Dpp bloodless revolution : Un guide sur les Workflow DEMAT
A GUIDE TO SMOOTHER DIGITALWORKFLOWS IN TELEVISION
1 | PREFACEPREFACEIn our industry we take huge creative risks all the We see this document as the starting point for such Our focus is upon helping to identify the smoothest,time: that is what makes British television punch well collaboration – and an attempt both to provide it with simplest, shortest production journeys – while stillabove its weight. When it comes to technical change, an agenda, and to make it feel more achievable. providing sufficient background information to helphowever, we are more cautious. The adoption of new people maintain a view of the wider landscape. Wetools and workflows tends to happen slowly – unless the Why now? Over the course of half a century television appreciate that sometimes creative ambition, budgetcommunity can see an instant benefit. Self-operated production processes became mature, well understood, or time-scale may mean that a production team mayfile-based HD cameras are a good example: even and subject to limited variation. But the world of file- consciously opt to take a route that may not be thethough the move to file-based HD has created a number based production has changed all that. Programme smoothest – because the benefits make the bumpsof challenges in the production workflow, these cameras makers are now faced with the biggest change to worthwhile. But we’d like to think we can help youhave been rapidly adopted as the only means of making workflow in decades: the replacement of video tape ensure you spend no longer on the dirt roads than youquality HD content within constrained budgets. by computer file. And it’s coming at a time when the have to: innovation should not have to mean irritation; demand from broadcasters is also for the highest quality and lost clips, crashing edit systems, or expensive backIn other words, single technologies which deliver images ever, at the lowest ever prices. ups shouldn’t be the price paid for digital off-roading.immediate creative benefits are adopted more easilyand quickly than end-to-end workflows – even if their At times like this, even the most experienced and The workflows we suggest may not suit everyone, andimpact on workflows is disruptive! intrepid creative explorer may find themselves in need even if they do, they are sure to change with time. They of a map. And that’s what the Digital Production may seem too high level for some, and too detailedIn reality, the introduction of end-to-end workflow Partnership seeks here to provide: a guide to the file- for others. But our prime motive here is to provide achanges could generate creative benefits which are just based production journey. But we don’t want merely to mechanism to get the industry – the entire industryas dramatic as those that come from single technologies offer a map – we want to suggest some routes. There – to focus its efforts around the same goal: to enable– for example by improving image quality, enabling are many ways to get from A to B in the file-based streamlined, efficient and effective workflows that willgreater use of new creative software tools, and releasing world; so it’s little wonder some producers are feeling put the technology in the background, put creativity atmore budget to spend on screen. But ‘end-to-end a bit lost – or are clinging to the one route they know, the fore, and keep UK production at the cutting edge.workflow changes’ sound and feel unglamorous – and even though it may be tortuous and expensive.require a degree of collaboration across the industry andits suppliers that can seem daunting.
INTRODUCTION | 2INTRODUCTIONIn our previous report The Reluctant The continuation of tape cameras in television, long the outset, production companies now need to deal withRevolution, the Digital Production after the consumer market began to go tapeless, is codecs (the audio-video file formats associated with evidence of how resilient tape has been as a format. file-based shooting) and the staggering lack ofPartnership (DPP) highlighted how the Even when the production process began to make compatibility between different vendors’ kit, codecsuse of file-based cameras was forcing greater and greater use of computers and IT, tape was and editing platforms.new workflows on the television industry. still retained because it could always be returned toIn the past, tape was not just the medium when things went wrong. And in an industry that lives New phrases such as “metadata” and “data wranglers” by the priceless moments it captures, that characteristic have emerged. These terms emphasise the fact that in aof exchange but acted as the security had enormous value. file-based world it is vital to mark up and describe videoblanket for production: it was a robust footage. Content no longer physically exists on a shelfmedium for shooting; it could be easily But the advent of file-based cameras has changed all or desk. As a result, if the content is not described, it will of that. The computer file has always seemed mercurial probably never be found. Is it any surprise that in thecarried and stored; it was always there and mysterious by comparison with physical media. move from tape to tapeless the first thing Production hasas back up when non-linear editing And what’s more, this transformation in the capture had to do is ensure the security of its priceless moments?platforms or electronic storage systems format of the cameras which give birth to our preciouscrashed; and it also acted as the archive rushes has coincided with a quality/cost paradox: High It was against this backdrop that the DPP wanted to Definition has become standard, while programme provide some clarity on how to adapt to end-to-endformat both for rushes and completed budgets in some areas have declined. file-based workflows. We began by turning to our ownprogrammes at the end of production. members, and in a series of public forums and workshops Whether the advent of newer and smaller HD file-based in the latter part of 2011 and early 2012, we tried to distil cameras facilitated or was the product of this paradox effective working practices from the very practitioners is a moot point. Put together one thing is clear: we are at the forefront of production. We have stopped short now acquiring more, but in many cases less confidently of generating ‘best practice’ workflows as there is too and for less money. And there is no way back: the much heterogeneity in the core production process for manufacture of tape-cameras is discontinuing. that concept to be truly valid. We have set out instead to provide some guidelines that highlight the challenges in So, like it or not, the adoption of file-based cameras file-based production and identify and share the different has brought with it a world of new workflows. From means currently used to address them.
