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What Happens in Vegas...
...stays in Vegas! This PC-based editing app is a safe bet with these tips.


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Old January 8th, 2008, 09:45 AM   #1
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HDV and Vegas

Hey all, I just purchased a Canon HV20 and am loving the result that it gives. However, upon the first capture I was in awe of how space consumptive HD video can be. My question is, when capturing in Vegas, is there a way to import at a low resolution to use the video strictly for editing, then compile an EDL and reimport the necessary footage a high resolution? I'm leaving for India in a few days for a mission trip/documentary of the trip and am anxious to begin editing as soon as I return. But at the size that these files are, I will have to be extremely selective with what I import if I cannot do it in this fashion. I know that this can be done in Avid, but I do not like Avid at all. Thanks for any help that you can offer.

One more thing. Is there a way to queue renders to occur? I do a lot of 8mm movie film transfers and have a lot of 3 minute clips that need to be rendered. Is there a way to set everything up in terms of trimming and fades and they will render one after the other? Thanks again everyone.

Mitch
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Old January 8th, 2008, 10:40 AM   #2
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Mitch:

1. HDV captured to the .m2t mpeg file format uses no more storage resources per minute than standard definition DV. So your real issue may be need for additional drive space.

2. With low end spec systems, for purposes of saving resources, some people have been capturing in standard definition DV, editing, then, recapturing in a high def .avi intermediate format like Cineform substituting the old files for the new ones. They have same extension, as Cineform captures are also .avi. Those HD hi def files will be about 3x size of HDV .m2t files.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 11:11 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=One more thing. Is there a way to queue renders to occur? I do a lot of 8mm movie film transfers and have a lot of 3 minute clips that need to be rendered. Is there a way to set everything up in terms of trimming and fades and they will render one after the other? Thanks again everyone.

Mitch[/QUOTE]

Can't really tell you much about batch rendering but could you not splice the many short 50ft sections toghether before you capture them and have a 300-400 ft (about 1/2 hour) video to work with. Much less time consuming to capture also.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 12:08 PM   #4
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So is there a setting that I can use to import at a low resolution and edit, then have Vegas import the sections I need at a high resolution later on.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 12:20 PM   #5
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Also, so are the m2t files HD? Is there a way to import higher resolution than this? This is my first foray into HD and have questions and appreciate your answers. And in response to Terry, the customers come in with their reels all broken up into different groups and want them to be separate. So we cannot splice them all together. And even if we could, the time that that would take would probably balance out the time it takes setting each individual reel to render. So does anyone know anything about batch rendering? Thanks.

Mitch
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Old January 8th, 2008, 12:40 PM   #6
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I don't recall Vegas having capability to capture anything but DV standard definition, or HDV. Vegas does have scripting capability in which you might be able to batch capture, then have it automatically down rez to something else, but you'll need to learn scripting, which I haven't done yet.

Pinnacle's Studio captured DV at mpg level SD resolution, which would be smaller files.

As to .m2t, those are essentially the digital files in mpeg form lifted off the tape in a form that the computer can edit and play. There is no loss in that "transport" to the computer. HDV files consist of GOP, ie., group of pictures, that are compressed. My low tech understanding is that for every 15 frames, you have one full picture, and the rest are recontructed in play back from information from the original frame, and any changes detected by the processor. Obviously highly processor intensive, and subject to errors in interpretation. The system is highly sophisticated, and the codec has been developed to minimize errors, but in the editing process, because of its nature, you will lose resolution as you rerender files with transistions and color correct over and over again. In its latests incarnation, as I understand it, Vegas 8 now will not rerender unedited portions of the files on a timeline, in doing a timeline render, but anything that has been touched with color correction or transitions will necessarily be rerendered, creating some loss.

A lot of us, have chosen to capture our material in a Cineform codec. What results, essentially, is a capture of the transport stream, then a conversion to a .avi file in which each frame has all the information. This provides frame accurate editing, that is not subject to as much deteriorization as with .mpg editing. In addition, it is easier in processing, as there is no need to continually reconstruct 14 out of 15 frames. You have a larger file to deal with, but it is easier to deal with in terms of computer resources.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 01:18 PM   #7
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Vegas has a script for Batch Rendering you just need to pull all your clips to the timeline, do your edits, then set up regions. That's one of the options for batch rendering. Vegas will render out separate files for each region. This is how I use to convert my m2t's to cineform avi before getting NEO.

I don't think Vegas can correctly handle the pulldown for the HV20's 24F mode yet so if you shoot 24F you will need Cineform or some other third party software to capture that footage.

