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Old January 30th, 2009, 03:25 PM   #1
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Question about Vegas and NeoSCENE

Hey guys, a quick question: Let's say that I am using NeoSCENE to remove pulldown to my PF24 m2t files, and NeoSCENE creates these nice Cineform AVI 4:2:2 10 bit files.

When I import these files on Sony Vegas, in order to not lose this 4:2:2 10 bit advantage, should I use 8bit rendering or 32bit rendering (in the Vegas project properties dialog).

If I use 8bit rendering do I basically render useless the advantage of the 4:2:2 10 bit Cineform files?

And if I am supposed to use 32bit to retain the advantage, do I use the linear or the video gamma (also an option at that Vegas dialog) to keep the look as close to the original look?
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Old January 30th, 2009, 04:34 PM   #2
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It is complicated. Vegas only provides an 8-bit RGB(A) interface (via Video For Windows), so the 32-bit mode will not help for decode or encode precision. However, YUV encode benefit from higher internal precision when converting from YUV to RGB back to YUV. You need at least 9-bits of YUV precision to convert to RGB 8-bit and back again without introducing banding issues.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply David. So if I am reading this correctly, using Vegas means nothing then for this specific 10bit thing, right? No matter if we use an 8bit or 32bit rendering pipeline in Vegas we will still get the 8bit-like artifacts essentially, yes?

Would Premiere (not with Aspect HD, but with these 10bit NeoSCENE files directly decoded via a generic VfW Cineform codec installed) fair better? Does it handle this better than Vegas? Which editor does take advantage of this 10bit Cineform goodness?
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Old January 30th, 2009, 05:19 PM   #4
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Anything that using our importer: Premiere, AfterEffects, or is using QuickTime with deep precision: FCP, Combustion.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 06:14 PM   #5
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Ah, I got some more info about all this from a little bird: Apparently Vegas supports 10+bit importing and processing, but it's the AVI container to blame, because the normal AVIs only are 8bit, and so Vegas only uses that standard version of the AVI format. It would require a new I/O AVI plugin for Vegas to support the Cineform 10bit kinds of AVIs. So we would need either a new I/O plugin like the one you wrote for Premiere/AE, or another container, as in the case of Quicktime/FCP (apparently, the MOV container doesn't have the AVI limitations).

So this development begs the question: if NeoSCENE creates 4:2:2 10bit files, but only in AVI and not in MOV, and most Windows editors only support the 8bit version of the AVI container (without your extensions), why bother offering us 4:2:2 10bit files? Either we would be better off with 8bit Cineform AVI files (smaller filesize), or with the ability to get MOV files in addition to AVI. I mean, even if someone uses Premiere, and he just bought NeoSCENE, there's a good chance he doesn't have AspectHD, as he went cheap with NeoSCENE, which means that he still can't import these AVI files in 10bit mode, even if he's using Premiere instead of Vegas.

Is there something that Cineform can do about this? Like, either also offer MOV support, or not let us have the 10bit version of the AVIs? Or there actually *is* SOME advantage with these 10bit files that I am missing, even in the current situation with VfW/AVI/Vegas/etc?
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Old January 30th, 2009, 11:41 PM   #6
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AVIs do not have any such limitations, they are just a container, no different that MOVs. There are Microsoft pixel formats that support 10-bit RGB that our AVIs will use (examples formats are A2B10G10R10 and A2R10G10B10 used under DirectX under VMR-9.) 10-bit YUV formats like 'v210' also are supported, and will play directly out Blackmagic and AJA DirectShow interfaces. See attached picture of the DirectShow control panel for out decoder (6 of 7 seven formats listed are 10-bits or more, even within NEO Scene.) Your little bird is equating AVI with Video for Windows, which it shouldn't be, under DirectShow there are no pixel format limations (we currently support a dozen or so deep pixel formats throught DirectShow, without customer importers/exporters.) Second issue, I don't think that Vegas using the deep pixel mode with QuickTime/MOV either, otherwise we would support that on our high-end tools, if this has been fixed we can add MOV easily. Third issue the API for file I/O is something we have been asking for, while I think Sony is close (can't tell you the details) we couldn't provide deep I/O in Vegas today anyway. So in is not a CineForm issue, I'm not sure Vegas supports any deep I/O today, that is not say the 32-bit processing mode doesn't have value, it does, just you can't leverage deep sources (RAW source need it.)

So why 10-bit? Now storing an 8-bit HDV/AVCHD in a 10-bit uncompressed format is a waste of bits (8-bit uncompressed is sufficient,) however storing as 10-bit compressed is not, as we have found that the 10-bit internal representation improves PSNR numbers even if I/O bit depth is limited to 8-bit. If we could output deep in Vegas the 8 to 10-bit compression does smooth out some of contouring, this is one of those cases when compression is good for quality reasons. Next is your assumption that 10-bit compressed takes more storage than 8-bit compressed, is so marginal it becomes insignicant, plus clean 10-bit sources stored as 8-bit can be larger than native 10-bit compression (aliased gradients are harder to compress than smooth ones.) Also there is the YUV to RGB factor I mentioned in the previous post, another reason to want the higher internal precision. So we stopped try to maintain 8-bit compression technology just as marketing seperater. The same codec core is used around our entire product line, the price difference is about the surrounding tools more that the compression.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 01:11 AM   #7
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Ok, this makes sense, thanks.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 01:18 AM   #8
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What does it all mean, masters ? Does it mean with HDV I would be better off with NeoHD?
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Old January 31st, 2009, 10:53 AM   #9
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NEO HD is more flexible, so it depends if you need that flexibility. For direct conversions, for quality setting up to High, NEO HD and Neo Scene produce the same results. NEO HD adds the Filmscan quality modes, scaling, lens adaptor flips, frame rate manipulation with audio pitch correction. In NEO HD v4, we are adding more even cooler tools.
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