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Old January 28th, 2010, 01:48 PM   #1
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testing prospect

hi guys !

So this is going to sound pretty bad for cineform people but here's my testing of cineform prospect.

I recently got a sony fx7, going from amateur to semi pro edits. I read pretty much all you can read about hdv, and as an after effect/premiere user, i learned that i needed some kind of codec for "any serious job". so i tried it, did a couple of edit and damn that was painful : i had to replace the importer manually in AE, buy thousands of HDD Go and previewing was really slow. My computer is not that advanced, as semi pro : windows 7 64, duo core 2.4 Ghz, 4 Go of ram,

anyway, I had a very si;ple project, for which I just kept HDV files, and edited it like this. what a surprise ! everything played smoothly, at least as smoothly as with cineform files, I could easily go through timelines frame by frame even with time remapping and pixel motion in AE, and the export was faster with HDV than with CFHD (1 minute gain on 8 minutes export). So I'm just gonna stick with hdv files.

I thought maybe I should try RAID0 or something but that's it, the time I usually spend trying new workflow solutions is over.

Two things are in favor of cinefrom codec : the fact that you can get split files on capture, and the amount of answer that cineform crew delivers on forums.

But bottom line is if you don't have a very powerful computer, i don't think cineform is your best bet....

but I'd be glad to hear your personal experience with that !
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Old January 30th, 2010, 12:45 AM   #2
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If you want my personal opinion:

In favor of Cineform:

HDLink - which is so much more than any HDV capturing utility you will ever use.
FirstLight - Setting the WhiteBalance (crucial) - color correction without the need of adobe's pretty lame color correction tools.
Cineform color correction (the plugin inside Premiere) - Just awesome. You will really see the difference.
So - Prospect HD is the best and the most affordable tool for those of us that just stepped up from amateur.
The difference is in quality!

I have used before HDVSplit (a free HDV capturing tool) and apremiere's color correction tools - the results on the final output (WMV) were ... well ... lifeless ...
Now ... since i use the Prospect - everyone loves the results ... They are perfect.

I'm not on Cineforms payroll or anything - i just want to help you decide in favor of quality. I was like you - just look at my older posts. And i wished for someone to tell me the exact same words.

Anyway - whatever you decide - is your choice - i just wanted to tell you my experience.

Regards,
Sorin
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Old January 31st, 2010, 07:37 AM   #3
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thanks sorin for your input.

So in your opinion, cineform tools are good because they let you get the color correction you want, and the quality is better than with HDV files ???

I tried it, and I could get the same result as cineform color correction effect with level and saturation effects. even though cineform effect let you do that just one effect, and in real time. but I could'nt see the difference between cineform and non cineform correction.

and anyway, since my whole edits go through after effect at some point, I can color correct them WAY better than with cineform stuff in premiere.

Right now, the only thing I fear is getting footage that would stutter or drop frames at render, but so far it has been just perfect....

thanks again. but I don't understand what quality you're talking about.... what comes out of the camcorder is the same in quality, hdv or cfhd. so if you're talking about cineform tools that would give better results that might be true, but then it just doesn't apply in my case, and I'll just stick with hdv.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 11:51 AM   #4
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Interesting you were both discussing the old Prospect color correction tools, I'm happy people seem to like them, and they are fast, but most users have now moved their color correction to First Light, way faster (works with AE also.)
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Old February 1st, 2010, 03:02 AM   #5
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Benoit - You state that

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benoit Paillard View Post
!

... the export was faster with HDV than with CFHD
But did you or did you not convert to CF format PRIOR to edit?
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Old February 1st, 2010, 11:02 AM   #6
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..

I ask because I wonder if you have everything properly configured. My experiences are quite opposite to yours. Here, all a1e/fx7 footage will by routine be converted to cfhd - even 1920x1080 - as it CLEARLY OUTPERFORMS HDV.
****
And this is btw one advantage with CF as I have 3 diff cams (ex1, fx7, mc1) and HDlink will convert all footage to a common, single editable format (1080p preferably).

It's correct though that the speed gain wit CF codec over the years has been less noticable ( and important) as PC's and processor performance has increased accordingly. But the diffence is still in favor of CF.

CF and AE is another beast I've never been comfortable with - reason why I still prefer to work in AE with "native" formats.... most probably due to my dumb PC-fingers , but thats how it is :)
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 04:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Newman View Post
Interesting you were both discussing the old Prospect color correction tools, I'm happy people seem to like them, and they are fast, but most users have now moved their color correction to First Light, way faster (works with AE also.)
Yes that's so true - First Light is indeed a really astonishing piece of software.
However i use it for global correction - since i can't really do it perfectly only with FL (due to bad scene cutting when filming) (I mean the cameraman films constantly sometime for 10 minutes even though there are light condition changes) we are working on improving that - but that's the reason i can't properly use the First Light to it's full potential.

Altogether for me - CF was a HUGE step up. I just wanted to let you know ... guys ... it is really worth it. I don't know about any other software (and i stress software) that can do what cineform does. Yes - there are some hardware's that can do that - but those are like thousands of pounds ...
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 10:19 AM   #8
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Sorin,

Control points are coming to First Light -- solving your one practical reason for not using it. :)
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 11:35 AM   #9
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Sorin,

I concur and am using FirstLight now most of the time for color grading. Until control points arrive, however, when encountering a light change within a shot, I find that using CineForm Color/Levels 32-bit gamma control works beautifully (within PP).
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 01:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idar Lettrem View Post
Benoit - You state that



But did you or did you not convert to CF format PRIOR to edit?
Yes it is my personal experience. footage was converted from 1080i HDV from fx7 to cfhd 1080i during capture.

exporting to H.264 (which I mainly do for internet diffusion) from After effect with no effect was slightly faster for HDV and really faster for hdv with processor intensive effects such as pixel motion time rmapping, glow, motion blur etc...

I usually don't export from premiere so i didn't try it. but I can tell you that premiere CS3 plays HDV way better than CFHD. I don't think that's a software issue since I just reinstalled my whole OS to upgrade to seven, and it remained the same.

So in spite of all I read about HDV (including top guys such as aharon rabinhowitz...) I think it works great for me.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 02:22 PM   #11
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Ok Benoit - it just makes me wonder how "CF_experiences" apparently may differ so much.
Anyone else chiming in here ?
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 02:50 PM   #12
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Under CS3, is all depended if you run the Prospect accelerator. With it, CS3 is way faster with CineForm files.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 03:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benoit Paillard View Post
... but I can tell you that premiere CS3 plays HDV way better than CFHD.
My experience is the same. I'm not sure what David means by "run the Prospect accelerator" -- it's either a Cineform project or it isn't, to my knowledge -- but for me CS3 runs faster and more stably without.

This is just my particular experience with my unique PC and workflow. I'm a big Cineform fan, and will certainly take advantage of my free PHD5 upgrade, but for me, not only did PHD3 under CS3 provide no benefit, it actually made Premiere perform worse. Since stopping using PHD, I've had nary a crash or lockup, and rendering and capturing are both flawless and faster than before.

But I don't expect that my experience is true for everyone. I'm looking forward to the release of CS5 and PHD5, and will certainly do some experimenting with those once they've been updated a few times and are reasonably stable.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 03:16 PM   #14
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Prospect accelerator, is it the program that starts when you launch a prospect project in premiere ? and the one that you can see in task manager when playing back or rendering ???

if it is, my computer was using it, and it was slower.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 03:20 PM   #15
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That's my assumption and my experience was the same.
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