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Thread: Editing for skydivers

  1. #1

    Default Editing for skydivers

    Hey, I've been working for the past few months as an editor at a skydiving dropzone. I have been using my Mac Pro and Final Cut and it has been working very well until now.

    First let me share my typical workflow here; A load of tandems goes up with 4 or 5 videographers. The videographers each film; a beginning interview with the customer, footage in the plane and second interview, the skydive, landing, and a final interview. They all come back and give me their dv tapes and a CF cards at the same time. I capture the first tape and start copying and burning the stills. Each uncut video is 6 to 8 minutes long so I can usually copy and burn most of the stills while the first tape is being captured. I start editing the first video while simultaneously capturing the second tape via AVCVideoCap. Next, I start burning the first video in DVD Studio while editing the second in FCP and capturing the third with AVC, etc. Usually the first video is ready to give to the customer after 12-15 minutes and each additional one takes 6-7 minutes. It's also necessary to back up the video and stills for a least 6 months.

    The problem is that all skydiving videographers are now switching over the CX-100 which captures in AVCHD to flash media. This is really the only camera choice for skydiving because OIS and Hard Drive systems don't work well in freefall. This camera brings up a few problems with my current editing setup. First, FCP can only Log and Transfer if the entire AVCHD folder structure is intact, so in order to back up the footage I can't just copy the mts files I need, I have to copy the entire card. Some of the videographers wipe their card after each jump and some never delete a video. It's also impossible to store the converted footage since when converted to ProRes or AIC it takes about 1GB per minute of video. Secondly, despite the fact that converting the files to AIC via USB is faster than the realtime capture of DV tape, when it comes time to render the project and send to DVDStudio I lose any time advantage I gained since it takes 4-5 minutes to render.

    I think the way to go is to start using a Windows based system using Sony Vegas. I've been giving a budget of 1500 for the tower so I am looking into getting one built around the i7 920. I am a bit unfamiliar with Windows systems but from my understanding Sony Vegas can edit mts files natively (no conversion, and most importantly without having to keep the AVCHD file structure intact) as well as being able to have multiple, completely independent, copies of the program open at once. Since the most important thing in this industry is being able to edit multiple videos quickly and simultaneously, I would love to be able to finish my first video and let it start to render and then open a separate copy of Vegas and start to edit the second video. What kind of GPU should I be looking for? Is a single i7 920 good enough for HD? 6 or 12 gb ram? Is Vegas even the solution?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Have you been to dropzone.com forum? Douglas Spotted Eagle will give you all the info you need. He uses Vegas AND makes a lot of the vasst.com tutorials. A real Vegas and skydive film guru. (Book, dvds)

    I have a fairly good Quad core, 8mg ram, 3 drive set up and mts file don't preveiw or edit nicely.

    I go either cineform convertion or use the execelent and free plugin called proxystream Document sans nom

    Hope this helps

  3. #3

    Default

    I can't help you with all your issues but before you plunge for Vegas take a look at Canopus Edius 5. It's the best NLE I've used for mixed or difficult formats. I'm not sure about opening the program many times independently you would have to research that but I think it's definitely a worthy candidate for your workflow.

    For hardware advice there is a good PC hardware section in this forum.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Haywards Heath, West Sussex, UK
    Posts
    870

    Default

    I think the two system suggestion is a very good one. My new system now edits AVCHD very well but I doubt very much it would work running multiple instances. The two system method gives you the required extra capacity and of course resilience should the first system go down. Thats good lateral thinking and you may even be able to get two additional systems for your money

    I use Premier Elements 7 and that will not allow me to run more than one at a time so I can't even try what your thinking of doing.

  5. #5

    Default

    To actually capture one piece, edit another piece and do this while rendering another on the same Windows PC system is just wild. Keep that Mac it's brilliant.

