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EDITING, GRADING AND MODERN PRODUCTION TELEVISION, FILM, COMMERCIALS AND GAMING

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CONTENTS

07 Opinion
Apple powerhouse Hogarth Worldwides CTO Mark Kellers rst impressions on Apple Final Cut Pro X

08 Content Creation
Recent production stories from around the world using Final Cut Pro and Blackmagic products

Features 04
FCP X under the bonnet Michael Burns provides the low down on the long list of new features and functionality offered by Apples revolutionary new Final Cut Pro X

20

Cost-effective post kit Adrian Pennington reveals how post equipment, from grading systems to editing workstations is more powerful and cost-effective

Welcome
Rick Young
Editor MacVideo www.macvideo.tv Were now several months into the evolution of Final Cut Pro X. The 10.01 update is with us, bringing XML import and export and a host of other enhancements. Other essential features such as Multicam editing and broadcast monitoring have been promised for early 2012. It is clear that Apple is serious about making Final Cut Pro X a major force in the world of post-production. The product is aggressively priced, offers features which dont exist in many of the competing products, and is scalable from SD to 4K. As the songs goes..the futures so bright Ive got to wear shades. The next wave is just gathering pace now, and this is Thunderbolt. A handful of Thunderbolt products are already available with many more to come. When the wave truly hits, with Final Cut Pro X and Thunderbolt working together, then expect to see some real action. Then we will see screamingly fast transfer of data, access to many devices over a single cable, and less bottlenecks when accessing multiple streams of video.

than its ever been before

22

Building your own edit system A practical guide to the best post products for creating a powerful, fully featured editing workstation on a costconscious budget

24

Training and skills Final Cut Pro X underlines the need for ongoing training to quickly master its new features. Jake Bickerton talks to training providers in the UK and Holland about gearing up for FCP X

26

Review: Final Cut Pro X Should you upgrade now? Find the denitive answer here

Editor Rick Young Designer Julie Morton Editor in Chief Mark Hattersley Publisher Mustafa Mustafa Contributors Randi Altman, Micheal Burns, Stphane Malagmac, Adrian Pennington, David Wood Commercial manager Selen Sevket Managing director Kit Gould With thanks to Blackmagic Design All rights reserved.

LIF TING THE LID ON FCP X

Under the bonnet of the new FCP


Apples long anticipated update to Final Cut Pro X has nally been unveiled its an important release to the brand new Final Cut Pro thats an almost entirely different beast to FCP 7 and xes a lot of issues FCP X doesnt have a viewer, it has a smarter Canvas that auto changes depending on what youre working on
New workow
Organising clips and adding metadata are among the most time consuming tasks in the workow, so the presence of a set of tools for footage analysis and categorisation are to be welcomed. A Content Auto-Analysis workow starts immediately from the time you import your media from the original memory card or hard drive. It runs in the background however, so you can get on with the main task of editing. This Content Auto-Analysis comprises of several processes. In Media Detection, all metadata about the clip (frame size, frame rate and codec etc) is analysed and used by Final Cut Pro X for media management. Shaky segments are identied, then xed with instant results while you edit. People Detection can identify if you have a single person or multiple people in the shot, while Shot Detection determines whether a shot is a closeup, medium shot or wide shot; in each case FCP X uses this information to build

Final Cut Pro needs little introduction. Apples non-linear editing tool has revolutionised the market for lm and broadcast post production, enabling creative video editing at an affordable price on powerful Apple Mac computers. So its big news when such a product as Final Cut Pro undergoes such a radical change as has happened with Final Cut Pro X. Its an entirely new avour of Final Cut Pro thats a very, very different editing system to Final Cut Pro 7.

synchronised scopes, for example. Meanwhile, resolution independence lets you mix and match formats and frame rates all the way up to 4K. Richer, more complex effects can play in real-time during the creative process, and a shared rendering engine between Motion, Compressor and the main application enables Motion templates to play back in Final Cut Pro X without rendering. Furthermore, this shared architecture renders commonly used effects such as blurs, scales and blends in linear-light colour space for exceptionally realistic results. Colour, an essential factor in any visual art, has been put at the centre of the workow of Apples new look editing system, through the direct implementation of ColorSync within Final Cut Pro X. This ensures accurate and consistent colour from import through render and export, no matter what hardware you are using in the process.

New Direction
Make no mistake about it, Final Cut Pro X is not the software you are used to. With a new lower price, and a modular structure for applications such as Motion 5 and Compressor 4, its been rebuilt and re-engineered from the ground up to take full advantage of the latest Apple hardware and Mac OS. For a start this software is a 64-bit native application, which in real terms means more access to greater amounts of RAM and therefore more power to your editing. It pumps tasks round the system to take advantage of all available CPU cores and can also make use of the new AVX capabilities of Intels Sandy Bridge processor found in the latest Macs. Processor-intensive tasks such as rendering, transcoding, exporting and moving media now take place in the background, allowing you to just get on with the main task of editing. Final Cut Pro X also utilises the GPU and memory on the graphics card for far more video clout you can render multiple layers of super high denition video, or playback HD footage on a full screen Canvas with nely rendered, 4

Final Cut Pro X


Its been rebuilt and reengineered from to take full advantage of the latest Apple hardware and Mac OS. Its 64-bit, meaning more access to greater amounts of RAM and more power to your editing

LIFTING THE LID ON FCPX

Final Cut Pro X represents a new way of tackling the technical challenges in video editing
Smart Collections in the Event Browser. Color Balance analysis offers huge time savings, by determining the colour of your clips during import, then enabling you to balance tones at any point during editing with a single click. Other processes tackle common problems, such as excessive audio hum and background noise, or the warping Rolling Shutter effect typical in lighter-weigh cameras. Adding custom metadata can be another time-consuming process, as can nding clips that have been copied into bins across your project. The new range-based keywords feature aims to address both bottlenecks by letting you tag time-based selections of clips with custom keywords. Rather than setting in and out points, putting markers all through the clip or trimming it repeatedly to create subclips of the parts youre interested in, you can go through the whole shot and just apply keywords to selected areas of interest making it really easy to search for the shot later.

Moving forward with 10.0.1


Available as an update through the App Store, Final Cut Pro X 10.0.1 adds several muchrequested features, including support for full XML import/export of both project and event information; intelligent stem export for both video and audio les using a new feature called Roles; and Xsan integration, allowing editors in different locations to work with the same les, events, and projects. One of the biggest complaints from professionalsFinal Cut Pro Xs lack of XML support, and thus, its inability to interact with outside programshas been fully addressed in the 10.0.1 release, offering access to both raw source materials (events) and timelines (projects). According to Townhill, third-party developers like Square Box Systems and Blackmagic have been experimenting with beta versions of FCPXs new XML interchange, integrating it with existing products, like Blackmagics DaVinci color correction software.

Despite the minor incremental update number, 10.0.1s improvements go beyond just XML and stem support: As mentioned above, editors can remotely collaborate on footage, events, and projects using Xsan, which FCPX now supports. Also included is support for timecode start customization; GPU-accelerated export; full-screen mode in Lion; one-step transitions for connected clips; a new theme; and a camera import SDK, which enables manufacturers to ship a product that will be fully compatible with FCPX from the start. In concert with XML support, the update also offers intelligent stem export from project timelines using FCPXs new Roles feature. Using this, editors can export audio, video, and graphics; but rather than having to individually disable and reenable tracks to extract the correct les for a particular post-production workow, an editor can tag various content as Dialogue or Sound Effects as they go. When it comes time to export, Final Cut will only look for the tags specied, simplifying the process. The rebuilt architecture of FCP X also enables Apple technologies such as Core Animation to make working with footage far more responsive and interactive.

Final Cut Pro X


Editing is simple and intuitive in Final Cut Pro X when you drag clips, gaps open up in the timeline to edit those clips in place without messing up the audio sync, which is a real timesaver

A new dawn
This is just a brief overview of the features in this reboot. With all this power in place, and more to come, Final Cut Pro X certainly seems to represent a new way of tackling the technical challenges in video editing, and of enabling lmmakers to focus on creative storytelling. 5

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More Connections ATEM includes loads of SDI and HDMI connections for professional SDI cameras or HDMI consumer cameras! All inputs feature re-sync so you can plug in anything! You get 6 program outputs in SDI/HD-SDI, HDMI, HD component and USB 3.0, plus down converted SD-SDI and composite video. The multi view includes SDI and HDMI, plus you get 3 aux outputs. Built to Perform ATEM uses a familiar M/E style of operation so you get an instantly familiar workow thats fast and easy to use. ATEM includes a software based control panel for Mac and Windows! If you need a hardware control panel then simply add the ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel for a true broadcast grade solution. ATEM even uses an FAA certied operating system for a high reliability broadcast grade design.

