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Old November 20th, 2003, 02:13 AM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Agoura Hills, CA
Posts: 19
Production Workflow

Hello All,

My first post to any kind of forum in a long while.

First off, this little camera from JVC is amazing. Not so much as what it IS but what can be done with it as a tool..a paint brush of sorts. I've been working with the camera for the last month and I'll post my reflections on this in future posts. (Alas, I'm getting some real work done with this tool right now and will spend my time on THAT work for now.)

Some background: I started working with DV way before it became fashionable. I make indie features currently.

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate to have met David Newman from Cineform at a seminar in Burbank at Hollywood Studio Rentals. I'm sure you've read his posts. In person, he's a really nice guy and more importantly for this forum, he is passionate about his work and knows what he is talking about. So, this post is really kind of a "public" tech support request for Cineform and David. And maybe it'll help others with this new thing we've got on our hands. David: If I shouldn't ask this stuff here. Let me know. Cineform has my vitals on file I'm sure.

So. Workflow.

Aspect works great. Very stable. Not commercial betaware at all. Real-time. Haven't used Premiere for years but I'll get used to it again. No edl. No batch capture. So what, for now. Just put a tape in. Capture the whole thing with the Aspect capture app. It separates it all by scene. Delete the junk. Batch rename the files. Import them in. Actually this works fine as I'm not spending as much time jogging tape transports around. Must have lots of hard drive space...that's okay. It's cheap now. (A 4 gig with barely enough speed to do a single track of DV set me back about $1400 not that many years get the idea.)

The cineform codec is very, very good and has small file sizes. Did a test of a render with lots of effects out to uncompressed 720p HD and to Cineform 720p HD. Put both clips into After Effects, each on a track, and set one track to a transfer mode of "difference" and the result was black. This is a good thing...this is a great thing. I won't go into explaining why this is a good thing at this point.

So, doing a lot of stuff in AE because the JVC is the paint brush, premiere (again) is the canvas, and AE, and all the stuff I do in there is the Paint (along with the actors and the story but that's not a topic for now.)

No export to the Cineform codec for now from AE. (I know that is a possibility...yet that's Adobe's problem I'm guessing.) Also. we still have a lot of footage for a recent project in DV in the Avid. Currently exporting a lot out to Uncompressed and then into Premiere. Is there a better solution? Downloaded a demo of the MicroCosm codec. Cineform is 1/3 the size and seems just as lossless.

Used the reel smart fields kit to Deinterlace the "quicktime reference movie" output from AVid in AE and then output SD to uncompressed. Back into premiere...resize (best) and output to Cineform HD.

So here are the real questions. Where should I do a resize of legacy 60i material? In AE?, In premiere?, with Virtual Dub? AE and Premiere don't really talk about what method they use, "like, whatever...Dude! it's just pick the best, man." Or should I go out batching hi-res jpegs at "9" or tiffs and resizing with Photoshop and the new extensis resizer? (On a side note, on a DV feature I did a couple of years ago, the best looking footage, when it was transferred to film, was a title sequence I created with AE and output to single frame jpegs at quality "9" which was brought into uncompressed SD. Looked great on the big screen.)

Is the "fields kit" the best deInterlacer for SD 60i? It's cheap. It looks good to me with tweaking. Magic bullet seems like their...I mean...Oh, I'll keep this to myself. I'm okay with digging in with GraphEdit too. And will dust off my C++ if absolutely...well maybe not...only as I'm a filmmaker now. Repeat. I'm a...

I know that I've found that regular SD DV unconverted to Cineform HD and processed with some "creativeness" in AE and then output back to SD and then to mpeg2 DVD is impressive from the tests I've done. Oversampling is not just for audio anymore.

Take Care,

Geoff Pepos
Rhythm Films
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Old November 20th, 2003, 12:20 PM   #2
CTO, CineForm Inc.
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California
Posts: 8,086
Geoff, thanks for the complements on Aspect HD. And directly I thank you for your feedback on the codec quality -- tweeking codec image quality is one of my responsabilities -- I glad to hear my work has paid off.

There are so many ways to upconvert DV 60i to 720p HD and so many small compromises (mostly in the number of steps.) I prefer VirtualDub (many due to lack of hands-on experience with After Effects), however VirtualDub is basically Video for Windows (VfW) only, which means it can't directly import DV. Always a couple of hoops to jump through.

Note: A new version of the CineForm HD codec is working (in-house) that directly supports VfW exports (i.e. output to CFHD directly from After Effects and VirtualDub.) We hope to make this available to Aspect HD customers soon.
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