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Old February 27th, 2009, 10:00 AM   #1
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Frustration with overlay issues growing stronger

I have been using cineform since July of 2006. I started with Apsect and used an ATI 9800 card back then. Hardware overlay worked great. When I would scrub in Premiere I would see a live preview on my HDTV via full screen overlay. When I would apply effects and color correct I would see that also.

When I did an upgrade later I switched to NVidia. I got an 8800 card but lo and behold, hardware overlay didn't work anymore. Nvidia removed it. So I bought an ATI x1950 card and while it worked, I could not get scrubbing and effects to output anymore. I could see realtime previews but nothing else....so color correcting and effects just didn't get passed to the overlay properly. So I settled on an Nvidia 7950 as it was the last series of cards from them which still supported overlay. I would see output to my HDTV when scrubbing and applying effects, especially useful for adjusting colors.

Fast forward to the present. My 7950 is not compatible with CS4 now...all kinds of errors and graphical glitches. I have updated to very recent drivers which actually fixes CS4 issues but now overlay is gone. Latest drivers remove overlay, even though my hardware supports it.

So, I decided to update and get a new Radeon 4850 card as I am hearing good things about ATI and CIneform. But guess what? No overlay when scrubbing or when tweaking effects....only when playing from timeline.

What gives? Why is it so hard to find a workable solution with Cineform short of buying an expensive SDI card for preview?

I am frustrated so I apologize up front for my somber tone.

Is there anyone using ATI cards and getting overlay to external monitor when scrubbing or when adjusting effects? Isn't this how it is "supposed to work"?

I should point out that I am using Prospect HD and CS3.

thanks.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 11:08 AM   #2
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As is pretty obvious in my other thread, I share your disappointment. What's most puzzling is that this all works fine in Native Premiere projects -- it's only when you add Cineform to the mix that everything falls apart. In fact, that it works fine via Premiere alone is one of the reasons NVidia gives for dropping HW support for this.

What's even more frustrating is that the Cineform guys seem to have no intention of addressing this. I understand that they are working on enabling more features, but it seems to me basic functionality should be a priority without having to buy another $2000 piece of hardware. From the other posts/threads on this topic it's clear we are not the only ones who think this is important.

Perhaps it's time for Cineform to spend less effort obsessing over idiosyncratic workflows (like shooting HD on a digital SLR) and more time working on supporting basic features that exist already, and work fine, in the host NLE. (And as I've said before, m2t export is another one.)
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Old February 27th, 2009, 11:52 AM   #3
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I was hoping that the BlackMagic Intensity HDMI interface ( $250) was going to be the answer to this problem, but CF has not yet resolved the CF/BM incompatabilities.
I don't know if CF is still working on this, if it has been sidelined for the moment, or if it's just not going to work out at all.
Maybe we could get a clue from David.
Oops... see David's thread below. Looks like Intensity support will be part of Prospect v. 4
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Old February 27th, 2009, 12:59 PM   #4
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I'm in the same boat with a Quadro 1500 card. I can, however still watch full screen playback with this card...it's just some minor glitchiness (and no scrubbing) to contend with as I edit.

From what I understand (and somewhat in Cineform's defense), creating a sort of pseudo 'overlay' feature is rather challenging task from a coding perspective despite the fact that Premiere can do it natively. There could be other issues as well that we are not aware of that prohibit this feature from working in Cineform.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 01:42 PM   #5
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Admittedly, the switching back and forth from scrubbing to preview was a little flaky and flickery, it at least worked. Now, I cannot color correct to external monitor at all. I don't understand why it is going away? How can you watch full screen playback on you Quadro 1500? Does it still support full screen overlay?

The real thing I'd like to know is if I set up a custom prject using Cineform compatible settings, but not using the Cineform RT engine, do I still ultimately benefit from the 10bit color space? I would be happy with that since most of the Cineform filters and transitions work practically in real-time anyway.

