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  • Thu, Feb 25 2021 2:40 AM

    • ykt28403
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    Transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project

    What's the best practice for transcoding 4K (1.9:1) footage for a 16:9 project, if the final delivery is UHD (16:9)? I keep running into jobs where there's a mix of 4K and UHD footage.

    If I transcode the 4K footage letterboxed, then Frame Flex / Center Crop, I'm thinking it would allow the editor to change the framing if they wanted to use the left or right side of the 4K footage?

    When the project gets turned over to color, will this Frame Flexed 4K footage be treated as if it was blown up (to 107% size or whatever)?

    Media Composer 8.9.2Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6MacBook Pro 13-inch Early 20152.7 GHz Intel Core i58 GB 1867 MHz DDR3INtel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Feb 25 2021 9:54 PM In reply to

    • jef
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    Re: Transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project

    ykt28403:

    When the project gets turned over to color, will this Frame Flexed 4K footage be treated as if it was blown up (to 107% size or whatever)?

    That depends on what system is being used for color and how the hand over is being done.

    Jef

    Avid DS 11.0.2 R.I.P | MC "Well, it depends ..." mostly 8.12.9|OS 10.14.x - iMac Pro 2019 - home system MacPro Dual 2.8 8core GTX680 "Harpertown"... [view my complete system specs]

    _____________________________________________

    Jef Huey

    Senior Editor

    Old Stuff  http://vimeo.com/album/3037796

  • Fri, Feb 26 2021 11:16 PM In reply to

    • ykt28403
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    Re: Transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project

    Do you mean if they're using DaVinci Resolve? Or do you mean something else?

    Media Composer 8.9.2Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6MacBook Pro 13-inch Early 20152.7 GHz Intel Core i58 GB 1867 MHz DDR3INtel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Feb 27 2021 1:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project

    Two choices with 4K in UHD

    Crop the sides (128 pixels per side) or letterbox.

    Decide which route and then just frameflex it. 

    If the grade divers 16:9 UHD they will have to do the same. But they will see that from your offline guide.

    The biggest danger is the 4k gets squeezed into UHD. 

    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  Avid Certified Instructor VET

     

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  • Sat, Feb 27 2021 8:05 PM In reply to

    • ykt28403
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    Re: Transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project

    Thanks Pat!

    Presuming the project will be 16:9 for a UHD delivery (this hasn't been determined yet by the producer, we haven't created an Avid project yet), the plan was to letterbox and frameflex it (center cropped).

    – Would the editor be able to use the parts of the image not visible because of frameflex center crop (the left and right side of the 1.9:1 image) if they wanted to?

    – If we deliver to color grading at 16:9 UHD, will they handle the 4K footage as 1 pixel = 1 pixel (2160 vertical), or will they handle the 4K footage as if it was blown up to 107%?

    The user "Jef" (above) says, "That depends on what system is being used for color and how the hand over is being done."

    I'm not sure what he means by "system", but if he means software, let's say it's DaVinci Resolve.

    I've never done a turnover to color so I'm not sure how color grading vendors deal with 4K footage in a UHD project.

    Media Composer 8.9.2Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6MacBook Pro 13-inch Early 20152.7 GHz Intel Core i58 GB 1867 MHz DDR3INtel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Feb 27 2021 9:54 PM In reply to

    • jef
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    Re: Transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project

    ykt28403:

    The user "Jef" (above) says, "That depends on what system is being used for color and how the hand over is being done."

    I'm not sure what he means by "system", but if he means software, let's say it's DaVinci Resolve.

    I've never done a turnover to color so I'm not sure how color grading vendors deal with 4K footage in a UHD project.

    By what system - there are several in general use.  DaVinci Resolve, Baselight, NuCoda are examples. The next question was about turnover.  There are two basic methods: baked file with EDL and conform timeline.

    Baked file is used when budget is tight.  The sequence is is output as one file with certain prep work done before hand.  An EDL of this sequence is handed to color as well to mark cuts and dissolves.  For many shows this an acceptable option.  All of your resizes and repos are now locked in. There are some gotcha's but the colorist can help you decide if this is a good option.

