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Old March 17th, 2007, 06:48 PM   #1
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MT2 Archiving

Hello everyone!

I have read the previous posts and have not seen the following question answered. I know I can take my finished Cineform project and suck back up into the camera where I can archive my work for possible future use. But can I not also export from Permiere Pro into regular-non-Cineform mt2 format? Then I could just use HLink to convert it again if I wanted to edit the video.

But how much quality reduction takes place in the video from changing it from mt2 to Cineform avi? I don't foresee going back from one format to the other very much, but I would love to get rid of HUGE Cineform files into highly compressed m2t files that I can simply stick on an external hard drive somewhere. I would prefer to skip the archiving projects into the camera and cassette.

How do others deal with clearing away huge Cineform files and transitioning from one project to another?

Thank you in advance!
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Old March 17th, 2007, 07:44 PM   #2
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The way I do it is I capture to M2T. I then go through it all and delete the junk. I then convert the clips that are left.

When I am finished with a project, I delete the Cineform AVI files and just back up the M2T files to an external hard drive.
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Old March 17th, 2007, 10:56 PM   #3
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Exactly how...?

Thank you, Steve. But when you export to mt2 do you do it from Premiere Pro? Cleaner XL? What is the exact best quality output you have gotten... after working so hard to get HDV we should want to keep quality the best possible, no?

Do you see any loss of quality in moving from mt2 codec to cineform avi and then back again?
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Old March 18th, 2007, 01:57 PM   #4
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Actually, I export to M2T to play it on my AVeL Linkplayer2 DVD player. I never go back to CIneform from there because I still have the original M2T files that I can convert back to the Cineform exactly like I did the first time, therefore no loss other than the original loss, which isn't much when converting to Cineform AVI.

I doubt that converting the finished product to M2T and then back to Cineform for editing would be a good workflow if it could be avoided.
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Old March 18th, 2007, 02:22 PM   #5
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Saving .m2t files

I also have saved the last year's edited .m2t files using the Cineform export tab. I have them on the RAID5 part of my machine so I am not hostage to a single disc failure. The files are mostly over the 62 minute capacity of the in-camera tapes. I have used HDlink to turn them back to .avi files for other uses and see no degradation. I have also used RemuxTS (google for it) to turn them into elementary .mpg streams for Blu-Ray burning. Cyberlink PowerProducerBD will use them as is (no transcode) but that application only makes BDAV projects which will not yet play in my Sony BDP-S1 player. I just purchased Roxio DVDit HD Pro and it makes great BDMV projects with menus. Since it insists on transcoding these files it takes a long time (6hours from start to finished disc for 99 minutes) but be sure to set "target video bit rate from 24000 to 25000 to preserve quality. Note that DVDit only makes one copy at a shot, so I will "burn to .iso disc image" and use Cyberlink Power2go burn from that. I've set DVDit to "save temp files" and will move the .iso file to where .m2t files are.
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Old March 18th, 2007, 07:39 PM   #6
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what flavor m2t - cineform or non-cineform?

After trying almost every combination, I could not get my timeline to export into the Cineform m2t format - I kept getting a "could not create m2t file" message, no matter how I changed the configuaration.

I did use the Adobe Media Encoder function successfully to export to a non-Cineform flavor of m2t and that worked just fine, and it seemed the same high quality as before. Still, I would rather have stayed in the Cineform m2t format to ensure full compatibility with what I already have. Does it really matter what form of m2t I employ?

Do others use the Export Cineform m2t tab from the usual "export movie" menu in Premiere Pro, or do they go down to the Adobe Media Cleaner and export to an m2t file from there? Will the m2t file be just what I want one day when I want to build an HDV video disk - the same high quality video format that will play beautifully on one of those HD TVs? (Before I delete all my original source footage and Cineform avi files, I would like to have my edited footage in the highest quality archival format possible.)

I am taking video of my three day old baby daughter and have barely enough time to shoot and edit - but I would love to just export the finished timeline into some flavor of m2t and deal with making DVDs or whatever out of them for months into the future when 1.) I have more time and 2.) the technology with regards to Blue Ray and HD DVD is all sorted out, affordable, and doable.

M2t files the way to go for archiving?

Thank you in advance for all your help, as finding all this out myself will take untold, tedious hours!
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Old March 19th, 2007, 11:11 AM   #7
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Steps to use Cineform .m2t export

If this doesn't work you might consider filing a trouble ticket with Cineform, they are very responsive.

1)First make sure you started the project with a cineform preset. I have a Sony HDV camera so I use "Aspect HD 1440x1080 60i. Each time you launch the project you should get the Cineform splash screen for a few seconds. You can confirm your settings for an existing project with the first field in Project/Settings/General.
2) With the timeline highlighted, Click File/Export/Movie. Navigate to where you want the .m2t file to be written. For me thats c:\......\My Documents\MyArchiveVideo. Correct the filename and be sure the extension is .m2t, then click Settings.
3)On the General panel you want Filetype=CineForm M2T. On the button "Compile Settings" I set the render quality to "high".
Also on the general panel set "Entire Sequence" or "Work area bar" as appropriate. I turn off "Add Project when finished" just to save time as I never reuse such a file within Premiere
4) On the Video Panel are the crucial things. First for Compressor, for some reason is often defaults to the very first Cineform preset (720p 25p JVC) instead of the one that matches the project. I reset that to 1080i 29.97. Next verify that the resolution, frame rate and pixel aspect ratio are right. If you have just previously output a standard def .avi they might be wrong. For my HDV projects its 1440 for "h", 1080 for "v". It will only show "16:9" if the pixel aspect ratio is set to "HD Anamorphic 1080 (1.333)". So 16:9 is your double check.
5) On keyframe and rendering, note that Fields should be "Upper Field First". [Note that old standard def DV was "lower first"]
6) No changes needed on the Audio panel. Even though it says "uncompressed", .m2t files are always are compressed at 384kb, stereo
7)Click OK to the Settings panels
8)Click save and go have dinner or go to bed!
9)Sorry to put this last but sometimes other applications on your computer can occasionally hang a long render. My Sony BWU100a burner uses CyberlinkBD solution for packet writing and I must terminate Power2goExpress. In fact I never have that running and have turned it off in msconfig with no Ill effects. Also in my case (pun intended), I have to kick the fans up a notch for long renders (and HDV ingest). It is then no longer noiseless, but I'm not sitting there either!

Hope this helps
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Old April 4th, 2007, 04:55 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot for your step-by-step guide Don!

I just purchased a BWU100A as well, for CDN$500!!! I'm guessing it was a pricing error on FutureShop's website...but get 'em while you can.

So I'm really hoping that Premiere Pro 3.0 has an easy workflow for exporting beautiful 1080/24P Blu-Ray Discs from my HVR-V1U.

Then everything will be a paradise.
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