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Old January 26th, 2009, 07:24 PM   #1
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If I had NeoHD|Mac--recommend a workflow

I have 8 tapes of 376GB/35 files of AIC footage (1440x1080i60) containing p24.

If I had NeoHD|Mac, what workflow would be most efficient to remove pulldown?

Is there a batch type workflow available?

What sort of transcode time ratio can be expected ie how long will a 1h clip take to transcode? Does this get affected by source and destination file type?

Does Cineform work best with transcoding back to source, or going to a different hard drive?

How does it handle dropped frames on the tape?

Would it be more efficient to just finish the editing on the current files, then render out a self contained MOV and run that through Cineform for pulldown removal?
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Old January 26th, 2009, 08:07 PM   #2
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Right now NeoHD|Mac (ReMaster) is disk based. It has batch capabilities. The path to set up for converting 1440x1080 60i (24p) is to select resize to the format you want (1920x1080 or 1280x720) and select pulldown. On a Macbook it runs at about half real-time.

A first generation four-core Mac Pro is reached about 20 fps output on a 16 second clip. There is a slow startup as it initializes a clip, then it picks up speed. A four core machine can convert two clips at a time, and is very close to real-time. An 8 core should be faster than real-time.

If there is a dropped frame, it will resync with the pull-down when it is detected.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 03:16 PM   #3
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I loaded two ProRes 1440x1080i60 clips into ReMaster, selected Resize (square, 1920x1080) and pulldown (24 from 30i changeable)

It's not possible to add more clips once the first one or batch is chosen?

It's unclear how to rename files in a batch, or how to control the destination folder from the Output menu.
---Why not a Browse option to find the destination folder? Or I guess you have the user choose the folder via Finder once Convert is selected?
---I selected Rename New, but the new file had the same name as the original. How does renaming happen in a batch situation?

There's no Help file or manual included with ReMaster?

Running on a MacPro, 8 core 2.8GHz, 6GB ram, I only got 12fps and the processor loading never went above 30%User. The source sits on an external eSATA 3GBps drive, and the destination was the desktop, all drives are 7200rpm JBOD. So I guess Remaster is not able to use more than two cores?

Remaster did not run both files parallel, rather sequentially, starting the second only after completing the first.

Comparing the resulting files to the same ones converted by Compressor (to ProRes 1440x1080p23.976) I found one of the complaints I had was SOLVED. YES. Playing the files back in FCP's Viewer, the Compressor file exhibits stutter or strobe early in the clip, then it disappears, as if it lost the cadence then found it again. Cineform's file played strobe-free throughout the clip. This is very good news.

Open questions:

Will I get faster transcoding if I write over the source as opposed to sending to another folder [--it makes me nervous writing over the source]?

Does ReMaster leverage multiple cores?

Why does the website say the Trial is a fully functional version, and that after 15 days the output will be watermarked, when in this case the watermarks showed up on day 1?

Have you noticed that the Neo Read Me file specifies QT7.6 as a requirement, but the website states 7.1.5?

Craig, you said "right now NeoHD|Mac is disk based". What does that mean? Will it's version of ReMaster not do pulldown while capturing from tape? Pulldown, resizing outputting to ProResHQ during capture, realtime? :)
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Old January 28th, 2009, 04:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
I loaded two ProRes 1440x1080i60 clips into ReMaster, selected Resize (square, 1920x1080) and pulldown (24 from 30i changeable)

It's not possible to add more clips once the first one or batch is chosen?
Use the "Open" from the file menu or drag the files to the icon in the dock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
It's unclear how to rename files in a batch, or how to control the destination folder from the Output menu.
---Why not a Browse option to find the destination folder? Or I guess you have the user choose the folder via Finder once Convert is selected?
---I selected Rename New, but the new file had the same name as the original. How does renaming happen in a batch situation?
The output folder is for organizing sub-folders. If you have a project and want to convert to multiple formats in one job, you can direct each format to a different subfolder in your destination. The destination folder for the conversion is selected when you click on 'convert'. The 'rename new/rename old' applies only if there is a duplicate file on the destination.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
Running on a MacPro, 8 core 2.8GHz, 6GB ram, I only got 12fps and the processor loading never went above 30%User. The source sits on an external eSATA 3GBps drive, and the destination was the desktop, all drives are 7200rpm JBOD. So I guess Remaster is not able to use more than two cores?