    If people can't wait an extra 10 mins for there video, I think it's a bit of a sorry affair. You obviously deliver a superb service and should be given the extra time you need to deal with the AVCHD. As it's all being brought down to a Standard Definition DVD in the end I would set these parameters in the project properties to ease the editing process.

    Also the idea from Paulears about dealing out new cards seems a useful suggestion.

    Sorry if this isn't a particularly useful post. I just think the time restraint you've been put under is a bit much.

  6. #6

    Post SkyDive SonyVegas & VASST plug-in

    Hi,

    I'm setting up a similar system atm for a large skydiving centre here in Australia.
    Specs: 2x workstations:
    Win.7 (64bit) / i7cpu / 8gig Ram / + 3 DvD burners per station.

    We've incorporated Sony Vegas 9 (64bit) and the "Vasst -S" plug-in which helps a little with the skydiving editing process.

    Why use Vegas ... because it's reported to be the only editing package that allows you to have multiple instances open at once... eg. I have upto 20 open on the task bar at once. waiting for the skydivers to walk in and drop their chips on the table ready for uploading into Vegas.

    We have issues with burning 3+ DvDs at once with DvD Architect. Every few minutes it spits the dummy and a DvD just pops out spitting errors ... and we're left trying to burn a second time around... not cool when time is of the essence..

    Vasst Issues: Would be nice if the "Vasst S" Plug-in could retain information placed in both the Edit & DvD Assitant tabs.. eg. folder address and file names.... The issue is, if you save the veg file out after loading in the Vasst plug-in as explained.. andthen re-open the veg. file all information is lost... hence the need to open so many copies of Vegas on the Task bar ... come to the rescue VASST ... such a simple tweak to your plug-in would make a huge difference in the SKYDIVING world .

    We're tryin hard to pump out 20 DvDs (individual dvds) per hour .... this entails editing audio... fades.. and inserting text (and yup we're using templates)

    Another quick mention.. AVCHD .. forget it !! not if you want to pump out numerous DvDs in quick succession... stick with good old SD.
    The latest craze to hit the market are "Go-Pro "cameras.. and skydivers are lovin em...
    but if time is on your hands.. go for it... AVCHD away.



    hope this helps... happy Rendering
    Last edited by mechmick; 06-25-2010 at 01:52 PM. Reason: avchd issues

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by no66 View Post
    Have you been to dropzone.com forum? Douglas Spotted Eagle will give you all the info you need. He uses Vegas AND makes a lot of the vasst.com tutorials. A real Vegas and skydive film guru. (Book, dvds)
    You can see what we're doing at VASST in these YouTube video excerpts from our Tandem Videos Made Easy training DVD:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHu6iqUm4DE"]Clip 1 from Tandem Videos Made Easy[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8egT9o9JrGw"]Clip 2 from Tandem Videos Made Easy[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TI5nMVjGLbI"]Clip 3 from Tandem Videos Made Easy[/ame]

    We have a fully automated workflow using Vegas Pro Production Assistant and we're working on making this even easier in the future. If you have any questions, you can contact VASST from our web site or ask here.

    ~jr

    VASST Author / Trainer / Engineer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mechmick View Post
    Vasst Issues: Would be nice if the "Vasst S" Plug-in could retain information placed in both the Edit & DvD Assitant tabs.. eg. folder address and file names.... The issue is, if you save the veg file out after loading in the Vasst plug-in as explained.. andthen re-open the veg. file all information is lost... hence the need to open so many copies of Vegas on the Task bar ... come to the rescue VASST ... such a simple tweak to your plug-in would make a huge difference in the SKYDIVING world .
    Ultimate S Pro 4.1 will retain these settings if you check the box at the top that says Save changes. If this is not working for you, please contact VASST and we'll work with you on getting it fixed.

    ~jr

    VASST Author / Trainer / Engineer

  9. #9

    Thumbs up

    Ultimate challenge, Every Skydiver wants to be his stunts to be video recorded so that he can show this ti the whole world.

    Skydiving Wollongong

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