Getting the most out of your HV20, Final Cut Pro and Blackmagic Intensity

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So for the few of us out there that have a consumer camera like the canon HV20 and understands what it means to record in 4:2:2 vs 4:2:0 I’d like to share with you the settings that work best for me.

I tend to use Apples ProRes 4:2:2 Codec while editing in Final cut pro as I find it to be one of the best codecs with a pretty good management of bandwitdh bloat. If you got the cash though, cineform NeoHD is really decent on this front, but the entry price is at $499. You can either buy their product, or continue reading.

Create a Sequence Preset in Final Cut Pro

Go to the menu Final Cut Pro -> Audio/Video Settings… Click on the “Sequence Presets” tab. Now click any of the presets and press the “Duplicate” button. Select the duplicate you just created in the list and enter the settings as shown:
sequence setting generalsequence preset video processing

You may notice that rendering is set to 10-bit even though the HV20 is only capable of 8 bit. I keep this at 10 bit to avoid banding of color when adding effects and wipes. Click OK to save your settings. Now before you leave the Audio/Video settings dialog, it’s probably best to create an easy setup. Click on the “Summary” tab and make your change the settings to the following:
Create easy setup


If you don’t have an entry for Blackmagic HDTV 1080i 59.94 - Apple ProRes (HQ) then you may need to reinstall your Blackmagick drivers. FYI - Don’t worry about entering all that information, you can just click on the download software button and skip it all.

Make your Compressor Setting

Now comes the most important part setting up compressor to turn that 60i into pristine 24p. You can either follow Apples directions here to setup compressor or download the droplet from me and put into your ~/Library/Application Support/Compressor/ directory. OK so here are the final steps:

1. Launch Final cut Pro, choose your newly created “easy setup”
2. Record your footage via HDMI to a directory (make sure your camera is set to 24p mode!)
3. Launch Compressor
4. In the bin in final cut pro right click on your footage and select “Reveal in finder…”
5. Drag your media files to the compressor into your batch window
6. Apply your new custom setting to the video files in compressor
7. Submit!
8. If your on an Intel MacPro, it should rip through your footage pretty quick, if you’re on a mini, I’ll ask you why…
9. Go back to final cut pro and drag the files created by compressor into your final cut pro bin window.
10. If you don’t already have a sequence setup create one (should be the new 24p pro res sequence)

If all has gone well, you will see not see any interlacing or doubling of frames. You should also have no need to render to play the video. If you do see a red bar for your footage, make sure your sequence settings match everything above and re-inspect your footage in the bin to make sure it was encoded correctly. Edit at will and make your 24p masterpiece.

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