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Old May 10th, 2015, 02:34 AM   #16
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Re: GoPro abandons Premium and Professional users

Hi David,
Thanks for clarifying. If you could clarify just a little bit more that would be helpful.

Mainly to do with Cineform RAW. I am now heavily invested with Blackmagic design cameras and use RAW4pro to allow the Cineform workflow. It is the only reason I bought the cameras. I can avoid using Da Vinci. I can use Vegas and grade in firstlight with extraordinary results. Will we still be able to transcode from Cinema DNG to Cineform RAW with the publicy available tools after the support ends?

I have spent a tidy sum of dollars in licences over the years and Hdlink is crucial for my transcoding from mxf to Cineform. Studio cannot do it at the moment. Where will we be left? HDlink does so much more IMHO.

Will you create an unlicensed/unprotected version of the transcoding tools? What happens if I move to a new computer in the future. Lots of questions, sorry but a bit worried. Thanks for your time. Henry
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Old May 10th, 2015, 04:53 AM   #17
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Re: GoPro abandons Premium and Professional users

See, I went through and witnessed another company acquisition that went from caring for it's community to being limited to the Public Relations byline. This was a classic example.

Even if the source is "freely" available, it's still a pay-for standard. SMPTE standards are only "free" to SMPTE members, and hardware implementations still require the permission of the people that make it. That is not a "free" codec, just like XAVC isn't a "open" codec, which is why Canon made their own XF-AVC once again.

As pointed out earlier, deleting System32 files in an uninstallation is a BIG no no. And with support ending, should a bug get introduced in the final Jan 2014 version, that will never get fixed.

The activation servers WILL shut down by the end of the year, then it would be impossible to transfer activations between machines, rendering it useless should a machine's HDD die and you wish to transfer your license to a new install of Windows. The codec may live on, (albeit restricted) but to see this era end like this is exactly what I don't like about major acquisitions. Microsoft acquired Skype... look where it is now... It's the least configurable it's been ever and the UI is filled with ads and poor design choices. IDK about you, that sounds like they purposely ruined it for anyone that used it pre-acquisition.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 05:42 AM   #18
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Re: GoPro abandons Premium and Professional users

QUOTE: "The activation servers WILL shut down by the end of the year, then it would be impossible to transfer activations between machines, rendering it useless should a machine's HDD die and you wish to transfer your license to a new install of Windows. "

Yes I've seen this sort of thing happen before. GoPro should at least issue last updates with serials that can be used on any platform and that are not locked to a specific CPU / HDD combination. The trouble is that most software we use is under an End User License and that leaves us high and dry should GoPro decide to rescind that license. Just looked at my first Cineform activation, Sept 5th 2006. Kind of sad to be passed over with no more updates etc after this long.

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Old May 10th, 2015, 11:39 AM   #19
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Re: GoPro abandons Premium and Professional users

I understand that change can be hard, but that is the better approach, the way many of the original CineForm folks (all still at GoPro) have been seeking. We had to end the old before anything new can happen; you will just have have to wait and see if our vision is successful.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 02:25 PM   #20
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Re: GoPro abandons Premium and Professional users

Respectfully David,
If the change means that we cannot use tools that are a crucial to our workflow anymore - that's not hard - that's disastrous, and I am sure you can see that. There are no options for me when it comes to what Cineform does on a PC - so again please bring clarity as to what we are losing. The sooner the better

But if the change means we can use our current tools with more freedom and fewer restrictions, then more power to you. I look forward to what is coming down the pike.

Now, about the transcoding tools - that is the heart of Cineform. IMHO

In my case - I use your stuff for realtime capture via HDMI using an intensity card, MXF transcoding from a Nanoflash and Blackmagic cDNG to Cineform RAW conversion. HDlink is a monster for all sorts of things as well.

So to simplify my question. Are these transcoding options getting lost forever once your servers get the lights out or do we get them in a free version?

Best
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Old May 10th, 2015, 04:21 PM   #21
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Re: GoPro abandons Premium and Professional users

IMHO, the focus is conversion specifically from the actual Hero cameras, and all other conversion tech will have to go by the wayside, so "better" is in fact only for the Hero cameras.

Capturing, MXF conversion, and RAW conversion will all HAVE to go by the wayside, so yes, expect the features to be either lost forever or intensely crippled.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 07:41 PM   #22
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Re: GoPro abandons Premium and Professional users

For the codec the future is pretty good.

