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Colbrin

Editing machine spec for Bmpcc raw

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Hi all

Just a quick one. I've recently made the move from canon to Bmpcc.

Last Saturday I captured some footage during photoshoot one of my friends was conduction.

Ok, I've got my workflow sorted but Holy Crap!!!!!! It's Slloooowwwwww

What' spec machines do you all use.

I was thinking about buying this but as I have no definite guide, I'm reluctant to go buy something that may also be slow.

Currently on an iMac, i5, 16gb ram, etc etc, run of the mill, nothing special. I'm happy to move to a PC, just need to know what to aim for to get an acceptable render speed and not financially ruin myself at the same time.

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=FS-007-OG&groupid=43&catid=2475

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

It depends. Let me share my thoughts in a same dilemma:

 

If you work 90% in ProRes, your iMac should suffice. Bottleneck here could be the disc speed (hence the BlackMagic Disc Speed Test app, you should use it). An SSD, though hypothetically able to run at 500-600 MB/s, is hampered by old SATA-controllers of your motherboard (I don't know about your Mac, check in system report) or by external connections. No USB 2.0. Best are PCIe or Thunderbolt. Raids. Assigning cards for read/write-only, not using the system drive for footage in the first place.

 

For FCP X, disc speeds set aside, more RAM and more graphic power make it faster, but it should run fast enough on your machine.

If you use Resolve (lite), then you best have two Nvidia cards, one 4 GB for computing (I know they say 2GB were enough, but I read otherwise), a slower one for GUI (lite can't use two cards in the way FCP X can, you'd had to upgrade to the full version, refer to the system requirements on the BM site, Resolve is touchy with cards and drivers, openGL does, for example, not include Radeon cards which are supported by Apple). Probably Resolve would be the reason to give up Apple, since the costs for upgrading an old machine (if possible at all) easily exceed those for a state-of-the-art PC. I can't tell if the Photon Envy would work, but 16 GB RAM max? ""Photon Envy" wears an intimidating look. Adorned with Green LED fans and lighting, your friends and foes alike will be certainly green with envy!" - or glare red with schadenfreude. This thing (film quiz) is so ugly, it must be a modern masterpiece.

 

The third option, at the same price point, would be a Hackintosh. The $4000 new MacPro can be assembled for ~ $1500, with even faster (but internal!) connections. That's my favourite plan. 

 

In the meantime, as others, I see raw as of little if any advantage over ProRes for most situations. More moire, more noise (noise can be avoided almost completely by ETTR, which requires enough light, as should be a matter of course for a cinema camera). The noise can be taken care of by Neat inside the NLE (after i.e. developing the raw with cliphouse), by ACR and for Resolve by the full version or by Neat's own OFX-plugin, suitable for Resolve lite (now also supports AMD graphics) - Resolve again meaning a new computer, especially with Neat, which is famous for slowing down performance, and it'd need to be the first node! The moire apparently is invited by utilizing the utmost lens' resolution and can be reduced or avoided by softer lenses or open apertures. You sacrifice sharpness for a moire-free image, old recipe in DSLR videography (you indeed increase resolution then, because the moire decreases it). This brings the sharpness down to the level of ProRes ...

 

Keep in mind, the new Amira in it's basic version ($ 30.000) has only ProRes (not HQ), and only in Video-LOG (rec709). Why make everything in raw? If it's good enough for Arri, it's good enough for me ;-) (of course not, how can one compare a meager broadcast camcorder with a cinema camera!)

 

The first thing I thought after I saw the first clips from my new Pocket was that I'd never do anything else with it but raw. To grade the film-LOG ProRes so that it looks even as good as GH2 or G6 video isn't easy. And the raw clips seemed to be so much better at once (shaky camera and bad focus ignored - the colors, the nuances!). But the more test shots you make and compare and the better you get at extracting all beauty of the flat ProRes, this view changes. There are situations for raw, but they are rare. 

 

You want to make only some beauty shots with raw? You can, you just need to invest some time and round about $50 (for cliphouse), if you have no AAE already (which reportedly has the better debayering method compared to Resolve). 

 

What about grading ProRes with the hobbyist tools inside 'iMovie Pro'? Actually, if you take a more scientific approach than just applying looks (I tested and detest Filmconvert), you can build a similar pipeline as in Color ('rooms') or Resolve ('nodes'). Tracking vignettes? You could add the Mocha tracker within SliceX. Comparing and conforming shots in the timeline? Easiest thing: Connect a still from one typical graded shot, shove it over the other shots and crop it accordingly to make a splitscreen. Imho FCP X can be used better for grading than the NLE Premiere, because color is not an 'effect' that has to be loaded, it's an attribute of every clip that exists in the (if you choose so) ever-open info-window.

