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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old February 1st, 2009, 02:02 PM   #1
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To What [NLE] Shall I Turn?

First let me state the reason for posting this thread in this section.

I shoot about 50% of my footage on my XH-A1 @ 1080 24f and the other 50% at 1080 60i. I am looking for users opinions on an NLE that can provide a quick workflow for short film that are shot at 24f and is also stable enough to edit a 3 hour conference(multiple cameras) without constant crashing. I think I will get a stronger response from XH-A1 users in this section of the forum instead of the editing forum.

-------------------------

A little background info on myself,

I started filmmaking about five years ago with my fathers Sony TRV720. My first editing platform was Pinnical Studio 7. I kept working with Pinnical through version 10 at which point I had had enough of it's glitchee interface. I started editing on Avid Free DV until I could afford Adobe Premiere Elements 1.0. Shortly after that I upgraded to Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0.

I was very content editing with Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 until I played around with the trial version of Adobe Premiere Pro. I did my research and Adobe Production Studio 1.0 had the best bang for the buck, ecpecially since I was Home Educated I could grab the Academic Version.

I was able to purchase an XH-A1 in March of 07 & I absolutelly love it!

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My problem is that Premiere Pro 2.0's doesn't support batch capture, scene detection, or preview with the XH-A1. *I have recently found out that HDVSplit supports scene splitting and have been testing this feature.*

Here is my current workflow for short & not so short projects shot in HDV 24f(prior to HDVSplit):
*Capture entire tape into PP2 project with Canon HDV preset.
*Use the Source Monitor to create in & out points to drag into the Timeline.
*Finilize my edit.
*Export any effects shots as Quicktime movies with the Animation Preset.
*Import into After Effects and once the effect shots are complete, Export a *Quicktime movies with the Animation Preset.
*Import the finished effect shots into PP2, lay them over the existing video & save as a Master project.
*Using Dynamic Link I import the Master project into AE and apply color correction, letterboxing, etc.
*Export my "Digital Dub", wich is a TIFF sequence of the final project(Easily archived over multiple DVDs).
*Import my TIFF sequence into a new AE project & create a new composition for each output type(720p, DVD, iPod, web, etc.) & export media.

Here is my current workflow for conference or similar productions(multicam), and a minimum of 1 hour long shot in HDV 60i(also prior to HDVSplit):
*Capture entire tape into PP2 project with Adobe HDV preset.
*Use PP2's multicamera tool to edit footage. Deal with at least 3 project crashes, most likely due to the length of the project.
*Use Dynamic link to get project out of PP2 to apply color correction, etc.
*Export my "Digital Dub", wich is a TIFF sequence of the final project(Easily archived over multiple DVDs).
*Import my TIFF sequence into a new AE project & create a new composition for each output type(DVD, etc.) & export media.

-------------------------

Possible Solutions
These are the solutions I am looking at. If you have personal experiance with a particular NLE, can you give me the Pros & Cons as you see them? Unfortunatly I can not move to a Mac system because I do not have the budget to make that transition. I do however have the ability to get an Academic version of most software.

#1 Stick with PP2
Pros: It's the cheapest solution. You can just use HDVSplit to batch capture & scene split.
Cons: It's unstable with large projects. You can't archive to tape.

#2 Grab the Academic version of CS4
Same Pros & Cons as PP2. The only reason I am even considering CS4 is because it includes On Location, and Encore CS4(Blu-ray authoring). Will On Loaction record HDV 24f to HDD? If not, I am not really interested in CS4.

#3 Grab the Academic version of Avid Media Composer
Pros: High end software that is very powerful. Besides Media Composer it also includes; Sorenson Squeeze 5, Boris Continuum AVX, Avid DVD by Sonic(Is HD authoring Blu-ray?), Avid FX, SmartSound Sonicfire Pro 4 with FREE downloadable Upgrade to version 5, Two SmartSound Music Audio Palettes: Core Sessions & Core Foundations, Class on Demand Complete Training for Avid Media Composer.
Cons: Very steep learning curve. Does NOT support 24f capture from XH-A1. Would I have to rely on HDVSplit to capture, and then use MPEG Streamslip to transcode the .m2t files to DNxHD?

