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Old May 29th, 2010, 01:41 PM   #1
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Cineform and CS5 Encode Issues

I've tried everything I can think of and I can't get CS5 to export without crashing. Here is my setup:

Windows 7 64Bit
Premiere CS5
NeoHD v5

1,884 HDV Clips converted to Cineform Codec

Intel i7 930 Processor
12GB RAM
GTX285 Video Card w/CUDA
2-Drive RAID for all the Cineform Video Clips

Originally, I started this project using Aspect v3 I think, so almost all clips were converted to Cineform codec fairly early in the Cinform product line. I was also using Premiere 2.0 and a much less "beefy" computer setup. Everything worked perfectly, till my project grew beyond the 4GB Ram limit of a 32Bit setup. From there, I began an exhaustive search for a relaible setup. I tried every newest version of Premiere, every newest version of Cineform and kept buying more powerful hardware, and it just would not work. For the longest time, Premiere would crash just from moving the carrot in the timeline too quickly. After getting the GTX285 w/CUDA, I can now scrub almost all over the timeline before it crashes. Finally, after CS5, and a ton of money in upgrades, I can begin properly editing my project again with minimal crashes. However, every time I export the project, CS5 crashes. All resources on the computer are consumed during the encode process, and everything encodes fine till about the 3% mark. At that point, PProHeadless (i think) crashes and all computer resources go back to zero use. Both Media Encoder and Premiere will continue operating as normal, but encoding has stopped.

CS5 works substantially better than any other version of Premiere I've used. No other projects I have are in the Cineform codec, nor are they close to the size of this project, however, I can edit and encode those without ever expriencing a single crash.

I've tried everything I can think of at this point. I'm current on all my drivers, and everything runs stable on my system. The computer itself, along with Windows, has not crashed yet. I've tried disabling/enabling CUDA, I've tried encoding to different drives, changing CS5 priority from "Performance" to "Memory", encoding using Premiere, encoding using Media Encoder, loading the project directly in to Media Encoder instead of exporting it from Premiere, and nothing seems to help.

I have noticed a possible pattern though. Some clips, although still Cineform, might be making CS5 unhappy. The %3 mark where encoding crashes, will also cause CS5 to crash if I scrub around in that area. Some times it does, some times it doesn't. It seems it does do it more often though. I've tried just rendering out the scene that's playing during the crash, and it crashes even on it's own. It does encode beyond the %3 mark though, so I think that eliminates a hardware limiting issue. It also eliminates the option of rendering out the film in sections.

Throughout this process, I have downloaded trial version of Cineform products in an attempt to find a solution, and each time I did, I would convert a few clips to the Cineform Codec using the current included HDLink program. The vast majority of the clips were converted using HDLink that came with Aspect v3, but the few that I converted with the different trial versions of Cineform, I probably changed certain settings such as Cineform file size in the encoding options. This means a few of the clips might have been done with the highest Cineform encoding settings with the HDLink that came with say ProspectHD (i have no idea which Cineform products specifically because I've tried them all multiple times). Is it possible that my problem is in missmatched Cineform clips? If so, is there a way to make them all uniform?

My only other option I can think of is to convert all clips to uncompressed. If I understand correctly, converting to uncompressed will eliminate the codec variable of my problem and should be easier on my system anyway. Assuming I set up the appropriate RAID to provide enough bandwidth, will my current setup still be able to edit the uncompressed clips in realtime? I don't want to spend around $1,200 on more hardware and still be missing something. Ultimately, I would love a solution that doesn't cost me anything, but the nature of the beast has proven that probably is not the case.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 04:20 PM   #2
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It's unclear from your post if you have a mixed bag of Cineform codecs ranging from Aspect through the current version, or if you have updated all your footage to the current codec.

If it is the latter, the first thing I would do is reconvert at least a portion of those old Cineform converted clips and see of that portion of your timeline will output.

I know there are earlier versions of the Cineform codec that create troubles within a Cineform output or project.

I would be willing to bet that your issue is with a clip or set of clips... most likely those older CFHD conversions. To verify that..... create a new project, import a handful of the old CFHD clips and see if you experience a crash.

Obviously one of the Cineform guys will be able to address this with a lot more knowledge than me, but you may be able to zero in on the problem be trying to isolate what clip(s) are derailing your output.

Then, the second part of the problem is the question of whether you have the ability to recapture any problem clips and use a current codec if need be.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 04:52 PM   #3
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Marty, thanks a million for your reply. All of my clips are a mixed bag of Cineform codecs. I do not have access to the original footage anymore, so I might be stuck. Is there a way to convert the older Cineform clips to the current codec without having the original M2T clips? I'm worried there isn't, which is why I was planning to convert all of the existing Cineform clips to uncompressed. That way, I still won't lose any information from the originals.

You are convincing me that Cineform is most likely the problem though and that definitely helps.

Thanks again for your input! It's giving me more confidence to move in the direction of uncompressed.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 06:09 PM   #4
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You may want try loading your old Aspect clips into Neo HDLink and reoutput. There's no downside to that.

And before you go the uncompressed route (which will require a render as well and the associated compatibility issue all over again), try using the Aspect clips in a fresh project. Make absolutely certain what is the source of your problem before doing a ton of work and using a lot of disc storage. It's possible that merely changing some project settings could help. Maybe even going back to an earlier version of Premiere.

