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Old 3rd May 2021, 22:16   #1  |  Link
PCU
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Pro video editors

What video editors are used in Hollywood companies?
Media Composer, Final Cut...?
And what programs are used to encode them to BD, DVD, online?

Last edited by PCU; 18th June 2021 at 15:25.
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Old 4th May 2021, 19:29   #2  |  Link
Blue_MiSfit
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Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere, and DaVinci Resolve are generally the standards today. Final Cut Pro has almost zero professional traction - everyone liked the old version but hated the redesign

Thankfully Premiere and Resolve have gotten a lot better. Big productions almost always use Avid just because of the deep experience most editors have with it, and its powerful multi-user functionality. It's crusty, but gets the job done! Premiere has become the jack of all trades, and Resolve bridges the gap between online / color and general purpose editing. It's free too, as long as you don't need output in higher than HD. Even then the Studio version is cheap.


For encoding, a lot of shops will use Adobe Media Encoder or the built in Export module in Resolve to make deliverables and proxies. Serious encoding for streaming is done by cloud systems (AWS MediaConvert, Zencoder, Encoding.com, Bitmovin, proprietary in-house apps etc). A lot of the older on-prem workflow systems like Digital Rapids and Carbon Coder have been deprecated as companies move to the cloud but Telestream Vantage is a major stalwart still.

Not sure about BD / DVD. Those markets still exist but are less sparkly than they used to be
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Old 6th May 2021, 06:58   #3  |  Link
FranceBB
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Yep. I agree.
The main reason why AVID is so widespread is actually not due to the Media Composer but for the fact that it allows you to have a whole environment to work with.
You see, when you enter the AVID world you can have:

- AVID Nexis (old ISIS) Workspace Management Client
It's basically a complete RAID6 solution for disks with permission management, speed control over users, delayed write options on congestion etc.

- AVID Interplay Access
It's essentially a client that allows you to access a Database. Essentially clips are "checked in" the system and they're stored inside folders with a code called "mob ID" in which there's a folder with both video, audio and metadata as separate tracks. By using Interplay Access you have a layer of abstraction in which you can rename files (without actually renaming them as you're renaming the alias but not the mob id), virtually move them across folders etc and everyone can access the database and load the clip in their local AVID Media Composer instance and the changes they make to a sequence can be shared with the whole company; they can even write comments on the clip etc. Oh and you can also send clips to your LTO6 (or whatever you have) storage solution for Long Term Archive with just a right mouse click.

- AVID Media Central
In a world of home office this is one of the best features as it allows everyone to login remotely on a server from a browser and literally see a low res low bitrate H.264 copy of the master files and work with them. You can quickly cut things if you're an editor, you can review things if you're a journalist etc. Even the metadata department uses it to put frame locators containing metadata so that it's easier to search clips.
(As a side note, if you applied effects through the Media Composer and you didn't render them they won't be displayed on Media Central on the browser but it's understandable).

- AVID Capture
A series of hardware encoder that can receive a live feed through SDI and encode it and make it immediately available via interplay access even while the clip is still "open".

- AVID ProTools
The de facto standard when it comes to mixing and dubbing audio tracks to a movie or a TV series or even a show as it's complete as a suite and it allows you to do pretty much whatever you want from complicated 3D orienting 7.1 stuff to simple dynamic loudness correction to a target LUFS.

- AVID Media Composer
Well... What can I say, I use it on a daily basis... It might not be the best editing software when it comes to things like Color Correction and Grading (in which I think Davinci Resolve does a way better job) but it's a pretty good software for other things like cutting, applying FX etc. One of the best thing about AVID Media Composer is actually the fact that whenever you're working on a masterclip which has been imported in interplay you can work on different versions of it. For instance, let's suppose that you have a masterclip in Apple ProRes 12bit 4:4:4 in FULL HD and you consolidate it to your system. It's almost always the case that you can't play it 'cause you don't have enough bandwidth, but once it's consolidated you can playback it in AVC Intra Class 100 4:2:2 10bit planar instead and work with it. Or if a file has been archived and it's in LTO6, instead of restoring it (copying it from LTO6 to the HDD RAID6) you can just check the low res H.264 proxy to see if it's the content you want etc. Oh and about Color curves and HDR, nothing stops you for instance to apply a LUT to the Apple ProRes 12bit to bring it from, let's say Slog3 to Linear BT709 SDR and encode as AVC Intra Class 100 BT709 10bit planar and then do the same but from Slog3 to HLG and encode as DNX185X 4:2:2 12bit BT2020 HLG and keep them all linked to the masterfile. Oh and by the way, workstations are connected via a Deck link card to a reference broadcast quality monitor via SDI so that everything you do on the timeline is displayed as an output signal on the reference monitor (essentially a €50k TV) and literally nobody uses the tiny preview on the PC monitor above the timeline.


TL;DR it's not AVID Media Composer per se that makes literally everyone use it, 'cause it might not be the best (and boy, it is bugged...) but it's the convenience of having everything built around it and professionally supported.



