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Old February 14th, 2009, 12:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Chung View Post
Looks like NeoScene isn't going to work for my workflow yet.
Dan
I typically have HUGE amounts of data when I first start a project: 3-300 times more clips than I end up using and every one 10-100% longer than I'll use (numbers pulled from a hat). But after doing a SaveAs in Vegas (or in FCP using the ... what? ProjectManager, is that it?), that cuts the project down to just the pertinent info - plus wings, if you want them. This saves incredible amounts of HD space.

The benefits of Cineform are awesome for PC editing.
I don't fully understand how it compares to ProRes, though. I used to think that ProRes was the Cineform of the Mac platform, but not that Cineform works on Mac and "supports ProRes," it turns out I don't know what the differences are at all.

But I know you (Dan) work off a laptop when you're in the field, so the current incarnation of Cineform and it's dig. tool (called HDLink) won't help you much, based on how it brings in the files.

There is hope, though - maybe. Several months ago, I was complaining to a Cineform tech about HDLink and he hinted that there would be a new version of that coming out "soon," and I got the impression that there would be batch tools. Maybe that is still in the making?
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Old February 14th, 2009, 01:25 PM   #17
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Cineform would be the bomb if it supported multiple a space (and time) optimized workflows.

Workflow 1:
I get home, copy my files to a folder, tell Cineform to create intermediates for everything, go to sleep, and edit the next day.

Workflow 2:
I copy my files to a folder, open Vegas, open a clip in the trimmer, create a region, and drag it to the timeline. I'm asked for a name, or can select an automatically numbered name. The segment is re-wrapped as a shorter copy of the original file (quickly), a Cineform intermediate is then created (thank goodness for multiple cores). I can edit immediately (and slowly) with the original sub-clip, or wait a bit and edit with the Cineform intermediate.

The reason that I like to have a frame to frame match of proxies, intermediates and originals is that if there is ever a problem or a concern with quality or size, I can replace the proxy/intermediate with the original copy without losing timing information.

Workflow 3:
Similar to workflow 2, only no processing occurs. I simply trim clips, choose the regions, name the files and make a batch list. Once complete, I tell it to create the original sub-clips and intermediates. I return to the computer later to edit. This is best when I have fewer cores, and when I want to select my subclips as fast as possible without the CPU and HDD doing other chores.

Am I missing anything?
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Old February 14th, 2009, 06:39 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dan Chung View Post
Jay,

Thanks for that, you understood correctly about converting the whole file. In converters like MPEG streamclip and Sony's XDCAM transfer tool you can choose just to convert a portion of the file by marking ins and outs, with long interviews this can be essential and also keep disk space use and conversion time down. I don't really want to have 35gb of data every time I shoot an interview for a 1 minute clip.

Looks like NeoScene isn't going to work for my workflow yet.

Dan
As Jon F stated, if you're using an NLE anyway, do the trimming in the NLE. You can also use MPEG_Streamclip with NEO Scene, since both are based on Video for Windows (VFW). Open the 5D2 MOV file in MPEG_Streamclip, trim to get your subclip, then "EXPORT TO AVI" and select the Cineform codec as the video type.
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Old February 15th, 2009, 07:58 PM   #19
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Is there any advantage to using Cineform over ProRes in FCP?
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Old February 16th, 2009, 10:15 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
That said, I don't know about the details of the compression. Is it visually lossless? Is it lossless to the pixel and bit? I'm interested in learning more...
CineForm compression was designed specifically for post production, not for use in tape-based cameras. In that regard it means: 1) extremely high visual quality through multiple generations, 2) very fast performance on Intel CPUs, and broad compatibility using many tools across platforms.

Regarding number 1: see our visual quality analysis pages comparing CineForm quality versus other compression that are sometimes used in post: Quality Analysis. As a quickie about this CineForm visual fidelity it up to 12-bit precision and supports up to 4:4:4(:4) chroma.

Regarding number 2, we have been using all the Intel coding tricks for quite a while with heavy threading and SSE code

Regarding number 3, we support AVI and MOV wrappers on both Win and Mac platforms for broadest compatibility.

