thanks. any issues at all?

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@walter biscardi
by David Jahns
Hi Walter- thanks for the read. We've just moved our facility to a new location, added more rooms, upgraded, etc... and we're digging the iMac & T-Tap combination as well. Have you had any issues with the T-tap? We found it works great on i7 iMacs, but not i5's - the device isn't even recognized.

One thing to be aware of with the new iMacs- you said you'll get your RAM at OWC - the new iMacs are VERY DIFFICULT to do any kind of upgrading yourself. You have to remove the screen with a heat gun and remove the logic board to even add RAM.

Check out this article:

http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2544+Teardown/11936

If that sounds like fun - you're more a techie than I! We're planning on getting 3 of the 27" i7 models when they ship, and we're just going to pay the Apple premium for the RAM.

David Jahns
---
Joint Editorial
Portland, OR
@David Jahn
by Chris Tomberlin
Hey - don't know about the 21.5" models but the 27" is EASY to add ram to, no disassembly required. There's a small panel on the back that pops off. I put in 32GB from OWC. Don't pay the Apple tax.

Chris Tomberlin
Editor/Compositor/Owner
OutPost Pictures
@Chris Tomberlin
by David Jahns
Really - you have the brand new 27" model already? I thought they weren't shipping until 2013?

David Jahns
---
Joint Editorial
Portland, OR
@David Jahn
by Chris Tomberlin
Yup, got it right before Christmas. I'm replacing an older 2.8 8-core tower with it. Got a Magma thunderbolt to 3 slot PCIe expansion chassis so I can still use the Kona LHi and the Atto Fibre card. Crazy, got an iMac connected to a fibre SAN running Avid Symphony, FCP7, CS6. Cool no doubt, but I hope only a stop-gap measure. Still hoping for really new towers some day, but this seems to work well if they don't materialize.

Chris Tomberlin
Editor/Compositor/Owner
OutPost Pictures
@Chris Tomberlin
by Brian Cooney
I purchased the i7 as I had issues with an i5 Macbook Pro last year. Ended up selling it. Looking forward to more external expansion options on the horizon. Going ot take this new machine and use it strictly as a CS6 workstation. Then I'm goign to take my already existing 2010 27" i7, remove Mountain Lion, reinstall Snow Leopard and keep it as strictly an FCP7 editor. Funny, half the battle is purely pride? Ya know? You want to come off as a substantial business and it seemed like not havign towers any more, to some folks, they can't get around that, even if the machines are faster. I've been heckled by a couple producers for the iMac. Then I defend the thing as a screaming editor. I've got SSD drive 32GB rAm and 3.4Ghz quad in my present system. I guess it's like a mental move for the industry. Going from a computer that is the size of a living room - to a tower - to an all in one.. move with innovation. I came so close to purchasing a 6Core MacPro (needed to make a purchase by the end of the year for business recoup) but I couldn't justify the MacPro... even a 12 core over what's happenign with the iMac. Hopefully there's a pro tract that iMac will continue to accommodate going forward.

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@Brian Cooney
by Tim Wilson
...half the battle is purely pride? Ya know? You want to come off as a substantial business and it seemed like not having towers any more, to some folks, they can't get around that, even if the machines are faster. I've been heckled by a couple producers for the iMac.



Funny you say that. I remember in the final days of BetaSP LOL that I was on a location shoot with a helicopter pilot for the Florida Marine Patrol. He looked at my Betacam and scowled. "Are you for real? The guys from Channel 7 were here last week with a camera could fit in the palm of your hand. The pictures looked incredible. Are you an amateur, or are you just using really old gear? Because that big old thing doesn't look professional to me. At all."

I tried to explain the whole big sensor, professional glass thing, and he wasn't buying any of it. Scowled at me the whole trip. Six hours of being scowled at by a law enforcement officer in tight quarters? Not fun.

There's a time coming soon when people with towers are going to be looked at as slow and out of touch. Clients will ask, "Are you sure you're a professional? Because pros don't use such big, loud, nasty-looking chunks of metal. Metal?!? You kiddin' me? Where's the shiny white plastic? That thing is making me deaf."

Or they'll look at your HP workstation and say, ah, heavy iron. Got it. LOL

But if your clients are looking for Macs, very soon, they're going to see a tower in your suite and scowl the whole dang time. Doesn't matter that you know it's the "right" form factor for pro work. Don't bother trying to explain this either. Your clients won't believe a word of it. They'll just scowl.

I'm tellin' ya man. Coming SOON.
@Tim Wilson
by Brian Cooney
LOL. Great Word. onward and upward... :-)

MotionFoundry, Inc. Video Post
Clients: GM, AOL, Kohl's, 3 Doors Down, IKEA, Kelloggs, Toyota, Thomas Nelson, NASCAR Affiliates
@Tim Wilson
by walter biscardi
But if your clients are looking for Macs, very soon, they're going to see a tower in your suite and scowl the whole dang time. Doesn't matter that you know it's the "right" form factor for pro work. Don't bother trying to explain this either. Your clients won't believe a word of it. They'll just scowl.

Clients haven't even seen a computer in our edit suites since about 2006. They've been hidden in machine rooms.

As for the iMacs, all they know is the job is getting done and they're faster and more stable than our older Mac Pros. Also, most of the clients trust that I know what I'm doing when it comes to Post Production. That's what their coming here for. Our knowledge and creativity, not the machines we work with.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Foul Water Fiery Serpent, an original documentary featuring Sigourney Weave...
MTWD Entertainment - Developing original content for all media.
"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.
"Science Nation" - Three years and counting of Science for the People.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@Chris Tomberlin
by David Jahns
Wow - that's great (RAM expandability). We're ordering 3 of these 27" iMacs, so if I can use OWC RAM, you just saved me a grand or so. I'll buy you drinks at NAB!

Our facility is expanding, and we set up 3 new systems, and needed to upgrade 2 others. We wound up going with 3 iMacs, and 2 Refurbed 12-core towers. Honestly, the towers feel like a waste of money these days.

I know there's supposedly a MacPro 6,1 in the works, but we can't wait on Apple forever... There's work to be done! I doubt we'll ever see another big "tower" from Apple. I'm betting the MacPro 6 is like a Jumbo Mac mini - like a pizza box, with 4 to 6 Thunderbolt ports. The biggest question I have is whether there will be any way to upgrade a graphics card, via PCI slot or some other invention. Thunderbolt is a great replacement for FireWire, but not for a 16x PCI slot!

Our facility now has, I think, 14 MacPros (almost all 12-cores), and 5 2011/2012 iMacs. I'm hoping we're set for 2013, maybe 2014- and at that time we'll see where the industry is - if new MacPros ever appear, if the iMacs are working out for us, potential switch to Windows, etc...

David Jahns
---
Joint Editorial
Portland, OR
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Greg Hirsh
I read this while taking a break from three days of AMA troubleshooting. It brought a smile to my face as, one, its nice to know that you're not alone and, two, because here at our shop I am usually working on Premiere (my roll is to fill in the holes that our standard Avid workflow leaves for any given project). The past week has really made me appreciate the little Adobe app I have waiting at my desk. It still has some growing up to do, but not much.

Great article, Walter!
@Greg Hirsh
by Greg Hirsh
...and yes, I blame the bad spelling on lack of sleep.
@Greg Hirsh
by walter biscardi
Hi Greg,

According to all the release information, it appears Avid's 6.5 upgrade has addressed many of the AMA issues we brought forth to the company. We were not asked to be a part of the testing so I don't know if it actually works as promised, nor have we upgraded our two Symphonies to 6.5. As it's a paid upgrade, though just a nominal fee, the Premiere Pro system is working so well, I'll wait until we need the Avids again for a project before upgrading them.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Dan Hyman
Great article, thank you for posting.

I'm finding CS6 to be a decent alternative to FCP7. It's funny how when watching my final export, there are frames that sneak in there, meaning my cuts aren't as accurate.
I opened FCP 7 after about a month of force feeding PP and wow, you nailed it with not knowing what we had. It was so much faster and easier. (deep sigh)

Something as simple as a copy / paste and having it stay on the layer, not default to Video 1 in PP is a huge time waste for me.

thanks again.
@Dan Hyman
by walter biscardi
It's funny how when watching my final export, there are frames that sneak in there, meaning my cuts aren't as accurate.

Hmmm, not sure what to tell you there. We're not seeing anything like that here. What we see when we watch down the final timeline is what we get when we export.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by larry towers
I've come across this problem before:
Assuning you want Dnxhd files
This works every time:
Duplicate the sequence
Consolidate transcode to a different drive
Quit Avid
Take original drive offline, rebuild media database
Use media tool to delete all video precomputes
Make sure your media creation settings are set to same codec as consolidated media
Recreate title media re-render all effects
Now try AAF export
Actually I have no idea why you insist on the copy media option. Consolidate transcode creates new media. Why not target the consolidate transcodes up front to the destination where you were going to copy the files to anyway? Then link to method should work fine. The end result is the same.

@larry tower
by walter biscardi
That didn't work for us here when we were still running Avid. We've moved on from Symphony and all our editors are cutting in Premiere Pro CS6. In fact we're finishing our first PBS series with it in the next three weeks. Not perfect, but our editors are really liking it.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Premiere Pro CS6
by Stephen Smith
Walter,
I'm cutting my first video on Premiere Pro CS6 and it is 2 hours long. I'm really liking Premiere Pro CS6 as well. It doesn't seem to work the best over our network. I hope you would consider writing an article on your Premiere Pro CS6 work flow. Once again, thanks for this great article.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page
@Stephen Smith
by walter biscardi
Premiere Pro doesn't work well at all with mass storage as we are finding out. Seems there's a price to pay for all that native file goodness, realtime playback suffers greatly.

Even our 12 Core Mac Pro with dual nVidia cards has playback issues with fully rendered timelines. We're working out all the details but it's a combination of the computer, storage, capture card and interface configuration. I haven't said much about it because we're still figuring it all out.

We're still cutting our series and working our way though things. I want to fully understand what's going on before I start posting articles. But Premiere Pro definitely works completely differently with mass storage than FCP / Avid do. Seems to be a lot less efficient with its handling of data.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by David Jahns
Whoa - really? PPro not great with a SAN?

That's a potential deal-killer, for sure! We're still rocking FCP7/Avid 5.5 with an Editshare, and we've done a few PPro 6 tests, but not a full client project yet.

Walter - you have a gig-E Small Tree SAN, correct? And it's not a bandwidth limitation you're encountering?

David Jahns
---
Joint Editorial
Portland, OR
@David Jahn
by walter biscardi
The Small Tree SAN gives us around 100MB/s to each workstation. We're only pushing 14MB/s of data. Plenty of bandwidth.

Not saying it's not great with a SAN, just that we're finding a lot of interesting things about how PPro works and why we're having playback issues. There are multiple factors at play here. Need to understand it all before posting an article.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Bruce Dixon
Thanks for sharing in such great detail.

Was the final problem with the Transcode or with the AAF Export?

If the problem was the AAF, did you try doing the Transcode to a portable drive and allowing the AAF to link to those files? Before creating the AAF you might try unmounting all other media drives (or even move to a different system) so MC won't "see" any of the AMA media.

If the sequence was still linked to the non-DNxHD media, then of course, that is another issue. Un-mounting all other media drives would make the media go offline and this is easy to see if you turn on clip colors in the timeline fast menu.

I attempted to Consolidate an AMA Prores file in MC6 today and it does not seem to allow that yet. I can use Transcode with no problem, but even though Prores is now supported natively in MC6, it doesn't work and gives an error. So I had to transcode from Prores to Prores which doesn't make sense.

Good luck.
@Bruce Dixon
by walter biscardi
We tried everything under the sun with all the time spent with Avid both on the phone and in person. Thanks for the thought!

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Brendan Dillon
Walter, you've mentioned you use 'scene detect' to split your final render because there are problems with Premiere EDL's. I may be mistaken but I think you can use AAF's in Resolve to pre-conform as an alternative to EDL. From memory it's the same workflow - just navigate to an AAF file rather than an EDL file. I believe Premiere can export an AAF so it could be worth a shot.
@Brendan Dillon
by walter biscardi
Walter, you've mentioned you use 'scene detect' to split your final render because there are problems with Premiere EDL's. I may be mistaken but I think you can use AAF's in Resolve to pre-conform as an alternative to EDL. From memory it's the same workflow - just navigate to an AAF file rather than an EDL file. I believe Premiere can export an AAF so it could be worth a shot.

As I've mentioned multiple times in this thread, you cannot use anything but an EDL with a flattened file in Resolve.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Brendan Dillon
Sorry. I was sure this worked in Resolve in the past but looks like I was mistaken. Another suggestion - export an AAF from Premiere then use Avid EDL Manager to open the AAF and save as a CMX3600 EDL. It would only take a few seconds to convert.
@Brendan Dillon
by Jeremy Garchow
The only problem with AAF from premiere is that it can sometimes get squirrely.

It wants to export everything from your project, not just the supported timeline, and it sometimes has difficulty with embedded audio in .movs.

Consolidating your final timeline in to a new project helps to alleviate some of the issues, but it can still trip up on the audio.

