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Old December 18th, 2007, 07:54 AM   #1
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What Cineform product, please advise

Hello all!

I would like to improve my CS3 workflow. I have Matrox RTX2, which is great for some quick-and-dirty jobs. But when it comes to more advanced workflows with compositing and switching between PPro and AFX, Matrox's proprietary AVI codec causes all kinds of trouble. It also locks the footage to the very PC with RTX2 card, which, frankly, sucks.

Therefore I consider purchasing some flavour of Cineform. Their website is unfortunately one of the most cluttered pages I've ever seen, so I cannot really tell which one would be ideal for my setup, which is:

HP XW4400 dual-core 2,16 GHz
2 GB RAM (plan upgrade soon)
RTX2 (which I guess won't be used in Cineform projects)
JVC HD111 and HD110 camcorders mostly in 720/25p mode
Premiere Pro CS3 and the whole Production Suite

I really can't tell the difference between Neo HDV/Aspect HD/Prospect HD other than 8/10-bit bit depth. I don't plan for purchasing any capture card soon other than my RTX2 (by the way, there isn't a way to capture analog 4:2:2 straight from camera via RTX2 into Cineform, is there?)

Please advise. Thanks!
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Old December 18th, 2007, 09:29 AM   #2
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NeoHDV is designed for non-Premiere editing. It does not include the real-time plugins for Premiere - perfect to save some money for editors on Vegas, etc.

AspectHD edits in 1440x1080 8 bit - the same as the raw m2t files from your HDV camera.

ProspectHD edits in 1920x1080 10 bit - better for heavy color correction, compositing, or files going through more generations.


Aspect or Prospect is the decision for you. AspectHD will do the trick (it's what I use) but Prospect's improvements are *great* for color correction work! Is the added price worth the added quality for you?

Carl
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Old December 18th, 2007, 09:35 AM   #3
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Hi Jiri,

Yes we suffer from too much information which can be daunting to a new customer. So to simplify: you want our Aspect / Prospect family because of its real-time engine for Premeire Pro. The Neo family is for non-Premiere workflows.

Next you need to decide which your preferred HD format it. If HDV (1440 max horizontal resolution) then Aspect HD is for you.

However, coming from RTX2 I suspect you'll want Prospect HD which supports full-raster 1920x1080 and 10-bit precision. From your description I DON'T think you need Prospect 2K which supports up to 2Kx2K resolution and up to 12-bit CineForm 444.

You can observe the visual difference between an 8-bit (Aspect HD) versus 10-bit (Prospect HD) workflow here: http://www.cineform.com/products/Asp...pect.htm#10bit.

A comment on your HW configuration. Your 2.16GHz processors are on the edge if you plan for HD-SDI capture using either Blackmagic or AJA cards. Remember the CineForm codec runs in SW, not HW. That lowers overall costs but also requires slightly beefier CPUs. We usually recommend 2.33GHz CPUs IF you are doing HD-SDI capture.

For component HD capture you'll need an AJA or Blackmagic card both of which support component HD input (see my comments about HD-SDI above). The Blackmagic Intensity Pro card is probably the least expensive of the capture options.

I hope this helps.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 09:37 AM   #4
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Thank you Carl - sorry I "stepped" on you....:-)
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Old December 18th, 2007, 09:51 AM   #5
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Hah! Like I mind! ;)

For some odd reason you seem to know a bit more about Cineform than I do. ;)

C
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Old December 18th, 2007, 10:03 AM   #6
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Thanks guys! I guess it's down to 8 or 10b bit depth, because our cameras do only 1280x720p, not full HD. I guess I will download tryout versions of both and run some tests.

Thanks for clear narrowing of my options!

One more thing: I tend to do CC work in After Effects and often use multiple layers of the same footage to add some colour latitude. It works wonders (mainly in 32bpp), I will try this with 8bit Aspect versus straight 10bit Prospect.

Last edited by Jiri Fiala; December 18th, 2007 at 10:42 AM.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 11:33 AM   #7
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>Yes we suffer from too much information which can be daunting to a new customer.

Hi David, and thanks for the great support Cineform offers via this forum.

IMHO, I don't think it's a problem of too much information. The nitty gritty technical details are often neglected on many websites but are important to people who use your products. It's more a problem of organization and clutter (like a house that has been added onto many times without much regard to flow).

Not trying to be critical, just constructive!
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Old December 18th, 2007, 11:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Heslip View Post
>IMHO, I don't think it's a problem of too much information. The nitty gritty technical details are often neglected on many websites but are important to people who use your products.
Thanks Bill. Yes, if your house is a mess when you invite people over you feel a bit insecure. But if that clutter is gold nuggets hopefully some people will forgive you (us)....
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Old December 18th, 2007, 11:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiri Fiala View Post
One more thing: I tend to do CC work in After Effects and often use multiple layers of the same footage to add some colour latitude. It works wonders (mainly in 32bpp), I will try this with 8bit Aspect versus straight 10bit Prospect.
Jiri, based on your description I would think you would be a customer for Prospect HD. Any time you're pushing colors with multiple layers the extra precision of 10 bits will help reduce banding as in the example I pointed you to in an above post. But of course evaluate both for your needs.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 04:46 AM   #10
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David, I downloaded trial of ProspectHD and it gives me this error on trying to convert wmv (or whatever file) to Cineform AVI in HDLInk:

Error:m_graph->ConnectDirect(outputPin, inputPin, 0) (0x80040207 - ***SID message in Czech language***) in (DirectShowGraph.cpp at 350)

Error: ConnectPin(VideoDecoder, cfSampleRate) (0x080040207 - ***SID message***) in (ConvertGraph.cpp at 1856)

Reinstall did not help. Thanks for any info.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 10:52 AM   #11
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Under Start Menu->Programs->CineForm->ProspectHD->tools select Registry Components. If anything fails, or does nothing at all, we may have an issue with Czech install paths.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 11:48 AM   #12
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There are no relevant paths with czech diacritics (i think so anyway) on my computer, which paths exactly do you mean?

Re-registering components did not work :o(
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Old December 20th, 2007, 12:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jiri Fiala View Post
There are no relevant paths with czech diacritics (i think so anyway) on my computer, which paths exactly do you mean?

Re-registering components did not work :o(
You will need to contact support as we have seen issues will other language paths, although that is getting rarer. What does it mean "Re-registering components did not work"?, it did fix the problem or it did not register?

File a trouble ticket www.cineform.com/support
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Old December 20th, 2007, 12:21 PM   #14
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It did not fix the problem. The thing is, Prospect works right as it should within Premiere, I'm just unable to convert anything in HDLInk.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 12:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiri Fiala View Post
It did not fix the problem. The thing is, Prospect works right as it should within Premiere, I'm just unable to convert anything in HDLInk.
File a trouble ticket as that is weird.
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