Auftraggeber: Peakbreak, ORF, ServusTV
Tätigkeit: Producer, director
Peakbreak ist ein Etappenradrennen für Jedermann quer durch Österreich und Norditalien bzw. über die Pässe und Berge dort. Neben den österreichsichen Klassikern Großglockner, Kitzbüheler Horn, Nockalm und anderen sind auch die Giro Legenden Monte Zoncolan und Kronplatz am Streckenplan.
Wir setzen bei dieser Produktion erstmals eine SONY PMW-F3 ein (Kameramann Stefan Krösbacher) . Außerdem haben wir auch Final Cut Pro X erstmals in Betrieb. Einen Blog zu den Erfahrungen mit dem neuen Equipment gibt es hier.
Hier ein Etappenclip
Peakbreakis one of Europe´s hardest racebike-race through the Austrian and Italian Alps.
1000km and 19.000 altitudemeters are between start and finish.
eggermedia produces documentaries for ORF and ServusTV, the two big Austrian networks. We will inform here about the broadcast dates.
ServusTV: Peakbreak 2011 on July 31st @19.15 CET
We are two film-producers. And we plan to put FCP-X to a real test this week.
Alban is living here www.eggermedia.com
We are about to produce several films and formats in 1080p for this event:www.peakbreak.com
Peakbreak is a nine day bicycle race through the Austrian and Italian Alps. The riders will have to cycle 1.000km and over 19.000 altitude meters. So they are up for a huge task.
Thankfully the food is awesome in the areas we cross, so there is always the chance of a stop beside the road.....
We are following the race on motorbikes and in cars with a SONY PMW-F3, a Canon 7D, a Nikon D7000, a SONY EX-1, a SONY EX-3 and a Panasonic HVX200E. So we will get our mix of footage-formats from XDCam HD to DVCPro-HD and h.264; add audio recording via a Zoom H4N and you know we are in for a heavy load of transcoding, synchronising etc.
If you take into consideration that we will put out daily clips on the web, produce two documentaries for the national TV-networks ORF and ServusTV and also plan on making a one hour director´s cut for the Bicycle Filmfestival - all in 2 weeks, then you know we are gonna squeeze any editing system down to its knees.
We decided to use the brandnew Final Cut Pro X, X as in 10.0 , ten-ZERO! Yes, we use a dotzero software. Why? Because we tried it and since then hate everything else. It is SOOO fast, at least we believe so. Until now. Ask me in 3 weeks what it is about. Basically we think it is the future. So why wait, if it´s already around the corner?
Problems we will have to solve:
- how do we import and manage hundreds of dailies that have to be tagged with dozens of rider´s-numbers/names and streetcorners etc
- ingesting and mixing tons of different formats
- editing itself
- compositing, tracking, effects
- grading without color?
- output without dedicated audiotracks? huh? well, we think we have a workaround inplace....and if we are lucky Apple brings an update within the next 3 weeks anyway.....how did MC Hammer sing? "PRAY!"...that was it.
We started shooting last week in Vienna where we hooked up with the bicycle-club RADCORE.
Today was a shoot on Kitzbüheler Horn, one of Austria´s steepest mountains, which will be a time-trial stage in a few days.
ay minus 1, setting up the project - merging logged events
The race starts, we have the first setback with FCPX
We are back online....
FCPX is still working and we get deeper and deeper into the features
- Point FCPX at folder where new dailies are. Tell FCPX to import/copy and create optimized media.
- Start editing immediately; throw all clips into a new Project called DayXroughcut; FCPX will automatically switch to the ProRes files once they are ready.
- JKL through timeline/project and hit "1" and"2" when I want a file to start/end; clips I don´t want are selected and thrown out with backspace; FCPX will always close the gaps for me.
- DONE. 300 dailies are done in 20 - 40 minutes
- yes, if I now needed to output to tape i´d be busted with the current audiotools, but I don´t have to, so leave me alone.......
here´s the clip for stage 1
Stage 2 is online - FCPX is rocking our workflow
We might have a little time to post here today.
