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Old December 14th, 2011, 03:19 PM   #1
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Best format to work with considering workflow for web video?

I'm in the market for a new camcorder and part of my decision is the workflow for web video. Since web video has become popular with mobile devices, the h264 will probably be the final format thanks to iPhones/iPads. I will be using Sony Vegas Pro 11 and want the easiest way to go from camera to Vegas to web.

So is AVCHD or mpeg-2 easier to deal with? I think one thing I've noticed is that AVCHD doesn't scrub smoothly, it instead jumps... but I don't know if there are other things to consider?

I know AVCHD requires some power but I think my i7 with 12gb ram should be able to handle it?

Thanks!
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Old December 14th, 2011, 05:12 PM   #2
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Re: Best format to work with considering workflow for web video?

All the formats you mention have long-GOP (group of pictures) which makes them difficult to scrub unless you have a very fast computer. Consider getting Cineform Neoscene. It can convert the video to an AVI file that has independent frames. You asked for the "easiest" workflow. That would be to use AVCHD and live with the scrubbing limitations, which might or might not be acceptable.

Another advantage of Neoscene is that it allows you to render masters or intermediates in Cineform directly from Vegas. You can render that one master and from that, render to the web, DVD, Blu-ray, etc.

Whether or not to get Neoscene (about $100) depends on the editing you do. If you just fade in, slap on some titles, do some cuts, add credits, and fade to black, don't sweat it. Don't scrub; just go back a couple seconds and play through your cuts. On the other hand, if you add effects, use video overlays, etc, Cineform encoding upstream will let you monitor that content at higher quality before it drops frames. Rendering a Cineform master means that the computer only needs to go through all those effects one time. From there, you can make a master project with only your master on the timeline and render more quickly to your multiple deliverables (DVD, BD, Web high, Web low, etc.)

Note that Hollywood often renders out hundreds of formats, including various languages, closed captions, G/PG/R ratings, resolutions, and formats for their popular material.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 05:46 AM   #3
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Re: Best format to work with considering workflow for web video?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Note that Hollywood often renders out hundreds of formats, including various languages, closed captions, G/PG/R ratings, resolutions, and formats for their popular material.
For the reason above I'd regard the acquisition/editing and delivery as two totally separate matters. It's good policy to acquire and produce in as good a quality as money etc allows, then have the best master for recoding to whatever is desired. And H264 comes in a variety of flavours.

Acquisition format may often as not be determined more by choice or availability of camera, but by and large then MPEG2 will be easier to natively edit than AVC-HD. Quality will depend on bitrate and individual equipment (not all coders are equal) but as a rule of thumb 35Mbs MPEG2 will be better than AVC-HD, HDV will be worse.
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