3 | THE BLOODLESS REVOLUTION We see three potential outcomes from the publication In setting out the workflows, we were faced with a of this report: challenge on the level of detail. Too high level, and the workflows would be of little practical use, but too great a 1 In a world of transient production teams, with many level of detail would deter any serious adoption. We hope freelancers, the industry will be given a set of common that we have found a middle ground, which is sufficiently reference points. We hope these will help to generate a easy to follow and will allow production companies commonly agreed language and framework within to provide their own greater level of detail on specific which to approach the planning and execution of a file- aspects of the workflow. based production. 2 Broadcast technology vendors and service providers will To help clarify the points we feel are particularly be given an oversight of the entire production process, important to achieving smoother workflows, we have together with an insight into the requirements and added the icon DPP Recommends at key moments. concerns of the producer when operating in a file-based world. We would hope this will lead to a clearer, and We have striven to focus on one core workflow as much perhaps more open, dialogue – and a better mutual as possible. The overall process has been broken into four understanding of the benefits and drivers in the process. steps: Planning, Rushes Management, Post-Production and Delivery. 3 Vendors, the production community and service providers may also use the workflows to identify opportunities to create and deliver new services that will help to streamline or enhance the production process. The DPP encourages debate and feedback and our regular forum provides one such outlet for the industry to come together and share experiences. If you would like to receive information on our forum events, or if you want to provide feedback on this document, please email us on email@example.com . For any press enquiries regarding this report, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
INTRODUCTION | 4THE WORKFLOW PLANNING RUSHES MANAGEMENT POST-PRODUCTION DELIVERY Conventions, Capture and Delivery versions shoot and post manage required Editing & Finishing and network workflow, and kit video and audioPLANNING RUSHES MANAGEMENT POST-PRODUCTION DELIVERYcovers the workflow up to the point covers the capture and handling of covers the workflow from the ‘ingest’ covers the production of masters forof shooting and sets out the different content on location or in a studio up of material into the edit for low or delivery to broadcasters, clients orconventions and practices that need to the point of rushes archive and high resolution editing through to the audiences. This is an area where the DPPto be adopted right at the start of management. completion of the master. has already produced a set of technicalthe process. and metadata standards for file-based delivery of completed programmes. These can be found on: www.digitalproductionpartnership.co.uk/ metadata_standards.html
It’s a cliché that planning is everything – and equally a cliché thatcreative brilliance and meticulous planning are uneasy bedfellows.But in end-to-end file-based workflows the planning stage becomesmore important than ever – and without it creativity may be seriouslycompromised. Whoever found computer systems that don’t talk to eachother creatively liberating?Not only is it the case that better planning upfront will make theprocess easier for production, but broadcasters, studio facilities, andeven insurers, are increasingly now insisting on production companiesproviding a workflow description upfront. It all comes back to the needto rediscover the security apparently sacrificed in the move from tape.Planning has two main elements to it: the first is the selection of thekit to be used, and the second is decision making on actual workflows,conventions and documentation of what is going to be shot.PART 1PLANNING
ITERATE 2 CAMERA Select camera, bitrate and codec to use ITERATE 3 7 BACK UP CONVENTIONS Select review and1 back up tools, when 6 Identify clip 9 to back up and to what medium numbering, card labelling and DOCUMENT conventions SELECT KIT ITERATE WORKFLOWS COMMUNICATE 4 Select kit Select shoot and 8 Train/Inform considering post workflow team of desirable based on workflows ARCHIVE selected kit decisions Select media METADATA management method: MAM, database, Decide what directory structure metadata is or managed service to be captured and how ITERATE 5 EDITING TOOLS Select editing tools/suite
7 | THE BLOODLESS REVOLUTION 1 SELECT KIT The production community tend to think implications for everything that follows and of kit rather than codecs or processes, and for the quality of the final product. very often a production may implicitly define a workflow based on the choice of As will become evident from this guide, the camera. There are four main technology choice of a particular camera may create aspects that need to either be defined or such issues further down the workflow considered right at the start of the process: (depending on the requirements of the choice of camera is seen as the most production) that the initial creative or oper- important, followed by the method of ational benefits of the choice are negated. archiving rushes, backing up of material on shoots, and the editing tools to be used in post-production. There is merit, in our view, in using the planning process to look first at When and how to review your rushes the smoothest possible workflow for should also be taken into consideration. The the requirements of the production – decision as to when is normally determined and then to ask which cameras (and by the value of the rushes as well as the which camera settings) will ensure this intensity of the shooting schedule and the smoothness can be maintained while length and location of the shoot. still achieving the desired creative look. The significance of camera kit selection Of course the conclusion might be that is one of the unforeseen consequences for creative reasons, a team will still prefer of the move to file-based production. to sacrifice some smoothness, but at least The decision between tape and film that decision will be made knowingly, and notwithstanding, the precise choice additional thought and planning can be PLANNING of camera has never before had such put into the friction that may result.
