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Canon EOS Full Frame for HD
All about using the Canon 1D X, 6D, 5D Mk. IV / Mk. III / Mk. II D-SLR for 4K and HD video recording.


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Old December 29th, 2008, 04:49 PM   #1
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Intermediate Codecs for Windows Users

Like many others I have been wrestling with these 5d video files. From various posts I've learned that the files created are simply not suited for editing natively.

I've toyed with the cineform and mpeg streamclip. The results were great, but its a bit pricey for a complete amateur / newbie.

With that said, what are the various options for intermediate codecs? What are the pro + cons of the different codecs? What codecs are fast to transcode? What are some affordable options? Are there free options?

Any help would greatly be appreciated.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 04:35 PM   #2
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Rich,

I am using the almost free CoreAVC and AviSynth to transcode to the lagarith codec. This process preserves the 0-255 range the camera captures and won't clip highlights and shadows. You can then import into any NLE to edit, I use Premiere.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #3
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Thanks Daniel.

I'll try this method out. Too bad I'm out of town and can't test it out now!
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Old December 31st, 2008, 10:51 AM   #4
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Another intermediate codec you might try would be DVFilm Raylight AVI's. I'm not 100% that it works with the files from the Canon 5D but mostly like it does. You can download a free demo here. It does cost something but it's only about $150 on sale now.

I think there are quite a few options for free that deal with SD, but not with HD codecs. You can always try uncompressed avi's or quicktime's if you have the cpu power and space. I've also heard that Animation codec is a good option and is a base codec on most systems.

Hope this helps,
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Old December 31st, 2008, 11:24 AM   #5
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Although I don't have the 5d, I have been experimenting with HD 5d files transcoded with the free mpeg streamclip program out to a DV25 file. What is weird is that the transcoded file shows 28.9 Mbits/s which is higher than the 25 Mbits/s DV25 standard (13% higher bitrate). The transcoding is fast and once placed on my old premiere 6.5 SD timeline and rendered, it looks extemely good. If you only have SD editing software and a underpowered computer like me, this might be a good route to go.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 09:46 PM   #6
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New Year's addendum! Daniel, in a post below, reminded me of the built-in DirectShowSource filter in Avisynth, which you should try first in lieu of the QTSource plugin I mention below. All my other instructions remain the same.

----

If, like Daniel (and myself, as will become evident), you're the type willing to install and noodle around with AviSynth, you can take advantage of a couple of little known extras to maybe save yourself the time and disk space of rendering files to an intermediate format. I've only toyed with footage I've downloaded from Vimeo so far--I'm not in the market for a DSLR (my new point and shoot T500 does good enough HD for my taste), and couldn't afford the Mark II if I was--but they are in fact H.264 Quicktime files, and they load up just fine. Could be different with straight-from-the-camera footage, but I wouldn't imagine that's the case.

It's pretty simple, really; takes longer to explain than it does to set up. Beside installing AviSynth, head over to this page and grab the QTSource binaries (third item down, unless you also want the source code, which is below it). Copy the DLL, and help HTML for later reference, to your AviSynth plugins directory.

That's all there is to the most basic setup; if you create a simple .avs script with the line QTInput("directory/subdirectory/filename.mov", audio=true) you should be able to load said file in any applications that support AviSynth scripts, VirtualDub being the big one. Problem with the plugin is that for some reason I can never hear the audio in VDub. If I render a file from the software, the audio is in fact present, you just can't hear it in your editing/compositing/transcoding/playback software.

The solution to that is the same solution to the problem of apps that don't work well with AviSynth. Quicktime Player, Liquid and combustion are three that come to mind, as I use them myself. This is where the Avisynth Virtual File System comes into play. Sounds harder to use than it is. Grab the file listed on that page under "Download", then get the latest Pismo File Mount Audit Package. Free for personal and commercial use, if I read their site correctly, and is useful even without the AVFS addon we'll be installing. By its lonesome it allows you to mount ZIP and ISO files, among others, as virtual folders on your computer.

Run the installer for the Pismo thing first, then follow the instructions in the AVFS readme; a bit more complicated, but not the end of the world. You just unpack the DLL (forget everything else, you don't need it, though more advanced users may want to examine the technical information in "sample.avs") to a directory of your choice, in my case C:\Windows as the readme suggests, open a command prompt, and type "pfm register c:\windows\avfs.dll". No quotes, of course, and change the directory you type if you've chosen to place the file somewhere else. Uninstallation, should you choose, is just as easy. pfm unregister c:\windows\avfs.dll, then delete the file.

Once that's all done, you can right-click any .avs file on your system and choose "Quick Mount" (or Mount, if you want some more detailed options) and the software will go to town. After a moment you'll see a folder with a little blue arrow on it appear where your script was. Open and explore it like any other directory. As far as Windows and all your applications are concerned, there's an AVI file in there, when in fact the usual frameserving capabilities of AviSynth are at work. You might say that since a frameserver only serves the frames as they're requested, long GOP files will still be difficult to edit, and you might be right if not for the fact that the AVFS includes read-ahead functionality (specifics in that sample.avs file I mentioned earlier) that grabs frames beyond what you're requesting, improving performance noticeably. I know not everybody's got a shiny new quad core system, but it still helps. And yes, before you ask, you can have as many files mounted at once as your system can handle. You can even mount them all in one go; just select them all in explorer, right click, Quick Mount, there you have it! Unmount does the opposite, returning everything to its earlier state when you're done working with the files.

An important note! You may need to add a ConvertToRGB24() at the very end of your scripts to get some programs to open the fake AVI files; Quicktime Player, for example, won't work without this, though combustion didn't need it. Try it both ways, see what works with your software of choice. Nobody likes a color space conversion, I know, but if you have to, you have to.

