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Old January 6th, 2007, 09:44 AM   #1
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Best CFHD project to SD work flow

Okay, until I get my other issue fixed, trying to see if I can still move forward.
So, have read threads, but not sure where things stand, so, thought I would ask.

So, I have my CF project in Prospect HD mode. All at 1920x1080.
So, I now need to export this into a native SD Mpeg stream to use with my Reel DVD. It needs the mv2 and ac3 file, cant use an Avi.

So, I have read so many ways about whats the best way to get to this end result. Whats the current thoughts?

Dave
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Old January 6th, 2007, 10:09 AM   #2
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Sounds correct.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 10:11 AM   #3
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David, I have read many threads that say AME output to SD is terrible. I then read about all these various work arounds with things like pro coder, or rescaling or or or.

So, whats your experience on which way works the best? AME from the CDHD timeline, or one of the other above process?

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Old January 6th, 2007, 10:24 AM   #4
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I always do an SD AVI export, then load that into Encore, but then I'm a software developer more then a video/film guy. Use the forum to ask others their prefered workflows (and that question has come up before so search through old posts.)
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Old January 6th, 2007, 04:18 PM   #5
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I export a Cineform AVI and import that into a SD project. Two reasons. It looks better (to me) when exported to MPEG-2, and you can pan/scan the larger frame to get the best SD frame you can. You don't just have to settle for the wide screen frame scaled down.

Then I work even harder at getting better framing for iPod use after that. Lots more closeups.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 04:36 PM   #6
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Hey guys,
I have been on this quest to find the best Cineform to SD workflow for my upcoming project. This is what I've found to be the best process. Follow me here:

1. Export your Cineform project to Microsoft AVI, compressor set to none. This will be a huge file, if you can't manage that you can use High Quality HD Cineform export. For 1080 it can either be 1440x1080 with 1.333 aspect or 1920x1080 square pixels.

2. Take this into VirtualDub. It's small and freeware, and there are a lot of freeware plugins for it as well.

Download VirtualDub here
Download the MSharpen Filter here You'll need to drag the plugin file into the plugins folder in the Program Files folder of VirtualDub to install this plugin.

3. Go to Video --> filters --> Add --> msharpen (1.2.1). Click OK.

4. Click Add again. Select resize. Type in 720 and 480 as values and change the Filter mode to Lanczos3. Click OK.

5. Select The msharpen filter again from the list and click Configure. Check "show internal" and click show preview. Navigate to a few different scenes of your movie, and move the Threshold bar to a point where you determine the filter is seeing the most important edges of the subject of the video. My values I find to be very low, around 10, and despite the bar line being 127 values long there is a very small "sweet spot" and that is at the far left side, around 10-20. Move it around slowly. Once you have found the sweet spot, the white lines should be outlining important or stand-out edges of your video, i.e. people's faces, walls, etc. The entire point of this smart filter is to sharpen the important edges of the video without amplifying noise. Be sure to UNCHECK "show internal" before you click OK.

6. Now that you have the edges selected that you want the filter to sharpen, adjust the sharpening strength. I find the more the better but it can be overdone. I usually go around 100 but, using the preview window, you can find your own preference.

7. Click OK. Click OK again to exit out of the filters window.

8. Now go to File menu --> Save as AVI... Save your avi somewhere. VirtualDub will now downconvert your HD to SD with a sharpening filter.

I get absolutely fantastic results with this, by far the best HD to SD downconvert I've seen. Plus, VirtualDub is very quick, my 17 minute film takes about half an hour to convert completely. When done, you'll have an uncompressed, SD master of your film ready to convert to MPEG or whatever format you choose. If you do choose to go the DVD route, use TMPEnc to convert to MPEG, then put the .m2v into Encore or whatever authoring program you use. It does the best job.

Hope this helps. Once my video finishes exporting from Premiere I'll post up some framegrabs.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 05:31 PM   #7
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Thanks Ben, will give it a try.

Dave
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Old January 7th, 2007, 03:27 PM   #8
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Ben, you were not kidding about the file size. I just failed my output after 12 hours because .5 terabytes was not enough. I now am sending it to a 1.5 terabyte disc array. ;o(

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Old January 7th, 2007, 08:12 PM   #9
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Ben, what do you see as the best settings for TMPEnc to convert to MPEG?

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Old January 9th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Campbell
Ben, you were not kidding about the file size. I just failed my output after 12 hours because .5 terabytes was not enough. I now am sending it to a 1.5 terabyte disc array. ;o(

Dave
I got your email, replied but it got bounced back. Spam filter maybe?

Anyway, I have done some scrutinizing comparisons between uncompressed output and Cineform HD Export and didn't find any notable differences. You may want to consider that option for larger exports (900 gigs! *gawk!*)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Campbell
Ben, what do you see as the best settings for TMPEnc to convert to MPEG?

Dave
If you use the wizard, just be sure to select the right sizes for everything (if your film is 16:9, be sure to select 16:9 Display as aspect ratio, also be sure to select Film if your video is 24fps). It should optimize the bitrate to 8000 automatically. Just click through and let it export.

TMPEnc is great because it keeps the blacks black, and doesn't crush any detail. I hate those cruddy MPEG conversions that make the blacks that dark grey off-black with tiny blocks in them.
Let me know if you need any more details.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 06:36 PM   #11
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Ben, need to get your email in my spam filter.

So question, I am just looking at my virtualdub output, and it looks great, but, its not widescreen. So, what resize do I do for 16:9 like my original stuff.? I need to get the pixel size 1.2, and the output is .9

Dave
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 05:39 PM   #12
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Hi Ben,
How do you feel the VDub scaling compares to using HDLink to convert the final HD AVI into an SD AVI? We use a Lanzcos method for that scale as well, and I'd be interested to see how it compares, or if you've tried using HDLink.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 03:11 AM   #13
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HDLink won't do the sharpen part though will it? Just using VirtualDub without the sharpen still results in slightly blurry footage - a slight sharpen makes a big difference.

If someone tries HDLink, let us know what the speed is like - VirtualDub is pretty fast...

Btw I've also tried downscaling using Vegas and it isn't quite as good I don't think.

Final question: are people downscaling to anamorphic SD or just letter boxing it?
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Old January 25th, 2007, 10:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Bucklin
Hi Ben,
How do you feel the VDub scaling compares to using HDLink to convert the final HD AVI into an SD AVI? We use a Lanzcos method for that scale as well, and I'd be interested to see how it compares, or if you've tried using HDLink.
I've never tried HDLink's downres. I didn't even know it had that function. Maybe I'll try it sometime, but as it is VirtualDub works great and I can add additional filters other than sharpen as well. And hey, it's free...if I try it I'll let you know.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 09:45 AM   #15
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I've been bypassing VirtualDub and importing Cineform's HD directly into Tmpgenc 4 Express. It's got a lancosz3 resizing option that seems to work pretty well. I haven't tried the sharpening filter. Will give it a try. Gotta be a little careful. Oversharpening can look TERRIBLE.
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