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Old January 20th, 2004, 12:10 AM   #1
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What is a Matrox RT100?

I keep hearing these use of programs such as Premiere Pro. Are these the editing cards that are essential and preferrably better performance/power/speed compared to a regular traditional computer (nothing else)? Also, are these editing cards REQUIRED to produce fantastic results or only dependent in some programs like Premiere Pro... does Vegas also require one? I am new the the NLE scene, and where can I find out more info about the editing cards/systems like Matrox RT100 and its alike?
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Old January 20th, 2004, 02:12 AM   #2
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Usually cards like these are used for real-time effects, so when you want to see a dissolve/wipe or any other effect you might apply in real time without waiting for it to render, it will make use of the card. They're not essential for editing but I think they're one of those things that you can't live without once you have one :)
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Old January 20th, 2004, 02:28 AM   #3
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What's the noticable difference of real time vs rendering? I don't understand...
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Old January 20th, 2004, 02:52 AM   #4
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Basically:

Rendering is when you apply something other than a basic edit to a clip (filter, transition or other effect) and the computer needs to "think" about what it's doing. You get to sit and watch the hour glass do it's thing before you can move on to your next operation.

Sometimes imported footage analog to dv or otherwise and basic edits even need to be rendered.


Real Time is when you apply a transition, filter or some sort of effect other than a basic edit, the computer will play the video without rendering it. The video card will do it and you should notice no computer lag time letting you work faster.

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Old January 20th, 2004, 03:05 AM   #5
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Are there other advantages or noticable image/video quality improvements? or only performance (speedwise) & such?
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Old January 20th, 2004, 03:55 AM   #6
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I would think that the RT100 would let you hook up an external monitor and have access to analog inputs.

I had the Matrox RT Mac and it was worthless. Please know that this was just for this piece of hardware. It mostly worked.

The other cards may be better supported since the Mac was such a small market to them.

They have a good forum = www.matrox.com/video
Choose your equipment and follow the links down the rabbit hole.

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Old January 20th, 2004, 06:52 AM   #7
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David, here are my impressions of the virtue of cards like the RT100 and Canopus Storm 2 (neither of which I own, but have seen both demo'd up close):

1. Accelerated effects processing, up to real time depending upon complexity and PC power,
2. Bundled software, additional effects selections,
3. Faster learning through trial and error without waiting to see whether you like what you did or not.
My old DV Raptor card with Premiere 6.5 adds nothing but capture to the editing process (like firewire) and with a P4-1.8 I see render times of up to 2 minutes to look at a picture in picture effect with motion and titles (a 15-second segment in this case). If I change the length of one of the clips I have to sit for 2 minutes again. If I reposition the title, same thing. I can ALT scrub it and this often is enough but in the end you must see it in real time before committing to it.
4. More work done in less time, and impressive to clients sitting at your elbow.

If you just plain have the money and/or have enough work to need to get it done faster this hardware makes sense. The kind of editing you see from some music vids, WWF and NHL-style promos and the like is effects intensive and even a card won't make everything real time yet. If that's the kind of work you want to learn to do you'll spend a lot of time waiting without this added hardware support. If you're making travel videos and documentaries it's expensive for what you get.

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Old January 20th, 2004, 09:44 AM   #8
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A couple of extra notes: these systems mostly work with Premiere
(and sometimes After Effects) only!! Sometimes a couple
of other systems are supported, but not much.

Premiere also cannot playback the timeline when something
needs to be rendered. Therefor these cards can help that a
lot. That's where the line "You get to sit and watch the hour
glass do it's thing before you can move on to your next
operation." from Aaron comes from. In Vegas, for example, you
don't have to wait at all. It will playback sections that need
rendering as well. The difference is that Vegas is dropping
frames (only when playing back the timeline, when doing DV
output or output to a file it will render as well, ofcourse) instead
of requiring you to render. How much speed it is able to
maintain depends mostly on your CPU speed. Things like
dissolves are always realtime in Vegas (with a bunch of other
stuff). Color correction and wipes might not, depending on the
filter being used and the amount you have on that track.

Personally I can't work with Premiere (never could), somehow
doesn't click with me (that's not to say Premiere is bad or
anything, it's just not my "thing"). I've moved onto Vegas. This
means I can't use such cards to my advantage. I must say
however that with the basic work that I do (cutting, dissolves
and color correction -> sometimes 3 filters on one piece) I've
not very often wished for such a card. Yes I can see the frame-
rate dropping with 3 filters on the track (with my 900 mhz laptop,
haven't tried it yet with my new AMD 2200 machine), but I don't
need that realtime anyway. When I move frame by frame the
rendering of that frame is up within a couple of seconds, which
is fast enough (for me) to evaluate the effect(s).

I will do some tests shortly to see how much speed increase
my new AMD system is giving me.
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Old January 20th, 2004, 04:16 PM   #9
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Just to note. I did a quick test with my Lady X project on my new
machine and it definitely is a lot faster with Vegas. It played
back most of my stuff at 15 - 25 fps although it mostly had 3
color correction filters running on each single frame of the movie.
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Old January 20th, 2004, 04:35 PM   #10
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Alex is right, once you've worked with a card like the Matrox, you don't want to go back. It's beyond a capture card and eases the processing load on the computer. The breakout box that the Matrox ships with gives you options for monitoring audio and video as well as making inputing analog signals possible.

I'm using the RTX/100 with Premiere Pro and a Bella P series keyboard with the jog shuttle. Though I'm new at Premiere and have used 6.5, this system makes learning PPro AND editing easier and more enjoyable. But, as was mentioned, this particular card locks you into Premiere. Still, the bang for buck is great when you consider all the software + hardware acceleration.

A word of caution though, I know at least with the Matrox RTX/100, there are very specific recommendations for the computer system and components that use can use (for compatablitiy issues). This can tip the scales the other way if you had to spend too much to comply with their specs.

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Old January 21st, 2004, 12:34 PM   #11
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I guess you're right. I will most likely be getting an individual computer dedicated to NLE and with that kind of professional editing cards, with probably a budget around $3000 considering the card and the bundled software is around $1k, and $2k for the computer... but this won't be until the 2-3 years when I decide to get SERIOUS into film. I guess, right now, I am more of a serious hobbyist/crazed moviemaking guy!
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 11:42 AM   #12
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As has been pointed out, the RTX.100 is a dedicateed Premiere accelerator. With premeire pro it ads a bunch of real-time NLE functionality and features that you will not get with a simplr FireWire card and Premiere:

- Analog & DV I/O RTX100 allows you to capture both analog & DV footage. A good DV/AV converter will cost you over $200 bucks
Real-time analog, DV & MPEG2 output . Without the RTX100 hardware, Premeire Pro must render for output to tape. With the RTX100 you can playback directly from the timeline for final output. Even cooler, real-time MPEG2 output makes your DVD creation 2 or 3 times FASTER!

- Real-time color correction with TV output. Color correction needs a video monitor to get the best results. The Matrox color correction tool is very easy to use and the auto white balance is a great time saver.

- Matrox real-time 3D FX and filters. Matrox Flex 3D FX and filters are the envy of the industry. They deliver very high quality with superb keyframing tools. You can preview the FX while you are working with them on your external video monitor.

- The RTX100 single pass scan and capture A fantastic tool that goaesfar beyond batch capturing. On the fly your video is broken down into clips. unwanted clips can be deleted to free up disk space.

- For AE users the WYSIWYG video output is a very nice tool.

RTX.100 is very stable and reliable. Worht every penny for Premeire editors.

Gary
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