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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old July 18th, 2007, 12:22 PM   #1
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Capture HV20 HDV to ProRes 422 with Intensity

I tried capturing HDV tape to ProRes 422, and when the video plays, it softens a little. Paused, it looks fantastic, but playing, it doesn't look right. I assume that means it has something to do with interlacing/fields.

Anyone have success with this? This is regular 60i stuff--no 24p, nothing remarkable about the footage.

I was interested in this because I'd like to use a processor efficient editing workflow, which ProRes is supposed to offer.

I supposed it might be a moot point though, because its looking like HDV tape captured through firewire and then using ProRes as the project renderer might have the best balance of quality and efficiency. Dunno yet.

Thoughts?
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Old July 18th, 2007, 02:07 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing.

Capturing HDV into ProRes will allow greater latitude in terms of post-work, i.e. colour correction - depends on what you're using it for. If you 'clean' the luma footage, your video (especially in colourful areas) will look better. I use Nattress plugins to clean my luma - looks more like 4:2:2 once I'm done - this process and ProRes are made for each other!

It's softening because Final Cut Pro is down-resing the quality for playback - you can probably render it full, to keep the quality up for playback, or change the playback settings. The computer might not be able to handle it, but, you are using a Mac Pro no doubt, so it should be fine ;) When paused, yes, that's how it really looks.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 02:09 PM   #3
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Could you please capture LIVE footage into ProRes with your Intensity and share with us? Like, don't record to the tape - turn on the camera, and capture a clip? I'm sure there are many peopl here that'd love to see that! If you need server space, I can definitely help out with that.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 11:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Ducon View Post
It's softening because Final Cut Pro is down-resing the quality for playback -
I appreciate the input.

To be honest, because of the various things I've tried--especially transcoding to ProRes with good playback results--I was ready to discount your theory. But taking a closer look at everything, it seems that data rate is the determining factor. I'm still not 100% sure of what the deal is though. I know what down-resing to allow playback looks like, and this isn't precisely the same thing.

I do have a MacPro, but I don't have disks striped. Even though I would have thought sure that a single internal SATA drive should be fine (it certainly tests way higher), somewhere around 17MB/Sec seems to be the magic number. DVCProHD (~14.5MB/Sec) plays back fine. The ProRes transcode that played back fine was actually standard quality at 1440x1080 (not HQ), so the data rate is below 17MB/Sec. A standard quality ProRes capture at 1920x1080 is over 17MB/Sec and doesn't play back with normal appearance. I tried a transcode to ProRes HQ at 1440x1080, to eliminate the horizontal resampling as a variable, and it doesn't play back with normal appearance either (something like 23MB/Sec). The common element on either side of the playback equation in this handful of tests was data rate.

I could do RAID, but I have Boot Camp and MacDrive going on my Windows disk. I assume RAID on the Mac side would foul things up in terms of cross-compatibility.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 01:25 PM   #5
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Sounds like you know your stuff, and it's still not changing. Hmm. I have a RAID setup in my Mac Pro - and once I render out to it as a scratch disk using a full raster HD format, it either plays or stutters the way I have it setup - no more downresing. So I wonder what's occuring on your system.

ProRes 422 is the codec I'll be moving my projects to, so in time, I'll have some more feedback. Let us know if things change!
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