AIC or HDV at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Final Cut Suite
Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 19th, 2007, 08:13 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 294
AIC or HDV

FCP question - I'm wondering if it makes more sense to capture straight HDV or use the apple intermediate codec?

I know the file sizes are bigger with AIC but I'm fuzzy on the production values of it vs the HDV

any help would be great - I've done some searching but can't find a definitive source on the subject


trish
Trish Kerr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2007, 01:02 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 471
2 reasons I use AIC are faster rendering times, and no gaps between subclips during capture.

If you shoot progressive, it is considered a lossless codec, but I've heard mixed results for people capturing interlaced 1080i footage.
Scott Jaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2007, 02:54 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sussex, UK
Posts: 317
Capture to .m2t then convert to unscaled AIC to stay cleaner.
James Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2007, 08:42 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: ACT Australia
Posts: 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Miller View Post
Capture to .m2t then convert to unscaled AIC to stay cleaner.
So James, your workflow is to use Apple's DVHSCap to capture raw m2t file and then MpegStreamClip to AIC. Until now I've captured and edited in FCP 5.1.4 HDV 1080i50 - however I can't get a Playstation3 to recognise the files for playback - they must be converted to Transport Stream...and that only works with m2t not HDV 1080i50 captures using MSC.

All the scene breaks in FCP are annoying, don't know if that can be turned off.
Mark Joseph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2007, 09:13 AM   #5
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,012
if i understand this correctly...

use AIC if your computer is older or slower...render times are significantly speedier, even if file sizes are larger.

use HDV if your computer is newer or faster...render times are tolerable, file sizes smaller, and if you're going back to tape, there is no transcoding, therefore it's less lossy.

my personal, un-scientific, anecdotal experience with AIC is that it seems to de-saturate colors a bit compared to HDV. it is much faster to work in, though.

there's a lot of opinion on this topic, and much of it is contradictory. some people seem to prefer AIC, some HDV. i think it is one of those things that you have to run an experiment of your own on, to get clear on your personal taste. neither choice is wrong, but you might find one workflow "more right" for you.
Meryem Ersoz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2007, 09:38 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 294
Thanks, everyone for the replies, much appreciated.

It's good to know it's a bit of a debate which would explain why I can't seem to find a definitive answer.

I have a macbookpro 17" with 2gigs ram (the version from dec 06 with the slighter faster chips I believe) and it's been importing HDV fine, renders are a tad slow.

The one thing I'm finding, which is one of the reasons I started hunting on this, is the playback within FCP has pulsing on some of the harder to manage areas of the shot - ie a picture with thin line art behind the person, will pulse. But when I playback outside the program in a video player, the pulsing isn't there. At first I was in fear it was the camera, but I'm testing various outputs now on a troubled part and the pulsing isn't showing.

So I thought maybe FCP was chugging too much with the native HDV.

And I noticed others were using the AIC. I haven't tried grabbing the same footage with the AIC codec and seeing if it pulses in the program but I probably should try that next.

But it's more piece of mind knowing the pulse is a software struggle as opposed to the footage.

It would be nice if the footage stays as clean to the original as possible - which sounds like the native HDV route from what I can tell.

I also read something about the first version of AIC sucked color out of the image but that had been improved in the second go around so that is not as much of an issue as before.

File sizes 3 to 5 times larger and compression loss on top of the compression loss that will occur when you export doesn't sound so good.

I hadn't contemplating capturing outside of FCP, however. That could be another option. I was just going for the simpliest streamlined workflow to start with my limited experience on formats.

Trish
Trish Kerr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2007, 11:37 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sussex, UK
Posts: 317
Trish,

When I'm under pressure then HDV capture is what I'll use. When I have more time to fiddle with a job (and fiddle I do best) I use AIC or now maybe ProRes. With these intermediates I have more real time playback of colour corrected clips, more layers etc.

I hate waiting for renders with HDV, I also find capturing .m2t is a plus for me as it allows direct playback from the PS3. The PS3 can also be use to view and store the final rendered projects in a choice of HD formats.

There is no point in converting Apple HDV into AIC as I find this produces inferior results compared to conversion to AIC from .m2t.
James Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2007, 02:13 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 294
Hi James

Thanks for the info. I just looked up ProRes and it does look impressive. That may end up being the solution longer term.

I exported a small test with the AIC compression and it looked darker and somewhat dirty. Still have to try AIC as the capture choice into FCP.

I will check into the m2t route as well.

thanks again, everyone for all the responses

trish
Trish Kerr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2007, 02:45 PM   #9
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 3,637
Trish,

You should read this thread and download my HDV vs. AIC frame grabs.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=61472

The concensus seems to be that AIC can be considered "lossless" when used with 720P source material. However, those attempting to use it with interlaced source footage have had disappointing results.
__________________
Tim Dashwood
Tim Dashwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2007, 02:48 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Whitman, Mass
Posts: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Miller View Post
...I also find capturing .m2t is a plus for me as it allows direct playback from the PS3. The PS3 can also be use to view and store the final rendered projects in a choice of HD formats.
This may be a dumb question but how do you capture .m2t using FCP? Or is that another way of saying HDV?

Second question. What's your workflow (if you don't mind sharing) to get your footage onto a PS3? I've tried a number of different ways with no success.

Thanks,
Joe
__________________
http://JoeGoldsberry.com
Joe Goldsberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2007, 03:03 PM   #11
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 3,637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Goldsberry View Post
This may be a dumb question but how do you capture .m2t using FCP? Or is that another way of saying HDV?
There are a few free solutions:

DVHSCap (part of Apple's Quicktime SDK)

HDVxDV (demo will capture HDV as m2t, but needs a purchased license to convert m2t to quicktime)

VirtualDVHS (also part of Apple's Quicktime SDK)
__________________
Tim Dashwood
Tim Dashwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2007, 03:24 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sussex, UK
Posts: 317
Joe, When I said I capture .m2t, I do this using DVHSCap (downloaded from Apple Developers web site, part of the FirewireSDK package).

I capture my tapes using this program and that format is in .m2t (or you could come directly from the firestore)

I am in PAL land and 25p/f from the Canons has no issues problems like pulldown removal , and produces good results.

I stay in 1440x1080 unscaled all the way until FCP stretches the pixels. AIC works well on this footage.

The PS3:
The PS3 natively play .m2t files captured using DVHSCap, I use compact flash cards to transfer files from Mac to PS3 although a USB2 drive can also be used.

Name the card 'PS3' and place a folder on this called 'VIDEO' place the .m2t files in here to be seen on the PS3.

As you are Mac based once you have finished your FCP project bring it into Compressor and choose just the preset 'HD MPEG-2 19.0Mbps' you can change the bit-rate upto 'Average 24.7' & 'Maximum 29.0' then under the extras tab deselect 'Add DVD Studio Pro meta-date' and select 'Multiplexed MPEG-1/Layer 2 Audio'

This will give you a .m2t file for your PS3
James Miller is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:28 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network