PLANNING 8 2CAMERAWHICH CAMERA? This will mean the addition of further kit, file-based workflow, since content can be codec will need to be compatible withThe nature of the commission of course such as specialist external hard-drives. shot, delivered and archived on XDCAM both the needs of the production andwill be a key deciding factor in camera However, this has the benefit of forcing disc – much as it was with tape, using a the downstream editing platform andchoice, as certain types of production productions to make on-site back ups, similar workflow. delivery specification.will require different types of camera e.g. which not only provides security but mayhandheld or shoulder mounted, self-op or well be essential for insurance. WHICH CAMERA SETTINGS? It is worth noting that the Europeanprofessional. Some types of production, When setting up the camera, the obvious Broadcasting Union (EBU) has producedsuch as drama, may also prefer large Cameras such as the Canon XF305 and choice may seem to be to select the a tiering of HD cameras, referenced in thesensor cameras, which give a great look Canon EOS C300, on the other hand, use highest bitrate for the highest quality DPP Delivery Specifications, which canby enabling a shallower depth of field. All more consumer oriented Compact Flash video. However this decision may have be found at tech.ebu.ch/camtest . Thisof this should be considered alongside the (CF) storage cards that are sometimes enormous implications for your budget tiering may help with the decision makinglist of broadcaster accepted cameras. treated almost like consumable tapes for and workflow. process, however many will find it too the duration of the shooting period (the technical to assist in camera selection soWHICH RECORDING FORMAT? fact that they are relatively low cost means The higher the bitrate, the more memory it is important to check that the cameraIncreasingly cost is the key component that you can carry additional cards as you is required to store the information – and and the settings you select meet the– and this means not just the cost of the would with tape in order to reduce the that means the less you can store on required technical standards of yourcamera but also the cost of the media it frequency with which you need to clear the card. As a result, this may require commissioning broadcaster.uses to capture the image. and re-use cards). additional cards and generate more work on location. More frequent card re-use willFor example, P2 (by Panasonic) and The Sony XDCAM disc cameras mean more regular duplication and extra The remaining technology choicesSxS (commonly referred to as ‘S by S’) meanwhile have relatively cheap media back up storage. Similarly, your post– are also critical components of thecards are relatively expensive, and must (XDCAM discs) which also happen to be production costs will increase, as you will workflow, and the final choice oftherefore be cleared and re-used. This in almost identical to a tape based operation, need more storage in your edit suite. camera and capture format shouldturn requires production teams to create at least at the shooting stage. Some not be confirmed until they have alsomultiple copies whilst on the shoot in order production companies have found these The choice of codec is also an important been considered.to be able to clear and re-use the cards. cameras useful in their transition to a consideration in your workflow, as the
9 | THE BLOODLESS REVOLUTION 3 4 5BACK UP ARCHIVE EDITING TOOLSIt is important to decide when and how Early decision making about the method The editing tools (Non Linear Editor, In addition, productions requiring a fastto back up. In file-based workflows this is of longer term archiving is important or NLE) may be already determined turnaround such as news and sports willoften to a removable drive, but in larger because the metadata, directory structure when using in-house post-production, need to be planned very differently. Allorganisations it may be a more robust or format of the archive can affect, however the choice of camera and of the tools will need to be selected forrack-mounted disc storage array. It is likely or be affected by, the choice of other codec compatibility with the NLE should seamless integration of editing, graphicsthat the method of backing up rushes on technologies used for shooting. Content be considered if you want to achieve and playout.location will be different from the method that will be ingested into a media asset a smooth workflow. Certain codecsof backing up your final master at base. If management system, for example, will appear to work better with differentmedia needs to be couriered to your editor require more structured metadata if it is to edit platforms, and aligning the choice In general, it is best to avoid theit could affect the workflow and even the be of use. Tapes archived on a shelf used of camera and editing tool will make the need to transcode entirely. Howevertype of drive you use. to require little more than a few notes production and post-production process if transcode is unavoidable, then we on a label but productions are starting to more efficient. (See page 23, below.) recommend you transcode only once,Another important consideration is who realise the benefits of capturing a more This alignment of camera codec with the for reasons of quality, conveniencehas access to your rushes, particularly if detailed description of their assets. (See NLE’s supported codec will prevent the and cost.the content is sensitive. File-based media the Rushes Management section for need for a transcode between the two,means having multiple digital copies that further detail.) and this will save time and storage.are much easier to duplicate. You maywish to create multiple full resolutionback ups on separate security-protectedstorage devices, and then delete theoriginal copy. (See Rushes Managementsection below for further detail.)
PLANNING 10 6 7DOCUMENT WORKFLOWS NAMING CONVENTIONSGiven the choice of technologies, a As we observed at the beginning of For example, the Canon XF305 allowscritical new step for many will be the this report, there are few things more you to configure clip naming settings in The answer appears to lie in settingdocumentation of the workflow to be important in a world of file-based media the camera in an AA/0000 format. Sony up the cards and cameras to apply asdeployed during production. It is possible than having the ability to find your cameras also allow the configuration much useful technical metadata asthat this report may help: it could act material. If decisions on the naming of of clip naming settings but allow much possible, and then having the ability toas a template for production to make material are taken on the hoof out on longer free text; and the Nano-Flash relate clip names to a shooting diary,explicit their plans and decisions and location, they will almost certainly create has a two-letter format, similar to the report or logging sheet or similar.communicate them to their team. problems further down the line. Far Canon. It is essential however to liaise better to decide as part of the planning with the post house/production team,In addition to the process steps and the process what naming conventions are especially the editor, before the shoot andorder they are to be completed in, the required by the production’s workflow agree on naming conventions and mediaworkflow has 3 main elements: and delivery requirements. management workflow.1 the documentation on what The term naming convention actually and how to shoot has three sub-elements: card labelling, clip naming and numbering. While2 the metadata to be captured shooters may prefer to simply use numbers (e.g. Mov_0001, etc) this will3 the naming conventions to be useless on a long shoot when people be supported need to find specific clips. Equally it is impractical to expect shooters to input overly long or complicated file names.
11 | THE BLOODLESS REVOLUTION 8METADATAWe can see this area getting more LOGGING PRODUCTION LOGGINGcomplex as crews may need to populate (may also be referred to as footage, rushes or shot logging) relates to descriptivemetadata schemas or templates that are metadata produced about rushes to assist in the post-production process. For Logging can be a confusingset up before the shoot. This may require example, shot descriptions, transcriptions, and qualitative comments whichnew specialist metadata expert roles term, as it means different help the director and editor select shots more quickly for inclusion in the edit.to identify, create and possibly enforce things to different people We see this as the bulk of the requirement for production companies.adherence to metadata conventions. This and at different stages of therole may also include the definition of ARCHIVE LOGGINGback up procedures, archive procedures production process. It may relates to logging your archive to identify clips and rushes that could be of useand rights management, covering both be helpful to think in terms at a later point, e.g. for compliance or sale. The main function here is to labelrelease forms and defining how to apply of four types of logging. content so that it can be found easily through searching. This is rare in productionrestrictions through naming conventions. companies but more common in broadcasters who log against a managed list of keywords. It can also apply to rushes or completed programming.The logging of metadata will becomean increasingly important area, as CATALOGUINGdescribed, right. relates to the provision of technical, contextual and subjective metadata that helps the distribution of completed programmes e.g. programme synopsis for EPGs or cast lists. The emphasis is on the needs of end consumers or distribution companies rather than production staff.
