View Full Version : Neoscene or mpeg streamclip


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Bart Wierzbicki
November 17th, 2009, 08:04 AM
When importing the footage from the camera, do you use neoscene or the free program mpeg streamclip to convert it to editable avi-files ?
I work on windows.
I thought the time of realtime capturing from tapes was over, but now it seems maybe it's going to take as long or even longer. First copying the footage on your HDD and then converting it. :(

Perrone Ford
November 17th, 2009, 08:12 AM
Well, as long as folks keep buying cameras that make more demands on their PCs than the PCs can handle, we'll keep having to transcode footage.

I had been doing conversions inside my NLE, but just recently got into Mpeg Streamclip and it seems to work very nicely for converting raw footage. And unlike Cineform, I get to pick the codec I want for conversions.

Also unlike ingesting tape, I can do a batch render overnight for all the footage. This is significant if you come back with 4-24 hours of footage like I do. Tape requires intervention.

Daniel Weber
November 17th, 2009, 08:32 AM
I was checking the Cineform Neoscene website yesterday and it looks like that it works great for the 5D in that it converts the files to 29.97 from 30P. It also stated that you could use either ProRes or the Cineform codec.

For the 7D, I would think that MPEG Streamclip would be the better and cheaper option.

Daniel Weber

Bart Wierzbicki
November 17th, 2009, 08:34 AM
Yes you're right Perrone,
Tapes require intervention.
What codec do you choose for converting ?
Do you work windows or mac based ?

Perrone Ford
November 17th, 2009, 09:10 AM
Mpeg Streamclip offers little support for AVI files on the PC. So I typically use the Avid DNxHD codec as my target codec.

If I am making Proxies, I use MJpegA. I also find that trying to use my Jpeg200 codec inside Mpeg Streamclip causes it to crash, so I have to do that archive render inside my NLE

I am Windows Based.

Brian Luce
November 18th, 2009, 02:05 AM
Mpeg Streamclip offers little support for AVI files on the PC. So I typically use the Avid DNxHD codec as my target codec.

.

So this Avid codec is in Streamclip? And this Avid codec works in Vegas?

Joachim Ljungquist
November 18th, 2009, 03:20 AM
Does the Avid codec work in Premiere?

Perrone Ford
November 18th, 2009, 06:54 AM
If you install the codec (free) yes it works in Premiere and Mpeg Streamclip. It works in Vegas but is subject to Vegas' poor handling of all .mov files. I use it anyway.

Bart Wierzbicki
November 18th, 2009, 07:28 AM
I don't know what I'm doing wrong,
But when I try to convert a file in mpeg streamclip, then the program freezes.
I tried to convert it with TMPGenc 4.0 xpress and then it worked, but I don't
know if that program is good for converting those files.

Perrone Ford
November 18th, 2009, 07:54 AM
TMPGenc 4.0 xpress is exellent. If that's working for you, and you don't mind paying the money, then stay with it.

I use Mpeg Streamclip because it's free, effective, and does what I need for the most part. I use other programs to do the things it won't do.

Bart Wierzbicki
November 18th, 2009, 08:14 AM
yeah, I had to use it some months ago, so I already purchased it. ;)
But when I want to convert it into a quicktime file, I don't know which codec or compression I should use.
(Animation, no compression, photo-jpeg, ...)
Any advice ?

Perrone Ford
November 18th, 2009, 08:49 AM
Well, like anything, the codec you choose depends greatly on what you plan to do with it. Is this for archiving? Are you going to be using it to edit? Is this for putting on a webserver for people to download?

If you tell me what you're going to do with the converted .mov file, I can help you select a codec.

Joachim Ljungquist
November 18th, 2009, 09:25 AM
Generally I think that he (and me) mainly wants good codec settings for:
lossless quality and easy to edit

In my case I'd prefer the best suitable format and codec for editing in Premiere CS4.

Thanks guys!