 

Seriously, I believe Resolve is the best software for grading, but it also is the most expensive, at least for us. I follow the advice of a friend: Either soldier on with your slow and outmoded system (MacPro 4.1 Quad Nehalem, 16GB RAM, GT 120) for now or buy/build a new one with the best specs affordable. But don't invest in any hardware to make your old system faster! Sounds reasonable.

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Thanks for the rely, its very much appreciated but still leaves me with no real answer. As your last line says

buy/build a new one with the best specs affordable '  This is what i want to do, but am unsure if it will run as fast as i would like.  

 

Ideally i need to know what people are running and build to the same or similar spec, rather than just buying what technically looks fine, but be caught out and end up with a machine that runs no faster than what i already have.

 

Does this make sense?

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Do you plan to use Resolve? I think it's a nightmare. I'd never build a machine in an attempt to stay compatible with Resolve. There must be other softwares out there that are more friendly. 

 

If you plan to use Resolve, that should dictate what Card to use. That's a starting point. 

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Do you plan to use Resolve? I think it's a nightmare. I'd never build a machine in an attempt to stay compatible with Resolve. There must be other softwares out there that are more friendly. 

 

If you plan to use Resolve, that should dictate what Card to use. That's a starting point. 

 

When working with raw, Resolve is not the issue. It's just a ton of data, and no program is going to do it well on an underspeced machine.

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More 'evidence' to consider. I do not particularly like the motifs of Tom ("ETTR") Majerski from blackmagicdesign.com (my test shots aren't better though), but I came to a similar conclusion:

 

 

As this test with the BMCC (more or less same sensor) implies

 

... raw has a little more DR compared to ProRes, but the result is misleading. This is only valid for extreme ETTR, when the noise floor is avoided. So definitely not in low light, where raw looks very noisy.

 

How about being able to set white balance in post? No issue at all, if you roughly stay in the right ballpark with ProRes. Only with very difficult light conditions such as mixed color temperatures do you gain anything with raw, imho.

 

Then why the heck are there so many ugly, washed-out ProRes-clips on the net?

 

Because people don't know how to grade.

The shots may be somewhat oversaturated, I was searching for an extreme example of exorcising the flat look.

 

And in this example, pre-grading in Resolve makes no sense at all. Keep in mind, the guy had to render everything to get the stuff back to FCP X, he renders twice. FCP X doesn't appear to be exact enough for it's 0-100% levels in CC, but it actually computes in 32-bit floating point accuracy. Also you can't grade in one step, you have to add and stack corrections - like, er, nodes. Experts say, it's unusable, because other than for vignettes, corrections can't be keyframed. You pan from the window into the room, everything changes in one shot, needs to be keyframed. Though I admit, no keyframes for color are a no-go and this definitely should be changed in future updates, I find myself dividing the clip in two with the blade and adjusting the start and end of a cross dissolve instead. Does it take more time? On the contrary. Is it less accurate? Let me think about it. Hmm, why should it?

 

These are just thoughts on postponing the need to spent a fortune for a new machine, not a rant against Resolve or raw.

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When working with raw, Resolve is not the issue. It's just a ton of data, and no program is going to do it well on an underspeced machine.

Resolve doesn't work on a lot of machines. That's my point. You can have a 50 core nano chip CPU require liquid nitro to keep it cool but if resolve doesn't like it, you got nothing. 

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You make it sound like Resolve is arbitrary.  It's not.  You have to have an appropriate GPU.  It's not a hard spec to meet if you're not using a laptop or certain Macs that don't give you the option of choosing your GPU.

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You make it sound like Resolve is arbitrary.  It's not.  You have to have an appropriate GPU.  It's not a hard spec to meet if you're not using a laptop or certain Macs that don't give you the option of choosing your GPU.

IMO it's arbitrary. Many users feel similarly judging by various web forums/gripes.

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They sound like they're working over their head then.  That's the downside to democratized tools.  

Probably. The software must be the gold standard for grading, and is commonly used in high end multi bay facilities with assigned parking spaces. But Black Magic is now selling a 999 camera, so there's a disconnect. The princes and paupers are suddenly in bed together.

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