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Old January 25th, 2010, 02:45 AM   #1
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cineform on a mac


As a long time PC user (with cineform too), i'm considering switching over to mac.

The mac has prores and all sorts of goodies from apple, however i will be split between the two platforms for a while and prores on a pc is obviously a no no.

Ideally a cineform cross platform solution would be perfect and that does exist although i've been searching and find almost no comments or discussions with people using cineform on a mac. So i'm asking directly - is there a good user base on the mac? What kind of problems have people run in to? And is there a long term future for cineform on mac?

many thanks
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Old January 25th, 2010, 03:24 AM   #2
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On the PC, most applications desire a .AVI format for best speed. Especially NLEs. Though some can make excellent use of the .MXF container. Cineform is unique in that it offers a high quality, 10-bit codec inside a .AVI container. And wile ProRes will play just fine on PC, it cannot be written. There are numerous excellent 10-bit codecs that reside in the .MOV container, but PC's generally need quicktime to decode this container, and inside an NLE that adds noticeable slowdowns.

On the Mac, the .MOV container is native. So there are a plethora of codecs that do what the Cineform codec can do. Though most are not as elegant. So the call for Cineform on the Mac platform is much less pronounced than on the PC.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 08:10 AM   #3
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Paul, from a product standpoint there is definitely a long-term future for CineForm on Mac. CineForm's roots are Windows so that remains our largest installed base.

For those with a cross-platform need CineForm is an excellent solution as it is one of the few compression formats that can be written on either platform. We also offer re-wrapping utilities to convert from AVI to MOV (and vice versa) without disturbing the underlying compression. This is useful as AVI files remain more efficient on Windows and MOV on Mac.

We have a number of new features planned for both platforms, but some unique features for Mac.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 09:05 AM   #4
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I'm using CF on both platforms.

While the PC is our preferred platform for transcoding to CF we currently use FCP as our major NLE. CF AVIs and MOVs play back equally well in FCP. It looks like that FCP's QT-engine is able to read AVIs like MOVs. In my experience transcoding from AVI to MOV (which is fast) is not needed, which is a time safer. Unfortunately the infamous gamma shift in FCP is equally bad with CF MOVs or AVIs. You don't have that in PP with CF AVIs, a big advantage - the main reason why we try to establish PremierPro on Windows as a finishing tool, besides SpeedGrade and Smoke (we need DPX-C... CineForm are you listening?).

CF AVI is a great backbone for both platforms, IMO.

If you need RT effects and such in FCP ProRes is the better format but it does not hold so well generations. CF is certainly the better codec if fidelity is the measure bar. BTW, ReMaster (the nicer looking CF tool on the Mac) has an option to transcode to ProRes, which is great for an offline-online workflow when FCP is the offline-NLE.

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Old January 28th, 2010, 09:09 AM   #5
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I'm a Mac/Cineform user as well...almost 100% on Premiere (some long form stuff I cut in DNxHD on Avid). But my Adobe stuff is always Cineform- from .m2t HDV masters for the most part. Playback isn't great in CS4 on Mac, but if you have a good system, it shouldn't bother you much. I need to render everything to get smooth playback (which sucks for using First Light). This is also why I'm cutting my long form stuff in Avid and online to my CF masters.

Anyway, not much of a user base at all since it's assumed that if you're on Mac, you're using FCP which has ProRes. But like you, I find platform-specific codecs limiting to workflows.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 07:12 PM   #6
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Not if you're using premiere. Neoscene AVIs do not play nice on the mac. Look at some older posts

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