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High Definition Video Editing Solutions
For all HD formats including HDV, HDCAM, DVCPRO HD and others.


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Old February 20th, 2004, 09:49 AM   #1
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Mac Portable HD Solution

Hi Everybody,

I would like to post some lines about one portable solution to edit HD on Apple PowerBook G4. It is based on my experience with PAL version of JVC HDV Camcorder named JVC GR-PD1EX. I would say we all (NTSC or PAL World) purchased this cam to get it on HD cheap and effective. In the PAL World still does not exist any Pro version of the cam and this one should be described as a consumer. But never mind. Also I would like to not discuss more about PAL camcorder "HD" resolution that is 1280x659 and is not actually 16:9 and there is so called "Hi-Res" by the JVC paper specs(thats how it is described "fake HD"/or maybe it is not any fake HD in PAL World from JVC!?/). I must honestly to say that I did not get a picture size different than 16:9 ratio in any encoded option and still investigating were this 61 pixels by the paper have gone(!?) from "a famous 720px" that is one of sizes for the "Hight" of the picture in HD standard specs by ISO. So, no distorsions, no squeezed picture or any kind in that way...To solve this picture size mess is not my topic now because I am not a broadcast engineer to dig a more deeply. I am an artist only.

Go back to my edit HD portable on the Mac.

To test the thing how it would work you don't need so much than a BASIC stuff for video editing on portable Mac and that is:

Hardware:

1. JVC HDV Camcorder (Consumer or Pro, PAL or NTSC does not matter at the moment).
2. PowerBook G4 1.25 GHz with minimum 512 GB RAM, more better...tomorrow faster portable G5s...
3. FireWire Drive minimum 100 GB thats enough for the test, FireWire RAID Array recommended for longer duration work...vendors LaCie, MicroNet, others...
4. JVC D-VHS VTR Deck or soon JVC HDV mini VTR...
5. Firewire cables...
6. Mini DV tapes, consumer JVC, Sony or Fuji are fit the best.

Software:

1. Mac OS X Panther with the latest update, OS can be purchased directly from Apple Store at app can be purchased directly from Apple Store at [http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore/]
2. Apple Final Cut Pro 4 with the latest update, app can be purchased directly from Apple Store at [http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore/]
3. FREE Firewire DVHSCap a small app you can find in Developer Tools CD or download free from Apple Site...[http://www.apple.com]...look for developer site section...
4. FREE VLC player 0.7.0 or the latest version can be found at [http://www.videolan.org/]
5. FREE DIVA MPEG 1-2 Encoder can be found at [http://diva.3ivx.com/]
6. SheerVideo video codec can be used FREE for TEST 20 days or purchased from [http://www.bitjazz.com/]
7. G-DVNR or Chroma Noise filter for FCP in FREE beta version if you ask Greame Nattress if he is still sending for free(!?) at [http://www.nattress.com/]
8. Heuris Indie HD Toolkit can be purchased at http://www.heuris.com/
9. Apple DVD Studio Pro can be purchased from Apple Store Online
Basic optitional software for video/film postproduction includes:
- Visuals: Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator, Apple Shake, Pinnacle Commotion, Knoll...etc.
- Sound-Music: Apple-Emagic Logic Pro, Apple Garage Band, Avid-Pro Tools LE to HD, Propellerhead Reason...etc.

How about the WORKFLOW!?