I understand many people are put off by the prospect of installing new software on production machines, but I figure some of the more adventurous among us may get some use out of this; those intermediates can get pretty damn big, especially at 1920x1080.

Last edited by Robert Martens; December 31st, 2008 at 11:15 PM.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 10:52 PM   #7
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Robert,

I just tried it with After Effects. It works great as long as I use DirectShowSource and CoreAVC. Using QTInput will load but not display.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to share that. This is a much better way.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 10:54 PM   #8
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I completely forgot about DirectShowSource! Sorry, I'll go add that info to my post. Thanks for the info!
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Old January 1st, 2009, 12:39 AM   #9
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I can load the 5D mk II video files into Premier Pro CS just fine, but playback in the project monitor sucks (it's far from realtime), and, if I have more than a coupe of clips on the timeline, Premier crashes when I try to render out using a frameserver into TMPGEncXpress. Premier starts grabbing a bunch of virtual memory and doesn't stop until it's got well over 2.75GB.

I tried the AVSynth method described above, and Premier behaves exactly the same as before.

Julian
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Old January 1st, 2009, 08:26 AM   #10
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since you mention CF in your post, you may be interested in this thread: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/cineform-...s-neo-hdv.html

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Old January 1st, 2009, 09:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Newman View Post
Canon 5D Mk-II is not an HDV or AVCHD camcorder so it requires more than NEO Scene offers. Neo Scene is HDV/AVCHD only. All our other tools do support Canon 5D Mk-II.
Looks like the only source it supports is M2T, M2TS and MTS. Other than that its perfect. Support 1080, source framerate, 10-bit and 4:2:2. It's really a great deal for anybody working with HDV.
CineForm's Neo Scene - Cinema Qualityfor Consumers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian Frost View Post
I can load the 5D mk II video files into Premier Pro CS just fine, but playback in the project monitor sucks (it's far from realtime)...
Premiere will load the .MOV files directly but only the 16-235 range (at least on my system). There are a lot of threads here that cover this so it would not make much sense to go over it again. I did attach an image showing the histogram from the transcoded video, frameserver and original.

Some videos playback in real time, but not all. You would need a proxy for editing if your system can't keep up.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 02:54 AM   #12
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Just a couple of extra notes, if you don't mind, guys:

First a heads up, the final version of Avisynth 2.5.8 was released a few days ago, anyone interested in pursuing an this frameserving setup may benefit from the bugfixes and optimizations: SourceForge.net: Avisynth rev. 2: Files

Then there's this post, over in a doom9 thread, which contains a link to tateu's latest alpha for QTSource. Changes a few things, he says, so give it a try if you run into any problems. Sorry I didn't see it sooner.

I also neglected to mention the wonderful FFmpegSource earlier. I've had little success loading audio with the 2.00 version--though the video does seem to playback a touch faster--but grab the "unsupported, obsolete" version 1.21 and use FFmpegSource("directory/subdirectory/filename.mov",atrack=-1) to get your footage loaded up. Audio input is disabled by default; that -1 argument tells the filter to use the first suitable track it finds as the audio source.

If you really want to go crazy, do what I'm doing. Download and install both versions of FFmpegSource, and use this simple script:

video = FFVideoSource("directory\subdirectory\filename.mov").Crop(0,0,1920,1080)
audio = FFmpegSource("directory\subdirectory\filename.mov",vtrack=-2,atrack=-1)
AudioDub(video, audio)

The words video and audio here are variables, you can name them whatever you like in your own scripts. FFVideoSource is the name of the video source filter in the new version of Myrsloik's plugin, FFmpegSource is the name in the old version. The Crop is there to take care of the extra eight lines in 1080 HD sources, and uses a left, top, width, height syntax. Other types of footage may not require it, and CoreAVC has an option to crop 1088 source already, so eliminate that part of this script as necessary. AudioDub is a builtin filter that does just what it says. In the second filter, FFmpegSource, vtrack is set to -2 so it's disabled--all we want is the audio, no picture--and atrack, again, is set to use the first suitable track it finds as the source of audio.

Read the associated documentation for Avisynth and all the other plugins mentioned to get more detailed options. In particular, fpsnum and fpsden for FFVideoSource that will let you more accurately define the framerate (30000 over 1001 for NTSC sources, for example).

Last edited by Robert Martens; January 5th, 2009 at 05:24 PM.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 12:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Lipats View Post
Robert,

I just tried it with After Effects. It works great as long as I use DirectShowSource and CoreAVC. Using QTInput will load but not display.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to share that. This is a much better way.
Ok, an update. I tried this and everything appeared to be "good", but then after poking around a bit, unless I'm getting some incorrect information back from the tools I'm using, it seems that mine's not using the CoreAVC codec (the reported codec is shown to be divx 6.8). Plus, looking closely at a few clips, even though the histograms of these frameserved files look correct, I'm still losing some detail.

Does anybody know how I can force avisynth to use the CoreAVC codec?
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Old January 5th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #14
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Try the Re-Register item in the start menu group.

Also check the configuration and make sure preferred decoder is checked and enable tray icon just to make sure its decoding while playing.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 01:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Lipats View Post
Try the Re-Register item in the start menu group.

Also check the configuration and make sure preferred decoder is checked and enable tray icon just to make sure its decoding while playing.
Thanks for those tips. I was halfway able to get it to invoke coreavc. The icon pops up into the tray now whenever I "quick mount" the .avs script. To get to this point, I had to uninstall the full divx suite. The problem now is that when i open the synthed .avi file in Vegas Pro, it only pulls in an audio stream. I can view the "synthed" .avi in mplayer2 (old windows media player), WMP 11, and I can confirm that these players are using the coreAVC codec.

Any other ideas? Has anybody else been able to utilize coreAVC from within Vegas Pro using this method?
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