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Old August 8th, 2007, 03:35 PM   #1
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Cineform Codec in Vegas?

Ive been considering purchasing NEO HDV, and have read that Vegas 7 already has the codec. My question is, how do I convert a m2t. file to the codec? Do I drop it in the timeline, then render it as such? I dont see anything about Cineform in the "render as" drop down menu. Also, what are the advantages of using NEO as opposed to the codec already in Vegas. I realize it comes with additional features, but are they just extras or will they actually improve the performance of Vegas? Thanks!
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Old August 8th, 2007, 04:08 PM   #2
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I am also curious what codec sony uses by default, high quality? medium? and what is the compression type lossless? or lossy in that how many times can it be rendered and re rendered before obvious loss occurs.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 05:41 PM   #3
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the codec has a very little genreation loss, so you should be able to render and re-render a few times before your eyes pick up on it. You wont see an option for the codec straight away from the drop down list because its within each file format, for example...choose to render your video to AVI, when you go to the custom settings of AVI you will see you can choose to use the cineform codec within an AVI wrapper, same goes for wmv, mpeg2 etc.

also this extract should help you about what you get extra with NEO:

Vegas 7 includes CineForm's codec - do I need NEO?

Vegas 6 and 7 both ship with basic CineForm Intermediate HDV codec components for an improved HD editing workflow. But NEO includes a number of additional visual quality and workflow enhancements for users of Vegas 6 and Vegas 7. NEO includes HDLink, our I/O and format conversion utility that operates externally to Vegas, plus a DirectShow implementation of our CineForm Intermediate HDV codec. HDLink supports most AVI files, many MOV files, plus MXF P2 files and HDV. With these extra components, NEO offers:

Capture and conversion directly into CineForm Intermediate from HDV camcorders external to Sony Vegas.

Supports Panasonic HVX200 DVCPRO HD (P2 MXF)

Noticeably faster conversions into CineForm Intermediate with HDLink than rendering from the Vegas timeline.

Faster Vegas timeline editing performance for CineForm Intermediate files converted using HDLink1

Multiple quality modes selectable during render operations from the Vegas timeline

Improved threading on 4+ logical/physical CPU cores for applications that use DirectShow decoders (Windows Media Player)

Conversion of Sony CineFrame-25 material to 24p for film (including audio remodulation)

Inverse telecine processing on Sony's 24p (in 60i) material such as from the new HVR-V1U

Inverse telecine processing on CineFrame-24 material to yield a 24p film workflow

Support for the 24p mode of JVC's HD100U for a true 720 p24 workflow

Support for Canon's 24F / 30F modes for a true 1080 24p / 30p workflow

Spatial / temporal resampling

"Image flip" during capture to support Redrock Micro's innovative "M2" lens adapter for increased depth of field

Export .m2t files back to HDV camcorders external to Vegas 6 /7
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:03 PM   #4
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In general, Cineform gives better timeline performance than m2t in Vegas 6.
In general, m2t gives better timeline performance in Vegas 7.

This is apart from the other reasons you might choose Cineform (more robust color space, multiple generations without visible loss, etc.)
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Old August 8th, 2007, 10:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
In general, Cineform gives better timeline performance than m2t in Vegas 6.
In general, m2t gives better timeline performance in Vegas 7.

This is apart from the other reasons you might choose Cineform (more robust color space, multiple generations without visible loss, etc.)
I have first hand experience with the above configuration and Seth is 100% correct.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 10:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
In general, Cineform gives better timeline performance than m2t in Vegas 6.
In general, m2t gives better timeline performance in Vegas 7.

This is apart from the other reasons you might choose Cineform (more robust color space, multiple generations without visible loss, etc.)
I guess im confused by your response. Your saying the Cineform is more beneficial in 6, but just using a vegas captured m2t. performs better in 7? Seems to contradict the next statement you made. Did I misunderstand? Sorry for the confusion!
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Old August 8th, 2007, 10:28 PM   #7
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After re-reading again, I think I understand what your saying. Using the built-in cineform codec in 6 helps with performance. Yet, using it in 7 doesnt improve performance unless you use NEO. Correct?
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Old August 9th, 2007, 08:37 AM   #8
 
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AFAIK, the issue is performing cuts editting of m2t files in Vegas, whether it's v6 or v7. Vegas is NOT smart about cuts editting. It does NOT handle color correction of m2t files very well. It WILL re-render the entire file if a cut is made. It won't have this problem with Cineform intermediate files.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 10:39 AM   #9
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Let me try to clarify....