#4 Grab the Academic version of Sony Vegas Pro 8
I am also a bit weary of Vegas. I have never actually used it, but I'm a bit conserned with the interface. Does Vegas have support fot batch capture with an XH-A1 in 24f? Is it stable for multiple hour long projects?

#5 Avid Liquid
I know very little about this program and I am rather leniant becasue it was originally created by Pinnacle. Does it have support fot batch capture with an XH-A1 in 24f? Is it stable for multiple hour long projects?

Your opinions on which NLE I should turn to would be greatly appreciated. If you have some knowledge on a certain NLE that you could share, that would be great. Even if it's an NLE that I did not list.

-------------------------

EDIT
And just to clear up any confusion; I currently have and use Adobe Production Studio 1.0. This includes; Premiere Pro 2.0, AE 7.0, Photoshop CS2, Illistrator CS2, Encore DVD 2.0, & Audition 2.0.

The problem is that PP2 is unstable with projects longer than 45 min, & about 50% of my projects fall into the 3 hour category. I’m tired of constant crashing of PP2. I’d like to find an NLE that is stable enough for long projects(3 hours), & can handle 24f footage. If something like that exists for the PC, that's what I'm looking for.
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Last edited by Kevin Amundson; February 1st, 2009 at 06:12 PM. Reason: Clear up any confusion
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Old February 1st, 2009, 02:27 PM   #2
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I shoot 24F and edit with Final Cut Pro. Often I mix things as you do, no problems. I don't believe Avid will handle Canon's 24f mode unless they've changed it in Media Composer recently. Last time I looked they did not do 24f. I started out with Avid Media Composer back in around '96 and moved to FCP in about 2006. About a year ago I was in a situation where I needed to set up an entirely new system and considered going back to Avid (because it's a bit easier and faster for some of the type things I do), but they didn't do Canon 24F so I stuck with FCP. Now that I use Compressor and DVD Studio Pro a lot, I'm quite happy with FCP. Compressor is easy and intuitive and you can export in about any configuration you need. It's easy to mix things in the timeline. Most all my stuff is edited in a 23.98 HDV timeline. When I drop in a 60i clip, it has to render but does so with the pulldown done so there's no need to do that as a separate step. I guess I could go the other way too but haven't.

The longest thing I've edited in FCP was just over 2 hours. No problems there either. I'm using a MacBook Pro, the 17" one, 2.6 duo processor. It was the fully loaded one available a year ago. It's been more solid that the earlier G5s I had used at a production house.

I have something coming up soon where I'll mix HDV footage with AVCHD footage. The AVCHD gets transcoded into ProRes422, so I'll probably capture the HDV as ProRes too and edit the whole thing that way.

If you prefer a PC over a Mac, my understanding is that the current version of Sony Vegas also handles Canon's 24F well.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 03:07 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Bill. It's not that I prefer PC, in fact I would switch to Mac in a heart beat IF I had the money. Unfortunately I only have about $600 that I can spend, so I'm looking for a solution that will fit that budget and hopefully streamline my workflow a little more that it is right now.

I will start doing some research on Vegas and see what it offers.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 03:33 PM   #4
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Kevin - i must preface this that i do not own the XH-A1 but I have a client that does. I have shot some small form 24p work for them before and captured with Vegas Pro 8 with no issues. It handles it quite well. However with any new NLE, working in HDV can be very intensive for your system. I understand your budget is limited so computer upgrades/replacement may be out of the question, but what are your system specs. I have never had Vegas crash during a project, I did have it crash once after I saved project and closed Vegas then crash (not an issue really though, as everything was saved and I was rebooting anyways for a Win Update.) So I would say it is quite stable in general. that is my limited take on it. Good luck!
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Old February 1st, 2009, 06:10 PM   #5
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Thanks Bryan for your input. When you capture 24f with Vegas, do you have scene detection, preview, or batch capture? Does Vegas even have a batch capture?