PLANNING 12 9 COMMUNICATERIGHTS LOGGING This planning work is only worthwhile ifEach one of these logging stages can be supported by a rights logging activity. The it is adhered to, and shared with all partiesproduction logging stage will typically be associated with contributor rights i.e. what throughout the production process. Thisrights were used to make a programme. Archive logging is linked to access rights, i.e. may be conveyed in a variety of ways,what are the internal restrictions on use and re-use of content. Distribution rights through morning briefs, structuredare intimately linked to Cataloguing as both are focused on end usage. documentation and even training to ensure your team understands your planning descisions and why it’s important to adhere to them. PRODUC TION LIFEC YCLE Increasingly some aspects of this communication may be formalised, for PRODUCTION LOGGING ARCHIVE LOGGING CATALOGUING example through the use of industry standards for file exchange. It is also likely Purpose is to assist in selection Purpose is to tag content for Purpose is to provide Programme information and editing subsequent use or clip sale for distribution and end consumers that broadcasters or facilities will begin to demand to see planned workflows before they sign key stages, a move that some RIGHTS LOGGING facilities companies have taken to protect against potential loss of content with file- Contributor Rights Access Rights Distribution Rights based cameras. In the following section we set out some potential ways of presenting and documenting production workflows.
The shooting workflow is primarily about rushes management.Production companies are probably most comfortable with this areaand as a result it is likely that they will already have their own de factoworkflows.The workflow has three elements. The first is the shooting of content.Depending on the kit used, the next main element is whether andhow to back up, and also whether to re-use cards on location. The lastelement is how to archive the rushes, and this is also a factor of thearchiving technology in place.Archiving as a term is increasingly anachronistic, as it suggests that thematerial will be put on a dusty shelf and not accessed. Nothing couldbe further from the truth: in reality, archiving is an essential productionlibrary function that provides a safe destination for shot material, andunderpins post-production.PART 2RUSHES MANAGEMENT
1 2 YES Review on location? PREPARE KIT RECORD SHOOT RECORD STORE & LABEL REVIEW Set clip/card number, NO Review through Record Capture Record Store cards or label cards, camera card viewer starting clip required last clip discs and label video/audio settings, or laptop and number video and audio number as appropriate set/synch timecodes verify content 3 3 Back up Re-use to additional cards? CLEAR YES BACK UP YES media? NO NO Clear cards Back up on site and verify 6 MEDIA ASSET REVIEW AND MANAGEMENT INGEST PRODUCTION LOG Media Management Ingest Log for Simple: Database all rushes edit Advanced: MAM4 7 5 Archive approach DIRECTORY REVIEW AND DIARY STORE & LABEL STRUCTURE PRODUCTION LOG INGEST End of shooting period: Store cards or Directory Structure Decide what Ingest selected create shooting log discs and label and to ingest and rushes into e.g. during or end of day as appropriate Managed Services log for edit archive system
15 | THE BLOODLESS REVOLUTION 1 THE SHOOT During the shoot, the team should follow the naming conventions set in the A filming log or diary of what has been planning stage, and follow the checklist shot should accompany the cards, and below as they prepare and set up their kit should ideally capture information in line with the agreed plans: such as the producer, date, location, card number, clip start and end • Set clip/card number number, and a brief description of the content. Assigning this job to someone • Label and number cards according on the shoot allows the production to specified conventions team to keep track of everything that • Ensure there are enough cards, using has been shot. a newly formatted card each day to avoid timecode conflicts • Prepare camera and audio settings, including video codecs, wrapper/container, progressive/interlaced, audio codec, bitrate/sampling rate RUSHES • Set timecode and synch timecodes MANAGEMENT between cameras
RUSHES MANAGEMENT 16 2WHAT TO SHOOT REVIEWThe What to Shoot concept has not At this stage comes one of the most could be done on the camera; on a card Media Asset Management tool. Somereally changed – production companies significant variations in production reader with a screen; on a laptop; or on a of these products allow companies toalready know what material they plan workflow: namely whether to review on monitor attached to the camera or upload content to the web as proxies forto acquire. File-based cameras have location or not. In theory location may storage system. production logging, review and shotadded a new element however: in the seem the ideal place to review footage selection/proxy editing, before exportingtape world, the amount of stock on since if there are any issues material can In any case, be sure to make the card an EDL for conform and finishing in alocation was limited; but in the file- be immediately re-shot, and it is required handling process clear to protect the high resolution editing system.based world shooting is limited only by by many insurers. In practice however content. In addition to ensuring the cardsthe available on-site back up storage this is not necessarily the case. Unscripted are safely stored, some cards offer the More generally, the review stage is– which may be considerable. This can documentaries, for example, cannot be ability to also lock the content to prevent becoming more important, particularlyresult in over-shooting – particularly reshot and even on scripted shoots the additional editing which could be one of on high shooting ratio programmes tofor a relatively inexperienced crew. crew may not have the time either to the first steps after removing a card from reduce the amount of footage to editIt’s easy to think that over-shooting review the material or to reshoot. a camera. It would be devastating to have and archive. While MAM tools havedoesn’t carry a cost (since storage may a crew member accidentally delete the browse capability built in, there are alsobe cheap). But in reality it can impose If the decision is taken to review on footage on their laptop whilst attempting non-MAM based alternatives in theconsiderable costs later in the process, location, however, there can be multiple to review it! Similarly, a security procedure cloud. Our first report highlighted thatwith more time required to review ways of achieving this. The most popular may need to be enforced to prevent the broadband connectivity is not goodcontent, and more storage required is to ingest either the source material copying of valuable or sensitive material, enough yet for most companies tofor post-production. or the proxies (if proxies have been as digital files are much easier to duplicate upload high bitrate content from many generated in the course of shooting) and distribute than tape. locations; however as broadband into a laptop. The material can then be connectivity is improving, the ability to played on the laptop either through edit Many vendors offer free software tools to share and review in cloud or web-based software or through a video client. review footage generated by their camera. services is becoming easier, especially If the shooting period is short or if it is when proxies are used, providing Alternatively, the rushes could be viewed possible to get footage back to base it may additional alternatives to the traditional directly from the capture medium. This also be possible to review footage in your local review methods.
