Avid workflow using Cineform at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Avid Editing Family

Avid Editing Family
All flavors of Media Composer, Symphony and more.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 30th, 2009, 08:07 AM   #1
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: santa fe, nm
Posts: 3,264
Images: 10
Avid workflow using Cineform

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Moretti View Post
Bill,

Okay, I'm hopelessly confused on this. I know what Cineform is and read and watched info about FirstLight. But I'm just not getting how you are actually using it in your workflow. I'm SURE it works well. And I have NO doubt that you have a very good way of doing things. I'm just not able to follow the steps. :(

If you feel like it, a really idiot-proof step by step of what you're doing would be great (maybe posted in the Avid forum b/c this is kind of becoming a highjack). Something like:

1) Record using EX1
2) Transcode to Cineform using HDLink (I think)
3) Use FirstLight to create the first light look
4) Import into Avid. (This is where my brain freezes. I'm assuming it's a slow import, which means a lot of time and a transcode into DNxHD... and I'm totally lost b/c now you're out of Cineform and in DNxHD and all the looks are baked-in.)
5) Create QT reference.
6) Open QT ref in AfterEffects.
7) Etc.

.
Peter Moretti, in another thread, asked for my workflow using Cineform and Avid MC. As he suggested, I'm replying, here, so as to not hijack the original thread.

The workflow suggested, above, is pretty close to my workflow. Which is as follows:
1-Record using EX1, or any source. (4:2:2 10-bit direct capture can be made thru Matrox's MXO Mini or any BMD capture card, directly into Cineform .)
2-Transcode using Cineform HDLINK. During this step, it's possible to include a framerate change, pulldown removal, de-interlace or image resize.
3-Use Firstlight on transcoded data to tweak the "look" of the data. If multiple clips are analyzed, they can all be batch processed with the same "look".
4-Import into Avid, using a 10-bit variant of DNxHD. Yes, at this point, the files cease being in Cineform format and become 10-bit DNxHD. The original Cineform files are kept as archival originals. Importing can be done as 601/709 sources or RGB sources. RGB source option will be remapped into RGB16-235. 601/709 option will not remap the data so color grading must be done within Avid to bring RGB0-255 into legal range. There's some advantage to doing this as you have more control of how you handle super-whites and super-blacks.
5-Edit, add FX, etc.
6-Export as QTReference files for AE or authoring applications. If an output is to be re-imported into Avid, exporting is always done to Cineform DI, maintaining 10-bit, essentially lossless transport back to Avid, or whatever.

The argument can be made as to why transcode into Cineform at all? FirstLight notwithstanding, the Cineform DI takes the data immediately into 10-bit. From here, it can be imported into different applications for daily rushes, storage, recovery, etc.I use different NLE's depending on my needs, Cineform imports into Vegas, Edius, AE or Avid in a predictable manner, never remapping the luma values as sometimes happens with other codecs.
Bill Ravens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2009, 08:25 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ravens View Post
2-Transcode using Cineform HDLINK. During this step, it's possible to include a framerate change, pulldown removal, de-interlace or image resize.
Bill, I'm curious here. I just went on Cineform's site to look at what HDLink is. I am guessing it's software for conversions. So let me ask this.

Is there an advantage of using HDLink over just rendering a DNxHD file directly from the NLE? I am asking this out of pure ignorance of both how Avid and Cineform work.
__________________
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 June 30th, 2009, 08:29 AM   #3
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: santa fe, nm
Posts: 3,264
Images: 10
Perrone...

Once a file has been imported onto a timeline in an NLE, it can be exported/rendered out to Cineform without the HDLINK app. HDLINK is simply a transcoding app to get files into the Cineform DI without going thru an NLE. HDLINK works fairly quickly, for me, more quickly that transcoding an XDCAM EX file once I'm already in Avid.

Hope this answers your q.
Bill Ravens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2009, 08:48 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 1,259
Bill, it sounds like you're using Cineform sometimes as an acquisition format, thereby getting 10-bit 4:2:2 color. If so, do you find that appreciably better to work with than footage recorded using the EX-1's codec, which I believe is 8-bit 4:2:0?
__________________
Avid Media Composer 3.1.3. Boris Red and Continuum Complete. Vegas 8.0c. TMPGEnc Xpress Pro 4.0
Peter Moretti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2009, 09:00 AM   #5
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: santa fe, nm
Posts: 3,264
Images: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Moretti View Post
Bill, it sounds like you're using Cineform sometimes as an acquisition format, thereby getting 10-bit 4:2:2 color. If so, do you find that appreciably better to work with than footage recorded using the EX-1's codec, which I believe is 8-bit 4:2:0?
No, unfortunately, I'm not yet acquiring with Cineform. I've been looking at two products that can do a capture, the Matrox MXO2 mini or AJA's IO Express.

However, I am currently capturing to a Convergent Design FlashXDR, which uses the Sony XDCAM 422 codec, which is 8-bit 4:2:2 long form GOP MPEG2 at bitrates up to 100mbps or I-frame only MPEG2 at 160 mbps.My workflow with this device is evolving, because Cineform cannot, currently, transcode this format(they're working on it). It will import into Vegas, Edius and Avid, however.