EDIT: How does Vegas do stability wise with long(3 hour) projects?

I have been editing HDV for a while and I haven't had any problems except when I have major special effects layers in AE. Here are my system specs:
XP 32 bit
Dual Core 3.2 GHz
3.5GB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT(256MB)
RAID 5 HDD for video storage.
Single HDD for OS/programs
Single HDD for render/previews

And just to clear up any confusion; I currently have and use Adobe Production Studio 1.0. This includes; Premiere Pro 2.0, AE 7.0, Photoshop CS2, Illistrator CS2, Encore DVD 2.0, & Audition 2.0.

The problem is that PP2 is unstable with projects longer than 45 min, & about 50% of my projects fall into the 3 hour category. I’m tired of constant crashing of PP2. I’d like to find an NLE that is stable enough for long projects(3 hours), & can handle 24f footage. If something like that exists for the PC, that's what I'm looking for.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 08:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Amundson View Post
The problem is that PP2 is unstable with projects longer than 45 min, & about 50% of my projects fall into the 3 hour category. Im tired of constant crashing of PP2. Id like to find an NLE that is stable enough for long projects(3 hours), & can handle 24f footage. If something like that exists for the PC, that's what I'm looking for.
I've taken the PP courses and read the bibles. Like you, I was severely disillusioned by its tendency to crash, but also because I found out that if you want it to do Dolby surround, you need to pay extra for the license (not something they told me when I paid over $1,000 for the CS3 package).

I have used Sony Vegas for my last two short film projects. It's unassuming, but it packs a big punch. Don't let marketing and pretty interfaces sway you. I'm in the process of switching to Avid, but I wouldn't hesitate to use Vegas to edit a feature.


J.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 08:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Avid Liquid - I know very little about this program and I am rather leniant becasue it was originally created by Pinnacle.
Actually it came out of FAST Multimedia, which was bought by Pinnacle and then Pinnacle by Avid. Users seem to like it.

At this time it does not support AVCHD, BluRay, or VISTA, and a new replacement product is said to be in the works for rumored release in late 2009. There is a support forum for the product at Pinnacle.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 08:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques E. Bouchard View Post
I've taken the PP courses and read the bibles. Like you, I was severely disillusioned by its tendency to crash, but also because I found out that if you want it to do Dolby surround, you need to pay extra for the license (not something they told me when I paid over $1,000 for the CS3 package).

I have used Sony Vegas for my last two short film projects. It's unassuming, but it packs a big punch. Don't let marketing and pretty interfaces sway you. I'm in the process of switching to Avid, but I wouldn't hesitate to use Vegas to edit a feature.


J.
Thanks for more reassurment on Sony Vegas.

I prefer to do all my onlining(color correction, titles, dissolves, etc...) in AE. Would I have any problems exporting a QuickTime movie with the animation codec to import into AE?
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Old February 1st, 2009, 08:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
Actually it came out of FAST Multimedia, which was bought by Pinnacle and then Pinnacle by Avid. Users seem to like it.

At this time it does not support AVCHD, BluRay, or VISTA, and a new replacement product is said to be in the works for rumored release in late 2009. There is a support forum for the product at Pinnacle.
OK, thanks Don. Late 09 is a bit to far down the road for me. I'm looking at picking up something before summer starts. I will take a look for those support forums and see what they say about Canon's 24f+Liquid.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 09:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kevin Amundson View Post
...When you capture 24f with Vegas, do you have scene detection, preview, or batch capture? Does Vegas even have a batch capture?...How does Vegas do stability wise with long(3 hour) projects?... PP2 is unstable with projects longer than 45 min,...Im tired of constant crashing of PP2. Id like to find an NLE that is stable enough for long projects(3 hours), & can handle 24f footage...
Here is where my experience may not be helpful. The only 24p work i have done using an XH1A was short form. However, that said, Vegas (from my experience) does not discriminate in how it handles captures long or short. You can preview capture in RT, it does have scene detect (if you turn it on) and capture the whole tape it will break it into clips, you also can log the clips and then batch capture (I don't use this because the scene detect is good enough for me.) I have had no stability issues with Vegas in long projects however, on a Dual core your playback window may not be as smooth and clean as you are used to in Premiere.