For HDLink, its future was already bleak 5 years ago, as it was built to solve issues for HDV (remember tape?) cameras. CineForm stopped feature additions to HDLink tool well before the GoPro acquisition, and had begun its deprecation. But I hear the concern if your workflow is based in these old tools, then a licensing error would be major. Noted for further thought.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 10:03 PM   #23
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Re: GoPro abandons Premium and Professional users

David ~

Glad to hear some thought might be given to the existing user base. I think it is a wise move and can only benefit GoPro as it will keep faith with the existing user base that is always evolving into the new user base. Don't do an Apple and crucify the faithful who have supported GoPro / Cineform in the past. What Apple did to their FCP users still resonates among many people who had invested a lot of time and money into FCP. I know many media professional who will never allow an Apple product back in their premises. But that's Apple, the 'i' product bottom line is where the money is. With the money Apple make it would have only been a minor financial heartache to have continued FCP and slowly wound it down giving the user base time to transition elsewhere. GoPro could look at a Microsoft type scenario. We can still use XP if we wanted to even though MS no longer offer support for the legacy product. XP can still be installed and used even though it is dead and gone.

It is a short sighted company that doesn't look after its legacy customers. Customers who in the long run are training the next generation of media professionals coming through who will be using products such as those offered by GoPro. It's never good to poison the waters and sow disquiet amongst the existing customer base. Goodwill is the cheapest form of advertising and looking after legacy customers can only spread the word about how good the Gopro / Cineform people and products are.

Not a good comparison regarding the software but the attitude of Scenalyzer when it came to the end of its life was admirable. The return on investment for the development of Scenalyzer had been made. Andreas Winter could have just closed down and forgotten about all who used his software but instead he did a decent thing. Many business entities could learn from this type of corporate goodwill example. I ask GoPro to please do something in a similar vein as to what was offered by Scenalyzer to its existing user base . What was done can be seen here.

ScenalyzerLive Page

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Old May 11th, 2015, 12:58 AM   #24
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Re: GoPro abandons Premium and Professional users

Awww shucks, just gotta get this off my chest. Please understand my rant is because I am a passionate loyal user and this is in an informative yet fun spirit. And I do still have faith in your guys to pull a rabbit out of the hat so to speak so I wait with anticipation....having said that.......this is the opinion of one your customers......

100% agree with Christopher. Goodwill is free loyalty. May even lead to more Gopro camera sales. Funny how these things work. Loyalty will lead folk to do strange things, even go to the trenches for you. But once it's lost. . . . or your loyal following become disgruntled . . . . . . all bets are off. I remember watching a video of how you guys started out. It was done by a small news channel and it was a few guys in an office and you guys came across so well. Small startup - innovative. I have followed your work over the years on the blog and here as well. At every step of the way you guys have led and most importantly of all you have listened to your user base. Timelapse with a 5D in RAW - check, colour grading, check. The only company to support Blackmagic capture cards properly - even better than their own software!!!!Check. Slow down, speed up, pitch up and pitch down audio man I could go on....

David, I think you undervalue your own product somewhat. Perhaps it's a small niche but though HDlink may appear to be a dinosaur to a progressive company wanting to innovate and 'move on' but it still has plenty of value left in it even in a tapeless workflow. As I said it does Soooo much and is without any peers. It solves many, many problems quickly. Why kill it?

Here is another company that took care of legacy users heavily invested in their product. Those who don't need it's usefulness don't care anyway and those who need it are cared for.

FX Teleport

I suggest something similar or a key generator ( gasp ). The best option is to strip the copy protection off altogether. Oh and as if on cue and it's so not funny, my desktop Cineform activation broke last night ( seems as if the server software de-activates any antagonistic posts on web forums - of course I am joking). Will have to start another ticket. Would be so nice to not have to do that.


I will finish with a final theme. Cineform is a company I have loved since I realised what the products did. You guys think like me in a way. It's like you got into my mind. I needed to colour grade but couldn't afford Speedgrade. So I got Speedgrade onset and with Firstlight it was like having the fullblown speedgrade minus a few functions like masking. Saved a few thousand right there ( except another acquisition by Adobe messed that up - still have my license but CC means I may not be sure for how much longer ). I thought, I want to capture HDMI 4:2:2, Cineform was there. I thought I want to use my weak computer to edit HD and beyond, Cineform was there. I thought I need to slow down my 30p footage to 24p and Cineform was there. I thought, I want to be able to use my nanoflash footage in Firstlight. You guys were there. I thought maybe studio is a nice replacement - but hold on - Gopro Studio cannot deal with my Cineform RAW avis - they load to a nice black screen - but Firstlight works great. Funny how Studio hates it's own format. Once my edit is done - I needed to render to a master file that wasn't uncompressed. Cineform was there.. . . . You get the picture right? And that's off the top of my head. Now one can get a myriad of tools to do all these things but why bother when I can have one that does it all. And what about capturing my tapes in a few years time? Many of us still have shelves of tapes lying around. Family stuff, professional stuff, weddings etc. The technology has moved on but the tapes are still there and one day, I may decide to do an edit, or a company may want some archive footage. Yes there are other tools but why bother when I have one great tool to do it. I do NOT look forward to a day when I wish to do any of these things and CINEFORM is not there!!!