Remaster did not run both files parallel, rather sequentially, starting the second only after completing the first.
Use the "Preferences.." menu to control the number of streams run at once. Because some of the available codecs do not take the best advantage of the available cores, the ReMaster transcode is optimized for fewer cores

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
Comparing the resulting files to the same ones converted by Compressor (to ProRes 1440x1080p23.976) I found one of the complaints I had was SOLVED. YES. Playing the files back in FCP's Viewer, the Compressor file exhibits stutter or strobe early in the clip, then it disappears, as if it lost the cadence then found it again. Cineform's file played strobe-free throughout the clip. This is very good news.
Great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
Open questions:

Will I get faster transcoding if I write over the source as opposed to sending to another folder [--it makes me nervous writing over the source]?

Does ReMaster leverage multiple cores?
ReMaster does use multiple cores. Use the "Preferences.." menu to select the number of streams you want to run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
Why does the website say the Trial is a fully functional version, and that after 15 days the output will be watermarked, when in this case the watermarks showed up on day 1?
Watermarking starts from day 1 with ProRes output. If you are getting watermarking with CineForm output, launch the Authenticator application to check your license. If it has not been activated, go to the activation tab and click on 'Trial'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
Have you noticed that the Neo Read Me file specifies QT7.6 as a requirement, but the website states 7.1.5?
CineForm encoder and decoder will work with earlier versions of QuickTime. The Read Me lists all the ones we have tried. Sometimes an Apple update will break something, as their 7.5.5x h.264 'fix' did. It killed the audio, but it was fixed in 7.6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
Craig, you said "right now NeoHD|Mac is disk based". What does that mean? Will it's version of ReMaster not do pulldown while capturing from tape? Pulldown, resizing outputting to ProResHQ during capture, realtime? :)
There is no live capture plug in in ReMaster (yet).
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Old January 28th, 2009, 06:19 PM   #5
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OK.

Dragging additional files to the Dock icon worked.

It would be simpler if the files were automatically selected when brought into the queue. If i bring multiple files into the queue, I must select them all in order to bring up the Parameters list.

I attempted to put the new files made using the Cineform codec on the Desktop next to the ProRes files using Rename New. Remaster crashed.

i created a new folder as the destination and put the Cineform files there. They had watermarks so I ran Authenticator. I clicked on Trial, then tried to convert the files, but I guess Remaster won't work if Authenticator is running? Anyway I closed it.

Ran the conversion again, selecting Cineform codec and Rename New. Remaster created two empty files with Filename_NEW and crashed.

I closed the file and hit Remaster>File>New and got this message: "No document could be created".

Closed Remaster and reopened it. Ran the conversion again, selecting Cineform codec and Rename Old. That worked. The clips still have the Watermark...

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....I changed the Pref to 4 threads. Converting two files simultaneously, the speed climbed fairly quickly to around 24fps, then continued slowly, reaching a max of around 25.2fps. When the shorter clip finished, the speed dropped in the 24fps range and continued slowly down to a low of 20.2fps when the second was complete and the GUI disappeared. CPU usage never climbed over 40%User.

From the Remaster Menu:
--what is a File?
--if I run a conversion, then hit Save, Finder opens to a folder, but there's no field to name whatever it is I'm saving.
--what are the text editing controls for?

In the Parameters GUI under Source, it's blank. What's it for?

