To convert digital film footage, every transcoding software requires two overall components: The source clips themselves and some kind of “instructions” about what you want the software to create from them during transcoding.
In Silverstack Lab, we call these instructions “transcoding presets”. The transcoding presets determine all important attributes of the transcoded clips, such as codec, resolution, and many more.
The transcoding presets in Silverstack Lab are designed to easily fulfil the various dailies requirements, which can come from successive production steps or the recipient’s personal preferences.
In the following, we will show some examples of how the transcoding presets in Silverstack Lab contribute to an easy dailies creation process.
1. High Flexibility & Clarity: Easy Preparation to Avoid Misconfigurations
The transcoding presets in Silverstack Lab can be created and configured completely independently of the source. This gives the operator several advantages and especially makes prior preparation easier.
You can even go as far as creating the transcoding presets before the actual start of the project. This makes it possible to create the presets in a calm environment before the hectic shooting day starts. For example, if you have to swap machines, you can prepare a project settings file that includes your presets. You can then import this file with its pre-determined presets to your Silverstack Lab project whenever you need it.
The transcoding presets also allow configuring 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 preset.
After you’ve prepared all your transcoding presets and want to ensure you don’t accidentally change them, you can simply lock them.
This high flexibility 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 presets.
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, which 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 logo, for example, to 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, font 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 presets: 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
The above image shows 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 visualizing the upcoming results after transcoding immediately. This not only saves time, as you can easily see 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. Immediate feedback on the look of the proxy clips gives you clarity and peace of mind about the proxy results.
To sum up, we can see that the transcoding presets 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 an adequate toolset at hand to be well-prepared, and to avoid stressful situations in which important details need to be configured in a rush.
Data Management and Dailies in One.