Affordable transcoding software? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > High Definition Video Acquisition > AVCHD Format Discussion

AVCHD Format Discussion
Inexpensive High Definition H.264 encoding to DVD, Hard Disc or SD Card.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 7th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #16
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Eggertsville, NY
Posts: 528
See my prior post above Chris.

Just to make a related comment Chris, Vegas is among the slower programs in most respects, and rendering and preview are competent but comparatively slow.

Just for laughs, download the trial of Power Director 7 from Cyberlink. You will find it to be much less robust in overall features, but if it's preview speed and quality you are after, it is most impressive.

I am not suggesting to discard Vegas. Only that you might want to try something like this option just to see how other companies deal with AVCHD.

Larry
Larry Horwitz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2009, 05:33 PM   #17
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Smyrna, GA
Posts: 28
on my near minimum spec computer, i experienced the opposite (of the programs with demos, didn't try pinnacle). vegas was by far the best performing NLE. Premiere Elements was the worst performing and the others falling in between.

not questioning your vast knowledge about these NLEs, just pointing out observations on my machine.
Jeff DeLamater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2009, 06:21 PM   #18
HDV Cinema
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 4,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rippie View Post
I do notice people saying there are differences in sony's avchd codec and
canon's (i have the canon hf100 camera)
There is a difference. Canon uses a more advanced type of AVCHD that may require more compute power. Initially, SONY Vegas couldn't play the Canon AVCHD at all. HOWEVER, that should simply mean a higher CPU load given you have fast disks.

SO, are the disks running as DMA?

PS: Canopus claims native real-time AVCHD editing is impossible IF you are trying to edit as one would HDV. H.254 requires 6 to 8 times more compute power and even a quad core will not deliver this much boost. Maybe an 8 core is needed.
__________________
Switcher's Quick Guide to the Avid Media Composer >>> http://home.mindspring.com/~d-v-c
Steve Mullen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2009, 08:26 PM   #19
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Eggertsville, NY
Posts: 528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff DeLamater View Post
on my near minimum spec computer, i experienced the opposite (of the programs with demos, didn't try pinnacle). vegas was by far the best performing NLE. Premiere Elements was the worst performing and the others falling in between.

not questioning your vast knowledge about these NLEs, just pointing out observations on my machine.
Jeff,

As regards the differences you and I experience with regard to Vegas speed, it is quite possible that the software scales itself differently on your "near minimum spec machine" versus the quadcore I use, perhaps dropping frames, lowering resolution during preview, etc. In terms of sheer speed, my experience with this specific hardware I am using ranks Nero as the fastest, Power Director 2nd place, Corel Video Studio X2 Pro as third, then ArcSoft Total Media, followed by Vegas. Premiere Elements does not support AVCHD up until the recently released version 7 which I have not purchased based on lackluster speed with HDV on prior versions.

My speed comment also reflects a fundemental issue worth also mentioning.......which is that Sony Vegas does not provide AVCHD smart rendering. As a result, the time required to do almost any end-to-end editing and authoring is hugely greater than a program like Power Director or Nero. The time difference is typically around 8.5 to 1, turning 15 minutes into two and a half hours for a typical project each time a new output is rendered.

So my perception of Vegas is heavily shaded by this major limitation.

Larry
Larry Horwitz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2009, 10:21 PM   #20
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Pgh Pa
Posts: 10
well i spent the entire day working on this thing with absolutely zero luck.
Even reformatted the entire computer, reset the bios...started from scratch.

It is strange to me that the included free software (pixela) that came with
the hf100 is totally capable of playing back 1920x1080 avchd files smooth and dandy
and with little stress put on my system, yet vegas cant handle it. I realize
im not editing the frames in pixela, but you get my point.

The truly sad part is its sucked the life outta me creativity wise
on this project.

I wish it was just the case of a simple setting i forgot to do.

As much as i like the actual look of the hf100 and the ease of secure digital
im ditching all of it after this project. It's just not worth it.

If there are still ideas or whatnot i'd still love to hear them, but im resigning myself
to just dealing with it as is, and using the ram preview constantly.
Chris Rippie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2009, 10:49 PM   #21
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,100
Chris,

There's a reason that the standard Hollywood and Broadcast workflows have online and offline built in. The world works with proxies man, and for just this reason. Not only is 1080p a handful in terms of sheer data rates, but you toss in a wicked hard on-the-fly decode from AVCHD and you've got problems.