Brian Luce
November 18th, 2009, 10:12 AM
So far this system works pretty good.
Here's what I did for my Dell Quad i7 920.
Download mpeg streamclip and the Avid DNxHD codec. Both FREE! intall both. MPEG Streamclip will recognize the DNxHD when you go to File>Export to Quicktime. Go ahead and convert the file. a 200 megabyte native 7d file took about 20 seconds to render and created a 700 megabyte DNxHD intermediate codec. I don't have Cineform so cannot say if it would do it faster.

Native 7d files do NOT play smoothly on my Vegas 9 timeline. The DNxHD does and should be more robust for color correcting etc.

I wish there was way to do these intermediary conversiosn on the Vegas timeline itself. My Vegas 6 *can* do that, but only with 720p footage.

Jon McGuffin
November 18th, 2009, 12:33 PM
Brian,

I have heard along with limited personal experience that anything encoded in an .mov format on the Vegas timeline typically suffers when it comes to performance.

Is this not the case with your DNxHD encoded .mov files that are you are bringing in from the 7D to Vegas?

Also, can you give some comparative performance analysis of say, HDV on the vegas timeline versus DNxHD encoded .mov files?

Jon

Bart Wierzbicki
November 18th, 2009, 12:43 PM
It's like Joachim said, I have to use it for editing in Premiere CS4 and then
I do some color correcting in After Effects.
Then afterwards I have to render it out on a DVD for a customer.

Perrone Ford
November 18th, 2009, 12:46 PM
Ok, then the Avid DNxHD is excellent for what you want to do. Some of the AJA codecs would work to, but I just stick with the Avid codecs because they do such a good job.

Brian Luce
November 18th, 2009, 12:58 PM
Brian,

I have heard along with limited personal experience that anything encoded in an .mov format on the Vegas timeline typically suffers when it comes to performance.

Is this not the case with your DNxHD encoded .mov files that are you are bringing in from the 7D to Vegas?

Also, can you give some comparative performance analysis of say, HDV on the vegas timeline versus DNxHD encoded .mov files?

Jon

I've heard the same thing about mov and Vegas. All I can say so far is that DNxHD in the QT envelope is better than the native 7d files. So far so good, I'll see what happens when I start loading up the timeline with filters and other stuff. I've always had good luck with native HDV in Vegas 9. When I used Vegas 5-6, I always transcoded to Cineform. But it's my understanding that Vegas has had it together with HDV since version 8.

I believe Perrone Ford has a lot of experience with DNxHD in Vegas, perhaps he can jump in on this.

Perrone Ford
November 18th, 2009, 01:07 PM
DnxHD is going to be faster on the timeline than the mpeg4 variants like we see in the 5D/7D. The .mov performance hit is still there, but modern machines like the i7 are nearly fast enough to cope with the issue. My dual quadcore still can't play 1080p real time in the Vegas timeline inside the .mov container. HDV moves like SD, as does my XDCamEX footage.

If cutting HD on the timeline is important to you, and you do not want to work with proxy files, then Cineform still makes the most sense for Vegas users. Other NLEs don't seem to have much of a problem with .mov files, so I have no hesitation recommending DNxHD.

So for Vegas users, I typically recommend one of the following:

1. Use an i7 processor and live with the small performance hit
2. Use Cineform
3. Use Proxy files and do traditional online/offline editing
4. Use DNxHD and live with the performance issues. Especially if sharing with Mac users.

Jon McGuffin
November 18th, 2009, 01:07 PM
I would love to hear what Perrone has to say on this as well as what you learn in the coming days while using DNxHD on the Vegas timeline.

I once converted some of my HDV footage to DNxHD and there was a definate performance hit over just using HDV on the timeline. I wasn't sure if it was the coded, the resolution of the file, or the fact the file was an .mov but my sense was that it was Vegas not playing nicely with .mov files that was doing me in.

I'm a fan of Cineform's products and find encoding from their application into their codec is straightforward and the editing abilities on the Vegas timeline are roughly, if not slightly behind, the same as working with raw HDV footage.

Jon

Jon McGuffin
November 18th, 2009, 01:14 PM
That frankly answers the question perfectly Perrone. As usual, thank you for your input here..

