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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 January 16th, 2007, 05:12 AM   #1
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NewTek SpeedEdit

Just wanted to share my experiences with SpeedEdit the last few weeks.

First, I must admit I'm a bit biased to like it since most of my editing for the past 5 years or so, has been done on it's "predecessor", VTedit, so I feel very much at home editing with it. On the editing front, it offers the same features most NLE's do, slip and slide, ripples, etc... No surprises there, except for the ability to edit in a timeline AND storyboard simultaneously.

In any case, the first thing you'll notice inside SpeedEdit is the way you navigate your timeline. It sounds silly, but NewTek came up with the perfect way to zoom in and out and pan across your project. You'd have to try it to understand. It can save you hours in the long run. Every time I find myself doing something in Vegas, FCP, etc.. for whatever reason it becomes painfully evident how much better this aspect is in VTedit/SpeedEdit. Also, the thumbnails in your bins playback (the little image moves) when you roll your mouse over them, making it easier to locate the clip you're looking for. You can use hotkeys to make the rollover previews playback faster or in reverse. It sounds gimmicky, but it is really useful.

Another cool aspect is that you can continue making changes to your timelines WHILE the project is playing, making those on the fly adjustments faster. Performance wise it flies. It does real time native HDV editing and on a core2duo notebook I can do 2 streams with an overlay, DVE and color correction on both in real time. It feels like DV when doing HDV. It can also handle uncompressed in real time (as long as your raid is fast enough), it does avi and quicktime in real time. It can upres, downres, perform 3d rotations, crop, add shadows, borders, soft borders and blur in real time (How much so depends on how fast your system is, YMMV, but much more than any other software only solution) It can move very large jpegs in real time, with spline based motion. It has one of the most amazing color correction sets I've seen for the price, and it does so in real time.

It's resolution and frame rate independant up to 2k. It's monitoring tools include simulated fielding in the vga display, which I find very useful, and real time firewire hdv preview, although I haven't tested it yet. And above all things, my favorite feature is the scaling engine. It uprezzes and downconverts at least as good as After Effects can, but in real time! The image quality is amazing. It also reads HDV timecode. It also has a few things missing, given that it's at version 1.0, like capturing for devices other than firewire (so you need a third party app to bring in uncompressed), batch capturing, etc... But in general, the good things far outweigh the weaknesses. I fully recommend it to anyone interested in a really fast capable HD editor. It's affordable, capable, fast and fun. :)

Last edited by Rob Lohman; January 20th, 2007 at 06:42 AM. Reason: added some whitespace so it reads easier
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Old January 17th, 2007, 10:38 PM   #2
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Looks nice.

Couple of questions...

1) can you preview your HDV project with your firewire (most likely through a camera onto a high def monitor via component out on camera)? Impressed if it does, as Premiere Pro can't (without hardware, I believe).

2) can you import Adobe Premiere Pro .proj project files? I've been editing for a couple of months already using Premiere, and don't want to have to re-do everything again! (I don't think EDL export/import will be good enough).

I'd be interested in trying it out if the answer is YES to both of the above!

Also, this SpeedHQ codec it uses... surely you'd have to convert all your footage to use the codec, no? (much like Cineform .avi vs. native m2t)

Is there a trial? I definitely won't be spending $500 US on a product I can't see working on my machine with my footage loaded :)
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Old January 18th, 2007, 03:46 PM   #3
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1) Yes.

2) Unfortunately no.

From what I've heard, a demo will be available for download, but some licensing issues have delayed the demo. Right now, I think the only way to check it out would be to pay a local dealer a visit, but trying it out on the machine you would be using it on would be better.

Also, SpeedHQ is not meant to be an intermediate format the way Cineform is, as a faster alternative to native m2t editing. SpeedEdit handles native m2t fast enough so you can work natively without any extra generations. SpeedHQ is there for you to render out HD masters(also works in SD), or for FX sequences that require trips to compositing suites like after effects and such. You can use SpeedHQ the way any other codec, and I've found it useful for animations, complex titling (it handles alpha channels), stabilized shots, etc...
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Old January 26th, 2007, 06:43 PM   #4
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I just tested firewire output, and I'm happy to report my notebook can output 2 hdv streams in real time with dve's on both, soft borders, etc... OVER FIREWIRE. This is... no rendering whatsoever... HDV firewire out in real time! I couldn't believe my eyes. Processor was pegged at 95%, but still, vegas couldn't do this even over DV. This was HDV.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 07:04 AM   #5
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I'll give it a try when there is a trial version. Otherwise I'm happy with my premiere.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 01:13 AM   #6
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I found a sample video clip for anyone interested.

mms://streamer.newtek.com/SpeedEdit/SpeedEdit.wmv

cheers :)
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Old March 12th, 2007, 07:54 AM   #7
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I've seen demo's and have visited my dealer. In most cases these were on fresh , dedicated, quad-core systems and just a few random clips added to the timeline -with some cheesy effects thrown in. Nothing serious, tedious or work intensive. So, yes, you would have to try this out on your own system and see how it works for your style of editing.

Reading up on the newtek forum it's not without issues, as it's a first version, I'm waiting for some updates/patches before taking the plunge.

