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Old June 1st, 2016, 01:31 PM   #1
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What should I do with my CineForm (CFHD) AVI files? Keep as-is or convert?

Hi. Back in 2010, I was shooting HD video on my Canon 5D mark ii and then realized I would have to convert the files captured on the 5D to an intermediate file format in order to edit them in editing software such as Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere.
So I went ahead and purchased NeoScene, a product by CineForm, and converted the files to a CFHD codec.
They are CineForm AVI files.

Time has passed and I am now revisiting some material I shot years ago.
The files are CFHD AVI files and since installing CineForm, I moved on to a new computer.
When I tried to install NeoScene on my new computer, it said something about deactivating the copy on the older laptop, which had died. I started researching what to do, but decided not to bother, since it seemed at that point, that Adobe Premiere Pro works fine with the native files taken on the Canon 5D without having to convert to an intermediate codec.
Also, it looks like CineForm (which is now GoPro) has stopped supporting NeoScene among several other CineForm products... which got me wondering if it would be safe to keep my video files encoded as CFHD.

Anyways long-story-short what to do with these CFHD AVI files?
Should I keep them as-is, assuming that CFHD will be accessible and supported for the long-haul?
Should I convert them to a more standard codec? And if so, which codec/format, and is there a lossless way of doing that?

Looking forward to help on this.

I'm using Windows 8.1 64-bit, editing on Premiere Pro CC.

Thanks!
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Old June 1st, 2016, 03:09 PM   #2
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Re: What should I do with my CineForm (CFHD) AVI files? Keep as-is or convert?

Hi Adi,

This is just an opinion based on my personal use.....I'm using Vegas Pro 13. I render ProRes422HQ.mov and DNxHD220x.mov into CineForm YUV 422.avi intermediates. I use a couple script files to batch process the intermediates. These are the only formatted files which will preview at normal 29.970 speed at Best (half) preview quality on my old Duo2core box.

If in the future I upgrade my hardware system and can then use the ProRes or Avid video files direct, I would see no reason to go back and render the older .avi intermediates to something else, unless at the time, I needed to use them and there was some demanding reason. But, I'm running on antiquated gear, stuck in the old world, which matches my age. I am many years past the requirement to produce on a schedule and can now take my time! The younger generations and professional do not share that luxury and quite often need to keep pace with the trends.
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Old June 1st, 2016, 03:13 PM   #3
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Re: What should I do with my CineForm (CFHD) AVI files? Keep as-is or convert?

Hi George,
I was just about to post the reply I got from GoPro (CineForm) regarding my question to their support team (similar to the question I posted here). It seems my understanding that CineForm is slowly becoming extinct, was misinformed, or misunderstood.

Here is the reply I received:

SMPTE the society of motion picture and television engineers) has standardized the cineform codec as an industry standard. One of only 5 codecs that they have done this for. Additionally, Adobe includes CineForm as their house codec in their Creative Suite. They do so because it is cross-platform. You DO still need to have either NeoScene or GoPro App installed in order to use the codec outside of Adobe product though.

And yes, our 'sold' products are going away because we now include the Codec in our free products. GoPro App for Desktop includes the latest version of the GoPro CineForm codec and we are still making changes and updates to the codec. We are also still licensing the codec via our SDK (software development kit) to third parties for use in their products. In fact we have added a new page to the gopro.com website where companies can request access (https://gopro.com/cineform).

So hope that eases your concerns about it 'going away'. Yes you can download NeoScene version 5 and activate it. But my suggestion is that AFTER you do that, download and install the free GoPro App because that will ADD features to the GoPro CineForm codec on your computer. It will give you the ability to render into MOV format (with NeoScene you can only do AVI). It also gives you the ability to encode at 4:4:4 colorspace (NeoScene is only 4:2:2).
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Old June 1st, 2016, 03:53 PM   #4
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Re: What should I do with my CineForm (CFHD) AVI files? Keep as-is or convert?

I may have celebrated too soon : (

So I went ahead and attempted to use the CineForm AVI files in Adobe Premiere Pro, but I'm getting an error message when attempting to import the files.
I figured it would work since it was stated that Adobe includes CineForm as their house codec in their Creative Suite. Is there some setting I need to set, or possibly something esle I'm doing wrong?

Here is a screenshot of the message appearing:
Screenshot by Lightshot

I get the same message for all Cineform AVI files that I try to import.​ The conversion was done using NeoScene in Windows, in 2012.​

I'm working on a relatively new ​latpop​, running ​Windows 8.1 64-bit​.​​
Using Adobe CC.

Below is the media data of a sample file that I'm trying to import.

