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  1. #1 File delivery for Tv SPOT 
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    I need to deliver Quicktime Prores to a tv station for an AD that I'm finishing on a PC Avid Media composer.

    Wondering if there is anything wrong with my way of getting to QT PRores.

    Finish in Avid Media Composer 6, render to Qt DNXHD 175x set to RGB not 709, as if I chose 709 on export of avid, when I import
    that into fcpx, everything is lifted and washed out. So DNXhd 175x RGB out of avid, then import that into fcpx, then I render out my
    qt prores from there.

    Is there anythign I could be doing better here, as I've heard renderring out RGB from AVID in this way is some how limiting range etc.

    Sorry for the newb type of talk here, but this is where I'm at, my final qt prores does look good, but I want to make sure I'm not doing
    anything wrong.

    ANy suggestions very much appreciated.

    Thanks
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member MichaelP's Avatar
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    Looks good on what? Digital television has black levels (in 8 bit terms( at 16 RGB and white at 235. Assuming you are working for television deli very, and color correction and everything is done towards that goal, then you should be exporting as REC 709. The blacks won't be as black when viewing on a computer screen as graphics levels are 0-255. When selecting RGB export, it takes the 16-235 range and expands it to 0-255. But delivery specs to the TV station are most likely expecting 16-235.

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  3. #3  
    Digital FX Greg M's Avatar
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    why not export uncompressed QT, so you aren't compressing twice...chances are the Station will re-encode the Prores yet a third time to whatever their server requires.

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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Greg Huson's Avatar
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    While Michael is always right, in this case I disagree. Your plan sounds fine - if they're asking for prores, then they are expecting RGB full scale. Yes, they will transcode again to whatever screwed up format their play- to- air server uses. Some mpeg2 thing, or, ha! DNx - probably 16-235... But that's not what they want you to deliver. They want prores QuickTime, which is assumed to be RGB.

    You don't even need to mess with FCP- just use compressor and transcode from DNx to prores.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Greg Huson's Avatar
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    Oops. Detail. They probably don't want 23.98. Better check that. They probably want 1080 5994, which means you need to add pull down. Media Composer does this WAY better than FCP. Open a new 1080 5994 project, open your 23.98 sequence there, make sure the motion editor (is that what it's called?) is set to both fields, progressive source, film with 3:2 pull down target. Export DNx220. (220x for 10-bit) RGB. Transcode THAT to prores.

    Unless, of course, they want 1280x720.

    File based delivery is SOOO simple!!
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  6. #6  
    Digital FX Greg M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Huson View Post
    Oops. Detail. They probably don't want 23.98.
    File based delivery is SOOO simple!!
    No not probably, they do need 59.94. Every single station has different requirements, and 80% of them have no clue what they are doing. The majority of the time they take your files and screw them up.
    I find it best to ask specifically what files the server requires...just about every time its not the same as what they ask you to provide which makes no sense. We press them until we get the right info and deliver a file that the server will accept so they don't screw it up. In the process we have developed an extensive database as you can talk to 3 people at the same station and get 3 different answers.

    Keep it uncompressed until you make final delivery is best path.

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  7. #7  
    Sorry, but:
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Huson View Post
    if they're asking for prores, then they are expecting RGB full scale.
    I doubt that to be universally true. Broadcast levels are broadcast levels. Any conversions thereof will decrease quality. I have seen (and have created) broadcast legal ProRes files.

    And I would definitely stay away from Compressor / Quicktime, as QT exports to ProRes seem to always lead to gamma shifts.
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  8. #8  
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    Thanks for all the feedback.

    Couple questions regarding some of the comments, greg you mentioned uncompressed, if I do uncompressed qt, that will then be 8 bit,
    is the uncompressed at 8 bit still better then 10 bit avid dnx codec? Or is there a way to do 10 bit uncompressed, or is it not a concern for
    this purpose, and if you doing uncompressed, do you say to chose 709 or rgb on export from avid?


    And MichaelP if I export from avid chosing 709, then transcode that to Qt Prores, my picture still looks raised as the prores seems to expect
    rgb and then adjusts internally for output to Client monitor, there is no settings in final cut like they have in avid with the rgb or 709 choices,
    the few stations I'm dealing with here in hawaii are really hard to talk to, and the engineers really don't seem to know what is going on, i'm
    just afraid they'll bring it in and everything will be washed out as they'll probably be thinking it's a regular qt file from FCP.

    If I export a qt prores from fcp, then import that into avid and chose the import as 709, the levels are messed up. If I export qt prores from fcp,
    and import to avid telling avid it's rgb, then levels are correct. Export from avid 709, and import to fcp, levels are messed, export from avid rgb and import to
    fcp, levels are correct. This tells me when dealing with Prores it needs to be fed 0-255, otherwise what ever programe it's imported into,
    premiere, fcp etc, it'll be incorrect levels if the prores was fed 709.

    So I figure if the station is accepting prores, there not thinking 709 or rgb, so when they import it to whatever it is, levels are going to be raised if
    the prores was fed 709.

    Anyway will try take some tests in to the station and see if they'll let me see how and what it's being imported to.
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  9. #9  
    Even if the blacks look OK, ProRes/Quicktime (or H264/Quicktime) is bound to cause gamma shifts (altered mid tones e.g.). I've had very little experience with FCP, but the little experience I had showed all kinds of problems with levels. Also. I'm failry sure there's a difference between the codec (which can hold all kinds of levels and color spaces - think LogC with Alexa for example) and the QT encoder that Apple provides (which as far as I can tell is utterly useless because it causes shifts). To the best of my knowledge, nowhere does it say that ProRes is or should be 0-255.

    The best way (IMHO) to go about it would be to use the Mac(!)-version of MC6 (free 3-day trial). It comes with native ProRes MXF, meaning that you can video mixdown or transcode to ProRes, then do a Same-As-Source QT export. Apple forbids ProRes creation on PC's, so PC-Avids don't have this feature (they can play back the resulting files, just not create them). The advantage is that all levels stay as they should. You should ask the broadcaster whether they need something in Rec709 studio swing or in 0-255 full swing. My best bet would be 16-235 studio swing.
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  10. #10  
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    Thanks Job ter burg,

    I will try MC6 as you suggested straight to Prores on the mac.

    As far as what fcp/Prores should be, would still like to understand how it works, the only evidence I have is what i've tried,
    if I import something with 16-235 levels into fcp, everything is lifted on computer screen and client monitor,
    bring something into fcp with 0-255 levels into fcp, black levels are correct. Which makes me obviously think if I render
    out a QT Prores file with 16-235 levels, whatever programme I bring it into (except avid, because I can select 709 on import)
    the levels will be raised and not be right. This is what happens when I do it at least.

    Another example of why i'm afraid to give the station prores 16-235 is, if for example created a spot in fcp from start to finish
    and import that into AVID and chose 709 on import, levels are not right, anyway thanks for all the comments, I will do some
    tests with the station and hopefully they'll cooperate and help me out here.

    Thanks
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