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Cross platform digital intermediates for independent filmmakers.


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Old April 15th, 2010, 12:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Raskin View Post
Hey Marc... Michael Bay would be proud! ;)

Seriously though, very nicely done, congrats!
lol, thanks alex. no wonder i thought the rock was an awesome movie. lol
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Old April 15th, 2010, 12:49 AM   #17
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Indeed it was.

But now I'm impatiently anticipating the release of The Sheriffs of Orange County II.

And yes, Twitch is great, as is most everything that comes out of Andrew Cramer...
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Old April 15th, 2010, 10:52 PM   #18
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yah.. his site is a really good reference for ae stuff... just have to make it your own style.. u may have to wait a while for the sheriffs 2.. since its only a yearly thing lol... however, i am working on a tribute to anakin skywalker which i should be posting in a couple days.. has nothing to do with the 5dmk2 however. all ae stuff.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 04:30 AM   #19
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I keep trying the cineform demo every 5-6 months or so, and everytime I keep thinking. Why do I want this?

In all honesty I have no clue what cineform can do for my workflow. And people here keep praising the allmighty.

I work with Sony XDcam EX files, in Premiere pro CS4.
Recently upgraded PC with quad core, fast drives, all the newest stuff.

Alltho FirstLight is a neat tool, It is rather anoying that I need to grade my stuff in that small window from within FirstLight app.. Thats not very clever in my oppinion. Secondly what do you do, if one clip needs two different grades, and I have already finished cutting the project?

Then there is the cineform codec/filesystem itself. The website speaks about faster playback better image quality, overall better results.

Let me recap my experiences.

Does it playback my footage faster or better? - No. Definitelly slower, and the image looks lowres with hard pixel edges. Smooth playback only in draft mode.

Does it provide additional latitude or give me any grading advantages on the 10bit conversion? - If so, I can't see it.

Does it make me finish my work quicker? - No. It takes me longer to even begin, since I need to transcode all footage into Cineform codec, and as a sidebonus it fills up my harddrive with huge files.

To top it all. When playing back a cineform preset sequence from within Premiere pro CS4, my video tap monitor goes blank everytime I swich between Programs and Source window and need to reset the playback settings. Neat. I guess it's a step forward since CS3 where the monitor went green.

Im not trying to demote cineform or say that it's a bad product. Im truelly asking, how it possibly can help me make videos better.

I would appreciate some testimonials from people who use premiere pro and cineform and how it improved their work.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 09:08 AM   #20
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Nik, I do not have PPro CS4, I still use PPro 2.0 - and many others probably do too.

With PPro 2.0, Cineform provides real-time playback of the timeline, without rendering. This is the only reliable way I know of to do so. Obviously real-time playback is needed for effective editing, so it is invaluable.

Further, in my experience, Cineform compressed files starting at FilmScan1 are indistinguishable from uncompressed. But they are many times smaller than uncompressed. Of course if you are comparing to MPEG2 files, Cineform will be 2x larger - but still very very manageable for what it does.

>> It is rather anoying that I need to grade my stuff in that small window from within FirstLight app..
Maximize the app's window for larger view?

>> Definitelly slower, and the image looks lowres with hard pixel edges.
In what mode? This is completely opposite to my experience, playback is smooth and high quality here.

>> Does it provide additional latitude or give me any grading advantages on the 10bit conversion? - If so, I can't see it.
There used to be a chart and video cap comparison on Cineform website taht illustrated its advantages for 10bit processing.

Probably others can share their experiences better than me, but I can honestly say that Cineform is a total lifesaver here.

Moreover, we have acquired SI-2K camera mainly because it allows to record in Cineform RAW natively. Absolutely awesome image quality. We record in Quality4, which matches FilmScan2 I think, just in case -but one could easily record in Q3 = FilmScan1 and get perfect results 99.9% of the time, IMHO...
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Old April 16th, 2010, 08:47 PM   #21
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Hm puzzling..

>>In what mode? This is completely opposite to my experience, playback is smooth and high quality here.

There are modes? I converted the files using HDLink, was given no options to any modes. If you are talking about Highest Quality vs Draft Quality in the PPro playback, the XDCam files play realtime no rendering in HQ. Cineform Files barelly manage to keep all frames in Draft Mode. Here are some screenshots to show what I see when the timeline is paused.