I agree, with the correct lighting the HV20 captures some stunning images. I use it as a second cam for shows along with my XH A1.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 01:32 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of your responses guys, they have been extremely helpful

So if I understand this correctly, from an HV20, either MPEG or AVI through Cineform the quality is the same? The only difference is how much of a strain your computer is put through while processing? Also, could you explain a little more on the Cineform processing. And what have been your thoughts on the lowlight performance of the HV20. How useful is the built in light? Thanks again.

Mitch
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Old January 8th, 2008, 01:37 PM   #9
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And another thing. For final DVD layoff, will DVDs accept m2t files? I know that you cannot play HD video on a standard DVD, but is there some way to preserve the "nice" look of the video? Essentially, how do you recommend to render video from the HV20 to get the best possible result when burning to a standard DVD?
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Old January 8th, 2008, 01:53 PM   #10
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Mitch -

The m2t is a highly compressed format (search for "long GOP" if you want more details), .avi is much less compressed, and takes roughly 4x the disk space.

SO in practical terms here's what your tradeoff is - need lots of computer speed & horsepower to edit the higher compressed formats (HDV and AVCHD), as the computer is recreating frames on the fly... where with .avi you need to accept long transcoding times (at least that was my experience) and big file sizes... BUT, your CPU doesn't get as bogged down or need to be as powerful.

And for final output, you'll render to SD in an mpeg2 most of the time, and it will look almost as good because you started with higher quality source material (even if you choose to let the camera downconvert to DV when importing). You supposedly can burn the files and some hi-def players will read and play them, but that's a whole nother topic...
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Old January 8th, 2008, 02:28 PM   #11
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How does the down converting to DV work? Is that a camera setting or a Vegas setting? Also, if I print back to tape, will it retain it's full resolution? And then, what is your opinion as to m2t vs AVI? I have a very powerful computer that handles m2t like nothing, so should I stick with that? I guess that it is just hard for me to wrap my head around the fact of something with 3x the size being of equal image quality. And what is the use of Cineform codec and importing through it? Thanks a ton everyone.

Mitch
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Old January 8th, 2008, 03:11 PM   #12
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My experience in either Premiere Pro or Vegas is that direct encoding from HDV .m2t files to DVD .mpg, the encoding works out poorly. Don't ask me why, its been something noticed by many.

Best result I have had is editing in NeoHDV Cineform, save final files to that, and then use DVD Architect (comes with Vegas 8), pulling the Cineform files into there to author DVD, and then render from there.

By the way, Cineform files also provide a better editing environment in general-- its not just because it reduces processor load.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 03:19 PM   #13
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So is Cineform it's own program or just a plugin? And I have been using Adobe Encore for DVD for quite some time. Any experience with Cineform and Encore?
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Old January 9th, 2008, 11:08 PM   #14
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Does anyone have any experience with this?
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Old January 10th, 2008, 01:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
...Best result I have had is editing in NeoHDV Cineform, save final files to that, and then use DVD Architect (comes with Vegas 8), pulling the Cineform files into there to author DVD, and then render from there...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Buss View Post
So is Cineform it's own program or just a plugin? And I have been using Adobe Encore for DVD for quite some time. Any experience with Cineform and Encore?
Cineform is several flavors of Codec, of a type commonly called a "digital intermediate". An HDV Cineform codec is included with Vegas since V6. It helps in a couple ways.

First, you never want to render back to M2T unless for output back to HDV tape because M2T is such an incredibly compressed format. What to render to? Uncompressed AVI is great, but a very fat footprint on your hard drive. Cineform is a great compromise - much smaller than uncompressed (significantly larger than M2T), but, to quote Cineform "visually lossless". It works well as an intermediate. That's what Chris B. wrote about above.

(Note that Chris' workflow uses the DVDA version of the MainConcept MPG encoder, which has fewer controls than the version accessable from Vegas, but that's another thread. See Edward Troxel's newsletters at jetdv.com for more info on workflows for compress-to-DVD.)

Second, depending on exactly what you're doing to the video on the Vegas timeline (color correction?), or, depending on your system specs, many people get better results by transcoding their M2T to Cineform's codec, then working with that on the Vegas timeline. Much more to learn about this by searching both this forum and the Cineform forum. System specs (processor speed) have become less of an issue with Core2 Duo & better processors, and V7 and V8 have been progressivly better at decoding M2T on the fly for timeline previews, so direct editing of M2T has become much more common than in the early days of HDV.

That's all about Cineform, the codec that ships with Vegas.

There are also a stand-alone Cineform products, an HDV shooter editing in Vegas would typically be interested in NeoHDV (cineform.com). This includes a better version of the codec, as well as a capture application that allows you to injest HDV and concurrently transcode to Cineform codec. It's a dramatic workflow improvement compared to rendering your M2T to Cineform within Vegas for further editing (see "Second..." above).

Get thee to the Premiere or Cineform forums for questions about Cineform & Encore.
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