If you choose to NOT embed media, then you have to figure out exactly which pieces of media were used on your project, or send every frame of media with your color grade. This is fine if you are on central storage or have short projects, but if you need to sneaker net or send media to another separate machine and have a large project (like a tv series), it gets annoying very quickly.

Believe me, I want all of this to work, but media management and consolidation need some work in premiere for those of use who need to send projects/media around to different places.

Native editing is totally awesome, right up until it isn't. I do think that Adobe is listening and will develop with these ideas in mind.

Jeremy
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Joel Perez Irizarry
I switched to MC 6 a few months ago after almost a decade editing in FCP, and I'm absolutely in love with it. I really enjoy the interface, the color correction tools, how I can apply effects like corner pins, cloning, and keys with real time. Also how I can track using the media composer to do simple effects without having to leave the application to go to After Effects. Pretty soon we will be editing in Avid for every project in our small TV commercials production house. We still do a few projects in FCP legacy, because some of our directors prefer it, but MC 6 has proven to be very reliable and fast in our workflow.

We shoot pretty much everything on Epic or Alexa, and after the shoot we send the footage to a post house that transcode everything for us to DNxHD 115 overnight using a red rocket for the Red footage. Or we take the DNxHD directly from the Alexa. We fast import the footage, which is very fast and reliable on Avid; edit, and then just send the post house an AAF for them to color correct the final sequence with the RAW files using a Baselight and then do the online in Smoke. The Baselight has never had a problem reading the AAF. Even when we include a lot of resizing, pan and zooms, and a few other effects.

For me it seems odd to judge an editing system solely based on a problem with a very specific workflow. I think you're missing on a whole set of features in MC6, based on this problem you had.

For all the talk and arguments about which software does this or that better, it seems that Avid does winning Academy Awards better than any other software. In the 2012 Oscars, 8 of the 9 films nominated where edited on Avid. Including best picture, best editing, and best animated feature film.

@Joel Perez Irizarry
by walter biscardi
Glad to hear you're enjoying the software. You are essentially performing the "standard Avid workflow" of converting everything before you edit. That is really the only way to make Avid work the way we would want it to work.

You are also working with just one or two formats in your workflow as it sounds like you control the shoot to post aspect of your work. I'm curious how many hours of material you typically work with for a project.

We are predominately an independent Post house working primarily on documentaries and broadcast series. We receive our footage from an array of cameras on an array of formats. We don't send any of it out to be converted, we do it all in-house since we have 8 workstations and can do all manner of conversions when needed.

Pretty much name a camera and a codec combination, we're receiving footage from it. For this broadcast series I talk about in the article, there are dozens of stringers across the country shooting with every major HD camera. For a single episode we will have footage from 5 to 10 different types of cameras, different codecs, etc... For a single episode we will have between 20 to 50 hours of material. That's a lot of footage to have to convert to a single codec before we start the edit, hence our desire to work natively with AMA at the beginning of the project.

Right now Premiere Pro is working extremely well allowing us the native editing workflow we desire and the flatted QT file on the back end to Resolve is working extremely well too. EDLs don't work at the moment from Premiere Pro, but I'm finding I can prepare a 30 minute show using Scene Detect in about 10 minutes. The Avid style trim tools are also a great addition. We have to stringently manage the media which is the big difference from Avid.

We still have two copies of Symphony in house and continue discussions with Avid to try to make the native workflow on the back end as seamless as the AMA workflow on the front end. Avid will still be a part of our workflow moving forward, it's just on the back burner for the time being.

Just winning Academy Awards doesn't help us in our situation. FCP has won a ton of Academy Awards over the years as well but I chose to leave the application.

I have 13 Emmy Awards, Peabody Awards, and more Tellys and Auroras than I can count to my credit editing linearly, with Media 100 and with FCP. Just because I was part of some incredible teams fortunate enough to be honored with the awards, I didn't stick to any of those three applications just because we won. I have a business to run and I have to use the right tool for my needs right now. Right now Premiere Pro is definitely filling the bill for the current projects.

For projects that call for it, we have Avid Symphony, FCP X and Smoke 2013 ready to go.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Joel Perez Irizarry
Walter thanks for your reply. I'm actually a director and not a full time editor. I just really love editing, because I started out as an editor and I pretty much edit all my work. And yes, my workflow doesn't resembles yours at all, and I really have no expertise in big post houses workflows.

I also agree with your point that awards can't really measure the ability of an NLE to be useful in any given situation, in an ever changing environment. Recently I was lucky enough to direct and edit, two commercials that went on to win a Grand Prix and two gold lions in Cannes Lions this year; and both where edited in my good old friend FCP.But since I'm a big editing fan, I can't help to be curious and try to participate in this very exciting times in the post world.

Since my last post, I got a chance to try out Premiere CS6, and I have to admit that Premier has been in my applications folder for years, but I really never cared much about it. But now I can see why all the positive reviews.

It is FCP 8, or at least, what I would have wanted it to be. It is very intuitive, and for an FCP editor you can just start editing right away, since it's user interface is very similar to FCP. Plus is very fast indeed, the 64bit architecture has done wonders for the program overall performance.

None the less, I still can't really see a big performance difference between Premiere Mercury Playback and Avid AMA. I spent a few hours trying Premiere no importing, no transcode, no rendering engine, using RED EPIC and Canon H.264 footage, mixed in one single sequence. I made sure that my CUDA drivers where up to date. I have a Quadro FX 4800 that is fully qualified to take advantage of the Mercury Playback engine, and my system specs should be high enough.

I like that I can just bring in the material, straight from the media browser in to the sequence. But I think it can also become a media management nightmare, with some of the not so organized editors that I have to work with at times. But still, if you are disciplined; this is a really convenient, fast, and straight forward way of working. I also really liked that the new trimming tool is way better than the old trim window.

I started editing with the RED R3D footage, and I liked that It justs plays, unlike Avid AMA where the playback stops only a few seconds after you hit play. The drawback is that the Premiere playback in 1/4 and 1/8 resolution is barely usable for my taste. Not to mention that with only a couple of simple effects, like resize and color correction, you'll have to start rendering right away, specially if you need to see the footage in an acceptable playback quality. Even if I decided to switch to Premiere, I think I would definitely transcode all my RED footage before editing.

I also added some Canon H.264 clips to the sequence, and at first I thought that it was indeed more responsive and had better realtime playback performance than AMA, but I soon realized that it also required rendering pretty soon and very often, with just simple effects applied.

I think that one of the big differences between Premiere and Avid; is that Premiere (like Legacy) render at the sequence level and Avid renders at the clip level (I don't know if those are the correct terms). Every time you render in Premiere you are actually transcoding the material. And every time you have to move a rendered clip, even if it is just a little bit, you have to re-render.

In Avid I bring my R3D and H.264 files with Link to AMA, and I just start editing by selecting the bits that I want in the source monitor, and transcode them as subclips. With this method I have to render/transcode every clip that I bring in to the sequence. But the big advantage of this is that I only have to do it once, unlike Premiere where I have to be rendering every time I move a clip. In MC6, after a few hours of editing you realize that you already did pretty much all the rendering you where going to do, and keep editing real time without rendering again. I also like to mention that Sorenson Squeeze, like Premiere, uses CUDA technology to export and transcode material, and is very reliable and fast.

I'm no Premiere expert, and I might be missing something. But I think my system specs are quite high and fully compliant with Premiere specifications, and yet I have to experience that no breaks for cigarettes, performance people are talking about in this forums.




Joel Perez
http://www.latitude18films.com
http://www.joelperezirizarry.com

MacPro 8 Core 2.26 GHz, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro FX4800, 4 TB CalDigit HDOne Raid 05, AJA Kona 3, Mac OSX 10.7.4, MC 6.0.1
@Joel Perez Irizarry
by Terence Curren
You either pay the price up front (Avid) by getting your media to an NLE friendly format, or you pay it on the back end (Premiere, FCP) by converting as you go or at the end. FCPx's advantage is it allows it to happen in the background. Presumably both Avid and Adobe will get there at some point.

Terence Curren
http://www.alphadogs.tv
http://www.digitalservicestation.com
Burbank,Ca
@Terence Curren
by Joel Perez Irizarry
My point was that with Avid AMA you can also pay as you go like in Premiere and FCP. You just have to render/transcode subclips while you edit, instead of having to transcode everything at the beginning. I also have tried FCPX, and the background rendering is a good feature because it will let you keep editing while the system renders, unlike Legacy, Premiere, and Avid. Still I have found myself actively managing FCPX background rendering/transcoding since the performance can get very cumbersome in my system and workflow. For me the big drawback with FCPX background rendering, is that it won't allow the use of other codecs other than ProRes422. Apart from all the other big disadvantages of using FCPX, that we all know about.

MacPro 8 Core 2.26 GHz, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro FX4800, 4 TB CalDigit HDOne Raid 05, AJA Kona 3, Mac OSX 10.7.4, MC 6.0.1
@Terence Curren
by walter biscardi
You either pay the price up front (Avid) by getting your media to an NLE friendly format, or you pay it on the back end (Premiere, FCP) by converting as you go or at the end. FCPx's advantage is it allows it to happen in the background. Presumably both Avid and Adobe will get there at some point.

We're finding the "pain" is minimal at the end of Premiere Pro. We are now editing everything natively straight from the camera.

At the end of the process instead of doing the Transcode process to ProRes, we're simply exporting a Self Contained Movie for Resolve. Takes approx. 30 minutes for our 12 Core Mac Pro to export.

Scene Detect in Resolve for the color grade, takes approx. 10 minutes to set up.

Grade and render a ProRes file to go back to Premiere Pro.

Render the final timeline with graphics and output.

It's actually going much faster than a Transcode route at the very end and definitely a LOT faster than having to go through the transcode to DNxHD process on the front end. So it's all evening out and we're experiencing very little "pain" as we iron out our CS6 workflow.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@Joel Perez Irizarry
by walter biscardi
Performance will vary on systems. So far we have not found the need to render anything during editing with CS6. Of course you have to render for output but as far as editing, even with 6 or more formats in the same timeline, my editors have not been required to render anything for playback.

Been quite remarkable actually.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Joel Perez Irizarry
Just out of curiosity. What formats do you work with? Have you tried working with Canon H.264 and Red R3D? If you add effects like resize or color correction, do you still see no need for rendering? I wonder what is the performance difference between and 8 core Mac Pro and a 12 core. I was holding up buying a new Mac Pro till next year, when they release the new models. But maybe if the performance difference is big enough, it could justify buying a new one now.

MacPro 8 Core 2.26 GHz, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro FX4800, 4 TB CalDigit HDOne Raid 05, AJA Kona 3, Mac OSX 10.7.4, MC 6.0.1
@Joel Perez Irizarry
by walter biscardi
What formats do you work with? Have you tried working with Canon H.264 and Red R3D?

XDCAM, ProRes, P2 (720p / 1080i), AVCHD, DVCAM, DVCPro HD, H.264 (many flavors), GoPro, Contour, DV, HDV. Pretty much everything except RED and Alexa for the time being.

If you add effects like resize or color correction, do you still see no need for rendering?

Sizing changes are no issues whatsoever. We don't add color correction in the Premiere Pro timelines since we go to Resolve after the fact. But the basic 3 Way CC tool in Premiere Pro is realtime no problem. You know that any 32bit filter you throw onto a clip will drop performance of the system. If you stay with the 64 bit filters, it all runs faster.

I was holding up buying a new Mac Pro till next year, when they release the new models. But maybe if the performance difference is big enough, it could justify buying a new one now.

You mean "If." All Tim Cook said was that they were "working on something special for later in 2013." Might be a Mac Pro, might not.