17 | THE BLOODLESS REVOLUTION 3BACK UP AND CLEARIn a file-based environment, it is always Backing up to removable Hard Disc Irrespective of location, duplicated cardrecommended to make a back up of any Drives (HDDs), meanwhile is not always content should always be verified before The best procedure should be toimportant files. Whether to do so on as secure as people imagine. Discs fail the cards are cleared. Ideally this would follow a clearly defined, constantlylocation is often also dictated by how far all the time, and even backing up on a involve running a checksum on the enforced and trusted back up processthe production is from base, how long the device that mirrors the content on two copied files (i.e. file comparison at the for all content. Backing up should beshoot is and how valuable the rushes are. discs offers no protection if that device is, byte level) in addition to a spot check assigned to a named team member say, dropped on the road. If backing up and comparing file sizes. This can be who is well trained and confident inIn practice, back ups are sometimes to HDD, it is therefore necessary to make time consuming so should be properly the task. They should be given properlyrequired simply due to camera choice. two separate copies on separate HDDs. scheduled into the shooting period. scheduled slots in the shooting periodSome higher-end solid state cameras Alternatively, Solid State Discs (SSDs) can to undertake this important job. Onlyshoot on expensive media, so fewer cards be used to back up the content, which One key factor here is the human once they’re satisfied that back up hascan be afforded on the shoot. are much more reliable although are element. The DPP workshops identified been successfully completed, should significantly more expensive than HDDs. that crews can be heavily overworked the content on the cards be cleared.For example, P2 cards (amongst others and stressed – with the first day ofsuch as SxS cards) are both expensive Other cameras use lower cost cards that shooting having particular strains as the Again, it is important to checkand don’t hold much content; therefore are often treated similarly to digibeta or team find their feet. Tired and stressed insurers’ terms as to when a back up ismaking a second copy (and also an HDCAM tapes: production teams can crews are not always the right people acceptable (and the number of copiesadditional back up copy) and re-using be provided with enough of them to to be forced to make decisions on what required). Some vendors have ancards is the only practical workflow. complete the shoot without needing to re- to clear off cards, and a workflow that insurance approved location back up use the cards. This means duplication may forces them to do this at the end of every system with card verification.These two back ups will have now become not need to take place until back at base – day’s shooting may result in permanentlythe masters of course, once the cards are unless it is a particularly long shoot. lost footage or a large bill for memorywiped. It is hard to overemphasise the cards if not properly managed.care that needs to go into this process– and the importance of having twoindependent copies, not just one.
RUSHES MANAGEMENT 18 4 5DIARY ARCHIVE APPROACHThe shooting log remains just as important Once rushes have been acquired and such solutions may be too expensive to genres and for the most part was notin the file-based workflow – except now backed up, they can be archived in a be used as a long-term archive system, sufficient to justify any significantthe log needs to be able to reference file variety of different ways. Although as historically production companies incremental investment in MAM orclips or cards rather than video tapes. broadcasters would at this stage ingest have archived on shelf space, where the logging services or products at present. the content into a Media Asset perceived cost was zero and they may Management (MAM) system, production therefore not wish to pay for ongoing The alternative to a MAM, or MAM- companies and post-production companies long-term archiving. like approach, is to use a folder typically cannot afford these systems. structure using removable drives, disc Despite the importance of metadata in a arrays or formats such as LTO for While this is changing a little, and very file-based environment, the implication digital tape storage. Media locations cost effective systems are now becoming is that unless mandated by broadcasters, could be deduced literally by the folder available, the price points need to be the additional or more advanced archive structure, or alternatively a database extremely low (i.e. under £10,000) to be and logging processes are less likely or spreadsheet could be used to track considered by the majority of production to be adopted unless there is a serious where files are stored and can be companies. Online services may change business case for making better use of that found in the future. this by providing more of a pay-as-you- archived and logged content. Feedback go service that can be incorporated from the DPP workshops suggested that into programme budgets rather than while there was some potential value being seen as an overhead, although in clip sales, this is restricted to certain
19 | THE BLOODLESS REVOLUTION 6 7MEDIA ASSET MANAGEMENT DIRECTORY STRUCTUREThe workflow for content archived in a The directory structure approach involvesMAM system is different from the simpler archiving onto a set of structured foldersfolder structure approach. Typically all using a file system. For many productioncontent is ingested first and then reviewed companies this will be adequate but doeswithin the MAM system. In a MAM require some forethought into structuresystem, the content being reviewed will and as a longer term archive, it is unlikelybe a proxy, generated by the camera or that content will be found easily or at all.by the MAM on ingest. This allows for Some production companies are usingdesktop review of content, with any shots LTO for longer term archiving and usedeleted having the option of also deleting spreadsheets or very simple databases forthe high-resolution source material. The keeping records of content on LTOMAM approach is particularly suitable for digital tape.archive logging and where content is likelyto be re-used frequently.
