Latest post Tue, Mar 1 2011 4:18 PM by Mark Job. 15 replies.
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  • Wed, Feb 23 2011 4:02 AM

    Avid helps bring viewers to the FRONTLINE in Egypt

    http://community.avid.com/blogs/buzz/archive/2011/02/22/avid-helps-bring-viewers-to-the-frontline-in-egypt.aspx

    Kenton VanNatten | Avid Editor (for hire)

    "I am not obsessed... I'm detail-oriented"

  • Wed, Feb 23 2011 5:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Avid helps bring viewers to the FRONTLINE in Egypt

    wanted to bump this up because it's a pretty amazing feat and I'm surprised that no one has commented

    Kenton VanNatten | Avid Editor (for hire)

    "I am not obsessed... I'm detail-oriented"

  • Thu, Feb 24 2011 1:31 PM In reply to

    • Pheral
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Sylva, NC USA
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    Re: Avid helps bring viewers to the FRONTLINE in Egypt

    This is a pretty incredible article and story.

    Media Composer v8.9.2 | Windows 10 Professional 64-Bit | Supermicro X10DAi | Intel Xeon E5-2620 v4 Broadwell (x2) | Noctua NH-D9DX i4 (x2) | PNY GeForce... [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Feb 26 2011 4:07 AM In reply to

    • Mark Job
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Sun, Jan 23 2011
    • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    • Posts 124
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    Re: Avid helps bring viewers to the FRONTLINE in Egypt

    Pheral:

    This is a pretty incredible article and story.

    …Yeah. The quality - even on YouTube looks really clean Yes It's interesting to note that HDV and Canon's infamous F format was part of the various material required for ingest and transcode. It would be interesting to have a few more specific details as to what Frontline's workflow post format was. I am assuming all elements (Other than still images), were transcoded upon ingest to some flavour of DNxHD so that everything on the timeline was in the same format. (??)

    Mark Job

     

    HP nw 9440 ISV Certified Workstation with nVidia Quaddro FX 1500 M w/512 MB of on board GDDR 3 RAM GPU, 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, 100 GB 7200 RPM HDD, 4... [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Feb 26 2011 4:30 AM In reply to

    Re: Avid helps bring viewers to the FRONTLINE in Egypt

    Mark Job:
    I am assuming all elements (Other than still images), were transcoded upon ingest to some flavour of DNxHD

    The stills were done in After Effects and so would've also ended up imported into Avid as DNxHD.  

    I just sent an email to my friend Chad, who was the lead editor on this, to see if he would be willing to relay some of the technical details.  

    Kenton VanNatten | Avid Editor (for hire)

    "I am not obsessed... I'm detail-oriented"

  • Sat, Feb 26 2011 8:22 AM In reply to

    Re: Avid helps bring viewers to the FRONTLINE in Egypt

    Impressive!

    Media Composer /w Symphony option | PT-HD | Win7Pro64 HP | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 | Nitris DX | Artist Mix & Transport & Color | AJA T-Tap | Decklink... [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Feb 26 2011 3:25 PM In reply to

    • Mark Job
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Sun, Jan 23 2011
    • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    • Posts 124
    • Points 1,495

    Re: Avid helps bring viewers to the FRONTLINE in Egypt

    Kenton.VanNatten:
    The stills were done in After Effects and so would've also ended up imported into Avid as DNxHD.
    ….Hi Kenton: I'm considering picking up a used Adrenalin and capturing everything via HD-SDI to DNxHD. I can use my Convergent Design Solid State Digital HD Video Recorder/Player as a realtime HD-SDI embedder and pull HDV video/audio/TC out using my XL H1 camcorder as a deck into my SSDR (The Flash XDR SSDR has realtime handling of Canon 24 F). The Flash XDR uses realtime 3:2 pull down removal and the added ability to take analogue audio line or mic level signals, plus LTC and embed this into the HD-SDI stream. The resulting realtime HD-SDI output of the XDR is a clean 23.976p.
    Kenton.VanNatten:
    I just sent an email to my friend Chad, who was the lead editor on this, to see if he would be willing to relay some of the technical details.
    …Cool. Thanks for doing this Kenton. Yes

    Mark Job

    HP nw 9440 ISV Certified Workstation with nVidia Quaddro FX 1500 M w/512 MB of on board GDDR 3 RAM GPU, 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, 100 GB 7200 RPM HDD, 4... [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Feb 26 2011 4:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Avid helps bring viewers to the FRONTLINE in Egypt

    I'm not sure what the price on that used Adrenaline is, I would consider waiting until after v5.5 is released and look into getting the AJA I/O Express.  It'll let you capture over HD-SDI, plus MC v5.5 will give you new features and tools.  