In short. FCPX is fast, very fast.
Watch the clip and guess how long it takes to edit such a piece. I tell you it takes half the time.
Stage 3 online
All F3, all with the Sigma 10-20
If FCPX would already allow for native XDCam editing we would be happy campers. But we are anyway.
The F3 experience and some lost items.
3400 clips and counting....
FCPX didn´t crash on me for 2 days....so maybe it wants to be pushed a little ;-)
But...I do still have spinning beachballs when jumping between events and also when I am transcoding new material in the background, while editing a project. Sometimes 10 seconds, sometimes 2 minutes. I am quite sure it is a limitation with my laptop and the 4GB it has. They are maxed out all the time. 64-bit is hungry!
Another thing we noticed: when you transcode material to ProRes it is just smooth. You can edit XDCam just as smooth. When you mix them.....FCPX strats thinking or drops frames. Again I can tell you more when I am on my MacPro, because I also think this is a problem with my 2008 MacbookPro. 1080p is just too much for that "old machine".
We are having the last stage today, will wrap with about 10 more interviews tonight. Then we will merge the whole Event library to about 6000 clips and items on the big machine. I will tell you what happens, because now come the interesting days: edit for TV networks is a little bit more challenging than webclips.....but we will get some sleep in between, so I am confident it will be a breeze :D
P.S.: Daily tip: I had problems at first with the organization of events and imports. I used the FCP7 method and imported folders and said FCPX should make the foleders to keyword collections. So for instance I ended up with DCIM and 7DEOS folders everytime.....that bugged me. Now what i do is this: create a folder for the day (e.g. Etappe 1), then make a keyword-collection "E1Alban7D" (that means stage 1, cameraman Alban, camera 7D) and now rightclick here and import files right into this collection. Somehow this makes the initial import into an EVENT cleaner for me on such a huge PROJECT (which they call EVENT the stu.....aaaahhh I won´t go there now)
Anyway...stage 5 is online now
Roadtrip over, now the real editing starts and FCPX is working still
As you have noticed we only did some basic editing on the road. Those clips were mainly made to show the racers at their prizegiving. So it was not artistic editing and we had no time for audioediting, but killed the atmosounds and put music on top. The goal was to see how fast FCPX can be, and if you consider we had shooting days that lasted up to 15 hours, then ingested 500 clips and more and then edited a 2,5 minute piece (still the same people working, no assistant editor on set etc) all in a few hours on two macbooks then those "webclips" are great and they helped to motivate the racebikers to saddle up the next day again. I doubt Avid could have been faster.....or premiere....maybe Edius has the same speed.
BTW we shot a few nice interview-sets beside the race also...so don´t worry, just because there are none in our small daily clips. doesn´t mean we didn´t shoot any.
Ok, what happened FCPX-wise: Once I got home I mirrored the BEAST working disk...again.
Our workflow is finally set and I learned a lot these days. Here´s how my plan would be now and is for the future:
1. Offload all original data from cameracards into main RAID "BEAST" (WD MyBook SE 4TB RAID-0). I sorted the Folders by "Day-Shooter-Camera".
2. On XDCam material: send it through XDCam transfer into a new directory "Day-Shooter".
3. On h264...leave it where it is.
4. Now back all these files up onto a small 2,5 inch drive
5. Format camera cards
6. In FCP import the material and click "Optimize Media". I wouldn´t click "Copy media" anymore. That would mean (and does so on a few days of this project) that I have on the same drive the RAW, then the Copy of the RAW and then the Optimized media. Not necessary when I have a mirrored image of my Events and Projects folders with all optimized media anyway.
7. Mirror "BEAST" to a 3,5`` backup-drive.
8. Every now and then I also copy the "CurrentVersion" Final Cut Files from the Events and Projects.
So in the end I have the RAW camerafootage, a copy of that, then the FCPX structure and a copy of that as well. 4x safety......and preferably transport the copies in different bags/cars ....we didn´t do that though.
Ok, when we got home as I said we mirrored the project to a brandnew disk. Now I have a Status Quo after the race, which I leave in the closet and work on as before with the other disks.
