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Old June 5th, 2008, 04:11 PM   #1
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Cinema Craft comes to the Mac

I just stumbled across this: CINEMA CRAFT ENCODER MAC PLUG-IN (CCE-MP).

It's on this page:

This plug-in works directly with Compressor 3.

I was reading where Cinema Craft encoders are used for the MPEG-2 (SD) compression of high-end Hollywood movies such as The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Spiderman 3, King Kong, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.

There's also a review by Brian Gary (I have one of his training DVDs on Compressor) over on the LAFCPUG site:

DEFINITELY a handy tool to use with Final Cut Studio, if a lot of your final delivery is going to be on SD DVD and you want the highest quality possible. So I thought it was worth mentioning.

The only downside (for me) is I just bought a new iMac and their Q&A sheet says it will only work with a Mac Pro. (I think I'll email them to verify if that's a hard and fast rule.)
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Old June 6th, 2008, 08:15 PM   #2
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Just received an email response from tech support at Cinema Craft (Omni).

The CCE-MP plug-in DOES work with the Intel iMac. (Yippee!!!!!)

In fact, it works with ANY Intel-based Mac (but not G5, G4, etc.).

They are going to update the FAQ's on their website to reflect this.

I was also informed that the more processors you have, the faster it encodes because their engine sees and uses all available processors.

By the way, I'm in no way connected with Omni or Cinema Craft, but I personally consider this release to be the milestone that finally delivers on that promotional material put out by Apple for DVD Studio Pro years ago. I think it was something like, "Author Hollywood-quality DVDs with DVD Studio Pro."

So now an indie filmmaker can make the various motion menus in Motion, encode the various assets in Compressor with the CCE-MP plug-in, author the DVD structure (and subtitles, etc.) with DVD Studio Pro, then off to the duplication facility.

Of course, whether the indie movie itself is "Hollywood-quality" or not is an entirely different matter.
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Old July 14th, 2008, 01:59 PM   #3
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I have the encoder but have had a few problems getting good results. I've compared encodes done with compressor 3's (90 min DVD setting) and the end results look like the original. The Cinema Craft MP's encodes are about 2 stops darker than the original and I had quite a few interlacing problems (the original footage is DVCPRO HD 720p 24pN). I made a few adjustments that helped to fix the interlacing issues but I cannot figure out why the compression is darker.

FYI I also have my ACD calibrated with the Matrox MXO and I've also doubled checked the waveforms to make sure what I was seeing was what I was getting. Still, the encodes with the MP are dark.

Unfortunately, the manual lacks a lot of info (in fact the updated manual shows a different GUI than the actual GUI and I have the most up-to-date version).

I know the reviews are favorable but I hope someone out there can throw me some advice (I did place a call to Cinema Craft support so hopefully someone gets back to me).
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Old July 14th, 2008, 02:46 PM   #4
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Keep us posted, Todd. Considering the cost of this Compressor plug-in it would be good to see some stills/grabs from your encoding efforts so others can judge it's worth.
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