If you need a machine right now, pick up a 16 Core HP / Dell / ProMax, put 48GB or so of RAM in there and at least an nVidia Quadro 4000. Sucker will scream. We have a Dell 8 core with 48GB RAM, Quadro 4000 and it can render as fast as our Mac Pro 12 core.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by craig slattery
Walter, I have been a keen follower of your industry analysis for some time, on this topic I wonder if you didn't jump ship too soon? Especially since FCP 7 was doing the job you wanted it to do. Let me tell you where I'm at. I edit at least 50 hrs of television for the BBC each year, I'm a freelance editor, I've just cut a bunch of TV for the Queens Jubilee( yawn), The Royal Academy Summer Show, which airs tonight on BBC Two and I have been the senior editor for a BBC Two culture magazine programme, named funny enough, ‘The Culture Show’, for the last seven years. Working predominately for the BBC I have to admit I'm spoilt. You tech guys on the various blogs are always banging on about, codecs, AMA, transcoding XDCAM, Pro res, etc Im afraid Im a bit of a numpty when it comes to the tech stuff. At the BEEB, when I walk into the edit, the computer is turned on, the FCP 7 project is open, the media imported and the sequence settings pre- set. The director and I have a cup coffee, chat about the kids, bitch about the weather and then start editing. A bunch of nice people may have been working all night for all I know, but I guess I call myself a craft editor, all I worry about is making good TV.
What I find incredible about all the non linear chatter is the refusal by my fellow professionals to seriously include FCPX in the mix.
That said, I bought a copy of FCPX the day it was released, and like many people thought OMG what the hell was Apple thinking. Fast forward 12 months and there is not a day, I repeat, not a day, when I don't plead with the BBC to let me cut on FCPX. I dont care how they do it, I just want the tech people to make it work because in my humble opinion, this is a no brainer. FCPX is completely ground breaking, stupidly easy to use, incredibly intuitive and above all buckets of fun to cut on.
Take for example the fore-mentioned programme, The Royal Academy Summer Show, 1 hr special, the best part of 1000 edits.
With FCP 7, Avid and or Premier, most of one’s edit time is spent managing the timeline, During this massive edit, It must have added up to days, the time spent simply restructuring the timeline for the purpose of simply inserting a clip or changing a shot or lengthen an edit so as not to have clips go out of sync. The whole track based edit environment is SOOOOO outdated. the magnetic timeline in FCPX, alone should have editors singing with joy. During this edit I was actually taking footage home on the weekend cutting scenes on FCPX because I find it quicker and more creative as a craft editor, and then rebuilding these scenes in FCP7 back at work. Completely nuts.
If I was the FCPX team at apple Id be pretty miffed at the industry reaction to this software, I just hope Apple don't get put off, because I believe this is the way forward and I dread the thought of heading back to the future with old thinking editing platforms.
+1
@craig slattery
by Anhtu Vu
Hey Craig,

I guess to each his own. I can't stand the elastic timeline. Managing the timeline is a breeze for me under Avid, FCP, Premiere...i can't say the same for FCPX. But for me where they truly mess up is the way FCPX interacts with other finishing apps. Unless you're a one man band. Sending your edits for finishing to...Resolve, Baselight, Smoke and Protools is still a mess.

@Anhtu Vu
by craig slattery
Hey Anhu Vu
I totally understand, I've been cutting on FCP since version 1, and I agree managing the time line becomes second nature, but why waist time on things that you don't need to be doing. I say to my assistant editors, In, Out 'E', In, Out 'E', In, Out 'E', trim, trim, trim, get your bag and go home, its that simple. RE the interaction 'mess up', I might be wrong, but in my experience FCPX integration with Resolve is seamless. Export XML, Import XML, I don't see how it could be any easier. Audio might be sub-optimal, maybe Protools needs some revolutionary thinking.
@craig slattery
by walter biscardi
Nope, don't feel like we jumped too soon. We're not buying into what Apple is selling.

Track based workflow is what we require for our workflow and it's what our editors and freelancers want. Adobe Premiere Pro has allowed my team to get those 12 lost days back and we're just a day or so behind schedule at this point.

PPro is the best of both worlds with native editing while keeping the track based timeline. The new trim tools are just ridiculously good. Now we just need better media management and better VTR controls.

I'm glad X is working for you, we're going to just use it for Producers to log footage since it can play with all the native footage and it's $100 cheaper than Adobe's Prelude.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Anhtu Vu
@Walter

Couldn't you just transcode your final sequence to your format of choice, then simply AAF that seq to Resolve ?

Have you given Symphony CC a shot ??? Most people talk about Symphony's secondary CC as the main difference to MC, but for me, it's all about the relational color. It saves you SO much time.

As for AMA, i totally agree. It sucks! very unreliable at best. I've learned my lesson, if i decide to use Avid for a project, i might AMA to view footage but i ALWAYS end up transcoding prior to editing.

Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Anhtu Vu
@Walter

Couldn't you just transcode your final sequence to your format of choice, then simply AAF that seq to Resolve ?

Have you given Symphony CC a shot ??? Most people talk about Symphony's secondary CC as the main difference to MC, but for me, it's all about the relational color. It saves you SO much time.

As for AMA, i totally agree. It sucks! very unreliable at best. I've learned my lesson, if i decide to use Avid for a project, i might AMA to view footage but i ALWAYS end up transcoding prior to editing.

@Anhtu Vu
by walter biscardi
Couldn't you just transcode your final sequence to your format of choice, then simply AAF that seq to Resolve ?

Have you given Symphony CC a shot ??? Most people talk about Symphony's secondary CC as the main difference to MC, but for me, it's all about the relational color. It saves you SO much time.


If you read the article, that's precisely what we did. Again, and again, and again, and again..... Because of the AMA at the front end of the process, which Avid confirmed we did the correct workflow, the transcode / consolidate / convert / AAF never worked.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@Anhtu Vu
by walter biscardi
Couldn't you just transcode your final sequence to your format of choice, then simply AAF that seq to Resolve ?

Have you given Symphony CC a shot ??? Most people talk about Symphony's secondary CC as the main difference to MC, but for me, it's all about the relational color. It saves you SO much time.


If you read the article, that's precisely what we did. Again, and again, and again, and again..... Because of the AMA at the front end of the process, which Avid confirmed we did the correct workflow, the transcode / consolidate / convert / AAF never worked.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Anhtu Vu
Walter,

I'm working on a 12 episode TV/Web series show right now. I'm the editor and sound designer/mixer. For the first 3 shows, that's exactly what i did.
- Mount my AMA volume
- Choose/mark my footage
- Transcode all chosen footages to DnxHD (i hate editing via AMA, just too unreliable and slow)
- Edit away then simply AAF the finaly sequence to Resolve and PT.

Works fine everytime. I also tried editing one show via AMA and only trancode it during the AAF export to resolve. It worked fine, i just don't like all the quirkiness when editing via AMA.

From show 4 on, i decided finish in Symphony. It took a bit of getting used to...obviously, it's not Resolve but for TV series with quick turn around, it was fine.

Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Stephen Hullfish
I respect Walter and the things he tried, but he made some fundamental mistakes (which he admits) and made some poor assumptions that don't apply to everyone. I definitely agree with some of his Avid issues, but the answer is also neither FCP7 or FCP8 or PPro or FCPX either.

Terry Curren - and others - have pointed out that ALL NLEs have "payments" that MUST be made.

You can pay at the beginning of the process - transcoding/importing.
You can pay in the middle of the process - (lack of transcoding means slow/sketchy performance while editing *THE WORST
You can pay at the end of the process - exporting/rendering/output.

Personally, I think that the most professional "payment" is at the beginning, because under deadline, you don't want the LAST part to go wrong. Or worse, like Walter, you get to the end and find out that it doesn't really work.

AMA isn't a bad option because you can actually kind of "rent to own." You don't pay until you figure out what you can completely dismiss - thereby saving time and storage - but you pay before you have to actually start editing. Use AMA to bring stuff in and look at it, then immediately transcode. That's the best current solution, I think.

I always hated the way FCP dealt with rendering (pay later AND pay often), but the old Avid importing was INCREDIBLY slow. AMA kind of works to be both the best of both worlds and unfortunately also the lesser of two evils.

The biggest indictment of Avid that I saw was IF they are indeed really pushing AMA as a solution that DOESN'T really require transcoding, then that's not wise on Avid's part. I have tried several times to edit pure AMA content. You don't get very far very fast.
@Stephen Hullfish
by walter biscardi
The biggest indictment of Avid that I saw was IF they are indeed really pushing AMA as a solution that DOESN'T really require transcoding, then that's not wise on Avid's part. I have tried several times to edit pure AMA content. You don't get very far very fast.

If you watch any demo, that's definitely the secret sauce they are pushing. "Hey look with AMA there's no more waiting, just edit. It works!'" And if you stay within the Avid ecosystem, it does work rather well.

The biggest breakdown we had was the promise that Transcode / Consolidate would allow us edit AMA and then conform everything at the end for an external app like Resolve. There were multiple factors that prevented this (still prevents) this from happening efficiently.

AMA isn't a bad option because you can actually kind of "rent to own." You don't pay until you figure out what you can completely dismiss - thereby saving time and storage - but you pay before you have to actually start editing. Use AMA to bring stuff in and look at it, then immediately transcode. That's the best current solution, I think.

100% agree. I had many folks tell me that the "old Avid" way of working is still the best way of working with the application.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@Stephen Hullfish
by Kevin Johnson
4th option:

Import, start editing immediately.
Transcode happens in the background.
No "conforming" on the backend.
Export to ProRes.

Seems like those Apple guys were on to something. #fcpx

Kevin Johnson

Autodesk Smoke Artist
FCP Editor
Washington, DC
@Kevin Johnson
by walter biscardi
Import, start editing immediately.
Transcode happens in the background.
No "conforming" on the backend.
Export to ProRes.


If my system started transcoding 250 hours of documentary footage in the background, thereby bloating my entire project by Terrabytes, I'd be pretty pissed at all the wasted hard drive space.

No, I don't want any sort of transcoding going on the background. I want to stay native until the very end and THEN Transcode just my final project.

And we also like keeping the traditional editing workflow in place rather than introducing something brand new.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
+1
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Sean Bates
Walter, I have no doubt that your decision was well researched (in spite of your self-effacing comments above). My rant (fueled by a few too many Sunday afternoon libations) was directed at Avid.

You think Avid is fully aware of DS? My experience at NAB would suggest otherwise. A system that is occasionally referred to (tongue in cheek) as Avid's flagship got nary a mention. Tucked away in a corner to demonstrate the Avid Color Control panel, that's it. No demonstrations on the main floor to show the beginning to end workflow from MC to DS. No mention in print. No mention in their ten minute preview video. Nada. I asked three Avid employees where to find the "DS booth" and was met with blank stares.

I guess what makes it a little more frustrating as a long time DS user is that most of the features being raved about (by people including yourself) in the new version of Smoke have been available in DS since 1999. Unfortunately, any serious advancement of the product ended the day Avid bought it, which is why I have little trust and/or faith in Avid as a company. While they may have been fresh and innovative back in the 90s, my current impression is that they simply react to what other companies are doing. Mark my words--next NAB you will see a flaccid roll-out of the latest DS as a reaction to the new Smoke.

Sincerely, I think you are making a good decision going with Adobe. While they aren't perfect, I do think they are committed to making top shelf products. I also think they are more receptive to user feedback and will be quick to implement feature requests, including outputting transcoded sequences.
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Sean Bates
See, if Avid knew how to market their own products, they would have told you that Avid DS is a great way to conform and color correct projects offlined in Avid MC/Symphony. Of course, 95% of the people who work at Avid don't realize they own DS. Go figure. One of the many reasons I would not trust Avid as a company in the long run. Good call moving to Adobe.
@Sean Bate
by walter biscardi
See, if Avid knew how to market their own products, they would have told you that Avid DS is a great way to conform and color correct projects offlined in Avid MC/Symphony. Of course, 95% of the people who work at Avid don't realize they own DS. Go figure. One of the many reasons I would not trust Avid as a company in the long run.

That's a very poor assumption on your part. DS was discussed during our various conversations but not something that I want to invest in. It was my decision not to purchase / use DS. The folks I was talking to at Avid know what DS, that Avid owns it, and that it could have been of use in our situation.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Stephen Smith
Will this still be an issue with DaVinci Resolve 9? Won't it be able to work with RAW formats at different frame rates?

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page
@Stephen Smith
by walter biscardi
As I don't have Resolve 9 I don't know. BlackMagic has said the workflows will be improved but I'm not sure exactly what that means.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
DaVinci Resolve 9 RAW codec
by Stephen Smith
I purchased your Color training DVD when it came out and loved it. That is when I started to Color Grade. I'm looking for a new Color Grading program and really enjoyed this article. I have to say I'm really surprised Black Magic hasn't given you a Beta copy of DaVinci Resolve 9. Especially after you wrote this article. Their website says Resolve 9 will handle RAW files but I can't find a list of the codecs. At NAB no one could tell me if it would work with P2 footage. The best I got was "we don't think so but we are not sure...Panasonic charges to much." Please write another article in July when DaVinci Resolve 9 comes out. Keep up the great work!

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Mark LaCroix
There is actually an easy way to do what Walter originally wanted to do in Premiere without having to flatten your timeline. It's annoying, but basically foolproof.

1. Go to "Project > Project Manager" and create a "copied project" from selected timelines.

This will make copies of only the files that you are using in your selected timelines, create a new project file, and move them them all into new folder. If Resolve weren't "format stupid," this would be your only step.

2. Open AME and batch transcode all of the newly copied files to the intermediate format of your choice. Remember to put them in a subfolder if your file extensions aren't changing.

Again, you'll only be transcoding the clips you used in the timeline. It won't trim your clips, so it will take awhile, but it's better than transcoding everything, and you don't have to go looking for anything.

3. Once the transcodes are done, delete the original copied files (not the original original files, of course).

Those files are extra copies or your original clips anyway, you don't need them any longer.

4. Open the newly copied project file (created by the Project Manager).

Because you deleted all the files referenced in this new project, the missing media dialog will pop up as soon as you try to open it. Now comes the annoying part...

5. "Relink" your media one-by-one.

The good news is that this is a simple and largely automated process, partly because all your clips are now in one folder, and also because once you link a file, the dialog will pop back up asking for the next one, until you've linked them all.

It's a boring process, but shouldn't take too long, and is hard to screw up, so you can put an assistant on it.

As a bonus, if your file extensions haven't changed (mov-to-mov is the most common example), Premiere will actually relink the transcoded files automatically. If you're feeling particularly sneaky, you can batch rename all your transcoded files to their original extensions, and Premiere will just use the new files without needing to relink at all (although I can't say if Resolve will be happy with that).


