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Old March 23rd, 2012, 11:39 PM   #1
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Why don't make FirstLight UI nice looking?

Hello! I just want to start a thread about FirstLight user interface. Of course it is not a big thing but codec is developed for a long long time but UI is still looks like early beta. So my propositions especially for mac version are:

- New UI with unified buttons and sliders for both operating systems (as Adobe products for example)
- Same functions on Mac and Windows (as i see currently mac lacks many features)
- More functions for zooming image in and out (Zoom with scroll, drag with middle button for example)
- More compact and logic buttons arrangement especially on mac.
- New timeline with more playback buttons
- New MediaBin window on mac for normal fullscreen operation
- Support for drag and drop files directly to playback window or timeline on mac

Good luck!
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Old March 30th, 2012, 01:38 AM   #2
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Re: Why don't make FirstLight UI nice looking?

Agreed. And how about shortcuts and color wheels? This is basic stuff..

When I first got Cineform, it was mainly because of the raw like handling of the files, where you could colorcorrect non distructively, and alt tab, between your NLE and firstligth.
I also got lured by the hype, that this was the best and the industry standard codec for intermediate work.

I however began to notice how inflexible and unpolished the codec and the whole cineform system really is.

1. Its horribly slow (both playback and encoding)
2. It cant handle downrezzing 1080p to 720p without introducing aliasing using Adobe Media Encoder.
3. playing cineform files with a media player shows aliasing even in native resolution.
4. If you import a cineform file into photoshop you lose highlights above 100 ire.

I keep getting amazed about the little things that this codec cant handle quite as well as other FREE codecs.

After using it for a year or so, I cant understand how anyone would call it the best. But maybe Im just dumb.

Am I the only one noticing this stuff?

Last edited by Dominik Krol; March 30th, 2012 at 04:08 AM.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 03:51 AM   #3
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Re: Why don't make FirstLight UI nice looking?

Dominik Krol maybe you are using slow PC? Cineform is very very fast codec as for me. Also aliasing can be because on slow machine codec automatically uses lowest debayering method for realtime playback.

- I also would like to add request for option for double-click on slider to reset its value
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Old March 30th, 2012, 10:34 AM   #4
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Re: Why don't make FirstLight UI nice looking?

That is not the case. Im running a pretty hefty workstation.

But when I say "slow" I dont mean slow in the sense of jaggy or non realtime. But slow in terms of processing power required to de/encode it in comparison to other codecs, of same "class" if you can use such a term. If you think that Cineform is fast, then try MJPG or DNxHD

If you can run 5 streams of cineform simultaniously, you can run 8 with DNxHD. If it takes you 1 hour to encode a finished product into cineform. It will only take you 35 minutes to encode it to DNxHD or MJPG.

There is no way that speed or processing power can be a factor in how well a codec encodes a render. If it does it would be a serious design flaw.

Cineform does not debayer anything, its not a raw format.

Sorry for Hijacking your thread.. I was just trying to fill in the notion that cineform is "lacking" in more aspects than just a pretty interface.

Last edited by Dominik Krol; March 30th, 2012 at 11:08 AM.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 11:19 AM   #5
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Re: Why don't make FirstLight UI nice looking?

MJPG or DnxHD is nowhere near the same class as Cineform, which is a wavelet (JPG2000) based codec.
RED raw is in the same class.

Frank
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Old March 30th, 2012, 11:46 AM   #6
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Re: Why don't make FirstLight UI nice looking?

1. The core code is faster than others for the same quality and bit-rate. Look at the CineDeck, it is the only field recorder that supports all popular intermediate codecs, only CineForm can support the highest frame rate and stereo. However, there is a speed image in Adobe today, particular for export due to an Adobe API issue not a core core speed (we hope this can be fixed in CS6.) If you export via the Microsoft Windows (VFW) and select CineForm, the same codec is significantly faster (using a different API.)

2. That is not a codec feature, any aliasing you are seeing is a function of the tool you are using. If you scale in HDLink or CineForm Studio, you will see the results using our 3 lobe Lanczos scaler, it is pretty nice.

3. Again we present data correctly, something else down stream might be doing a poor scale. If you are using interlaced source, your aren't seeing aliasing in the scaling sense. Our interlaced playback could be better (by telling GFX hardware how to deinterlace for presentaiton,) fortunately the world is finally moving to progressive acquisition and post in most markets.

4. This is the failure of many tools. The codec supports full range and floating point decodes, yet is the tool requests CG RGB (0-255 8-bit) that the tool is clipping the data. When Premiere, AE, Vegas requests floating point data we return IREs greater than 100 at values greater than 1.0. CineForm is the only immediate that has a solution for crappy implementations within NLEs, if you have out of range data, you can using FirstLight (and now CineForm Studio which replaces FirstLight) to development the image so that 110 IRE is presented at 100. CineForm is also the only codec that support developing full range YUV to studioRGB (black at 16, white at 235) what is what the 8-bit modes under Vegas use.
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Old March 31st, 2012, 12:34 AM   #7
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Re: Why don't make FirstLight UI nice looking?

Thanks David.. As always your replies are detailed and well explained.

Im only sorry that your theory does not fit my reality.