I edit for my largest client in PP3 because that is what they use and they supply me content edits that i do finish edits of. One of their content editors was still on CS2 last year and often complained about stability. I have had some issues with it myself but they are very rare. Recently I did an edit for them that spanned across 10 hrs of training video, 2 cam XL2 shoot, and it handled it well but that was of course SD not HDV.

This is my take on things but I think it is fair:

In adobe the plan is to Edit in Premiere, effects in After Effects, and author in Encore...3 programs for 3 different tasks hence the dynamic link software and the hefty price tag.

With Sony the plan is to do everything but author in Vegas and author in DVD Architect Pro (supplied with Vegas.) The end result is it does lots of things very well but the interface is not always as clean as the Adobe counterpart. (Mainly because it is doing more than each Adobe product by itself.)

The end product can be just as good with either product (again my opinion.) As to importing into AE, I have no idea. You can export Quicktime from Vegas but I am not familiar with the codec you reference so i don't know how AE would handle the Qtime export.

One other thing to consider is if you like plug-ins. Vegas has some good options but most of the plug-in developers focus on FCP and Adobe for plug-ins, so you often find yourself reading about a new great boris pkg only to find there is no Vegas version, though Red Giant Software (Magic Bullet effects) seems to support Vegas users and creates great options.

If it helps clear the muddy water for you at all, I have PP3 and Vegas on my system and choose to use Vegas for my work almost exclusively. Good luck!
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Old February 1st, 2009, 10:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Amundson View Post
Thanks for more reassurment on Sony Vegas.

I prefer to do all my onlining(color correction, titles, dissolves, etc...) in AE. Would I have any problems exporting a QuickTime movie with the animation codec to import into AE?
I do not have a canon. I have a DVX and an EX1. I edit with Vegas after moving from PPro.

Most of my work is 2-6 hour conferences. I have worked on 4-6 hour projects in Vegas without issue for 3+ years. I just edited a full 1080i 2+ hour project last week.

I have used the Animation codec in quicktime out of Vegas, but there are better choices out there depending on what's needed.

If you'd like to discuss workflow privately, let me know. Vegas is not perfect and has some quirks, but stability is not one of them. I make part of my living editing corporate and conference videos and if Vegas had issues, I wouldn't touch it. I have a newish version of Premiere sitting unused in my desk drawer.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 10:38 PM   #12
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a little endorsement

Kevin, take Perrone up on his offer, while I don't always agree with him on some issues, he is very knowledgeable and his beliefs are well grounded in years of experience.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 11:07 PM   #13
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Though not on your list, Edius 5 might be a possibility. It is stable and handles all the formats.

You can download a 30-day trial from here and try it:
Canopus Worldwide Home

You can ask on the very responsive Canopus forums about the specific work flow you do and get responses from people who do similar work:
Thomson Grass Valley Desktop Solutions Forums

Avid Liquid handles long projects well, and it handles native HDV well. However, any development on the product stopped months ago. The Avid Liquid forum has a few experienced users remaining, but many have moved on to other editors such as Composer, Edius, Vegas or other:
Pinnacle Systems - Forums - Liquid s/w - Liquid Pro - Liquid Chrome Xe
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 04:38 AM   #14
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I am using mainly Edius 5 for HDV editing. Was a Vegas user for years, but find it is not stable with XH-A1's 25F footage. Edius is much faster for rendering so even if Vegas was working fine, I would still be tending towards Edius.

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Old February 2nd, 2009, 09:04 AM   #15
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I would vote for Edius as well, I have had good luck with it for the last 3 years.
However, if you are combining Edius with the A1 and Vista, watch out! There are some significant issues with this combination. I am going to have to set up a dual boot on my computer so I can capture in XP and then edit in Vista.
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