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Old December 19th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #1
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Anamorphic playback aspect ratio glitch

I have some SD anamorphic clips digitized from a component source via a Blackmagic Shuttle. HDLink is being rather flaky, plus I want to trim the clips a bit so I use Blackmagic Media Express to import using the lossless 10-bit codec, with the Shuttle set to convert to anamorphic SD, then trim to another Blackmagic file using direct stream copy in Virtualdub, then convert to cineform using HDLink.

I have experimented with a number of other paths to the cineform file but however I do it Windows Explorer, Windows Media Player, Premiere Pro CS5 and Quicktime all show the clips as 4:3. GSpot and Mediainfo suggest the 5:4 pixel aspect ratio of PAL 4:3.

The closest I have come is in explicitly setting the aspect ratio to PAL anamorphic on the codec settings in Virtualdub and converting there rather than HDLink, but that involves the 8-bit 'full processing' of virtualdub plus I always hear that HDLink's files are superior. This plays widescreen in Windows media player, but still 4:3 in Quicktime and PPro.

Does anyone know a convenient way to set the pixel aspect ratio in an existing [Cineform] AVI?

If not, could it be added either in HDLink (the resize to SD PAL 16:9 does not seem to do it) or in Firstlight, alongside the various matting options in the 'framing' section.

While I'm rambling, one other thing would be on my Cineform wishlist. I'm a Windows 7 user and I understand that the Cineform tool-chain expects Administrator privileges, but I am also a Linux and Mac user away from video and my practise is to work as a basic user and escalate privileges as required (essentially Firstlight). I'm sure that administrator rights are a necessity from a technical standpoint, but at least could the 'CineFormActiveMetadataStatusViewer.exe' be added as a startup shortcut for all users, rather than sit as a direct file in the administrator's start menu? I like having it there but have to copy it across to my regular user start menu every time I update.

Other than that, I think NeoHD and Firstlight are fantastic tools and eagerly await the new toys of each update!
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Old December 19th, 2010, 12:14 PM   #2
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Just set the interpret footage to the aspect ratio you need in the tools you are using. As long as you 720x480 or 720x576 anamorphic in the AVI, you have the data you need. You can already discover that many tools just make (wrong) assumptions about SD AVI.

Good idea on using the startup shortcut for the status viewer. Otherwise which components now require Admin privileges? This should now longer be the case, particularly with a flesh install. Maybe you were an early Windows 7 user, as the original path for the color database was fine for Vista and XP, but privileged in 7. This was corrected, yet the installer will use old paths to preserve your color corrections. If you need to more you databases to a non-privileged path, there is a script to do that here vimeo.com/10024749 (in the description for the video.)
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Old December 19th, 2010, 12:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the very quick reply. About Firstlight, you are right - I've been using Windows 7 from the beta releases and picked up the admin thing from a post of yours about someone else's problem that explained mine. I set up my Firstlight shortcut to automatically ask to run as admin and somehow missed the updated info so never realised that the problem had gone away!

Thanks again for that, much happier as a normal user.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 02:07 PM   #4
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I've run the script as suggested and moved the LUTs and database to a definitely public location and removed the 'run as administrator' option from Firstlight.exe, but now the splash screen shows 'Init. error at 6' where the version number should be and none of the controls do anything, then Firstlight crashes. It still works fine as admin. This was the behaviour that I had had originally that got me running it as admin.

The Firstlight.exe icon still shows the 'admin' shield in the corner when logged on as a regular user, as do LookInstaller.exe and StereoMux.exe in the Tools folder. No other files in the CineForm folder tree do.

I'm happy(ish) to just carry on with what works, but if I can use Firstlight as a normal user it would be preferred.

I'm running Windows 7 Professional 64 bit.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 02:16 PM   #5
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I just tried a guest account and FirstLight is running fine a normal priv. levels. So something is still likely messed from the earlier Win 7 install.
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