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OPINION

The beginning of a new chapter in FCP


Mark Keller, chief technology ofcer at global Appleequipped advertising implementation agency Hogarth Worldwide shares his rst impressions of Apple FCP X
Advertising implementation agency Hogarth Worldwide Ltd, a WPP Group company, offers a unied production and approvals system, designed to distribute advertising material across all media globally. The company has around 350 Macs, ranging from the lightest Macbook Air to the most hardcore workstation you can buy. Chief Technology Ofcer Mark Keller was one of the rst professional FCP users in the UK to be given a serious look at Apples revolutionary Final Cut Pro X. His rst impressions? It is completely new and has a radical new interface, says Keller. That was quite a shock, but its clear once youve sat down and used it, that an awful lot of thought has gone in to effectively reengineering the editing experience. Its clear its not an evolution of Final Cut Pro 7, but a brand new paradigm for editing. It really takes maximum advantage of the hardware, continues Keller. Its very, very fast and it makes full use of the graphics card and processors. Background rendering, for example, is really important you can just keep editing while it happens and obviously rendering is so much quicker now. Keller says he found the new clip browser quite startling: We run big workgroups so were really into tagging and descriptive metadata, he explains. Apple has obviously paid an awful lot of attention to how Final Cut Pro X can extract as much metadata as possible from the raw les it is reading. It also allows you to enhance the metadata in a really sensible way. It can have time-based metadata as well, so you can span a set of frames and describe that set, rather than put markers all through the clip. Thats great for us; it has a huge amount of potential and its just really sensible. When it comes to Final Cut Pro Xs newly designed interface, Keller says: The interface is quite unusual. Most editors are used to having the playhead on the right hand monitor, so to speak, and the clips theyre looking at on the left hand, and they make their edit decision based on that environment, he says. Final Cut Pro X doesnt have that. It has other layouts dual screen views, for example, that pop up interactively depending on what youre doing. But clearly all the muscle memory thats been built up will need a slight amount of retraining. The Hogarth team are particularly keen on FCP Xs new Match Color feature, especially when having to match ungraded and nished A certied Apple solutions expert consultant, Mark advises on workow techniques, hardware specication, systems integration and the physical layout of production environments, drawing on 10 years experience as an online editor using Apple desktop systems Formerly head of post production at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Keller was responsible for the architecture of the Digital Lab, the worlds rst in-Agency digital, tapeless, post production facility. As chief technology ofcer for Hogarth Worldwide, Keller is tasked with the design and operation of the technology systems for the company

Mark Keller, CTO,


Hogarth Worldwide

Keller on FCP X...


Its very, very fast and it makes full use of the graphics card and processors An awful lot of thought has gone in to re-engineering the editing experience It lays the foundation for the environment were going to be working in for the next ve or 10 years

clips on reversioning jobs. The tighter integration and shared rendering with Motion is also another big hit. The fact we can have lots of graphics artists working [simultaneously] on lots of Motion templates, that can then be directly accessed from Final Cut Pro X, for us is really important, says Keller. So what does Keller believe is the very best aspect of the new version, at least as Hogarth Worldwide is concerned? The fact it is brand new and has been completely rewritten. It lays the foundation for the environment were going to be working in for the next ve or 10 years.

Its clear [Final Cut Pro X] isnt an evolution of Final Cut Pro 7, but a brand new paradigm for editing

CONTENT CREATION | COMMERCIALS AND FILM

SPORTS PROMOS

awaiting its latest upgrade, to Final Cut Pro X: Our clients are already testing it and it looks promising, comments Whist. For video capture, ingest, monitoring and playback from virtually any video and audio device, Whist uses Blackmagics DeckLink Extreme 3D video cards, which are 2D and 3D capable and can switch between SD and HD with built in 3Gb/s SDI, 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 RGB, and native 12-bit video offering frame rates right up to

Key advantages
Blackmagic DeckLink Extreme 3D video cards can handle a wide range of formats from SD to HD and 3D with 12-bit video up to 1080 p60, which is ideal for Media Netwerks ingest, monitoring and playback purposes

Hans Jrgen Whist, technical manager at Oslo-based post house Media Netwerk, has installed a post production set up based around Final Cut Studio and Blackmagic Design HD Extreme 3D cards to handle the large number of sports productions and promos required by European broadcast clients such as Viasat and Canal+. Media Netwerk operates nine Final Cut Studio seats linked by an Xsan storage area network for his

Mac-based operation hes found Final Cut Studio the easiest platform to manage and administrate. Currently running version 7, Whist says the edit platforms most useful feature is its exibility: It works for us because we get a lot of work coming to us in different formats which we have to be able to mix and match in a timeline. Its exible and gets the job done. Like many Final Cut Pro-based facilities, Media Network is eagerly

1080p 60. We use it as it is competitively priced, reliable and gets the job done, says Whist. Another essential component in the companys machine room is broadcast video router, Blackmagics Broadcast Videohub. It is software-operated so you can sit on any editor on the network and pick your resources and destinations. We like it because its very exible.

We use DeckLink because it is competitively priced and gets the job done

Director, producer, and, above all,

Key advantages
The pricing of Blackmagic Design products, which Les Machineurs believes provides high quality at a very reasonable price, meant the company was able to democratise quality in its offering to its client base

technology fan, Emmanuel Pampuri set up Les Machineurs in 2006 to specialise in digital cinema and offer everything from camera rental through to full post production services. The integration of Final Cut Pro Studio with the Blackmagic Design product line is part of Les Machineurs ethos, which is to democratise quality with a powerful set of post production tools. Weve used DaVinci Resolve since its rst release and look forward to seeing what version 8, unveiled at NAB 2011, will give us as improvements, says Pampuri. On commercials shoots, we need to manage images from multiple camera formats and an advantage of Resolve is its ability to manage the multi-layer editing and XML import/export with Final Cut Pro Studio, he adds. Pampuri knows one key to success is to be present at the earliest stage of a workow to better understand the potential issues: The modularity of Resolve allows us to take it on location to produce dailies, which is crucial for the following steps of our work. Les Machineurs has had early experience of 3D stereoscopic productions, where again it believes Resolve comes into its own: With Resolves automatic

FILM AND COMMERCIALS

alignment tool, hundreds of individual points of an image can be scanned so the image is perfectly aligned between the eyes. The result is a very realistic 3d image thats particularly clear, says Pampuri. Its completely uid for the colourist. Today, there is no other solution to manage 3D stereoscopic work at this price and with this quality, he adds.

There is no other solution to manage 3D stereoscopic at this price and with this quality

TELEVISION | CONTENT CREATION

TELEVISION

Patrick Woodard is colourist at Hollywood production, post, and consulting company DigitalFilm Tree, and recently completed the grade on NBCs NCIS: Los Angeles. His tool of choice is Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Software. The show is shot on location at many locales throughout LA, so the look of the series changes from episode to episode, making regular communication with NCIS: Los Angeles director of photography Victor Hammer essential for Woodard. The DoP and John Mills, his DIT, created a LUT on set, which we used for the dailies. It also became a guide to how to shoot a scene, says Woodard. I could tell what it would look like if they go warm, if they go cool, if they go saturated. During post production on the Resolve, Woodard was able to pull up the edit to see what the DoPs intention was for a particular scene, which provided essential guidance when it came to getting started on grading the raw les. Woodard calls the shows post production workow streamlined as DigitalFilm Trees Resolve runs on the same operating system as the online edit, which is done on

Final Cut Pro Studio. I have instant access to all the les I need, and so does the guy in the next room doing visual effects, who is likely working on the same scene I am, he says. It allows us to be really exible with the time crunch we have on episodic television, we all have to be working at the same time, adds Woodard. Its very efcient this way, and the performance I get off the Mac Pro is amazing compared to what I was working on even a year ago. Being able to have everything at real-time, being able to stack as many nodes I need is important, and the system has a great 3D tracker, which allows me to do a lot of detailed work. Later in the process, The DoP comes in to review and we make renements together, and there is no downtime for me. Its great because it means I can spend more time on a scene or a shot, whereas before it was more prepping or rendering. Now once I bring in a le I am ready to go, he says. Next season things will become even more streamlined thanks to the upcoming release of Resolve 8. Currently, NCIS: Los Angeles shoots on many different cameras including

the Arri Alexa, Canon 5D, Sony F900, JVC GY100 and Sony Go!Cams. Dealing with all these different formats creates an extra step in post for DigitalFilm Tree, which presently processes all the formats internally. We get all the various format les from set and uniform those for an ofine le that we give Final Cut Pro Studio editors as dailies. Their ofine editing codec is ProRes LT, reports Woodard. Broadcast show deadlines do not wait for color systems without real-time performance, and that is one of the biggest advantages of the Resolve. The real-time performance capabilities are awesome. Its node-based grading enables a more exible approach to colour grading Resolve works on a number of operating systems, including Mac OS X, making it well suited to a Final Cut Pro Studio workow

Key advantages
The speed and efciency of Resolves 3D tracker streamlines production time

In Resolve, Woodard can pull up the edit to see what the DoPs intention was for a particular scene, giving him guidance

CONTENT CREATION | COMMERCIALS AND FILM

TELEVISION

GAMING

Oslos Monster Entertainment produces and posts Norways domestic versions of Idol, Norways Got Talent and The X Factor for commercial broadcaster TV2. An Apple house with 35 Final Cut Studio seats, the Monster facility contains a mammoth 200TB Xsan SAN, large enough to accommodate the signicant throughput of data on these giant projects. ENG footage is typically recorded on XDCAM HD422 and ingested with Sony PDW-U1 decks. Stage performances are streamed to EVS servers and encoded in Pro-Res LT. Both sets of media are catalogued with CatDV software before ingest into Monsters SAN. The logging stations use Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro cards, and the edit stations have DeckLink HD Extreme cards.