1. Test HD shooting with that JVC HDV Camcorder and always check it out lighting conditions exterior or interior, white balance and shutter speed.
2. Capture your sequences on Firewire drive with Apple DVHSCap in m2t file folder. Heuris Indie Tookit app XtractorHD can capture/demuxed separately picture and sound and you can use a sound. With Xtractor I could not achieve a bigger picture size than W=720px H=404px that is good to watch and also you can straightforward to import in FCP BUT this picture sie is not big enough to achieve HD standards of sizes as 1280x720 or 1920x1080.
Because of that I use DiVA, import m2t file and encode in size 1920x1080 using Sheer Video Codec 10 bit or 8 bit and get a file size almost four times smaller than using Blackmagic or Apple 10 0r 8 bit uncompress codec. Actually that is a KEY of THIS solution to have a hight quality picture in a relatively small file size to store it in external firewire drive(s) for portable HD editing. Of course you could go with Apple or Blackmagic Uncompress Codecs but in that case you need a desktop computer like a dual G4 or the best dual G5. In that case you would need more than 1 TBs of fast HD-video disk RAID array.
That is not a portable HD solution by a budget or a mobility!
Also you should go in editing even with a smaller so called "a proxy file" in size 384x216 (also 16:9 ratio) using Apple Motion JPEG A to achieve all RT effects available in FCP 4 during your editing process. A bigger Sheer Video Codec files you need to call in FCP to replace your proxies when you finish your editing for a final rendering of your movie. If you are used to FCP you should know how to do it. I would not need to describe it now.

And what about now? You would like to output your movie in some certain media file.
There are two basic solution.
1. To store it on tape. In that case you would need to convert to MPEG-TS or m2t/ts file that your VTR (mini DV or D-VHS) or Camcorder can accept. That is coming up Heuris app from HD Indie Toolkit called XportHD. Honestly I still did not check it out the app simply because is not ready yet but in a week or two shoul be. But I tested already captured m2t files to return to Camcorder or D-VHS Deck and it works with a both, Apple DVHSCap and the Heuris's Indie HD Toolkit third app called XtoHD. Even with that Heuris app you can preview a movie via camcorder or D-VHS deck respectively and watch it through cam or deck's component output in HD on a big plasma screen, with HD powered beamer or Pro broadcast HD monitor. That means that you can do almost all the same as "a big brother" Hollywood HD editor that cutting on a desktop G4/G5 with HD card, BOBs, big RAID arrays and HD monitor(s). "Get Hollywood on your knees...with your Mac HD portable solution..."

So that is enough from me at the moment and I am waiting for your respective replay to discus certain issues.

Sanjin
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Old February 20th, 2004, 11:24 AM   #2
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Errata & the end

Hi again,

I would like to apologize for many grammar & typing mistakes but I am sure you would understand exactly what it is about in my text.

Now I would like to finish my text that it is a two solutions to output your movie. The first is a TAPE and the second is DVD.

For tape output I am waiting for Heuris HD Indie ToolKit, precisely the third app/plugin called XportHD that is not ready yet to ship but it will til end of February according to Heuris. This app can convert your movie to m2t file to be ready for transfer back in camcorder, dvhs deck or mini HDV VTR.

For DVD you would need Apple DVDStudio Pro to burn your DVD with Dolby Surround 5.1 (thanks to small add app A.Pack) that encoding your sound.

That's it!

"Hollywood on your knees...with Apple Mac Portable HD Solution" that is a cheaper, more elegant by hardware/software, more about the picture quality and finally easier than any other PC portable solution. I was trying with Sony VAIO 16" portable and it didn't work by OS, software/hardware and other apps. Always something was wrong. After 3 months try out I drop my portable Sony VAIO...

Sanjin
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Old February 20th, 2004, 02:04 PM   #3
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If you're using Heuris, why do you need the Virtual DVHS and other things? That doesn't make sense...

These editing solutions have been discussed at length here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=16812

The chroma noise reducer is interesting. This is your personal workflow, right? I don't think you need quite everything if you have the Heuris software...

heath
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Old February 20th, 2004, 02:40 PM   #4
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Mac Portable HD Solution

Heath,

First I did not mentioned Virtual DVHS, I clearly said that I am using DVHSCap and at the end it is a bit different app.
Actually I am testing everything that is available/affordable on the Mac for HDV at the moment.

Heuris is very OK bundle, but I could not achieve a picture bigger than 720x404 when I directly capture from camcorder or deck with XtractorHD, also that is fast app. For the test reasons once I tried with Paul Mogg's m2t files downloaded from internet with Heuris XtractorHD and it gave me a native picture dimensions of Paul's files that are 1280x720 (Wedding and Swan).

Everything in HD picture is about a quality.

