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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old March 16th, 2008, 06:43 PM   #91
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I use MPEGStreamClip for many things.

The Mac Sony Transfer Tool rewraps to .mov which is what Final Cut Pro works with.

Unfortunately I don't see .m2v as one of the options from .mov.
It can convert .mov to other formats but not .m2v.

MPEGStreamclip
Converter features:
– from MPEG, MPG, VOB, PS, M2P, MOD, VRO, DAT, DCM, VDR, PVR, TS, M2T, MTS, MMV, REC, VID, AUD, AVR, TP, TP0, TRP, TOD
to MPEG, TS, REC, VID, M2V, AIFF, M1A, AC3


Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Kraft View Post
Craig, Adam, and all others on Macs and Windoze,
to downconvert use MPEGStreamClip which does a hell of a job.
Better then FCP and anything else myself and many others have ever used.

Download for free from: www.squared5.com
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Old March 16th, 2008, 09:42 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Kraft View Post
Craig, Adam, and all others on Macs and Windoze,
to downconvert use MPEGStreamClip which does a hell of a job.
Better then FCP and anything else myself and many others have ever used.

Download for free from: www.squared5.com
i wont be able to try it till tomorrow but if what craig says is true than i guess it doesnt matter.

peter how do you use MPEGStreamClip to convert HDV to SD m2v file, sounds like it doesnt do that.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 12:31 AM   #93
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Workflow that works WELL for me

Although i havent compared results side by side by some of the virtualdub and mpegstream methods, i can confirm that my 1080p hq vegas 8 mpeg conversions that i burn to DVD are almost like watching the original on the timeline (almost). I must admit i had to play around with a lot of settings as at first i was getting washed out, soft and standard dv looking video.

I finally came up with a workflow and changed some settings, half of them i wasnt sure what they were doing but they seemed logical from reading the manual and now im very happy. I understand that 'reasonable' quality is going to be subjective and one mans 'good' is another mans 'blah' but honestly for me personally im very pleased with what im looking at and im usually very fussy.

Anyway, just in case anyone’s interested to give this a go, heres my workflow for PAL VIDEO, but obviously for NTSC just changed settings were applicable:

1.set my properties to 1080 50i, then changed the field order to none, set the project to 32 bit, change the compositing gamma to 2.222, set full resolution rendering to best and deinterlace method to none

2.set my scopes to show me studio rgb

3.complete my edit on the timeline along with multi layer colour grading

4.once my edit is completed I add a sharpen filter to the video track and set it to 200, or if i have multiple video layers acting as colour transfers etc i add 120 to each (i know the numbers dont add up but after many tests this is what looks best to me)

5.then I render to mpeg2 then choose the DVD Pal template then hit custom

6.once in custom on the project tab I make sure video rendering is on best

7.then on the video tab I set my aspect ratio accordingly and slide the quality slider to maximum

8.also in the video tab I set the ‘profile’ to HIGH and set the ‘level’ to HIGH

9.I set the I Frames to 15 (recommended for dvd) and make sure the field order is set to none.

10.lastly on the video tab I leave the variable bit rate at its default but I do check the two pass option

11.on the advanced video tab, I change the vbr buffer size to 1194 and sampling format to 4:2:2

12.in the dc coefficient I set the value to 10bit, or 11 bit if I don’t have much motion in my video

13.I leave the rest as it is, save the settings as a new template then hit render

14.voila, I now have a stunning looking mpeg

i have tested this method on all sorts of footage under different lighting conditions and shutter speeds and all produced nice results.

One thing to mention though is i usually apply a computer to studio rgb to my timeline which seems to give my images a lighter, more open look which is easier for me to grade however i notice if i do this then render out with my above procedure, it results in a nice image but slightly washed out in the colour and brightness so i stay away from it now if i know my output is for dvd and instead i just manipulate my black levels by starting with a reset to none 'levels' filter applied to individual clips.

Hope this helps someone out there, as if your like me you dont like the idea of using all sorts of third party plugins/programs for resizing etc.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 07:25 AM   #94
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Daniel.
I haven't done any of this and my dvd's still look good.
I'm going to try exactly your settings today,i'll let you know how my dvd's look.
Question, are you watching the finished dvd on CRT or LCD tv ?

I've tried setting the profile to high in the video tab,my finished dvd looked terrible.

Also if if i set my project preferences to field order to none,couldn't hardly edit with that,pciture very unsmooth,also the 32 bit just makes it worse aswell.
Render as DVD PAL,,, not widescreen ?
.

I'll try theses settings today and post my findings.

Paul.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 09:39 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Unfortunately I don't see .m2v as one of the options from .mov.
It can convert .mov to other formats but not .m2v.
You are absolutely correct. All I wanted to say was, use MPEGStreamClip to downsize from HD to SD. IMHO it does the best job of all apps I know.

I am downrezzing using the MotionJPEG B codec, 75% Quality.
Gives outstanding results. Interlaced material is de-interlaced with Maker
from www.dvfilm.com which yields wonderful motion blur, reducing interlace artefacts.

I have to encode to m2v then, which I do using the Main Concept' MPEG2 encoder. Goes for Mac as well as for Win ( www.mainconcept.com ). Sometimes I do opt for the Bitvice encoder instead ( www.innobits.se ). Download the free trial version. Many a DVD studio uses either one of these two encoders. For good reason, I think.

