5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 28, 2007 7:54 AM by Steven L. Gotz

    Is the Hardware and Software enough/good for my needs

    Level 1
      I've been reading these forums and a few others and am concerned about somethings and hope some of you can help with these concerns:

      Some background and info:

      1. I've ordered a Dell XPS 720 H2C which as a Intel Core2 Extreme processor QX6700 (3.46GHz,,Overclocked) w/Quad Core Technology and 8MBcache, 4 GB RAM, Dual 768MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTX, 1.5TB RAID 0 HDD and a secondary 500GB SATA 3GB/s (No option for a RAID 0 secondary HDD, Windows VISTA ultimate OS.

      2. Will be buying/upgarding the Production Premium CS3 package. (currently only use PhotoShop CS3 and Flash CS3).

      3. I have a Canon XH A1 prosumer video camera (I'm an amature photographer/videographer not a professional. Software is my forte).

      My questions at this moment are to do with hardware software capabilties and workflow.

      My first project (of many I hope) is a make some corporate videos in HDV format for online marketing purposes (kind of like the videos Adobe have for CS3 - http://www.adobe.com/creativelicense/) and possibly to produce DVDs of the same.

      My first question is; Given the hardware and software, will I be able to do what I need? I really hope I don't have to go buy any more hardware. I don't mind having to do one or two more steps. to achieve the end goal (initially).

      Starting with the mode to shoot in (for the purpose stated above), what is my workflow going to be?
      i. What is the best mode to shoot in? (24f, 30f, 60i)
      ii. How do I get the video from the MiniDV tape onto my HDD and then into Premier Pro.
      iii. I need to be able to compisite multiple HDV clips to produce the final cut. Is the hardware and software good for this? On a scale of 1 to 10, what can I expect in terms of productivity.

      I've heard elsewhere that Premier Pro just don't produce true HD quality results. Is this earlier versions.

      What format/compression and dimension is the best for online viewing (I want to retain the HD quaility as far as possible.)

      Thank you all for listening and hope to hear your opinions.

        • 1. Re: Is the Hardware and Software enough/good for my needs
          Steven L. Gotz Level 5
          That hardware will be sufficient. I would put a third drive in. Use the secondary drive for Windows and programs, the RAID0 for captured material only, and a third drive should be added for your projects and scratch files.

          If you have your Windows on the RAID0, you won't get the benefit out of it that you want.

          The canon connects to the PC via a firewire connection. If I were you, I would experiment with 30f and 60i to see what looks better to you. You will probably end up deinterlacing so figure out if Premiere Pro (or After Effects) does a better job, ot the camera does a better job.

          Multiple clips composited is not problem with clips on a RAID0.

          You should concentrate on putting Flash movies out for online viewing.

          I use Cineform Aspect HD to capture and provide realtime effects in Premiere Pro CS3. You will want to try to edit native HDV first, and then download a free 15 day trial of Cineform Aspect HD and see if you like that workflow better. Aspect HD isn't cheap, but it makes editing a lot easier.
          • 2. Re: Is the Hardware and Software enough/good for my needs
            Level 1

            Thank you for your quick reply and information there in. The video is very nice too. Great angles and composition.

            So I guess, I'm going to have swap my drive and re-install my OS when the machine arrives.

            I'm not going to be able to capture directly to my desktop (due to poratability reasons). So is there I way in Premire CS3 to uncompress the HDV from the camera and store it in my HDD in uncompressed format? I don't mind having to do this extra step each time if the post production experience is going to be better.

            I've heard a lot about Aspect HD from you and others here as well as other forums. I'm not very video savvy yet and don't understand a lot of the vocabulary used :). I've been to their website and don't get what their products are supposed to give me either (I guess their audience understands exactly what they are saying).

            What I do get is it decompresses the MPEG 2 to saves it to yout HDD for editing purposes. However, I would have thought the Premier Pro CS3 would have that capability as part of the product, no?

            I'd also like to use footage that is not HDV as well as photos/images (composits) but still retain the final cut to be HDV quality. Is this possible and if so, what does it do to the editing experience/performance?

            Will I be able to output the final cut back to my camera's Mini DV tape (without having to buy Aspect HD)?
            • 3. Re: Is the Hardware and Software enough/good for my needs
              Steven L. Gotz Level 5

              The problem is that once the HDV is stored to the tape it is already compressed. To completely uncompress it is possible, but remember that the quality will not improve any. Cineform uncompresses it to a point, in that each frame has all of the information, unlike MPEG video. But what you have on the tape is as good as it will ever get.

              Cineform allows you to edit easier, and provides realtime effects. It is up to ou to figure out just how great your system is without it. You may be happy without it. I am not.

              Native HDV is Premiere Pro doesn't decompress it at all. So the PC has to keep track of 15 frames instead of one at a time.

              Compositions from After Effects and similar programs can be used in HDV projects, both Cineform and Native. And in both cases you can save back to tape. Although I never do since I have a DVD player that plays M2T files and WMV-HD files.
              • 4. Re: Is the Hardware and Software enough/good for my needs
                Level 1

                Thank you onace again for your reply. I appreciate it tremendously.

                Yes, I understand the one can't improve what's there. I just thought that if decompressed HDV was easier to handle for editing purposes then I wouldn't mind decomppressing once to speed things up during post production.

                From what you're saying, it looks like Premiere Pro can handle the regular MPEG 2 that HDV uses, however, the PC will need to have a decent amount of processing power, memory and HDD I/O to get the live feedback one normally likes to see during the editing process, correct? If so, then I'll have to wait and see (since I haven't got my PC work station yet).

                When you say, DVD player...
                1. Is this one that is in the PC/Mac or a stand alone DVD player.
                2. How many hours/minutes of HDV can you record on DVD?

                Looking at the backup angle of things:
                1. I figure all the raw footage can remain on tape.
                2. One would have to backup the various projects and source files/footage etc. as well.

                Seeing that 1 hour of HDV (1080i) results in about 10GB I was wondering what strategy others are following to backup all of this stuff.
                • 5. Re: Is the Hardware and Software enough/good for my needs
                  Steven L. Gotz Level 5
                  My DVD player is no longer available, but JVC licensed a version that works OK. It is a standalone DVD player that plays all standard definition DVDs, but it also plays DVD-ROM with M2T or WMV-HD files on it. No fancy menus, but it plays the video.


                  You can put 20 minutes of M2T or an hour or more of WM9.

                  As far as backup, I save off the M2T files so I don't have to recapture. I have more money than time. But the original tape should be sufficient. Projects get saved to an external drive every evening. Disks are cheap and getting cheaper.I use expensive tape, so disks are now cheaper than tape.