While Cineform provides better transitions from the red color, basically everything else suffers.
Attached Thumbnails
Firstlight = Awesome-cf-hqmp4.jpg   Firstlight = Awesome-cf-hqcf.jpg  

Firstlight = Awesome-cf-lqmp4.jpg   Firstlight = Awesome-cf-lqcf.jpg  

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Old April 16th, 2010, 10:08 PM   #22
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The has nothing to do with the codec. That is simply Premiere preview scaling, has no baring on anything really. Load both clips in VirtualDub, or AfterEffects some you can control the scaling on (as XDCAM does work in VirtualDub export to uncompressed.) Many >100% scales in NLE preview windows are terrible, designed for speed not quality -- that is one of many reasons why pros use HDSDI cards for monitoring, the program window is neither color or resolution accurate. If you don't have HDSDI, and want to see up close with Premiere preview, set 100% then set the motion filter to 200% (at least the interpolation filter is better in motion.) If you still think there is something gone wrong with the codec, you are most likely making an error elsewhere, many have tried and failed to make such a case -- this is battle tested all the way to the best picture Oscar in 2009. Now I will admit CS4 support is poor, CS3 is fast (Prospect HD) and CS5 is fast (with the Neo v5 line), CS4 is what it is with Premiere desktop playback mode (never ported the accelerator.) CS4 does XDCAM well, so stick with it is you don't need higher finishing quality.
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Old April 17th, 2010, 10:19 PM   #23
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"this is battle tested all the way to the best picture Oscar in 2009"

my vote for quote of the year
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Old April 17th, 2010, 10:38 PM   #24
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"SI-2K. Grid tested, marker approved."
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Old April 18th, 2010, 12:53 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Newman View Post
The has nothing to do with the codec. That is simply Premiere preview scaling, has no baring on anything really. CS4 is what it is with Premiere desktop playback mode (never ported the accelerator.) CS4 does XDCAM well, so stick with it is you don't need higher finishing quality.
So basically what you are telling me. is that I can see the advantage after Im done working with it. After the export to final output. Not while working with it.. Not while trying to cut, and playback in real time, not while colorgrading to see what I get, but after... Can you see the flaw in that workflow?

Again.. Im sorry for sounding so negative. Im sure, Cineform is a exelent piece of software, but why cant I make it work to my advantage?
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Old April 18th, 2010, 01:10 PM   #26
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No, I see you not quite getting it. No professional uses the Premiere window to judge quality, so neither should you. If you can't afford HDSDI output and monitor, follow the steps I suggested, so you can at least confirm that error of you preview mode, then you can rethink how you should confirm a color grade. Of course you jumped in off topic on a thread about FirstLight, which is about doing color corrections that would be impossible on a MPEG2 file (in workflow and the amount of correction possible.) Again under FL it is preferable to use an external monitor for grading, HDSDI, HDMI and soon any OpenGL surface.
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Old April 18th, 2010, 01:12 PM   #27
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The screenshots are correctly taken from the program window, however my video tap monitor is a seperate one, and looks the same. However its not powered through HDSDI, but HDMI. Is this my "black sheep". Say if I purchased a blackmagic or AJA SDI out card (and a monitor which has SDI) all my issues wound be solved and I will see pristine 10bit sweetness in realtime?
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Old April 18th, 2010, 01:13 PM   #28
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I think it may be a bit of a stretch to rely on Premiere for being much more than a NLE, professionally speaking.

Personally, I only use Premiere to lock the edit - meaning, cuts.

Nothing else. No grading, no transitions, no effects. All that I do in After Effects, which I import Premiere's project into (effectively, importing an EDL.). All preliminary grading is now done with FirstLight. (If you need different grading in different parts of the clip, split the clip in VDub and grade the parts individually before edititng.)

There are no issues whatsoever with quality of Cineform display in After Effects.

So if you use this workflow, you should be fine.
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Old April 18th, 2010, 01:14 PM   #29
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I see that David beat me to it :)
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Old April 18th, 2010, 01:31 PM   #30
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Thanks Alex Ill try that
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