There are many system features built into CineForm compression that we'll save for a different class!
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Old February 16th, 2009, 10:17 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Sean Seah View Post
Sounds awesome! One thing I cant figure out is how is it lossless when an avi wrapper is used? Does it work like a proxy file?
Codecs are different than wrappers. Windows (AVI) and Mac (MOV) define specific wrapper layers underneath which exist the compression formats. This is done so the OS itself doesn't have to deal directly with a compressor. Once a codec is installed it obeys the interface mechanisms defined by the OS and the wrapper, at which point it becomes available as a general resource on the system to all other applications who support the respective AVI or MOV layers.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Matthew Roddy View Post
Hi David.

I thought that Scene was for HDV, while NeoHD was the ticket for our 5D2. Things have changed? I'm not complaining, mind you. The price is a lot more attractive and accessible.
I didn't see an updated comparison chart, comparing the different products. Did I miss that somewhere?
Matthew, we have always intended to add 5D2 support into Neo Scene on Windows, but it was more work than on Mac because some of the underlying infrastructure was already present on Mac. Support for 5D2 through Neo HD was not particularly good (more a hack) in its early form and was not *officially* supported by CineForm. However, Neo HD *will* get official 5D2 support in the near future. There are many differentiations in the product that will in fact get wider in the coming weeks with a new application addition to the Neo HD/4K family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Roddy View Post
Also will the PC version be as fully loaded the Mac version?
We just updated the PC version of Neo Scene so it has all the features of Neo Scene on Windows EXCEPT for ProRes support which can only be offered on Mac.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Roddy View Post
And, last, on the Cineform forum, David N. said, "30p to 24p is not recommended. The NEO Scene 24p extraction is designed for sources with pulldown, with a fallback mode for 60i sources, it does do 30p to 24p well. Use timewrap in AE for that, or similar."
I'm not quite sure I understand. You say, "is not recommended," but then say, "it DOES do 30p to 24p well," THEN say, "use timewarp in AE for that." Should that line have read, "it does NOT do 30p to 24p well"?
The nature of the recorded frame cadences make the resulting quality of converting 30p to 24p less than desirable in most cases. It can be done, but the processing time is generally quite long. CineForm does not include the more sophisticated 30p-->24p algorithm in our software, so David Newman was simply pointing to a capability in After Effects that may do a better job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Roddy View Post
I edit on PC using Vegas Pro 8 and/or Adobe CS3, so I'm not really a Mac guy, but I absolutely love Cineform and have been using since I started using Vegas 4. It's an awesome codec with amazing editing capabilities. I'm thrilled that this is coming out.
...now... if I can only get it to work on my system...
Thanks for the nice comments Matthew. Please continue to work with support on your problems - we want to help.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 10:32 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Nick Capolarello View Post
Hi everyone, this is exciting news. I have one question. i see that the mac version will have .mov file for FCP and the windows version will have an avi for vegas, CS3, ect. What i would like to know is, would the mac version of NeoScene, .mov work on CS3 for the mac? I can't ever find any information for CS3 on the Mac. its premiere CS3 for windows or FCP on the mac, never CS3 for the Mac. I have premeire CS3 on the mac and i hope the Mac neoscene version will work in CS3.
Yes Neo Scene Mac will (future tense) work for CSx on Mac. HOWEVER, CineForm has not yet ported our importer over for CSx for best support. Importers allow us to "tune" support for a specific application. This work will be done in the next month+.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 10:36 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Neal Wagner View Post
This thread is great news, NeoScene looks to be the missing link for the 5d2. A tactical question, after installing NeoScene and QT and the a3 filter I can convert 5d2 mov's into beautiful avi's as played on QT. But Sony Vegas 8.1 only shows the audio from the new avi, what am I missing?
Thank you.
Neal, the problem with Vegas v8.1 is that it is a 64-bit app. This means that all codecs that it connects to must also bew 64-bit unless they provide a compatibility layer. The Vegas compatibility layer is broken, so it will not see CineForm files. It's frustrating for us too. I think I understand from the Vegas team that they prefer to wait for the Vegas 9 release to fix this. Version 8.0c works fine.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 10:47 AM   #25
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Is there any advantage to using Cineform over ProRes in FCP?
Simple question, good question. The answer is really workflow dependent.

If you intend for an HD 4:2:2 workflow only inside FCP then you're probably better off with ProRes because of its tight integration into FCP. It is why we added ProRes as a destination format within Neo Scene. However, if your workflow involves applications outside FCP on Mac, or Windows, then CineForm can be a big help because of our cross-platform capabilities. Even on Mac but outside FCP, ProRes files are interpreted as 8-bit files instead of 10 bit files (at least from earlier tests we performed). CineForm files are always 10 bit depth.