Jon

Mike Sertic
November 18th, 2009, 04:03 PM
Perrone,

Kind of off-topic, but do you know if mpeg streamclip can batch-transcode long-gop nanoflash files and render out to DNxHD?

Perrone Ford
November 18th, 2009, 04:22 PM
I'm in the middle of something, but give me a few minutes and I'll let you know.

Mike Sertic
November 18th, 2009, 04:39 PM
Thanks, I just installed streamclip (I also have a trial version of calibrated software's xd decode for quicktime) and I was able to get a sample 100mbps long-GOP .mov file from CD's website to play (although with grey bars due to the trial version of xd decode). No luck on the .mxf sample. Could be a free, high-quality, cross-platform solution for dealing with nano files. I am still NLE-shopping so I can't test fully, but if this works it would be good news for me.

Could you also clarify whether .mov DNxHD files should be fully functional in Premeire, After Effects, and Final Cut Studio? I understand some of your previous posts to say that is the case, but I'm not sure if I'm reading you right.

Thanks for your input.

Perrone Ford
November 18th, 2009, 04:46 PM
Ah, you know what. You'd be further along than me. I don't have access to Calibrated software's decoder, so I couldn't say whether it would work or not. It would be interesting to pull the file into Vegas and see what it does.

Mike Sertic
November 18th, 2009, 05:09 PM
I just installed the DNxHD codec and converted a few frame-long clip, I could try to send you the output file if you can give me an email address. The only thing I can't figure is that the file size increased by 4.3 times (with the output quality slider at 100%), I would have figured that 100mbps source to 220mbps DNxHD should have given a smaller file.

Perrone Ford
November 18th, 2009, 05:28 PM
Mike, as much as I hate saying this, but that was a very "Mac" thing to do! :) Leave the quality slider alone, and click on the "Options" button. This will bring up the real settings for the codec.

Set your color levels to 709 (since I am assuming you are not feeding the codec RGB level images), and then select the desired bitrate from the listing. You can choose the one that most closely resembles your footage.

That should give you the expected results. By choosing the 100% quality, you likely created a 10bit file.

Mike Sertic
November 18th, 2009, 05:45 PM
Thanks, I was able to get the appropriate file size that way. There's a little glitch in streamclip on my computer where you can only see the top edge of the quality selector in the options window, but I got it to work. I'll make a post in the convergent design forum and see if anyone there wants to test the workflow all the way through, that's where I found out about the quicktime XDCam decoder.

Perrone Ford
November 18th, 2009, 05:54 PM
Excellent. I thought you were on a Mac, and it was my understand that glitch doesn't show on the Mac. I apologize for not pointing that out. Honestly, it's been there forever, and I can't believe Avid hasn't solved it.

Mike Sertic
November 18th, 2009, 06:31 PM
Ha, I was looking for a close substitute for Prores so I could avoid having to buy and learn how to use a Mac or pay $$$ for Cineform. I want to do some time-remapped slow motion with nano footage and already have a reasonably fast quad-core PC, so I figured my existing PC plus PP/AE/twixtor was a way better value than buying a new Mac plus FCP/Motion, but I wasn't sure of what was a suitable intermediate codec for that setup.

Brian Luce
November 18th, 2009, 06:58 PM
Ha, I was looking for a close substitute for Prores so I could avoid having to buy and learn how to use a Mac or pay $$$ for Cineform. I want to do some time-remapped slow motion with nano footage and already have a reasonably fast quad-core PC, so I figured my existing PC plus PP/AE/twixtor was a way better value than buying a new Mac plus FCP/Motion, but I wasn't sure of what was a suitable intermediate codec for that setup.

I think it's a great low budget solution. You can get a refurb'd Dell i7 Quad for $500, Vegas Pro 8 for about $200, Freebie MPEG Streamclip, Freebie Avid Codec and you've got a poorman's powerhouse NLE. What's the Mac PRO and FCP package going to cost? 6 grand?

Carlo Zanella
November 23rd, 2009, 12:45 PM
Mpeg Streamclip offers little support for AVI files on the PC. So I typically use the Avid DNxHD codec as my target codec.

