Ajit Sawant

Video Editor/Vfx Artist

About the Apple ProRes Codecs — July 24, 2015

About the Apple ProRes Codecs

Apple Prores CodecsThe Apple ProRes codecs provide an excellent solution for the most demanding modern post-production workflows. Many of today’s HD formats were developed under significant camcorder engineering constraints and therefore limit the full quality that can be carried in an HD signal. Other camera codecs preserve full quality but are too complex to achieve the software decoding speeds required for real-time editing. Uncompressed HD formats deliver the highest image quality, but the high-bandwidth, RAID-storage requirements of uncompressed HD video are daunting for most users’ budgets.
Apple ProRes codecs provide an unparalleled combination of multistream, real-time editing performance, impressive image quality, and reduced storage rates. Apple ProRes codecs take full advantage of multicore processing and feature fast, reduced-resolution decoding modes.
The Apple ProRes codecs were designed for great software flexibility and performance. No extra hardware is required for encoding or decoding. In particular, the Apple ProRes codecs have been designed to take advantage of multicore processors. The performance of Apple ProRes codecs scales—which means that the decoding time per frame goes down—as the number of processors increases. When the system spends less time decoding each frame, it has time for more real-time effects processing.
The Apple ProRes family of codecs provides these advantages:

  • Quality indistinguishable from that of the most pristine sources: Maintains superb quality even after multiple encoding/decoding generations.
  • Mastering-quality 4:4:4:4 RGBA: Provides a lossless alpha channel with real-time playback (Apple ProRes 4444 only). Mastering-quality 4:4:4 Y′CBCR color and 4:2:2 Y′CBCR color are also available.
  • The quality of uncompressed HD at data and storage rates lower than those of uncompressed SD: Provides real-time editing performance comparable to or better than that of any other HD codecs in Final Cut Pro.
  • Apple ProRes encoding at any frame size—SD, HD, 2K, 4K, or other: Apple ProRes codecs can also be encoded into nonstandard frame sizes, but nonstandard frame sizes are not supported for real-time playback in Final Cut Pro.
  • Variable bit rate (VBR) encoding: “Smart” encoding analyzes the image. Efficiency is increased because excess bits are not wasted on simple frames.
  • 10-bit sample depth: Preserves subtle gradients of 10-bit sources (sunsets, graphics, and the like) with no visible banding artifacts. When you import a file using an Apple ProRes codec, you don’t have to first determine whether the file is an 8-bit or 10-bit file. Apple ProRes codecs always preserve the bit depth of your original source files.
  • I-frame–only (intraframe) encoding: Ensures consistent quality in every frame, with no artifacts from complex motion, and speeds up editing.
  • Fast encoding and decoding: Delivers high-quality, real-time playback and faster rendering times.
  • Equipment affordability: Because of low bit rates, you can edit more streams with more real-time effects on slower drives, or have more users accessing the same media over shared storage devices.
  • Workflow options for any video format that does not have native Final Cut Pro support: The Apple ProRes format provides an effective workflow for projects involving multiple acquisition formats when you want to standardize on a single codec.
  • Better rendering for native editing: Can be used to render long-GOP MPEG-2 formats (such as HDV and XDCAM HD) to speed up editing and avoid MPEG-2 re-encoding artifacts before output.

(Source : Final Cut Pro – Apple Support)

Role Of Video Editor — April 29, 2015

Role Of Video Editor

Ajit_SawantAs an video editor, you shall be responsible for editing / assembling  recorded raw material into a finished product that’s suitable for broadcasting on television / internet or may be in theatre. This is a key role in the post-production process and your skills can determine the quality and delivery of the final product.  The given material may include rushes/camera footage, dialogue, sound effects, graphics and special effects. In some instances you may be given creative freedom, while in others you’ll be required to just operate the necessary machines.

An Video editor is a mechanic who removes the unneeded and fits pieces of film together to make a finished movie. He is a collaborator who works with cinematographers and sound editors to bring sight and sound together. And he is an artist who captures a director’s vision and tells a compelling story. Being an video editor requires hours of looking through footage and then assembling a film a half-second at a time.It’s highly likely that you’ll be employed on a freelance basis, working on short-term contracts for post-production studios, television companies and corporate employers.

Job description

  • Read the shooting script and discuss with director to understand his vision for the film.
  • Make visits to the locations during shooting to gain a sense of how the shooting is progressing.
  • Go through footage, once shooting is done, and select scenes based on their dramatic and entertainment value and contribution to story continuity. The editor is looking for the best combination of photography, performance, consistency and timing.
  • Trim the segments of footage to the lengths needed for the film and assemble them into the best sequence to tell the story.
  • Insert music, dialogue and sound effects, using editing equipment like Final Cut Pro, Avid Media, Adobe Premire Pro CC etc.
  • Review the edited film, make corrections and prepare it as a first cut, or rough cut, for the movie director and movie producers to view.
  • Make changes as requested by the director and producers, and prepare the final cut for release to the film house for production. The final cut may take an additional month to finish

[sources: State of California Occupational Guide and Learner]

About Offline and Online Editing — February 3, 2015

About Offline and Online Editing

The offline/online workflow allows you to use temporary, reduced-quality copies of your footage to edit with, and then finish your project with full-quality media. Reduced-quality media files require less hard disk space and less computing power to process transitions and effects. This means you can edit on an inexpensive computer or a portable computer and then finish at full quality on another system. Once the creative cutting is complete, the online editing phase (also referred to as the finishing phase) focuses on image quality, color correction, proper broadcast video levels, and so on.

The two phases—offline and online editing—are connected via an Edit Decision List (EDL), or other project interchange file, which is used to transfer all of your editing choices from the finished reduced-quality session to the final high-quality session.

Offline Editing

Editing with reduced-quality copies of your media files allows you to fit more media on your scratch disks and improve playback and real-time effects performance (especially when using slower hard disks, such as in portable computers). This phase can last from a few days to several years, depending on the scope of the project, the amount of footage, and so on.

Edit Decision List or Other Project Interchange File

When the edit is complete, you can export all of your edit decisions for use on another editing system. Older editing systems use a relatively simple text format called an EDL, while newer interchange formats, such as OMF, AAF, and the Final Cut Pro XML Interchange Format, describe many more details of your original sequence.

Online Editing

Online editing, now better known as finishing, starts with an offline project file or a project interchange file, which describes the media you need to reingest at full quality. Online editing actually has very little to do with editing in the traditional sense. Timing, storytelling, and fine-tuning your edits should be complete in the offline editing phase. Online editing focuses on image quality, color correction, maintaining broadcast video specifications, detailed effects work, titles, audio levels, and so on. Compared to the offline editing phase, an online edit session goes very quickly (anywhere from a day to a week), and generally requires more expensive equipment.

Important: It is critical that you maintain accurate timecode, reel names, and file metadata for keeping track of where footage is located in both tape-based and file-based media. Make sure you log clips and label tapes and other media carefully so that you can reingest footage at any quality at a later time.

Rendering jpeg files in Adobe Premiere Pro — July 11, 2014

Rendering jpeg files in Adobe Premiere Pro

If you are having problem’s with importing/Rendering with jpeg files in Adobe Premiere Pro, do following things
1) Check Color Space i.e. RGB? CMYK?
If they are CMYK then change them into RGB using photoshop or other program
2) Check its bit rate.8, 16 or 32
Re-save is as 8 bit if they are 16/32 bit.
3) convert the JPEGs into PSD files which Premier Pro should handle elegantly regardless of bit depth.
4) If image size are larger then reduce image size or dynamically link to AE (AE can handle these, but premiere does not.)