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Hack 13. Digitize Lots of Footage Quickly

Hack 13. Digitize Lots of Footage Quickly

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1.14.2.DigitizingYourFootage

Onaverage,thetimeittakestodigitizeyourfootageis1.25to1.50timeslonger

thanthelengthoffootageyouhaveacquired.Forexample,onehouroffootage

takesuptooneandahalfhourstodigitize.Thisaveragetakesintoaccountthe

physicalactofloadingatape,rewindingitifnecessary,organizingbins,dealing

withtimecodebreaks,andsoon.

1.14.2.1.Determiningthenumberofsystemsneeded.

Ifyouhave100hoursoffootage,youcansafelyassumeitwilltake125to150

hourstodigitize.Therefore,ifyouhaveonlytwodaysbeforeyouarescheduled

toedit,youcangatherthreesystemsandmorethanlikelybedoneintime.The

mathbreaksdownlikethis:

3(systems)x48(hours)=144availabledigitizinghours

Ofcourse,toutilizeeveryhourintheday,you'lleitherneedalotofcaffeineor

someonetoworkacoupleofgraveyardshifts.

1.14.2.2.Determiningtheamountofstoragerequired.

Whendigitizingyourfootage,youneedtomakesurethatyouhaveenoughdrive

spaceavailable.Ifyouhave100hoursoffootageandthreeavailablesystems,

youwillneedatleast34hoursofavailablespacepersystem.Consideringthat

onehourofDVfootagetakesapproximately13GBofspace,youwillneed

about450GBofstoragepersystem.Themathbreaksdownlikethis:

100(hours)÷3(systems)=33.33hourspersystem

33.33(hours)x13(GB)=433.29GBpersystem

Planonbeingabletomovethedrivesyouusetodigitizetoyoureditingsystem,

ortohaveanequivalentamountofstorageavailableonyoureditingsystem.



Ifyoudon'thaveenoughdrivespace,youmightbeabletocapture



yourfootageusingcompression,suchastheOfflineRTsettinginFinal

CutProorthe10:1settingonAvid.



1.14.2.3.Runningafinalcheck.

Afteryouhaveconfiguredyoursystemsandcheckedthatyouhaveenoughdrive

space,runafinalchecktoensureyourfootagewillallbedigitizedasexpected.

Basically,makesureeachsystemissettodigitizethefootagewithidentical

settings.Forexample,eachsystemshouldbesettodigitizeNTSCDVfootageat

29.97framespersecondand48kHztwo-channelaudio.Ifyoursystemshave

differentsettings,yourfootagewillmorethanlikelybeincompatiblewitheach

other.

Afterrunningyourfinalchecks,startdigitizing.



1.14.3.ConsolidatingYourFootage

Afteryouhavecapturedallofyourfootage,youneedtoconsolidateittoyour

editingsystem.Thereareafewstepsinvolvedtoaccomplishthis,someofwhich

dependonhowyourdrivesaresetup.Inanutshell,youneedtomovethe

footagefromyourdigitizingsystemstoyoureditingsystemandimportthe

referencestoyourdigitizedfootageintoyourproject.

1.14.3.1.Movingyourfootage.

Dependingonhowyousetuptodigitizeyourfootage,youhavetodooneof

twothingstomoveyourfootage.Ifyouhaveelectedtodigitizeyourfootageto

differentlynameddrives,yousimplyneedtodetachthedrivesfromtheir

respectivesystemsandattachthemtoyoureditingsystem.Ifyouhavedigitized

toidenticallynameddrives,youhaveacouplestepstofollow.

First,youneedtocopythefootagefromyourdigitizesystemstoyourediting



system.Youcandothisbysettingupanetworkconnectionbetweenthe

machinesandcopyingthefootage,orbyusingalargeportabledriveand

copyingthefootagefromthedigitizesystemstotheportabledrive.Eitherway,

youshouldinitiallynamethedriveyouarecopyingtosomethingdifferentthan

thedriveyouarecopyingfrom.Onlyafteryouhavecopiedallofyourfootage

shouldyourenamethedrivetoitsoriginallyintendedname.Forexample,if

yourdigitizedrivesarenamedAVD,thennamethedriveyouaretransferringto

XFER.Onceallthemediaistransferred,renametheXFERdrivetoAVD.

1.14.3.2.Linkingyourfootage

Afterallofyourfootagehasbeenmovedfromyourdigitizesystemstoyour

editingsystem,youneedtobeabletoaccessit.Becausethefootagewas

capturedonyourdigitizingsystems,youshouldgobacktothemandobtainthe

necessaryinformation.Again,youhavetwooptions:

Copytheprojectsfromyourdigitizingsystemstoyoureditingsystem.

Exportadigitizelistfromeachdigitizingsystemandimportittoyour

editingsystem.

Thepreferredandeasiestmethodistocopytheprojects.Youneedtoopenthe

digitizeprojectsonyoureditingsystemandcopythebinsfromyourdigitizing

projectstoyoureditingproject.Whenyouhavefinishedcopyingthebins,you

shouldcloseyourdigitizeprojectsandkeepyoureditingprojectopen.When

usingthissolution,yourmediashouldautomaticallylink.

