[tig] QuickTime and Telecine Productivity ?

Mark Gilbert mark
Sat Jan 3 22:08:15 GMT 2004

>Message: 2
>Date: Sat, 3 Jan 2004 10:27:03 -0800
>To: tig at tig.colorist.org
>From: "David L. Tosh" <dlt at earthlink.net>
>Subject: Re: [tig] QuickTime and Telecine Productivity ?

Hi David. !

My apologies that you objected to the content of my post. It was 
meant in the spirit of information _gathering_, not promotion.  We 
actually have nothing to sell at this point. :-)  Without some 
feedback from the telecine community, we may never have anything of 
any use to you.

>  >The new technology, called 'PictureReady', essentially allows
>>capture of video direct to disk, which is nothing very novel.
>>However the major step forward is the fact that the file being
>>written by PictureReady is a QuickTime Movie. ...
>This is hardly new technology. Aacom has been creating QuickTime
>media on their WSD-HD line for about 4 years.

with respect, if you had quoted the entire text, you would note the 
end of the paragraph continues:

"... this movie can be opened in an editing system WHILST IT IS BEING RECORDED"

This is the step forward for *QuickTime*.  The ability to begin using 
QuickTime recorded material before the transfer completes, for 
example to perform post syncing, or non-real time recompression to 
other formats (eg for MPEG2 dailies).

>>I guess the important issue here is that in a single pass, you can
>>be transferring picture, and begin post-syncing operations,
>>transfers, re-compression to other formats, all in real time,
>>without waiting for the telecine to finish...
>There  are more important issues in telecine than access to the

Great !.  This is the type of information I was really looking for !!!

>  Telecine is all about metadata.

Agreed.  MetaData has formed an important part of some of our other 
products, and we totally appreciate the importance of this in modern 

Please elaborate on what sort of metadata you consider important.

>Telecine is where modern
>postproduction adds value to simple media by creating the
>relationships with original media and all the information that is
>valuable to all the rest of the process. If your telecine session
>just puts picture on a hard disk without a comprehensive system to
>capture keykode, scene and take production data and the sync
>relationship to sound, you don't have anything to sell.

I understand.  We have consulted with companies such as Aaton to 
determine the appropriate route for keycode etc through the video 
subsystem. Currently it would appear that 3-line VITC is the favoured 
approach, for compatibility with existing systems like InDAW for post 
syncing. Our proposal is to maintain that existing approach, but also 
to consider alternatives which embed rich metadata into the media 
files in more explicit ways.  This of course relies on mechanisms to 
acquire the metadata into the recording engine, and also mechanisms 
to deliver this metadata down the line later.  Currently 3-line VITC 
seems the main technique,  although it poses certain issues, and 
could easily be replaced assuming other parts of the workflow can 
support alternatives.

We would really like to discuss techniques for modern open metadata 
flow, if anyone has strong ideas on this.

>Does your product record high definition 1080PsF24 with SMPTE ancillary data?

It can certainly record 1080 24p QuickTime movies, with a Timecode 
track.  There are significant opportunities to store additional 
metadata in the QuickTime movies, using standardised, published 
mechanisms, although as I mentioned above, it depends a little on how 
the additional data is fed into the recorder.   What information 
should the 'SMPTE ancillary data' include ?

>How do you handle time of day production timecode that is

PictureReady is primarily focused on picture, although it can record sound.

We have made other products in the past, such as our InstantLok 
recorder, which was designed _specifically_ to capture location sound 
with broken timecode, automatically performing reverse jam-sync to 
the start of clips.  Also, in 1995 we released a product (no longer 
available) which did the same thing using a high-speed DAT mechanism 
to load production sound with broken timecode at 2.2x real time 
speed.  A very impressive technology, It was rather before its time, 
and ironically, by the time it caught on, the mechanism we used had 
been discontinued by Seagate who made it.

Loading sound is not the focus of my research, and in fact our view 
of telecine sound workflow is clearly anticipating disk-based 
location sound becoming the norm, where broken timecode is handled at 
the recording stage with creation of discrete files (or the 
equivalent of this in telecine, for non disk-recorded audio).  I am 
guessing that disk-based production sound recording will become the 
majority in the fairly near future.

>Can you capture two or more timecode "tracks"?

This is certainly possible. QuickTime movies can house an unlimited 
number of timecode tracks.  However, as I mentioned before, the issue 
are how to get the data into the system.  Its certainly possible to 
read (and store) multiple different sources of regular VITC or LTC, 
but we don't currently have a way to explicitly deconstruct 3-line 
VITC into data, and hence simply recording it as picture is the 
current model. Also depends on whether the end-system can deal with 
multiple quicktime timecode tracks.

>Is production audio recorded to the disk in advance of picture so
>post-syncing can be done in place

This would be down to the specific workflow.  You could do it either way.

>  or do you think post sync is simply
>playback of picture from disk in another suite?

PictureReady would typically support post sync in a workflow where 
production sound is pre-loaded before (or during) the telecine 
transfer on an InDAW, and post syncing takes place as soon as picture 
is available (in this case, some picture becomes available 
immediately).   As I understand it, aaton code on the film is 
required for real-time sound syncing during telecine, and this is not 
common in many scenarios.

My current vision of this would be for PictureReady to feed a 
QuickTime movie (being recorded) to VirtualVTR, which is being 
controlled by an InDAW via 9-pin for post syncing. The 3-line VITC in 
the picture would be fed to the InDAW to transport the KeyCode.  This 
setup has been discussed with an engineer at Aaton, who felt it 
should be viable.

Incidentally, the sound track of PictureReady *is* an SD2 file, which 
could also be 'worked on' during record, if that fits the workflow, 
although in the above situation it would typically be a mute 
telecine, with audio post-sync.

>David Tosh
><dlt at earthlink.net>

Once, again my apologies for any misunderstanding of the motives for 
my post. As I say, I am on a fact-finding mission, not information 
distribution.  The information presented in this mail was 
specifically in response to your direct questions.   I am far more 
interested in learning about what people need to develop new 
workflows, than I am on promoting a currently non-existent product.

If this is inappropriate, please unsubscribe me from this list, and 
we will find another forum for our questions.

Best regards

Mark Gilbert
mark at gallery.co.uk
Tel: +44 208 340 5677
fax: +44 870 055 7790

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