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Old August 17th, 2006, 01:12 AM   #1
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My HDV Nightmare

A few weeks ago, I decided to build a dual AMD Opteron system in anticipation for a short film I'm filming right now and intend to edit in HDV. Unfortunately, even after upgrading to this great new machine, one thing after another has prevented me from finding a successful HDV workflow. Not one, not two, but three different HDV solutions have failed me and I am completely unsure as to what to do.

Editing HDV Natively in Premiere Pro 2.0 fails. I can preview the video fine but as soon as I render the preview after adding any effects, small blocks and lines appear in the image. Exporting to any format retains these lines and striations.

AspectHD in Premiere Pro fails. These same blocks and striations, plus odd patterns appear in different frames of the image. This is outside of Premiere as well. Any conversion or playing of the Cineform .avi continues to contain these artifacts. Oddly enough the artifacts are in different parts of the image each time, meaning they obviously aren't part of the file but rather mistakes int he way they are being decoded. I've sent an extensive explanation of the problem to Cineform support but it's obvious they have no clue what's going on.

DVFilm Maker with Raylight fails. Maker refuses to convert any .mpeg files without crashing by the end of it. Converting Cineform avi's is flawless however the artifacts described above remain in the image.

I have no options left for HDV editing and I am at my wit's end. Any last resorts?
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File Type: mov artifacts.mov (1.48 MB, 108 views)
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Old August 17th, 2006, 02:02 AM   #2
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Ben:

I am using a very similar set up and have no problem. I edit in HDV native. You didn't say what camera you have, but I have an FX1.

I ran into quality problems because the presets weren't set for highest quality.

First thing to try is rendering back out to an HDV file. Put a clip on the time line, then select Export, Adobe Media Encoder, then Select MPEG2, under that Select HDV 1080i 30. Make sure export audio is selected below that, then go down the screen a bit and select the video tab. Slide the quality slider all the way to 5.

Select okay, name your file, and then see what the end result looks like by playing on Windows Media player.


I have also gotten real decent results in Windows Media wmv files.

As far as the specs in your posted video, I am not sure what is going on there....What camera is that from ?
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Old August 17th, 2006, 02:05 AM   #3
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Follow up. I am still having issue with trying to get a decent quicktime file out of Premiere Pro 2.0.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 06:43 AM   #4
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Ben.

Your frame grab looks like it could be relay footage from a Letus35, Agus35 or suchlike. Is this so?

If it is and this is purely supposition on my part, the images in HDV may already have some compression artifacts from the high rate of variation between frames in the form of groundglass texture (grain), which can be a characteristic of 35mm relay footage.

A high shutter speed, a coarse groundglass and a high contrast image might aggravate a "grain" tendency.

The Cineform codec in trying to recreate a frame-by-frame .avi file from a highly artifacted source, might be having difficulties which might account for the variation.

There was another recent post about artifacts relating to ConnectHD and Premiere Pro. In response to that post, there was reference to an earlier less effective version of the Cineform software having been incorporated by Adobe into Premiere Pro.

There was apparently a workaround for the problem.

Please do not take my comments as having any qualification, but only as a hint of possible new direction for solving the problem. I might well be sending you on a goose chase when a solution may be closer to hand.

In meantime, if your troublesome footage is 35mm relay footage, it might pay to shoot some test footage direct-to-camera with varying degrees of lighting and contrast and including low-light footage with lots of video noise from video gain being set high.

If noisy footage also provokes the fault, then the relay footage might be the culprit.

Heavy post-processing such as colour saturation and higher contrast is likely to aggravate any deficiencies. I understand that 8 bit?? processing available to the home enthusiast market has limits to how much can be done to the image before defects occur.

To eliminate your hardware as a contributor to the problem it might be worthwhile doing a capture on another machine to see if the artifact re-appears there.

There will be better contributors to this discussion than myself.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 06:58 AM   #5
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Ben.

Furthur to above. I must have broken dvinfo as things got confused when I tried to add this, so here it is here.

