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Old June 23rd, 2008, 04:33 PM   #1
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Is Cineform Neo worth getting for Vegas Pro?

I'm trying to justify sticking with Vegas and I see some are using Cineform Neo - Why are you using it and what does it bring to your editing compared to editing native m2t files?

I believe in the overall concept of what Vegas Pro is - IMO, it's the most forward thinking NLE currently available - in concept, but many on the Vegas Forums, myself included, are becoming disillusioned with the numerous issues associated with editing with Vegas and lost time due to glitches in the program.

I'm at a cross roads as to whether to stick with Vegas or not and am trying to find solutions to issues arising when editing longer form projects in Vegas.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 12:15 AM   #2
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you need to download demo and capture some clips and see. its invaluble, I use it all the time, capture to avi keeping the m2t. I wouldn't be with out it, got my friends to buy it also
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Old June 24th, 2008, 02:01 AM   #3
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Another vote for CineForm.

But really, the question of Cineform or not is independent of keeping Vegas or not as it doesn't only work with Vegas.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 10:52 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=Cliff Etzel;897397]- Why are you using it and what does it bring to your editing compared to editing native m2t files?QUOTE]

I don't think anyone has answered this question yet. I would be interested in the answer too rather than"just try it you'll like it".
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Old June 24th, 2008, 11:02 AM   #5
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I think the original question related to staying with Vegas or not and I can't see any connection between this and Cineform, which works with other NLE's as well.

Re why people like Cineform I think would get better exposure in the Cineform forum, although lots of Vegans use it and may want to comment.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 11:12 AM   #6
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Cliff, unless I'm not reading your post properly, I suspect you might think that Cineform might be a replacement for Vegas...

It actually is not an editor at all, it is a tool to be used in conjunction with the editing program of your choice.

I actually do not know what Cineform does, but I suspect it is for capturing video files, and is used especially for handling HD files around here, since there are apparent issues with capturing some variety of HD files with Vegas. I own an HD cam, but so far only use it for SD, so I am blissfully ignorant of HD for the most part.

Truthfully, I found the Cineform site to be vague and written for people who likely already know what it does...but it's been awhile since I've been there.

As an aside, I would someday like to see outlined:

1. Here's the problem
2. Here's what Cineform does to solve it.

I just noticed mention of a Cineform forum....I think I will check it out...and find out what this apparently valuable tool is exactly!

Last edited by Jeff Harper; June 24th, 2008 at 12:16 PM. Reason: add on
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Old June 24th, 2008, 12:13 PM   #7
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Here's the problem (or at least part of the problem)

HD is compressed really heavily and the Mpeg 2 compression system tosses away a lot of valuable information. And if you do a lot of edits/effects/etc in editing and the material goes through several edit - recompression cycles, you start to lose quality fairly quickly.

Here's what it (the Cineform codec) does to solve it.

It compresses in a different manner that is designed to not lose quality as you edit, re-edit, re-render, etc. So multi generation degradation of the original material, while never zero with any lossy compression scheme, is quite minimal and is generally regarded as being "visually lossless". It also keeps more of the color information that Mpeg-2 would throw away. It can't add back the info that Mpeg-2 has already thrown away, but it can make sure that there is no more loss of color info as the material goes through multiple re-compression cycles.

Very important stuff when editing HD. And the folks at Cineform are simply outstanding re support, upgrades, technical questions, responsiveness, etc.

And I agree that the web site is not as clear as it ought to be - I struggled with it for a long time too until I got it thanks to the Cineform forum here at DVInfo.

I'm far from an expert and have been using it only a short while, but I think this is the gist of it.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 12:25 PM   #8
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Thanks Jim for the explanation...very thorough, appreciate it. So is Cineform a plug-in, or can you briefly explaine how it is implemented?
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Old June 24th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #9
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Jeff,

Glad it helped. I'm a real Cineform amateur so don't hold me to this really precisely, but no, it isn't a plug in.

It's a Codec (ie encode-decode application) that hunts around your system at install time and finds compatible editing packages and adds itself somehow to their list of codecs that are available on your system.

Because of this, if you install a new editing package after installing Cineform, you have to re-install Cineform so it can find the new package.

In addition to being a codec, it also has a quite nice capture utility that will capture directly to Cineform with the option of also keeping the original M2T (Mpeg 2 transfer stream) files. It also has file conversion utilities that will convert existing M2t files that you've already captured.

