View Full Version : Workflow: HDV tape to MAC to HD-D5
12-20-2006, 06:28 AM
Please help me with this proposed workflow. I need to know what level of Apple Mac RAM and internal/external Hard Drives, editing software, color grading software, capture/output SDI cards (to final ouptput to HD-D5).
The proposed shoot is a 90 minute film, with a greater than four to one shooting ratio.
Shoot on the XH-A1 to HDV tape, and then use firewire to go to MAC. Is that o.k. so far?
This is where I am a total newbie in the workflow. What level of Mac Pro (or higher)? Dual or Quad processor? How much RAM? How much space will the HDV converted to 'full resolution' HD take up?
How is the imported HDV edited as/converted to equivalent full resolution HD-D5 (a 4:1 intraframe compression) equivalent, or what do you suggest? Is this done as a HD Quicktime, I don't know anything really (sorry!).
I saw the cards by http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/hd/, is this the kind of thing to do the editing and final output?
What MAC software will let me edit the imported HDV as HD full resolution - or what level of HD editing resolution should/could I be acheiving?
What MAC software will let me do the color grading at the HD resolution that we achieve (at your suggestion!).
Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated!
12-26-2006, 09:49 PM
Found a UK company that builds a MAC PRO with the Black magic card, bundled with Final Cut Studio. I like the one-stop shop approach they offer, please have a look at the specs (and after adding 3x500 GB drives) will I be on the right track?
I asked them by email, "I would like to import several hours of HDV rushes to edit, and then output as a 90 minute product to HD-D5 at full HD resolution.
When HDV tape rushes footage are imported, can it then be edited not in HDV 'native' (unless recommended), but in a full HD format ready for direct export from the MAC to HD-D5 from the edit?
Or would that HDV not be rendered to full HD (ready for HD-D5) on import, but rendered to full HD resolution upon export from the edit line?
And is this proposed workflow supported by FCP and the MAC/Blackmagic Decklink card you supply?
i.e.Can the MAC/SDI kit play the output of the edit line losslessly/without hiccups to a (hired) HD-D5 machine? Is this the benefit of the system you build?"
12-27-2006, 07:00 PM
Let me know what info you get ... I'm very interested in finding out what people are using for playing back full uncompressed 1920x1080 to HD-SDI.
12-27-2006, 08:39 PM
You can actually output an entire HDV timeline with the Blackmagic card. It allows monitoring HDV with component or SDI output. If you want the highest quality, I would recommend buying the Sheer codec www.bitjazz.com
and simply copy/pasting your finished HDV edit into a Sheer 10bit 4:2:2 1920x1080, 23.98 (unless you are PAL, then 25fps) custom sequence, render, and then output to D5. You will avoid the entire "conform to HDV i.e. rebuilding GOPs" process and maintain more headroom for grading.
You will need a minimum of 3-4 drive SATA RAID to playback Sheer codec (45 MBs) for hours with no dropped frames.
12-28-2006, 10:31 AM
Elton, thanks, but specifically what system would you require to realtime playback full 4:2:2 1920x1080 over HD-SDI? The disk requirements are relatively easy to meet (HDs are cheap, I have 8 raided drives in my main machine), but actual playback and export of full 4:2:2 1080p I have no experience with. At what point does the cpu or the system's internal bandwidth become the problem. Does this even require exotic hardware at all, or is this achievable for a decent modern dual-core system with enough harddrive throughput? Exporting an HDV timeline is of no interest to me-- all my work is heavily graded (and almost always composited), so what I'd really need is the ability to render down to 4:2:2 uncompressed and then playback over hd-sdi.
I should clarify, when I say uncompressed I don't necessarily mean full uncompressed avi/qt .. another lossless (huffyuv) or virtually lossloss codec (cineform, sheer) would be completely acceptable... thus my assertion that the hard disk bandwidth isn't my real concern.
12-28-2006, 02:42 PM
With a Mac/FCP setup, you simply need an HD SDI card like the Decklink or Kona, and using Sheer (which is a fantastic codec) you will need a hard drive system capable of sustaining at least 55 MBs, which a simple SATA raid can do. Any dual 2.0 G5 or higher can handle Sheer with no problem.
12-29-2006, 05:30 PM
Hi, I'm sorry, I am a newbie about Apple and CCP.
Some questions please:
If I had not to purchase that Kona 3 card, can you tell me if I will work enough fine in HDV? Without that card is ir better to use Sheer too?
If I will make a RAID, FCP will work faster? What RAID do you advice?
I work in Pal system and I make documentaries only.