I had one of those “D’oh!” moments today.  Oddly because it was a situation I faced before, YEARS ago, and solved, but for some reason I didn’t think of the solution again, until a day later.

I have been busy lately.  Busy on this ONE show that I have to do four versions on.  2 hour domestic (with commercial breaks), 2 hour international (additional footage, NO breaks), then one hour domestic and one hour international.  QUITE a task as this was done  with the offline edit/online workflow, and one that had me travelling for a remote online.  BUT…more on that later.

So while I am doing all of these outputs, I also need to make DVDs of these cuts.  Seems simple enough, right?  Export a ref movie, take into Compressor, use a preset, compress, make a DVD.  And it is fairly simple.  That works great for the ones that we need CLEAN.  But then we also need DVDs with burned in timecode.  THAT ain’t so simple.  Well, normally it is, as I do this all the time with one series I have here.  But for some reason this show is acting up.  The reference QT I exported didn’t have embedded timecode (I even tried self contained QT), so the Timecode filter in Compressor didn’t display it properly, it started at 00:00:00;00.

Useless.

So I thought about importing that REF movie into FCP, dropping a TC Generator onto it…then I get the GREEN render bar.  96 min show…rendering would take forever.  I tried exporting directly to Compressor, with QMASTER set up, and that said it would take 6 hours.  Just not right.

Then I rememebered having this same issue WAAAAY back when I started with FCP.  Encoding a DVD of the ROUGH CUT to the network took 19 hours (on a G5).  Too long.  So, I bought a capture card, Kona LH, and a DVD recorder, and output in real time.  Didn’t render, as this was a rough cut.

So NOW, here I am, same situation.  BUT, I don’t need to drop timecode onto the track, or nest or export a QT then reimport.  Because I am using a Kona card (LH in that particular bay, and Kona 3 in my online bay), and version 6 of the drivers has a TIMECODE OPTION.  Click this, a lower third timecode reader pops up, and there you go.  Hooked up a DVD recorder, pressed play.  DVD done in 2 hours.

KonaCP_Timecode

THANK GOD.

Still encoding the non-timecoded DVDs, as we make menus for them.  But the visible timecode ones are for other reasons, so quality isn’t a big issue.

OK, more deliverables to worry about.  Back to work.