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Old January 4th, 2006, 07:54 PM   #16
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ot

ot - FCP extreme
Yeah Craig - I read that, too. Wonder wtf it means - sketchy tho'.
Is it going to be a software/hardware bundle, software only ? Or some "high end for film" arrangement ??? Bells and Infini Bands thrown in, support for render farm et al ?
Not that I'll be coughing up for that rig.

Good to see that Apple will be supporting both HD-DVD and Blu-ray !
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Old January 4th, 2006, 08:16 PM   #17
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Actually it's very relevant to this thread.

Sony has Vegas but they also have Xpri. Avid has Nitris, etc. Some feel Apple may move beyond a single scalable NLE.

It may also mean that Apple has paid a hefty license fee somewhere for some proprietary codec which will have limited mass appeal.

Imagine just as a Vegas user may be concerned about the lack of DVCProHD support on their system, Mac users may end up facing the very same thing with another codec.

Imagine their wrong about the rumor of Red being $200,000. What if it's more like $70,000 but one needs Final Cut Extreme to have the codec. While it may not affect the smallest independent shops but some folks who want to enter into larger market (regional/national) TV commercials would be cut off IF such a camera in that price range were a big hit. Right now you can edit something shot with a Varicam with your $2500 Mac and your $1200 Final Cut Studio software kit (with the usuall needs for HD monitor and a deck to rent).

It's all speculation but I suspect there's some very expensive licenses Apple had to pay and, in addition, it's going to be tied in to some very expensive hardware. As to whether FC Extreme will have a change in interface or other features is an interesting question. Apple tends NOT to do that (but things can change).

The issue Sony and Avid users and those of other NLE makers have with diversified product lines is STEEP upgrade costs and often radical feature/interface changes.

In the Apple world, right now if you had Final Cut Express you wouldn't be able to edit DVCProHD either but it's a $399 NLE and the upgrade to Final Cut PRO (full Studio with all the other programs too) would be an $800 or so expense.

Sony Vegas owners don't have that relatively small jump up option. They either need to make a big jump or jump ship. Avid IMHO has some big jumps too for Express to Adrenaline to Nitris.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 08:18 PM   #18
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DV Film Maker/Vegas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
You can also go with DV Film Maker and use it to open MXF files and transcode from DVCPROHD to other Vegas-friendly formats. This is probably the cheapest solution for us Vegas users right now. But not all that convinient, yet still a workable solution if you need to be cost-effective and hold out for a better PC solution.
Jeff,

Thanks for letting me know of some options. Much appreciated. I have a few questions about this process you mentioned of using DV Film Maker/Vegas: Will I be able to use all the variable frame rates, and then drop them into a 24P project for slow motion effects? Also, will going this route result in any loss of image quality?

thanks,

Jeremy
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Old January 4th, 2006, 08:52 PM   #19
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Good stuff, Craig !
Cheers, r
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Old January 4th, 2006, 09:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
Avid's Xpress Pro HD will also work with the camera and can be had for around $1500. However, its MXF support is buggy and incomplete and their DV100/DVCPRO support is also a bit flakey and incapable of real-time performance. Neat, eh? Check out the Avid area over at dvxuser.com as there's a couple threads discussing Avid with the available HVX200 footage. In Xpress, you would essentially have to load the DVCPROHD clips and then convert them to QNxHD (Avid's own HD codec) and then work with them, but this isn't very pretty and IMO offers nothing over the next solution...
Jeff,
I do a lot of editing on Xpress Pro HD and find Avid's support of MXF to be great! All real time, no problems.

Xpress Pro HD works with DVCPro HD clips natively, so there's no need to convert them. You can then perform a digital cut back to a DVCPro HD device right over the firewire, real time.

Do you have any experience using Avid's codec, DNxHD? I think the quality of this codec looks gorgeous. I rarely can tell the difference between native HD footage and DNxHD-processed footage. And the subsequent footage only takes up the bandwidth and storage footprint as uncompressed SD! That makes it ideal for laptop use and shared storage as well.

There are several TV shows that use DXnHD on a regular basis. American Idol and Late Night with Conan O'Brien are two that come to mind. I watch Conan occasionally using an over-the-air HD tuner and love the quality I see.

DNxHD is a mastering codec designed for multi-layer, multi-generation compositing, and its processing is done in 10-bit space. Please tell me if there are any examples you know of where DNxHD falls apart or DVCPro HD footage doesn't work properly with a adequately equipped Avid system. I will try and replicate your examples and report back my findings.

Regards,

Joe Womble
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Old January 4th, 2006, 11:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Womble
Jeff,
I do a lot of editing on Xpress Pro HD and find Avid's support of MXF to be great! All real time, no problems.

Xpress Pro HD works with DVCPro HD clips natively, so there's no need to convert them. You can then perform a digital cut back to a DVCPro HD device right over the firewire, real time.
Joe,

Thanks for the input, but you have me somewhat perplexed. So many of us were reading reports like yours about Xpress Pro HD and had figured it to be our solution on the PC. However, myself and several other Avid users (or those taking it for a test drive at a local dealer like myself) here and on dvxuser.com, have all found several issues with HVX200 support in Xpress Pro.

Avid's DVCPROHD implementation is dog-slow. Most users are only getting 4~6 fps for "real time" playback. I was getting real-time for a single stream of 720p24 after a few system tweaks on the system I was working with (and a rather powerful one too). Moving to two simultaneous streams once again brought performance to a grind.