Sony Vegas 5 had built in support for the native HDV format (.m2t) but playback performance and editing performance on the timeline was frankly bad. This combined with computers at the time that are not near as powerfull as they are today made editing HDV in Sony Vegas 6 not a realistic option. To work with HDV in Vegas 6, the only workaround was to capture the native HDV file and then convert it to either the built in Cineform codec inside of Vegas, or purchase the more "enhanced" version from Cineform directly and capture directly (or convert) your HDV files via this method.

When Sony released version 7.0, they made GREAT strides in improving the native playback and editing of HDV (.m2t) directly on the Vegas timeline. So much so in fact that the benefit, from a performance, perspective of using Cineform has disapeared and in my experience, native .m2t files actually work a little faster than their Cineform compressed equivelents.

Why use Cineform? The Cineform codec internally converts the HDV files into a 4:2:2 colorspace which doesn't improve the picture quality (not possible) but does allow for better, more accurate, chroma keying (green-screen stuff). There are other advantages as stated above and posted here.
http://www.cineform.com/products/Neo...Enhances_Vegas

What I'm not sure I agree with is that Vegas can't do frame specific cuts with .m2t files on the Vegas timeline. I do it all the time and can say that cutting away an .m2t file isn't a problem, but utilizing Cineform's "smart" render in Vegas with their codec will yield faster results on render.

Overall, Cineform is a worthy $250 investment in my opinion. It maybe doesn't hold the value it once did back in the Sony Vegas 6 days but I think an outstanding workflow is to use the HDLink utility Cineform gives you when you buy NeoHD, have it capture from your camera both Cineform .AVI files and raw .m2t files simultaneously and then work in the Cineform environment on the timeline.

Jon
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Old August 9th, 2007, 11:24 AM   #10
 
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Basically, you've got it right. Nevertheless, I believe that while Vegas will quantize to frame boundaries, it does NOT quantize to I-frames in an MPEG GOP. As a result, you can, conceivably, make a cut on a P or B frame. The end result is that the first GOP in the re-rendered file has an error in it resulting from the loss of the critical I-frame. This is not really noticeable if you're not terribly precise about timecode, however, it can result in either a black frame or a stutter in the first few frames of playback. Since the file structure of the Cineform Intermediate is not a conventional IPB layout, it doesn't suffer from the same issue when doing cuts editting.

I am open to be corrected, however, this has been my experience.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 02:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ravens View Post
Basically, you've got it right. Nevertheless, I believe that while Vegas will quantize to frame boundaries, it does NOT quantize to I-frames in an MPEG GOP. As a result, you can, conceivably, make a cut on a P or B frame. The end result is that the first GOP in the re-rendered file has an error in it resulting from the loss of the critical I-frame. This is not really noticeable if you're not terribly precise about timecode, however, it can result in either a black frame or a stutter in the first few frames of playback. Since the file structure of the Cineform Intermediate is not a conventional IPB layout, it doesn't suffer from the same issue when doing cuts editting.

I am open to be corrected, however, this has been my experience.
No, it sounds as though you are in fact correct. Prior to me getting Cineform, I brought this question up several times as I know because of the way Mpeg-2 is compressed, how could you really get a true "frame specific" cut into the stream while working with native HDV? Never got the full perfect answer I was looking for but was convinced from other commentary that it's not a problem and I can now vouge for myself after working natively with HDV(.m2t) in vegas that it appears to work well enough with no obvious issues. Again though, this sounds like another good reason to step up to Cineform.

Jon
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Old August 14th, 2007, 12:47 PM   #12
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Boy, I'd put myself in the other camp on this issue, based on my own experiences.

I don't know this for a fact, but would assume that Vegas is smart enough to know that when dealing with m2t that it needs to generate new I-frames at the site of every cut when rendering. I've done some cutting of m2t stuff and have never seen any glitches.

I've also used Cineform a bit, but still my workflow preference is to work with a DV proxy. I love the transparent fluidity that a powerful system can deliver with a simple codec such as DV. In addition, when finished I can GearShift back to the raw m2t clips, so my final output is just one generation removed from the original. But to each his own; I can see how Cineform could be a very useful tool.
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