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Old May 9th, 2012, 02:26 PM   #1
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Left/Right split of Sony MVC files?

Dear all,

I'm sorry; I know this basic question has been asked, and answered, before. Unfortunately, I've painted myself into a corner, so I'd appreciate some de-painting help.

I bought my NX3D1 right before my interview shoot, and so didn't test out the CMU software on it, until I was in the thick of things. When I didn't understand the workflow right away, I defaulted to using PMB to get the footage off the camera, as I had with my TD10. Since then, I've figured out CMU, and have had time to regret my earlier choice.

The problem is this. CMU doesn't recognize the footage that I imported via PMB, and thus, will not separate it into left/right eyes. So, naturally, I've brought the footage into Vegas, and am outputting from there. But the interview clips are an hour each, and Vegas is taking 36 hours (!!) to output each pair!

So yes, I have a solution, but it's a heckuva bottleneck. Any other suggestions?

Thanks!

-matt faw
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Old May 9th, 2012, 03:50 PM   #2
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Re: Left/Right split of Sony MVC files?

Matt,

How about using the trial version of GoPro Studio Pro? You can ingest from the MTS files into Cineform High or FilmScan1 - which is VERY high quality. You can choose at ingest to keep the streams separate - or - MUX them into one Cineform file. You can cut and color correct within Cineform and then produce your final in any format that you want.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 08:50 PM   #3
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Re: Left/Right split of Sony MVC files?

Thank you very much, David, for your recommendation.

I have downloaded the Cineform Studio Professional (for Windows), as you suggested. The HDLink did indeed allow me to wrap my .m2ts file in a Cineform codec. However, the final resultant output is pre-muxed. I have scoured the UI, the preference page, the online help, and even FirstLight, and cannot find any way to separate the eyes.

Do you have any further suggestions? Does the Mac version have what I need?

Thanks!

-matt faw
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Old May 9th, 2012, 11:25 PM   #4
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Re: Left/Right split of Sony MVC files?

Ah... sorry. It allows some file-types to be split, but, looks like it forces MVC to be muxed. If you do have access to a Mac, you can move the muxed Cineform files over. Quicktime7 Player or Compressor can be used to peal off the left and right eyes into separate Cineform files. I know it ads another tedious step - but - it's pretty fast. It doesn't transcode.

There may be another method to demux the file on the PC. I'll give it a try in a bit.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 03:01 AM   #5
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Re: Left/Right split of Sony MVC files?

There is a free Sony Content Management tool that can split the files in L and R. But I think that even that will work for the PC only.

Content Management Utility Ver.2.1 : Download : Sony Middle East & Africa

Do not know if that can be helpful.

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Old May 10th, 2012, 09:45 AM   #6
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Re: Left/Right split of Sony MVC files?

Actually.... duh.... my brain finally booted. Now that you have the Cineform codec installed, with GoProStudio, you can use MVCtoAVI (3dtv.at - MVC to AVI Converter). I KNOW this works because this is how I used to split TD10 files up. You can configure MVCtoAVI to ingest the MTS file and squirt out left and right AVI container files using any codec installed. I recommend outputting to Cineform HIGH or FILMSCAN1.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 11:17 AM   #7
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Re: Left/Right split of Sony MVC files?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M. Cole View Post
If you do have access to a Mac, you can move the muxed Cineform files over. Quicktime7 Player or Compressor can be used to peal off the left and right eyes into separate Cineform files. I know it ads another tedious step - but - it's pretty fast. It doesn't transcode..
Thanks a lot, David + Wolfgang, for your replies. Wolfgang, I will definitely use the CMU, from now on, BEFORE I get myself in this kind of mess.

David, I'll try the above quoted solution. I am currently editing on FCP, so .AVI feels like a lengthy detour (and data explosion); I'd rather keep it in the .MOV world. My computer is a Hackintosh, so I have easy access to both platforms.

Of course, it also would also make sense to pay for Cineform, but my last experiment with them showed big problems in transcoding (dramatic time code drift between the eyes). And the price tag is pretty hefty, at a moment when I'm bleeding money for this project. Still, it could solve a host of issues, if I can get past that sync problem.

I cut the last one on Vegas, and thus didn't have any of the transcode problems, but then, Vegas comes with its own share of trade-offs...
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Old May 10th, 2012, 12:43 PM   #8
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Re: Left/Right split of Sony MVC files?