RUSHES MANAGEMENT 20 RUSHES MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES ACQUISITION LOCATION/STUDIO EDIT PREP CAMERA/CARD FIELD/STUDIO METADATA BASE RUSHES TRANSCODE TO LOGGING/ CODEC FORMAT BACK UP ON CARD BACK UP WIPING EDIT CODEC DESKTOP EDIT If necessary, transcode original Minimum Protocol for codec to edit codec. Choice of Longer term Choice of technical wiping original Ideal is to edit in Lower resolution Codec back up back up, file-based metadata cards (may acquisition codec. possibly remote on camera device if possibly on aVIDEO camera on original happen before However may also or cloud-based required MAM system card format Base Back Up) be for generating editing lower resolution for Offline. Longer term Ideally keep Integrated Integrated Likely to be back up, ideally Audio audio in or separate or separate technical associated with N/A codec high resolutionAUDIO audio recorder audio recorder metadata video if not format integrated
While the Post-Production stage may not appear at first glance to have changed withfile-based production, it is in fact heavily impacted – particularly by the choice of cameraand codec selected in the Planning stage. Non Linear Edit vendors claim to supportthe full range of codecs provided by the leading camera vendors. In practice, however,unless you are working in a format that is natively supported, it may be necessary totranscode to another format for the ease of handling your material in the edit.Put simply, we advise that for the smoothest workflow, you should aim to shoot in acodec that your NLE supports natively.The choice as to whether to perform a high resolution or low resolution edit is typicallydetermined by the amount of footage and the availability of storage for editing. If youhave the storage in house or the budget to rent storage in a post house, then you willlikely edit the high resolution material. If however, you have a high shooting ratio anda low budget you will transcode to a lower resolution format and edit a low resolutionproxy version, conforming and re-linking to the master assets upon completion. Thisis an area to keep an eye on, as developing technology is likely to have an impact onthis decision. If editing storage becomes cheaper it could favour high resolution editingwhereas the development of remote proxy editing could also sway the balance.PART 3POST-PRODUCTION
VARIANT VERSIONS 6 TRANSCODE EDIT NO READY FOR 1 DELIVERY 2 Codec NATIVE supported? HIGH RESOLUTION YES 9AVAILABLE SHOOTINGSTORAGE RATIO QC AND High Low COMPLIANCE High High Low Low VARIANT VERSIONS 5 6 7 8 Low High BACKGROUND STREAM EDIT CONFORM FINISHING 1 3 Proxy exists? NO 4 LOW RESOLUTION YES CREATE PROXY VARIANT VERSIONS 6 7 MANUAL EDIT CONFORM
23 | THE BLOODLESS REVOLUTION 1 HIGH / LOW RESOLUTION EDITING Traditionally the two terms always This made a lot of sense in the early associated wtih editing have been ‘offline’ days of NLEs as storage was scarce and ‘online’. The term offline emerged and expensive. However some people, from film TV production where source notably storage vendors, believe that rushes were copied to a lower cost format with falling storage costs, offline as a that was then used to create a rough concept should disappear, as it should be assembly or a full off-line edit, that would possible to work in full bitrate resolution then be conformed and finished using the from the beginning. Others however source material. With NLEs the term has point out that HD (and beyond, with 4K been used to refer to the use of a lower and 8K emerging) is increasing storage resolution proxy version to create a rough requirements – especially as file-based HD cut, and then using the NLE project or an cameras also tend to bring over-shooting. Edit Decision List to conform and relink This, they insist, will ensure that offline is the high resolution master assets to still retained as an approach. Still others ‘finish’ the edit and export. argue, meanwhile, that different delivery platforms require different resolutions – and that what is considered ‘offline’ quality for broadcast TV may be considered ‘online’ quality for the web or mobile. POST-PRODUCTION
POST-PRODUCTION 24One thing is clear: the terms online and saving the time needed to conform and The type of edit will also help to inform editing kit being used would also inform theoffline are becoming blurred and seem re-link the material. Alternatively, some whether to use the high or low resolution type of edit. If performing a shot selectionincreasingly anachronistic. There are hugely complex edits with a lot of material and bitrate media. Grading, for example, or simple rough cut in the field on a laptopnow new edit systems emerging which in a variety of codecs may struggle with will require the high resolution media and it’s unlikely it would have the powerallow you to stream directly from high the full quality media, unless the editing is therefore more likely to require a more or storage capacity to handle the highresolution material, enabling you to edit in facilities have been set up and tuned for powerful machine. Whilst you can perform resolution media. Production companiesa lower proxy resolution while the material supporting these types of complex jobs. a shot selection on the high resolution are using low resolution and bitrate mediais being automatically conformed at full material, it is probably easier to work to perform shot selections and rough cutsresolution in the background: in short, In summary we would use the matrix with a low resolution and bitrate copy on to reduce the amount of rushes they taketo perform offline and online editing below to guide the offline/online decision. a cheaper editing system. Similarly, the into the high resolution edit.simultaneously. As a result, it is moreaccurate to talk in terms of working withthe high resolution or low resolution or OFFLINE/ONLINE SHOOTING RATIObitrate media. DECISION MATRIXDPP members confirmed that typically LOW HIGHthe choice of whether to edit with thehigh or low resolution and bitrate wasbased on the amount of storage available HIGH Online Offline Biason their post-production systems and VOLUME OFhow high or low the shooting ratio was AVAILABLEon their shoot. Occasionally, turnaround STORAGEtime would also become a factor as fast LOW Online Bias Offlineturnarounds favour a high resolution edit,
25 | THE BLOODLESS REVOLUTION 2 3HIGH RESOLUTION PROXY BASEDEDIT EDITMany of the main broadcast cameras For fast turnaround productions such as for Each editing platform has its preferred Depending on your Media Assetwrite video in codecs that use complex news and sports, working end-to-end in a codec to work in. Avid Media Composer Management solution, proxies mayalgorithms to compress the highest quality codec that is supported natively throughout prefers DNxHD whilst Apple’s FCP have already been generated on ingestpossible into the lowest bitrate possible. the process will make for the smoothest prefers ProRes, for example. Panasonic for browsing, shot selection and lowWhile this feature is useful as a means of and fastest workflow. The ‘native’ format P2 cameras, meanwhile, can shoot in resolution editing.maintaining a high quality in a low card is the source format the camera encodes DVCPRO 100, which uses a compressionstorage space, it can create difficulty in the video to, so an NLE that can handle technology that is easier for editing Alternatively, some cameras canthe edit because of the processing power these easily without the need to transcode systems to handle making it possible automatically generate these proxies;required to decode the material. can ensure a smoother workflow. Non to edit natively, while some other however we found in the workshops that fast turnaround productions can also cameras can shoot directly in the NLE’s it was rare for production companiesAs a result, editors often prefer to benefit by selecting compatible kit in the preferred codec. to use them. One reason for this is thattranscode into a format that is much planning stages or otherwise accepting they often work with multiple cameraeasier to handle. This is not without issue the consequences of these decisions, brands on the shoot where some may andhowever, as transcoding takes time, perhaps for other benefits, planning for others may not generate them, makingadditional storage and results in a small the additional time and storage that will be it simpler to not use them at all and to‘generational-loss of quality’, meaning required in post-production. re-generate all the proxies later in thethat it’s often best to avoid the need for a workflow instead. Furthermore they foundtranscode altogether. that managing the proxies – as well as the rushes – just added another level of complexity to the shoot.
