Posts Tagged ‘ Workflow

Talking FCPX on the FCP Grill Podcast

fcpg

I recently had the pleasure of talking to Chris Fenwick from the FCP Grill podcast about why I chose to move from Premiere Pro over to FCPX.  I always enjoy listening to Chris’ podcasts so it was really tough remembering that I needed to talk back to him from time to time!

Play

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 56:09 — 26.8MB)

If you don’t already listen to Chris’ podcasts then check them out at the digitalCINEMAcafe website. Chris also runs a great blog himself where he posts many a useful tutorial and other film / editing related info.

Motion tracking in FCPX with CoreMelt TrackX & SliceX

I was recently invited to try out the TrackX and SliceX FCP plugins from CoreMelt. I’ve needed to use motion tracking on a few jobs in the past and have always relied on After Effects for the task. The TrackX and SliceX plugins from CoreMelt offer up the ability to do motion tracking directly with the FCP Interface which is a real positive for me.

I’ve only been experimenting with the plugin for a couple of days now and compared to using After Effects it’s extremely simple to get great results. I’m not going to show any examples of my own usage as yet as I’m still learning the basics but here’s a video showing some of the results that can be achieved.

I’ll be posting more of a tutorial / review in the near future showing how the tools within the plugin are especially useful for me but I’d recommend watching the examples below showing what’s possible with SliceX and TrackX.

To find out more about the plugin visit the CoreMelt website

The C100 is doing well, but it could be better

I haven’t posted many updates lately so sorry for that. I’ve been working on a project involving a lot of two camera interviews using my Canon C100 and C300. This has been a good test for the profiles I created to match the camera and so far it’s going really well, the images from each camera are really close and I’m finding that with careful setup of exposure the results cut together well with the same grade applied.

The one thing that seems to let the the C100 down slightly is of course it’s internal 4:2:0 codec writing at 24MB/s, this doesn’t hold up as well as the C300‘s 4:2:2 codec at 50 MB/s. Below are some frame grabs showing one of the interviews I’ve shot and you will notice that although the C100 close up looks very similar to the wider C300 shot, closer inspection reveals compression artefacts that become more apparent when the footage is graded.

Both cameras were shooting in log with a minimal grade applied as an adjustment layer in Premiere CS6. I used Premieres RGB curves effect to add a shallow S curve and added some saturation using the fast color corrector tool. I’ll need to spend more time on the grade later in production but for now this gives a rough idea of how it effects the compression artefacts. Both the ungraded and graded screen grabs are shown below.

The wider shot was recorded with the C300 fitted with a Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens with the closeup recorded on the C100 with the Canon 70-200 f2.8 L. Both lenses were at f/2.8.

c300log c100logc300g c100g

I’m going to be reviewing the Atomos Ninja-2 external recorder over the next few weeks to see how that improves the images from the C100. Because the camera outputs 4:2:2 over the HDMI port that should in theory produce results much closer to the C300. Watch this space for more on that very soon.

 

 

Canon C300 & C100 matching custom picture files

Ive spent some time working on custom picture profiles for the Canon C100 and Canon C300 cameras that allow both cameras to be cut together and match well. I don’t own test charts but I’ve tested these under various conditions and they match well. The following examples were shot using the built in tungsten setting on both cameras, manual white balancing or dialling in Kelvin settings on both cameras can produce non balanced results so I prefer to use the presets for two camera shoots when possible.

PJnormHD

This is a neutral custom picture that has similar results to having no custom picture at all with the exception that the sharpness is dialled down to -5 on both cameras and the WB levels are tweaked on the C300 so that both cameras produce a similar colour balance.

PJcineHD

I developed this custom picture profile mainly for my Harley-Davidson projects but it’s proved useful for a lot more than just event work. Canon Log definitely gives you more dynamic range and options in post but with fast turn around projects I prefer to shoot with a profile that produces more of a baked in cine look. There’s a CINE1 Gamma applied to give a bit more contrast and I’ve used a normal1 colour matrix so that the colours pop a little rather than a CINE matrix which would result in more muted colours.

The images below are obviously not designed to highlight the look of the custom picture, they are more to show how the C100 and C300 profiles match colours. To see what the custom picture looks like have a look at some of my recent videos.

  
  

PJclogHD

These are based on the standard CINEMA profiles. The Canon Log gamma is used but with the balance corrected to allow both the C100 and C300 to match in terms of colour and levels.

  
  

The custom picture files can be downloaded below. Please note that the firmware update 1.0.7.1.0 that has to be installed by Canon changes the way colour is handled on the C300 so there are different versions of the files.

For C300′s with 1.0.6 and earlier - downloaded here - last updated 6-12-2012

For C300′s with 1.0.7 firmware – download here - last updated 12-2-2013

Please come back and let me know how they work out, good or bad any feedback will help to develop the files further.

Installation

This is based on mac, windows should be similar but I don’t have a windows machine so I can’t be sure. Please note that these custom profiles use the first positions on the card, if you have others in those positions that you wish to retain you will need to back them up prior to installing these.

C100

1. With an SD card inserted in the C100 copy one of the standard custom picture profiles from the camera to the SD card using the transfer option with the custom picture menu. This just creates the required folder structure, if you already have custom picture settings on the card then this isn’t required.

2. Eject the card from the camera and mount it on a computer. You will see a main enclosing package called ‘PRIVATE’, right click on that and choose ‘show package contents’.

3. Now you should see a folder named C_PICT, place the C100 picture profiles in that folder and then eject the card.

4. Re-insert the card into the C100, go to the custom picture menu and either select the profiles direct from the SD card or copy them to the camera.

C300

1. With an SD card inserted in the C300 copy one of the standard custom picture profiles from the camera to the SD card using the transfer option with the custom picture menu. This just creates the required folder structure, if you already have custom picture settings on the card then this isn’t required.

2. Eject the card from the camera and mount it on a computer. You will see a main enclosing folder called ‘PRIVATE’, open that folder.

3. Now you should see a sub folder named C_PICT, place the C300 picture profiles in that folder and then eject the card.

4. Re-insert the card into the C300, go to the custom picture menu and either select the profiles direct from the SD card or copy them to the camera.

Editing Canon MXF footage in Final Cut Pro X ( FCPX ) without transcoding

I’ve dabbled with Final Cut Pro X a few times since it was released and although I still struggle to understand apple’s weird naming conventions the application does have quite a few things going for it. Multicam editing is fantastic in FCPX, it automatically syncs clips using audio in the same way the PluralEyes did/does in FCP7. FCPX is also great value and with each new version Apple add’s back in features that were sorely missed by FCP7 users when it first appeared.

The one thing that’s stopped me using FCPX more has been that it couldn’t handle the Canon MXF files from my C300 natively. There were plugins available that would import and transcode / re-wrap the Canon footage into more Apple friendly Pro Res files but after using Adobe Premiere Pro for a couple of years I’ve been spoiled by it’s ability to edit directly from the source footage and no longer dealing with duplicate media..

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