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Old July 1st, 2004, 09:15 PM   #496
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No. I cannot figure out what's wrong with the Sheer Video download I have, I even downloaded pro and QT still couldn't read the file. Followed the download instructions, everything, I have no idea what's wrong.

The only thing I can think of is that the file is 10-bit, and all the Sheer Video stuff I've downloaded has an 8-bit limit.

Is there a place I can get the 10-bit for Mac?
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Old July 1st, 2004, 09:48 PM   #497
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BTW Obin,

Have you achieved sound-sync yet with your camera? I thought the frame-rate was fluctuating, that might spell trouble for the sound crew, especially during long takes.

On the editing front, with the tools in FCP and Quicktime, you have no concerns for loosing quality.

Basically use the new 10-bit RGB codec from Blackmagic. From there import the files into FCP, and using the auxilary timecode track, assign the files timecode (you can't do this in an Avid ;-) and sync them to the audio. Create offline versions of the file for editing. Once you've locked the picture go back to the original 10-bit RGB files and do an online version inside of FCP. Export that file as a quicktime reference movie file to combustion, color finesse version 2.0 (it will have an awesome stand-alone version that will like to FCP via XML, and is the best CC our there next to a Pogol or Davinci), etc. and do the final color-correct. Also do your final render out of THOSE apps, not FCP, just export a reference movie file or use the XML hooks from FCP into Color Finesse 2.0, since FCP is limited to 8-bit in the RGB color-space. From there import back into FCP for output on a Blackmagic HD Pro to HDCAM-SR, or take the 10-bit RGB quicktime file to Lasergraphics, etc. for output to film.

Of course this is a very simplified approach, but something that FCP will allow you to do, that no other app can. Premiere Pro/Vegas were not made for the offline/online workflow like FCP and AVID, nor do they have the years of experience doing this. In addition, you won't have access to the 10-bit RGB codec from Blackmagic, since neither Vegas nor PPro are Quicktime native.

In any case though, your workflow will be slowed-down by rendering, rendering, rendering, and there's a LOT of pitfalls along the way that could compromise the image. I'm sure the producer calling you up doesn't have the money for Cinesite, Technicolor, etc, people who are experienced in the digital intermediate workflow, so you're going to have to go through some of those pains yourself, hopefully there won't be any hiccups. But the good thing is that with FCP and the new Color Finesse 2.0, the tools are there to get the job done without any loss in quality.
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 12:01 AM   #498
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Hi Jason,

I read your very interesting post. It seems that there is a very large amount of data and app switching required to make the whole system work. Would it be simpler to just use the Prospect HD system? It is a compressed system, but if one can do an initial color correction on the raw camera files based on color charts shot on set, and export those files into the Propect codec, the rest of the editing and final color correction could just take place in 1 app with full resolution 10 bit footage.

I understand that the system you propose keeps the full uncompressed quality of the signal, but I suspect many people would be willing to take a visually minor quality hit to avoid having to deal with swapping proxy footage, learning 3 apps, giant hard drive arrays, etc. I certainly would.

The $22k-$30k cost of the system is certainly significant. What I would like to see someday is something like a $1500-$2000 version of Prospect that just did cuts-only real time playback; that's all you really need for most narrative movie editing.

Is there more to it? I honestly don't know and would like to know.

Thanks,

Eliot
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 04:49 AM   #499
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Obin,
Have you seen the Pipe HD family of products from Aurora Video Systems? They offer 10-Bit uncompressed editing for use with Final Cut Pro. Price ranges from $499 to $1,499.
Check it out at www.auroravideosystems.com

Are you pleased with the results you've gotten from your custom camera so far? I ask because I'm interested in building one as well. Your still images looked good, yet the lower resolution Quicktime file of the girl waving the sheet around had a strobe effect to it. Unfortunately, the sheervideo codec isn't out for PC yet, so I haven't been able to watch your uncompressed clip.

I recall you mentioning using a shuttle PC for portable image aquisition. You probably don't plan to edit the footage on that little beast, just record it. I'm sure if you dropped the right processor in that Shuttle, it would be faster than a G5, it's just that you wouldn't be able to use Final Cut Pro.