6. Confirm that everything looks right (especially if you changed frame sizes and didn't use the "scale to frame size" feature).

7. Save your project as "Project_conformed.pproj" or whatever, and then export an XML for Resolve.

If you make any mistakes, you can always go back a step. It's almost impossible to totally screw it up.

The sad thing is that this just goes to show how easy it would be for Adobe to implement this feature officially, since it's all there already.

Hell, I bet someone could write an API extension script to do this, including trimmed clips with handles and everything (CS6's robust marker support should make it easy for AME to render out only the part of the clip you're using).
@Mark LaCroix
by walter biscardi
Yeah, we actually have gotten this before from someone else on the Facebook Moving to Adobe Premiere Pro page.

The problem is you're talking 450 clips per episode that would have to go through AME and not really something we want to do with a manual process. So first you do Project Manager, then move all the clips into AME, transcode, relink, etc.....

So much easier to just flatten / EDL / Pre-Conform in Resolve. Can do that in about an hour.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Mark LaCroix
It's probably more like 450 *edits*, not clips (but what do I know?).

In the end, you'll probably be spending less time relinking these clips than you would lose doing a pre-conform because of how many fewer clips you're transcoding (though, obviously, you can set a transcode to go overnight).

But of course you're right, flattening is way easier. I just figured that if the reason you originally dumped CS6 (after all that heavy flirting) for Avid was because you wanted features like timeline conform, you should know that in Premiere there are ways around every missing feature, and most aren't as onerous as this even.

And now that you "need" to go back to CS6, you shouldn't feel that you had to sacrifice anything (other than some poor assistant editor's lunch hour) to get everything you want out of it.
@Mark LaCroix
by walter biscardi
It's 400+ clips. Not just 400+ 'edits'.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Mark LaCroix
"It's 400+ clips. Not just 400+ 'edits'."

Wowie zowie.
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Alain Dessauvage
What I don't get is that you spent months testing an alternative for your beloved FCP7, writing numerous interesting blog posts about it, only to admit in the end that you didn't actually tested the whole workflow... Honestly I think you've got yourself to blame for that. Sure Avid has it share of bugs or quirky things you need to know about. So do CS6, Resolve and FCP7. You chose Resolve because it 's a fantastic and cheap grading tool. But it forces you to conform with a single codec and frame rate and apparently it also requires tape names in a file based workflow. That's not exactly 2012 either. Did you slam them for that ? No, you accept it. I think the same goes for Avid. Ingest with AMA and transcode right away. That's the way to do things on Avid. Other workflows might work but then they should be tested to the core. Of course, those bugs shouldn't be there and you're right that it's clear that Avid is based on really old code, but that's nothing new.

For me the purpose on working with Avid is the editing experience, especially on heavy duty long form projects. Not the way it imports or exports footage. When starting a long project, I know that the time I lose with the transcoding process, I make up again with the superior editing interface, and rock solid media management. If I'm on a tight deadline with loads of different sources, I'm happy to work with FCP or CS6. So for me it boils down to one thing. As an editor, I would adapt my workflow to the editing system I want to use, not the other way around.
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Job ter Burg
Have to agree with that, Alain.
@Alain Dessauvage
by walter biscardi
What I don't get is that you spent months testing an alternative for your beloved FCP7, writing numerous interesting blog posts about it, only to admit in the end that you didn't actually tested the whole workflow... Honestly I think you've got yourself to blame for that. Sure Avid has it share of bugs or quirky things you need to know about. So do CS6, Resolve and FCP 7.

We tested everything except that final part of the workflow from Avid to Resolve. The primary reason being the Transcode / Conform tool which we knew was an excellent tool to take your entire project from the multiple sources during the edit to a single codec at the end for finish. So it didn't really seem necessary to test that part of the workflow.

This tool does work, the problem is the database structure in place will not break the links correctly to allow us to consolidate the materials into a single folder to prep everything for Resolve using the AAF command. Yep, that one's on us as I mentioned in the article.

As I also noted in the article, we were in trouble right off the bat with this series because we happened to have had a photographer shoot one of the first stories in the one exact format that had a bug in Avid in terms of trying to add a Tape Name. If that one exact format wasn't used, we would have blown through the Tape Name changes in a day or so. But it took multiple days for Avid to discover that the 720 / 30 over 60 had an issue whereby we could not alter the data at all for clips in that format. So there's nothing we could have done to test that unless we had received that footage during our original testing of Avid and Adobe.

That's why this is a "cautionary tale" from our perspective. We felt that we were prepared to go with the series, chose Avid over CS6 for this project, but that one last part of the workflow, the "assumed it works" part is where we got burned. Hence the article. Never assume anything.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Aydin Odyakmaz
An FCP7 user that does mainly small promos, real estate shoots and wedding films I've been looking at FCPX and CS6 both which I have.

So far FCP X is breeze for very easy edits, but I don't like the format , timeline look, Can't get my head around it.

CS6 took me an hour and a promo edit to figure out, but still need to review the bits of file management . Love the warp stabilizer in effects, since I don't know After Effects this makes it easy. I do need to figure out the best practices with media management in CS6. Not sure about colour correcting, used to do this with the 3 wheel in FCP7 , but never had a need to do high end Colour correct yet.

So my question is will Adobe make adjustments to the requests to keep on top of this game Apple has fallen off? I'm hoping so, cause all this stuff is learning, brain power that I would rather put into sales and creativity instead.

Thanks for your great article.
Aydin
@Aydin Odyakmaz
by walter biscardi
I do need to figure out the best practices with media management in CS6.

Get the book, "An Editor's Guide to Adobe Premiere Pro" from Richard Harrington, Jeff Greenfield and Robbie Carmen. We follow their media management practices and they really work.


So my question is will Adobe make adjustments to the requests to keep on top of this game Apple has fallen off? I'm hoping so, cause all this stuff is learning, brain power that I would rather put into sales and creativity instead.


They already are. Adobe and Avid are both reaching out to smaller shops like mine to refine and improve their native workflows and workflows in general based on our feedback. FCP 7 was incredibly flexible and we're looking to both companies to step up their games and get us much more flexible back end workflows.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: @Aydin Odyakmaz
by Mark Suszko
Walter: my new current-model iMac is on the way, fully maxed-out the RAm and the graphics card, as well as the 2T internal disks plus SSD. Now, can you tell me, will FCP7/FCS3 RUN on this bad boy under Mountain Lion, or did Mountain Lion "break" it? I'd really like to buy a used copy of FCS 3 for home use and run it on this machineM
Re: @Aydin Odyakmaz
by walter biscardi
[Mark Suszko] "Now, can you tell me, will FCP7/FCS3 RUN on this bad boy under Mountain Lion, or "

I don't have Mountain Lion, no clue. Did anyone ask Apple last night at the LAFCPUG event?

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by David Jahns
Seems like an Avid Color Control Surface and Symphony Grading might be the ticket at this point. Probably the best $1500 you'd ever spend!

I'm currently working Smoke 2012/Apple Color/Kona 3/Avid Color Surface.

We're running FCP 7 & Avid, and for FCP finish projects, it's pretty solid - but Avid to Smoke projects with mixed formats have been problematic.

We just ordered a Symphony software for finishing Avid projects. Maybe Smoke 2013 will be better, but I doubt that's where they're putting their programming resources at this time.

David Jahns
---
Joint Editorial
Portland, OR
@David Jahn
by walter biscardi
Seems like an Avid Color Control Surface and Symphony Grading might be the ticket at this point. Probably the best $1500 you'd ever spend!

I'm currently working Smoke 2012/Apple Color/Kona 3/Avid Color Surface.


Except that I've already tested the Color Surface when it was still Euphonix and just as I did then, I still prefer the Tangent Wave, which I own along now with the Tangent Element. http://library.creativecow.net/articles/biscardi_walter/EuphonixMCColor.php

For color grading, Resolve is a better than Smoke 2013, though Smoke 2013's Color Warper will be good for about 75% of your work.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: Article: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Job ter Burg
So, for my proper understanding, you encountered serious transcoding and exporting issues in Avid.

Then, rather than doing a video mixdown to DNxHD or ProRes in Avid, then exporting that as a same-as-source QT and then autodetect cuts in Resolve, you completely switched over to CS6 to do precisely that (flatten, export, autodetect in Resolve)?

I just don't follow, but maybe I'm missing something.
Re: Article: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Job ter Burg
Just to be clear: I do agree that Avid MC/SY should have more flexible output/export options, more like the flexibility of its input/import options. I'm just not sure I follow the logic behind your switch.
Re: Article: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by walter biscardi
[Job ter Burg] "Then, rather than doing a video mixdown to DNxHD or ProRes in Avid, then exporting that as a same-as-source QT and then autodetect cuts in Resolve, you completely switched over to CS6 to do precisely that (flatten, export, autodetect in Resolve)?"

As I stated in the article, if I have to do a flattened quicktime / EDL / Scene Detect at the end of the process anyway, then I might as well use the tool that has the most flexibility on the front end. That would be Premiere Pro as that software has literally works with everything completely natively. No AMA linking, no transcoding, no re-wrapping, etc....

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: Article: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Bob Zelin
rarely have I seen any article so widely read and discussed. Since it's release, I have been flooded with private emails, asking me "have you seen this article by Walter Biscardi".

All I can say is "Walter, you have written an article that will be widely influential in the entire editing community". (and yea, its a great article).

Bob Zelin

Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Lou Borella
Walter,
Welcome to the world of the Avid workaround. There is never a true fix to a problem or a bug just a "workaround". Get used to hearing that word. It has haunted me for years. I know they rewrote the code for MC6 but it seems like included some of the bugs that have plagued the software for years. Apple really overturned the cart by forcing FCPX on us. I've always dreaded the thought of going back to AVID on a full-time basis. IFor all the strengths of ts database system it is also its biggest flaw. (That and the fact that "filler" is still treated as a clip in the timeline) .
There are even issues with ProTools and that is owned by AVID.

Good Luck.

Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Robert Moore
We've had similar issues here, for a client.... just my opinion, but I much prefer FCP7 to Avid MediaComposer. We are actually using MC versions 4, 5 and 6 on the same show! MC4 for VTR capture (because XDCAM to ISIS issues, though we found a fix, the PRoducers didn't want to use it, because they are just so used to old world tape capture!), MC 5, because that's what the 7MC systems here started with and MC6 on two systems, because the Symphony is version 6 and the FX need to be viewed on the VSAT on the Pro Tools system that the execs on the show want to watch the final playback on!

BUT... have you tried the Grass Valley - EDIUS 6? I've seen a demo of it and it looks really quite amazing!? It looks very much like FCP7 and Adobe Premere CS5.5... but it does something no else NLE does.... it can play back, in real-time, all MPEG formats... MPG2, MPG4, H264, MXF (P2) and etc. No transcode, no render needed... YOu can have virtually ALL video codecs in a single timeline all at the same time, including Apple ProRes! It runs great on Windows7 and requires absolutely minimum hardware! And, it has all the same features of FCP7/Avid MC, (MultiCam, VTR I/O and etc.) and it can use any Video card, like AJA, Blackmagic and etc.

So...have you tried EDIUS 6?

I haven't, but I'm interested in hearing your eval.

Thanks!

Robert Moore
http://www.JohnAvatar.com
Email: JohnAvatar@JohnAvatar.com

Very experienced Prod/Editor, Tech/Consult, specializing in HD Tapeless Prod Post using FCP and Avid...

ALSO, Apple iOS App Developer (search John Avatar and Tavis Smiley to see my APPs, if interested?).
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by walter biscardi
[Robert Moore] " but it does something no else NLE does.... it can play back, in real-time, all MPEG formats... MPG2, MPG4, H264, MXF (P2) and etc. No transcode, no render needed..."

Adobe Premiere Pro does that, even on our ATI based machines. It plays everything back everything we've thrown at it except for Avid's MXF codec for the moment. In fact, as I stated in the article, PPro plays back files that nothing else wi..

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Robert Moore
Thanks for the reply.

I'll have to take a closer look at Adobe Premiere. Last August I upgraded 27 MacPro FCP7 systems with Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium. I'll Adobe Premiere through some tests. I thought it had the same limitations on a Mac, as FCP7 does and used QT7?

Robert Moore
JohnAvatar.com
http://www.johnavatar.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnavatar
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by walter biscardi
[Robert Moore] " I thought it had the same limitations on a Mac, as FCP7 does and used QT7?"

You can use QT files if you want, but going native is much faster.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Robert Moore
Thanks for the reply.

I'll have to take a closer look at Adobe Premiere. Last August I upgraded 27 MacPro FCP7 systems with Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium. I'll Adobe Premiere through some tests. I thought it had the same limitations on a Mac, as FCP7 does and used QT7?

How do I log out of THE COW?????? I don't see a LOG OUT BUTTON?

I hate totally unfriendly websites!

Robert Moore
JohnAvatar.com
http://www.johnavatar.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnavatar
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Chris Tomberlin
"She received an error to the effect of "Creating an AAF using anything other than 'Link To' is not permitted with ProRes files." The original project included ProRes files from story that was originally delivered in Final Cut Pro, but the error didn't make sense because everything had been transcoded over to DNxHD and she was creating the AAF from the newly consolidated timeline."

