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composite1's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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Hey all,

In a number of posts I've noticed there is a growing interest in advanced production techniques and gear. I invite both the seasoned pros and 'straight out of the box' novices to participate and certainly ask questions of how the 'hard stuff' gets done. The idea of this post is to get beyond basic video questions and a more into how the novice content producer transitions into the professional arena. To be clear, you are a pro when you are making a living doing this kind of work. For the professional, knowlege and skill give the power to create content that wins contracts and keeps clients coming back. Now there is no reason that amature, novice and intermediate content producers won't be able to apply much of the info to come to their own endeavors at their own level. You'll just have to 'think smaller and much cheaper' to do so!

So to start this thread off, I offer this video discussion of the 'Alpha Dog's' Editor's symposium on 'Digital Storage'.

http://www.studiodaily.com/main/video/Storage-and-Archiving_10926.html


NormanWillis's picture
Last seen: 5 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/08/2008 - 5:56am

Hi Comp.

One of the reasons I was holding off upgrading from HDV tape to HD/SDHC is that I was sold on the thought of $7.00 Panasonic HDV tapes for archiving being cheaper. However, then when I ran the numbers, I realized that I only got 13GB for my $7.00, and it was limited to the 1440 x 1080 spec; and tapes also fail/break/age.

After running the numbers I realized that with 1TB HDD's at $89.00, I get about six times as much storage for my dollar going with HDD's, and the access to it is much faster than with tape. Even if I make a spare copy forredundancyI still get three times as much for my money; and then the backup is further improved if I make a backup offsite (which Ijust startedthis past week). So at that point the advantage ofcompletely digital storage becameobvious.

I read a few days ago (I think on ZDnet) that they are expecting to come out with 2TB SDHC cards in about a year. I imagine they will be pricey at first, but at some point, flash-based media will surpass the HDD in cost-effectiveness, and then we can expect to see further throughput speed gains(and reduction in the footprint sizes) due to ditching the spin drives. However, the spin drives will probably suffice as temporary digital storage for now.

So while archiving is kind of a part of the industry that is in transition, it seems double redundancy in an hdd format is probably one effective solution to archiving at this point in time.

Also, I must not understand Studio Daily. How does one get signed up so that one can get access to the Alpha Dog vlogs? I am signed up with them, but I never get notices of their vlogs.

Norman


composite1's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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Norman,

Don't forget to factor in data corruption/failure rates. We recently had a client drive that had a file system corruption error. Fortunately, we were able to salvage the drive and suffered no loss or corruption of archived data (which would have been devastating!) It's a rare occurance, but does happen. Luckily, we had complete tape backups of all footage on the drive. The value of having a tape backup is unless the footage got corrupted during the shoot or you try to play it back on a deck with dirty heads, it will last a very long time if properly stored.

Harddrives despite their greater storage capacity and ease of access are far more delicate in both their software and hardware makeups. Despite the best of care taken with that client drive all it took was one funky line of computer code during the accessing process and we nearly lost tens of thousands of dollars worth of footage and graphics. So despite having a harddrive storage redunancy I will bank on my $3 dollar tapes as an archival format for as long as possible. High-capacity solid-state drives may solve some of those issues, but the jury's still out.

You'll have to contact SD about why you aren't getting their vlog notices.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


NormanWillis's picture
Last seen: 5 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/08/2008 - 5:56am

Hi Comp.

I am reprinting this from the 5k thread on your recommendation.

Am I correct that 1920 x 1080p is full HD spec, and that it is also 1K? Because the 1K refers to the number of horizontal lines?

So 5K would refer to a spec something like 9600 x 5400? And that would be 'full frame'? Or does 'full frame' refer to something else?

Now since the EOS 5D Mk II nonetheless compresses the picture to store it on Compact Flash cards, how does that compare to a 1K live capture, say via HDMI or SDI out, to a video capture card like an AJA or an Intensity Pro? Since the HDMI out is not compressed, how do the two images technically compare in terms of vibrancy, color, contrast, and all that?

I watched the MacVideo vid again (twice) and I cannot tell anything negative about the picture from the EOS 5D Mk II. When I watch Henry Olonga's work, I do see some jaggies when he first begins the capture, which he says happens because it takes Cineform NeoHD about two seconds to figure out what is happening; but then the jaggies disappear, and he also acknowledges the reason they make it into his samples on Vimeo is just due to sloppy editing (i.e., that he should cut them out).