The discussion I base my comments on is found under the Cineform Showcase area here and under the following heading :-

"Severe artifacting in HDLink M2T-AVI conversions"
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Old August 17th, 2006, 07:10 AM   #6
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My PC is literally half the machine you have, and it injests HDV in PP2 just fine. I have a single AMD64 3200, and only 1 gig of ram. It's a tad slow squeezing it out, but I can't complain.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 09:53 AM   #7
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this might be going out on a limb, but have u tried another HDD??

I had isues like this which were caused by bad drives and and windows XP which wasnt pacthed with 132gb fix... sounds a lil out there, but try another HDD
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Old August 17th, 2006, 10:22 AM   #8
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I am using an FX1.

Bob, I have four tapes of wedding footage shot completely without an adapter and these problems happen regardless. Besides, the artifacting is too intense to be compression side effects. Also, I used to have that problem as described in that topic but as supposed I was using ConnectHD (still trying to get a refund for that too).

Trying another HDD sounds like a good idea. Right now it's four SATA 250GB raided together in a RAID 5. Maybe this is a problem?

EDIT: Nope. Tried capturing and playing back from my humble IDE C: drive with the same results.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 10:58 AM   #9
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Clueless here... I never edit in HDV, the codec sucks for editing and it horrific for adding CC and effects. Any HDV I have ever done has been captured into another codec so I cant comment on your issues.

Is that the Ponce De Leon chapel in Atlanta? I had some friends get married there in June and they were SUPER strict on camera locations, etc.



ash =o)
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Old August 17th, 2006, 12:08 PM   #10
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Ben: as an experiment, you could try downloading the demo version of Edius and see if that works for you. If nothing else, it might help give you more insight into where the problem is arising - and if it works then to heck with Adobe Premiere!

http://www.canopus.com/products/EDIUSPro/index.php
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Old August 17th, 2006, 01:26 PM   #11
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Just an odd thought... Have you tried a different firewire cable? If the problems are happening when you capture, and even when you convert, it might be that there's some line noise being introduced to the data when being captured intially by a faulty cable.

Might be worth a check...
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Old August 17th, 2006, 01:39 PM   #12
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Ash, it's a small chapel in Ellicott City, Maryland. Curtis, the footage is flawless when viewed in Premiere native .mpeg but the artifacts occur when rendering effects, meaning whatever format (read: codec) Premiere is rendering the previews in is obviously causing the issue. This smells very badly like a codec issue. But I'v reinstalled Windows and gotten the same problem, so it's obviously hardware-related...
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Old August 17th, 2006, 01:50 PM   #13
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Ok, did some more testing...

Rendering an mpeg with a 180 degree motion effect and a small scale increase reveals no artifacts. However layering this clip with another clip, setting opacity to 50% and adding a fast blur to the bottom layer and rendering gives artifacts.

Exporting this to mpeg as suggested reveals no artifacts...

So maybe I can edit in mpeg native, and just make do with the artifacts when previewing knowing that they won't turn out in the final product? But what's causing it?

Plus I'd really like to get Aspect to work. Not to mention that I need a 24p workflow for my 60i footage, and Raylight is the only way to go right now. But DVFilm Maker crashing is a whole other topic.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 02:05 PM   #14
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1. Are both cores of your system actually being utilized by system ?? (Google AMD Power Monitor and download it.) It will monitor the cores to see if both are operating. Since this is self built, did you use set up disks to be sure proper drivers on board, and dual core operation is active. On my motherboard, I had to update the BIOS to get proper operation.

2. What are you using for a Video Card. I don't know for a fact, but I believe PPro utilizes Video card resources. I assume you have a decent card, but if you have a system that shares video memory, that could be a problem. (Just guessing at this.)
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Old August 17th, 2006, 02:18 PM   #15
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Figured out DVFilm Maker!

It is crashing because it is running up against it's 4GB/18-minute barrier. I am trying to convert files that are 20 minutes long at the least. Converting shorter files ran OK.

To answer your questions:
1. Yes, all four cores seem to be utilized. In fact, reducing Premiere's usage to 1 or 2 cores using Set Affinity seems to reduce the amount of artifacts appearing in the image. Hmm...

2. I am using the Matrox Parhelia APVe as recommended by Cineform.
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