If I run a conversion to Cineform, then want to run another conversion to ProRes, the buttons next to the files in the queue are checked, and I'm stymied. It seems like the only option is to close the app, reopen and run...?? Using File>Close then File>New results in the message "No Document Could Be Created". Maybe this matters only in this experimentation phase, since I doubt I'd want to convert the files into two codecs for editing.

Running Authenticator while Remaster is closed, I click on Trial, which blinks. Selecting Status still shows "This application was deactivated." So I still have the watermark even converting to Cineform.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 06:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
OK.

Dragging additional files to the Dock icon worked.

It would be simpler if the files were automatically selected when brought into the queue. If i bring multiple files into the queue, I must select them all in order to bring up the Parameters list.
They are. If 'Auto Select All' is checked, all the files are selected when you open the parameters drawer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
I attempted to put the new files made using the Cineform codec on the Desktop next to the ProRes files using Rename New. Remaster crashed.
Something I will need to look into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
i created a new folder as the destination and put the Cineform files there. They had watermarks so I ran Authenticator. I clicked on Trial, then tried to convert the files, but I guess Remaster won't work if Authenticator is running? Anyway I closed it.
ReMaster checks the license on startup. It should work with Authenticator running.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
I closed the file and hit Remaster>File>New and got this message: "No document could be created".
You can't create a file, only open an existing. A 'file' is the input source. 'New' should not be enabled in the menu.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
Closed Remaster and reopened it. Ran the conversion again, selecting Cineform codec and Rename Old. That worked. The clips still have the Watermark...
Sounds like you installed the trial version more than once on the same machine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
Meanwhile, back at the ranch....I changed the Pref to 4 threads. Converting two files simultaneously, the speed climbed fairly quickly to around 24fps, then continued slowly, reaching a max of around 25.2fps. When the shorter clip finished, the speed dropped in the 24fps range and continued slowly down to a low of 20.2fps when the second was complete and the GUI disappeared. CPU usage never climbed over 40%User.
Curious what your source and destination files formats are, and the disk I/O rates. Since you got 30% user on 1 thread, I would suspect you are hitting a disk I/O limit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
From the Remaster Menu:
--what is a File?
--if I run a conversion, then hit Save, Finder opens to a folder, but there's no field to name whatever it is I'm saving.
--what are the text editing controls for?
A file is an input movie source. When you hit 'Save' you are just selecting a destination folder for the conversion, it is named according to the parameters in the 'output' tab.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
In the Parameters GUI under Source, it's blank. What's it for?
Depends on your input source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
If I run a conversion to Cineform, then want to run another conversion to ProRes, the buttons next to the files in the queue are checked, and I'm stymied. It seems like the only option is to close the app, reopen and run...?? Using File>Close then File>New results in the message "No Document Could Be Created". Maybe this matters only in this experimentation phase, since I doubt I'd want to convert the files into two codecs for editing.
That is right. The work queue is a little simple-minded for now, and if you abort a conversion, you also need to restart the program.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
Running Authenticator while Remaster is closed, I click on Trial, which blinks. Selecting Status still shows "This application was deactivated." So I still have the watermark even converting to Cineform.
Sounds like the demo was installed more than once. The license check does not allow a reinstall.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 08:31 PM   #7
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I uninstalled using the included utility, restarted, installed.

Ran Authenticator. Clicked on Authenticate, then Trial. Clicked on Status. message says this version has been deauthorized.

uninstalled and installed. Forget about Authenticator. Run Remaster.

It opens with 'Auto Select All' selected. Then, a second later, Finder opens, Auto Select All goes deselected. I highlight two files and hit Choose. They show up in the queue unselected.

I select them so the Parameters button activates. I enable size change to 1920x1080 with 'pulldown 24 from 30i changeable', then in Output, aiming for the Source folder, I select Replace-New. The app creates two new files with the 'original name'_NEW and promptly crashes.

I run it again, except I select a different folder and leave filename to the default 'Replace'. It runs.