Still, at the very least, I think it might be worthwhile as post process tool for mpeg2 encoding, of which I heard it can encode faster than realtime if you have a killer system.
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Old March 13th, 2007, 02:47 AM   #8
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Yeah, well, SD mpeg2 encoding is not exactly speededit's forte. It's there and it works, but it's not as fast as you can achieve elsewhere and not the absolute best quality on the market (but not bad either). It's strength is editing. I agree, sometimes newtek demos are too simplistic and never really show a really overloaded timeline that more closely resembles everyday editing tasks, but it never fails to impress me when I start piling things up (and I've been using it and it's previous incarnation for quite some time.) It does choke, like any other editing tool out there, but every now and then you come across a certain point in your edit where you think you've gone too far and it'll just happily play it in real time, and that's when it really shines. Also, seemingly small things make a difference, like the way you navigate your timeline (All edit systems should do it NewTek's way). And the multiple media formats accepted right on the timeline is amazing. Nothing like dropping a vob copied straight from a dvd right into the timeline and have it work in real time. Or a quicktime rendered out from FCP. Or an avi from premiere or vegas. M2t, mpg, mov, avi, jpeg, tga sequence, you name it... Large stills can be scaled and moved in real time with quality at least as good as anything that comes out of After Effects. Every parameter is keyframeable and you can edit the keyframes with splines (unlimited number btw) to make every move behave exactly the way you want it to. And when I say real time, it's not like other systems, where you get a low res, half frame rate or whatever representation in real time, but really real time real time. The video window is of amazing quality (even low quality is world's ahead of anything I've seen elsewhere) and you can make it full screen and back in a snap to check everything full res, full frame rate, even fully fielded (it mimicks fielding on the pc monitor by displaying each field at 1/60th of a second). It also deinterlaces in real time with superb quality. And the scaling algorythms used are exceptional. I've done some side by side tests between speededit's real time HD to SD scaling and VirtualDub using lanczos and you can't tell them apart. (I've had bad experiences downscaling with other systems, blurry video, artifacts, you name it. I'm picky!) Of course, I've also had my share of issues with it (it's at 1.0), but nothing that'll make me even consider not using it in a production environment. I'm not a casual user btw. I spend most of my time editing full time.
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Old March 17th, 2007, 12:24 AM   #9
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well, i too am awaiting a demo, but what i really NEED to know right now is whether speededit can batch capture raw hdv footage.

please, if you know whether this works - post asap. i have clients moving to hdv and it appears vegas WONT batch capture.....

leslie
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Old March 17th, 2007, 03:31 AM   #10
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Well, it doesn't batch capture in the sense that you can't make a list of timecode ins and outs and leave the program to capture those segments unattended. It can, however, be left unattended for capture, as it can chop footage automatically during capture. You can also manually chop on the fly to break down longer takes. It also preserves the original footage timecode on the timeline, so EDL exports should reflect tape timecode correctly. And if you happened to erase your clips from your drive accidentally but still had the project file, you could just recapture the whole tape again and everything would fall where it should since timecode would be the same.
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Old March 17th, 2007, 04:03 AM   #11
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thanks luis for your reply...

i'm going through some headaches with hdv and time code -i've posted a thread here:

http://www.sonymediasoftware.com/for...6604&Replies=8

but the gist is:

a. client shoots tapes (there can be between 5 to 15 on any given project - some of which will have maybe 2mins of useful footage, and that scattered all over the tape). no cost/time to me.

b. client dupes tapes via firewire, both for tc purposes AND security since most footage would be irreplaceable. no cost/time to me.

c. client creates paper cut edl, and sends tapes and paper cut to me. no cost/time to me. (bob, both my clients who work this way ABHOR computers - they're old film men who sit in front of burnt-in tc making notes of i/o's on neatly laid out forms, in very neat, pedantic handwriting - one of them still uses a typewriter for all his correspondence - and they're both making money from what they're doing!!!)

d. i punch in edl using advance batch capture, using dsr11 (soon to be 15), and 'assemble' edits on timeline. both actions an acceptable billable item.

e. client flies in to studio where we fine cut, have wonderful, long lunches and produce master tapes and dvd's in pal / ntsc. again, acceptable billable items. (bob, neither of them have EVER come back and wanted any changes, be it shot, title, narration, etc)
end of story.

other methods have been suggested, but all seem to revolve around capturing whole tapes, etc, this all looks to be heading backwards, and adding costs to my productions that i feel uncomfortable passing on to clients.

if you have the patience, please pop over and read the thread...

again, thanks

leslie
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Old March 17th, 2007, 06:43 AM   #12
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You could, of course, manually capture the segments from the EDL passed on to you (it wouldn't have to be frame accurate, just ballpark) and then using the timecode inside your clips you could dial in the exact frames when you placed them inside your edit. The storyboard feature could be very helpful here, as you would place the clips in the order passed on to you and just type in timecodes for ins and outs. Of course, proper batch capturing would be very desireable and has been requested on the NewTek forums, but at this time, what I mentioned is the best you could do inside SpeedEDIT.

One of the reasons SpeedEDIT auto chops hdv footage (and you can't not auto chop) given by some of the developers involved, was that it was the only way to ensure a proper relationship between timecode and image inside a clip, because timecode inconsistencies in a long clip with camera starts and stops could lead to frame inaccuracies when editing the clips. Maybe Vegas follows this same principle.
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Old March 17th, 2007, 07:08 AM   #13
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hi luis,

again, thanks for your reply. i appreciate your constructive thoughts on the problem, and i know they make perfect sense given the seemingly insolvable problems that tc in hdv has, but at the end of the day, this is going to cost someone time, which also equates to money.

yes, i could manually capture 'ballpark' regions, then fine cut them - but with 400+ edits, scattered over any number of tapes, and within those tapes, it's going to be a Herculean task.

this is definitely a step backward. it would seem that the rush to get hd out in the market has been more geared towards a consumer / prosumer user base than as a professionally thought out format.

unfortunately i am at total loss as to how to approach the matter in a viable economic way, given that i am going to have to ask clients for more time / money to do extra steps that give them nothing in return.

sad state of affairs....

leslie
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