And so Gopro had an idea. . . . acquisition and I thought, here we go again I hope this plays out well. I have been burned before - anyone remember Gigastudio and Tascam! But I was also excited because of the possibilities. But Gopro bought this incredible software to transcode h.264 from an action camera! Really - I mean come on this codec has some serious heritage. A camera shooting to it won an Oscar!! It is big league stuff. Transcodes Red footage at any resolution. A true indie film industry disruptor if there ever was one and now that a Blackmagic Pocket cinema camera costs what - half a grand. BMPCC to Cineform RAW paired with Cineform Firstlight is unbeatable for independents. You have a huge market waiting to be exploited if you think about it. Now is not the time to get out the game IMHO. Just when a 4k workflow is on the hoizon and a wavelet compressed codec to encode to makes sense - that's when the towel gets thrown in. The intermediate Codec market didn't just die - it opened up. In a studio controlled environment for greenscreen with the Blackmagic design intensity 4k. To manage file sizes where do we turn now? The blackmagic URSA mini. Who wants the huge file sizes from DNG when Cineform can make them perhaps half the size and retain the colour grading workflow that is NLE agnostic. And one can play it back without needing a supercomputer with 64 cores!!!!!!Alexxa 65, RED Vistavision in 8k. Imagine being able to grade all of that without needing enough power for a small town and eight graphics processing to play it back? Seriously guys, take a leaf out of Blackmagic design's approach. See what they did with Da Vinci Resolve. Yes it is married to their cameras but is full blown - no crippling - and they continue to advance it - more people buy their cameras - more people use their software and depend on it the more people stay loyal to the company ecosystem. 101 in marketing. It's easier to keep customers than create new ones right? I humbly suggest you consider doing the same as BM. With Sony, Panasonic, Blackmagic design and others sniffing up the backside of Gopro in the action cam department, Gopro can do with some big ideas. Not even new ideas - you have the best tech already in house. I even suggested to you on twitter last year that you think of a Cineform RAW camera. SD cards are fast now, really fast. Can keep up with Cineform 4k easy. A Gopro that can shoot to Cineform RAW has been on the cards for years. In fact that was what I thought the acquisition may have lead to. A hardware company marries a software one to improve it's hardware. Guess I was so wrong and seems Blackmagic design thought it was a good idea. Bet they sell a few million of the action cam - what's not to like about it - small size, drone ready, global shutter, 13 stops of dynamic range, RAW? Atiny part of me did wish BM had acquired you guys because they seem to be the front runners in affordable high quality innovation at the moment for professionals. They think for us and even think ahead. Consumers can always benefit from tech dripping down after all. But when the pro side is abandoned? So where is the Pro in Gopro Cineform? Perhaps a name change to GoConsumer Cineform is more apt hey he he he!

Please, please keep firstlight, RAW transcoding and HDlink available in a painless form. Don't care if it never gets updated again. The rest to me is fluff. Transcoding to mp4 for youtube? Got better tools already. As long as I can use the Cineform tools until my professional worklife ends - it is too crucial. At least give me the option until Windows dies. I know you may allow other third parties to join in but why re-invent the wheel?

It may be that what comes next from you guys deals with every concern I have but the fact that you have to think about it is worrying. I sincerely hope that what's to come will blow us away, otherwise it will be a rather sad end. I truly hope you guys keep a big vision and getting into our heads to solve all video related problems and not get smaller in ambition - a casuality of big company corporate politics. Seen it so many times now, but why my beloved Cineform. Please consider the points I have raised. Working in a corporate bubble can put one out of touch with the grass roots - that's where Cineform belongs, it is where it shines. The independant film-maker and above..........at least IMHO. How would a consumer understand the need to transcode already compromised video - 8 bit MP4? The damage is already done. Why bother - but uncompressed, RAW or prores high quality. Now we are talking - that's when Cineform makes any sense at all again IMHO.

Good luck David and co. I hope I will still be a part of your ecosystem in the future. Is it the end of the world , heck no but it would make my workflow so much harder without the transcoding tools.

( I apologise if this is in poor taste but I thought it was worth a chuckle ) - GoPro is doing some corporate restructering due to a change of direction and this is the new logo.
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Old May 11th, 2015, 11:07 AM   #25
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Re: GoPro abandons Premium and Professional users

"Gopro Studio cannot deal with my Cineform RAW avis - they load to a nice black screen - but Firstlight works great. Funny how Studio hates it's own format."