H.264 proxies are automatically made on ingest which, along with the logging metadata, means the production team can get to work compiling edits for full shows as well as inserts, special highlights, promos and short stings. The nal show is output to XDCAM HD disc. We typically run 12 Mac Pro suites for each show (eight for editing and four for logging and teasers/graphics), often working through the night and up to the last minute before broadcast, explains CTO Paal Henrik Wagner. When we open up material in Final Cut we can instantly nd all the clips associated with a particular contestant or judges reactions to begin assembly. We need speed for this enterprise and this is exactly what we have with this technology.

With more and more computer games being made for stereo 3D viewing, the marketing collateral which surrounds each release has to keep pace. SEGA Europe has ensured its ahead of the game by creating 3D trailers for titles intended for Sony Playstation. We spoke to Jigsaw Systems about our need to nd a way of capturing games in 3D and ultimately editing and outputting in 3D and they recommended the Blackmagic DeckLink HD Extreme 3D card, explains Elliot Kidner, SEGAs multimedia and AV producer who oversaw the rst non-Sony created 3D trailer for the game Virtua Tennis 4. We plugged in the PS3 by HDMI cable into the Blackmagic card and captured game footage and replays of ourselves playing tennis, says Kidner. Each left and

right eye feed is converted within CineForm First Light into 2D les which we can play back on Final Cut Pro Studio. Editing is performed in 2D with review footage output as a L and R signal on a 3D monitor with passive glasses. Virtua Tennis 4 is the one Kidner is most proud of but the team has also created 3D trailers for Captain America Super Soldier, Thor: God of Thunder and several others. The trend for 3D gaming is set to explode, he says. I was sceptical at rst but 3D gaming is fantastic and lends a sense of realism to gameplay. Were likely to need further investment in stereo-capable equipment to cope with demand. The trailers can be seen on YouTube and downloaded from the Playstation Network.

Key advantages
When opening material in Final Cut Pro Studio, all the clips associated with a particular contestant or judges reactions can be instantly located The speed of Monsters workow is notably faster using Blackmagic Design kit

Key advantages

We need speed for this enterprise and this is exactly what we have with this technology

Blackmagics DeckLink HD Extreme 3D card provided SEGA with the means to capture games in 3D and edit and output in 3D too. The PS3 plugs into the DeckLink card using an HDMI cable, and game footage can then be immediately captured

I was sceptical at first that 3D gaming would work but it is fantastic and lends a sense of realism to gameplay

10

CONTENT CREATION | SPORTS

TELEVISION

Expect the unexpected could be Ben Holmes motto. When Holmes, who runs his own edit company Edit Out, was hired by Sky Sports as the video tape editor on its Superbowl coverage earlier this year, his rst priority was to make sure he could cope with any eventuality. You are never quite sure what you are going to be required to do or what kind of facilities you are going to be working with on jobs like this, so you need to bring kit which can cope with all eventualities. Which is why Holmes rarely travels without his Blackmagic Design Multibridge Pro edit system on a yaway edit such as the Superbowl, where he was required to edit and send video packages from the stadium compound at Arlington, Texas via satellite to Sky in London. The most important thing about kit that I pack into a ightcase is that its reliable and exible. Its a tool something that should be seen and not heard which allows you to get on with the job in hand. I dont want capture and playback solutions that only give me SDI video it has to cover all the bases. Holmes has three Blackmagic Design Multibridge Pro systems as he nds them the most simple and

reliable on the market, linking to his Mac Pro with PCI Express for a high quality 10Gb/s connection. I have never encountered a situation where I wasnt able to connect up to it, he comments. Blackmagics kit is well made, good value and, for me, it provides the right combination of connectability, exibility and price, he adds. Holmes standard ightcase includes a Mac Pro, a 24 inch Apple monitor, keyboards and Multibridge Pro. Although hes never had a problem with kit getting damaged in transit, he sometimes takes the portable Multibridge Pro with him as hand luggage in case the rest of the hardware is delayed clearing customs. That way I can always hook it up to another Mac Pro while I wait for my hardware to ship because Multibridge will easily hook up to any computer. Based in the international compound of the Arlington Stadium in Texas, along with over 30 foreign broadcasters, Holmes edited Superbowl packages using a combination of Fox 720p 60 format material, SD archive footage, and P2 material from his own ENG reporter on site.

We cut about six features and fan pieces and sent them over the satellite link to Sky HQ as DVCPro HD, explains Holmes. With P2 cards ingesting into the Apple Final Cut Pro Studio editing systems at ve times the speed of real-time, the whole process has become much simpler, says Holmes. Once the edit system was up and running smoothly in the portacabin, all Holmes had to worry about was the weather which wasnt so good: I was looking forward to a break from the cold UK winter, but we arrived in a blizzard with temperatures as low as -20 degrees the worst snowstorm they had had for 15 years. Holmes advanced editing system was ideal as it works in a wide range of outputs from SD, HD to 2K, in 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 video quality

Key advantages
Blackmagic Designs Multibridge Pro offered the right combination of reliability, connectability, exibility and price

Its reliable and flexible... Ive never encountered a situation where I wasnt able to connect to Multibridge Pro

11

LIVE MUSIC AND MOBILE EDITING | CONTENT CREATION

Philippe Baudet, through his

Key advantages
The use of Blackmagic kit meant it took only three days to establish TV Rennes HD broadcasting system TV Rennes system provides native support for HD, while providing it with the ability to broadcast in both SD and HD

company PAD in Luxembourg, creates production workows for regional television stations. He offers out-of-the-box solutions including engineering, software consulting, delivery and installation, training and support. PADs latest project is the complete overhaul of French local TV broadcaster TV Rennes workow. After 25 years, it needed a breath of fresh air, especially with the transition from 4:3 to 16:9 HD, says Baudet. PAD developed eight shooting units, based on Apple Mac Pros, which were given to each journalist to do their own editing. Final Cut Studio was installed on the workstations, with shooting done on SD cards, directly recorded in QuickTime. On top of this, Everything was re-done [in the studio] with cold lights, tracked cameras and four Mac Pros with DeckLink HD Extreme 3D cards distributing live coverage edited by journalists. PAD also created a small outside broadcast unit for TV Rennes, designed to be operated by just two people. The cameras used for its outside broadcasts are the same as the shooting units, and it also has a Mac Pro, DeckLink HD Extreme 3D cards and a video hub.

MOBILE EDITING

It had to be technically easy to manage, but with professional quality, explains Baudet. With the system set up with Apple and Blackmagic Design products, we have this highlevel broadcast quality theres only one level of compression (in-camera, during the shooting process), then teams work in native format and avoid adding any additional compression.

It had to be technically easy to manage, but with professional quality

LIVE MUSIC

French artist Yannick Noah for a DVD release. We worked on two sessions of recording, which meant two different strategies, says Baiesi. In the rst session, we had an OB Van and six cameras, including a XDCAM, an HDV and a Canon 5D. For the second recording, there were two isolated XDCAM cameras, an HDCAM, an HDV camera and a Canon 5D, he adds. The main challenge was to connect all the data from various

Key advantages
Resolve 8 provides a range of new features, such as noise reduction and curve grading

Jean-Pierre Baiesi is one of Frances video pioneers, having started out in 1980. He worked for 10 years with French Director Mathias Ledoux, which led to work on concerts by artists such as Johnny Halliday and Vanessa Paradis. In 2003, he created the company Atelier Clandestin, to be independent, especially with the choice of technology. 12

After selecting Apple Color and Final Cut Pro Studio as his main software, he opted for an AppleBlackmagic Design pairing. I use the Multibridge Eclipse system for HD and DeckLink HD Extreme 3D for 3D. And, in 2010, he switched from Color to DaVinci Resolve for his whole production workow. He is currently working on recording the nal concert of

sources, especially in terms of the colourimetry. Baiesi believes Resolve provides him with around a 20% increase in speed compared to many other colour grading products on the market. Baiesi is also excited by the new features that Resolve 8 will bring, including processing tools for noise reduction, curve grading and multi point stabilization.