I want to have sizes like 1280x720 or bigger 1920x1080 that are native HD file formats. These file format sizes PRODUCE A BETTER QUALITY in DVD MPEG-2 compression and also will be better for converting in m2t tomorrow.
Simply DVD with 1920x1080 basic file assets are much better quality compressed by DVD Studio Pro than Heuris HD Xtractor basic file in 720x404. I can proof it on DVDs to everybody who has chance to pass once Vienna, Austria.

Also there are other solutions about a quality of files to feed your NLE/FCP 4 and DVD software but more is on desktop side. Of course that I am considering all best options on that side too like component analog converting to digital via Aja A to D converter and after that to capture via HD card a la DeckLink, Aja, Aurora or CineWave. But we all waiting for next G5 upgrade and NAB in Las Vegas to see what are the new HDV horizons...who will prevail SOFTWARE OR HARDWARE solution. For portables software is only attractive option at the moment.

Sanjin
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 09:17 PM   #5
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Yikes, sorry it didn't work out! Good to know. Did you pay $5000 for it?

heath
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 01:59 AM   #6
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it works but...

Heath,

Heuris Indie HD ToolKit is very ok app, fast and easy of use if you compare with so called Open Source stuff, but I said that something is wrong with my Mac m2t files or Apple implementation of DVHS in Mac OS X Firewire Developer Tools that is named as a tool DVHSCap. Or Heuris mixed up wrong something. I said I could not achieve a resolution 1280x720 when I converted my Mac files or captured directly from camcorder via firewire. I've got 720x404 that should be a dimension that you can find in your dvd. Heuris Xtractor can capture and also to convert m2t files from your drive. But when I converted Paul Mogg's m2t (Wedding and Swan examples that you can find online) I have got or achieved 1280x720 directly from XtractorHD. So I am not technician or programmer to dig more in that problem. I can sniff a bit about a problem but that is sort of a gossip level and is not valid.

By the way I did not pay $5000, I paid $400 or intro price for the app that is coming up. But I am sure it will work at the end. Heuris is a serious company and not a bunch of bluffers. Read Heuris online profil.

Sanjin
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 08:29 AM   #7
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Oh I know about Heuris being serious and all, but they never seem to call anyone back or email anyone back. Very weird...

heath
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 08:52 AM   #8
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I know that too...

Heath,

I know that too,to tell you that I did the same before to try out get some more info about these apps, but nothing, no any reply. But I have feeling that at the end everything will be OK. I am not sure that JVC in their's campaign "HD to masses" will accompany someone without credibility. Japan Victor Company starting from Sep. 13. 1927. Long years ago. Have a look on their profile:

http://www.jvc-victor.co.jp/english/company/profile/index.html

And Heuris will do it, I am sure.

Sanjin
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 01:36 PM   #9
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Sanjin -- I wonder if you had the camera set properly when you did the capture. The files you got look more like a mini DV frame size than an HDV size. There is an MPEG-2 switch located under the fold out LCD monitor on the camera and you may have had it set to DV by mistake.

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Old February 23rd, 2004, 02:08 PM   #10
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Ken,

This is for the web and I still do not have a time to optimize QT mpeg4 compression to get less MB. But the thing is set up, it just waiting for bit more free time.

Sanjin
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Old February 27th, 2004, 12:44 PM   #11
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The PD1 is SD!

Sanjin,
I have a JVC GR-PD1 also, you will find that it is not possible to capture files of resolution any greater than 720 X 576 SD, the JVC does capture a 1280 X 659 Pixel image on the CCD but this is then downsampled to PAL Standard definition.

Dont ask me why JVC have done this in Europe. Probably because if they released a PAL? version of the JVC HD1 that shot 720P at (PAL) 25fps everybody would want this model, they'd also loose a lot of money from the big Cameras (Proper HD) and see sales of HD1's start to dry up.

However, if there is some way to capture footage from the PD1 at higher than SD res, id really like to know.
BTW the composite output only has the options of 576i or 576p so even if a pre comp signal can be obtained from the camera you cant get res any higher than SD.

Sam.
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