I’m hoping to open up a bit of a discussion about the best way to export files from Final Cut to Shake (and AE/Comb/DF for that matter) and then back again? Exporting is a pretty fundamental step in the process but I’m still finding out the various pro’s and con’s of the formats. I’ve searched the issue but have found little in the way of straight-forward advice on the net or through the highend mailing list.
For example, at work we’re capturing digi beta via a decklink and matching the offlines in FCP (like half the world). We would ideally like to keep the vision as lossless as possible and 10 or 16 bit colourspace. When I export from FCP as a Quicktime None Shake refuses to see the vision (recognises the duration, but the vision appears black). I’m not even sure the ‘None’ codec is 16bit. And if I try the Uncompressed 10bit QT codec I get some gamma shift between FCP and Shake, resulting in significantly darker clips once they come back into FCP (some white/super white issue I’m guessing, but don’t know how to fix). So I’ve been settling on exporting as TIFF Quicktimes, but unlike in AE7 FCP doesn’t give me the option of setting the colour depth so I have no idea if they’re going out as 8, 16 or 32 bit.
So, my main questions for anyone kind enough to shed some light on the issue would be:
Is it best to keep to one codec throughout the entire process (conform>comping>final assemble)? If so that kind of rules us out of using image sequences with FCP, since after we add about a dozen sequenced clips it slows to a halt and takes minutes to update a simple change.
Which codecs have a bona fide +16bit colour space?
If one was to render out sequences for Shake, what format holds the most data? I’ve heard the Maya IFF format used in connection with Shake a lot - is it more than 8 bit? I’m not concerned about space - I just want maximum quality.
Thanks for reading and I hope others won’t mind sharing any solutions they’ve found for this kind of small studio setup.