EDL in digital workflow


#1

Hi guys, I’m pretty new to editing and I’ve had a doubt about EDL’s and how they are used nowadays. I understand how they were used back in the pre telecine days, but post telecine or digital capture get me kinda confused. So basically when they telecine the celluloid, every frame gets scanned as an image file e.g TIFF so you end up with lots of series of images on your hard drive. I think the same applies when ingesting from digital cameras…for feature films all is converted to digital image files one per frame am I right? So basically…lets say I got a good cut in FCP and want to create an EDL from it and import that EDL into a software like lustre for grading. How does the EDL point to the files on my hard drive or a NAS? does it point to frame 0 of the sequence and then specifies the in and out frames within that file sequence? …

basically my questions are:

  1. When ingesting captured footage or film (telecine) in feature films…are both imported as image sequences?

  2. Are EDL’s used these days? I find 'em to be really helpful but dont know if they are still used in todays feature film workflow especially when capturing with high end high def cameras like RED ONE and above.

  3. In the case of digital cameras where footage is ingested as image sequences, how do EDL’s work in contrast to using film.

  4. Lets say I build an EDL in FCP and use it in some grading platform like Lustre, how exactly does the EDL work here?


#2

How does the EDL point to the files on my hard drive or a NAS?
it doesn’t.
It points either to the tape or film roll or whatever source you used.

  1. When ingesting captured footage or film (telecine) in feature films…are both imported as image sequences?
    depends what you are doing. When using for editing you dou usually record to tape with picture timecode(showing feet+frames) and digitize again from tape which results in Quicktime files on FCP or *.omf on Avid.
    For comp or cleanup work I had Tiff, iff and dpx sequences on a variety of jobs.
  1. Are EDL’s used these days? I find 'em to be really helpful but dont know if they are still used in todays feature film workflow especially when capturing with high end high def cameras like RED ONE and above.

Definitely yes. Quite important for colorgrading/postprocessing. The original medium doesn’t matter that much, you need the EDL to detemine which part of the footage has to be processed in order not to process the complete footage including sorted out edits, trims and such.

  1. In the case of digital cameras where footage is ingested as image sequences, how do EDL’s work in contrast to using film.
    Quite the same way. It doesn’t matter if In and Out points are f+f, timecode or a frame number.

#3

Thanks Scrimski, every thing is a lot clearer now.:applause: I still have a couple of questions for you. Basically my confusion started when I began to analyze the workflow used in 4k Red Cams in which the raw R3D files are converted either to lower rez quicktime or OMF files for your NLE and also converted to DPX for grading. The process does specify that you take your cut list i.e EDL and use it to get your DPX sequences for grading. What I got confused about is the moment the EDL comes in, is it used before you convert your raw R3D files to DPX ?or do you convert all your footage to DPX and then use your EDL to see what DPX files to use?
here’s the link to the workflow so you understand what I mean:
http://www.cineform.com/products/TechNotes/Red-Prospect4K.htm

It is the first diagram you see. Judging from your reply, Im assuming that the EDL must be used before converting converting everything to DPX…it would be lots of wasted space to convert everything to DPX if you are only going to use specific image sequences on post, but I dont think that FCP or AVID can create an EDL that uses the R3D files as the source.

can you please clear this out for me?


#4

What I got confused about is the moment the EDL comes in, is it used before you convert your raw R3D files to DPX ?or do you convert all your footage to DPX and then use your EDL to see what DPX files to use?
The conversion from raw to hi-res(or online) image sequences is done after the editing using the EDL.

but I dont think that FCP or AVID can create an EDL that uses the R3D files as the source.
I go one step further and say that neither FCP nor Avid on whatever hardware setup can handle uncompressed 10 bit 4k or 5k files in realtime hence the lo-rez quicktime or whatever file format used.

And since editing isn’t primary about picture quality but pacing, rhythm, montage you use a technique called offline edit using lower resolution for capturing or file sequences(opposite to online edit where the footage is edited in full resolution.


#5

Thanks a lot scrimski! Got it perfectly now…needed your pieces to get the puzzle right. Im a vfx student so we dont really dive into editing, but Im the curious type so I began reading a lot and one thing led to another…I just needed to really understand the innerworking to get the bigger picture.
Thanks for your help…good stuff!


#6

DPX supports timecode just the way a tape would. Every frame has its specific TC. Depending on the software you use for conforming the dpx, the images need to be organized in certain folder hierarchies or not.

-k


#7

Intereseting.

How do you read out the TC apart from using an comp/NLE app?


#8

So basically the time code is just cut up on a frame by frame basis for each DPX file…I didnt know they had a header with timecode on it. When using an image sequence on comp software …you only need the specify the initial file name of the sequence…usually the “001” of the sequence, but in the case of timecode…is there a way to identify the whole image sequence just by time code analysis?


#9

actualy the dpx header can hold a lot more information then just the timecode, it can hold keycode, reelnames, etc etc. Not all programs can read every bit of metadata build in it, but most compositors can read timecode, when you load in a sequence the timecode will also just add up as it should.

EDL’s are also handy in that regard when working in comps which are transfered with handles or with camera start-stop (editor hands edl to postprod company and they reload in every shot they used but with some extra footage before and after), so at any point you can see which timecode your shot actualy starts when reading the timecode from your dpx


#10

actualy the dpx header can hold a lot more information then just the timecode, it can hold keycode, reelnames, etc etc.

Ok timecode seems easy to understand how it can embed that info from source, but what about all the other metadata it can hold? How does one log all this info? Is it done during ingest or is it done after converting footage to DPX sequences?


#11

http://www.cineon.com/ff_draft.php#data

a list of the metadata dpx can carry with him in it’s header.

I never bothered to think about where it’s insert but my best guess is that it’s all done during the telecine stage where the dpx’s are created


#12

I never bothered to think about where it’s insert but my best guess is that it’s all done during the telecine stage where the dpx’s are created

Yeah, thats what I thought in the case for film, but do you know how it might be done with high end 4k digitals? I tried searching the Red One user group however I only stumbled upon their workflow diagram. They use Red Camera propietary software to convert from raw R3D files to either lower rez quicktimes or DPX’s…but judging from the interface of that convertor app…there is no logging interface. So Im guessing its either done with another propietary software that I dont know about…or it is done in an NLE or comp software that supports that kind of logging in DPX files. What do you guys think?


#13

I think it’s happening during the actual recording in the camera onto the original r3d-files and transfered to the header of the dpx when converting.


#14

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