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Old October 10th, 2003, 11:08 AM   #1
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Saw this in a QuickTime email...

"The countdown begins for the release of Mac OS X v10.3 “Panther” and Mac OS X Server v10.3.

In just 14 days, filmmakers will be able to harness the power of Pixlet, one of over 150 new features in Mac OS X Panther. A breakthrough QuickTime codec designed especially for filmmakers, Pixlet delivers frame accuracy at HD resolutions within data rates and file sizes manageable by standard equipment. This means you’ll be able to accurately edit your clips on any Panther-equipped Mac with a 1GHz PowerPC G4 or faster processor without re-encoding.

And for those of you who manage QuickTime streams, Mac OS X Server v10.3 offers QuickTime Streaming Server 5, featuring QTSS Publisher. This innovative new tool auto-hints your QuickTime media tracks and lets you generate web pages with just one click and create and schedule playlists that can even be modified on the fly without interrupting your stream.

Visit Apple’s website to learn more about Mac OS X Panther and Mac OS X Server v10.3."

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Old October 10th, 2003, 11:23 AM   #2
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Note the word "edit" in the press release, this is a full-on editing HD codec, not just a playback codec as some have speculated. This is great news for HD1OU owners, assuming we'll be able to convert HDV footage to this format of course.
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Old October 10th, 2003, 11:27 AM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Paul Mogg : Note the word "edit" in the press release, this is a full-on editing HD codec, not just a playback codec as some have speculated. This is great news for HD1OU owners, assuming we'll be able to convert HDV footage to this format of course. -->>>

Edit? I didn't notice it...I guess it's time to get my eyes checked again...

Edit within Pixlet? Or use it to cut in FCP 3 or 4?

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Old October 10th, 2003, 11:37 AM   #4
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Edit with whatever QT supports on Mac (FCP, FCE, etc...), pixlet is a codec not a program but it is a QT codec thus supported in all QT compatible applications. So yes, it would be possible to edit using Pixlet. Is it a good idea? Frankly I think uncompressed material is best if you want to keep quality as high as can be. Pixlet would be good for playback of the end product in HD though.
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Old October 10th, 2003, 11:39 AM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Eric Bilodeau : Edit with whatever QT supports on Mac (FCP, FCE, etc...), pixlet is a codec not a program but it is a QT codec thus supported in all QT compatible applications. So yes, it would be possible to edit using Pixlet. Is it a good idea? Frankly I think uncompressed material is best if you want to keep quality as high as can be. Pixlet would be good for playback of the end product in HD though. -->>>

Will we need the QuickTime 6 mpeg2 encoder? I'll load it up anyway.

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Old October 10th, 2003, 11:48 AM   #6
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I do not know if Pixlet is an MPEG2 based compression but I do not think so. Anyway, there is not much information available on Pixlet for the moment. We will know soon enough.
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Old October 10th, 2003, 12:03 PM   #7
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The new press release out today on the Quicktime News website uses the word "edit" for the first time, quoted below. Even if Pixlet is used as a proxy for editing uncompressed footage it will be a huge step forward for Mac users, you'll be able to see HD resolution AS you edit, I hope, but we'll know for sure soon enough.


"In just 14 days, filmmakers will be able to harness the power of Pixlet, one of over 150 new features in Mac OS X Panther. A breakthrough QuickTime codec designed especially for filmmakers, Pixlet delivers frame accuracy at HD resolutions within data rates and file sizes manageable by standard equipment. This means you’ll be able to accurately edit your clips on any Panther-equipped Mac with a 1GHz PowerPC G4 or faster processor without re-encoding. "
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Old October 10th, 2003, 12:23 PM   #8
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You are right Paul, if it is indeed a QT codec it might be used for real-time editing but my point is that it would be a compression over an already compressed source material, this is not a very wise choice as it may be likely to worsen the compression artefacts, especially for compositing or color correcting.
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Old October 10th, 2003, 01:06 PM   #9
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True, but my point is that you would use Pixlet as your Offline format. Do your editing, compositing and color correction in Pixlet, then if you find there is degredation of quality, just point your final edit project to the original uncompressed HDV footage and let it render overnight (or the weekend as the case may be)....but we don't know yet what the quality degredation might be, it might be quite acceptable. Let's hope!
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Old October 10th, 2003, 01:12 PM   #10
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I agree it would be a great offline format
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Old October 10th, 2003, 02:16 PM   #11
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When the new os was first previewed months ago I seem to recall pixlet being mentioned as a high quality codec for online work...

Here is a PR blurb, looks more like a codec for offline work:

'Providing 20-25:1 compression, this studio-grade codec lets you encode your clips to be played back at half HD resolutions on any Panther-equipped Mac with a 1GHz PowerPC G4 or faster processer. And since it keeps all of your key frames in place without visible artifacts, you can easily and accurately edit your content without re-encoding. '

http://www.apple.com/enews/2003/07/11enews3.html

Also from http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,4149,1169790,00.asp :

'Jobs, in his dual role as chief executive of Apple and of CGI film studio Pixar, also announced that Apple had developed "Pixlet", a "breakthrough" QuickTime codec that allows film-grade digital video to be compressed and sent electronically from workstation to workstation. The codec saves data in a 48-bit-per-pixel format, and can accomdate up to 5.1 surround sound. Jobs smoothly scrolled a "half-DV" (960x540) trailer of Finding Nemo, and said the video could be worked with on a 1-GHz G4. '
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Old October 10th, 2003, 04:11 PM   #12
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"A breakthrough QuickTime codec designed especially for filmmakers,."

The key is the word "filmmakers." They edit OFFLINE on video proxies of their film sources. The proxy is not used for viewing the final version which is conformed film.

My 4HDV already uses this "proxy" approach. So if Pixlet offers size and quality benefits, then one can use it.

No matter what Proxy codec you use, you have to convert MPEG-2 to the codec before editing. (And, you must keep the MPEG-2 on some disk.) And, you must LINK the Proxy production back to MPEG-2 at the end.

Remember, HDV does NOT have timecode. No TC is passed from tape up the FW. So you can NOT re-capture after editing. You can't work like DV with a Photo-JPEG proxy.

Also for those talking about working in uncompressed, be sure you have 300 GIGABYTES for each hour of source. Plus without a PCI board, one can not play uncompressed smoothly. And, of course, there is no realtime!

One possibility is that Pixlet can be used both as 1/2 HD Proxy (for smaller files) and as a full HD alternative to MPEG-2. This might allow Mac users to work with Pixlet the way Aspect HD works with Wavelet. 4HDV already supports this alternative.

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Old October 11th, 2003, 09:02 AM   #13
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Interresting, I did not know Aspect HD worked with another codec (Wavelet). Does it degrade the image? A compression over an already compressed source seems very likely to degrade the image, doesn't it?
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Old October 11th, 2003, 12:43 PM   #14
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They say not and I see none. Remember they are going to a lightly compressed format compared to MPEG-2.
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Old October 11th, 2003, 05:47 PM   #15
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It would indeed be a very good alternative. Guess we'll have to wait and see.
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