Jason, Premiere Pro 1.5 does allow you to edit offline versions of the original video, as well as export to AAF and EDL files for importing projects into Avid and Final Cut Pro. I believe this is a new feature.
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 05:55 AM   #500
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Quote:
Would it be simpler to just use the Prospect HD system?
Prospect HD is good, but I have two problems with it-first it's a bit of a proprietary hack on top of Premiere, which I don't think is a good long-form film (24p) editor (having done film editing myself on AVID and FCP), and sort of tries to bypass the shortcomings of Premiere in the high-bit-depth, real-time HD department. There were solutions for FCP a couple years ago like this, and now they're gone, as well as their proprietary codecs. Proprietary codecs that are limited to one platform are also hard to share. And the second strike is that it's expensive. No one should have to pay $20K for a real-time HD system that is compressed, not anymore. Uncompressed yes, compression, no.

My post was based on the assumption that they are going back to film. If that's the case then you don't want compression. If you want a real-time compressed HD system (4 streams on a 2Ghz G5, then again, FCP is the hands-down winner with it's new DVCProHD codecs. They're 4:2:2, have around the same amount of compression as Prospect HD (Prospect is 8:1, I think DVCProHD is 9:1), and have the added bonus of actually being a codec used in a high-definition tape format, so you can simply firewire your project back to a DVCProHD tape deck like the AJ-1200A and play it back on the big screen without $20K worth of equipment. In other words a real-time HD system using the DVCProHD codecs will run you around $6,000 for the G5 (with monitor and some extra RAM) and FCP. Rent the AJ-1200A when you want to output (around $600 per day) to tape, and you're all set, and you're not using a proprietary codec that nobody else is using. This is not a slam against Propect HD, technically it's a good system, it's just that there's not much support for it, you're going to find much more support in a standard codec that comes with Quicktime and can be played back on any Panasonic D-5 or AJ series HD deck that's out there. While Premiere may look cheaper to buy, and PC's sound cheaper, in the end with the total cost of ownership, to do the same thing on the Mac and FCP versus Premiere and a PC, you're going to spend a whole lot more for the PC.

Just my $.02 based on real-world experience.

P.S. The only downside to DVCProHD is that it's an 8-bit codec, while ProspectHD goes up to 10-bits. But again, especially for editing a feature film, you're going to have to work around all the limitations of Premiere Pro, which is not nearly as mature as an AVID or FCP for long-form editing.
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 06:04 AM   #501
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Quote:
Jason, Premiere Pro 1.5 does allow you to edit offline versions of the original video, as well as export to AAF and EDL files for importing projects into Avid and Final Cut Pro. I believe this is a new feature.
Yes Premiere Pro 1.5 does export AAF and EDL's, but the AAF feature isn't too great on the AVID's. We (unfortunetly ;-) have both and it's not the best combo out there.

Also if you're going to online a movie for AVID, you're going to want to go with the expensive AVID DS/Nitris (which again doesn't like Premiere's AAF's that much), as that's the only AVID box IMHO that's ready for digital intermediates at HD or 2K resolutions.

Plus remember that you don't have a tape to re-digitize, which is what the AAF and EDL workflows are based off-of. You're going to have files, and unfortunetly they're going to be ProspectHD AVI's, which aren't going to read in the AVID DS AFAIK.

In fact there's not going to be ANY timecode to work with, which is why I was suggesting useing FCP's ability to embed new timecode in a quicktime that doesn't originally have a timecode track. From there if you have to you can make a window burn of timecode onto the master to do a picture edit for the online version.

As you can see, this is not a straight forward process, but it can be done with some creative ingenuity and careful pre-planning.
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 07:48 AM   #502
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Check this:
http://www.bandpro.com/products/hdto...ras/weinberger
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 10:11 AM   #503
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very cool I wonder who is making that
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 10:12 AM   #504
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Jason what about SheerVideo on mac?
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 10:42 AM   #505
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jason Rodriguez : Prospect HD is good, but I have two problems with it-first it's a bit of a proprietary hack on top of Premiere,-->>>

Adobe we be disappointed to hear this. :) Premiere is as successful as at is because is has a very open API layer to allow third parties to enhance the product. These are not "hacks", Matrox, Pinnacle and Canapus have been enhancing the Premiere workflow for years, just as Pinnacle CineWave has done for Final Cut Pro. There is no difference.

<<<-- Proprietary codecs that are limited to one platform are also hard to share. -->>>

Yes that is true, yet sharing across system is rarely every done compressed. DXP or Cineon files become a suitable intermediate. However if you had an Apple/QuickTime version of the CineForm codec (no promisses yet), then sharing compressed will be much faster than uncompressed.