    Kenton VanNatten | Avid Editor (for hire)

    "I am not obsessed... I'm detail-oriented"

  • Sat, Feb 26 2011 6:35 PM In reply to

    • Mark Job
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Sun, Jan 23 2011
    • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    • Posts 124
    • Points 1,495

    Re: Avid helps bring viewers to the FRONTLINE in Egypt

    Kenton.VanNatten:

    I'm not sure what the price on that used Adrenaline is, I would consider waiting until after v5.5 is released and look into getting the AJA I/O Express.  It'll let you capture over HD-SDI, plus MC v5.5 will give you new features and tools.  

    …Hi Kenton: The used Adrenalines have been going quite cheaply on Ebay. I just missed an HD Adrenaline with the DNxCell Board installed and all cables for $1,250.00 US, which is less than our now more valuable Canuk Bucks. I would imagine Adrenalines' prices will continue to drop steadily over the next two months. Also, Adrenalines will still work with MC 5.5.x. The AJA I/O Express also looks like a possible way to go, but its interface is not compatible with my current Avid 4.0.5.13 certified setup. I would like to squeeze as much time as I can out of my current Avid system before it becomes a useless piece of scrap PC hardware. The Adrenaline works on standard FireWire 400, which I already have. For this reason, and the cheap price, I'm leaning in its direction. If I go with the upgrade to 5.5x with the AJA I/O Express, then I will also have to upgrade my workstation laptop, which is currently an expensive round trip proposition. I don't want to invest this much more cash at this time into a company which may bankrupt itself through its own utter stupidity either ! Strong market forces are now afoot, plus the new Final Cut Pro upgrade is coming, and we don't know how good it will be versus Avid Media Composer. (??) I'm still in pause mode and let's see what we can see coming out of NAB. I also continue to monitor the falling prices of used Adrenalines on Ebay in the meantime.

    Mark Job

     

    HP nw 9440 ISV Certified Workstation with nVidia Quaddro FX 1500 M w/512 MB of on board GDDR 3 RAM GPU, 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, 100 GB 7200 RPM HDD, 4... [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Feb 26 2011 6:52 PM In reply to

    • Chad Ervin
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    • Cambridge, MA
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    Re: Avid helps bring viewers to the FRONTLINE in Egypt

    Hi everyone, thank you for the praise for this project.  It was a very challenging undertaking and required a team effort, frequently around the clock.  Our Post Supervisor, Chris Fournelle is working on a detailed account of the workflow to be shared with Avid & the community.  Also, I believe they're going to have Chris do a presentation at NAB and have some of our sequences and media on-hand to demonstrate.


    I'll try to address some of the questions that I've seen thus far in the discussion.  Media type: We cut the whole thing in DNX-145 and its PAL equivalent.  PAL media was imported / captured into a PAL project then moved over to the offline project.  All four of the offline editors worked in the same Avid project, splitting our bins into folders.


    I didn't do the pictures in After Effects this time.  In the first segment we had the larger aesthetic issue of contending with the shaky, rough footage acquired in Cairo.  We usually aspire for a very smooth, classy feel to our pictures, interviews, etc.  Things made in that style looked very strange when placed in the verite-style footage though.  So I made a 'handheld' effect using the 'Shake' effect from Sapphire.  I put this effect on all our interviews and most still images.  On interviews I also added a push using the resize effect.  I felt that this gave the interviews a similar feeling to the rest of the footage.  For the stills I just imported them at DNX-145 and animated them with understated moves using the 3D Warp.
    Because of the fast timetable, with each choice I wanted to weigh the potential issues I might cause down the line so I tried to keep everything as 'within the box' as much as possible.  In other words I didn't want to have to answer questions about missing pan & zoom pictures in the middle of the night.


    Other assorted details: the Canon f footage required us to buy the camera to capture.  Most footage was file-based so the greatest technical challenge of the whole project was to was to copy over the footage (which was hastily put onto a drive in the middle of the chaos over there), keeping it in a coherent system so we could tell what it was and when it was filmed.
    But the most challenging issue for me was that, once all of this happened and it was in the project on the unity... it was still in arabic...  So for any sound-ups between interviews, people chanting, etc. I would have to call a translator into the room and make sure that they were actually saying something relevant, finishing thoughts, etc.

    Anyway, hopefully this answers some of the questions and provides a little more insight into the process/workflow.  When Fournelle has the more thorough explanation I will forward along.  Otherwise, I will keep an eye on this board and answer anything else to the best of my ability.