20% increase in speed compared to many other colour grading productions on the market

UNDERWATER SHOOT AND COMMERCIALS | CONTENT CREATION

UNDERWATER SHOOT

COMMERCIALS

To say Jonathan Bird of Jonathan Bird Productions wears many hats might be an understatement. The producer and host of Jonathan Birds Blue World, an adventure/ educational series he describes as The Crocodile Hunter meets Jacques Cousteau, is not only behind the camera about 75 percent of the time, he also shares editing duties. Shooting underwater comes with its share of challenges and Bird has tried a variety of camera formats during his three-season run. Hes looking for a portable and affordable option for Season Four but is holding off on a decision until the release of Final Cut X. Now the new version of Final Cut will theoretically play AVC HD without conversion to ProRes, were going to wait and see before we make a decision. There are less

expensive options that make better underwater cameras if editing in AVC HD becomes an option. While there may currently be a number of software choices available for cutting AVC, Bird would prefer not to consider another editing platform. We are pretty entrenched with Final Cut. I am a hardcore lover of Final Cut Studio and the Mac in general. For me to change editing systems doesnt make sense. Bird uses Blackmagic Designs DeckLink Studio during online. It allows us to monitor in HD, which is important as we do colour correction. The DeckLink has an unbelievable number of features for the price. The picture that comes out the monitor is exactly what goes out to tape, and it plays right off the timeline in full quality.

For Simon Blackledge, vfx supervisor at Manchester-based vfx and post production facility Space Digital, the forthcoming Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve upgrade to version 8 is nothing short of a major step forward in the creation of a more powerful colour correction tool. Blackledge, who has been using a beta version on a series of recent projects including a corporate promo for Castrol Edge produced by MatteBlackFilms for agency 2020, says: From both a workow and grading point of view its a huge upgrade which has made a tremendous difference to how we approach jobs here at Space Digital On Castrol Edge, the facility was called on to plan, shoot, edit and carry out vfx work and grading on the lm, which was shot on a combination of formats including Canon 7D, GoPro, Panasonic 101,

Arri Alexa and Phantom Gold. We can capture our footage directly into Resolve, or use Media Express 3 to capture and the import into Final Cut Pro Studio, says Blackledge. The multi layered timeline within Resolve 8 brings familiarity when transitioning from an edit environment. You can now alter clip lengths and transitions without returning to Final Cut Pro Studio for changes. Resolve 8 has also developed the curve grading concept a lot further, adds Blackledge. It has all the curve controls now such as colour saturation and hue, which is fantastic, giving you an elastic band like line to offset certain colours. It has curves for everything required plus you can window or key that area for more accuracy. The end result is a fast and powerful edit and grade that we can render quickly in real time.

Key advantages
Bird says Apple Final Cut Pro Studio is an extremely feature-rich and powerful editing tool for a reasonable price The picture coming out of the monitor through DeckLink Studio is exactly what goes out to tape

We are pretty entrenched with Final Cut. I am a hardcore lover of Final Cut Pro Studio and the Mac

Key advantages
Curve grading enables colourists to customise hue and colour satuation in windows, providing faster grading Multi layer timeline support enables different layers to be exported intact into Final Cut Pro Studio with real-time rendering

The multi-layered timeline within Resolve 8 brings familiarity when transitioning from an edit environment

13

CONTENT CREATION | POP PROMOS

James Tonkin, lmmaker and

5.1 audio suite. I decided it had to be Resolve because colour correction is at the heart of my post production passion. I spend a lot of time making the grade perfect and need a costeffective system which allows me to do just that, he explains. Recently I did a 25 minute grade for AC/DC and I was in and out in less than an hour. While some grading tools need time for rendering, Resolves real time grading is one of its most attractive features. Another area where Tonkin has demonstrated enthusiasm for new technology is in the studios experimentation with the latest camera formats. He was quick to adopt DSLR cameras, used last year on a multicamera video shoot for British band Archive, but now Tonkin admits the days of DSLR could be numbered with the emergence of the Sony NEX-FS100. I loved DSLR because the look was so different from a standard 2/3-inch chip camera, but the FS100 has killed its appeal with its 35mm sensor. Tonkin used a pre-production version of the FS100 on music video Vertigo earlier this year and admits his head has been turned. So much

Key advantages
Final Cut Pro Studios Multiclip editing handles multiple camera feeds in real-time DaVinci Resolves tracker tracks the face as it moves in the frame in real-time, which Tonkin describes as phenomenal DaVinci Resolve offers real-time grading at a highly competitive price point The Sony NEX-FS100 offers low cost access to large format sensor technology, packed into a compact, lightweight body Sonys PMW-F3 brings the lmic look into reach for indie movies and pop promos with its Super 35mm sensor and PL mount

director of Hangman Studios, has never been afraid to go out on a limb. Over the last 10 years he has built up his Shepherds Bush-based studio operation into a pioneering centre of production and post production making music videos, commercials and lms for clients including Robbie Williams, Bjrk, The Libertines, T-Mobile and Smart Cars. Tonkins guiding principle when he set up the studio back in 2001 was to embrace the cutting edge of innovation particularly where that proved cost effective. With backing from artist management company IE Music, the outt behind Robbie Williams, he was given free reign. When most people were setting up with Avid, I was going in the other direction with Final Cut Studio and Apple hardware. With Final Cut going from strength to strength it has obviously paid off particularly considering the cost cutting in video production over the last couple of years. Recently he has added Blackmagic Designs DaVinci Resolve grading to his post production line up of two Final Cut Studio online suites and a

It had to be DaVinci Resolve because I spend a lot of time making the grade perfect and need a cost-effective system which allows me to do just that

14

POP PROMOS | CONTENT CREATION

POP PROMOS

so that he is planning to use the FS100, in combination with two other Sony large format sensor cameras the PMW-F3 and SRW-9000PL on an upcoming live music video to be shot this summer. For Tonkin, the FS100 was a must because it produces a cinematic look equivalent to DSLR but with the added usability of a Sony camcorder, including longer record times, absence of aliasing, ergonomic design and easily accessible and familiar control buttons. Of all the new 35mm sensor cameras, the FS100 is the one I got really excited about because its much more modular in its design, explains Tonkin. But best of all, the FS100 has the ergonomics of a small camera which I really like. It means I can stick it in a rucksack with a few other bits of kit and Im in business. Den Lennie from fstopacademy. com works regularly with Tonkin on music projects as DPand was heavily involved with the design of the Sony NEX FS100. Lennie Comments The FS100 offers an extremely cost effective way to achieve 35mm production value. Its modularity allowed us to work quickly without compromise. We were

amazed during the Vertigo promo at just how responsive it was in low light and also how clean the images are at 25Mb/s. If you need to up the bit rate and record uncompressed for a project then the PMW-F3 gives you that option with dual link HDSDI and all the high end connectivity that you will ever need. The exciting news for promo shooters is that you have the choice of cameras based on specic project budget but without compromiseing the post workow or the image quality and resolution. Simply put we now have incredible power at our ngertips and we can create more for less. Shooting with the FS100 in AVCHD and F3 in XDCAM EX, Tonkin plans to achieve the look of a high-end music production with the use of just 12 camera operators and a total of 15 cameras, when the output of onstage minicams was included. The footage is to be datawrangled on location onto RAID storage before being shipped back to Hangman Studios for a two week turnaround with post on Final Cut Studio and grade on Blackmagic Designs

DaVinci Resolve. Competitive pricing is another big plus point of the Resolve grading systems, he adds. The fact that Blackmagic Design has brought Resolve down to a really interesting price point particularly considering its real time capability is making it a great success. But Tonkins reserves his highest praise for Resolves tracker feature. Its phenomenal. Id say its worth buying it on its own just for that. I do lots of work where I selectively grade just a face or in one area of the screen. Resolves tracker it will track the face as it moves in the frame in realtime.

Of all the new 35mm sensor cameras, the FS100 is the one I got really excited about

Sony NEX-FS100
Outstanding 35mm Cinematic Video Unrivalled Low light performance Fast, Afordable Workow and Storage

15

CONTENT CREATION | SPORTS

PROJECT NAME | CIT Y T V

Manchester City and CityTV


Dale Umphray us tells how he brings the Premier Fan Experience to the Premier League
I am the Head of Technology at CityTV, where our support for the Manchester City Football Club extends in many directions. One is the club website, which includes match highlights, interviews and features. We are the rst club that put Premier League material online without any subscription fees required. Were quite proud of that. CityTV also creates a complete match day experience, with two giant screens inside the stadium and three more giant screens in our City Square fanzone area outside the stadium. We also create a three-hour weekly program,distributed to international 16 broadcasters via our stadium ber facility line which is directly connected to BT Tower in London.
Dale Umphray, Head of Technology, CityTV

material among the crowd. Being in the north of England, we get a little bit of rain, and even though much of City Square is covered, the rain can become part of the experience. In all, its quite entertaining, and Im not aware of any other clubs that have tried anything on this scale. City Square can be used outside of football, as well. For example, Manchester pop music legends Take That recently performed for eight days at the stadium on their reunion tour. City Square provided a delight for fans who were queuing to get in.