If the Avid guys need independent verification of this issue, I can provide it. We've been gradually wading into the Avid waters as well and have come across this exact problem. I thought perhaps I was missing something; good to know I wasn't losing my mind. Basically what I've learned it that AMA is almost useless if you need to get anything out of Avid later. It would seem transcoding is the only way to work with Avid and is required for the "legendary" media management.

Chris Tomberlin
Editor/Compositor/Owner
OutPost Pictures
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Chris Tomberlin
"She received an error to the effect of "Creating an AAF using anything other than 'Link To' is not permitted with ProRes files." The original project included ProRes files from story that was originally delivered in Final Cut Pro, but the error didn't make sense because everything had been transcoded over to DNxHD and she was creating the AAF from the newly consolidated timeline."

If the Avid guys need independent verification of this issue, I can provide it. We've been gradually wading into the Avid waters as well and have come across this exact problem. I thought perhaps I was missing something; good to know I wasn't losing my mind. Basically what I've learned it that AMA is almost useless if you need to get anything out of Avid later. It would seem transcoding is the only way to work with Avid and is required for the "legendary" media management.

Chris Tomberlin
Editor/Compositor/Owner
OutPost Pictures
@Chris Tomberlin
by walter biscardi
Basically what I've learned it that AMA is almost useless if you need to get anything out of Avid later. It would seem transcoding is the only way to work with Avid and is required for the "legendary" media management.

As of right now, especially if you plan to get anything out of Avid later, it appears that the "traditional Avid workflow" is the one you want to follow.

Avid seems to be very serious about working to get this better and more flexible for the end user. At the very least, when one tells the software to Transcode AND Convert, that's supposed to break all links to the original media. If that at least worked the way one would expect, that would solve a lot of issues right there. But it doesn't because apparently anything that was rendered gets included in the memory, even at that point.

In my mind, that's where Avid needs to concentrate on first. Create that "solid break" from all the original media for the end user that wants to have this happen. As I told the folks at Avid, if I want to be able to drill back 50 layers and find my original media, I can do that by simply going back to the final timeline before I made the "break." I'm hopeful that this will be something they'll be able to do fairly easily rather than going back and trying to re-design the entire database management which would be a tremendous effort.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Andrzej Tomczak
Walter, great article. Thank you for saving my money on AVID.
I work with xdcam, I love Resolve and I like PP CS6. This is my workflow.
I still use XDCAM TRANSFER to make QT XDCAM HD. Then I use PP CS6 to edit ( nice part), Then I create XML , open it with Resolve. Resolve work nice with xdcam HD QT files. Then I render apple prores422 to other folder. Open the same XML file in FCP7, relink media with the files created in Resolve. Then export using export> sony xdcam tool to create broadcast XDCAM HD disc.
Works for me,

The thing is that Adobe has problem with export. It would be perfect if Adobe instead of buing speedgrade make resolve roundtrip more easy.
All the best
Andrzej Tomczak
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Job ter Burg
If that's your workflow you may seriously consider Avid, as it handles XDCAM import and export much more elegantly.

Link to the original files, and consolidate them into Avid media (just an MXF rewrap, no transcoding required - but possible if you want it).

Exporting to an XDCAM disk or in XDCAM to an OP1A MXF file can be done straight from MC6 as well.

As for roundtripping between MC and Resolve, you may check out this link:



@Job ter Burg
by craig slattery
Can I just say, after viewing the video round trip MC to resolve im not won over that looks like a complete nightmare!
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by walter biscardi
[Andrzej Tomczak] "I still use XDCAM TRANSFER to make QT XDCAM HD. Then I use PP CS6 to edit ( nice part), Then I create XML , open it with Resolve. Resolve work nice with xdcam HD QT files. "

We avoid transcoding to Quicktime wherever possible because it just slows down Premiere Pro since those are 32bit files. Working with the native files is much faster, even Adobe will tell you that.

As you say for the moment Resolve doesn't accept XDCAM native files, hoping this changes with Resolve 9, so we simply send a flattened QT file over to Resolve with an EDL. Really works just as well as sending over all the raw files. I honestly didn't realize just how good Resolve handles the dissolves in a flattened file, truly incredible.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Juan Salvo
Actually when adobe finds a codec it recognizes in the QT wrapper it bypasses the QT API and just codes it using it's own engine. As it does with h264 files in an MOV container. I believe it will do this with XDCAM material as well.

Online Editor | Colorist | Post Super | VFX Artist | BD Author

http://JuanSalvo.com
@Juan Salvo
by walter biscardi
The Adobe folks we are working with have advised us to stay native and avoid QT as much as possible. They are 32 bit files and will slow down PPro. Ithey know the software a lot better than me.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@Juan Salvo
by Jeremy Garchow
That only happens with a select few codecs, like mp4/h264.

For something like ProRes, it's all QT.
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Neil Sadwelkar
Walter, that was a very painstakingly assembled narrative. You left little or no holes for any skeptics. And you approached the problem fairly and correctly.

I've been using FCP 7 XML 5 into Resolve with projects originating from XDCamEx, Red, Alexa, Canon. And I have to say they've been conforming without any issue. Except for stills, freeze frames, and clips of a different frame rate. But for those I have an assistant make exports and re-imports. And insert those in the timeline before making an XML.

From Avid, I usually take EDLs and they seem to work better than AAFs. I'm even planning to try 'Automatic Ducking' an Avid seq to FCP just to make an XML.

Resolve's conforming capabilities are amazing and it can conform even if clip names have changed. As long as it gets a good reel name and TC, it latches on to media like a leech. And Resolve's ability to render the timeline as clips and then an XML back to FCP, preserves all of FCP's basic motion, filters, and other attributes even after a round-trip from Resolve. Making Resolve almost a plug-in for FCP. Just finished 7 episodes of a TV show this way.

Smoke 2013 may add even more to the mix. We editors live in interesting times.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Thomas Frank
See should have went with Final Cut Pro X! :D

Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Vincent Manierre
Did you attempt an edl conform? I've conformed with edls showing source clips using file 32 setting. Also had success with aaf's. There was a checkbox in resolve I had to check but after that it reconformed a 90 minute feature to the frame.


This was arri alexa workflow though and the prores files have reel info baked into the naming convention. I don't think it would work for random quicktime. It is def possible to conform without having a tape name on the avid side of things.
@Vincent Manierre
by Vincent Manierre
I used this method except I wasn't doing a one light in the davinci before hand. AMA-DNX 36. File 32 EDL or AAF into resolve after adding all clips to my media pool . Make sure the Reel extraction pattern was correct and the media was online.

Works great for Alexa stuff not sure about mix and match

I create dailies with Resolve for ProRes LogC all the time for my projects. All I do is use the following syntax in the "Specify Reel Extraction Pattern":
*/%R.%
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/277/15246#15282
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Josh Weiss
Also, note, to be fair AJA drivers and CS6 are not released to the public yet, so hopefully any issues would be fixed before release. Tape capture, who knows...We'll see when they get released.

Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Shawn Larkin
What is the disadvantage of using a flattened file + EDL (or edit detection) instead of a consolidated group of clips?

You are creating the same amount of media either way to work from -- just one version is a large file that the software cuts up and the other version is a bunch of small files that the software assembles in order.

As long as all your cuts and transitions are there, what is the difference?
@Shawn Larkin
by walter biscardi
It's more failsafe to have all the clips.

Scene Detect is not perfect nor is an EDL off a single clip. We always have to make fixes and adjustments after the first render.

When we send in a fully conformed timeline, there are no cuts or dissolve issues and it's a lot easier to grade in one pass. It's a lot faster too since I don't have to scrub through the timeline before I start the grade to check all the edits.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: @Shawn Larkin
by Brendan Dillon
I'd go for the flattened file (video mixdown in Avid) method too, with an EDL to split it up. As long as everything is on V1, the EDL will always slice the file frame accurately. I make a vision only CMX 3600 EDL and I've never had a problem with cuts in the wrong spot.

Anything from V2 or above can just be placed at the end and re-comped after the grade. Render out a flat, graded file then any shots or scenes that need grade revisions can just be re-rendered separately and cut back into the sequence in Avid. If there are lots of grade revisions, Avid's auto-sequence function will put them all in the correct spots for you.

If the edit changes, you can send the revised scene to Resolve and put it all back together in Avid. Most long-form DaVinci work in my area has been graded 'tape to tape' in the past and this workflow is still good today, as long as the cut is pretty well locked off before the grade.

It does take a little prep and planning and it's not all automatic, but at least it's guaranteed to work.

I like to roundtrip between the two as well, but if there's any trouble, this plan B workflow is a good option and doesn't seem to be too big a compromise.
Re: @Shawn Larkin
by walter biscardi
[Brendan Dillon] "I'd go for the flattened file (video mixdown in Avid) method too, with an EDL to split it up. As long as everything is on V1, the EDL will always slice the file frame accurately. I make a vision only CMX 3600 EDL and I've never had a problem with cuts in the wrong spot."

Again, at that point, we'll might as well go with Premiere Pro because it's much faster and supports many more native formats than anything else on the market. If the target is a flattened at the end, might as well use the tool that has the most flexibility on the front end, especially one that can read files with missing data.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Jeremy Garchow
Walter, thanks for that article. No question that is frustrating.

The other day, I was in a Twitter conversation with you, Marco Solario and perhaps a few others, about the notion of what offline and conform means today.

I think what is needed here is a redefinition of what exactly an offline/online and conform really means in today's tapeless world. With tape, the method is proven. You capture from tape at one resolution, you edit, trim, and recapture just what's needed at a higher resolution using the same video connections and hardware. It's a relatively straight forward process where the format is handled in combination with the capture card, deck, and NLE. The difference here with tapeless (and this was something Marco Solario brought up) was that he (and others) really don't work in a traditional "offline" mode today. I know we don't unless we are working with Red material. There is simply no reason for the particular work that we do to make lower resolution transcodes, and then retranscode those an "offline" or reconnect back to their native resolution later.

But what IS needed is a way to make things portable in a concise package. Along with that we also need flexibility.

What I would like to see from a modern NLE is a comprehensive rethink on what native editing means, and what we need to do with it. CS6 definitely has an aspect of this correct, as does Avid, but Avid is still relying on an older method, and CS6 is ignoring a basic need of portability. When I say portability, i am not tailing about taking the project home with you, I am talking about taking only the USED footage from the timeline, conformed in to a common format/frame rate that will be easier for color correction applications to understand and deal with, and it will not involve sending absolutely every last piece of shot media.

Also, it seems every camera shoots a variant of some tapeless standard. Some are proprietary, some are less proprietary, at any rate, the NLE has a lot of work to do to understand all of these differing formats, and then be able to reach in to these differing codes and standards, and make sense of them to combine or consolidate them in to a concise package.

What format/container would that be? What codec? Can every single content creation software read that format and codec for the utmost flexibility?

It's a daunting task to be sure, but I can do it manually with Compressor and some time, so it seems that something could be automated in this sense, or at least partially automated.

There's so much media being thrown at us these days, from everything to 5k to small web movies, and clients just want it to work.

A modern NLE should take this approach head on, but also give you an out. It should allow you to switch between conformed material and original or "camera native" footage easily. I am talking about (if you need it) a clip by clip decision on what you're looking at. This way, if something did go wrong with the auto conformed clip, you can switch back to native and manually fix it with whatever tool makes you the most happy.

I know, this will be a programming challenge. It's asking to have parts of an asset manger and an NLE in one. Unfortunately, I think this what an "online" means today, and eventually what a modern NLE will need as there will only be new formats, new codecs, and more fragmentation. It means transcoding all kinds of material in to one or two related formats in order to send off to ether applications/facilities. We need access to multiple variations of an one clip, but it shouldn't halt the entire workflow during work or output.

I think the goal here is flexibility, but with that comes a lot of data management and tracking. All of that is really hard to get right with today's crazy multitude of "standard" media types and all the other types that don't fit in to a standard.

I think then, at least, we could have a glance of what our media is and if there's anything that we need to do with it, like change the frame rate, or change the frame size, or whatever needs to be done in order to conform for an eventual high quality output. I also think that the media should be able to be tracked back to camera native or DI at any point. It's a lot to ask, and I'm not sure if it will ever happen, but it would solve problems like this much more easily.

Thanks for writing, Wally. This is truly a modern dilemma of editing and finishing today.

Jeremy
@Jeremy Garchow
by walter biscardi
When I say portability, i am not tailing about taking the project home with you, I am talking about taking only the USED footage from the timeline, conformed in to a common format/frame rate that will be easier for color correction applications to understand and deal with, and it will not involve sending absolutely every last piece of shot media.

Believe me, that is my NUMBER ONE request to Adobe moving forward. They have given us a tremendous tool with native editing to get going faster.

Now at the end of the process, I want to conform just my timeline, ala Transcode / Conform in Avid, and have that finished timeline all in the codec of my choice with the handles of my choice. Now I at the end of the project I have a clean timeline all conformed and I can hand that off for further processing, to another shop / editor or at the very least I have it in archive so if we need to make any tweaks, I have one fully conformed timeline.