Thanks.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #6
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Sorry--I haven't made the jump to CS4 yet. I'm still working in CS3. I'm not sure how Cineform is achieving the overlay effect--Nvidia did disable it in that series of cards (although I did read somewhere in one of these threads that a certain older nvidia driver version will allow overlay to work). Nonetheless it plays back fine (just glitchy on start and stop and no scrubbing). I'm using the component cable/box that attaches to the back of the card to get HD to my monitor.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 03:40 PM   #7
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I'm still using CS3 also, but I have CS4 waiting for Cineform. I did test CS4 in native mode and that is where I discovered the flaw in previewing clips that is caused by using older Nvidia drivers. Updating to a more recent driver fixes the preview in CS4 but breaks the overlay which is required for Cineform projects. Unless they change something with the CS4 plugin I'm guessing it will still require overlay there also.

Thanks.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 04:07 PM   #8
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I have a post in one of the other threads on this that shows NVidia's response and a link to the older drivers that will allow your Quadro to work. But as they note, it's just not possible for any Vista driver.

Let me know if you can't find it via search and I'll try to dig it up for you.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 04:36 PM   #9
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So can I ask a basic question? Is there anyone using an newer Nvidia card or an newer ATI card that can get preview on an external monitor using overlay, and if so, do you get to see it while scrubbing and tweaking effects or only when previewing?

I just want to know that the behavior that I am expecting (and have had for 2.5 years with Aspect) is how it is supposed to work. Should I be seeing something when I am scrubbing or color correcting?
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Old February 27th, 2009, 04:56 PM   #10
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Here's how it's worked for me:

NVidia Quadro FX 1500 with older XP 32-bit driver (169.xx and prior) in Aspect: All functions. Scrubbing, still frame, playback -- even capturing (!) (still frame only).

NVidia with newer or Vista driver under Aspect -- none

NVidia under native Premiere (IIRC) -- all*

ATI 4830 under Prospect: Playback only. All other times duplicates/clones desktop from monitor #1.

ATI under native Premiere: all.

*If I recall correctly -- it's been a while, I only did it as an experiment and I no longer have the Quadro in my PC.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 04:58 PM   #11
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I'm using a brand new ATI with the Jan 2009 drivers, WinXP/CS3/Prospect HD.
I get preview overlay, but no overlay with scrubbing. Occasionally the overlay will display the frame at the CTI when paused, but usually not. When I was using the Quadro 1500 it was the same: preview, but no scrubbing.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 09:27 PM   #12
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To add a little kick in the pants, I tried rendering a project that is 1080 24p and 30 minutes long and has maybe 4-5 minutes of clips with magic bullet applied. With my new amazing Radeon 4850 card it took 46 minutes. When I restored my system back to the previous state and put my lowly Nvidia 7950 back in it rendered the same sequence in 26 minutes.

I could clearly see the difference in realtime playback as well.

With the older Nvidia I would guess the Magic Bullet effected clips play at about 10-12 FPS.
With the new Radeon it would play at 1 frame every second? Maybe even less. It is apparent that the Magic BUllet software is utilizing the Nvidia card in a way that the ATI cannot keep up with. Another confusinf reason to stay with Nvidia, but with no overlay I am foced to use older drivers that don't support CS4. What's a man to do! I know.....buy a MAC! :)


Oh....and on benchmarks this Radeon card is about 4 times faster than the Nvidia.....but that's only for 3d games I guess.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 12:17 PM   #13
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Marty, I feel your pain: Very mad at Magic Bullet! NVIDIA not ATi acceleration - The Digital Video Information Network
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Old February 28th, 2009, 12:25 PM   #14
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I've got an nVidia GTX 295 and the nVidia PR person offered me a 9800GTX for PhysX acceleration. I am wondering if you could use the ATI card for your display, then use a second nVidia card for acceleration only, not for display duties.

I have an X700, HD 4830, HD 4870, GTX 295 and 8800GT cards here if I can help with any testing.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 02:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Leadbetter View Post
I've got an nVidia GTX 295 and the nVidia PR person offered me a 9800GTX for PhysX acceleration. I am wondering if you could use the ATI card for your display, then use a second nVidia card for acceleration only, not for display duties.

I have an X700, HD 4830, HD 4870, GTX 295 and 8800GT cards here if I can help with any testing.

Now I am more confused. I was about to just give up on the whole overlay issue thing, and go back to an Nvidia Card with no overlay, particularly the GTX 260 series, but why would Nvidia recommend a 9800GTX over the 295? Does the GTX series not support GPU acceleration? That can't be it as the newer cards boast of their performance in CS4.
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