1. I hope CS6 will fix those issues to. But I cant quite fathom that you put all the blame on Adobe.
As I see it, you are selling a "plugin" for existing software, with the claim that your "plugin" makes that software work and perform better.
Cineform being faster and better in the core, does not help me in any shape or form, if it does not work faster or better inside premiere.

2. Again youre blaming the company who you CHOSE to make a plugin for, that their software is crap. It's almost like making apps for an iphone, and then blaming Apple if your app does not work very well on it.

3. Every other codec developer was able to tumble down the pipe and create a fine image on my mashine. But Cineform is to sensitive I guess. (and no I don't deal with interlaced material) But this is a very very minor issue.. It's almost non existant, but its there, and I am autistic enough to notice.
It is not as much aliasing, as it is a super sharpening look. I can make out individual pixels in 1080p in high contrast areas. It almost looks like a computer game where the Anti Aliasing is turned off if that makes sense.

4. I did not quite understand the whole thing, but what I can say is that I had a job which required me to move a couple of clips into Photoshop, make some fixes, and bring it back to premiere.. Cineform failed and cost me a whole day of extra work to redo, while some blackmagic codec succeeded. So they managed to figure it out?

You cannot toss the ball to the next guy, if you are developing software in tandem with other companies.

To use an analogy. "You dont put a Ferrari engine inside a mini cooper, and blame the Mini when the body crumbles." That would just be irresponsible.

Last edited by Dominik Krol; March 31st, 2012 at 01:16 AM.
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Old March 31st, 2012, 01:58 AM   #8
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Re: Why don't make FirstLight UI nice looking?

You misunderstand my response on the export issue, I wasn't blaming Adobe, rather our implementation in their API under CS5.x. Even gave you the suggested workaround through the VFW interface. We will be reworking the API for CS6 and hope to gain back better export performance under Premiere (we do fine in After Effects for example.) Everything else I said is correct as it stands.

If you have question, please ask, I or others maybe able to help you.
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Old March 31st, 2012, 02:44 AM   #9
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Re: Why don't make FirstLight UI nice looking?

Will those updates apply to NEO 5.5 as well?

I dont feel like tossing another 50$ for an upgrade of a software which I never was satisfied with in the first place.

I have no idea what VFW is, where to get it, or how to link it into my premiere pro encoding workflow.
Are you saying I can use this interface, going directly from my premiere timeline to master?

Googling it only brings me to people asking how to fix VFW interface problems and workarounds for this and that..
Not a very good start.
Im always extremely hesitant to use "open source hippie products" where the software is tested and bug fixed by highschool grads.

This is what I could find about VFW:

"VFW is Video For Windows, an ancient tech created by microsoft (copying some stuff from quicktime), full of quirks and not able to support modern codecs. x264VFW is a ugly hack to make x264 work (more or less) with VFW, hence softwares like virtualdub and its modifications. The use of x264VFW is NOT recommended. x264 VFW is no longer officially supported.
CLI is a general term that means Command Line Interface. The classic console (command prompt) command which is generic and has no limitations like VFW."

And you want me to use this to make cineform work as intended?

Last edited by Dominik Krol; March 31st, 2012 at 03:47 AM.
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Old March 31st, 2012, 01:07 PM   #10
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Re: Why don't make FirstLight UI nice looking?

And that is a way you feel is appropriate to ask a question?

Adobe uses Video for Windows, old yes but it works perfectly well -- it has the some vintage as QuickTime which can be similarly ridiculed, it doesn't help you to dismiss things you don't understand. VFW is accessed by "Microsoft Windows AVI" under the Premiere exporter. This API doesn't support 3D, but pretty much everything else is fine through VFW. No third party tools needed, but some of those "open source hippie products" are extremely useful and CineForm supports them also.

If you want new stuff you will be upgrading, as I'm sure you will consider doing for Adobe CS6.
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Old March 31st, 2012, 02:43 PM   #11
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Re: Why don't make FirstLight UI nice looking?

Actually Yes I do find it appropriate...(provoking sales reps is my specialty) :)

At least I find my rude tidbits just as appropriate as you denying any merit in my critique.

You represent your company well.. Im outta here
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 07:44 AM   #12
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Re: Why don't make FirstLight UI nice looking?

Today i finally explore new GoPro Cineform Studio app, and looks like it is a next evolution step of FirstLight and Remaster. Am I right?

I see all features of FirstLight there with new UI, and can controll active metadata in same way, but i'm little confused because it is not let me import Cineform RAW .avi file in it. I use mac version, and have no any .mov Cineform RAW files for test. Isthis because first versions in development? Or you decide to leave FirstLight for raw workflow? As for me one app for all tasks is a way better way to go.

But there is still few missed functions:
- zooming viewport in and out (Zoom with scroll, drag with middle button for example)
- double-click on slider to reset its value
- when i press on transport buttons it appears white square reatrage around them
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 12:08 PM   #13
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Re: Why don't make FirstLight UI nice looking?

RAW works fine in Studio, maybe it is just AVI on the Mac that is the issue.

Would be nice to have a display zoom (other than the framing zoom we do have.)
Reseting sliders: simply click on the name of the slider
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 12:23 PM   #14
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Re: Why don't make FirstLight UI nice looking?

Thanks for tip! BTW i rewrap those RAW .avi file to .mov with QuickTime player and than was able to open it in Cineform Studio!
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