THAT is the finishing step we need. Avid is pretty close, but it sounds like it will take some serious re-writing of the database or at least making it easier to break all the links to the original media at the end of the process.

Thanks for the kind words Jeremy.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: @A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Alex Udell
Thus....

the battle between working native and transcoding.

One of the lesser discussed issues of working native is that lots of those "optimized for acquisition codecs" is that they don't play well when it comes to the media consolidation phase. The GOP based media formats don't play well with media truncation.

So rather than being an offline online world, what I'd like to work on is a parallel workflow.

Start cutting natively while at the same time generating consolidation and SAN/workgroup/full fidelity media sets. Then simply reconnect when the alternates are ready.

Prelude and AME should help with this....but with camera acquisition media names being arcane and based many times on atomized folder structures, rather than muxed files, relinking will still probably quite challenging.

With Avid always touting their database architecture as a workflow asset, I too am more surprised by the difficulty that Walter ran into. My assumption would likely have been the same as his.

If anyone does start working the parallel route or wants to discuss it more...drop me a line. This would be very valuable to explore.

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX
Re: @A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Erik Lindahl
Isn't it exactly this Apple has tried to accomplish with FCPX? This is one feature Apple has done right - however - I could see larger facilities wanting to for example offload the transcoding process to secondary / systems over the main editing suite. I could however see a "parallel" situation in an NLE where you have:

- RAW media (i.e. AVCIntra, H264, DVCPROHD, ProRes, R3D etc)
- Optimized media (i.e. ProRes)
- VFX media (i.e. ProRes or Uncompressed)
- Graded media (i.e. ProRes or Uncompressed)

All the media lives together and is constantly "live" and linked together. In some cases, you might want to access your RAW media in the VFX or grading stage. However, one will often want to work with a more post-friendly codec here.

I see a lot of issues working "native all the time". To many issues to be frank. I much rather have the conversion it up front than being riddled with issues further down the pipe (or suffering from lesser performance due to a hefty codec).
Re: @A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Jeremy Garchow
[Erik Lindahl] "Isn't it exactly this Apple has tried to accomplish with FCPX? "

Oops, sorry. It seems that Erik already mentioned FCPX. :)
Re: @A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Jeremy Garchow
[Alex Udell] "Thus....

the battle between working native and transcoding.

One of the lesser discussed issues of working native is that lots of those "optimized for acquisition codecs" is that they don't play well when it comes to the media consolidation phase. The GOP based media formats don't play well with media truncation.

So rather than being an offline online world, what I'd like to work on is a parallel workflow.

Start cutting natively while at the same time generating consolidation and SAN/workgroup/full fidelity media sets. Then simply reconnect when the alternates are ready."


Yes.

I am not going to try and start a war here. I think we need to remain objective in all of this so we as users can ask for what we need and want, but I am going to mention FCPX here. Please don't shoot me everyone.

FCPX, in my opinion, got this portion extremely right. It is the best of all worlds for this style of media management. You can start editing natively, tagging clips, even rendering window burns of you need them, start editing, organizing, basically, start getting to work. In the background, FCPX can make either proxy media (which is good for multicam situations) or higher quality media, or sometimes it will just rewrap to h264 if that's what you desire. With a click of a preference, you can choose to work with the Proxy media, or the Original/High Quality media. It's not perfect, there could be some more functionality, but as a start, it is really very useful, and also a very modern way to approach this situation.

So you start native, and can choose to remain that way, or at any point in the game, you can choose to transcode, and there's no relinking, no footage hunting, it just simply works in the background, and you can work while it's transcoding. Any work that you do on the footage will translate to the proxy/DI footage as well.

[Alex Udell] "Prelude and AME should help with this....but with camera acquisition media names being arcane and based many times on atomized folder structures, rather than muxed files, relinking will still probably quite challenging.
"


It is certainly a blessing and a curse. The good thing is that MOST professional camera formats (like P2, XDCam, any MXF variant, really) have gobs and scores of metadata already in the clips. This means that almost ever clip ALREADY has a unique ID built in to it. This means that tracking this footage should be "easy" or at least, the information is already in the clips, NLEs just need to take advantage of it.

The also have methods of creating less arcane name that are stored with the clips. Sure, these names aren't exactly viewable on the Finder/Explorer level, but a spotlight search does bring up the native MXF name. So, professional tapeless formats have all the information that we need to access built in (especially P2), we just need greater access to it and we need our NLEs to do a better job of accessing and storing this information with the footage. The methods are already in place and have been for years. It's time to start using it.

I speak from experience as I have a relatively expensive QT Component for FCP7 that allows native use of MXF media in FCP without rewrap/transcode. The relinking aspect and media tacking aspect of this is so easy as the component really helps to define what that media is. For instance, in P2 material, this is what the reel number looks like:



themodernreel.png

So that number makes it very easy to discern what file is what. Sure it's long, and hard for a human to read, but a computer can track it really easily, and copy/paste is a computer interface mainstay for us humans :). Even with P2, there are sometimes dupe file names, but the Unique ID is always different, even if the file name is the same. It is ideas like this, that I think will help more the more advanced needs of broadcast workflows and certainly will help everyone in media tracking.

I agree, the amount of file formats is sort of a mess, and it will certainly take a lot of hard work to get a system that is bullet proof. It also seems that nothing is slowing down. There are new formats, new codecs, new wrappers. At least for a while, I don't think this will change.

This also means that less professional formats that don't have tc/Unique IDs (I'm looking at very inexpensive cameras that many people use, like DSLRs/GoPros) would need to get ASSIGNED this missing data. And that's where it gets interesting. In my view, I think it would be best to simply rewrap this information in an already proven container like P2 XMF, or XDcam, or whatever is best. These formats are understood by almost every NLE not the planet. So why not give the NLE what it understands?

I know this brings a level of complexity, but in my opinion, these are complex ideas. I hope all this makes some sense.

[Alex Udell] "If anyone does start working the parallel route or wants to discuss it more...drop me a line. This would be very valuable to explore."

Surely.

Jeremy
Re: @A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by walter biscardi
Nice points Jeremy! There are certainly things to like about X and I'm looking forward to meeting up with Evan Schechtman soon at Radical Media to see how their doing the workflow between X and Smoke. He's certainly making it work and while it's not perfect he does like their new way of media management.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: @A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Jeremy Garchow
[walter biscardi] "I'm looking forward to meeting up with Evan Schechtman soon at Radical Media to see how their doing the workflow between X and Smoke. He's certainly making it work and while it's not perfect he does like their new way of media management"

Also he's an Xsan shop I think, so project sharing is rather easy. Not super powerful, but it does allow putting any Project/Event on any computer at anytime, and locks out other people from accessing it. Another step in the right direction from an NLE.

Again, I'm not trying to convince anyone of FCPX, I know it's not the right NLE for everyone, but I just want to bring up what is being done so it can be applied in discussions about other NLEs.

Jeremy
Re: @A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Alex Udell
Yah Jeremy....well written indeed. Lot's to chew on there.

I too think that containers like MXF hold a key to creating a more homogenous environment...but a large part of previous development for the laymen has been how to work around it as opposed to how to work with it.


Alex
Re: @A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Marco Solorio
[Jeremy Garchow] "The other day, I was in a Twitter conversation with you, Marco Solario and perhaps a few others, about the notion of what offline and conform means today."

Hey wait a minute, how did my name get thrown in here? LOL! Great article, Wally. And nice replies, Jeremy. I'm still amazed at how well FCP7 worked (works) with inter-app workflows. It's this reason, and begrudgingly so, that I'm amazed that we're still using FCP7 at least 75% of the time at this point. Last year this time I would have expected we'd be at least 90% Avid workflow at this point. Just not happening. We have one current project that we're required to work in Premiere CS6 for the editorial portion of it. But all our other current running projects right now are on FCP7 timelines. Until we can get inter-app workflows functioning as well or better than FCP7 does, we're playing the sit-watch-and-wait game until I know for certain these pesky issues are solved. This is personally a huge crush to me because I really do prefer the Avid Symphony 6 interface and tools after having fell in love with MC5.5 last year.

Starting at the middle of July, it looks like we're slated to start editing 21 videos for a client, and for that, I'm 75% convinced we'll have to continue to use FCP7.

Marco Solorio | CreativeCow Host | OneRiver Media | ORM Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Media Batch
Re: @A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Jeremy Garchow
[Marco Solorio] "Hey wait a minute, how did my name get thrown in here? LOL! "

*hand up*

My fault, my fault. Apologies! ;)

FWIW, we are using FCP7 for now too. It will take some more time before we jump ship. There are some very close contenders, but nothing that has hit us over the head quite yet.
Re: @A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Marco Solorio
No apologies needed, Jeremy! ;-)

There are definitely things I love in Premiere (simple things like copy clip from Premiere timeline and paste it right into AE... so cool). And I absolutely love the editing workflow, interface and features of Symphony (my favorite right now). But both Premiere and Symphony are feeling a bit like desert islands in some regards (a'la the basis of this article) when working with other apps that aren't there own. Obviously FCP7 wasn't the perfect master of it either, but it was for us out of all of them, even if they required 3rd party export/import tools. Going between FCP to AE, ProTools, Color, you name it, never seemed to be an issue.

Everything. Just. Worked.

So with that in mind, yeah, we're staying in FCP7 until it all gets resolved (no pun intended). If it worked for us last year, it works for us now. I can wait, even though I really do enjoy using Symphony.

And to further digress... I can't wait to see how Smoke will work in this regard. If they can get it to talk seamlessly with other apps, then they'll be way ahead of the game. Autodesk really has a golden opportunity here.

Marco Solorio | CreativeCow Host | OneRiver Media | ORM Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Media Batch
Re: @A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Jeremy Garchow
[Marco Solorio] "And to further digress... I can't wait to see how Smoke will work in this regard. If they can get it to talk seamlessly with other apps, then they'll be way ahead of the game. Autodesk really has a golden opportunity here."

Yeah, I'm waiting for that one too. It seems the demo is delayed a few days by Autodesk for last minute "under the hood" optimizations.

The thing with Smoke though, I'm sure it's going to be powerful, but interchange out of the app is kind of lacking, at least that's the word on the street. EDL/OMF out only, although it accepts a lot of interchange in.

Can't wait to see what they've done with it, though. It's going to be very intriguing, Im sure!

Jeremy
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Scott Auerbach
Thanks for the excellent article, Walter (and for the recent ATL Cutters event). I, too, tried going back to Avid 5.5 a year ago... at the time, it was a welcome relief from a few years dominated by FCP, whose UI I never enjoyed. Unfortunately, I immediately ran into massive gamma problems (possibly related to other codecs on the machine, but I'll never know, since I got such lackluster (dis)interest from Avid Support. Their attitude boiled down to, "We've never seen this before, so we're not going to worry about you."

I finally gave up and essentially threw away the cost of a 5.5 license, a 6 upgrade and an AvidPhrase license, never having gotten it to work, and bought CS6 instead. It's a shame, since I go back 20 years with Avid, and they have numerous features/functions that Adobe still lacks. But Avid really needs to scrap their now-ancient legacy code and write a modern piece of software instead of applying patch after patch (and poorly-integrated third-party apps) to 20-year-old code. Whether they'll ever have the money to support that effort is a big question mark. It's clear that Adobe does, and is willing to spend what it will take (IMO).
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Terence Curren
The really frustrating part is that I have been begging Avid to work on the color corrector since the late 90s. Had they even added one feature every three years, you would be a happy camper right now. :-(

Terence Curren
http://www.alphadogs.tv
http://www.digitalservicestation.com
Burbank,Ca
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by walter biscardi
[Terence Curren] "The really frustrating part is that I have been begging Avid to work on the color corrector since the late 90s. Had they even added one feature every three years, you would be a happy camper right now. :-("

If they would look at how Apple Color is laid out, I think their color grading tool would work very well in a similar type of layout, or maybe a hybrid between Resolve and Color. It's a very good tool, just not user friendly without the control surface.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Robert Wentz
Walter,
Thanks for posting your findings. We're holding out still here w/ FCP 7 until Autodesk Smoke 2013 pre-release is available for testing, at which time we'll be pitting FC10 against Premier Pro CS6 and Smoke.

I'm curious what sorts of issues you experienced with the Kona LHe and Premier Pro CS6? If you recall would you mind mentioning which AJA driver version were you using when you had these issues? If you were having audio/video dropouts was your monitoring equipment connected to the AJA's HDMI port or SDI? How were you taking audio out of the kona? embedded? XLR?

Much appreciated!
@Robert Wentz
by walter biscardi
We don't have an LHe here. Only LHi, Kona 3 and 3G.

We're working through some issues with AJA that are prevalent on the LHi that are not showing up on the 3.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Robert Wentz
The AJA support folks are top notch, so you should be in good hands there.

Thanks for your quick follow up.

cheer
@Robert Wentz
by Alan Okey
I'm waiting for Smoke as well. FYI, Smoke 2013 doesn't support the Kona LHe, only the Io XT and the Kona 3G.
Re: @Robert Wentz
by Shane Ross
I think you made a big argument here about sticking with FCP. And sticking with workflows that work. FCP 7 does everything you currently need, despite it's age. Yes, you have to convert to a single format and frame rate, but we are used to that, no?

