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Old November 13th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #1
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XDCam 350 in After Effects?

I'm trying to get video I've shot via XDCam HD into After Effects on a Windows box.

So far, I can get use it on an AfterEffects OSX system that also has Final Cut Studio installed, but nowhere else.

I could transcode all the video in Final Cut, and output it to an intermediate codec (ugh), but am looking for a prettier way.

Suggestions?
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Old November 13th, 2006, 03:24 PM   #2
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You need to install a Windows app that includes the codecs for XDCAM HD. That's why it won't play. FCP adds those necessary codecs on your MAC and all codecs are available to Quicktime so even it will play your XDCAM HD footage after un-wrapping the .MXF files.

What NLE do you have on your Windows machine? Most of the major NLE systems are starting to have full support for XDCAM HD so it might just be a matter of upgrading your NLE and then AE will work properly.

-gb-
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Old November 13th, 2006, 03:39 PM   #3
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Not quite that simple with Windows. AE won't accept XDCAM files. The only way to get it to do so is to transcode.

But then what do we expect from Adobe? A well programmed, efficient program? ;-)
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Old November 13th, 2006, 11:20 PM   #4
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In house -- with Macs -- I have no trouble.

We're sending out some graphics, which need to incorporate some video -- and I'm going to have to transcode a ton of stuff.

They are using AE on XP, and have Premiere Pro. Unfortunately, Premiere Pro doesn't support XDCam HD. There is a plug in, for (get this) $495, but it won't be availible until next year. I need something next week. I don't think there is any other way.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 12:02 AM   #5
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MainConcept MPEG 2 Premiere plug-in

Go to www.mainconcept.com and look at their Premiere plug-in for $399. It enables native XDCAM HD editing in Premiere, don't know about After Effects. I bought it and it works with some pretty annoying issues.

If you do a web search you'll find that it still has some known bugs (especially memory management), but I've talked to the MainConcept people and there is an update coming out that will fix the memory thing and "much more" according to the guy I talked to.

There are many things I don't love about this plug-in, but if you know who MainConcept is, you can have some expectations that it will probably be the best bet, but the promised upgrade is a necessity.

Short course on MainConcept. They are "the codec people" and they provide the MPEG 2 XDCAM HD capability for Vegas 7 and I THINK for Final Cut Pro. They are the biggest codec company in the world with over 80 full-time codec engineers. You are using their stuff now, but they are somewhat low profile so you may not have heard of them.

Now what is wrong with their Premiere Pro plug-in? On my computer, which is a quad Opteron with 4 GB of Ram and a four-drive SATA 2 array:

1) You can't get high def monitoring, like Vegas you have to go external via a firewire device at standard def. This really pissed me off, since my Matrox Parhelia graphics card enables this for just about everything else, including Premiere with Cineform or even just without the MainConcept plug-in.

2) Once you bit the bullet and go through your firewire device at SD, playback to your external monitor is still quite jerky, obviously not at full frame rates. It's better if you disable the preview window on the computer screen.

3) I've had audio sync problems, even coming out firewire for picture AND sound, which makes no sense to me, but that is better and at least sort of okay.

4) Projects using their codec open unbelievably slowly, like take a nap, have a long lunch or board a cruise ship.

5) To add to the above problem, the progress bar graph stops about 7/8 of the way and doesn't move again, making you think that the application has locked. Which I thought it was and rebooted many times, even completely replaced a project with fresh import of all files.

6) Something else to do with importing files has the same behavior as above, can't remember exactly what it was, but another looooooooong wait. Got called away once by a phone call or something and discovered that what I thought was a freeze-up wasn't. That made me think, maybe the project opening is the same, and I gave it much more time, it opened.

7) My Blu-Ray burner doesn't seem to see or ingest the MPG or M2T files the plug-in generates.

Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Hopefully the "soon-to-come" upgrade will fix at least ome of the above-listed problems. But for now, it does enable XDCAM HD to go on the timeline and it is the only game in town. Or for a few bucks more buy Vegas.

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Old November 14th, 2006, 02:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
like Vegas you have to go external via a firewire device at standard def
?? You can use the AJA and BlackMagic cards with Vegas for monitoring.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 02:44 AM   #7
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True, but $$$$$$$$$$

Simon,

I know that those solutions work, of course, but without MainConcept I don't have to use such an expensive bit of hardware -- my Matrox Parhelia works just fine.

And since I don't need HD SDI for ingest or output, I would be spending at least $1,000 just to get monitoring. Then of course my studio monitor, unlike my field monitor, doesn't support HD-SDI so I'd have to get a solution that offers analog component out or maybe HDMI.

All of this is not good from my point of view when just about every Windows application I've tried (except Vegas which is also MainConcept) can write the video overlay out via the Matrox Parhelia's HD component.

Then of course there would be the additional hardware and drivers which from my experience could introduce compatibility issues and other variables that can become causes of trouble.

What I'm doing now is to check sharpness, etc. by transcoding materials to the Cineform intermediate then going back to work using the SD 1394 view from MainConcept.

Thanks for the response!

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Old November 14th, 2006, 02:52 AM   #8
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Hmmm.

Now my Geforce can output to two monitors. I can have the desktop span from my PC LCD monitor to the HD component output from the Geforce card.

Now, Vegas 7 can also select a second display as a full screen monitor. So if you set Vegas to do this you could monitor high def over the component output of your card.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 03:19 AM   #9
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No cigar....

Close, I've had Vegas monitoring on the second computer monitor and that's no problem, but there goes the screen real estate for working and the color rendition is not TV. I also don't know if that goes up to HD rez or not.

With my system, it's the third monitor that is dedicated to real HD and that comes off the Parhelias component output, not the VGAs (or DVIs).

It would seem that there would be a solution to this somehow since the Vegas manual doesn't necessarily rule out a Parhelia working as a special case, in fact makes no mention of such hardware, but rather just offers the generality of the firewire output.

Nonetheless, in both MainConcept driven Premiere and Vegas, to date I can't get the Parhelia to output component HD. It's not in either of their menu structures to do that, nor is it something you can do in the Matrox active desktop (or whatever it's called) configuration utility.

If you can figure this one out, I'll go from "close but no cigar" to what kind of cigar can I buy you, sir!

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Old November 14th, 2006, 03:53 AM   #10
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If it is a third monitor you are using, then can't you set the desktop to spread over them? Then just use two monitors for editing, and drag the Vegas preview window over to the third (component)? As I say, my card allows me to spread the desktop over to the component monitor, so I would just have to drag the Vegas preview window over to it.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 11:28 AM   #11
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Close but....

Simon,

I can and have gotten playback to a window in my second monitor, although it didn't look HD and might not be on mine. But since yours is going component out it might be quite a different animal. With my set-up it is not an acceptable solution.

The third monitor is a "special" as Matrox calls it and is normally sent the video overlay. Why it can't be sent the video overlay from Vegas or MainConcept, even SD or whatever, is beyond me.

Now keep in mind that sending HD to the special monitor works as advertised with everything BUT the MainConcept plug-in and Vegas. I've mentally adjusted to going SD for now, but it is an area of improvement they should look at in one of their upgrades.

Circling back to your situation, since your second monitor is component, did you buy a flat panel LCD TV to use there, or what is getting that YUV or RGB signal?

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Old November 14th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #12
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Hi Tip,

My situation is different as I edit SD, so I don't need such a setup. So the suggestion was just off the top of my head.

Sounds a shame that this cannot be made to work currently.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 04:11 PM   #13
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True...

Simon,

It is a shame, but hopefully one that will not have to endured forever by the two principal PC HD editing systems. Or is there Edius in my future?

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