City Square
City Square is an area just outside the stadium itself, with bars and restaurants where supporters can congregate before kickoff, enjoy themselves at bars and restaurants, and watch a live onstage presentation with celebrity City Fans and players. In addition to presenters, live interviews, and videotaped segments as sources, we have two RF cameras for presenter links, interviews and to pick up

CONTENT CREATION | SPORTS

MCFC WEBSITE

THE CIT Y SQUARE FANZONE

In all, its quite entertaining, and Im not aware of any other clubs that have tried anything on this scale.
Dale Umphray CityTV Etihad Stadium
We use different Blackmagic Design Videohub routers to deliver feeds throughout the facility: City Square, the in-stadium big screens, corporate and hospitality suites, concession stands and concourses, the Family Section, and more. While the links between these areas are via ber, the systems themselves are SDI, so we also have Blackmagic Design Mini Converter Optical Fiber devices. As match day commences, our master control room inside the stadium houses the stadium announcer, the director of the match broadcast, EVS replay unit operator, a broadcast engineer, and sound and graphics operators. We have our own cameras, of course Sony XDCAM HD but we can also take in the feeds from our host broadcasters, such as Sky or BBC, that are handling the live broadcast of the match. We can take ber links from all of the individual cameras in and feed into the Videohubs, and route them through to our EVS replay unit on any of our screens, including the ones in City Square. We have just upgraded to two Blackmagic Design Broadcast Videohub routers, 72 inputs by 144 outputs, and a 16 x 16 Studio Videohub, which we felt was a necessity to support the complexity of the feeds we handle between the Master Control Room and our Production Area outside the stadium. media channels on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channel. We also produce a three-hour weekly international programme which delivers content to more than 20 countries. All of the inputs and outputs required for all of the sites and venues listed above are all passed through the Blackmagic Design Studio Videohub, which easily handles the load.

Production
Theres a dedicated production ofce and edit suites based at the City@home ofce outside the stadium where our production element sits, connected to the control room via ber optic cabling. Here, we are once again using Blackmagic Design Mini Converter Optical Fiber devices to convert between ber optic and SDI, as well as the 16 x16 Blackmagic Design Studio Videohub to handle all of the source routing. That includes all of the feeds from inside the stadium and City Square, of course, and in the case of an away match, we can also add outside feeds that come from our direct link to the BT Tower. These go into our Apple Final Cut Pro stations, which are creating feature material, highlights, match day experience content, corporate material, and clips for our social

Inside, outside, the world


The Manchester City Football Club has very high expectations for the 2011 season. For several years now, they have been building a team that is ready to compete for the Premier League championship, and they are off to a start that shows their determination. CityTVs support for the Manchester City Football Club extends in every direction: providing entertainment for fans, outside Etihad Stadium in City Square, programming giant screens and concourse screens inside the stadium, and telling the stories of Manchester City around the world with broadcasting, online video, and social media. In the football world, you couldnt imagine a more exciting place to be, nor a more exciting time to be there. 17

ADVERTORIAL

About us...
Square offers the help, advice and expertise you need to focus on your clients. Whether you are just starting out or an established player in your sector, we have the solutions, staff and support you need for success. Square can supply, install and support Final Cut editing systems, hardware and software. Let our experienced account managers provide you with the best possible solutions tailored to your requirements. We can meet you at your convenience, discuss your requirements and swiftly propose a solution to suit your budget. In addition to supplying Apple equipment, we pride ourselves on offering fantastic impartial advice on 3rd party peripherals, software, storage and networking. Providing you with the whole package. After assessing your technology requirements, often with an on-site visit to your premises, well provide on-site deployment, best practice and integration services. Working alongside your own staff, we can make sure you are utilising a stable and realistic solution.

Square solutions
Too small to warrant a fully-blown IT solution to networked Final Cut for an answer that wouldnt break the bank. Katis describes how
PROJECT NAME | PUKK A FILMS

Like many small production companies Pukka Films sits in an awkward market position regarding technology upgrades. The digital communications specialist is too small to warrant a fully-blown, high specication IT solution, but too big and specialised to meet its needs with a visit to the Apple Store. As Paul Katis, creative director at the corporate communications producer, explains, the company started out with stand alone Mac Pros running Final Cut Pro and bought new machines each time it needed more capacity. It was a hideous way to manage our workow, with chunks of projects in different places, we were constantly plugging and unplugging drives, which created a whole series of technical problems. It was clear that we needed to rethink our technological set up. The issue was

how to expand our system, which comprised two Final Cut Pro edits plus and ingest station, and make us networked and more exible without spending a fortune. We are not a facility so we cant justify a huge spend, but we wanted some of the exibility and support which a larger editing organisation would expect. The answer was Apple Premium Reseller Square Group, which came up with a system which provided an effective answer to Pukka Films needs. The simplest solution would have been to suggest that Pukka run its operation around Xsan shared storage, but as Katis points out, Xsan is a Rolls Royce solution and we are a little Audi. Square Groups Vince Pittman recalls: There wasnt a budget for Xsan so we came up with a simpler, easier to manage and more cost effective solution built around Small Trees fast Ethernet and Final Cut Server, directly connecting up

The issue was how to expand... making us more flexible without spending a fortune
Paul Katis Pukka Films

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18

ADVERTORIAL

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Pro editing, Pukka Films boss Paul Katis went to Square Group the Apple Premium Reseller came up with the right answer
PROJECT NAME | PUKK A FILMS

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the Mac Pros so they now all have dedicated Gigabit bandwidth. He adds: On top of that we installed Final Cut Server which provided the ability to work on bigger projects, managing the workow from the layer above. Video editors using the Small Tree with Final Cut no longer have to transfer les between machines to open them. They can open them from the shared storage server in Final Cut. Pittman continues: We try to look at the problem in hand and not overspecify equipment. With Pukka Films, Square Group worked hard to nd the right kit at the right specication to achieve its needs and come in on budget. We are not more expensive than Apple and we make sure that we deliver systems properly with a level of support afterwards. One thing we are particularly proud of is our large, well-trained service team.

For Katis the beauty of Square Groups solution was that it tted in with the companys existing infrastructure which kept costs down. We were able to just replug our CAT5E network to get the dedicated Ethernet feed from Small Tree. Kitted out with 32TB of active RAID storage, Pukkas workow is to originate material on Canon 5D and ingest into Final Cut with rushes immediately backed up onto LTO for archive. Files are then converted to ProRes before being edited and mastered. Says Katis: Square Group offers solutions rather than supplies kit. The company understands our business and the way we work. Often what you get from resellers is technicians who ask why are you doing it like that. We really dont need people to question our workow. We need them to come up with answers to the way we do work.

Manager Storage, backup and archive specialist. Can recommend an ideal solution for your company, irrespective of your industry or size. EMMANUEL GOMEZ VERRARDO
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I like the satisfaction I get from providing excellent, workable solutions for outstanding, creative companies.

Square Group offers solutions rather than supplies kit. It understands our business
Paul Katis Pukka Films

Contact
T 020 7692 6808 E sales@squaregroup.co.uk www.squaregroup.co.uk Twitter: squaregroup 78 New Oxford Street London, WC1A 1HB

19

HIGH-END POST TO SUIT ALL BUDGETS

Quality post within the reach of all


For the price of a single editing system a decade ago, you can now build a professional HD editing, compositing and grading workstation complete with high quality monitor
Best of breed post production kit is in the hands of a far broader range of post houses today than a decade ago the cost of a fully equipped HD workstation with editing, grading and vfx capabilities now comes in at far less than than youd have paid for a single editing system a decade ago. The early days of broadcast-quality nonlinear onlines were a nail biting affair, recalls lmmaker and producer Jonathan Bird. I had to take out a loan just to buy an edit system in 2001. The computers werent fast enough to do much of the video themselves and needed a hardware base. The drive had to be augmented with fast SCSI and video cards. It was a nicky, high performance machine in which everything had to be tuned just right or it would crash. Outputting to tape was often crunch-time which could take several attempts to get right without a dropped frame. It was exasperating, though it beat the alternative which was editing on tape. In three years the machine was outdated and needed to be replaced, says Bird. Even in 2004, when Bird cut his rst TV documentary on Final Cut Pro matters werent much improved. The editing worked just ne but the problem again was output to Betacam, he remembers. I had to rent a box for capture and playback as a well as a tape deck because I couldnt afford to buy one and sometimes it would take a whole weekend just to install it and get everything in sync. All the while the thing is costing me US$600 a day. A decade ago, solutions for visual effects, compositing or editing were turnkey, sold with dedicated hardware to which the user had to add outboard processing and software plugins. Interoperability was limited to a bespoke piece of code written by a facility engineer. A support contract was added on top. Basically everything was a lot of black boxes, says Johnny Whitehead, director of operations, Deluxe142. Facilities marketed themselves around the investments they had made on premium brands. But it didnt have to be this way. A group of post production alumni formed Blackmagic Design and became the rst company to demonstrate uncompressed SD capture on a Mac. I remember at IBC 2002 people saying theyd heard about it but that they didnt think it possible, says Stuart Ashton, then a post house editor, now Blackmagic Designs EMEA director. There was a huge opportunity out there to make affordable products without jeopardising quality. A year earlier Apple had launched Final Cut

