Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Reality TV post-production with FCPX DAY 01: reconfiguring the edit bay

So today was the first post-production day on "Das Experiment" produced by John Allen AG. The show will premiere May 7th on SRF.

This morning when I walked in, the edit bay I was given in order to edit the next season of Homerun newly entitled "Das Experiment", was a MacPro 4.1 2.26 Nehalem with a Deck Link Studio 2 card by Black Magic and that hooked up to a TV logic 19' broadcast monitor. This MacPro contains 4 internal HDD: 1 for the OS (Snow Leopard) and 3 for scratch. Right away I formatted the 3 scratch disks as follow:
1 as OS with Mountain Lion
1 as Scratch 1
1 as Scratch 2
I intentionally left the old Macintosh HD as is as there might be some producers wanting to edit using good old FCP7.

After installing Mountain Lion,  I downloaded and installed FCPX (pronounced ten and not x) from the app store. I also installed EventManagerX by Intelligent Assitance knowing I already have about 50 events that were created by the camera teams on a daily basis (we'll get to this later). Event Manager allows you to hide unwanted event in FCPX, it uncloggs your event browser, and for $4.99, it's quite a fantastic tool.

Next step, I launched FCPX knowing I still had to install a few plug-ins as well as drivers such as: Black Magic & Red Giant Magic Bullet Looks II.

As FCPX could not see the Deck Link Studio Card in my preferences (⌘,)

FCP X 10.0.8 Playback Preferences

I figured I had to install the driver from Black Magic, which is this guy:

Black Magic Desktop Video Driver

However, if you want to download it from the Black Magic Design Support page, you will need to provide your Deck Link Serial Number which is actually located on the Deck Link Studio card itself.  First turn off your MacPro, unplug it, open it, take the card out and RIGHT DOWN its serial number. (don't ask me why you have to write it down).

After the driver is installed, restart your machine, go to system preference and set up your Black Magic preferences. Make sure you match Black Magic output settings to your footage, if not FCPX wont output anything but a black screen.

Once this is done, launch FCPX, go to your preferences (⌘,) and under the playback tab A/V outupt drop down menu select your Black Magic card. Playback a clip from any of your event and FCPX should display your footage on your broadcast monitor. If your monitor remains black, which will probably be the case for most of us, do not swear out loud at either Apple of Black Magic. Instead go to the window menu and enable A/V output just like this:

FCPX 10.0.8 interface
Audio-wise, I do it all with the Black Magic Deck link card as well.

After a few hours (download and install Mountain Lion, FCPX, EventMangerX, Magic Bullet Looks II) I was finally able to start editing without a single crash.

Now, as all the media are on a FW800 drive (and backed up 3 times), my next step is to transform the existing Xraid

X raid by Apple Inc

In a rock solid SAN solutions by using sanMP and Xtarget by Studio Network Solutions.

SAN (Storage Area Network) volumes by Studio Network Solutions

Why? Because it will allow me to share my projects and events in real time with speeds of up to 108MB/s per workstation and that with 3 other team members:
1 producer, 1 writer/producer, 1 assistant editor.

In the next post (tomorrow) I will demonstrate why I have been asking all camera operators to off load their footage using FCPX and why I learned one of the P.A.'s (production assistant) how to create and assign keywords to the clips while on the set.

At last, the footage was shot using the following cameras:
GoPro x3, Contour Design x3, XDcam x3 and Sony NX x3. Each episode features a multicam as well as 3 different XDcam camera teams.

Joachim Levy
 Certifed Trainer FCP7 &FCPX
Editor, Workflow Expert & SAN integrator

1 comment:

  1. Hello Joachim
    I've posted a link to this blog at Creative COW FCPX discussion forum.

    I think the'll be interest in seeing how you workflow develops.