    Avid Media Composer v5 with Nitris DX on Mac Pro. [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Feb 26 2011 8:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Avid helps bring viewers to the FRONTLINE in Egypt

    Awesome thanks Chad!  

    I got wrapped up in the story, so obviously that means you did your job well.  Maybe we should consider having you guys do a demo for the BAVUG?

    Kenton VanNatten | Avid Editor (for hire)

    "I am not obsessed... I'm detail-oriented"

  • Sat, Feb 26 2011 9:06 PM In reply to

    • Mark Job
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Sun, Jan 23 2011
    • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    • Posts 124
    • Points 1,495

    Re: Avid helps bring viewers to the FRONTLINE in Egypt

    Chad Ervin:
    Other assorted details: the Canon f footage required us to buy the camera to capture.
    ….Hi Chad: Yes. I can understand the need to have the camera for the Canon 25 F capture. We use the Canon XL H1 for all our 24 F capture to MC. Thank you for providing more details on your post workflow. I was pretty sure you were using DNxHD, just not sure what flavour of it you were using. I was surprised you didn't use DNxHD 175 or 220. Perhaps the PAL post was the reason for this ? If I understood you correctly, your post format was SD with a 16 x 9 aspect ratio (Based on viewing YouTube Promo) ?

     

    Mark Job

    HP nw 9440 ISV Certified Workstation with nVidia Quaddro FX 1500 M w/512 MB of on board GDDR 3 RAM GPU, 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, 100 GB 7200 RPM HDD, 4... [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Feb 28 2011 7:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Avid helps bring viewers to the FRONTLINE in Egypt

    Mark,

    Whenever possible we used the native source codec as long as possible--Sony EX, XDCAM, HDV, etc.  The footage is going to change codecs enough through the broadcast chain so we prefer to transcode as little as possible.  With those codecs Avid can't play natively, we transcoded to a DNxHD resolution.  The exact resolution was dependent on the source mb/sec, frame size, fps, and avid project it was ingest into.  With this much footage and the amount of rooms needing to work in the same project, AMA was only used in the ingesting process.

    We mastered on HDCAM 1080, 59.94 and made our digital QuickTime master at DNxHD 145.  Other digital versions for the web, YouTube, etc, were made from that master QuickTime file.  Each version has its own specification.

     

    Chris Fournelle

    Post Production Director/Frontline OutPost

  • Tue, Mar 1 2011 3:09 AM In reply to

    • Mark Job
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Sun, Jan 23 2011
    • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    • Posts 124
    • Points 1,495

    Re: Avid helps bring viewers to the FRONTLINE in Egypt

    Hi Chris: I'm a little unclear as to how you edited HDV shot @ Canon 25 F ? Did you have to transcode the Canon HDV 25 F PAL to DNxHD 145 ? Media Composer Can't ingest from HDV tape via Standard FireWire without crash recording, because capture from source tape TC at 24 F/25F doesn't work, so how did you specifically deal with the Canon HDV footage ? If you had ingest stations setup which had Adrenalines or Nitris DX boxes, then you could possibly capture in realtime via HD-SDI or HDMI (If the Canon HDV camcorder was a model which had HD-SDI or HDMI output jack). I'm very interested to know in specific detail how your post dealt with anything shot in Canon 24 F or 25 F HDV.

    Mark Job

    HP nw 9440 ISV Certified Workstation with nVidia Quaddro FX 1500 M w/512 MB of on board GDDR 3 RAM GPU, 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, 100 GB 7200 RPM HDD, 4... [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Mar 1 2011 3:31 PM In reply to

    Re: Avid helps bring viewers to the FRONTLINE in Egypt

    With those particular shots, I ingested the tapes with a PAL version Canon XHG1 into a 1080 50i project via firewire with my MacBook Pro.  I was connected to Unity with Port Server Pro.  I could only get a valid signal by setting my frame size to 1440x1080 and using the HDV resolution.  I didn't have any issues with the TC.  

    Because of the difficulties in using the camera as a deck, I didn't log it, but just set an in-point and left the out empty. Normally we would try to ingest in shorter clips so there wouldn't be time-code drift, but we've always had trouble using this format.  This frame rate also forced us to ingest via firewire rather than HDSDI and RS-422 control.

    We haven't seen a lot of Canon f frame rates so my experience with it is limited.  In the two or three cases, this is how we did it.  The other instances were with 30f

    One note about the entire project: Contrary to normal practices, we ingested everything at HD resolution so there wouldn't be any down-time with the conform.  Since moving to file-based acquisition, we've spent a lot more time trying to re-ingest/conform in our normal offline/online model.  We didn't have the luxury to wait until the program was finished to up-rez material, and I believe had we, the program broadcast would have been in jeopardy.  

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