Cineform Neo and PPro CS3 mac choppy playback at DVinfo.net

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Old November 26th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #1
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Cineform Neo and PPro CS3 mac choppy playback

I have tested playback of cineform neo clips using build 2.1.2.66 of neo on the mac.

I converted avcHD footage (60i 1920x1080) from my hf11 camera to the apple intermediate codec using imovie's import feature. Then I used Remaster to convert the AIC files to cineform ones (without changing any of the default paramters)

Next I played back the clips in Quicktime player. They played back smoothly and without any slowdown at all, no matter what size I made the playback window. This was also true for the original AIC files.

Next I imported the clips into PPro CS3, into a "Cineform" project preset which I assume the cineform installation created for me. The clips dont playback smoothly at all. There is constant slowdown. The files are on a local SATA HD in bay 2 of my Intel Mac Pro which has 10GB RAM and was purchased last year.

Playing them in the source window gives me choppy video. They should playback perfectly in the surce monitor no matter what project setting I have shouldnt they?
Putting them on the timeline also gives me choppy video, and worryingly the render bar area turns red (no effects applied or any editing done at all, just putting them on the timeline). They shouldn't need any rendering in a cineform based project should they?
Checking the project settings against the properties of the clips shows that they have same settings. Playing the files in Bridge is the same.

However, when I play the AIC files (which are the same size on disk as cineform files) in PPro from the same local disk, the playback is perfect. It just seems to be Cineform and Premiere Pro. As I said before, the cineform files playback ok in Quicktime player.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 12:48 PM   #2
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We've done no optimization for Premiere Pro on the Mac, only on the PC. On the Mac we have optimized to codec for FCP and Quicktime in general. In the new year under CS4 will intend to release components for CS4 Mac.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #3
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Does that mean that cineform files playing back choppily falls within expected behaviour in PPro then? And the red render bar issue?

I read on the cineform page that PPro was supported on the mac, just not optimized for the "realtime engine". I took this to mean that files would playback at least as smoothly as any DV file (ie. one track would playback smoothly because it is not as cpu intensive as other codecs), but that realtime effects and multitrack preview stuff would not be there.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #4
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Choppy, depends on the Mac -- Red bar is Premeire's default behavior (fixed in CS4.) Our Mac Pro does okay under CS3, but it could be better. There are things we intend to do the Premiere that have nothing to do with the RT Pipeline on PC, this is the optimization that hasn't occurred yet. The codec is very efficient, but if applications accessed it inefficiently, you get lower performance. Optimization for this is coming.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 12:33 AM   #5
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I have read your faq and found the part about the red bar in premiere mac. I guess that's my own fault for not reseaching it enough. I might suggest that you put that in brackets next to the part about premiere support on your neo description page.

Does the mac pro at cineform HQ not stutter and skip frames when playing back cineform files in cs3? Even in the source monitor?

At the moment, I am just using cineform to edit home video from a cheap hf11 camera. I am using my mac pro at home to build up a body of personal work, so I am being more patient than I would be if I were trying to use this at work.

I really believe in the cineform workflow, but since purchasing it 2 months ago, the process has been frustrating to say the least. And after going through the additional step of using imovie to convert my files from avcHD mts files to AIC so that I could use Remaster, I thought I'd finally reached the goal; editing cineform files in Premiere. Now I find myself looking at another 150,000 yen (for some reason japan is twice the american price) to upgrade to cs4 so that I can actually play my cineform files back smoothly.
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