And finally move to the MacPro.....aahhh...nice. As I said 64-bit is hungry and my Macbook might simply be too old now for 1080p work with thousands of clips. It is still great for dailies and such though.
The BIG TEST....MERGING AGAIN
Then....I had to merge the main project with the daily Events from Stefan. If you read all of the blog you remember this didn´t work to good last time. I started with his "stage one". It took an hour...spinning beachball and all. When it was done....I had lost all folders and smart collections as expected. But the keyword collections from the Events "Peakbreak" and "Stefan Etappe 1" were there. So far so good.
Now I selected all other dayevents from Stefan (2-6) and dragged them onto Peakbreak and started the merge. I left it running overnight.......came back in the morning and it looked good, but it felt terrible. Clicking an icon meant a spinning beachball for a minute......so did we now finally break FCPX and my Mac Pro? The RAM was used up...I have 16GB installed and had 23MB left.
No, we didn´t. I quit FCPX which gave me my 16GB back, restarted the machine and started FCPX again. Now it is running happily again. This database-merging stuff seems to be hard on the machine.
Next step....importing the last stage and importing all material from the third camera. This is the P2 stuff that we didn´t have time to ingest yet. This is currently happening and I am well beyond 4500 quicktime clips, add audio, synced compound clips, grafx and so on.....the project is relatively big now. Not a feature film yet, but a shortfilm easily. During the P2 import I am left with 300MB RAM....so apparently the RAM and GPU do a lot of work, while the CPU is almost idle right now.
What´s interesting on the P2 DVCProHD import is the fact that I had errors on my Macbook...but not on my Mac Pro. No idea why, but wanna share the info.
NOW the REAL EDIT STARTS
Ok, ingest should be over soon. a few more GoPro Shots need to be transcoded (I do that in MPEG streamclip. because I don´t want to have 80GB of GoPro rubbish in my project but select them outside FCPX).
Then we start the edit - teh real edit - where broadcast rules apply....the audio needs to be proper, the colours need to be legal and the story needs to be in place.
We have 2 deadlines looming and need to be ready to output to tape. So we will have to leave the FCPX universe one day for that. I will keep you guys updated with screenshots and findings and also have a few more features I would like and miss now. So maybe Apple listens in here and takes notes.....
I miss my MXO2
Matrox cannot provide me with drivers for FCPX to output high quality, only preview Q. That is a no-no. Apple are you listening? I have to rely on my scopes now. I wish even more I had an option to show 4 scopes in the "CMD-7 window"......or is it there and I can´t find it?
5429 items and growing, database still untested.
FCPX seems to handle this load of clips easily (keep in mind it uses all of my 16GB RAM right now!).
When in List mode the Event Browser is snappy. When in Icon Mode I need to wait a little while changing keywordcollection or Folder, but nothing unusual. While I stay within a folder/collection there is no delay or lag at all.
FCP7 constantly crashed on me while scrolling, when I had bins with many clips and thumbnails activated . FCPX does not mind to show dozens of clips with waveforms in the Event Browser. That is a surprise to me for a .0 release.
Then again it crashed twice today when I imported animations (ProRes422 movs). So it is not perfect yet, but it is definitely workable.
One little feature would be useful in the Eventbrowser: Now I have listview with the selceted clip showing one line, or I have icon-view where clips simply fill the lines and then drop into the next line. that´s hard to scroll through. I would like a iconview where every clip has its own line regardless of its duration. That would be a cool addition to the slider that allows to select seconds, minutes or ALL in the icon-view settings.
Further features, bugs and cleaned up misunderstandings about FCPX
Well, you need to read aaaalllllll of this blog to hear everything...but this post will be updated every now and then with news about the actual editing process and when I find new features.
Here are more features and bugs (or missing features) that I find while working on this project.
- In 2-screen mode while trimming or sliding there are in fact two viewers. I have the viewer and the scopes/hostogram on the right screen. When trimming the Scopes make room for the IN-Point view. So it is a dual viewer when you need it.
