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Importing DVC Pro 100 HD Footage

Published : 23rd July 2005

Planning to import Varicam footage from the Panasonic 1200a deck via Firewire for editing in Final Cut Pro HD.

What kind of data rates are necessary for the hard drives? Is a RAID necessary? Must it be SCSI or will a Firewire or IDE RAID array suffice? Recommendations on a reasonably priced RAID?

How much storage space is required for one minute of DVC Pro HD footage occupy? (Mostly shot at 24p; some at other frame rates) The project I'm doing is several hours of footage.

I've been told that importing via Firewire is the way to go; although I do have a card to import SDI. Is Firewire better? faster? Occupies less space?

In the end I would like to export at full resolution. Is going back to the 1200a deck the best (cheapest) way to go?

I don't mind editing at a lower resolution, but in the end I have to export or online at full resolution.

I've tried the Panasonic website but no luck yet.

Thanks

Blain Brown
DP
LA


>What kind of data rates are necessary for the hard drives? Is a RAID >necessary? Must it be SCSI or will a Firewire or IDE RAID array suffice? >Recommendations on a reasonably priced RAID?

You want either a SCSI III Ultrawide RAID or a SATA Raid such as the SATAMax that ProMax sells. The latter is considerably less expensive.

How much storage space is required for one minute of DVC Pro HD footage occupy?

DVC Pro is 100 megabits per second, or four times the rate of DVCPro25. So you'll need four times the space you would need for DV.

Hopefully Jan or another DVCPro expert will have answers for your other questions. I would think firewire 800 would be a better, cleaner import method, as it just functions as a data channel. But I don't know that for sure-tain.

Steven Bradford
Collins College
Phoenix AZ


If you are using Firewire - any reasonable drive ATA etc will do. If you are using HD-SDI the requirements go up considerably as do the data rates.

The speed of the Firewire connection determines the speed at which the data is transferred.

Firewire from the 1200A is a DATA transfer not a CAPTURE (which HD-SDI would be).

Robert Goodman
Author/Photographer
Philadelphia "Paris of the East Coast Megalopolis", Pa


Goodman wrote:

> The speed of the Firewire connection determines the speed at which >the data is transferred.

Not in the case of video formats. The speed of the transfer is always real time because it's coming directly from a VTR. In the case of DV25, it's 25Mbps (that's megaBITS per second, NOT megaBYTES). In the case of DV50, it's twice that, and in the case of DV100 (DVCPro HD) it's twice that again. The only question is whether the maximum data rate of the Firewire connection can handle it, and Firewire 400 ("standard" 1394 Firewire) can easily handle all of those rates.

As for disk space, DV25 takes up approximately 4 minutes per gigabyte, DV50 half that (about 2 minutes per gig) and DVCPro HD half that again (approx. 1 minute per gigabyte). Because of the relatively low data rates of all these formats, a RAID array is not needed for any of them. That's one of the best attractions of working this way. The advantage to faster disks and/or interfaces is simply the ability to do more streams in real time, so if you are planning to do this, you might want to look at either a SATA array, Firewire 800, or other high speed solutions. It should also be said that because DVCPro HD is a significantly compressed format, there are advantages to rendering any multilayer composites in an uncompressed environment to avoid extra passes through the codec.

Passing uncompressed HD does require much faster storage; a RAID array is essential in this case.

Mike Most
VFX Supervisor
IATSE Local 600
Los Angeles


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