CineForm RAW works fine in GoPro Studio, likely something you are setting for the default curve or metadata. You should contact support, Jake will still help you on that.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 12:58 AM   #26
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Re: GoPro abandons Premium and Professional users

I will try to be short
David I'm an huge fan of your work, and I understand that is Gopro and not you the head of decision, but I would like where we can write to Gopro head to show the real situation :

- now low budget raw cameras are a real, like bmcc, digital bolex, kineinfinity (that record directly in cf raw), and cine form is the unique codec raw on market, the affirmation that codec still live is not correct, only part of it...
- missing cf studio pro and premium mean miss active metadata pro, stereo tools, raw tools
- actually is not possible to encoding raw cine form without go pro studio prem or pro, and without its command line utility.

With raw4pro utility every cf users can encode a cine form raw with audio sinc in batch, preview etc, that meaning you not need to do more, only to keep alive the tools.

Go out from a growing market when it start is not a good commercial action..
Anyway, my question is :
is possible to start a kick starter or similar to promote 6 month of additional develope of goprostudio premium and pro to add a simple thing, an hardware key, that mean I continue to use my license independent from my actual computer, that can be broken, damaged, or simply stolen...
I know that Rainbow hardware key is not so complex to add in developing, you can add for every start of software.
I just have hardware key for 3D software, davinci and more, one more is not a problem, but come back to old and obsolete workflow with proxy and more for 4k raw is a problem...
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Old May 13th, 2015, 03:49 PM   #27
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Re: GoPro abandons Premium and Professional users

That was a dirty great big surge of apprehension I just had on first reading this latest topic.

I am a relic still shooting on a SI2K using DVR2. The SI2K records natively to cineform. With Adobe's move to a rental model, I am waiting for DaVinci Resolve to mature as an editor.

It will be a big kick in the gizzard if am I am rendered unable to update or re-register Cineform in its already owned Neo 4K flavour or the GoPro 4K version at 2K resolution functionality when the computer inevitably dies and a clean re-install to a new system is needed.

I have been caught with a screenwriting software that went bellyup and product support evaporated. Luckily I found a hack and was able to keep it going. I nearly aquired but luckily did not aquire another screenwriter which was swallowed up and shut down by the purchaser.

Whilst the camera-recorder working in DVR2 can export to DNG and DPX, it is an extra in-camera-only step and a huge data increase, when cineform at 2K is fine. Free GoPro as I know it will open and play back 2K as a plug-in but will not export 2K.

The likely few current users of the SI2K system likely will not justify the software writing to enable 2K exports with free GoPro as a plug-in for Adobe CS6 and DaVinci Resolve.

I might be barking at shadows here. Some reassurance would be appreciated along with advice of what I should do. From one West Aussie to another. Cheers.

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Old May 14th, 2015, 12:44 PM   #28
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Re: GoPro abandons Premium and Professional users

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman Black View Post
Can someone put Cineform in Libavcodec (ffmpeg universe).
I havent seen that code, but since it is reference it is probably much slower than anything real.
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Old May 17th, 2015, 09:32 PM   #29
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Re: GoPro abandons Premium and Professional users

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hart View Post
I might be barking at shadows here. Some reassurance would be appreciated along with advice of what I should do. From one West Aussie to another. Cheers.
I think you'll find you won't get any solid reassurance from official sources whenever it comes to shutdowns after full acquisitions. The only future proof option is DPX and DNG now for the SI2K.
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Old May 18th, 2015, 09:31 PM   #30
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Re: GoPro abandons Premium and Professional users

Just saw this topic. As the owner of a Neo3D license I'm wondering if there will be activation issues in the future regarding my license.

It's still working perfectly for my editing needs with my Adobe production software. But will there be problems down the road at one of those inevitable times I need to re-install and re-activate my license?

And yes, I'm one of those who has used HDLink for capturing and removing pulldown from HDV tapes. What happens with future capture jobs from my tape archives if I can't install/activate my license?

I've already been affected by Adobe turning off the activation servers for older versions of their production software, a version of which I wanted to re-install earlier this year for a particular purpose. I paid for the license and while I understand the reasoning behind activation, I'm still not very happy when I am denied the use of otherwise perfectly functional software that I paid for.

Frankly, this is an issue with software activation. It really does harm the legitimate, licensed user when a company doesn't address the issue adequately when a program reaches EOL and the activation server(s) get shut down.

The software may be old, even considered legacy, but if it installs and functions and is still useful to those who purchased a license, why effectively leave it useless and crippled for existing owners?
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