To convert digital film footage, every transcoding software requires two overall components: The source clips themselves, and some kind of “instructions” as to what should be created from the source clips during transcoding.
In Silverstack Lab we call these instructions transcoding configurations. The transcoding configurations determine all important attributes of the transcoded clips, such as codec, resolution, and many more.
The transcoding configurations in Silverstack Lab are designed to enable an easy fulfillment of the various dailies requirements, that can come either from successive production steps, or personal preferences of the receiving individuals.
In the following we will show some examples of how the transcoding configurations in Silverstack Lab contribute to an easy dailies creation process.
1. High Flexibility & Clarity: Easy Preparation to Avoid Misconfigurations
The transcoding configurations in Silverstack Lab can be created and configured totally independent of the source. This gives the operator several advantages and especially makes preparation up front easier.
You can even go as far as creating the transcoding configurations before the actual start of the project. This makes it possible to create the configurations in a calm environment, before going to a hectic shooting day. For example if you have to swap machines, you can prepare a project settings file that includes your configurations. You can then import this file with its pre-determined presets / configurations to your Silverstack Lab project whenever you need it.
The transcoding configurations also allow to configure raw decoding settings independent from the source. This means that if you want to transcode from ARRIRAW with 1/2 resolution and REDCODE RAW with 1/4 resolution to the same H.264 720p file you can use a single transcoding configuration.
After you’ve prepared all your transcoding configurations, and want to make sure that you don’t accidentally change them, you can simply lock them.
This high flexibility of the configurations allows easy preparation and helps to avoid misconfiguration in more stressful situations.
Let’s take a closer look at the detailed settings that are possible inside the configurations.
2. Detailed Burn In Options: Precise Visual References in Proxy Clips
It is a common requirement to make information about a clip visible in the image of its transcoded proxy clip.
Silverstack Lab offers detailed burn in options that make it easy to fulfill specific requests concerning information in the image, e.g. by post production or the DP.
There are three types of elements that can be burned into the image:
- Frame lines
- Metadata (e.g file name or TC)
- Overlays / watermarks (e.g. logos)
Here are some details about the burn in types:
1. Frame Lines
Frame line burn ins enable you to display the framed area in the proxy clips. By allowing custom aspect ratios and different visualization options, like darkening the outside areas, the settings offer high flexibility to meet a variety of requirements.
Six burn in fields can be selected around the image to make clip metadata visible. Very common clip name writing but also slate information can be burned into the proxy clip. Additionally to this static clip information, also dynamic clip info like video TC, or even dynamic lens information, that can change throughout the clip, can be included.
3. Overlays / Watermarks
It can be required to make sure that proxy clips are overlayed with some sort of logo to e.g. clarify ownership of the clips. An image file (png/jpg) can be selected and positioned inside the clip.
Furthermore a detailed configuration of positioning, font types, and sizes and transparencies is provided to meet the specific needs.
Extending on the above, more caveats can be found in the details of the transcoding configurations: For example the H.264 bitrate calculator makes it easy for the user to deliver H.264 dailies in the intended quality and file size.
3. Transcoding Preview: Visualize Results Immediately
In the image above you can see the combined efforts to burn in frame lines, metadata and a logo in a proxy clip. All of this is visualized in the transcoding preview.
The transcoding preview allows to visualize the upcoming results after transcoding immediately. This not only saves time, as you can easily see e.g. the results of your burn ins without the need to actually transcode, but it also helps to spot errors early.
The tedious process of having to re-transcode to see frame line or letter box results, can be time consuming and complicated. An immediate feedback on the look of the proxy clips gives you clarity and peace of mind about the proxy results.
To sum it up, we can see that the transcoding configurations in Silverstack Lab offer a great variety of options that help the user fulfill the requirements for the proxy files. This helps to simplify the dailies process, and also gives the user and adequate toolset at hand to be well prepared, and to avoid stressful situations in which important details need to be configured in a rush.