    The other option is sending a copy of the sequence and all associated media to the colorist.  They then have to conform that sequence in their system.  This can take time (sometimes a LOT of time) depending on the complexity of the sequence and types of sources.  But there are some good reasons to do this.  Again, the colorist can help decide if it is worth the extra cost depending on the needs of your project.

    So, once you have decided baked or conform then you discuss with the colorist how your sequence will translate to their system.  You will always want to provide a reference copy of your locked sequence to let them check things with either method.

    Jef

    Avid DS 11.0.2 R.I.P | MC "Well, it depends ..." mostly 8.12.9|OS 10.14.x - iMac Pro 2019 - home system MacPro Dual 2.8 8core GTX680 "Harpertown"... [view my complete system specs]

    _____________________________________________

    Jef Huey

    Senior Editor

    Old Stuff  http://vimeo.com/album/3037796

  • Sun, Feb 28 2021 12:03 AM In reply to

    • ykt28403
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    Re: Transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project

    Thank you so much for the clarification and detail, Jef! I don't think the producer knows yet what vendor they're going to use for color (they haven't even created the Avid project yet), so I'm not sure what system the color vendor is going to use for the conform.

    I think the producer is thinking of using an offline editing workflow (1920x1080, DNxHD 36); then, when the picture is locked, giving color a drive with all the original media, archival master files, etc., and sending color an AAF (plus a reference video, of course).

    However, it is self-funded.

    For the baked file route to work, would the Assistant Editor (it may not be me) transcode everything at finishing quality (or at least a 10-bit codec like DNxHD 175X)? It's a feature documentary; right now, they're working with 20 TB G-RAIDs.

    Or would the edit team be able to use an offline edit workflow, then do an online themselves so that they can output a finishing quality baked file for color grading?

    Media Composer 8.9.2Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6MacBook Pro 13-inch Early 20152.7 GHz Intel Core i58 GB 1867 MHz DDR3INtel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB [view my complete system specs]
  • Sun, Feb 28 2021 1:12 AM In reply to

    • jef
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    Re: Transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project

    Doing an offline DNx 35 workflow and conforming for online is what Avid was designed to do.

    

Yes, you can do it yourself.  There are some procedures to follow from the very beginning to make it as painless as possible.  Starting with an experienced AE can really help in that area.

    But let me make a case for an experienced online editor to do the conform rather than an AE or yourself (though some AEs are very talented).

    An EXPERIENCED online editor has been around the block.  They have seen many problems, found many solutions and hopefully they have an artistic sense as well as a technical mind. They should really be doing more for a project than just making sure the full res pictures match the low res pictures.  They should be making the project better than they received it.

    Now, many online editors have been taking on color tasks as the industry changes.  And many colorists have been taking on online tasks.  This is being driven by budget.  But in both of these cases, rarely does the one person have the highest skills in both areas.  Clients often think it will be cheaper if only one person does the job.  This is not always the case.

    I am lucky in that I work in a facility where we still have specialists doing what they do.  Working together.  I am biased, but I feel this gives the client the best product for the money.  At the end of the day the bill should be the same, maybe less.  I have 25 plus years of fixing issues and polishing shows, working with colorists with an equal amount of experience in their area.  When they are forced by clients to do the work I normally would do, less time is spent doing actual color work because the colorist is trying to solve non-color issues.

    This may sound harsh, but we make a fair bit of money fixing problems in shows that could have been avoided with an experienced person doing the conform.  Specifically we do a lot work prepping shows that are supposedly finished to go to networks.  We do a QC and then fix the QC problems.  With some clients, we are sent consolidated AVID or Premiere projects and this work is easy and the shows get to the network with a minimum of pain.  On other shows, we are doing brutal fixes because of deadlines, production teams that could not figure out how to fix the issues (or even knew there were issues) and there are no other options.  The saying goes it is always cheaper and better to do a job right the first time.  Stepping off the soap box now.