POST-PRODUCTION 26 4 5 6 7LOW RESOLUTION LOW RESOLUTION EDIT CONFORMINGPROXY GENERATION STREAMINGIf performing a low resolution edit, lower Emerging stream-based remote editing After choosing to edit with the high or Once the various edit versions areresolution/bitrate proxies need to be such as Avid’s Sphere, Quantel’s low resolution media, the craft editing complete, the low resolution media cangenerated. In the edit for example, editors Qtube and new products from Adobe process has not significantly changed. The then be re-linked to the high resolutionworking on Avid tend to transcode all automatically generate and stream main difference is that some productions master media. This is much like thefootage to Avid 10:1, while those working video to a remote edit station. These are now performing more detailed shot conform that used to be done in anon FCP will transcode to ProRes 422 technologies blur the line between selections and even rough cuts in order to offline edit with tape masters, however(Proxy). It is possible to edit with lower online and offline editing, streaming a narrow down the volume of rushes and the technical process is clearly different,quality proxies than these, however it isn’t version sufficient enough for most offline reduce the amount of storage required. and less manual. Gradually, this isrecommended as the loss of quality may editing, while reducing the need for a This means the editor only works with becoming simpler as the conform processmake it difficult to see issues from the large local store by editing via proxy and the better material. Although some is automated and with low resolutionshoot, such as soft focus. automatically conforming as though you craft editors are now comfortable with streaming, can be done in the background were editing the high resolution media. also finishing the programme (see 8), without the user even being aware of it. many prefer to leave this more technical At present, grading, graphics and audio If variant versions are required, such as for final stage to specialists – much like mastering teams typically take over after pre and post-watershed, they can be cut the old offline/online editor distinction. the conform, working with the high after the main version has been created. resolution media. However as the quality of the proxies improves it may be possible for this step to be performed prior to the conform.
27 | THE BLOODLESS REVOLUTION 8 9FINISHING QC AND COMPLIANCEOnce the edit is complete, for all but the This step is to ensure that the video QC and compliance procedures may varysmallest productions the video is likely to go and audio of the final programme – depending on the final destination of the media,through at least some basic grading. Some together with its various versions – are and this means it is not possible to detail themcraft editors ‘grade-as-they-go’ throughout of appropriate quality for the intended all here.the editing process however colorists may platform, and that they conform to theadd to this or change it to achieve the look rules and values of the broadcaster. It’s Of course, compliance with the DPP AS 11 filethe director is going for after the edit. important to realise that if technical or and metadata standards will become part of the editorial changes are required at this technical checks applied by UK broadcasters.Similarly, whilst the craft editor may have stage, it is actually far more complex andalready added some titles/graphics into slow to achieve than on tape, where athe timeline, any additional required simple ‘insert edit’ could be made. With The DPP is committed to creating greatergraphics and effects will be added to finish file-based programming, the whole file standardisation in technical delivery standardsthe product. Again, whilst the craft editor will need to be played out or ‘published’ among UK broadcasters. We are pleased tomay have made some decisions about the again. This should be considered when have taken the first step by publishing agreedaudio mix, more advanced audio dubbing editing to a tight deadline. common standards for tape and file basedand mastering will also take place after the delivery of finished programmes, and thesecraft edit. Quality control of file-based media can can be found here: be very different from tapes. The DPP has www.digitalproductionpartnership.co.uk/outputs.htmlFinishing is also now the term used to not yet produced any guidance arounddescribe the final ‘legalising’ stage of the this, but we are working with the EBU,edit process in which checks are made to who are developing common guidelinesensure the programme conforms to various for QC tools. This will enable productionbroadcast technical guidelines. This is a teams and facilities companies to choosespecialist skill and is still often performed automated QC solutions which suit theirby a different editor from the one who workflows whilst ensuring they meetperformed the craft edit. It also requires broadcasters’ delivery standards.some specialist equipment, and may beperformed in a separate edit suite.