But I see the need/want to move forward and deal with the multiple frame rates and formats. But this just goes to show that when pushing forward with new tools and workflows, one must ALWAYS TEST your planned workflow, before you paint yourself into a corner. I know that many pressures out there exist that will say "we don't have time to test...we need to push forward!" Well, not testing before leads to...what Walter just described. I've always been one to test...after one disaster that cost the company I was at a couple hundred grand. Another company didn't test...despite my insisting that we do, and guess what? Issues cropped up in the end that bit us in the behind.

ALWAYS test.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def
Re: @Robert Wentz
by walter biscardi
[Shane Ross] "But I see the need/want to move forward and deal with the multiple frame rates and formats. But this just goes to show that when pushing forward with new tools and workflows, one must ALWAYS TEST your planned workflow, "

Yep, we tested all right, a lot actually, just never thought to test it all the way through to Resolve. Figured that was a done deal.

As for staying with FCP, well the turnaround times for these series keep shrinking so the ability to jump in natively is a huge selling point for CS6. Seems to be more stable and has definitely allowed us to suddenly be just 3 days behind and closing as I write this....

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
+1
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Chris Borjis
Thanks for the heads up Walter.

Your past commentaries have saved me hours of headaches for sure.

We went from FCP 7 to CS 5.5 then CS 6 and its been very smooth so far.

But I still use FCP 7 for all capture/layback operations.

Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Jim Wiseman
Walter, you might want to revisit Media 100 Suite 2.1 when things calm down. It has really grown up. Works on Lion, support for 4K, 2K, HD, and SD, Recode RAW,multiple formats and frame sizes on timeline, native codec QuickTime support including DVCProHD, ProRes, REDCODE, and others. Mixes supported codecs in one timeline without conversion or rendering. Plays well with tape ingest/layoff as usual. $995 w Boris Red, free demo available, http://www.borisfx.com/media100/index.php Included w everything Boris makes for Mac in the Box Set $1995 http://www.borisfx.com/Box-Set/ which includes all filters and effects and transfer sfw for AE and FCP7. Only caveat is AJA 9.0.6 driver officially supported. 10.x, out this summer, but firmware downgrades/upgrades on AJA are quick and easy. AJA still working on that anyway. Still my favorite easy to use interface. PP and M100 are a good combo using ProRes. Learned the interoperability tricks, mostly involving a couple of ProRes HQ export settings in Premiere,on my last project.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe
@Jim Wiseman
by walter biscardi
Walter, you might want to revisit Media 100 Suite 2.1 when things calm down. It has really grown up

I've heard that from multiple folks and even looked at the website recently, but the only problem with that software is that it puts me on an island. Atlanta is an FCP / Premiere Pro / Avid town and as an independent Post Production house, I need to support what this community uses. The minute I say "Media 100" that will turn off more work than I will get.

At one time I was happy to fight the good fight for Media 100, but in today's market, I need to stay on the mainland. Glad to hear it's working well though!

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Alex Udell
This is one of the things that's great about the COW and the Web in general.

Thanks for taking the time to post this Walter.

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX
@Alex Udell
by walter biscardi
My pleasure, hope it's helpful!

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Ramil Pasibe
Thank you so much Walter for this insight.

I just ordered our very first Windows workstation - HPZ820 with Quadro 4000 and 32 GIGs of RAM.

Setting this up to handle both Adobe CS6 and Media Composer 6, - yes we took the upgrade path to Symphony.

I'm thinking of tackling small projects on this machine first until I get the hang of it then push it along the way - your insight and experience is very much appreciated - thank you for sharing.
+1
@Ramil Pasibe
by walter biscardi
Sweet machine! I think you're going to love it. Our Dell has 48GB RAM and the Quadro 4000 and positively screams.

Best of luck to you!

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Dustyn Gobler
Eleven days behind schedule, editing over the Memorial Day weekend, because...

Why wouldn't you just Color Correct in Symphony?
@Dustyn Gobler
by walter biscardi
Why wouldn't you just Color Correct in Symphony?

Because without a control surface it's the clunkiest grading tool I've ever used. All the components are there and it's actually quite good, but slow as molasses without a control surface.

They don't support the Tangent Wave to my knowledge and I'm so much faster in Resolve.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Christian Glawe
Walter-

I really appreciate your honesty and openness in writing this very important article!

One question (which I'm sure you've tossed around in your head already!): Have you considered any alternatives to Resolve? I know you love it, I know it's great... but have you considered color/finishing inside After Effects with a coloring plug?

Best of luck moving forward,

Christian Glawe
@Christian Glawe
by Erik Lindahl
Even grading short-form work in After Effects is extremely inefficient. I don't even want to think about working with TV-shows (I guess 30-60 mins long with probably 200-500 edits).
@Christian Glawe
by walter biscardi
Have you considered any alternatives to Resolve? I know you love it, I know it's great... but have you considered color/finishing inside After Effects with a coloring plug?

I thought about the Baselight Plug-in inside of Avid, but definitely did not want to throw yet another software element into the mix being so far behind. But that is something I might consider in the future.

Do not like anything in AE for Color grading.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Mark Suszko
It takes guts to openly confess mistakes and problems, and I appreciate that you've done ti for the benefit of all.

Possibly stupid question here... what about a hardware-based front-end solution like a Terranex or some other similar hardware-based, "brute-force" converter? Seems to me, you love everything else about the NLEs but their ingest/conform, and if one of these bad boys can just crunch anything that you feed it, wouldn't that solve one of the big problems of too many formats coming in?
@Mark Suszko
by walter biscardi
Possibly stupid question here... what about a hardware-based front-end solution like a Terranex or some other similar hardware-based, "brute-force" converter? Seems to me, you love everything else about the NLEs but their ingest/conform, and if one of these bad boys can just crunch anything that you feed it, wouldn't that solve one of the big problems of too many formats coming in?

Maybe, but not something I'm going to test right now. But the basic point of the matter is, if you're going to make the front end of your workflow more flexible, then you need to do the same for the back-end. That's what I'm hoping to work with Avid on moving forward.

By the same token, we really want Adobe to be able to conform a timeline at the end of the process instead of just making a flattened QT file.

Thanks for your positive comments!

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Daniel Frome
What's interesting here is that you have a "somewhat strict system" (Avid) trying to talk to an even more strict system "Resolve," only their respective interpretations of "strict compliant" are different.

I'll make sure to stay away from ProRes based editing inside Avid for the time being. As far as I know you still can't link prores via AMA and then consolidate -- you can ONLY fast-import prores... so that should give a hint as to where Avid's prores support lies...
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Philip Ohler
Walter,

Thanks for doing the difficult legwork for all of us in the same boat. Seems to confirm my notion we are not longer facilities based on just one NLE but now of many NLEs.

Curios if moving anything to FCP7 then Resolve was tried? Of course a simplified flattened timeline would be necessary.

Good luck and I'm sure you'll keep all of us informed.

Philip
Manager Production/Post-Production
McCann NY

@Philip Ohler
by walter biscardi
Avid to FCP 7 to Resolve was never tried because even that would have been a nightmare by that point. When you get that far behind, you take the simplest path of least resistance and move on.

Right now that's a flattened QT file and go. We are now down to just 3 days behind schedule and I expect to be fully caught up by the end of the week.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Tom Meegan
Thank you, Walter.

Beyond the specifics of this situation, you've illuminated the often messy process of making all the pieces play nicely together.

Best of luck,

Tom Meegan
@Tom Meegan
by walter biscardi
Thanks so much, best to you too Tom!

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Rafael Amador
Carps!!
I really got exhausted living all your tribulations Walter.
This is why i'm still on FC.7. At the moment I prefer to bear slow renderings better than this kind of nightmares.
For my self (one man bad who shot and edit what shot) AMA is just a complication.
My natural path is PP.
I hope that when I migrate everything is ready to don't miss FCP.
And thanks for the article Walter.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com
@Rafael Amador
by walter biscardi
My pleasure, hoping others can learn from our mistakes.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: Article: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Daniel Frome
Yikes. What a nightmare. I have never seen that AAF error you're running into, and I hope I never do. Avid has always had a love/hate relationship with ProRes, let's hope that improves.

Just to be clear: does resolve need a tape name, or can you fill in the "disk label" column all the same? I'm going to try import a ProRes file, transcoding to DNxHD, and then making an AAF (without any disk names).
@Daniel Frome
by walter biscardi
Just to be clear: does resolve need a tape name, or can you fill in the "disk label" column all the same? I'm going to try import a ProRes file, transcoding to DNxHD, and then making an AAF (without any disk names).

Resolve is looking for a tape name. The folks at BlackMagic told us a workaround but the longtime Resolve artists I've talked to all told me it absolutely has to have Tape Names in order to work 100%.

You might get a file or two to work, but lay out 450 shots in a timeline and then send that over to Resolve and see what you get. We never got more than 50% of the shots to actually take.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Daniel Frome
Understood. Just so I understand:
You fast-imported those prores files, correct? Because I can't seem to AMA link prores and then consolidate. Just trying to recreate what you've done to the best of my ability.
@walter biscardi
by Daniel Frome
Oh, and also: did you check to see if any of your Avid Media had asian characters in it? I've heard of issues arising from that, and am dealing with that issue on my current show.
@Daniel Frome
by walter biscardi
No Asian Characters.

We fast imported the ProRes files for the offline edit.

Did a ful Conform / Consolidate from the final edit.

Even did the "Convert" command which is supposed to break all previous links to the offline media.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by John Moore
Hi Walter,
What an experience - thank you for sharing it with us.
I have spent the last few weeks learning Avid's Media Composer 6 - concluding that the editing functionality is excellent and so finally after years I know what Avid editors were talking about.
However the main reason I got Avid was to fit into the workflow of a particular client. I was told (at the IBC at the Avid booth) that it dove-tailed nicely with DaVinci Resolve. Having made the purchase and spent valuable time sitting down and learning Media Composer I soon discovered that getting material out of Avid ain't so obvious.
Yes I had just concluded that a flat file for scene detection in DaVinci Resolve was to be the workflow. Not at all what I imagined. More than disappointing.

A great deal of honesty and an availability of clearly laid out and tested workflows should be given by all the NLE software makers. That would receive my respect and loyalty. We have had many years of products being placed on the market not functioning as they should where the client and operator has to discover that pain - it's just not helpful.
Speaking generally regarding all software my thought is that if the manufacturer is upfront and lets us knows the flaws and bugs of the product we as users will find a way around it. Not knowing and falling upon upon its fault is bad for all parties. Like in your case here Walter where your editors have received a shock and a bad taste in their mouths - resulting in them needing to work on another NLE and disassociate themselves from the pain they just endured.

Presuming that all softwares will have quirks and bugs I think it is the greatest honesty which is displayed by the NLE makers which will decide who really gets the market-place.
My 2 cents.

I appreciate greatly your blogs Walter.
Thank you
John Moore
@John Moore
by walter biscardi
Thanks for all the kind words.

At the moment it's up to us editors to find out where "marketing meets reality" and then share with the rest of us. :)

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by John Moore
OK I get it, I'm up for that. Manufacturers "marketing" is about to get another watchdog. I imagine the more the merrier. It certainly is a different world from a decade ago.

Best Wishes as always and Thank you Walter for your candor.
I hope your work gets quickly back on schedule.
John

John R Moore
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by adam taylor
Thanks for your honest recount Walter...you may be a small shop, but its your honesty, integrity and willingness to share with the post community that makes you a big player in the eyes of the major corporations and the one-man bands like mine.

I, for one, have made many product decisions based largely upon write-ups and comments you have posted.

I had decided to get the boss to stump up for Symphony recently, but on the day i decided, you posted a "Wow - things are gonna change!" regarding the Smoke release that was imminent. That wow saved me the pain of returning to Avid prematurely.

So once again, thanks.

adam

Adam Taylor
Video Editor/Audio Mixer/ Compositor/Motion GFX/Barista
Character Options Ltd
Oldham, UK

http://www.sculptedbliss.co.uk
My YouTube Animations Page
+1
@adam taylor
by walter biscardi
Thanks for the kind words! Smoke 2013 could definitely be a game changer next month!

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: Article: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Erik Lindahl
Brilliant article. Nails it down why moving away from any system (in our case FCP7 / Color) isn't as simple as installing application X.
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Tero Ahlfors
Have you tried sending XMLs from Premiere to Resolve? I haven't had any problems with that.
@Tero Ahlfor
by walter biscardi
We will try that, but are you sending over mixed format timelines? Mixed codecs, frame rates, frame sizes?

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: @Tero Ahlfor
by Tero Ahlfors
I did a quick test with a 1080p 25fps sequence that had 1080p 60 fps H264 footage, 1080p 25fps C300 footage, 1080p 25fps prores footage and 5K R3D 24fps. Everything worked and sized correctly except the C300 clip but maybe Resolve doesn't support that yet.

Your mileage will most definitely vary, but you might want to test it out if it works for you.
@walter biscardi
by walter biscardi
We did try that today. Resolve doesn't like XDCAM as we discovered today. So two of the four stories in the current episode didn't work. In fact Resolve made a mess of the timeline where XDCAM exists.