My present opinion about the XDCAM 422 codec is that it gives appreciably better images than the native codec in the EX1. By "appreciably better", I mean the images cannot be seen to be any better on a computer monitor, however, on a large scree projection, the images are noticeably better. Motion artifacts are also much better than the native EX1 codec, provided a fast shutter speed is used.

Convergent Design is promising a 10-bit uncompressed capability in the future. I'm confident that an 8-bit capture and 10-bit pipeline is nearly equivalent, as long as no color grading is done on the 8-bit level. I'm on the edges of experience with this, so, I'm still learning.
Bill Ravens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2009, 09:28 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 1,259
Thanks so much Bill for explaining all this.

FWIW, I've also been leaning towards the belief that 8 bits is good enogh for acquisition, but more bits are need for color correction.
__________________
Avid Media Composer 3.1.3. Boris Red and Continuum Complete. Vegas 8.0c. TMPGEnc Xpress Pro 4.0
Peter Moretti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2009, 10:12 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,100
Thanks Bill, this has been VERY helpful!

I am hopeful that I can procure one of those Convergent devices in 2010. I am STILL hoping they will do a wavelet codec between now and then, because I don't need uncompressed, but I'd like to have something other than Mpeg2 if possible.

I understand the HDLink thing now. I had hoped to use Avid's Metafuze in a similar fashion but that didn't work quite the way I was hoping. It's nice to be able to prepare files for work OFF the main editing workstation, so I understand completely.

-P
__________________
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 June 30th, 2009, 11:02 AM   #8
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: santa fe, nm
Posts: 3,264
Images: 10
Glad I could be of help. My impression is that Metafuze is in its infancy, with product development yet to come from Avid. This is my hope. Even if Metafuze did work, it seems to be EXTREMELY slow at transcoding ;o(

As for the FlashXDR/Nanoflash, keep in mind that the device uses a hardware encoder for XDCAM 422, purchased from sony. As such trhis is the ONLY codec this device can use. To use any other compression scheme, the device would need to be redesigned.

In MY ideal world, I would want to capture Cineform 422 10-bit to an SSD, via the HD-SDI port on the EX1. Then Avid would injest the Cineform DI directly without transcoding to DNxHD. Oh well, I can dream.
Bill Ravens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2009, 10:33 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 58
Here's what I've tried.

Capture Cineform with BM Intensity.

Use Mpeg Streamclip to transcode to DNxHD

Import into Avid.

It's a pretty clean workflow, and if you transcode correctly you can fast import into Avid.


I've also built a small portable computer for capture and transcode using a lunchbox portable, but it isn't all that cheap, the case costs 2K all by itself, but the captures look gorgeous even though it's only 8bit.

Chris
Chris Swartz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 1st, 2009, 12:17 AM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 1,259
Chris,

What camera are you using? Do you find a noticable advantage of live capture over using the camera's native recording format?

Thanks.
__________________
Avid Media Composer 3.1.3. Boris Red and Continuum Complete. Vegas 8.0c. TMPGEnc Xpress Pro 4.0
Peter Moretti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2010, 10:02 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Nashua NH
Posts: 278
I am new to Avid, coming from PP and Vegas, I am trying to import cineform avi files into Media Composer and found this thread. Bill, I know it's been a while since this thread was first posted but are you using metafuse or importing directly, are you importing the quicktime cineform files? I read your workflow but was unable to duplicate it - thanks.
Rich Perry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13th, 2010, 08:36 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Easton, Maryland
Posts: 497
Yes, I have the same question.

I have a bunch of cineform files that I want to try out with MC4. What is the best way to convert the cineform files to DnxHD codec?

Metafuze does not see my cineform .avi.

I am using Windows 7 and Prospect HD (latest build).

Any ideas?

Also my files are 30p, what do Avid users recommend I should use as a template once I convert the files and want to use MC4?

thanks,

Simon
Simon Zimmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22nd, 2010, 12:59 PM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 1,259
I believe TMPGEnc Xpress 4.0 will convert Cineform to DNxHD. It's $100 and has a free 14-day trial. It's an excellent product BTW that can do a heck of a lot.
__________________
Avid Media Composer 3.1.3. Boris Red and Continuum Complete. Vegas 8.0c. TMPGEnc Xpress Pro 4.0
Peter Moretti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22nd, 2010, 01:26 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,100
After working with Avid now, it should be able to bring in the Cineform files diretly. You might need the Cineform reader to be installed.
__________________
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 March 29th, 2010, 09:11 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Mount Pleasant, MI
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
After working with Avid now, it should be able to bring in the Cineform files diretly. You might need the Cineform reader to be installed.
Sorry to bring up an old thread. I just want to make sure that I understand you. Are you saying that I can import CineForm files directly without any conversion to DNXHD?
Devin Termini 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 > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Avid Editing Family

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:20 AM.


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