One of the things that constant amaze me on this list and similar one's is how unwilling people are to accept and embrace the workflows of larger professional post houses. It seems that many of us still cling to working with this stuff as though were were editing qcif or DV files.

So my suggestion to you is to cut half res proxies in an easy to cut format. Yes, it means you'll do an additional render to an offline format, but had you done that from the beginning, you'd be finished with your project right now.

I know in my case, I have an SD broadcast monitor hooked up to my edit/color PC, so actually working with SD or near SD sized files makes pleny of sense for me.

Look into Cineform or DNxHD and do a transcode to 960x540 or 720x405. Your material will FLY, renders will be painless, transitions will seem like nothing, and you can even get away with some magic bullet looks stuff and maintain some speed.

Or, you can edit in full-res with an easier codec. Either way, trying to stay in an online workflow with a bad codec is going to be fraught iwith problems. Hollywood scans at 4k or 2k and cuts in SD, or half-res, with good codecs. And they have a LOT more money to throw at this than you.
__________________
DVX100, PMW-EX1, Canon 550D, FigRig, Dell Octocore, Avid MC4/5, MB Looks, RedCineX, Matrox MX02 mini, GTech RAID, Edirol R-4, Senn. G2 Evo, Countryman, Moles and Lowels.
Perrone Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2009, 11:57 PM   #22
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Pgh Pa
Posts: 10
perrone,
very well explained.
May I ask a naive question..


Is there a good resource or explaination you or someone else can give
that explains transcoding.
Up until now I thought it was using a 3rd party software to convert
1 file format to a different format on a permanent basis.

If you're saying to make a proxy at a lower res and work with that
how do I get back to the full resolution at the final render stage?
Chris Rippie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8th, 2009, 01:22 AM   #23
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,100
Well, I can tell you how I do it.

Let's assume simple case, where I have 1 long file I am going to cut, color correct, grade, and render out. Workflow looks something like this:

1. Drop original file onto timeline
2. Render half-res DNxHD or 10 bit SD sized copy of the ENTIRE timeline.
3. Remove original file off timeline, replace with new proxy.
4. Edit, correct, grade, etc. on that proxy.
5. Render a testfile for DVD or computer playback to check everything out.
6. In Vegas, do a "media replace" and replace proxy with the original file
7. Render final master
8. Render any additional deliverable formats (mpeg2, mpeg4, wmv, etc.)


A few things to note:

Because I shoot with an EX1 which is a 35Mbps codec, my transition to DNxHD at step 2 becomes my new online if I do it at full res. I lose essentially nothing so I don't need to go to a higher quality file. The exception to this is if I want to do a lot of color grading, in which case I'll go to a 10 bit proxy at half res or 720x405, and write a new master file at a high bit rate with a 10 bit codec. DNxHD is nice in that I can use real 10-bit codecs on Mac or PC at any file size. Aja and Blackmagic also have 10-bit codecs that work for this as well.

At step 5, I usually take that DVD home and check it on my TV. I also take it to our screening room and look at it on the plasmas. If the SD downres looks nice from the proxy, I know I'm in business.

Step 6 in Vegas is a no brainer. Literally a 1-click replacement. Other NLE's allow you to link the proxy files to the masters and you conform back at the end of editing. Avid and the like were built for this workflow (feature films) so it's well thought out and smooth.

Step 7. When I render the final master, it's usually in a solid format. For me, it's the lowest DnxHD file because that closely mirrors my acquisition codec. If I was coming from HDCam or HDCamSR, or film, I'd be choosing a different mastering bit rate. In my case, the DNxHD36 bitrate gives me about 17GB per hour. So my hour long projects fit onto 1 BluRay, along with an SD master in the same format, and any logos, graphics, and audio resources I used to make the disk. Depending on the length of the program, I might be able to slip a 720p computer based file (wmv or mp4) on there just in case I have to quickly hand off something down the road and I don't want to re-render from the master.

