Posts Tagged ‘apple compressor


my 5dmarkii post workflow

Following an energized thread on the FCP-L, I thought I’d post how I deal with footage from my 5dmarkii.  For starters, dtev001 asked the list why not just use the EOS plug-in Canon provides?  Oliver Peters chimed in with a great response, answering:

The trouble I’ve had (just this week) was that when I L&T’ed Canon EOS files, about 10% came in at less than full length. It appeared to be random. I’m not going to commit time and potentially 1,000s of clips that would have to be checked, to an unreliable workflow.

One other advantage to these various alternate workflows is that you can do it on a machine that doesn’t necessarily have FCS installed. On an 8-core MacPro, Compressor converts these H264 files to ProRes in about 1.5X running time. A 32GB card hold approx. 90 minutes of footage, so figure a ballpark of about 2.5hrs/card for conversion. That’s in addition to H264 copying time for card to hard drive.

Of course, if you REALLY want to go “old-school”, you could use Premiere Pro CS5 or Avid MC5 (with video output hardware), drop the clips on a timeline, output in real-time to videotape and then re-ingest into FCP. I believe that’s actually similar to the post workflow used on “House” – i.e. go to tape first and then follow a traditional offline/online editing procedure.

Personally, I don’t care for the EOS plug-in either.  While I haven’t experienced the terribleness Oliver went through, his retelling makes me even less likely to go that route in the future.  I’m more of a stick shift guy, so I like to load the h264 footage straight from the card onto my editing storage.  Then, I simply run all my clips through Compressor, converting them to Apple ProRes 422 using an 8-core QuickCluster.

because i love you guys

Click the pic for a link to download my Compressor setting.  I’ve come to trust Compressor after a long love / hate relationship.  Especially Qmaster and multi-core processing.

Mike Flamino’s video tutorial has been a wonderful resource. Having watched it I’m harnessing 8 cores in my QuickCluster just fine.  Processing time is fast.  I’m not here to do speed tests, and you’re performance will vary depending on your system, but I will go so far as to say it works faster than the EOS plug-in and I get more control.  Faster + more control = happy.

Oh yeah, audio.  I record 4 channel audio with my Zoom and use either the onboard mic or a Sennheiser MKE-400 boom for reference audio on the camera recorded into the footage.  I hand sync the Zoom audio to the onboard mic audio.  I make sure to convert my lav track to mono and boost the amplitude as needed in Soundtrack Pro.

Once all this converting is done, I’ll drop all my video and audio files into my FCP project, add some project specific extensions to the clip names and set the file names to match.  This way I don’t get duplicate generic file names in multiple projects.  That can be irritating.  Then I string all my footage out into one timeline with the video and audio synced up and go from there.  It’s not automated, you can make mistakes along the way and it’s worked well for me so far.  Hope this helps.

proactively • please just let fcp playback h264 in real time • peter

Disclosure, to comply with the FTC’s new rules

None of the manufacturers listed above are paying Peter Salvia to write this article and, so far, none have sent him any samples or demonstration items.  Peter is a B&H Sales Affiliate and receives a commission from items linked to B&H and purchased through this site.  Oh yeah, and he’s an Apple Certified Trainer so you can derive his bias for yourself.


monitoring 1080p30 from the 5dmarkii

Received an inquiry from a reader and after writing up my response realized this might make good bloggery.  His question was essentially How do I look at the stuff I’m shooting on my shiny new Canon 5D Mark II? (my own editorial tone added for consistency’s sake).  Bonusly, I’ve stepped up my blog game and embedded url’s in the pics so click through to get more info.

Monitoring 1080p is a considerable undertaking, especially if you want to do it right.  First things first, you’ll need to start with a

Apple Mac Pro

Apple Mac Pro

or a

Apple 17" Macbook Pro

Apple 17" Macbook Pro

or both.

Burning a Blu-Ray disc requires software like

Apple Compressor 3

Apple Compressor 3

and an external BluRay disc burner

LG LightScribe

LG LightScribe

Bonus link here to build your own Compressor BluRay setting.

Monitoring native 1080p30 out of Final Cut Pro is can be a bit tricky, essentially you’ll need a capture card like the Matrox MXO for instance

Matrox MXO

Matrox MXO

and a monitor of some kind, preferably with native 1080p resolution like the

Dell 2407 WFP

Dell 2407 WFP

or the

Apple 23-inch Cinema Display

Apple 23-inch Cinema Display

I’m using a setup similar to this at home.  At work we use an AJA Kona 3



monitoring on an HD  broadcast monitor via HD-SDI



Otherwise, you can simply view the footage in FCP’s canvas as it plays back in your time line and not worry about the expense of a setup like this until the finishing stage.  Then you could happily walk your project over to a facility with the professional setup and order from their lunch menu while a Colorist cracks jokes and crushes your blacks.

It’s the dollars vs doable decisions that really make this craft an art form IMHO.  Cranking out broadcast quality 1080p material on a 10k FCP setup (and it really is 10k if you’re paying for all the software) is not something you can do overnight. But, it can be done.

proactively • man that’s a lot of alliteration • peter


FCProse Episode 4 – cut color compress 5dmarkii footage

Here’s the all-in-one video tutorial showing you how to cut, color, and compress 1080p video captured with Canon’s upcoming 5D Mark II Digital SLR with three Final Cut Studio 2 applications: Final Cut Pro, Color, and Compressor. I recommend clicking thru for the hd version to better see the application interfaces.

In this episode I walk through the steps to edit your footage in Final Cut Pro, perform a broadcast safe grade in Color, and then make a web compression for upload to YouTube and Vimeo using Compressor.

I work directly with the source H.264 video Vincent Laforet made available for download (no H.264 -> Apple ProRes 422 transcode this time around). I also discuss some system specs and rant about High Dynamic Range video. A quick tag surf lead me to this post that has an example of HDR video captured by something called the HDRC® MDC04 CL camera system.

What’s High Dynamic Range (HDR), you ask? Check out yet another Chad Richard HDR timelapse (click thru for the full HD effect):

Mr. Richard has done a lot of heavy lifting to convert a series of HDR stills into 1080p video (and then compress for Vimeo, of course). Check out his tutorial for this process here.

We’re at the forefront of a paradigm shift where digital photography and high definition video are converging. Check out Romy Ocon‘s 5dmkii bird photography, err, video:

Right now is an exciting, exciting time.

proactively • sitting in a front row seat • peter

August 2020

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