POST-PRODUCTION 28 EDIT AND FINISHING ACTIVITIES CRAFT EDIT - VIDEO FINISH CRAFT VIDEO CONFORM/ AUDIO FINISH & CODEC DUB GRADE EDIT SYSTEM RELINK TRACKLAY LEGALISE Acquisition format Relink to Legalise refers to Choice of if NLE allows, nearline if Video taken Grading systems ensuring the craft edit or native editing in from Craft if required final version isVIDEO editor codec lower resolution technically compliant Audio also conformed at Create Audio processing Audio exported N/A PCM same time embedded AAF device as .wav fileAUDIO as relink
The final delivery of content from production companies is the start ofthe broadcaster’s own internal processes, and for many, their own file-based processes. The growth in distribution across other platforms hasalso spawned new and complex workflows for generating versions ofcontent for different smart phones, tablets and connected TVs.For production companies, this part of the workflow has remainedlargely unchanged, primarily because tape remains the standard deliveryformat. File-based delivery is on the increase however, and, through theDPP, UK broadcasters have committed to it being the preferred meansof delivery by 2014.PART 4DELIVERY
2 3 6 YES FILE DELIVERY TRANSCODE SPOT CHECK BACK UP NETWORK Transcode for each Spot check delivery destination: for transcode web/mobile/DVD/ artefacts etc… YES FILE 4 51 Variant delivery Tape or ﬁle formats NO TAPE LAYBACK MASTER ARCHIVE TO TAPE DELIVERY Master(s) and Courier tape projects to destination 4 POSTERITY AND RIGHTS LOGGING Decide what to ingest and log for edit
31 | THE BLOODLESS REVOLUTION 1 2 VARIANT TRANSCODING DELIVERY FORMATS Most production companies are required For those that are required to produce to make Tx masters for their UK and variants for online, mobile or catch up International broadcast customers. services, files require transcoding into However, some may be required to destination formats. Typically this would produce variant delivery forms (e.g. for involve taking the transmission master and iTunes) either because of the specific generating different lower bitrate versions nature of the deal and the rights sold, or based on the profiles established by each because they are dealing with overseas platform provider. commissioners who are acquiring several different masters. Note that ‘variant’ Transcoding is now a much more common means different formats – if the material and lower cost process than in the past. was being edited simply for duration or FCP users have historically had the content, then it would just flow through Compressor transcode capability as an DELIVERY the post-production process again. inherent part of the product, and some companies are now selling software transcoding products for less than £500. There are also open source transcoders, such as FFmpeg, commonly used by vendors – although these require some advanced programming skills to ensure that the output file conforms to the standards required by playout servers.
DELIVERY 32 3 4 5SPOT CHECKS LAYBACK MASTER TO TAPE OR FILETranscoding will require spot checks to The final Master for delivery in the UK 1 Completion of the programme file – 3 Entering the Technical metadata andlook for transcode artefacts. While this is currently predominantly on tape, and with final video and audio. Wrapping of the file – using the DPPis possible on a number of players it’s HDCAM SR is the format of choice for HD application – the metadata can beimportant to verify with tools that can commissions from major UK broadcasters For HD commissions by DPP entered and will then be wrappedprovide a good quality video display to – but not for much longer. ITV, BBC and broadcasters (ITV, BBC, C4, Five, into the programme file, some of theensure the detection of any artefacts. Channel 4 are currently piloting file-based UKTV, BSkyB, S4/C) this will be AVCi technical metadata already present delivery and have, through the DPP, 100 Mbs, to the DPP specifications. in the file will be extracted and re- agreed that delivery on file will be the written as part of this process. The preferred format by 2014. 2 Inclusion of Editorial metadata (e.g. end result is like a virtual tape box series title, programme title) which label and technical reporting sheet.ARCHIVE Currently the creation of a master involves will be required by the broadcaster. layback to tape for audio mastering, and This ensures the master programme Once wrapped the masterPOSTERITY AND most likely dubbing clones. These are then file is well labelled and can be found programme file will be ready forRIGHTS LOGGING distributed to customers, via courier or in the archive and played out in delivery to the broadcaster. taxi. This process can often involve the broadcast systems once delivered. hire of relatively expensive HDCAM SR This can also be done in advance ofAt this point, the production company decks, as smaller companies in particular the programme completion if required.may archive the project and carry out an could not justify the cost of outrightarchive log – whether for posterity or to purchasing. The DPP are currently building astart the process for finalisation of the simple downloadable application forrights. For UK commissions this is often In the near future TX Masters will programme makers to use freely. This willdone via Soundmouse for cue sheets increasingly be files. Their creation will make entering the required metadata inand Silvermouse for PasC forms. be a three stage process: the required format straightforward.
33 | THE BLOODLESS REVOLUTION 6FILE DELIVERY NETWORKWhen one talks of taxis and expensive to a very significant extent over the past as Signiant and Aspera), these are not components, in addition to core networkdeck hire as the current industry standard five years, using such technology for yet pervasive outside broadcasters and acceleration capabilities that could supportit isn’t difficult to see that file-based internal as well as external traffic and distributors and in the near term the automated file delivery workflows.delivery should represent an opportunity traffic workflows. Such solutions are most common form of file-based deliveryfor savings and efficiency. cheaper than tape traffic, and also faster is likely to be a removable drive. While These are not problems that producers can and more secure than methods such as FTP. this may make commercial and logistical solve on their own. It is reasonable to expectThe DPP’s technical and metadata sense for production companies, it is less broadcasters to take the lead – with keystandards for HD file-based delivery However, these tools are currently only effective for broadcasters: they would suppliers – in defining the most effectiveshould make the process even easier pervasive in broadcasters and very prefer to receive files over an IP network and pragmatic means of file delivery overas there is now just one agreed file large production and post-production so that they can avoid manually copying the next year or two regardless of theformat, structure and set of metadata companies. For the rest of the market, the files, and make use of fully automated volume of content delivered.requirements for the UK’s seven major only remaining obstacle will be achieving workflows starting at the entry point intobroadcasters. This means that the process file delivery over an IT network, as even if the broadcaster’s architecture. For now though, through the DPP,for creating the completed programme file production companies had the necessary broadcasters have published a preferredwill be the same whether you’re delivering uplink, people would still be anxious about Realistically, broadcasters may need list of ‘modes of delivery’ for completedtransmission-ready files to BBC, ITV, using unsecure FTP (file transfer protocol) to share infrastructure based on programme files.Channel 4, Five, UKTV, S4/C or Sky. as a means of transferring content. While technologies such as Signiant and there are proven secure software based Aspera to enable companies to transfer These can be found at:Broadcasters have adopted secure, methods of transferring content over completed programmes to them. Both of www.digitalproductionpartnership.co.uk/accelerated, file delivery over IP networks public and private IP networks (such these technologies now have workflow technical_standards_file_del_options.html