Very quickly on the contribution side:

Nowadays it's very rare that a company encodes for distribution itself. For instance my job as a Broadcast Encoder is not to deliver directly to customers the encoded file but rather to make, from a masterfile (that can be whatever resolution, Color Curve, Color Matrix, framerate, sampling, bit depth etc) the best possible high quality mezzanine file. For instance, everything in UHD has to become an XAVC Intra Class 300 for me which is essentially a 3840x2160 4:2:2 500 Mbit/s 50p BT2020 HLG HDR 10bit planar mezzanine file with PCM or Dolby E audio muxed in mxf as container. They don't care how I do it, but it has to be in the best possible way. Once it's done, this huge file is:

- Played live on an hardware Playout Port like Versio and encoded live by an hardware encoder in H.265 4:2:0 25 Mbit/s for linear TV channels

- Sent to anytime (for the streaming service and on demand) in which it's available to the customer after it has been re-encoded by a cloud transcoding service like AWS, Akamai etc.

- Sent to other professional encoders like Ateme for UHD BD etc

Keep in mind that the whole process is automated and the only manual encoding step is the one in which I (and people like me) make the mezzanine file from the master in which I can also perform post processing and as a matter of fact I do using Avisynth to remove imperfections that are there even in those hugely large masterfiles. By the way this could still potentially be automatically done if you build a good enough logic around it and FFAStrans (the program I actively contribute to based on open source software like Avisynth, x264, x265, FFMpeg, BMX etc) is a good example of that as long as you want a perfect state of the art conversion but you don't wanna "fix/correct" anything. Nowadays my job is literally making sure that nothing stops/goes wrong and I manually encode only the productions which are really important and the director really cares about.


Alright, I hope this gives you an overview of our world.

Cheers,
Frank

Last edited by FranceBB; 6th May 2021 at 07:11.
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Old 6th May 2021, 10:22   #4  |  Link
StainlessS
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Interesting post FaBB.
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"Some infinities are bigger than other infinities", but how many of them are infinitely bigger ???
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Old 6th May 2021, 15:17   #5  |  Link
kolak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue_MiSfit View Post
Not sure about BD / DVD. Those markets still exist but are less sparkly than they used to be

Pro DVD/BD/UHD companies are based on very specialised tools which use to cost small fortune and are somehow bit outdated. It's all mainly coming from ex Sonic (Scenarist for SD/BD/UHD, Cinevision), Cinemacraft, Ateme and Sony (Blu-print and Blu-code).

Now there are only few big companies (Technicolor etc.) which do those services as it's not very profitable and most authoring houses are gone.

Editing is one thing and all used tools been mentioned (maybe except Edius which is used a lot in news and it's great tool for quick editing), but finishing is another one and then tools like: Flame, Mistika, Nucoda, ColorFront, Marquise etc. are used. Those are quite pricey tools.

Last edited by kolak; 6th May 2021 at 15:29.
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Old 7th May 2021, 09:47   #6  |  Link
Blue_MiSfit
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I loved Edius for cutting broadcast mezzanine files. Trimming XDCAM HD422 MXF files with smart re-encoding while preserving embedded 436M VANC tracks was _sweet_ and way faster and cleaner than using Premiere or whatever.
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Old 7th May 2021, 11:12   #7  |  Link
kolak
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Edius 5.5 was the most stable NLE I've ever used (and I used about all of them). Proper Japanese very well optimised coding. At its best times Edius was few years ahead of competition.
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Old 8th May 2021, 09:55   #8  |  Link
FranceBB
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Ah, I remember Edius, although I've never used it. The only reason I remember it is that in 2016 a German engineer from Grass Valley came to Sky with the whole crew to show us their cameras and what they were able to do along with their editing software (Edius).

It was a sweet day 'cause I had fun watching cameras with different stops being connected via IP instead of SDI and tested live. I didn't pay much attention to the editing part, though. I was with my colleagues, we then headed to launch and then we got back to work. It was nice. The guys from Davinci did something similar a while ago, though, for their cameras + Davinci but unlike Grass Valley (who sent an engineer) they sent a salesman...

Last edited by FranceBB; 8th May 2021 at 09:58.
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Old 8th May 2021, 16:20   #9  |  Link
kolak
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Shows you how current world operates. Do those companies really believe that salesman will do better than good presentation of real capabilities... Maybe it works for some, but for others it doesn't. For me if company always sends salesman it's the one to actually avoid.
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Old 9th May 2021, 13:14   #10  |  Link
PCU
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Thanks for replies, so:
Overall:
Editing: Media Composer
Color correction: DaVinci
& Encoding to files (excluding DVD/BD): only Media Encoder that uses MainConcept codecs?

Also, do Hollywood studios & record labels like Universal & others use Pro Tools for making songs?

Last edited by PCU; 9th May 2021 at 14:35.
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Old 9th May 2021, 14:53   #11  |  Link
kolak
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AVID is not the best choice for 1 man editing. It's more suited for big system with many operators etc. It all depends what you do exactly- what source files, how your typical timeline looks like, if you use many effects, how much time you have etc.