Resolve
Blackmagics top-end grading product Resolve 8 now starts at just 615 Theres also a free, cutdown version of Resolve (Resolve Lite), which was launched at NAB 2011

There was a huge opportunity out there to make affordable products without jeopardising quality
Stuart Ashton Blackmagic Design

20

HIGH-END POST TO SUIT ALL BUDGETS

Pro 2 into a market bristling with rival nonlinear editing software. The muscle of a major computer manufacturer and its eye-opening $1,000 price tag proved too formidable for most of the competition. The interface was pretty, it worked on an en vogue piece of kit, and you could take work home with you on a decent laptop and piece together ofine clips, says Ashton. Where technology had previously pigeonholed facilities into high end features, or commercials, or corporate work, now the skill of the person using the kit became the main selling point and the facilities market opened up. While Apple continued to iterate fatter, faster versions of Final Cut Pro introducing Final Cut Studio in 2005, Blackmagic Design was building on the success of DeckLink. We have always embraced new technologies such as 3gbs SDI and video over optical bre, says Ashton. Its all about trying to lead people to new tech without making them spend the earth or reinvent their workow. This is equally true when it comes to the topend post production service of colour grading. Until two years ago grading remained stuck in a millennium time warp. Even shorn of the need to handle physical lm grading systems were still sold turnkey for 200K plus. Blackmagic Design took the bull by the horns, acquired DaVinci, kept the brand but revamped the entire system with off-the-shelf Nvidia graphics cards, support for third party panels and 300 new functions. Then it sold it sub 1k. We changed the ethos of buying it, says Ashton. By removing those barriers of entry yet not taking anything away from what the application can do, we have a 16GPU system that a facility in

Hollywood can buy to do a 3D stereo lm or a 1GPU system perfect for someone wanting to grade a corporate video. Innovations like this have liberated artists from operating at xed desks and paying prime Soho rent giving opportunities to a new generation of talent. The stars of tomorrow at Ravensbourne are using the same kit that we use here, says Whitehead. There are high end DIs, vfx shots and audio mixes out of the reach of smaller independents but you can achieve an awful lot with FCP, a good editor and an effects package. Noting that new, thin reference grade monitors cost no less than the CRTs of old, he cautions that inexpensive software is not necessarily the whole answer. There are a lot of headline grabbing prices but behind that you need a fully functional, calibrated environment and a fair amount of investment in infrastructure to produce high-end post production. From SD through DV and HDV onto HD, from tape to memory cards, and shortly into resolutions at 4K and beyond, progress has been remarkable in just 10 years. Equally remarkable is Apples recent FCP upgrade which has seen the interface overhauled, wedded to a 64-bit CPU to take on more complex, larger formats and all for just 179.99. Bird uses Macbooks in the eld for ingesting footage, running FCP and an eight-core Mac with DeckLink Studio in his ofce to make the internationally sold Emmy award-winning underwater natural history show Jonathan Birds Blue World. This kind of technology means we dont have to have a huge production facility, he says. The downsizing of the camera and recorders mean excess baggage costs on travel are virtually zero.
TK/grading system Compositor Editing workstation Vfx workstation High-end camera HD camcorder Reference monitor

Price check
2001
1m 225k 70k 225k 80k 30k 30k

2011
1k 200k 3k 70k 1k 10k 1k 3k 25k 4k 12k 30k

Hyperdeck Shuttle
Bypass your cameras compression and records from SDI and HDMI direct into the highest quality uncompressed video. Compact, affordable and battery powered so its perfect as a eld recorder, costs 215

There are a lot of headline grabbing prices but you need a functional calibrated environment
Johnny Whitehead Deluxe 142

21

BUILDING EDITING SYSTEMS

A cost effective edit suite


Building your own cost effective post production system, based around off the shelf Apple computers and expansion products from Blackmagic Design, saves you time and money
Apple has consistently trailblazed innovation in the broadcast and lm post production market and is now delivering blistering desktop video editing power with Final Cut Pro X, the 64-bit Mac OS X and the multiprocessing Mac Pro workstation line. The latest MacBook Pro and Apple iMac models are also equipped with the cuttingedge high-speed technology Thunderbolt, which has changed the playing eld once again. Thunderbolt is a revolutionary I/O technology that supports high-resolution displays and high-performance data devices through a single, compact port. There are going to be a number of expansion boxes based on Thunderbolt devices with HD/ SDI I/O for capturing and so on. though not usually found running on an iMac. In the meantime, Final Cut Pro X is set to shake up the software market as much as Thunderbolt already has for hardware not only does it offer 64-bit support and background rendering, but also 4K support and resolutionindependent editing, all at a dramatically reduced price. Its not the only software thats become more attractive to those looking for a more affordable Mac post production system. The new DaVinci Resolve 8 from Blackmagic Design now includes

Software choices
Mac-based post production creatives working with this level of hardware will typically use a combi of Apple Final Cut Pro for editing, with affordable products such as The Foundrys Nuke or Adobes After Effects for compositing. Autodesks Smoke on the Mac is also becoming a popular choice in some major facilities,

Post production on an iMac


With such power now available, the traditionally consumer-focused iMac should also attract broadcast professionals. Thats certainly the view of Jamie Allan, post production specialist at Jigsaw: An iMac you buy off-the-shelf for 2k, along with a few products from the likes of Blackmagic Design, can become a full HD/SDI capable edit suite, he explains. Cost of workstation from 2,041 (inc. VAT) 5x faster graphics cards and three video ports

Mac Pro workstation


Up to 12 cores of processing power

An Apple iMac you can buy off-the-shelf for 2,000, along with a few products from the likes of Blackmagic Design, can become a full HD/SDI capable edit suite

Apple Final Cut Pro X


64-bit architecture with background rendering, resolution-independent timeline and magnetic tracks to keep audio and video in-sync Cost of Apple Final Cut Pro X is 179.99 (inc. VAT)

22

BUILDING EDITING SYSTEMS

OpenCL processing, which brings this advanced node-based colour correction tool to users of the iMac and MacBook Pro. For 695, such users can experience real-time noise reduction, curve grading, object tracking, advanced multi point stabilisation as well as automatic stereoscopic 3D image alignment.

correction using a more tactile interface such as trackballs, buttons and knobs. Experienced colourists can take advantage of the DaVinci Resolve control surface, specially designed to work in harmony with Resolve software.

Therefore an external storage system would be necessary. Root 6s Bailey suggests its not just the amount, but also the level of security that should be a concern. For a standalone system, he recommends the G-SPEED es Pro XL. This is an excellent professional solution for those working in multi-stream uncompressed HD and 2K workows, he suggests. Those with less demanding environments have plenty of choice with alternatives from G-TECH. Weve supplied kit from this manufacturer for years and its proved highly reliable. When youre purchasing storage, its just as important to understand about RAID and the level of protection you will have as well as the performance the solution can offer, adds Bailey. Lose valuable content and youll lose clients. It really is as simple as that.

Storage considerations
I think one of the most misunderstood aspects of building the correct editing system is working out how much and what kind of storage you need, believes Mike George, senior account manager at Square Group. Whether something is compressed or not has huge implications on the resultant le size, he says. The term HD can mean anything from just a few MB/s in the video world to hundreds of MB/s and this will have a signicant impact on what storage system and how much storage you will require. If you truly are working on fully uncompressed HD, at say, 10bit 1080p at 24fps, then you are going to need something substantial, continues George, adding that Apples RAID solution for the Mac Pro, which congures four drives in a RAID 5 conguration, might not be enough. You wouldnt expect [even] this system would reliably cope as it begins to get over 60% full, he says.

Desktop powerhouse
However, Jigsaws Allan says there will always be demand for Apple workstations in tower form, able to be tted with multiple PCI cards, massive amounts of RAM (the current limit is 64 GB) and, crucially for HD and higher resolutions, the ability to constantly upgrade storage capabilities. If you are working with a lot of high resolution media, and you are not connecting to a network, you are always going to need a tower machine with fast internal storage that is able to be expanded, he says. Its a view shared by Chris Bailey, workow designer at Root 6. We build tailored Macbased systems with pre-installed components on a frequent basis, he says. For a professional post operation, currently wed recommend a Mac Pro with a 12-core Westmere processor, a minimum of 8GB of RAM and a graphics card the Radeon 5770 with 1GB of RAM would be ideal. Such a conguration currently comes in at around 4k on the Apple Store. Bailey also recommends Blackmagic Designs video I/O solutions for the PCIe-equipped Mac Pro. Where budgets permit, the DeckLink HD Extreme 3D covers all the bases with 3 Gb/s SDI, 4:2:2, 4:4:4 RGB, with native 12-bit and frame rates supported up to 1080/p60, he explains.