If I am making Proxies, I use MJpegA. I also find that trying to use my Jpeg200 codec inside Mpeg Streamclip causes it to crash, so I have to do that archive render inside my NLE

I am Windows Based.
I use pro9 and every time I try to convert 7d files into dnxhd, when I import the into Vegas, the application freezes and crashes. Any ideas??
What parameter do you use in streamclip when you usae the dnxhd??

Thank you

Perrone Ford
November 23rd, 2009, 01:16 PM
Hmm, that's odd. I never have that trouble on any of the three machines I do this on. In MpegStreamclip:

I select DNxHD, usually use DNxHD 175x if I am bringing masters into Vegas, or DNxHD 36 if I am doing proxies. Make sure the interlacing option is turned off. Other than that, I just let it do the render and it comes into Vegas perfect. I do this in Vegas 9, Vegas 8.0c and Vegas 8.1. And right now on my timeline are DNxHD files I used Mpeg streamclip to convert from the 5D.

Carlo Zanella
November 23rd, 2009, 01:27 PM
Where do I find the "175x" value? (I do not have access to my workstation right now where streamclip is installed).

Thank you.
Carlo

Perrone Ford
November 23rd, 2009, 01:29 PM
If you select DNxHD in Mpeg Streamclip, there will be a button for options right next to it. This will bring up a list of all the different options for bitrates you can use.

Carlo Zanella
November 23rd, 2009, 01:40 PM
Thank you so much. I will try again this pm.

Carlo

Carlo Zanella
November 23rd, 2009, 01:42 PM
If you select DNxHD in Mpeg Streamclip, there will be a button for options right next to it. This will bring up a list of all the different options for bitrates you can use.


What about the "quality" fader...should I breing it to 100 or leave it at 50?

Perrone Ford
November 23rd, 2009, 01:51 PM
It has no bearing on the DNxHD codec.

Carlo Zanella
November 23rd, 2009, 01:56 PM
The "Options" pop up window has a glitch. How do I get to the bit rate?
Thank you

Carlo Zanella
November 23rd, 2009, 02:03 PM
I go it...Thank you

Lucas Mro
December 10th, 2009, 12:21 PM
Hi guys

So i converted a clip with streamclip using DNxHD codec setting 1080p 23.97 10-bit and it seems to look a bit faded compared to the original. It still isn't smooth in Premiere CS4. I found that if you drop the 7D original clips on the premiere timeline and render timeline, the footage runs smooth on my Quad core 2.4 ghz. Can i just render time line and work with originals or am I getting a quality hit once i color grade?

Perrone Ford
December 10th, 2009, 12:59 PM
It looks "faded" because DNxHD is set up for legal NTSC / PAL color and luminance. If your originals fall outside of the legal ranges, then you'll see this on your computer screen. What does the signal look like on the scopes? That is the accurate reference. Computer monitors make AWFUL judges of color and luminance for video.

I also wouldn't expect it to run smoothly if you are using DNxHD 175x. That is a LOAD for most computers to carry. Especially at 1080p. The 7D is running at less than 1/3 the bit rate (though with a tougher codec).

Generally, you edit with the DNxHD 36 on the timeline, and use the 175x for mastering.

In terms of a quality hit, yea, the difference between the DNx and the original files is massive.

Perrone Ford
December 31st, 2009, 01:42 PM
It has no bearing on the DNxHD codec.

I wanted to update this. This is in fact, not correct. The quality slider should ALWAYS be at 100%. It does make a difference. I was able to see it clearly in some night scenes I was working on.

Brian Luce
December 31st, 2009, 02:31 PM
There's a little glitch in streamclip on my computer where you can only see the top edge of the quality selector in the options window, but I got it to work.

Yes, it's wonky, you have to click the skinny white bar and then you'll get a drop down of all the frame rate/sizes.

I also get the aforementioned luminance hit in the 709 space.

Kuba Majewski
January 11th, 2010, 04:05 AM
It looks "faded" because DNxHD is set up for legal NTSC / PAL color and luminance. If your originals fall outside of the legal ranges, then you'll see this on your computer screen. What does the signal look like on the scopes? That is the accurate reference. Computer monitors make AWFUL judges of color and luminance for video.