For bigger projects, batch transcode your original files into your proxy codec. Then lay out your proxies and do the entire project. Come master render time, just do a full media replacement (conform) and you're all set. The benefit of the online/offline workflow is that you've got your original files to make the master. Even if you transcodeded to a GREAT codec, you'd lose a little data, or you'd go uncompressed and be working with MASSIVE files. So offline gives the best of both worlds. A super-quick edit process with small files, and a super clean master that comes straight from the original material. It doesn't get any better than that. The only drawbacks to this workflow are the times it takes to make the proxies, and the time it takes to render the final master from the originals. Especially if the originals are in a highly compressed format like mpeg4. But both happen unattended, so you can go do something else while that takes place. I have a machine in my office just for rendering and transcoding. So I offload those jobs over there, leaving my edit machine free to edit.

I guarantee you, if you take your current project, and cut SD proxies to edit with or half-res HD files, you are going to be VERY pleased with your new system. One other side benefit, is that you don't need the worlds hottest machine any more because the only time you are really working with the big files is in the initial transcode, and at the end for the final master. So even average machines can handle working with 1080p or 2k or whatever this way.
__________________
DVX100, PMW-EX1, Canon 550D, FigRig, Dell Octocore, Avid MC4/5, MB Looks, RedCineX, Matrox MX02 mini, GTech RAID, Edirol R-4, Senn. G2 Evo, Countryman, Moles and Lowels.
Perrone Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8th, 2009, 06:55 AM   #24
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Smyrna, GA
Posts: 28
i've read of another way of working with proxies, but don't remember the guys name that posted it.

the basic idea is this.
make a folder called "media_originals"
make a 2nd folder called "media"
put all the HD files in "media_originals"
transcode all the files to SD and save them in the "media" folder.
do all the editing with the SD files, and when you are happy with the results, save and close.
rename "media" folder to "media_sd", and the "media_originals" folder to "media".

now when you open the project again, because the file names are the same, the project is now pointing to the HD versions.

oh, and your question about transcoding...it is simply converting from one format to another.
Jeff DeLamater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #25
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,100
Yea Jeff, I read that too. Pretty darn slick for a big project! Only problem is thatit forces you to dump all your files in one place which can be messy for file management. Just depends on how you work I guess.
__________________
DVX100, PMW-EX1, Canon 550D, FigRig, Dell Octocore, Avid MC4/5, MB Looks, RedCineX, Matrox MX02 mini, GTech RAID, Edirol R-4, Senn. G2 Evo, Countryman, Moles and Lowels.
Perrone Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8th, 2009, 09:54 AM   #26
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Smyrna, GA
Posts: 28
You could use whatever sort of folder structure you'd like inside the 2 folders, just as long as they matched.

for example
Code:
project_title/
project_title/images/
project_title/b-roll/
project_title/outside/
...
and

Code:
project_title_HD/
project_title_HD/images/
project_title_HD/b-roll/
project_title_HD/outside/
...
that could help out with the organization of the project, especially on larger projects that has many clips.
Jeff DeLamater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8th, 2009, 10:22 AM   #27
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Pgh Pa
Posts: 10
im trying this as I type this post..

Im going to be interested in seeing if vegas cares
if the proxy files are .avi

and the HD files are .m2ts


If when you swap out folders that matters or not.
Chris Rippie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8th, 2009, 11:14 AM   #28
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,100
Won't matter at all. Vegas simply asks for the replacement file name. When I did a huge HDV project a year ago, the HD files were PNG coded quicktimes, and my proxies were cineform encoded SD-size avi files.
__________________
DVX100, PMW-EX1, Canon 550D, FigRig, Dell Octocore, Avid MC4/5, MB Looks, RedCineX, Matrox MX02 mini, GTech RAID, Edirol R-4, Senn. G2 Evo, Countryman, Moles and Lowels.
Perrone Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8th, 2009, 04:30 PM   #29
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Smyrna, GA
Posts: 28
nope, won't matter, but if you use the same extension, with will be a seamless transition, ie, no relinking "missing" files. but that is only a very minor bullet point.
Jeff DeLamater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9th, 2009, 02:41 AM   #30
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: London, UK
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post
1. Get a substantial boost from a hardware (PCI-Express card) device like Matrox makes for accelerating certain previews for HDV, at a cost of $1000+ for the board.
I'm no expert - would something like the Firecoder Blu FIRECODER Blu help here?
I believe it's cheaper than the matrox card?
J.K. Ahn is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > High Definition Video Acquisition > AVCHD Format Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:20 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network