This time the source and destination folders are on the Desktop on the main drive. It peaks at 17fps. Last time the source was an external eSATA drive, destination Desktop. So separate folders on different drives is a faster workflow.

There are watermarks on the Cineform clip. !!

I moved the source files to a different internal drive, then created a destination folder on a different internal drive. These are both Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB drives. Run Remaster, same settings. The speed maxed out at 32.5 fps with 60%User CPU usage. Once the first file completed, the fps dropped to 26 fps with 35%User on the CPU.

I double clicked on these files to view them in QT 7.6. They both play at greater then 24fps according to Inspector, and the screen is black for both. Opening them in FCP, they play OK, with the watermark.

Running Authenticator---it opens up showing the Status. After a few seconds the Codec Status field reads: "This application was deactivated, possibly due to changes in the computer time and date. Contact the vendor to reactivate this application." The Expiration Date field is blank. I never have seen it display the number of days remaining in the trial as stated in the paragraph above these fields.


So, were you guys expecting me to pay four hundred and 99 dollars for this?

i like it, but it doesn't seem ready for prime time.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 08:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
I uninstalled using the included utility, restarted, installed.

Ran Authenticator. Clicked on Authenticate, then Trial. Clicked on Status. message says this version has been deauthorized.

uninstalled and installed. Forget about Authenticator. Run Remaster.
Yes. You have installed more than once on the same machine. If it allowed you to reinstall the demo multiple times, you could just download a new copy every 14 days and never pay for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
It opens with 'Auto Select All' selected. Then, a second later, Finder opens, Auto Select All goes deselected. I highlight two files and hit Choose. They show up in the queue unselected.
Yes. You can now either select the clips manually, or if none are selected when you click the 'Parameters' button, all will be selected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
This time the source and destination folders are on the Desktop on the main drive. It peaks at 17fps. Last time the source was an external eSATA drive, destination Desktop. So separate folders on different drives is a faster workflow.
Expected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
There are watermarks on the Cineform clip. !!
The license program is working correctly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
I moved the source files to a different internal drive, then created a destination folder on a different internal drive. These are both Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB drives. Run Remaster, same settings. The speed maxed out at 32.5 fps with 60%User CPU usage. Once the first file completed, the fps dropped to 26 fps with 35%User on the CPU.
Good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
I double clicked on these files to view them in QT 7.6. They both play at greater then 24fps according to Inspector, and the screen is black for both. Opening them in FCP, they play OK, with the watermark.
Try turning off some of the 16-bit pixel formats in the control panel. For some reason, sometimes QuickTime, and even iMovie will request a pixel format it can't display. Check the read me for details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
Running Authenticator---it opens up showing the Status. After a few seconds the Codec Status field reads: "This application was deactivated, possibly due to changes in the computer time and date. Contact the vendor to reactivate this application." The Expiration Date field is blank. I never have seen it display the number of days remaining in the trial as stated in the paragraph above these fields.
As I have said, if you uninstall and re-install it will assume you are trying to circumvent the license and so will deactivate it. Play with it a little more to figure out the work flow.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 10:30 AM   #9
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I think I know what happened. I inadvertently downloaded the PC version on Monday. After unzipping it, I realized the mistake and deleted. But probably at that point some little file was placed, triggering Authenticator's install switch.

So when I installed the Mac version, the trigger was already set, and watermarks showed up all the time.



As far as playing around more, I'm done. It's a good codec, but the user interface is lame.

There's no Help file, no User Guide, no Manual, no FAQ, no indication anywhere that I've found of an actual step by step workflow and which setting does what.

It's as if Cineform wants me to spend $500 plus 5-10 hours if trial and error. And then I'll discover it has glitches or crashes.

Y'all could at least borrow a video camera for an hour and create an intro video, post it to YouTube and imbed it on the [ugly] website.

Cineform is a mature solid product (codec), yet the website and user interface appear as if leftover from start-up days.
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