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Old January 12th, 2005, 08:00 PM   #1
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a response from Serious Magic

Hi Guys,

Just wanted to chime in here - I'm part of the Serious Magic tech support division, and I get the "Mac question" asked at least once a week.

We developed our software around a technology that lets us communicate on a very low level with the video card in the PC. This gives us a number of advantages in speed and performance, and lets us do things that are not normally available with CPU horsepower alone.

Unfortunately, this ability to communicate with the video card is not available on the Mac platform. We did the research on what it would take to build this technology, and it would take literally years to recreate it for the Mac. The underlying infrastructure just isn't there.

We do track the number of requests and calls we get for Mac support, and with some of the upcoming changes in the Mac OS it may be feasible in the future. But, we are still talking about months and months of development time, if the company does decide it's financially viable.

I used to work for Apple (Employee 28774) and I understand the loyalty that Mac customers have. However, when it comes down to it, a Mac and a PC are just tools. I don't berate my crescent wrench because I have a set of sockets. Each has their place in an editing environment. With the Mac, there are great tools like Final Cut, and Shake is really coming into its own.
PC's have a plethora of editing programs - Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas, plus tons of small cheap programs for doing compositing/finishing.

We did design DV Rack to provide clips for Final Cut as well - it will save to an external drive in QuickTime format.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 06:44 AM   #2
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Karl,

Thanks to you and the others for taking the time to explain Serious Magic's position and future. I've been one of the complainers, but I do appreciate any company that actually takes the time to respond. I'm over it, and hope you guys remember that getting requests for products from passionate buyers that want to spend $ isn't such a bad thing overall!

Murph
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Old January 13th, 2005, 10:13 AM   #3
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I think everything you say, Karl, is very fair. Thank you for stopping by here!
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Old January 13th, 2005, 11:52 AM   #4
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I must apologize as well as I have been a royal PITA about Mac support for lots of apps including this one (and Macromedia Authorware). Having spent some serious time at your web site though I can only say... DAMN! That looks like a really sweet app! Now I am really in a pickle! I do have 4 PC's but they are all desktop units and I have been trying for years to get away from Windoze (because of stability problems) but if I can find a decent little PC laptop (similar to a 12" Powerbook for specs) it might be enough to make me buy one. (if for no other reason than to not have to lug around my Sony monitor)

I do have a question though. How does DVRack handle anamorphic video? Will it display it as 16:9 or still squeezed into 4:3? I'm sorry to ask this here but I didn't see it specifically described on the SM website.

Thanks to all your team for visiting and chatting with us, even us "a little too fanatical" users.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 12:19 PM   #5
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Anamorphic support

DV Rack's field monitor has both a "letterboxing" mode, which puts black bars over the input, and a pixel aspect ratio setting for using anamorphic 16:9 video.

We recently added some additional keyboard shortcuts for anamorphic support. Press F8 or Ctrl-F8 to toggle the field monitor from 1.33 aspect to 1.78 aspect, respectively.
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Old February 25th, 2005, 11:54 PM   #6
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does it display true 16:9 video from native chips?
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Old February 26th, 2005, 06:49 AM   #7
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John: it displays the DV signal as it gets it from the camera, at
the moment it doesn't display this at full resolution.

I'm not sure what the chips have to do with this....

It does display it in the correct (pixel) aspect ratio.
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Old February 26th, 2005, 05:42 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Lohman : John: it displays the DV signal as it gets it from the camera, at
the moment it doesn't display this at full resolution.

I'm not sure what the chips have to do with this....

It does display it in the correct (pixel) aspect ratio. -->>>

I think he meant 'clips' instead of "chips". Typo?

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Old May 9th, 2005, 09:44 PM   #9
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Hey KARL,

just wondering if DV rack can simply be used on MAC's running MS virtual PC ? Or am I getting way ahead of myself ? Since the software infrastructure is just diferrent and can't be done through this shortcut ?

Another qeustion would be if its possible to just get a PC laptop and get the footaged dumped out later from the laptop to a G5 for FCP editing ?


Thanks.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 08:15 AM   #10
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Quick Notes

Heya:

Virtual PC would not do the trick here: see Karl's note about direct access to the video hardware. The mac doesn't have it at all... it sure as heck isn't going to emulate it with any speed worth using.

A note about QuickTime, though. Karl, you may be aware that the QuickTime files saved out of DVRack are "not optimized for use in Final Cut Pro." I've found that opening the clips in QuickTime player and doing a "save as..." and selecting "self contained" does the trick. I believe what's happening here is that the data is being "flattened."

Can you check into whether it's possible to have DVRack "flatten" the clips after it's closed them out (i.e. after "stop" is pressed)? This saves a lot of time for end users, and makes things like removing advanced pulldown a lot less painful.

Lastly, a 1 to 1 pixel preview would be really nice... I had to apologize to my camera operator for questioning his ability to focus the camera when I was looking at it on DVRack: I didn't realize that the softness is part of DVRack and NOT part of his focusing ability!
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Old May 10th, 2005, 03:26 PM   #11
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Doug, please e-mail me. I'd like to discuss this further. This isn't something I've had reported before. If we get some before/after "flattening" examples, we can determine what this process is doing, and see what it would take to eliminate the extra step.

Thanks!
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Old May 11th, 2005, 02:53 AM   #12
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Wow.

figures... but what about the footage captured on the PC lappy ? Can I import it directly to FCP on a MAC through USB/firewire as a data transfer ?
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Old May 11th, 2005, 03:18 PM   #13
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Yes, you can use clips recorded by DV Rack on a Mac. Most of our customers who use Macs for editing record clips directly to external hdd. Plug that drive into the Mac, and you're good to go.

Doug: full res preview is in the works. It's already implemented in the soon-to-be-released HDV PowerPak upgrade, and shortly after that's out the door we should be making it available as a patch for DV Rack users who don't purchase the HDV upgrade.
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Old May 12th, 2005, 03:08 AM   #14
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Sweet.

So I should choose 'Quicktime' under the file type I want to capture in DV rack on the lappy ?
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Old May 12th, 2005, 08:03 AM   #15
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You can use the import file function in FCP to import AVI files right into FCP. I just did this from a shoot where I used Canon's DVPC recorder to record to the harddrive in my laptop. You can then network your pc to the mac using TCP/IP over firewire. Dump the files to your mac and open them. FCP will give you the warning about the files not being optimized for multi-stream editing but I had no problem dragging an AVI clip into the viewer or the timeline.

regards,

-gb-
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