Ifyouchoosetoexportdigitizelists,youneedtoimportthelistsintoyour

editingprojectandrelinkyourmedia.

Exportadigitizelist:



Avid

File



Export



AvidLogExchange



FinalCut

File



Export



BatchList



Premiere

Project



ExportBatchList…



Importadigitizelist:



Avid

File



Import



FinalCut

File



ImportBatchListat29.97fps…



Premiere

Project



ImportBatchList…



Relinkmedia(youmightneedtoselecttheclipsthatareoffline):



Avid

Avid



Bin



Relink



FinalCut

File



ReconnectMedia



Premiere

Project



LinkMedia



Aftermoving,importing,andlinkingyourfootage,youwillbeabletostart

editingyourprojectsoonerthanifyouhadpursueddigitizingwithonlyone

system.Whenyou'reagainstasubmissiondeadlineforafilmfestival,editing

timeisapreciouscommodity.Attimeslikethose,afewsystemstohelpyou

starteditingsoonercanbepriceless.



1.14.4.HackingtheHack

Ifyouhaveasetoftapelogs[Hack#5],youcanimportthemintoyourdigitizing

systems.Thebestapproachistobreakupthelogsbyimportingsetsoftapesinto

eachsystem.Thisapproacheffectivelybreaksupyourdigitizingtaskinto

manageablepiecesandkeepsyouorganized(andlessconfused)duringwhatis

usuallyahectictime.

Peoplewhoareluckyenoughtohaveashareddiskamongtheirsystemscanstill

usepartofthisapproachtotransferinformationfromonesystemtoanother.

Sincedigitizinginformationisn'tsharedbetweensystemsautomatically,you

musteitheropenoneprojectinanotherorcopythebinsbetweenthetwo.



Hack14.BuildYourOwnBlueScreen



Youcanbuildalargeinthiscase,24'x8'removable,disposablebluescreen

forunder$30.

Asachildinthelate70s,Iwasfirstintroducedtotheconceptofusingablue

screeninfilmandvideowhilewatchingTheMakingofStarWars.The

compositingtechniqueoffilmingactionagainstasolidbluebackground,which

couldbereplacedbyanyenvironmentorotheractionfilmedlater,opensendless

possibilitiestothefilmmaker.Today,off-the-shelfsoftwareprovidesconsumers

withtheabilitytoputthistechniquetouseinamateurfilms.



1.15.1.UnderstandingYourNeeds

Professional-gradecompositingmaterialcanbecostly,butalmostanysolidcolor

materialcanserveasasmallbluescreen.Onepopularsolutionistouse

fluorescentgreenorblueposterboardtocreatesmallbackdropssuitablefor

close-ups,butwhataboutlargerscenes?

Buildingyourownbluescreenisactuallyeasy,andthewholeprojectcanbe

completedwithinacouplehours.Thefinishedscreenconstructedinthishackis

about24feetwide(includingthewraparoundtoasecondwall)by8feethigh.

Beingmadeofcheap,commonmaterials,thescreenisalsodisposable.

Thematerialsarelightweight,makingitpossibletobuildaportableversionif

needed.Infact,IproducedamartialartsinstructionalDVDthatactually

employedaportable,greenscreenversionofthissetup.

Istronglyrecommendattemptingtoshootafewshotsagainstasmallpieceof

materialandtestinghowwellyoucancompositewithitusingyourlights[Hack

#22],camera,andsoftware[Hack#70]beforespendingthetimeandenergyto

buildalargescreen.Onceyou'reconfidentthatitwillwork,goaskyourparent

orspouseforpermissiontocoveroneortwowallswiththestuff.Mostofall,



havefun!



1.15.2.GatheringtheMaterials

Inordertoconstructyourbluescreen,you'llobviouslyneedasetofmaterials.

Thiswillrequirearuntoyourlocalstripmalltopickupthefollowingsupplies:

Oneblueplastictableclothroll,around100'x40"(partysupplystore;$13)

Nine1'x3'pinefurringstrips(homeimprovementstore;$10)

Onehardware-stylestapler(thekindusedforstaplinginsulation)with

staples(homeimprovementstore;$20)

Onesaw(homeimprovementstore;$20)

Onelevel(homeimprovementstore;$3$10)

Optionalformountingonbasementwalls:onecanofLiquid-Nails(home

improvementstore;$4)

Youshouldmakesureyougetaparentorspouse-approvedroomfortheproject.

Myspouse-approvedroomwasanunusedstorageroominthebasement.This

wasgoodforme,becauseitalsohappenstobethelargestroominthehouse!

Figure1-21showsmeassessingtheconcretewall.

Thestripsusedtomountthebluescreenareremovable,buttheLiquid-Nailswill

leaveamarkon(orstripthesurfaceof)concrete.Ifyouscrewthestripsinto

drywall,thescrewswillleaveholesandthestripsarelikelytoleaveacrease.If

you'remountingonconcrete,you'llneedtochooseyourpoison.



1.15.3.MountingthePineStrips

Theblueplasticisthinenoughtoseethroughifitliesagainstthewall,soyou

mightwanttousethestripsevenifyou'remountingonplaindrywall.Icouldn't

reallymounttheplasticagainstthebrickwall;plus,thewallwouldshow



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Hack 13. Digitize Lots of Footage Quickly

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