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Old November 11th, 2007, 06:42 PM   #1
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I don't understand

I've been using Vegas 7 for six months now and I love it. I edit footage from my XH-A1 and it's working beautifully.
I hear people say, on many forums, that they need intermediate codecs, mainly Cineform Neo HDV. Why? When I render my projects to anything, everything's fine. I can even do color correction on the M2T without any problems. Granted, I don't do special effects and all I do is pretty much narrative and cinematic type of editing. Is that codec need being pushed on people or is it really needed? I'm using a recent system, but only a 2.4ghz duo core, Asus Deluxe board and RAID0 hard drive(500g) + 750 for storage and 250 for OS, I'm sure most people have better systems, still I don't see the need for Cineform. Since I'm not a pro and HDV is a hobby for me, could somebody point out what it is that I'm missing or not realizing here?
Thanks
Larry

Last edited by Larry Secrest; November 11th, 2007 at 07:07 PM. Reason: bad English
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Old November 11th, 2007, 07:38 PM   #2
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Larry -

I'm learning as well, but am using Cineform and Vegas. My understanding is that there are at least two good reasons:

1. Cineform's intermediate format is what they refer to as "visually lossless", and can withstand many renders compared to .m2t without degradation in quality. This might not matter as much if your workflow is simple import --> edit on timeline --> render to preferred final format. However, there may be occassions where you want to render more than once. See here for a demonstration of mpeg vs. Cineform multigeneration visual loss:
http://www.cineform.com/technology/H...ysis051011.htm

2. (My understanding of this is limited) - the 4.2.2 colorspace permits wider maneuvreability for colour correction, compositing, etc. See this thread:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?p=752229 - take a look at David Taylor's water bucket analogy in the 6th post down. That helped me understand it a bit more.

Of course most people on this forum outstrip my knowledge and experience in this area by about a zillion times, so I defer to others who may post in response.

Good luck,
Ian.
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Old November 11th, 2007, 08:46 PM   #3
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Is this rendering?

Thanks Ian. Those links were helpful, but now I guess I must really understand what happens when I render a file. I understand what rendering is when I chose to render a m2t clip into a quicktime movie or an Avi. I just compress it into a different codec. But when I save an m2t file into an m2t file is this rendering? Is it since there's the same compression?

If I open a m2t clip in the timeline, apply some effect to it, let's say color correction, then save it as a Vegas project, is this rendering? IF I don't go to File> Render as, I'm not rendering, correct? If I'm wrong and if saving does the same to a clip as far as compression is concerned, does it means that I simply can't open an m2t clip and save it twenty times after applying some effect to it?
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Old November 11th, 2007, 10:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
...If I open a m2t clip in the timeline, apply some effect to it, let's say color correction, then save it as a Vegas project, is this rendering?...
No, it's not. Only when you use the render function does it actually render.

So, for example, you could import m2t, edit, and save your project (as a Vegas Project) and you'll have 0 generations of loss, because you're still working with the orignal m2t that came from tape to your hard drive.

Then, you could render from that project to wmv, qt, avi, or even m2t. Each will be one generation down from the original, about as good as you can do.

It's not really black and white, but I'd agree that m2t instead of Cineform will probably be fine for almost all projects. If you want to render something to use across a series of projects, eg. the rendered file will go back on the timeline, using cineform would be a way better choice than m2t. If you want to archive the final output of a finished project for potential later use, cineform is a good choice. You *never* want to render back to m2t unless it is for output back to HDV videotape.

The version of the cineform codec that comes with Vegas is fine for the above uses. You access it by selecting Video for Windows - AVI as the render type, then one of the HDV intermediate templates. If you then go into the custom settings, you'll see that Cineform is selected as the Video Format.

The standalone cineform Neo HDV product is, for Vegas users, an alternate capture and pre-edit workflow. It does have more functions than the native Vegas m2t capture, for example true 24p processing (pulldown removal) on capture from certain cameras (not sure about the A1). If you don't need those functions, you don't need Neo HDV, in my opinion, but using the cineform codec within Vegas for intermediate renders is pretty handy.

There is a 30 day trial of Neo HDV available.
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Old November 11th, 2007, 11:50 PM   #5
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Seth,

Great examples. I think the question of "Just what is a render, anyway" is really a pretty good one. We all blithely talk about "rendering" and seldom does anyone make sure that we're all talking about the same thing!

To add some specific examples, suppose we later want to use part of the edited (and rendered) output as part of a larger project. In that case we could bring it back into Vegas and combine it with some new material we had just captured. Now when we render the conbined project, the new material would be generation 1 and the older material would be generation 2.

And if we want to then use the combined result in After Effects, our composited output would now possibly have some generation 1 material, som generation 2 material and some generation 3 material when we rendered the After Effects project. At some point we could probably start seeing some differences in visual quality between sections of the final product.

Unless we used something like Cineform.

The way I look at it is that using Cineform gives me the most flexibility in the future to do more with the material, so no reason not to use it. Since I want to mainly combine video clips with 3D animations, using Cineform seemed like the way to go right from the capture step, so i sprang for it.

Maybe if I were doing something where I would capture and edit and ship a DVD off to the client, confident that I wouldn't do anything else with it forevermore, it wouldn't matter whether I used Cineform or not.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 12:27 AM   #6
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Some editing programs even reencode everything if, for instance, you place two m2t originally captured files on the time line, and then just render to join the two files, even without transitions. (I believe Vegas actually has changed that in 8, and rerenders only that which requires modifications called for in the edit. As I understand it, it will not rerender "untouched" material.

I fought Cineform for a years, thinking it was unnecessary. I remember starting a thread like this one. But ultimately, I have come to admit that my output is better with this tool, so I bit the bullet...
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Old November 12th, 2007, 06:39 AM   #7
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Great feedback, thanks to all of you.
OK, I'll bite the bullet too probably, why not? I've just received the $250 from Canon from buying the A1 and it's exactly the price of Neo HDV!
By the way, since I have a Canon A1 I should stick to HDV, correct? No need to go with Neo HD that costs $599? Am I really going to need 10 bits for HDV?

Last question
my final project will be a film. So I guess it makes sense to save the final edit in the highest Cineform Codec? There is no transfer to film deal done yet, of course.
Larry
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Old November 12th, 2007, 07:44 AM   #8
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Larry,

I'm also a HDV hobbyist and I edit m2t on the timeline. I'm using just a Pentium P4 processor. After reading many threads on this topic it didn't seem to be much of an advantage using Cineform with Vegas 7 or 8. And some people were reporting problems with different versions of Cineform. So I decided to keep it as simple as possible and also avoid the large intermediate files.

I don't do anything too complex and if I did I would probably give the included Cineform a try. Also, my workflow always involves just 1 final render, so generation loss isn't an issue for me.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 09:45 AM   #9
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Yes, so basically as long as I edit and save my project as a Vegas project it seems that from what I've read above I don't incur any loss, so I should be fine without the Cineform Codec.
Larry
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