They also support several levels of compression depending on the use you intend to make of the material. The tradeoff is quality vs file size and processing power. The highest two levels are intended for film captures in which you want to preserve "noise" such as film grain that was present in the original material. They actually refer to their highest level of quality as "overkill"

They're also in the process of developing a portable recorder that will take HDMI or SDI out of your camera and record it directly to disk as Cineform material. I'd love to have one but my JVC 110 doesn't have either HDMI or SDI outputs. Maybe when (and if!) I upgrade the camera I'll be in the market for one of their recorders.

Hope this helps

By the way did I say that they're great people to work with and they have a free upgrade policy so you can always download the latest and greatest version?

Speaking of which, they do offer different flavors of the product and it's a bit confusing as to which is right for any given application, but they're really great about helping you make the right choice.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 01:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Etzel View Post
Why are you using it and what does it bring to your editing compared to editing native m2t files?
I only use it with HD. I am still using version 3 because I can't afford the upgrade to Neo right now and Neo has some new features that I do not need yet and version 3 does all that I need.

To answer your question. I use it for HD because Vegas is much too flakey and unreliable with *.m2t files!

I have built a good system with quad core, good ram and all and if I set the preview to 'Good-Auto' I will very seldom see the black or red frames. If I use 'Preview-Auto' then I will get a ton of black frames. I know it doesn't make sense in a way and in a way it does.

Since Vegas is using ram to significantly speed up the preview of *.m2t files, I can't help but think that there is a timing issue with this routine that causes this to happen. The amount of time it takes for the routine to work with 'Good-Auto' vs 'Preview-Auto' is obviously different and that seems to make a big difference on my system.

On my older and slower system with Core 2 Dual the 'Good-Auto' had a ton of black frames and the 'Preview-Auto' had some but a lot more than my current system has.

Different systems, different configurations, different timings and various ways the problems happen and yet all this started with Vegas 7 and all of it is with *.m2t files. What started with Vegas 7 is that routine that speeds up the preview for *.m2t files. That routine is apparently buggy and unreliable!

If I use SD files there are no problems and Vegas is as solid as a rock!

Also, version 8 has a new one in that the audio will be dropped for x amount of seconds. If I close the project and then re-open it the audio will be there again. On one project the audio dropped again when I rendered and on another it didn't.

I did not bother to report this to Sony because the problems are so flakey and hit and miss that it would be next to impossible for them to see it on their systems even with the same video.

Their routine to speed up the preview is a good idea but it is and has been the cause of a lot of stability problems with Vegas since version 7. Version 6 did not have this routine and also did not have these problems.

Note: At one time I thought I had the problems licked with my new system but as sure as I told everyone here that I did, that vicious dog came back and bit me...

So, if I want to do HD with Vegas then Cineform is the only way that it can be done reliably. And even if it were not for the problems with Vegas it is still a good way to preserve the HD quality.

One negative with Cineform is the wait for the render from *.m2t files to Cineform files. Also the Cineform files play less than full FPS on my system. I tried Neo on a backup boot and it was not any better. Just a few more features that I do not need yet.

Another negative and I am not sure who's fault it is, when I need an email to get a link for a download or to activat Cineform I never get it. My ISP either blocks it or Cineforms system is not compatible with my ISP or whatever the problem is.

I have to contact support to get anything. :(

Hope this helps,

Danny Fye
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Old June 24th, 2008, 01:10 PM   #11
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Wow, now that is an EXPLANATION! Thanks so much...it's a codec! I truly had no idea! With additional feature...excellent!
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Old June 24th, 2008, 01:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
hunts around your system at install time and finds compatible editing packages and adds itself somehow to their list of codecs that are available on your system.
Sounds like some alien life form!
Anyways, thanks for the clear explanation. I, too, went to the Cineform website and was more confused than before I got there. But I suspect if I don't do multiple edits/renders, then I don't need Cineform. At my beginner level of experience, I only edit once or at most twice.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 01:57 PM   #13
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Didn't you know that all software is an alien life form?

Not sure about computers, but software definitely is alien.

If you want to avoid all these computer related problems, it's easy - just sacrifice a goat in front of your system. If that doesn't work then maybe a virgin or two will do the trick.

I learned all these techniques when I first got into programming 50 years ago and they've stood me in good stead ever since. :<)
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Old June 25th, 2008, 02:09 PM   #14
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In a word

YES

even if you don't stick with Vegas if you're going to edit HDV or some other compressed format it is worth getting.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 02:19 PM   #15
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From one who railed against it for months on end, asnwer is YES, YES.
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