I know the technology advances all the time (e.g., the EOS 5D Mk II and this thread), and so I want always to be improving my game. However, I think that until hologram technology comes out (which won't be forever), probably the most I need to worry aboutwith my end product is mebbe a 72" LCD home theatre system (or equivalent). I know they plan to raise the bar to 2K in 2015, and I am just imagining that it will get raised to 4K some time around 2020 (but that is a total guess). Basically I do not want to have to redo my stuff, but I don't think home theatre is going to get much bigger than a six foot screen.

What are the technical advantages and disadvantages of 1K uncompressed versus 5K compressed? (I hesitate even to think about 5K uncompressed. Mind boggling.) And regardless of the advantages/disadvantages, am I going to get the quality I need for a 72" LCD screen, so I don't have to 're-do' stuff every few years as they raise the bar?

As always, your experience and knowledge is appreciated.

Norman


composite1's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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Norman,

Concerning the specifics of what the Mk II via it's HDMI out goes, until I can get my hands on a demo model to test or buy one I can't say one way or the other. If I can find out what production co mentioned in the video on the '5k' thread was I'm sure they would have a wealth of knowledge to pass on. I'll have to get back to you on that.

Meantime, the real advantages of uncompressed video lies in it ability to be resized with minimal losses of resolution. That is because there is more image data available than in a compressed video stream. It all depends on what you plan on doing with the final product. If you're going for theatrical release you want the most detailed (uncompressed) data stream possible whether it's for a 35mm or greater transfer to film or a straight digital projection copy. The image will have to hold up when projected onto a large screen in full detail. The higher your data rate (i.e. 1k - 6k) the more successful you'll be at maintaining the image at large projection sizes. Uncompressed video is also important for the compositing process. The more data available in the image the more 'room to work with' you'll have when creating your VFX.

Now if you're goal is broadcast you've got similar goals in maintaining a detailed data stream. Now that HD is the current thing, audiences expect to see rich, vibrant and detailed footage on their HD sets. As a broadcast content provider, you want that signal to look just as good on a 70" plasma/LCD, an ungodly sized video wall, projector or the typical family flatscreen. Uncompressed will get that for you.

In the past and I'm sure it's still in play to some degree, editors particularly working with Avid products would do a low res offline edit and then 'res up' to uncompressed for the online finishing process. Now with large harddrives and RAID'ed arrays, if you have the drive space working uncompressed is feasible. With capture/output devices made by Aja, Blackmagic Design, Matrox and a host of others working completely uncompressed (provided you have an proportionate amount of storage space) is easier than ever.

How prudent is it to work uncompressed HD? Again it depends on your resources. If you're not running a Duo/Quadcore or more system with at least 8GB of RAM at 64-bit with a minimum of 2.5TB of internal storage just for video and at least 1 750GB external storage drive (firewire or eSATA not USB) I don't think its a good idea. Working uncompressed takes a huge amount of computer resources no matter what OS platform you use. It gets really intense when you hit the 1k mark or better in HD.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


composite1's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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In accordance with passing on info intended for the 'transitional videographer' (i.e. novice to intermediate to advanced) here is a video from 'The Great Camera Shootout '08' with cameramen ranging from the apprentice indy filmmaker to the top of the game Shooter Director. This discussion brings into play what I've said in many of the posts concerning the question constantly asked on this site, 'What camera should I buy?' It's 11 minutes or so and they compare 35mm film and video footage professionally color corrected and transfered to film shot from cameras ranging from the RED ONE, HPX3000, HVX200, EX3, 5D Mk II, XH-A1 and others. To see how they compared and hear professional considerations regarding each check out the following video;

Zacuto's Great Camera Shootout '08 from Steve Weiss, Zacuto USA on Vimeo.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com



NormanWillis's picture
Last seen: 5 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/08/2008 - 5:56am

Comp,

>>How prudent is it to work uncompressed HD? Again it depends on your resources. If you're not running a Duo/Quadcore or more system with at least 8GB of RAM at 64-bit with a minimum of 2.5TB of internal storage just for video and at least 1 750GB external storage drive (firewire or eSATA not USB) I don't think its a good idea. Working uncompressed takes a huge amount of computer resources no matter what OS platform you use. It gets really intense when you hit the 1k mark or better in HD.