You can use Resolve for editing as well then it's all in 1 tool. If you don't like Resolve as editor then you can look elsewhere. Don't focus on tools- focus on what you do.
Tools are almost irrelevant. Skills, knowledge and experience are 1000x more important. You don't choose your tools based on what others use- this is bad way.
ProTools or AVID won't really make your final product better. You can achieve about same results with many tools today.

Last edited by kolak; 9th May 2021 at 14:56.
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Old 9th May 2021, 15:02   #12  |  Link
FranceBB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kolak View Post
For me if company always sends salesman it's the one to actually avoid.
Yep... In that very particular case I wanted to ask a few questions about the implementation of their new (at the time) Blackmagic raw, which Transform it was based on, if it was doing motion compensation based on blocks of which size etc.
My enthusiasm faded away when they salesman kept saying "it's lossless it's lossless" (only 'cause he probably read it somewhere) while he was showing a Power Point Slide with the different LOSSY compression ratios...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCU View Post
do Hollywood studios & record labels like Universal & others use Pro Tools for making songs?
Funny enough although Universal is part of Comcast as well (so we're technically """colleagues"""), I have no idea about what they're using to make songs xD

About ProTools, that is definitely used for dubbing, adding effects etc in movies, tv series etc by many companies and we use it at Sky as well, but I'm not really an expert in music creation and I'm definitely not a sound engineer, so I can't say...
My understanding (and this is just what I personally think) is that those things can be done with ProTools and are probably done with ProTools in many occasions but it's more video oriented sort of speak (in the sense that it's mostly used for audio productions on video products) and song creation and recording is done with Steinberg products like Nuendo (and to a much smaller extent Cubase) but I might be totally wrong in this case. Again, music production is not my field, so I can't say...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kolak View Post
AVID is not the best choice for 1 man editing. It's more suited for big system with many operators etc. [...] You can use Resolve for editing as well then it's all in 1 tool.
Yep. As Kolak said, it's really up to what *you* have to do.
If you're gonna work alone and you're "new" to this world, Resolve will be pretty much ok and it's even free (although the free version has several constraints).

Last edited by FranceBB; 9th May 2021 at 15:07.
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Old 9th June 2021, 17:39   #13  |  Link
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Why Hollywood studios don't use x264 encoder, But YouTube Uses it?
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Old 9th June 2021, 21:01   #14  |  Link
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Because there are better encoders for studio usage than x264 (and it's not just about quality). At BD bitrates x264 doesn't shine that much. Some smaller studios may use x264 as well. Nobody cares anymore about content, quality, design etc. anyway. It's all just to push out as fast and cheap as possible and make money.

Youtube is very different medium than BD. Small bitrates for masses, just to push anything to the people (in reality- just to show you more adverts, so YT can make more money). Sad world.

Last edited by kolak; 9th June 2021 at 21:07.
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Old 10th June 2021, 23:52   #15  |  Link
PCU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kolak View Post
Because there are better encoders for studio usage than x264 (and it's not just about quality). At BD bitrates x264 doesn't shine that much. Some smaller studios may use x264 as well. Nobody cares anymore about content, quality, design etc. anyway. It's all just to push out as fast and cheap as possible and make money.

Youtube is very different medium than BD. Small bitrates for masses, just to push anything to the people (in reality- just to show you more adverts, so YT can make more money). Sad world.
Adobe uses MainConcept codecs, what about Avid and Blackmagic?
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Old 13th June 2021, 07:56   #16  |  Link
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Hollywood studios 100% use x264. Most streaming services (each studio has their own these days lol) use x264. I speak from personal experience that major streaming services use x264 and x265 for streaming.
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Old 13th June 2021, 22:58   #17  |  Link
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For streaming, not BD authoring.
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Old 13th June 2021, 22:59   #18  |  Link
kolak
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Quote:
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Adobe uses MainConcept codecs, what about Avid and Blackmagic?
Also mainly based on MainConcept which is rather average. Many companies use MainConcept as it's fairly well maintained and updated.
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Old 18th June 2021, 01:42   #19  |  Link
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Dario Smagata
I collect DVDs and convert VHS to DVD as a business.

They don’t use any authoring software, because professionally made Blu-Ray discs (and DVDs) are pressed, not burned. They use a glass master to stamp out copies, similar to pressing a vinyl record, but with a few extra steps. There’s not really any software involved in the process.

https://www.quora.com/What-Blu-ray-a...od-studios-use


Last edited by PCU; 18th June 2021 at 12:09.
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Old 21st June 2021, 17:13   #20  |  Link
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Still using Edius, lol.
The fact that you can do whatever you want in Canopus Lossless and edit it afterwards in avs+ without losing any quality, always keeping masterfile at gen1, is priceless if you aim for top quality.
Tried ProTools for audio... no way! Useful features available elsewhere are tricky to do or not supported in the same way... started years ago with Nuendo, it became "too big and hungry" these years. so now I've switched to Cubase (once they added multichannel support). Very close to Nuendo for my needs, but lighter.
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