I have a similiar problem. I converted Canon's 7d original file to DNxHD via Quick Time Pro and when imported to Premiere Pro CS3 it seems a litle bit brighter then the original. I dont know if the original falls outside of the legal ranges. I don't know how to interpret the scopes correctly.
On the other hand the original looks exactly the same as on my camera's lcd which is exactly how i would like it to look.

Something strange happens later when i export finished edit back to DNxHD. The footage bec omes even brighter. Anyone knows what is going on?

Mauricio DelaOrta
January 11th, 2010, 11:11 AM
I've been using cineform since I got my JVC-HD10 camera back in 2006 (give or take), and it's always worked great for me.

Lately many tools such as mpegstreamclip/avid codec seem to be doing nearly the same thing. I've invited David, the CTO of cineform to explain whether there's a good reason to get cineform instead of the free workflow. I think there should be.

What I can say is that color correcting with First Light (included in cineform prospect) is wonderfully fast, you wouldn't believe your eyes! Nevertheless, the color correction tool still needs more features to become my only color correction tool (I still use MB looks).

Hope he can drop some lines here soon.

Best!

Mauricio

David Newman
January 11th, 2010, 12:39 PM
If you using CineForm just to file convert to AVI, and quality is not a big factor for you, then the free solutions are fine. Yet there are things happening within CineForm NeoScene and Neo HD that do benefit the Canon DSLR user. First is highlight/shadow detail clipping. Canon selected to place black and white an YUV Luma level 0 and 255, rather than the far more common 16 and 235. Many NLEs handle the extended range poorly and clip off the supers, so much so, originally the Canon cameras where thought to be very contrasty (there were many reports of this.) Later there was a patch to Quicktime that addressed this, but only for YUV to RGB conversions, which means you have to go through a YUV->RGB colorspace conversion to create the new immediate (which likely goes back YUV -- most immediates codec are YUV, otherwise there output is large.) The CineForm approach takes the 0 to 255 (8-bit) and converts it to 64 to 940 (10-bit YUV standard), which avoids colorspace conversions and the banding/contouring that can occur with direct 0-255 to 16-235 conversions, and fixes the clipping issues. I expect CineForm is the only tool using 10-bit precision at this point during the re-mastering (while the high-end DHxHD does support 10-bit, the workflows suggested will on be injecting 8-bit data.)

If you are Neo HD user, First Light will dramatically impact your workflow, allowing you to do deep precision color corrections, very quickly, you can be altering color in real-time during playback. Users generally find First Light very easy to operate, making more complex color corrections than they would with the in-built color correction tools of the NLE, without introducing banding (the biggest issue with 8-bit color corrections.)

In the latest releases of Neo http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/cineform-software-showcase/470558-new-pc-betas.html -- all the Canon DSLR metadata is stored within the CineForm files, and through the First Light user interface you can non-destructively display all your camera settings within the video playback, throughout your workflow.

For those using Vegas 9 64-bit, or when VFW 64-bit tool, all the Neo product support 64-bit encoding and decoding components. Most of the free tools are still 32-bit.

There are many more reasons, particularly for Neo HD/4K/3D users, but there is value for purchase with CineForm products.

Jorge Menchu
January 12th, 2010, 06:53 PM
I am currently trying Cineform right now. On my first run through I was comparing before and after 1080p. My first analysis was that Cineform turned the clip contrasty. Then I realized it was Cineform clip that was the improved.

My clip was an interview with my father lit by a single 40 watt bulb. To see the improvements of the clip on my PC screen was a great relief.

Now - $100 or $500? Next test First Light.

Mauricio DelaOrta
January 13th, 2010, 06:16 PM
Yes, that might be the interpolation that Cineform does from 4:4:2 to 4:4:4. I noticed it too :). Color correcting the interpolated footage is very nice!

Mauricio DelaOrta
January 13th, 2010, 07:21 PM
Sorry, that was 4:2:2 from 4:2:0 :)