When does production become post?

When does production become post?

The increasingly common combination of high shoot ratios and tight deadlines puts pressure on facilities to increase efficiencies across production and post. In an effort to reduce turnaround times and cut down the amount of time spent on non-billable activities, production and post teams are now working together from far earlier into the production schedule, with post houses sending staff to set to ensure footage is logged as soon after the shoot as possible, and DITs performing post-critical functions.

Manufacturers are keen to facilitate this collaboration – AJA seem to have kicked off the scramble to unite the two when they released the first Ki Pro back in 2009, and noone seems to have paused for breath since. But there are dozens of factors to consider when planning your workflow, from whether you’ll be handling HDR footage, to IP integration, to the impact of the incoming 5G connectivity standard. With that in mind, we’re taking a look at a few different points of contact, and how you can make sure your workflow there is mutually beneficial for production and post.

Shooting and monitoring

Accurate metadata can speed up post-production immensely, by making it far easier for artists to match the original scene conditions when compositing, compensate for issues with specific cameras or lenses when correcting footage, and more.

Zeiss are currently setting the standard for incredibly detailed metadata with the new eXtended Data lens, the CP.3 XD. As well as giving your DoP precision, quality and all the other benefits of working with Zeiss glass, XD lenses create a huge amount of metadata about each shot, containing details not just of features like focal length and exposure, but details about the lens itself. In post, tweaking this metadata becomes a quicker, easier way to compensate for lens shading, or to correct for the different distortions of individual lenses used in production. When compositing, the metadata drastically cuts down the amount of trial and error (and therefore time) needed for artists to match on-set lighting conditions. This ultimately drives down the time and money needed for post, and so could even help buy you more time on set.

Monitor and recorder manufacturers Atomos have attempted to bring a similar spirit of cooperation to monitoring with their newly announced SUMO 19 HDR production/grading monitor, which can record dailies, proxies or 4Kp60 masters as needed.  This means camera crews can see what they’ve captured in HDR, as it will appear to post teams, and be sure they’re happy with the shot as it appears, rather than having to guess based off a Rec.709 image. The recording feature also means that dailies (or a low res proxy, if you have limited bandwidth/storage) can be send to a post facility immediately, and assembly can begin far earlier than usual.

Solutions like this are making it easier for production and post crews to maintain a common vision of the project throughout, and reduce the time taken to create the final product without limiting either party’s options in that way that, say, Sony baking HLG into footage from some of its lower-end cameras does.

Logging and metadata

Loggers and ingest technicians are increasingly venturing out to log footage as close to set as possible. While data and asset management has been an intrinsic part of post for a long time, it’s now widely acknowledged that by focusing more on this on set, crews can increase the overall efficiency of the project, and drastically reduce the time needed to put everything together in post.

Asset management systems like axle Video are excellent – axle is particularly good if you’re new to this, as you can just point it at your file system and it will automatically index all media files, then update its database automatically in realtime as you add new footage. You can then share low res proxies through a web browser so that people can reject, trim and comment on clips; it’ll even integrate with NLEs so that editors can search new footage without leaving their editing application. It ships with a standard metadata schema, but you can customise this to the requirements of your shoot.

Avid’s MediaCentral | Asset Management option (formerly Avid Interplay MAM) performs a similar function, indexing media in a range of formats and allowing you to add custom metadata in order to make it easier to find. It even allows you to remotely access assets from multiple locations, so if crews at different locations both log footage, all of it will be available for review at the same time. Avid’s MediaCentral system also allows for a high degree of automation when it comes to things like ingest, logging, archiving and sharing footage, meaning you can achieve more in less time, and with a smaller team.

Cloud delivery

Once footage has been logged, it can be sent back to the post facility, or to a staging post if you’re in a remote location. As the available networks have become faster, cloud delivery has gained popularity, whether that’s ENG crews using in-camera FTP capabilities to send footage back to the newsroom, or crews on location leveraging file sharing services to deliver footage to post as quickly as possible. And with 5G set to make 100Mbps over the air file sharing a reality over the next few years, this option is only set to get more popular.

If you’re collecting or monitoring footage from drones, car-mounted cams and other inaccessible recorders, Soliton’s on-camera encoders and receivers are a great investment – they use a mixture of H.265 compression and proprietary RASCOW technology to ensure you see an HD live stream of your footage even in areas where 3G and 4G coverage is patchy, with delays as low as 240 ms.

For reliable file transfer, we’d recommend IBM’s Aspera service. While it’s pricier than WeTransfer, it uses end to end encryption to to keep your footage secure and, unlike consumer services, doesn’t get slower the larger your files are. Another feature we’re particularly keen on is that it calculates the precise time a transfer will take on your current connection before it begins, so if it says a transfer will take seven hours, you can ring ahead and let your colleagues know when to expect the file with a fairly high degree of certainty.

How does this all fit together?

We can help you develop workflows to maximise efficiency in production and post, and advise on ways to prepare your existing infrastructure for the future, or fold new releases into your existing workflow. As well as providing consultancy, workflow design and specialist hardware, we can provide ongoing support and maintenance for your core kit. To find out more, get in touch with the team on the details below.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Meet Sony’s new A team: PVM-A170 and PVM-A250

Meet Sony’s new A team: PVM-A170 and PVM-A250

 

It’s official – Sony have replaced their PVM-2541A and PVM-1741A monitors with the new PVM-A170 and PVM-A250. 

As well as being easier to spell, the A170 and A250 are 40% thinner and lighter than previous generations of PVM monitor, and boast the industry’s best viewing angle – a whopping 89 degrees.
The Sony PVM-A170

Sony's PVM-A170

The smaller of the two monitors, the 17″ PVM-A170 weighs just 4.2 kilos and is far slimmer than its predecessor, so while we don’t recommend that you carry it about, you could do if you needed to. Sony have been quick to point out that their new slimline design is perfect for on-set setups where space is at a premium, or for large ‘monitor wall’ configurations. If you’re worried about carrying it round, you can buy a protection kit that includes AR-coated protection glass and corner bumpers.

It’s got two 3G-SDI I/O ports, one HDMI port and a composite connection, and waveforms, vector scopes and audio level metres are all present and correct – you can even zoom from 0 to 20 IRE – all which supports Sony’s point that this is ideal for on-set monitoring. There are plenty of other useful features too, with colour edges to help camera focus operation, time code display, safety area markers, serial and parallel remote and an eight channel level meter display.

Sony's PVM-A170
The Sony PVM-A250

Sony's PVM-A250

The larger of the two monitors, the Sony PVM-A250 still manages to be 40% lighter and slimmer than its predecessor, weighing in at just 6.1 kilos. As with its counterpart, there is the option to add AR toughened glass and corner protection to keep your PVM-A250 in one piece. Those charming feet you see in the picture fold if you want to mount your PAM-V250, and there’s also a handle if you want to move it between locations, or use it for some impromptu weightlifting.

The PVM-A250 boasts all the scopes, waveform monitors, focus features and meters that the smaller model does, and continues to use Sony’s OLED and TrimasterEL technology to deliver high colour accuracy and consistency at a far lower price point than its competitors. There’s support for multiple input formats, including 480i, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p at frame rates between 23.98 and 60 fps.

Want to know more about Sony’s new PVM-A range? Give us a call on 03332 400 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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