    Jef

    Avid DS 11.0.2 R.I.P | MC "Well, it depends ..." mostly 8.12.9|OS 10.14.x - iMac Pro 2019 - home system MacPro Dual 2.8 8core GTX680 "Harpertown"... [view my complete system specs]

    _____________________________________________

    Jef Huey

    Senior Editor

    Old Stuff  http://vimeo.com/album/3037796

  • Sun, Feb 28 2021 3:20 AM In reply to

    • ykt28403
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    Re: Transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project

    I absolutely agree! You aren't being harsh in the slightest – you're telling the truth. Yes, the online should be done by an experienced online editor, not by an inexperienced AE. Though this is a low budget project, the producer is willing to pay to have experienced people do the job right, because she knows she would end up paying the same amount fixing problems if she didn't.

    It would still be helpful to know:

    – Is it safe, when transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project, to transocde it letterboxed, then frame flex center crop it?

    – Will the editor have the option to use the unseen left and right parts of the 1.9:1 footage if they want to?

    I understand that, "It depends..."; but I'm constantly running into this issue on jobs. A lot of DPs seem to shoot both for the same project. On lower budget jobs, we're brought in before they know who's going to do their color or if they're going to hire an online editor; it's "get this ingested now because the editor is starting tomorrow."

    Media Composer 8.9.2Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6MacBook Pro 13-inch Early 20152.7 GHz Intel Core i58 GB 1867 MHz DDR3INtel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB [view my complete system specs]
  • Sun, Feb 28 2021 2:27 PM In reply to

    • ykt28403
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    Re: Transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project

    Pat Horridge:

    Two choices with 4K in UHD

    Crop the sides (128 pixels per side) or letterbox.

    Decide which route and then just frameflex it. 

    If the grade divers 16:9 UHD they will have to do the same. But they will see that from your offline guide.

    The biggest danger is the 4k gets squeezed into UHD. 

    So, Pat, if we decided to letterbox and frame flex, it won't cause any problems down the road, no matter who does the grade?

    Media Composer 8.9.2Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6MacBook Pro 13-inch Early 20152.7 GHz Intel Core i58 GB 1867 MHz DDR3INtel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB [view my complete system specs]
  • Sun, Feb 28 2021 2:47 PM In reply to

    • jef
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    Re: Transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project

    ykt28403:

    – Is it safe, when transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project, to transocde it letterboxed, then frame flex center crop it?

    – Will the editor have the option to use the unseen left and right parts of the 1.9:1 footage if they want to?

    In the transcode menu you have the option to transcode to the project raster size and frame rate or the source raster size and frame rate (not the language you will see there).  Choose source size / frame rate.  That is what will allow you to reframe.  Also, do NOT check the options saying something about color or frameflex (sorry - not near a system).  Those choices bake in decisions you have not made yet.

    The goal is to keep the frame size and frame rate the same as your source, even when makeing DNx 36 workprint.  That way all the settings you come up with during offline are just transferred to the original high quality image.  No size / speed conversions must be done.

    Jef

    Avid DS 11.0.2 R.I.P | MC "Well, it depends ..." mostly 8.12.9|OS 10.14.x - iMac Pro 2019 - home system MacPro Dual 2.8 8core GTX680 "Harpertown"... [view my complete system specs]

    _____________________________________________

    Jef Huey

    Senior Editor

    Old Stuff  http://vimeo.com/album/3037796

  • Sun, Feb 28 2021 11:28 PM In reply to

    • ykt28403
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    Re: Transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project

    Thanks for helping with me this! I did figure out what I was trying to do:

    Before transcoding: Source Settings / Reformat: Pillarbox/Letterbox.

    After transcoding: Source Settings / Frame aspect ratio: 16:9 / Reformat: Center Crop.

    By using the FrameFlex / X slider, I can now see the "extra" left and right sides of the image.

    However, I'm not sure what the editor would do if they wanted to keyframe a move from the "extra" left side over to the "extra" right side.

    Am I off base here? Will any of this cause difficulties for the online editor?

    jef:


    In the transcode menu you have the option to transcode to the project raster size and frame rate or the source raster size and frame rate (not the language you will see there).  Choose source size / frame rate.  That is what will allow you to reframe.