MVC-to-AVC into left and right Cineform files works really well. You can easily (and quickly) re-wrapper the AVI to MOV container. (Cineform Tech Blog Blog Archive Rewrapping CineForm AVI Files to MOV (and Vice-Versa) on Windows)

So:

1) MVC-to-AVI into l&R cinefom Hight or FILMSCAN1 .AVI files,
2) HDLink to re-wrap .AVIs into .MOVs (it's a batch process and its FAST),
3) Move cineform files to the Mac where you can cut and color correct with impunity (plenty of headroom in CF).

BUT... if you are cutting in FCP, why not just use the MUXED Cineform files that GoPro Studio Pro creates? It's GREAT to cut the MUXED files - you can cut in a single video track, as if you were cutting a single eye. Install the Cineform Go Pro Studio Pro trial on the Mac too... then you'll have access to all the metadata adjusting tools. That workflow looks like this:

1) GOPro Studio Pro PC to convert MTS files to 3D Muxed Cineform HIGH or FILMSCAN1 .MOV files (it's an option to create .MOVs instead of AVIs)
2) Import into FCP as single files
3) Use Mac Cineform menubar option to control how Muxed file is rendered (Left, Right, Side-Side, Difference, etc.)
4) Use Mac Firstlight or GoPro Studio Pro to do any convergence or first-light color correction on the files. You can do that at ANY time in the workflow -before final output out of FCP, because it just adjusts the metadata)

By the way - I've been a Cineform user for a long time - and a Cineform 3D user since Neo3D. I've had my share of problems (and still do) - but - drift of a muxed file is absolutely not one of them. That element is rock solid.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 06:55 PM   #9
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Re: Left/Right split of Sony MVC files?

Thanks, David, for your reply. I am happy to give the trial version of Cineform another try, as an edit tool. I don't know why I got so much timecode drift last time (actually it was worse than just drift. It would add black frames at the top of one eye, and lop off the end of the file). BTW, this wasn't of a muxed file, but happened during the conversion of twin demuxed files into Cineform codec.

Of course, the $1G price tag for Cineform is pretty hefty (my other reservation), but I do recognize it as an investment in the future. I definitely prefer keeping the files muxed, throughout the workflow, for ease of data management. Do you know: would one purchase of Cineform cover both my Mac and PC sides of my Hackintosh?

My previous experience with MVC-to-AVI converter was also problematic, which is why I shy away from that solution. When I last tried that program, the converted files were literally 100X larger in file size than the originals. Whereas, when I converted these files to ProRes, it is more like 6X the file size, a much more manageable ratio (I have a TB of 3DA1 and MVC interview footage to convert). Maybe you know a work-around for that, as well?

Each option seems to have its strengths and weaknesses. I've started down the FCP ProRes route on this project, because I know Final Cut so well, and won't need to monitor anything in 3D for awhile (at which point I assumed I'd purchase the Dashwood suite). But as you know, I'm also considering Avid, and am interested in other solutions. I can spend some money, but I have lots of other needs for that. And I can learn new workflows, but I have plenty of that ahead of me in the CGI, compositing and finishing phases. So I'm trying to find the most elegant, least frustrating, and preferably, least expensive route.

Again, thank you, David; you've been very kind in giving feedback throughout. I appreciate any guidance you can offer.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 08:54 PM   #10
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Re: Left/Right split of Sony MVC files?

>>would one purchase of Cineform cover both my Mac and PC sides of my Hackintosh?

No. And it's a drag too, because, the MAC version lacks an MVC decoder at the moment. So, you have to use the PC version to ingest the MVC file. However, Cineform gives you a few bites at the trial apple. You can install Pro, then Premium - for 30 days of trial. After that, if they still haven't got the kinks out of Mac MVC, I'm pretty sure they will give you an extended trial license for the PC version. They are good folks!

>> my previous experience with MVC-to-AVI converter was also problematic

Probably because you were using an AVI uncompressed format (essentially uncompressed YUV in an AVI wrapper). Using the Cineform codec will save you big time there, with negligible loss of quality.

-- BUT-- I think you are best served by using PC GoPro Studio Pro to Mux and stay in Cineform Muxed for the whole post process.

>> So I'm trying to find the most elegant, least frustrating, and preferably, least expensive route.