Cost of Apple Final Cut Pro X is 179.99 (inc. VAT)

Apple Aperture
Rene images and manage massive photo libraries seamlessly Re-touch photos with brushes and adjustment presets, organise images with Faces and Places

Monitors and peripherals


Just as important in editing and nishing workows are the screens you use. These should ideally be capable of running HD video. If youre looking to impress, then the stylish Apple Cinema Displays capable of 1650 x 1080 resolution are a potential must-have for a GUI monitor, but the choice of monitors are endless, says Bailey. For real-time monitoring of 3G and HD video, wed recommend the JVC DT- V24G11Z 3G Grade 2 Monitor. Its such a pity it doesnt have a sexy name but its a stunning monitor with endless features, he adds. Dedicated keyboards are available for Final Cut Pro, but those looking to get more handson control would be better opting for a control surface. These are produced by several established manufacturers and can be used for such tasks as navigating through footage or adjusting colour

Media Express 3.0


Media Express is used by thousands of Blackmagic Design customers worldwide for managing a wide range of media types and for capture and playback of les to and from broadcast decks

23

TRAINING AND THE NEED FOR MULTISKILLING

Brian Cantwell
Soho Editors FCP X is the rst major change in the editing world since FCP rst appeared. [FCP X is] so different to FCP7, even the most experienced talent in the world will benet from

Multiskilling and training up for Apple FCP X


Apple Final Cut Pro X brings with it massive changes to the editing platform so even the most experienced FCP editors will benet from training to make the most of it
Once youve learned the ropes on an editing package, its easy to disregard the need for training. However, gone are the days when, as an editor, you simply learned a single industry standard product and got on with your job safe in the knowledge nothing much would change for the foreseeable future. Today, all the key essential elements of the production and post production process evolve around technology thats continually changing; from cameras through editing systems, vfx packages and colour grading systems. Rest on your laurels and youll be left behind as the need to keep on top of training is more apparent now than ever before. Added to this, theres now also an increasing need not only to understand how 24 your role slots into the myriad jigsaw of roles making up a production but to also have a working knowledge of many other stages in the process. Editors are increasingly taking on the role of producers (becoming preditors), colourists are increasingly vfx artists, camera operators are sound recordists, and so on. If you cant multi-skill to cover multiple roles theres a very real danger youll be overtaken by someone who can.

training to more quickly get to grips with the software. Doing proper training, you very quickly learn the correct things from experts. [In short-form] clients are looking more and more for one person to do the graphics, audio, edit and grade. But in long-form theres still a very marked demarcation.

Putting the X into training


The vast changes FCP users witnessed with the welcome arrival of Apple Final Cut Pro X only underlines the need for ongoing training.

A lot of editors will think of downloading FCP X and self-teaching themselves on it, which almost certainly means they wont learn the best ways of doing things
Brian Cantwell Soho Editors

TRAINING AND THE NEED FOR MULTISKILLING

FCP X is the rst major change in the editing world since FCP rst appeared, believes Brian Cantwell, md, Soho Editors. All other changes have been evolutionary. There are so many changes in FCP X the interface, workows, meta data and the way it manages projects its so different to FCP7, even the most experienced talent in the world will benet from training to more quickly get to grips with the software. A lot of editors will think of downloading FCP X and self-teaching themselves on it, which is laborious and almost certainly means they wont learn the best ways of doing things, adds Cantwell. Doing proper training, you very quickly learn the correct things from experts. Cantwell reveals Soho Editors had a very limited window between the release of FCP X and getting its FCP X training up and running. So, ahead of the software being released, Cantwell says, We were making assumptions and plans on different scenarios and developing our own content and course ideas. The training house now offers a one-day FCP X course aimed at experienced FCP7 users as well as a three-day FCP X introduction programme for those with a basic knowledge and understanding of editing but who are new to FCP.

training videos, so the basics of FCP X can be disseminated before we get the onslaught of student questions, says Neal. Meanwhile, at Amsterdams College of MultiMedia, director Guy Nicholson says the one-day update courses the institute has previously run whenever a new version of FCP is released may not cut the mustard this time around. I dont know if that will be possible with FCP X it doesnt look like you can cover all its features in one day, he says. Talking more broadly about training, Nicholson adds: The end-user of any piece of software only uses around 10% of the features, while training really teaches you how to make the most of it. Were planning to put FCP X on as many machines as we can. [Were creating] internal web training videos, so the basics of FCP X can be disseminated before we get the onslaught of student questions. Ive been banging on to academics from day one about the requirements to teach multiskilling.

David Neal
School of Creative Arts

Multiskilling
Training is becoming an ever more pertinent issue with the increasing expectation from employers that creative production and post personnel should be trained to fulll a variety of roles. Ive been banging on to academics from day one about the requirements to teach multiskilling, says The University of West Englands Neal. Students should now be multiskilled all my students call themselves DoPs but they are involved in the edit and grade and we also teach them Pro Tools. In Holland, the College of MultiMedias Nicholson says it also has a need for a multiskilled approach to training: Certain production jobs are merging the cameraman is doing the job of the sound recordist, and if its a small production, the editors are doing the grading. So the smaller jobs need multiskilling but in a big production, you still need specialists. Soho Editors Cantwell agrees: Theres an increased pressure in certain areas short form and promos, which are quick turnaround where clients are looking more and more for one person to do the graphics, audio, edit and grade. But in long-form theres still a very marked demarcation. However, even then the ofine editor contributes during the online and audio process to help ensure the narrative is accurately translated. Cantwell says the trend for multiskilling stretches as far as directors and producers, who are also signing up for his FCP training courses. Even though they never plan to use the software they still want to learn the capabilities and possibilities. The more the director or producer understands, the better they can plan, budget and realise what they plan to realise.

The university focus


There is, of course, an ever pressing need for colleges and universities to gear up quickly to the latest technology in order to provide their students with the necessary skills to master widely used kit. Dave Neal, senior technical instructor at the University of West Englands School of Creative Arts, says the facility is about to move to a new campus including a media centre with lm, news and multimedia studios, audio dubbing suites, DI rooms and edit suites, all of which will be equipped with primary software such as FCP X, Pro Tools, Creative Suite, etc. They will also feature Blackmagic Design video cards and DaVinci Resolve software, with a view to purchasing a full Resolve system with control surface a little further down the line. One of the most immediate concerns for Neal is ensuring students are au fait with FCP X: Were planning to put FCP X on as many machines as we can, he says. It will be accessible to media, fashion, photography and animation students and the university is putting together three-hour workshops to train this fairly disparate set of students on FCP X. The course is backed up with internal web

Guy Nicholson
College of MultiMedia The end-user of any piece of software only uses around 10% of the features, while training teaches you how to make the most of it. Certain production jobs are merging the cameramans doing the job of the sound recordist, and if its a small production, editors are doing the grading. The smaller jobs need multiskilling but in a big production, you still need specialists.

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FINAL CUT PRO REVIEW

Final Cut Pro X


Apple has once again set out to completely re-invent the video industry
Pros: Ease of use; advanced organisational tools; internet delivery via Podcast Producer, Facebook, Vimeo, and YouTube; Blu-ray disc format output; transparent media management; ground-breaking advancements in handling media via metadata; blazing speed Cons: Doesnt open previous FCP projects; no support for hardware monitoring until ealr 2012; XML support for sharing projects with non-Apple applications added in recent update, so support is limited; no DPX or OpenEXP le format support
Company: Apple, www.apple.com/uk Price: 179.99 (inc VAT)

With the release of Final Cut Pro X (FCP X), Apples adopted a radical new approach that will dramatically change the future of non-linear video editing (NLE). FCP X is not an upgrade of Final Cut Studio, but rather an entirely new application that shares the same name. Apple is shifting its agship video editors emphasis to tapeless, metadata-based shooting and production techniques that accommodate the industrys emerging data-centric workow. Most of the features introduced in FCP X are welcome and badly needed. Some are long overdue. Others are positively jarring and require a change in mindset to appreciate. The burning question is whether FCP X is really a professional NLE application, designed for industrial delivery of video assets, or merely a souped-up version of iMovie. Much of FCP X version 1.0 is staggeringly impressive. Theres no doubt that Apples under-the-hood engineering will make life very uid for some editors. On the other hand, this product at launch is nowhere near perfect, and is sure to defy expectations and disappoint many video pros who have spent the past year looking forward to a much-needed upgrade of Final Cut Studio. Despite many reservations about the new FCP X, after a thorough testing of the app, were cautiously on board. Heres why. The new interface borrows liberally from Final Cut Server and iMovie. Ingesting directly 26 from the camera into FCP X is as simple and straightforward as it is in iPhoto if you have an approved camera and the related device driver software installed. The Magnetic Timeline is a quantum leap in video interface design. You now have the ability to grab and move clips in and out of the timeline with ease moving one part of your timeline will not bump, nudge, overwrite, or completely mess up some other part of your project. This is a huge accomplishment. While not everything is handled perfectly, in our testing the program was prone to error only when syncing surround-sound projects. The error rate was not higher than if we handled the same les manually. It takes some time to get comfortable with the new interface, and we found the experience disorienting at rst. You cant open any existing project le. FCP X is not backward compatible with projects created in Final Cut Studio because of the underlying architecture changes. Dont expect to use all of your keyboard commands, either. The function key commands have been remapped. Some cameras that are popular with video pros might have minor issues. In our tests, the software didnt support importing media directly from Sonys EX1, so media transfer had to rst go through Sonys XDCam Transfer Tool, and then get imported as les. Likewise, ingest from Arris Alexa is limited, as metadata from that camera is handled as an FCP 7-compatible XML sidecar le. To handle scratch disk allocation, you no
Revolutionary Final Cut Pro X is a radical new approach that will change the future of non-linear video editing

