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Old June 22nd, 2005, 10:08 PM   #1
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Non-Adobe software export to AHD?

I'm trying to export from 3ds max 5 (fantastic 3D software) to Aspect HD.

3ds allows me to choose codec (Cineform HD 1.2), but I'm unsure about the following:

- Frame size
- Image aspect
- Pixel aspect

If I set image size as 1440x1080, image aspect 1.333, pixel aspect 1.0 - then the resulting video image seems deformed - stretched horizontally.

If I set 1920x1080 size, 3ds says it can't create a video stream after 1st frame is rendered.

??
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 11:32 PM   #2
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You need to set the frame size to 1440x1080, with image aspect 1.778 and pixel aspect 1.333. That is the maximum resolution of HDV formats for which Aspect HD is licensed. I hope 3DS Max can supply the custom pixel aspect ratio of HDV.
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 09:19 AM   #3
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It does!

The render is working as I type this - hopefully the image won't be distorted, thanks!

ALSO: HDLink allows to choose between AHD Medium or Large, with the implication that Large is better quality. However when choosing Cineform HD 1.2 as export codec from non-HDLink software, there's no way to control the quality of AHD output. Clicking codec's Configure button simply brings up Cineform's splash screen with credits. Am I missing something there???
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 10:59 AM   #4
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Alex no you are not missing anything, we didn't support the quality controls in the VfW (Video for Windows) codec interface -- it simply defaults to a good quality setting. We might add that control now that 3D rendering to CineForm AVIs is become popular. Would you know if 3DS Max supports custom exporters? Most 3D rendering is deeper than 8bit these days, so adding support within Prospect HD for 10bit 3D exports might be nice.
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 03:01 PM   #5
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Seems like 3ds has 2 settings: Paletted for 8-bit dither, and True Color for 24-bit output.

However I'm not sure how they apply.

Seems to me, they are only relevant when rendering is done via I/O Devices - which are not present on my machine.

I could not find explicit info on what is the bit depth of the software render.

Probably when you tell 3ds which codec to use for the video output, you then control the color depth by that codecs' controls??
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 05:46 PM   #6
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ALex - "Probably when you tell 3ds which codec to use for the video output, you then control the color depth by that codecs' controls??"

Unfortunately that is not how it works. The only standard codec interfaces are 8bits per channel (i.e. 24bit RGB) yet must decent rendered internal process 16bit per channel (or more.) There is useful data beyond 8bit that would be great to compress directly into CineForm Intermediate. The only way to get 16bit per channel (48bit RGB) is using formats like TIFF or PNG -- yet there more of a pain to throw onto timeline. It is way I'm thinking of a customer export module -- we have done to same sort of work from Premiere and AE.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 10:52 AM   #7
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Well, this correlates with what 3ds max says all over the place - they recommend to ALWAYS export as uncompressed image sequences from 3ds; then import these sequences into AE and use it to export the filmstrip out to any compressed codec of your liking.

But...

I really like Cineform AHD's quality and I see no problem at this point to just export from 3ds max directly into AHD compressed HDV, using the settings you kindly provided above.

Congrats on your great codec, David. Totally saves the day when working with FX1. Very compact, good quality, fast-playing HDV video - what's not to love.
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