Looked at Cineform. It looks good, some quick questions at DVinfo.net

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Old August 11th, 2009, 10:20 AM   #1
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Looked at Cineform. It looks good, some quick questions

Ok, I looked at Cineform. Wow, their promise looks great.

So for $99 I get a converter (from AVCHD to Cineform AVI) and a plugin to put into Premere Elements/CS3/CS4.

1. I have three computers, can I put the plugin into as many computers as I want?
2. Is the converter a separate program and how long does it take to convert?
3. How stable is this? Is it prone to crashing?
4. Is there ANY loss of quality? I mean you're converting into another format.

WHY is the Cineform version of AVCHD or HDV files easier to use? There must be some loss.

And HDV is much easier to edit on the system, correct?
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Old August 11th, 2009, 10:26 AM   #2
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Moved from AVCHD Format Discussion to CineForm.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 12:06 PM   #3
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Ronald. I can easy speak for the quality and stability of the Cineform product in general. I cannot, however speak to its AVCHD performance.

I'm currently using the old Aspect HD product for an indie feature. I used the product for years after purchasing a JVC HD250. The intermediate is fantastic. You really notice the quality when comparing the footage in After Effects. Sharp, clean, beautiful.

Below I will address your questions based on my experiences:

1. I was able to install Aspect on two system as is the license for Premiere Pro. Prospect can only be installed on a single system, but the player is free and can be installed on multiple systems for file playback. You can edit the playable footage but you can not encode the footage to Cineform. Example: Capture and encode on a system using full Cineform license and do visual effects on system with player installed. The player system cannot export or transcode a Cineform file but can export the footage to any other codec that your software can handle.

2. The converter is a stand-alone program for capture directly from camera or transcoding files. It's speed is basically real time as long as you have a system that meets the required specs. I'm using a dual-core AMD system with 4 gigs of ram.

3. Cineform is no more prone to crashes than the software you're editing with. In my experience editing with PPro CS2 with Aspect installed, I crash very rarely and it's usually during a fast scrub or Media Encoder render. I'd go so far as to say that Cineform has actually increased my productivity.

4. Quality loss? Not in the least. Think of it this way. You're actually expanding highly compressed video (AVCHD or HDV) with low color space to a much less compressed larger color space. I hate to use the work, but you're in a sense interpolating to a codec that is much more loseless during the editing, compositing and color grading processes.

Finally, the computer ends up not having to work as hard to play the footage during editing to "decompress" the footage for playback. It's like trying to playback mpeg4 files on an old 900mhz system. The processor has to work so hard to decompress the image that you end up with stuttered, jerky playback. Cineform required less work from the processor because its much less compressed. this does mean much larger file sizes, however, so you need plenty of fast storage.

With todays computer systems and software that is HDV and AVCHD ready, you could probably stick to those formats for basic editing and be fine. But if you are going to do any compositing and color correction and color grading, I'd strongly recommend Cineform as your editing format. It is truly excellent.

Now we need a truly affordable CF aquisition device.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 07:04 PM   #4
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I've had Neoscene for about 10 days now. I use it for converting .MTS (AVCHD) files.
1. Yes, it's a stand alone program.
2. Seems to convert at about real time
3. You can choose low, medium, or high quality output to Cineform AVIs.
4. As you say, it only makes sense that there must be some quality loss but you sure can't tell. At high quality it's making a file about twice the size of the original MTS file. Plays and looks great on my Dual Core.

I still can't get over how easy it is being tapeless. Pop in the card, transfer, transcode to CF avi. So much quicker.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 02:41 PM   #5
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Both Aspect and Prospect can be installed on 2 computers - may be the same for Neo?

While HDV is easier to decode, during capture the limit is the real-time speed of the tape. So in practice on a Q6600 quad-core, AVCHD is faster to convert to Cineform than is HDV. Once HDV and AVCHD has been converted, editing thereafter is the same
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Old August 14th, 2009, 11:35 PM   #6
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NeoScene can be installed on multiple computers, but can only be activated on one at a time.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 01:46 AM   #7
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I mentioned this in a different thread, but I may as well report here in my own thread.

I downloaded the trial for Cineform Neoscene tonight and was very impressed. Wow, the video looked great and played well on my computer.

However, I can't seem to get any decent quality out of any exported video out of Premiere Elements 7, except if I export as...Cineform.

All other formats either lose color, sharpness, are darker, have artifacts.... Now, yes, I know its because of the compression settings.

My question now is, using Cineform as my intermediate, and with my output being the smallest file size for either youtube video, DVD or computer playback, what are some idea output/export formats and settings I should be using?

PS: Do note that I'm getting really bad results from exporting straight from AVCHD (M2T) files without the intermediate. You'd think otherwise wouldn't you.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 02:35 AM   #8
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I don't know what options you have in Elements but I first make a high quality CineForm AVI, do edits, and then for web or computer playback I use the H.264 option in AME (Adobe Media Encoder) at about 8Mbps bit rate. Looks great on screen and Vimeo. No compression artifacts. DivX does well too at about the same bit rate.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 01:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Ng View Post
I mentioned this in a different thread, but I may as well report here in my own thread.

I downloaded the trial for Cineform Neoscene tonight and was very impressed. Wow, the video looked great and played well on my computer.

However, I can't seem to get any decent quality out of any exported video out of Premiere Elements 7, except if I export as...Cineform.

All other formats either lose color, sharpness, are darker, have artifacts.... Now, yes, I know its because of the compression settings.

My question now is, using Cineform as my intermediate, and with my output being the smallest file size for either youtube video, DVD or computer playback, what are some idea output/export formats and settings I should be using?

PS: Do note that I'm getting really bad results from exporting straight from AVCHD (M2T) files without the intermediate. You'd think otherwise wouldn't you.
This is due to the lousy job most encoders do - especially with resizing. There is some helpful information in this thread http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/what-happ...d-quality.html
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Old August 15th, 2009, 05:21 PM   #10
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Good luck with another product but I could not imagine using something else for HD video editing.

Cineforum rules especially when it works with CS4 one day! :)

Simon
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