Hope this helps
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Old March 17th, 2008, 09:46 AM   #96
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Ok Dan,i tried your settings.

Picture is stunning,,,until pans start,then it looks terrible,all smoothness is gone,i've tried to correct this using different setting but my mpeg-2 picture goes back to how it was before,smooth with quite good quality.
I've tried different project preferences,these don't appear to affect the finished article.,so obviously this leaves the render template.
Any suggestions. ?

Thanks,Paul.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #97
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Hi Paul, glad you had some if little success with my workflow. Im not sure why the pans arent working out, however you could try lowering the dc coefficient setting and see how that works. Ive tested this method on slow/fast pans and hand held tracking shots and it seems to hold up however i believe i forgot to change my project settings 'deinterlace method' so during those particular tests i think i left my deinterlace method to 'blend fields', not sure if this would bare any result on the final render as like u said it seems to be overwritten on render. Im going to play around with it some more to see how it all holds up under extreme filming conditions and report back. You asked what im viewing my footage back on, as i always do i monitor first on my jvc broadcast crt then my regular crt television then my 30" consumer HDTV. I tend to feel i have it right when all 3 displays display a pleasing picture.

Oh and a side note, my editing in vegas since using 32bit has always been a hassle, it feels like vegas doesnt handle cpu's as well as it could and i never get real time playback, so i just leave it in 8bit until it comes time to adding colour etc which is still a pain.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 10:18 AM   #98
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MPEG Streamclip seems to offer an even better quality than virtualdubmods' smart resize filter!

Exporting to H264 Mov works nice, too :)


regards Dennis
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Old March 17th, 2008, 11:05 AM   #99
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Thanks Dan,i'll try that.
Bitten by the bug now !!! hehe
The pans look like 25p footage. Whenever i render footage it's got to be rendered upper field first to get good results. The vegas manual also confirms this,upper for tv,lower for dv,none for pc monitor.
Also,if i record in 720/50p or 1080/50i,the finshed SD DVD looks the same. I just find 720/50p easier to edit with,load smoother,especially with 2nd monitor on.

Thanks,Paul.
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Last edited by Paul Kellett; March 17th, 2008 at 11:08 AM. Reason: more info
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Old March 17th, 2008, 11:37 AM   #100
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OK, so after more tests it seems everything looks real nice except for slow pans. Theres the odd occasion where a slow pan will look nice but after doing extensive tests it seems that most pans will look horrible. So Paul as you said, setting an interlaced method does solve this but on testing this with various sources of footage it brings me back to getting mixed results. So im off to do more shooting and encoding to see what i can come up with.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 11:40 AM   #101
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Dan.
After getting mixed results with your settings,i've gone back yo your original settings and the finished mpeg doesn't look as good now,strange,i've checked and rendered the same piece of footage 3 times.

Paul.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 11:54 AM   #102
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thats weird, that has happened to me quite a bit in the past and i never figured it out. Exact same render settings on the exact same footage can come out looking very different sometimes, However this only happens to me using vegas so im not quite sure what's going on there. At the moment tho im getting near enough the same sort of results, everything looks very good aslong as there are no tripod pans, and if there is then i compensate. I think i may give the other methods of downscaling a go aswell to see if theres a complete and easy way to get a nice looking mpeg2
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Old March 17th, 2008, 01:51 PM   #103
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I have downloaded some clips from here and within Liquid I have exported as SD DVD and I find the result outstanding. In contrary what I see from my own shootings from Z1 and HV20 and some clips from XHA1 to SD DVD, they look really poor compared to EX1 m2t>to DVD files. This is a fantastic camera.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 08:02 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Schmitz View Post
MPEG Streamclip seems to offer an even better quality than virtualdubmods' smart resize filter!

Exporting to H264 Mov works nice, too :)
Dennis can you frameserve to MPEG streamclip from your NLE? Can you expand on your workflow using this method. Did you export the "squared 5" MPEG streamclip straight to MPEG2 for a SD DVD or did you create an intermediate file or frameserve to another encoder?

Also did you use MPEG Streamclip beta version?

Is this is a quicker & higher quality method than your previous workflow? Is anyone able to test this with both interlaced & progessive footage? I wonder how this software manages with the detail set to 'on' in the camera settings. I presume it is still best to have this off?

I feel this thread is really progressing towards a manageable workflow that can produce great SD DVDs. Great work! (Sorry if I ask too many questions!)
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Old March 18th, 2008, 06:34 AM   #105
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Ok,i've tried different settings based around Craig's settings.
Project preferences make no difference at all to the finished article,
the finshed article being an actual DVD,not just an mpeg-2 render which i'm watching in VLC or windows media or whatever.
My finished mpeg-2's with my settings look crap on my pc,however when they're burnt to DVD and played back on a tv they look good.
Craig,your settings look very good on pc ,until shots start panning,then they loose all smoothness,it was this which i was trying to get rid whilst fiddling with your settings.

So i'm currently using Bill Raven's PP,with detail on,i don't add or take away any sharpening in post.
I render as MPEG-2 for DVD-A. I'm happy with the results. It makes no difference (to my eye) wether the original footage was shot in 720/50p or 1080/50i.

Paul.
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