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Time to Process a Hour of RAW Footage

I finally thought of a good tool to measure workflow that the NLE should automate: time to process a minute of raw footage.

Building on top of my previous post about the need for NLE analytics; I finally thought of a good tool to measure workflow that the NLE should automate: time to process a minute of raw footage. It would be expressed as a ratio.

For example:
  • an xdccm workflow that involves loading from a PDW-1600 deck would have a ratio of 1:1.
  • an Arri workflow that requires transcoding ProRes4444 footage to DNX36 might be 2:1.
  • a time-lapse workflow that involves Lightroom and After Effects could be 12:1.

I think this measurement is helpful because it can inform the budgeting and planning phases of post production by answering questions such as; is it worth spending the money to have a DIT transcode footage on set? How much time AE time will be required to properly load/ingest this footage? It will also make it easier to compare workflows

I will attempt this on my next show. I would even like to include the time to preform peripheral tasks such as labelling and backup copying. I suspect that there will be a big variation between processing lots of little files and a few long files. Anyway, I think this is the first useful measurement and indicator I’ve come up with since I’ve started asking myself this question in late 2009. I’m excited to try it out in the future.

All that said; this is something that a computer would be able to spit out immediately and I hope that someone at Adobe and Avid are listening.

3 replies on “Time to Process a Hour of RAW Footage”

[…] like ProRes or DNxHD. We call this process transcoding and boy does it take a long time! Since our NLE’s do not include tools to measure how much time this step takes, testing is the only way to reliably estimate how much time your support team of Assistant Editors […]

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