CineForm also introduces the unique concept of "Active Metadata" which is best described as akin to an "Adjustment Layer" in Photoshop where you can add color adjustments as layers without disturbing the underlying file. This is a brand new concept that CineForm supports on both Win and Mac, and we have many, many features planned for this. Active Metadata is always performed in real time, and is application independent. So AM data applied in FCP will be properly interpreted in PPro or AE or QT Player. We have more discussion about Active Metadata controls in our Tech Notes section.

If you need a 4:4:4 workflow, up to 12-bit precision, then CineForm is the only compressed solution that allows this.

CineForm supports up to 4K (4096) spatial resolution also, but it is well known that FCP stops at 4000-wide. ProRes continues to work at higher spatial resolutions (4:2:2 chroma only) but its bit rate grows considerable.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 07:46 PM   #26
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Canon 5DII to 24p through Cineform

Okay, I am sure I am going to show my technical ignorance, but since this thread is about Cineform and the Canon 5d MKii, I have some questions:

In capturing to with Neo Scene, I assume I have not access to ask Scene to actually capture the footage as 60i. My reasoning is that I could then feed that into something Like DVFilmmaker, and render to a 24p. Heck, I have even used NeoHDV to render 60i material to a decent looking 24p in some projects.... Am I barking up the wrong tree ?
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Old February 19th, 2009, 08:26 PM   #27
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Cineform in Premiere Pro CS4

I've tried the latest Neo Scene and it appears to map color 0-255 to 0-255, with no option to map to 16-235. This means, when I import the Cineform file into Premiere Pro, I lose a lot of shadow and highlight detail as Premiere Pro won't let me access anything outside the 16-235 region.

Even if I reduce contrast or change brightness in Premiere Pro, I just end up with a brighter clipped black - the 'hidden' colors never become accessible. I have tried using the "render max bit depth" option and the procamp filter filter (as documented on various websites), but this doesn't make any difference with Cineform files.

Previously I tried Neo HD and was able to use CoreAVC or FFDShow to squeeze 0-255 into 16-235. I lose some color resolution throughout the range by doing this, but this is preferable to losing 0-15 and 236-255.

My questions are:
1) Is there a way to map 0-255 to 16-235 with NeoScene, or do I need to stick with Neo HD/CoreAVC to do this?
2) Is there a way to get Premiere Pro to access the 0-15 and 236-255 data (e.g by increasing brightness to shift 0-15 into 16-32 thus losing 219-255)?
3) Is there anything else I'm missing, or am I completely wrong with my understanding of what is happening?

Thanks.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 11:13 PM   #28
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2) Is there a way to get Premiere Pro to access the 0-15 and 236-255 data (e.g by increasing brightness to shift 0-15 into 16-32 thus losing 219-255)?
I found a junky workaround using Fast Color Corrector or RGB Curves:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/attend-wo...perwhites.html

EDIT: It's about highlights, but it works on the shadows, too. Just bring up shadows with RGB curves or the fast color corrector. Do *not* apply any other effect whatsoever. As soon as you apply any other effect (including RGB levels), the image goes to pot.

It amazes me that any NLE, especially a "premiere" one, would take the very little quantization space available (just 8 bits) and make it even smaller. Vegas and many others get this right. Hopefully CS5 wont be so limited.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 11:30 PM   #29
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I found a junky workaround using Fast Color Corrector or RGB Curves:
Yes, this is the technique I was trying, but it didn't do anything for Cineform files. Didn't do anything for 0-255 Lagarith files either. So maybe that technique is only compatible with certain codecs, like Canon XH-A1 HDV files.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 03:23 AM   #30
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Yes, I downloaded the trial of Neoscene and am having the same problem with Premiere. In fact, opening the transcoded files in Windows Media Player also shows the crushed blacks and highlights.

I filed a ticket with Cineform support and they advised me to download CoreAVC and set it up as described in this blog:

CineForm Insider: Correction: Canon 5D is fine, tools are wrong.

I tried all this and it didn't work. Support advised me to check an untranscoded clip in Graphedit to make sure that the CoreAVC decoder was being used. It appeared to be and I sent a screengrab to them. Still haven't heard anything back.

If you figure it out please let me know!
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