​Thank you for any help on this.​


===================== General =====================
Complete name : F:\Video and Project Source Files\BY_PROJECT\LEFTOVERS\VIDEO\VID_James_120128_MVI_9919.avi
Format : AVI
Format info : Audio Video Interleave
File size : 591 MB
Duration (ms) : 1mn 55s
Total bitrate : 43.0 Mbps

===================== Video =====================
Id : 0
Format : CineForm
Codec Id : CFHD
Codec info : CineForm 10-bit Visually Perfect HD (Wavelet)
Duration (ms) : 1mn 55s
Bitrate : 41.5 Mbps
Width : 1 920 pixels
Height : 1 080 pixels
Aspect ratio : 16:9
Framerate : 23.976 fps
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.834
Stream size : 570 MB (96%)

===================== Audio =====================
Id : 1
Format : PCM
Format_Settings_Endianness : Little
Format_Settings_Sign : Signed
Codec Id : 1
Duration (ms) : 1mn 55s
Bitrate mode : Constant
Bitrate : 1 536 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 21.1 MB (4%)
Alignement : Aligned on interleaves
Interleave duration : 952 ms (22.83 video frames)
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 10:16 AM   #5
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Re: What should I do with my CineForm (CFHD) AVI files? Keep as-is or convert?

Hi Adi,

You tried several files, so are you confident that eliminates the "damaged file" part of the error message? The Mediainfo you posted isn't that much different than my CineForm files. In your OP you mention, "edit them in editing software such as Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere." Do you happen to have Vegas Pro (if so BTW which version)? I don't have Adobe Premiere. I'm sure you have already, or may post this problem in the Premiere forum.

If you have Vegas Pro (or possibly the free Blackmagic Resolve), you could bring your old CineForm files into Vegas Pro (or Resolve). If that worked, then you could render out again in CineForm and bring that into Premiere just as a test. Of course you have probably already sent the problem back to GoPro and let them chew on it, beings how they said it would work. (BTW, you can't do this test using GoPro Studio as it will not recognize the .avi wrapper! GoPro Studio will load mp4, jpeg, and mov and render out to avi, but it will not load avi's.....strange!!)

I don't have Premiere and not familiar with it, hopefully another member here will be able to shed some light on the "unsupported format" error message. Maybe Premiere expects the CineForm in a .mov wrapper and not avi (I doubt it), that would seem weird, I'm sure it supports both, but again, I'm not familiar with the Premiere NLE.
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 10:25 AM   #6
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Re: What should I do with my CineForm (CFHD) AVI files? Keep as-is or convert?

Hi George
Yup. Tried more than one file, from more than one project. All are not being imported by Premiere Pro.
I'll try importing to Vegas later today. I have an old version of Vegas, I can try.
I'll post back, but even if it works, I certainly don't want to start having to render all my CineForm files just to make them accessible in PP... ugh. That would be a nightmare.

Not sure what the forum etiquette is regarding this, but I think I might be better off posting this question on the Premiere Pro section. I just didn't think this would be a platform specific question when I first posted....

Thanks!
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 11:03 AM   #7
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Re: What should I do with my CineForm (CFHD) AVI files? Keep as-is or convert?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi Head View Post
I just didn't think this would be a platform specific question when I first posted....

Thanks!
I wouldn't think so either, but, I just did a quick search and found this, "Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects CC, and Adobe Media Encoder CC can natively decode and encode QuickTime files using the GoPro CineForm codec on both Mac OS X and Windows systems.", you can read it here: https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro...orm-codec.html

That seems to imply Premiere wants the CineForm in the .mov container! If that is the case, and you need to use Premiere as your NLE, you may be able to use VLC to simply rewrap your CineForm.avi files to CineForm.mov files.

Not much reason to test it in Vegas Pro, Vegas will only render CineForm to the avi wrapper, and not mov, so you wouldn't be any father ahead on a test using Vegas. You could of course use Vegas Pro as the NLE if your old files load.
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 11:21 AM   #8
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Re: What should I do with my CineForm (CFHD) AVI files? Keep as-is or convert?

Hi George, I simultaneously received your response along with a response from GoPro which indicates that you are indeed correct.
I will check your suggestion regarding rewrapping to MOV.
GoPro support also suggested installing some sort of custom AVI importer that could be a possible workaround.
I was provided this link to download the importer - in case anyone with the same issue finds this helpful:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/8858v7khtd..._core.zip?dl=0

I'll try these things later today and update. Thanks!
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 11:27 AM   #9
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Re: What should I do with my CineForm (CFHD) AVI files? Keep as-is or convert?

If that plugin does what I think it does, you are going to be Golden!
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 10:31 PM   #10
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Re: What should I do with my CineForm (CFHD) AVI files? Keep as-is or convert?

Installed the plugin all is well : )
Thanks for your help George!
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 01:15 PM   #11
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Re: What should I do with my CineForm (CFHD) AVI files? Keep as-is or convert?

UPDATE: This update has no use for the OP, as Adi has found the fix, but if someone else reads this thread I wanted correct a mistaken statement I made in post #7....

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Dean View Post
Not much reason to test it in Vegas Pro, Vegas will only render CineForm to the avi wrapper, and not mov, so you wouldn't be any father ahead on a test using Vegas. You could of course use Vegas Pro as the NLE if your old files load.
I wrote this because in my system notes from last year I noted that I was unable to render CineForm to mov (unfortunately I didn't note the details why not). This morning during an unrelated render test, I easily rendered DNxHD220x.mov source media to intermediate CineFormYUV422.mov both with 8 bit pixel format and 32-bit floating point (video levels).

I have updated my CineForm codec twice since my notes last year and am currently on GoPro CineForm version 1.2.0. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with it, but didn't want my previous statement to mislead any readers.
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