But as far as getting XML to Resolve, that was easy. Now we just need the footage conformed before we create the XML.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Josh Weiss
Perhaps you could do a search for all of your xdcam, separate it out to another track. Then run a project manager to make trimmed versions and reencode to prores or another format that resolve takes. A work around of course, but it could work.

@Josh Wei
by walter biscardi
Premiere Pro can't re-encode groups of clips. I'd have to pull all 100+ clips out and run them through Media Encoder and then put them back into the timeline. Waste of time.

Faster to just flatten until Adobe figures out how to give us a true Transcode / Conform process at the end of the edit.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Josh Weiss
Yep, totally agree it's a waste of time, just a work around if for some reason you couldn't use the flat version for one of the episodes.

You could also, and again, a waste of time and a work around, use a program like episode and a watch folder. As your project manager is kicking out trimmed xdcam, episode is seeing this clips and starting to encode your transcode. I say episode and not AME, because AME is too stupid to pass through frame rate or size, you have to know the frame rate and assign a preset per frame rate and size. An annoyance and a hindrance to a workflow like this.

Re: @Josh Wei
by Tero Ahlfors
Have you checked out Prelude yet? It would help transcoding/sending stuff to Premiere that Resolve doesn't support before you edit.
Re: @Josh Wei
by walter biscardi
[Tero Ahlfors] "Have you checked out Prelude yet? It would help transcoding/sending stuff to Premiere that Resolve doesn't support before you edit."

Then we're right back to the scenario we're looking to avoid and might as well stay in Avid. Conforming all our media before we start the edit.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@Josh Wei
by walter biscardi
Forgot to mention, someone gave me an interesting idea to XML to FCP X first because according to them it CAN do a conform process of the timeline. From there XML to Resolve.

So essentially just using X as a conform tool. If I have time tomorrow I'm going to try it.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@walter biscardi
by Josh Weiss
You COULD to this, but first off, you need the xml converter tool.

Second I wouldn't trust it. When FCPX first came out, I was really excited about this feature and about FCP finally being color managed.

I took some slr clips, took them into a timeline and did a background transcode of all my clips. Then I compared the transcode version and the original, and low and behold, the same compressor gamma shift I had always seen in this scenario.

Color managed my.....

Took the same clips into AME or AE or PP even, and the before and after h.264 to prores 422 look exactly the same. I've always had bad gamma shift issues with h.264 to prores and the x did nothing new in this area.

Perhaps xdcam to prores would behave better, but again, it's something to look out for.

Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Bret Williams
Wow. What an ordeal. But from your own description, FCP 7 WASN'T as flexible. Both CS6 and Avid were more up to the task. FCP 7 couldn't have handled the 24p in a 29.97i sequence as it can't add simple pulldown. It wouldn't have interlaced the 60p you dropped into the 1080i sequence. It would have had to have transcoded everything as well. Isn't that the only reason FCP 7 is working so well with Resolve?

Sounds like much of your answer is to give up on the AMA and just transcode on ingest to Avid.
@Bret William
by walter biscardi
Sounds like much of your answer is to give up on the AMA and just transcode on ingest to Avid.

That will be the next tests when we have the time after we get caught up with the production schedule. Also Resolve 9 may change some of these issues, but again as I have no knowledge of what it will and won't support we won't know until it gets here.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: @Bret William
by Bret Williams
Thanks for the article. As a former Media 100, then Avid, then FCP user and After Effects user I'm trying to figure it all out myself. I always have Premiere along with Ai, PS, and Ae anyway. It'd be nice if it worked. Avid was always a backup plan, but sounds like it's not there either.
Re: Article: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Nate Stephens
" Who knew FCP 7 was as flexible it was? You just don't realize what you had until you move on to something else."

Thanks Walter for the write up. (It sounds a lot more painful than the original Wally 'Drop Test")

You just re-confirmed my decision last fall to buy 3 copies of FCP7 for a big 4 year project we got last October.

Yes you can still buy FCP7. Not from the App store or an Apple store, tho, only thru Apple Business Sales.
(need a phone number let me know) I am sure they do not have a cross grade replacement program :-(

And I will be buying another FCP7 copy for our new workstation. Maybe in 4 years, when this project is done FCx will be a lot better or Avid or Premier.

FCP, Mac Pro, Mac Book Pro, HPX500, HVX200, Betacam, Dvcam
Write for the Edit, Shoot for the Edit, Edit.....KISS Principle
@Nate Stephen
by walter biscardi
Wow, good luck with that. Sounds painful to run FCP 7 for another four years. :)

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: Article: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Jim Wiseman
Thanks very much for the insight. All of my projects are very similar in that they have almost every type of source. Documentaries, with legacy material fom Betacam, DV, DVCPro, even S-VHS on tape and all of the new digital formats, especially Sony EX, Nikon and Canon DSLR, etc. That is certainly why I was attracted to Adobe in the first place. Media management is a big weakness there. But it is critical that I am able to get stuff out of CS6 as ProRes HQ to other programs. My last project I did all of my selects, color correction and titles in CS 5.5, and exported to ProRes for a finish in Media 100 Suite 2.1 because I was familiar with the software, and because Nikon was broken in 5.5 (now fixed in 6). Sounds like that would have been a real problem with Avid and AMA. Ready now to tackle some smaller projects with CS6 more exclusively as it seems to behave much better than before. But interoperability using ProRes is still the key for me.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe
@Jim Wiseman
by walter biscardi
Wow, you finished in Media 100?!? A man after my own heart. I still love that software more than anything else I've ever used.

If you want the "everything under the sun" into the system approach, yes nothing beats CS6 right now. Of course at the end of the process, you have to figure out how you might get the project out of the software and right now tape capture is horrible. We'll actually use FCP 7 or Avid for tape capture / layback until Adobe and AJA get that all figured out.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
@A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by David Powell
So if I'm understanding correctly, if you use AMA for selects and transcode to DNX before editing, you won't have these problems with the AAF to Resolve workflow? And you were cutting with AMA'd/fast imported rewraps and then transcoding later which caused the hiccups?

Also, I'd be interested in purchasing a symphony copy from you. Could you shoot me an email? Thanks
@David Powell
by walter biscardi
So if I'm understanding correctly, if you use AMA for selects and transcode to DNX before editing, you won't have these problems with the AAF to Resolve workflow? And you were cutting with AMA'd/fast imported rewraps and then transcoding later which caused the hiccups?

Who knows. That's the theory that if you transcode everything and assign tape numbers BEFORE you start the edit, that's your best shot. But in talking to other Avid post houses, most tell me they avoid the Resolve process because there are too many issues involved. We have not tried the conform everything before editing process because we don't have the time with the turnaround of this current series.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: @David Powell
by David Powell
I've been grading several shows in resolve all using flat movies and scene detect.I think its great personally going that route. Sure you lose flexibility, but if it truly its a quick turnaround show, why not? Have you considered baselight? I'm guessing the symphony color tools were too limiting.
@David Powell
by walter biscardi
Actually the Symphony tools are very powerful, just a horrendous clunky interface if you don't have a control surface.

Yes, I would love to introduce Baselight to the party, but at this point, we need to stick to what we know and look to add another software platform after the series is done.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Michael Gissing
Fascinating and very timely - thanks Walter for sharing the pain and your insights.
@Michael Gissing
by walter biscardi
My pleasure, hope it's helpful!

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Mike Garrick
I SO feel your pain. Clusterf.... from hell!!

As a long time user of FCP 7 I'm now on CS6, no problems. Just wish Speed grade was more developed and more of a 2 way street than a one street. But hey I'm sure things will change.

Your horror story just confirms my opinion of why I didn't go Avid on the change over. I'm not a software engineer but it seems to me Avid has built there new software on top of the old system or old beliefs. Journey into the sub menus & you'll find huge sub menus seemingly a legacy from the "Old" Avid. To Avid's credit they handle single format projects well. But start throwing in modern camera files & standards than I think Adobe has it covered.

Multi format without transcoding, that's the future right there ....can Avid gets its head around that & build something new from the ground up ...who knows..I dont think Avid knows either.
@Mike Garrick
by walter biscardi
I don't know if anyone can get to multiformat without transcoding. It will be great if it happens!

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Re: A Cautionary Tale for the FCP Switcher
by Andy Field
Walter -- a nightmare for you and your editors - however - refreshing to see AVID and Adobe working hard to earn and keep FCP 7 refugee's business. We need to output FCP7 timelines as AVID projects for various clients (we produce pieces of shows - they put it all together) It took forever for us to figure out the right formula to Autoduck those projects so AVID would read them. Avid would read the TL files but when it came to AMA linking it wouldn't work about 99 percent of the time. We finally tried trans-coding everything out of FCP7 so Avid would see files in the folders it expects "the AVID way" and it finally worked.

Yes FCP 7 is extraordinarily flexible. I'm working with ABOBE folks who are incredibly responsive and helpful They listen to and - from every indication - respond to feature and bug requests and reports. There's a far better level of confidence that Premiere Pro will get everything "right" than Apple has instilled after 4 versions of FCPX.

Thanks for the play by play of your experience.

Andy Field
FieldVision Productions
N. Bethesda, Maryland 20852
@Andy Field
by walter biscardi
My pleasure, thanks for all the kind words!

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook
Food Network Color safe setting
by Ernest Savage
not sure if this is going to the right place. I have a quick question. most networks want to stay with RGB Gamut Low = 16 and RGB Gamut High of 235. Whenever possible I like to push a little bit more to RGB Gamut Low = 0 and High = 255. So far no network has kicked back my footage, but I've never colored anything for food network. What's your gamut color safe settings for your food network show?

thanks for you time.


Related Articles / Tutorials:
Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate
FCPX On Air. Coming Soon

FCPX On Air. Coming Soon

Former skeptic John Davidson was right there with everyone else when FCPX was released who deemed it a complete disappointment for broadcast pros. Many updates and much experimentation later, he's now a believer: he has FCPX not only running on shared storage for broadcast work, but for John, it does so even better than FCP 7 ever did. Here he introduces a 5-part series, taking you step-by-step from project set-up to delivery, ready to help other broadcast pros get moving with FCPX.

Editorial, Feature
Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate
Workflow Update: iMac, Adobe & the X Factor

Workflow Update: iMac, Adobe & the X Factor

With five edit suites currently running at Biscardi Creative Media, and four more on standby, Walter Biscardi and crew need the best possible performance our of their workflow and machines. Here, Walter describes the power (yes, power) of the iMac, the workhorse Adobe Premiere Pro, and some never say never insight on FCP X.

Editorial, Feature
Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate
Smoke: A Journey and a Look Ahead

Smoke: A Journey and a Look Ahead

An FCP user and enthusiast since version 1.0, David Jahns looks at Autodesk Smoke for Mac, and discusses color-grading, tracking, editing, compositing and overall performance.

Editorial
Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate
High Noon in the Editors' Corral

High Noon in the Editors' Corral

A group of editors gathered at a Hollywood Post Alliance Sales Resource Group luncheon to debate the merits of today's nonlinear editing systems. In the process, they argued less over tools and complained more about an ever-changing workflow. And, yes, there are a few fans of FCPX.

Feature
Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate
For your Bovine Mastication and Consideration: FCPX Can Work

For your Bovine Mastication and Consideration: FCPX Can Work

After coming across and commenting on a post in the forums concerning FCPX and its current popularity and possibility for serious editing use, Charlie Austin was contacted by Tim Wilson to expand his original thoughts for Bovine consumption. Care to chew the cud with us?

Editorial
Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate
Colorgrading Round-Up

Colorgrading Round-Up

Dennis Kutchera went to Vegas with a goal - to be tantalized by the new colour-grading options - in essence, to cheat on his beloved Avid. What happens in Vegas, this time, comes back with some great stories.

Feature
Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate
Confessions of a Creative Maniac: Unified Theory of Media

Confessions of a Creative Maniac: Unified Theory of Media

Convenience is more important than quality -- I've taught a couple of generations of students that understanding this basic reality is a great way to predict just about any future media trend, and in the case of NAB, it looks like the equation has not lost a molecule of relevance.

Editorial, Feature
Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate
Confessions of an NAB Virgin

Confessions of an NAB Virgin

This is no ordinary NAB recap. This isn't a collection of thoughts about products and software. This is the confession of a small-town starry-eyed NAB virgin, and the adventures and anxieties she finds herself in.

Feature
Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate
What a Long, Strange Year It's Been!

What a Long, Strange Year It's Been!

Apple imploding. Adobe ascending. Avid opening up. Who could have seen it coming? Here's Walter's look at what happens when the blinders come off.

Feature, People / Interview
Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate
Real World Editing: From Avid to FCP and Back Again

Real World Editing: From Avid to FCP and Back Again

The inside story of reality TV giants Bunim/Murray Productions, and their trip from Avid Media Composer to Apple Final Cut Pro...and back again.

Feature, People / Interview
MORE


FORUMSTUTORIALSFEATURESVIDEOSPODCASTSEVENTSSERVICESNEWSLETTERNEWSBLOGS

Creative COW LinkedIn Group Creative COW Facebook Page Creative COW on Twitter
© 2014 CreativeCOW.net All rights are reserved. - Privacy Policy

[Top]