The sheer size of the project used to be a big problem for Premiere.... not so much nowadays, but you never know. Try breaking your project into multiple segments or even individual projects.

The goal should be to nail down what is causing your issue before you try to solve it. Since your project is so large, you don't want to have to be doing things several times over.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 06:15 PM   #5
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Couldn't you just use HDLink and go to Convert tab, select your old CF files and convert them that way? I tried that with some old CF files made using Prospect HD v3 and used the latest version of Neo 4K. It seems to work fine with virtually no loss. About a +10 MB difference however which I imagine is extra metadata injected into the file.

--- looks like Marty beat me to your reply ---
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Old May 29th, 2010, 06:30 PM   #6
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Hey James... how's things up in Hillsboro?

An HDLink conversion would be the simplest, but if memory serves I believe there was one incarnation of Cineform codec that did NOT get along with subsequent versions. It may have only been a single build or two and seems like it was during the Aspect era.

That would be the only stumbling block, and if that's the case... then using a compatible version of Aspect and output to some usable format usable by Neo is the pathway out.

Too bad the original source footage can't be recaptured. That would be the ultimate solution.

But again..... Ryan needs to confirm the source of the problem is with Cineform. That is still unknown.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 10:27 PM   #7
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Thank you greatly to both of you gentlemen!

I will attempt to convert the existing files to the current Cineform codec and re-link the project to the new files. I'll keep the current video clips for caution.

I was unaware that HDLink was capable of converting existing Cineform files. I tried to investigate it once, but only found the option to convert others (such as M2T). It's frustrating that I would have overlooked that option, and I haven't revisited it since.

Marty and James, thank you for your time and guidance. I will begin working on this immediately and report back to you as soon as I have a conclusion.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 10:46 PM   #8
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It is unlikely to be a source file version issue, rather it could be a single bad frame. Render out in segments, set you segment length to be just short of your failure point, then render the next segment, and if it work continue until finished. If a particular segment will not render divide it up until you can the problem clip or frame. Export segments can be merged into one via a simple timeline, and export into a single clip.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 12:01 AM   #9
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David, thanks for the reply!

The issue does not appear to be frame specific, more region specific. Scrubbing in the timeline will induce the same crash when it's done in the same region, but not necessarily at the same frame. There are other areas in the timeline that react the same way. If the issue is in fact a bad frame, then I would assume I have multiple bad frames. It certainly is a possibility.

Only a small percentage of my clips are different versions of Cineform, while the vast majority were all done at the same time, using the same settings in Aspect. All clips have only been encoded once, thus none have been re-encoded to any relatively new version of Cineform.

I've experienced many encoding crashes in the past, but they were not nearly as consistent in nature and appeared to be specific to buggy version of Premiere, as well as having insufficient hardware. Regardless, I've still been able to encode the entire film multiple times without any issue. It is only now, with my current configuration, that I have a guaranteed, without fail, inability to encode.

You certainly have a better understanding of the Cineform codec than I do. Is it not possible, for the inconsistencies, as well as the age, of the Cineform codecs I'm using, to be an issue?
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Old May 30th, 2010, 01:50 AM   #10
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I believe it is an error to assume that an older encoding is to blame, and that re-encoding with fix it. While that is not impossible, it is not something I've seen before. If there is not one bad frame, then look for a new component not the old. As scrubbing can induce the error on this sequences, it is not encoding that is the problem. That leaves the new CS5 importer, maybe it not handling something correctly; fortunately you don't always need it. Inside Program Files/Adobe/ search CFHD_AVI_Importer.prm, there will be two of them, remove them, don't rename; you can always install to add them back again. Now Premiere using the VfW importer. Let us know if this helps.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 07:39 AM   #11
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Looks like i have a similar problem here ;-(

Encoding just hangs up at certain points, Premiere CPU & Disk IO goes to zero.
Deleting "CFHD_AVI_Importer.prm" did not help.

Just happens with Cineform Preset Timelines and Cineform Export.
CS5 presets with m2t clips and export to other codecs is working without any problems at all.

Looks like this happens more often with GPU-acceleration enabled, software-only works now and then.
I can reproduce the hangup every time with 3 layers of video with
- no effect at layer1
- gradient wipe at layer2
- additive dissolve at layer 3
- CPU acceleration enabled

I filled in a trouble ticket ...
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Old May 30th, 2010, 10:56 AM   #12
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You have options for export as well, use the "Windows AVI" format and in the video tab select "CineForm x64 Codec v6.2.x". Yuo shouldn't need to do that as the exporter is pretty solid, but it is something to try.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 12:12 PM   #13
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Does not work David, still hangs up.
Actually the problem seems not to be the codec/format of the export, since they are all not working.
It has something to do with the cineform clips and effects used in the timeline, since doing the same thing just with the m2t's is working.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 12:47 PM   #14
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Starting to not to sound like a CineForm bug, as you are now only using Adobe components. While it is still CineForm compressed samples, those are used everywhere (does MediaPlayer or VirtualDub crash on those files?) So it something either Premiere's VFW importer or what those filters are doing. Now I bet Adobe support will not be all that helpful, so the best way to get support will be through CineForm, so here what you need to do. Create a small single clip project using the Adobe effects that will cause the problem, determine the repeatability, and send the project and clip with an attached trouble ticket.

As with all support questions, make it repeatable and we can get to the bottom of the issue.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 01:36 PM   #15
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already did that ;-)
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