I'd REALLY go the free route now. Use the PC and Mac free GoPro Studio Pro trials and cut the muxed files. I'm cutting a lot of CF Muxed on the mac right now... it works well.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 12:37 PM   #11
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Re: Left/Right split of Sony MVC files?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M. Cole View Post
>> my previous experience with MVC-to-AVI converter was also problematic
Probably because you were using an AVI uncompressed format (essentially uncompressed YUV in an AVI wrapper). Using the Cineform codec will save you big time there, with negligible loss of quality.
-- BUT-- I think you are best served by using PC GoPro Studio Pro to Mux and stay in Cineform Muxed for the whole post process.
>> So I'm trying to find the most elegant, least frustrating, and preferably, least expensive route.
I'd REALLY go the free route now. Use the PC and Mac free GoPro Studio Pro trials and cut the muxed files. I'm cutting a lot of CF Muxed on the mac right now... it works well.
Thanks again, David, for your detailed help along the way. I admit, I know nothing about AVI (I've always been a Mac-only person, until I just recently started working with stereo). It's always hard to know what's going wrong with my workflow, when I'm ignorant of any reference points.

The GoPro Studio Pro does sound like a very useful tool. The big question about that is: won't I be locked into buying it, if I use the muxed Cineform files? Or will I be able to encode during the trial period, and then cut with those files, even though the software has expired? Note, also, that all the footage I'm working with now are interviews shot in front of a greenscreen, so at some point in the near future, I'm going to have to demux those shots, to pull keys in After Effects. After I have my a-roll cut, I'll go out and shoot b-roll and plates, plus create virtual sets in 3D Studio Max, so eventually all that new footage will have to be integrated into my stereo workflow. Does that sound like it would work with the GoPro trial version, or do you think it would just be best to invest now in the full software?
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Old May 11th, 2012, 05:18 PM   #12
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Re: Left/Right split of Sony MVC files?

Matt, don't abandon CMU just yet. I know it's the worst software ever of all time, but I still think you can get your files split using it. I just had this problem with some footage from the NX3D1 from another friend and was able to get it working as long as you have the original card files intact. I don't think it will work with PMB processed files at all.

I know you kept your original card transfers intact so go back to them and do the following with CMU

1. copy them to the C:\Windows\User\(your name)\My Videos folder as separate folders for each MVC card.
2. boot CMU and REGISTER the folder(s) from that location (just below File, second icon from left)
3. IMPORT that folder into CMU

When that's done it should start showing your files as M2TS and thumbnails. Right click/Separate as 2D (etc). The files will be put into the same folder that you imported. The problem seems to be that the original MTS files are not recognized (you get a error that says unsupported media) until they are changed into M2TS format.

The converted files will be marked with a lower case l and r.

read this for some additional info;
http://pro.sony-asia.com/product/res...HXR-NX3D1P.pdf

Hope this helps
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Old May 11th, 2012, 08:26 PM   #13
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Re: Left/Right split of Sony MVC files?

Thanks, Bruce!

As you suggested, I had no problems at all (once I took a longer look at CMU) splitting the NX3D1 files that I had copied straight to my drive. I didn't even need to bring them back out to the camera.

The problem I'm trying to deal with now, is splitting those few .m2ts files that I unfortunately brought in with PMB.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 08:53 PM   #14
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Re: Left/Right split of Sony MVC files?

What CMU version are you using? Ver 2.1 is avail here if you have an earlier version.
Content Management Utility Ver.2.1 : Download : Sony Middle East & Africa

Here's a thread that might have some useful info
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1349684 and here;
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/archi...t-1355276.html
maybe the guys on this AVS forum have some useful tips since they seem to be using the PMB program regularly.

But I'm unclear as to why you can't go back to the camera originals you processed with PMB and start over again with CMU? Are the PMB processed files the only remaining versions? CMU appears to only like M2TS files for splitting L/R, so you will need to get to that format and CMU is the best way I've found to do it. Otherwise Sony Vegas or Edius may be the only fallback process that might work.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 08:41 AM   #15
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Re: Left/Right split of Sony MVC files?

> won't I be locked into buying it, if I use the muxed Cineform files?

Not really. You can always decode Cineform and set the decode preferences. That part of the codec is free. You will lose the ability to encode and modify metadata once the trials run out.

> Note, also, that all the footage I'm working with now are interviews shot in front of a greenscreen, so at some point in the near future, I'm going to have to demux those shots, to pull keys in After Effects.

No problem. You can do it right in Quicktime7 or compressor - you can generate a left and right image sequence for After Effects.

> or do you think it would just be best to invest now in the full software?

I think I'd get your project underway and make sure there are no roadblocks. It's EASY to push the buy button any time - they'll just send you an activation key.

You know - even if you DID have the Content Management Utility working, you'd have to transcode the resulting L&R H.264 files into an intermediate format with decent headroom (422 color) before you did any color work... so... this really isn't an extra step. Of course, you could have ingested into ProRes 422 for free - but - then you'd need Dashwood to cut it. And that workflow has many steps too.
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