1080 clips from the HVX don't load properly half the time. Xpress Pro thinks they're XDCAM. We have to manually finesse the MXF files over to the MXF/1 folder to load them. Once loaded, Avid won't let us do any reverse telecine to extract 24p from the 1080i stream while in native DVCPROHD format. ...Obviously this is because DVCPROHD doesn't support 1080p, but why can't we do the reverse telecine as we convert to DNxHD? It seems that it works with other codecs.

Yes, I have some experience now using DNxHD over the past several days. This is the *ONLY* way to work with HD in Avid. After we go through the brain damage of getting DVDPROHD into AVID, we have to transcode to DNxHD so that we can actually use our footage. ...Because as I already said, Avid's DVCPROHD implementation sucks.

Once converted to DNxHD performance is a lot better. The dual core PentiumD system I was working on with a 4-drive RAID could easily work with 3 to 4 streams of 720p in real time. Not great compared to what FCP or Edius do natively with DVCPROHD or what I've seen of Cineform, but entirely usable and very smooth right up until Avid hits its limit.

If this all sounds wrong to you, please let me know what I (and more than a dozen other Avid users I've discussed this with) are doing wrong. Because if I could spend $1500 and move to Xpress Pro HD for my edit platform and get performance comparable to FCP, I would love to do it! But as of right now, I'm actually having better luck with DVFM+Vegas and if I'm going to spend money, to upgrade, I'm going for a NLE that I don't have to transcode the video right off just to use it and I'll spend the extra for a Mac+FCP.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 11:42 PM   #22
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Jeff,

I will do some more testing and get back to you. Don't have an HVX as of yet, so it may take a little while...but I'll report back either in this thread or by starting a new one.

Regards,

Joe
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Old January 4th, 2006, 11:53 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Rumas
Will I be able to use all the variable frame rates, and then drop them into a 24P project for slow motion effects? Also, will going this route result in any loss of image quality?
Yes and no.

Yes Maker can import all the variable frame rates and export a .MOV that lets you work with them; that's how I was able to do the Frame Rates article on DVXUser. However, Maker uses the Avid codec, and the Avid codec has weird integration with Vegas. Vegas insists that all the files are 1920x1080 (even the 720p files) and insists on scaling the footage to that size. That's not good. And the Avid codec is slow slow slow in Vegas.

Fortunately, there appears to be a solution; DVFilm is introducing a new app called DVFilm RayLight, which will include their own realtime, properly-sized, properly-integrated codec. Should be a press release in two days time, stay tuned to DVFilm.com.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 12:05 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green
And the Avid codec is slow slow slow in Vegas.
The Avid codec is slow slow slow in Avid's software too.

Quote:
Fortunately, there appears to be a solution; DVFilm is introducing a new app called DVFilm RayLight, which will include their own realtime, properly-sized, properly-integrated codec. Should be a press release in two days time, stay tuned to DVFilm.com.
Sweeeeeeeet!

I've found a few ways to work-around some of the Maker issues and bringing the video into Vegas, but none of them convenient, ideal or guaranteed to work every time. Hopefully this will bring us another step closer. ...Yet that Mac keeps calling me.... It's taunting me... I must resist as long as I can. Hehe.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 12:09 AM   #25
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Come over ...

Come over, Jeff.

You know you want to.

We are waiting ...
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Old January 5th, 2006, 03:22 AM   #26
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Probably DVFilm Maker 2.21 is what you want.
The program converts native HVX200 mfx files to standard AVIs that all windows based editing programs can use - Vegas Video among them. Currently they have just a demo available (which I haven't tested). But the full version is supposed to come out early January.
See http://www.dvfilm.com
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Old January 5th, 2006, 03:39 AM   #27
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For clarification, there's a program beyond DVFilm Maker. DVFilm is introducing RayLight, which is what Maker was, but also includes a realtime codec. I'm sure Maker will continue as its own product, but RayLight seems to be specifically packaged/bundled for the needs of the HVX user.

If this is implemented properly, it could make Vegas and Premiere Pro as viable an editing platform as FCP is. FCP makes you unwrap/rewrap the MXF, and so will RayLight, so -- maybe this is what we've been looking for...

Beta should be announced in a couple of days.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 11:30 AM   #28
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YES!

Hopefully this works well for Vegas!
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Old January 5th, 2006, 08:24 PM   #29
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Barry and everyone else,

Thanks for all the info. So it looks like there is some light at the end of the tunnel for us Vegas users. Good to know.

Jeremy
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Old January 5th, 2006, 10:39 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Doppelbauer
Probably DVFilm Maker 2.21 is what you want.
The program converts native HVX200 mfx files to standard AVIs that all windows based editing programs can use - Vegas Video among them. Currently they have just a demo available (which I haven't tested). But the full version is supposed to come out early January.
See http://www.dvfilm.com
DVFilm Maker 2.21 (demo version) is what I've been playing with. Works pretty good converting the raw MXFs. Although conversion for use in Vegas is a 2 or 3 step process depending on what you want to do. You MUST get it out of the DVCPROHD codec since Avid's codec is unusable. This is an ugly solution right now, but it does work. Definitely doesn't save any time compared to log and capture of DV tape. Kinda shoots the whole tapeless workflow theory right in the head. And grossly inflates drive space requirements due to the extra conversions...
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