- nothing new right now...but i will find more (but there has been plenty of missing stuff noted below in this blog anyway....)
- with 5500 items and dozens of keywords it takes a while now to open and close the project. 2 minutes each way i guess.
- today I had a few crashes, don´t know yet if it is the compressor in the background (rendering for 12 hours now....)
- major flaw found !!!! you know you can´t drag an effect from clip to the next. you have to copy the clip and paste ALL its effects. Doing this you will also copy all audio-efects for example. If you have a soundcompressor on one clip you will copy it over to the next. if there was one before...messed up.....so you have to clean up stuff after this copyprocedure. if haven´t found a shortcut "copy video effects only" or "copy audio-effects". they need to find a way so you can drag an effect from the inspector onto another clip. making presets is no help either....i will end up with hundreds of presets soon. and it´s slow to scroll down to them anyway.
!!!!!EDIT: I found some help: you can go to COMMANDS and find "Copy Color Correction from previous clip, two clips before and three clips before and copy/paste these corrections alone. I have now shortcuts for these 3 paste-commands.
- interesting tidbit: i have some synced clips (shot with 7D and H4N; synced fine in the event) and when I went through them to add keywords the program went very very very sluggish. I thought at first I had reached the point of breakdown, restarted the machine, but no help. then tried on "normal clips" and there was no problem. So apprently when the database reches this size then adding keywords to a synced clips (i guess it adds keywords to several items in the background, since there are several audiotracks involved) is a little bit of a timeeater. so it might be better to keyword synced clips first, before you reach 80+ keyword collections like me ;-)
- missing: the ability to rename corrections in the colourtab. if you have 4 or five it would be nice to call them (expose, vignette, skin etc)
- title-fades.....there are two ways to fade titles/graphics. One is to make it it a secondary storyline (CMD-G), only then can you add a transition like a dissolve. This turns the title into a clip (also in size/height in the timeline, only purple). I don´t like that because I will put the titles on the "highest track" in the end so i can create a clean version of the film easily. And when they are thinner they are easier to be identified as titles to me. So I use the videoanimator in the clip (CTRL-V), adjust the opacity fade there and then CTRL-A to collapse this video-animationtool again.
How to take parts of a Project (aka Event) with you, edit mobile and come back.
Here´s how it works:
1. Decide which part of your Event is needed for the mobile edit (e.g. one day, one set of interviews etc.)
2. Plug in a mobile drive and create a new event there (e.g. mobileEditDay3)
3. drag the keywordcollection that is needed mobile from the main-Event to the new mobile Event on the mobile disk. FCPX will copy the footage from the "original Media Folder" to the mobile drive into that Original Media folder. Double check in Finder that your media is there.....but it works ;-)
4. on your MacBook you create a new project which is linked to the Event on the mobile drive and you can do your magic in FCPX now. This project will access the event with the copied media.
Now comes the interesting part when you are back home/in your studio:
5. back on your main machine don´t open FCPX but in the Finder copy the PROJECT on the mobile drive into the Projects folder of your main drive where the main Event lies!
6. unmount the mobile drive(!)
7. Open FCPX and in the Project library you have this mobile Project now. But all media shows as offline??!!! SHREEEKKK
8. Select the offline Project and in the Inspector Modify the Event References to your original Event
9. Voila...it is all reconnected again, even the renderfiles are in place already! Now you can leave this project alone until you need it elsewhere, then copy and paste the clips out of it into your other projects when needed.
!!!!!! This workflow will also work when sharing the workload. Let´s say you are 3 editors in a project. You collect everything on one machine, then drag the needed footage (via keywordcollections) to each others mobile drive. Let´s say one guy does Scenes 1-11, one guy does the action sequence and the opening sequence and one guy works on the third act with scenes 12-25.
You simply drag the keyword collections for each scene to the according drives, they take these drives with them, create new projects (for each scene?) and in the end come back and you modify the references. Brilliant, easy, fast.
I can see FCPX as a great networking tool, when you have a fileserver (heck a macmini will do with a big tunderbolt RAID attached) and the editors only take the footage they need or use it out of the network event.