Perhaps I am confused. Are we talking uncompressed, or are we talking raw?

I am not sure, but I think 'uncompressed' may actually be a misnomer. I know that raw files are unwieldy-huge. I am not 100% certain but I think 'uncompressed' really means "lots smaller than raw, but not nearly as compact as HDV or AVCHD."

If that is wrong, please let me know.

Norman


composite1's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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"Perhaps I am confused. Are we talking uncompressed, or are we talking raw?"

Norman,

'Raw' footage refers to any film or video footage coming straight out of the camera without compression. It's an old term used in conjunction with film, standard video and early digital video. Now your HDV and MiniDV video is compressed, just not as much as other formats like MPEG, MP4 and MJPEG.

'RAW' video files are shot similar to DV as in 'frame by frame' instead of long GOP as in MPEG video. The RAW files are exactly like those shot with a digital still camera at full resolution with no compression. So if your video camera shoots a 12mega pixel image in RAW at 4k that's around 4096 x 2048, that's just one frame! Only cameras like the RED ONE, Arriflex D20, and the Dalsa Origin offhand shoot in RAW mode.

BTW, if you wanted to see how the Mk II stacks up against the RED ONE and other top of the line to mid-level cameras, watch the 'Shootout' video.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


NormanWillis's picture
Last seen: 5 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/08/2008 - 5:56am

OK, thanks.

>>BTW, if you wanted to see how the Mk II stacks up against the RED ONE and other top of the line to mid-level cameras, watch the 'Shootout' video.

I saw it. That was a great video.

Since I also am on a low budget, I liked the HPX-170 and the EX3 pictures (although I would also consider an EX1).

How did you say P2 media compares with SxS? (Cost factors aside.)

Norman


composite1's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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"How did you say P2 media compares with SxS? (Cost factors aside.)"

Norman,

I haven't worked with either so I can't say. However, should I pick up a JVC HM700, I would roll with SxS. Much cheaper than P2, friendlier with Vegas and used by higher-end clients. As far as the shootout went, the only footage I thought was off was the Canon's. They crushed the blacks and the colors weren't as vibrant as all the others which was strange since it's image sensor was designed primarily for still photography. It looked like they didn't expose well enough or didn't do a proper white balance. I mean even the XH1A looked better than a 5k camera? What was up with that? Look at the difference between that video and the one shot by Lafloret. He didn't have time or money to send it to a DaVinci 2k for color correction and it looked phenomenal. Despite that, I'm still very interested in getting a MkII.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


NormanWillis's picture
Last seen: 5 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/08/2008 - 5:56am

>>Look at the difference between that video and the one shot by Lafloret. He didn't have time or money to send it to a DaVinci 2k for color correction and it looked phenomenal. Despite that, I'm still very interested in getting a MkII.

I agree. Something was amiss with Zacuto's shoot.


composite1's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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I was looking through earlier webisodes of 'FilmFellas' and came across Episode 3. They discuss how the industry has changed and the new culture of 'check out my gear' that has developed now that production gear can be bought by mere mortals. I recommend it particularly for the newbies through intermediates because it will be you who adapt most strongly to the changes in the business.

FilmFellas - webisode 3 from Steve Weiss, Zacuto USA on Vimeo.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com



composite1's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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"The thing I picked up is this: "Content is still king."

Norman,

You heard right. All your gear does is give you the tools to bring your story to life. But before you start fooling around with how you're going to produce your vision, you'd better have your story down pat.

My co's latest film was literally produced on the fly in that once the treatment was completed, I began doing a script breakdown as I was writing the script! I had never done that before and the process was interesting, but I don't recommend it. The main thing that made it all doable was we had a solid treatment going forward. Which by the way was good, because we were putting the last tweaks on the script right up until a week before principal photography started! And without blowing my own horn, my team put together one heck of a flick.

One thing they don't address though, your film may be 'good' and or 'great' but it doesn't mean anything unless you get it in front of people who will like it that can give it the 'yea' or 'nay'. I've had films in festivals but I swear, I hate festival review boards. Everything depends on their particular taste at that particular time. I've submitted my stuff to some festivals and couldn't get the 'dog to chew on it with a steak attached'. But send it to others and not only does it get in, it wins awards.

The weird and cool thing about the web, is there are audiences out there for your work. Good luck finding them.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com