    Are there any advantages to using DNxHD 36 versus DNxHR LB? (Ex. An older, slower computer?)

    If the computer is fast enough, it sounds like there are major advantages to using DNxHR (not having to do size / speed conversions during conform)?

    When you say "speed", are you also referring to mixed frame rates?

    Will footage at FPS other than the project FPS (especially low quality archival footage) result in blended frames?

    For footage at a different FPS than the edit project FPS, can I fix sync in the edit project? I was on a project where we had to create a separate project for each FPS other than 23.976 in order to fix sync.

    Of course, with 60p slow motion footage, I'd want to "Convert to project frame rate", correct?

    jef:


    Also, do NOT check the options saying something about color or frameflex (sorry - not near a system).  Those choices bake in decisions you have not made yet.


    Thank you for this! I wish the dialog just said, "Bake in Color Encoding and FrameFlex" rather than "Apply...".

    jef:


    The goal is to keep the frame size and frame rate the same as your source, even when making DNx 36 workprint.  That way all the settings you come up with during offline are just transferred to the original high quality image.  No size / speed conversions must be done.


    Very good to know!

    Media Composer 8.9.2Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6MacBook Pro 13-inch Early 20152.7 GHz Intel Core i58 GB 1867 MHz DDR3INtel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Mar 1 2021 4:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project

    Yes the editor can keyframe the frameflex horizontal positioning to use that additional cropped off image.

    DNxHD 36 is limited to HD resolution 1920x1080 so higher res media is scaled.

    DNxLB is around 36 mbps at HD size but larger for larger raster sizes but it does retain that source resolution.

    Yes non project frame rates will gain motion adapter and how Avid deals with making or losing frames per second could end up in blending. You have some control over the settings of the motion adapter or you can promte to a fluid motion effect.

    Or in an extreme case you can extract the clips needed in the online and convert them in an external app and then replace them in the sequence.

     

    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  Avid Certified Instructor VET

     

    QC/QAR Training - Understanding Digital Media - Advanced Files * Compression - Avid Ingest - PSE fixing courses and more

    All bespoke and delivered onsite at yours. Or delivered via hosted Zoom session.

     

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

     

  • Mon, Mar 1 2021 8:53 PM In reply to

    • jef
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    Re: Transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project

    Pat Horridge:

    DNxLB is around 36 mbps at HD size but larger for larger raster sizes but it does retain that source resolution.

    Pat makes a great point about DNx 35 vs. DNxLB.  If I remember, LB is all you will be able to choose when you have set up trhans code correctly to keep raster size and frame rate matching the source.

    Jef

    Avid DS 11.0.2 R.I.P | MC "Well, it depends ..." mostly 8.12.9|OS 10.14.x - iMac Pro 2019 - home system MacPro Dual 2.8 8core GTX680 "Harpertown"... [view my complete system specs]

    _____________________________________________

    Jef Huey

    Senior Editor

    Old Stuff  http://vimeo.com/album/3037796

  • Wed, Mar 10 2021 4:39 AM In reply to

    Re: Transcoding 4K footage for a 16:9 project

    I'd have to agree with the great (as always) insight that Jef has provided, and reiterate that the best practice is to MAKE SURE you transcode in such a way that keeps original raster and framerate -- not only is this the safest for conform, but it also gives the editor the most flexibility in the edit. You CAN downconvert (but keep framerate), and you wouldn't be grenading anything other than limiting the resolution the editor has to work with, but it's important to understand that this would be for offline purposes only... your colorist will want the originals. To that end, I NEVER prefer to provide ANY transcodes to the colorist -- only camera originals -- but there are cases where it's beneficial for sure. If you DO downconvert (for storage and speed reasons), and provide the colorist with the originals, who then renders original raster, AVID does a fine job "rescaling" your frame flex settings to accomodate the higher resolution.

    Best,

    J

    Hackintosh i9-9900K, AMD Radeon Vega 64+Radeon VII egpu, 64 GB RAM, m.2 SSD, 8x 10GigE to Terrablock, BM SDI 4k, currently running Mac OS 10.15.7. MC... [view my complete system specs]
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