<<<-- And the second strike is that it's expensive. No one should have to pay $20K for a real-time HD system that is compressed, not anymore. Uncompressed yes, compression, no.-->>>

If you can find the same mix of quality and performance for less then you have an excellent deal. Avid RT compressed HD for $100k -- they do know the market.

<<<--My post was based on the assumption that they are going back to film. If that's the case then you don't want compression. -->>>

Yet if you are shotting HDCAM and mastering on D5 you can compression throughout the work-flow. We have a going-to-film production coming up for Prospect HD in the next few months.

<<<-- If you want a real-time compressed HD system (4 streams on a 2Ghz G5, then again, FCP is the hands-down winner with it's new DVCProHD codecs. They're 4:2:2, have around the same amount of compression as Prospect HD (Prospect is 8:1, I think DVCProHD is 9:1), -->>>

That are not comparable. For 1080 the DVC PRO HD only samples 1280 pixels where the CineForm HD codec (CFHD) samples all 1920. For 24p work the DVC PRO HD codec is only 960x720 samples which a bit rate of only 40Mbits/s (that is not much more than DV.) CFHD for 24p 1920x1080 10bit used a variable bit-rate that ranges between 120 - 180Mbits/s (it is a constant quality codec not a constant bit-rate codec which are designed for tapes systems.)

Basically never trust compression ratios.
DVC PRO HD starts with 960x720 x 16bits per pixel is 11Mbits/s per frame is compressed to 1.6Mbits per frame = 6.7:1

CFHD starts with 1920x1080 x 20 bits per pixel is 41Mbits/s per frame is compressed to an average of 6.5Mbits per frame = 6.3:1.

Although 6.7 and 6.3 sound simply the quality difference between a 1.6Mbit frame and 6.5Mbit is HUGE. None of this even takes into account that CFHD is wavelet compression which is more efficient than DCT compressors like DVC PRO.

Sorry for my rant. Don't dis compression unless you truely understand it. There are a lot of on-line (for film) compressed HD work-flows hitting the market soon. This is positive for the industry.
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 11:34 AM   #506
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Hi David,

Thanks for the correction on my numbers. I'll apologize for that one since I wasn't giving your compression codec the credit it deserved.

BTW, why would you not want to move around compressed files? That would seem to make more sense to me since it would take less time to transfer, and the process from going back and forth with compression-decompression is not lossless the last time I checked. In other words you're going down a generation each time you'd go from a cineform file to DPX and back. I would assume it would be best to simply keep everything in the cineform codec, and not have to constantly re-render and transcode from one format to another (and in the case of a feature film we could be talking about terabytes of data to move around). Frankly DPX/Cineon file sequences can become real messy very quickly unless you have some sort of tracking system like timecode embedded in the headers (like the S-two D-Mag does with the viper, or other DPX systems, i.e., Lustre, Nucoda, etc.) and/or window burns with file-name, etc.

To me though, it seems like the best approach is to do a offline/online style edit. Edit the film like the film industry has been doing for years. You keep the uncompressed digital files as your "digital negative", cut with a low-res "workprint", and then when you're done go back to the high-res files for an online.
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 11:35 AM   #507
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Jason,
I've worked on many 35mm features that were compressed, it's not a bad thing at all.
-Les
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 11:40 AM   #508
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Quote:
I've worked on many 35mm features that were compressed, it's not a bad thing at all.
Was that at ILM? Even if it wasn't, I'm curious to know what type of compression scheme were you using, and what films they were.
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 11:41 AM   #509
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Jason,

Yes I completely agree that compressed data transfer would be best the work-flow, convenient and quality. The only problem is that there is no agreed upon format to share compressed data in a online quality. One needs to deal messy uncompressed intermediates (or more conveniently D5 intermediates.) CineForm is hoping to help fix this.
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 12:51 PM   #510
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Not at ILM. After that.
Lets just say that there were shots we worked on that we did some effects work on in a part of the frame, and it was cropped out and working on separately. On some shots it so happened that part of the frame was run through compression and part wasn't, the cropped part was comped back in with a hard edge with absolutely no blending of the edge. No issues. And it's not like it was on the edge of the frame, it was in the middle where everybody was looking.
Jpeg at about 4:1 compression.


<<<-- Originally posted by Jason Rodriguez : Was that at ILM? Even if it wasn't, I'm curious to know what type of compression scheme were you using, and what films they were. -->>>
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