Make a connection
The Clip Connections feature is more than just a simple visual indicator of what parts your project media is linked to while on the timeline. It offers a powerful yet simple, way to maintain the linking of video, audio, sound, effects, and even graphics and music, allowing all media to be treated as a single contiguous element. Clip Connections maintains content sync using just metadata, and it does so transparently. As an editor, its difcult to accept an NLE handling tasks without directing the action.

of which happens in the background. Theres a noticeable improvement in media handling and responsiveness after the transfer/ingest is complete. This is due to additional processing power being allocated back to application as soon as the Finder has completed its tasks. Final Cut Pro X never lagged, even as we pushed the machine to the limit, often while rendering high-resolution output as DPX frames and simultaneously transferring media to multiple external drives in addition to rendering les for playback on an iPad and prepping content to be edited on a MacBook Pro. This is genuine multitasking and it feels good. In post-production, the majority of an editors
Shop front The Mac App Store is easy to navigate and will be very familiar to iTunes Store shoppers, because its designed to look like the iTunes Store

time is devoted to media organisation and content labelling. With FCP X, labelling is based on content, user keywords, deciphering aws such as camera shake or bad audio, and

longer dene a location based on a system level setting; you now dene disk locations and move data directly when an Event is created, or from within the Event Library. Click on the sprocket/ gear icon at the bottom of the Event window and select the Group Events by Disk command. Then you can move or allocate media to any attached volume listed. Another change comes within the Clip Browser, where you now skim through your video les at speed. This skimming function is incredibly fast and functional, it also allows realtime preview of your lters and effects in both the viewer and as thumbnails. With a new feature called Auto ContentAnalysis, FCP X automatically analyses your media during import and archives critical

category. By handling all of this analytical information at ingest, FCP X tags the les with additional metadata in a way that speeds le processing, delivery and rendering capabilities, and accelerates workow. The power doesnt stop there. After ingest, the application automatically groups shots based on close-ups and wide shots. By adding your own keywords to the automatic ones that the program generates, you can also ag content based on client, location, time of day, B-roll or even script notes, letting you organise your media in an almost innite variety of ways. All this action is handled in the background because FCP X is a 64-bit program working with a 64-bit operating system.

automatically sorting it in the Event Library.

Delivery
Apple has focused on online electronic delivery functionality in this release of FCP X, and on embedding direct compression and upload support for video streams on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, CNNs iReport, other Apple devices, DVDs, and the muchanticipated support for Blu-ray. The H.264 acceleration is amazingly fast compared to previous Apple tools, creating a full-resolution 1080p23.98 le faster than real time. No longer does it take hours to compress for website delivery. Compressor 4 has been fully integrated into Final Cut Pro X, providing easily importable export workows for editors. However, output options are currently limited due to the lack of third-party hardware devices. Without hardware output, the broadcast industry requirements to deliver HDCamSR videotape with a dened order of multiple audio tracks is seriously constrained. Capture and playback of content for live events has similar problems, since Final Cut Pro has been a growing staple in many live broadcast trucks for a number of years.

Performance
Without exception, FCP X is the fastest NLE we have edited on without the assistance of dedicated hardware. That performance gain comes from the programs native 64-bit toolset and the operating systems Grand Central Dispatch, which harnesses power from the GPU processing as well as the multicore CPU. This 64-bit architecture lets FCP X access every byte of RAM, execute true multiprocessing across all CPU cores, and unlock GPU-based graphics processing. Because FCP X processing is scalable, its always using the maximum power available to your computer, be it a MacBook Pro or a Mac Pro. With that power, tasks like ingesting media become a minor background chore rather than a consuming process. You can immediately start editing in the foreground while the le is being transferred or transcoded for proxy creation, all

Our inability to use some of the most common editing commands to insert and move media squandered a good deal of our previous editing speed and expertise
information from the cameras metadata, such as colour balance, movement, and rolling shutter artefacts. It also adds tracking and stabilisation information and checks for the presence and number of human faces in each shot all on a clip-by-clip basis. This feature then populates and labels the Smart Collections in the Event Library, with your media agged indicating each

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FINAL CUT PRO REVIEW CONTINUED

productions rely on having video and audio recorded on separate devices, FCP X compares audio waveforms from both sources, then uses the Synchronize Clips command, linking either your stereo or surround sound audio with subpixel accuracy, then locks them together using Clip Connections into a single new le to ensure that audio and video are handled as one unit. Colour grading is another area where tools of the past are being replaced. Cameras today record colour settings as part of the data stream, something FCP X immediately detects and
Export now Compressor, available separately for 29.99, offers a wide range of delivery codecs, sizes, frame rates, and encoding parameters

can correct. The Balance Color setting means everything starts with proper white balance. Not surprisingly, the colour correction

You no longer have to sort through clip after clip searching for a particular night-time exterior shot just group clips by content, import date, scene, duration, or even le type. This allows you to focus on only the DSLR footage, for example. This organisational process is key to the operational speed gain of FCP X. The ability to dynamically modify multiple search parameters is much like having Google built into the program it gives you faster access to your media by searching with words rather than endless visual scanning. This organisational database is key to the new Clip Connections ability to maintain synchronisation of your original media, voiceover, graphics, music, and sound effects as a single element in the timeline. The concept is simple: group all of the elements together as one contiguous clip, give the user a visual reference to conrm what is attached, then lock the clip to maintain continuity and sync. With this sort of le synchronisation, tools

like the Magnetic Timeline gain true power to change the way you edit, making the process more creative and less mechanical. The elimination of a track-based timeline in FCP X is no longer an issue for the editor when the elemental pieces are locked together as a single group. Moving each element no longer risks a loss of media or a clip overwrite rippling down the edits in your timeline.

interface has changed dramatically. Gone is the node-based look of the previous tools. The new Color Board is simple and straightforward, allowing users to correct colour, exposure, and saturation. Unfortunately there is no numeric entry accompanying the slider bar, so you must use the Match Color feature to maintain colour consistency across multiple clips. Gone are Log and Capture over anything except FireWire; Bins; many of the native codecs used for editing in the timeline; tabbed browsing of projects; panels; and tools like DVD Studio Pro, Color, Soundtrack Pro, and Cinema Tools that were formerly part of the suite. With Final Cut Pro X, Apple is once again out to completely re-invent the video industry. This is a truly groundbreaking release, and we hope that the pro features that many video editors currently use will be made available soon. For the time being, those that need to work for a living will not be giving up their hardware-based version of Final Cut Pro 7 just yet.

Finishing: sound and colour


FCP X has incorporated some of the best features from Soundtrack Pro and Color to simplify audio editing and colour correction and give users a more streamlined way to nalise their projects. FCP X can pre-analyse audio aws in your media in the same manner that it determines camera shake and colour imbalance. It can automatically remove silent channels, hum, or excessive background noise, or you can use the inspector to ne-tune settings. Understanding that many DSLR-based

Final Cut Pro 10.0.1 update


Apple has released Final Cut Pro 10.0.1, offering many new features, including: XML support; the ability to create and edit Final Cut Pro projects and Events on XSAN; what Apple calls Media Stems Export - enabling one to export les based on tages, and a host of other enhancements. Furthermore, Multicam Editing and Broadcast Monitoring, have been promised from early 2012. While FCP X cant open the DPX or OpenEXR le types used for commercial production and visual effects in many Hollywood workows, FCP X does have the built-in libraries from Shake in place under the Share > Export Image Sequence function to output such les. How long will it be before were able to open those les, as well as other formats like Reds R3D, Sonys SR2, ARRIRAW, and the high-speed Phantom Cine les? You can now create and edit your Final Cut Pro X projects and Events on Xsan. Ideal for multi-user workows, you can import media 28 through Final Cut Pro X and place it directly on the SAN. Multiple users can access the same source media. There is also accelerated graphics card support; it now makes use of Mac OS X Lions full screen mode; and camera manufacturers can use the Camera Import SDK to write plug-ins for importing media from a wide range of cameras.

Your world in stats

2,000,000 - number

of Apple FCP users


In 2011 to date Americans spent an average of 5 and Europeans

an average of 3 hours watching television every day 40% - the growth in online-video ad spend from 2009 to 10 77% of tablet owners now use their laptop or desktop less

1 in 3 spend more time with their tablet than watching TV

13,700,000 number of Apple Macs sold in 2010


300 number of developers for FCP
172 million people watched 35 billion online videos in November 2010

Video trafc is 44% of internet bandwidth usage

1.2 billion videos are streamed

from YouTube every day


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