Latest post Tue, Oct 2 2012 9:29 AM by Guy Ducker. 7 replies.
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  • Mon, Oct 1 2012 10:31 AM

    • Guy Ducker
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    Looking for the perfect Canon DSLR to Avid workflow

    I'm trying to find a workflow to deal with material shot on Canon DSLRs so that I can output from Media Composer 5.5.2 a Quicktime that will have every ounce of picture quality from the original.

    Okay, to be honest I've found such a workflow, but it's pretty long-winded (transcode rushes to ProRes422 via Squeeze, link to these files via AMA and then transcode again to DNxHD, relink to ProRes at the end); what I'm hoping for is a one stage process.

    I've tried importing the camera's h.264 files via AMA, but that loses details in the blacks. Changing the settings to "Compress graphic levels to video levels" seems to help to pull back some of the detail in highlights and shadows, but there's still detail loss.

    Has anyone tried the Sorenson Squeeze MXF conversion workflow, whereby it supposedly creates Avid-ready .mxf files from your camera originals? It needs Sorenson Squeeze Pro, which is pricey, so I'd like to know that it works before forking out for it.

    Is there any other 3rd party software out there that might help?

    Many thanks,


    Guy Ducker

    OS X 10.10.5 * MC 8.5.3 * iMac 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 * 16GB RAM * AMD Radeon HD 6770M [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Oct 1 2012 8:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Looking for the perfect Canon DSLR to Avid workflow

    I'd avoid mixing Prores and DNxHD compressions on the same media. They use similar but different algorithms and they can tend to work against each other. Added to that you already have H264 crunching going on.

    ACI Moderator. I'm not employed by Avid or work for them. I just do this in my spare time. Normally using the current Media Composer version on My... [view my complete system specs]

     

    Broadcast & Post Production Consultant / Trainer  VET

     

    T 07581 201248 | E pat@vet.co.uk | W www.vet.co.uk |


    Media Composer V8.2 Review Background Render

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  • Mon, Oct 1 2012 9:33 PM In reply to

    • nuclearpicnic
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    Re: Looking for the perfect Canon DSLR to Avid workflow

    What about Canon's Qucktime plug in for DSLR?  according to the AMA info page, you should be able to work directly with the DSLR footage right in Media Composer if you install Canon's Quicktime plug in... is that not so?  I was planning to do this on a project soon as well:

    http://www.avid.com/US/products/Avid-Media-Access/features

    Mac Pro 2009 Quad Core, Media Composer 8.7 AJA IoExpress, Avid Artist Mix, Sonnet PCI Express 2-Port eSATA, 32Gb Ram, HP displays, keyspan. Drobo S for... [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Oct 1 2012 9:34 PM In reply to

    • nuclearpicnic
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    Re: Looking for the perfect Canon DSLR to Avid workflow

    Oh forgot I'm planning to work in 6.5 with the new AMA output which allows you to export same as source... any thoughts on how that will affect DSLR workflow?

    Mac Pro 2009 Quad Core, Media Composer 8.7 AJA IoExpress, Avid Artist Mix, Sonnet PCI Express 2-Port eSATA, 32Gb Ram, HP displays, keyspan. Drobo S for... [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Oct 2 2012 8:44 AM In reply to

    • Guy Ducker
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    Re: Looking for the perfect Canon DSLR to Avid workflow

    Thanks Pat, useful thing to know! In my current workflow I only use DNxHD for offline, I end up by reconnecting the media to the ProRes files and exporting as ProRes 4444 for the grade, so I'm not actually putting the online media through DNxHD.

    Do you have any suggestions for a workflow that avoids ProRes altogether? One that captures every bit of detail from the camera original?

    OS X 10.10.5 * MC 8.5.3 * iMac 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 * 16GB RAM * AMD Radeon HD 6770M [view my complete system specs]
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  • Tue, Oct 2 2012 8:52 AM In reply to

    • Guy Ducker
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    • London
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    Re: Looking for the perfect Canon DSLR to Avid workflow

    Given to the Canon camera originals being h.264, I doubt it will ever be truly stable working with them without first transcoding.

    Besides, even if you link the h.264 files via AMA you don't get as much detail out of them as you do if you transcode to ProRes first. At least, that's been my experience.

    OS X 10.10.5 * MC 8.5.3 * iMac 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 * 16GB RAM * AMD Radeon HD 6770M [view my complete system specs]
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  • Tue, Oct 2 2012 9:12 AM In reply to

    Re: Looking for the perfect Canon DSLR to Avid workflow

    nuclearpicnic:

    What about Canon's Qucktime plug in for DSLR?  according to the AMA info page, you should be able to work directly with the DSLR footage right in Media Composer if you install Canon's Quicktime plug in... is that not so?  I was planning to do this on a project soon as well:

    http://www.avid.com/US/products/Avid-Media-Access/features

     

    The only Canon AMA plugin for MC is the XF plugin. For H264 support MC uses the native QT AMA plugin that is installed with the MC installation. There isn't a specific DSLR plugin...

    But interesting to hear of lack of detail issue witht he stock AMA plugin. I've never noticed this.

    Exactly how do we think this coudl be happening? It's not a locak of resolution because you do get 1920x1080 pixels. The bit depth is 8 bits on the resultant media. IS it possibel that the H264 decoder isn't doing a good job? and if so where is that decoder?

    I'd assumed the QT AMA was driven by the Quicktime software on the machien but in a previous post I was corrected that there isn't a relationship between QT AMA and quicktime on the machine.

    So who is providing the H264 decoder?

    ACI Moderator. I'm not employed by Avid or work for them. I just do this in my spare time. Normally using the current Media Composer version on My... [view my complete system specs]

     

    Broadcast & Post Production Consultant / Trainer  VET

     

    T 07581 201248 | E pat@vet.co.uk | W www.vet.co.uk |


    Media Composer V8.2 Review Background Render

    -

    Follow me on Twitter Pat_H_VET

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  • Tue, Oct 2 2012 9:29 AM In reply to

    • Guy Ducker
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Fri, Mar 19 2010
    • London
    • Posts 19
    • Points 205

    Re: Looking for the perfect Canon DSLR to Avid workflow

    The issue with the AMA import of h.264 files seems to be around details in the highlights and shadows, otherwise it seems to be okay. I noticed it when cutting a film shot in very dark conditions. That suggests to me that it's either something to do with gamma shift or the difference between 0-255 and 16-235. Around here my technical knowledge starts to fade out...

    OS X 10.10.5 * MC 8.5.3 * iMac 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 * 16GB RAM * AMD Radeon HD 6770M [view my complete system specs]
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