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Old November 10th, 2007, 09:26 AM   #1
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Buying a Mac, but want a Cineform workflow

Hey guys, it's looking like I'll be leasing an HD capable mac for a few projects upcoming. These projects are just SD, but I'm building for the ability to handle HD for future jobs we're working on landing.

I love the way Cineform helps with my workflow, and chances are this comp as well as another mac pro will be networked with this computer I'm running PPro2.0 and AspectHD on.

So far, the best workflow plan I've conceived is capturing using this computer to create Cineform MOV's. Then, doing the offline in final cut, exporting as an EDL, find and replacing .mov to .avi, and using HDLink to convert the MOVs to AVIs. I may not even do this step, but I don't like how MOVs behave on windows. Also, I may just do the online on the mac using final cut, as I'd really like to be more familiar with the setup. However I've seen the great things the Cineform codec does for workflow in premiere as well as quality of the compression, and would like to stick with that rather than ProRes or another competing codec. A big concern would also be cross-platform compatibility that I'd bet money ProRes does not offer.

Any of you guys have any thoughts? I'm rather torn, but I'll be piecing the Mac together in the next few weeks... any hardware that might come in handy I need to build into the box from the beginning.

Carl
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Old November 10th, 2007, 10:32 AM   #2
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Carl, I'll address the CineForm codec portion of your Q's as you plan for your Mac workflow. First, we have a couple Tech Notes on this page http://www.cineform.com/products/Tec.../TechNotes.htm that discuss FCP sequence settings and also file compatibility cross platform. You'll find that you can literally move CineForm files from Windows to Mac and they work great in FCP (vice versa too). If your files are 8-bit depth you can even use the Windows AVI files on Mac without rewrapping to MOV. If you have cross-platform needs (or desires) this is really the way to go.

And you're right, ProRes is Mac only - unless Apple surprises everybody I don't think this will ever change. And although it has 10 bit depth, this is only the case when using Apple SW. In AE (Mac) it only supports 8 bits.

Regarding capture: we don't have HD Link ported to Mac yet, so for capture you have two options: 1) Use Windows with HDLink (or Bootcamp on Mac) to capture to CineForm MOV files, or 2) use Mac software to acquire content from your camera using the native codec (HDV I think in your case), then run HD Link in Parallels to do your conversions. Parallels has limitations on its Firewire support, so when running Parallels HD Link supports all the "Convert" features, but not the HDV acquisition features.

NOTE: We'll port HDLink features to Mac in the future, but in the mean time we offer both a Windows and Mac license with PHD/P2K and Neo HD/2K for this purpose. For AHD customers we offer a 50% discount on the purchase of a standalone Mac license with Neo HD.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 11:10 AM   #3
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Wonderful!

It sounds like I'm on the right page as I nudge my business partner in the direction of Cineform. :)

That really answers just about every question I have software wise! Now time to research broadcast monitors.

Thanks for the easy-to-read breakdown. Once again you guys have simplified my life. :D

Carl
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Old November 16th, 2007, 08:17 AM   #4
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what about the Neo codec ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Taylor View Post
Regarding capture: we don't have HD Link ported to Mac yet, so
2) use Mac software to acquire content from your camera using the native codec (HDV I think in your case), then run HD Link in Parallels to do your conversions. Parallels has limitations on its Firewire support, so when running Parallels HD Link supports all the "Convert" features, but not the HDV acquisition features.

NOTE: We'll port HDLink features to Mac in the future, but in the mean time we offer both a Windows and Mac license with PHD/P2K and Neo HD/2K for this purpose. For AHD customers we offer a 50% discount on the purchase of a standalone Mac license with Neo HD.
Hello
I am to finish the editing of a long ago started project shot in HDV with a Sony Z1.
We made a DV editing of the film with FCP 5.14.
I have a Mac Pro Quad.

Can I use a Decklink HD Extreme card to ingest the files from my camera and use the Neo HD codec to conform the editing with Cineform on my Mac ? What setting should I use for the acquisition then, (if all of this is possible)
I dont have Parallels nor Bootcamp.

Thank you in advance for your answer
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Old November 16th, 2007, 08:57 AM   #5
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Herve,

We have not yet debugged direct-to-disc recording of uncompressed streams from Decklink cards (or AJA for that matter) directly into CineForm files on Mac. I encourage you to install our Mac codec and see if the Decklink card "sees" the CineForm codec.

I suspect we'll have to do more software work to improve this interface. We plan to do this, but simply have not completed the work yet.
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Old November 16th, 2007, 10:58 PM   #6
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I have not been able to get Cineform to I/O in realtime on my MacPro through a Multibridge Extreme. Good luck, let me know if anyone else has figured out how to do this.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 01:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Taylor View Post
Herve,

I encourage you to install our Mac codec and see if the Decklink card "sees" the CineForm codec.
.
Hello David
Unfortunately, it does not see the Cineform codec
too bad
Hervé
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Old November 20th, 2007, 11:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Taylor View Post
If your files are 8-bit depth you can even use the Windows AVI files on Mac without rewrapping to MOV. If you have cross-platform needs (or desires) this is really the way to go.
A client mentioned they'd used my CineForm AVI files on iMovie and I thought they must have performed the MOV rewrapping themselves. Clearly not. Excellent news :)
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