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Old January 30th, 2009, 10:42 AM   #1
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Neo Scene vs Gearshift?

Anyone have experience with both and m2t files?

I do weddings primarily with FX1000s. Neo Scene looks fine, but the disadvantage would appear to be the large .avi files. I like the idea of how gearshift works simplifiying the proxy process, but am not yet understanding completely how it works and what it can do.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 11:16 AM   #2
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I like the idea of how gearshift works simplifiying the proxy process, but am not yet understanding completely how it works and what it can do.
GearShift allows you to take all of your HDV or AVCHD footage and render it to DV Widescreen proxies. You edit your video using DV Widescreen and then whenever you want to render in HD you use GearShift to swap out the proxies for the original HDV/AVCHD media. You can then render in HD.

You can swap back and forth whenever you want. It is primarily aimed at editors with PC's that can't handle HD for whatever reason, or those who just want to edit faster because any PC built within the last 8 years can handle multiple tracks of DV without any problems. If your final output is DV Widescreen you never have to swap back because you can render directly from the DV Widescreen media that GearShift creates. (we call it a "proxy" but it's full DV Widescreen quality)

GearShift can also create CineForm intermediaries which you can use both for editing and directly for rendering and not have to swap out at all.

In the interest of "full disclosure" I am one of the authors of GearShift so I will offer no comparison. I only wanted to tell you how GearShift works.

~jr
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Old January 30th, 2009, 11:24 AM   #3
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Thank you for the explanation John. If I want to render the final project to SD but want to render directly from the m2t files, I could do that, couldn't I?

In an unrelated vein, John, I am under the impression that m2t files rendered to SD create a superior image to downconverting prior to final render. Can you speak to that?
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Old January 30th, 2009, 11:43 AM   #4
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My comments are based on older cineform technology, as I've not cross-graded/downgraded to neo scene and may not.

The typical Cineform workflow (when using their applications, not just the codec that comes with vegas):
Capture from camera direct to a cineform AVI.
Edit, color correct, etc.
Use Cineform as a digital intermediate out to other applications, if needed.
Complete project, render a Cineform master from the timeline, render distribution formats from the timeline or from the Cineform master.

Benefits: No extra capture/render time - you're editing on the timeline without additional steps. Effectively lossless - you're not going to see any generational artifacts in 99.5% of projects - the codec holds up extremely well. Great DI for going in and out of other apps - the codec holds up extremely well. Great for color correction and other efx, you're now working on 10-bit 4:2:2 video - the codec holds up extremely well, no color banding on subtle gradations, etc. Neo Scene is way less costly than previous cineform apps, does less, but does hdv in a vegas workflow just fine.

Cons: You now are storing 35GB/hour instead of the 13GB/hour with native HDV/M2T. For me, there continue to be some mysteries about drive and processor speed needed for 29.97fps previews at full/best, I get about half-framerate. In between drive/processor speed needs and larger files sizes the NEO Scene solution is less applicable to laptops. Starting with Vegas 7 there have been *substantial* improvements in how native M2T works on the timeline, with 8 it's even better, Cineform isn't as essential for good HDV workflows as it was with Vegas 5/6.

The typical Gearshift workflow:
Capture using Vegas' tools.
Transcode to DV using Gearshift.
Edit DV on the timline, plug in efx.
*SHIFT*, Gearshift now throws the original M2T on the timeline, preserving your edits.
Check all efx - DV and M2T are in different color spaces, slight tweaks may be needed.
Complete project, render a master from the timeline (maybe to the cineform codec that comes with vegas), render distribution formats from the timeline or from the master.

Benefits: Wow, does Vegas fly through DV. Last year's laptop is more than adequate for editing with full-framerate best/full previews. This is pretty dang important if you're editing pc isn't up to M2T-native editing... (hey, cineform isn't going to work so great on that machine!)

Cons: Capture, then have Gearshift render to DV - a 2-step process that takes extra time for the render. You're now storing 26GB/hour (your original M2T and now a DV-AVI).

******************
IMHO, Gearshift is a great application for those on slower pcs - it does what it does very well indeed, a smart product. Cineform attempts something different and more difficult. For me, with fairly new-ish hardware, native M2T performance on the timeline is fine, occassionally I reach for cineform when I see problems related to 4:2:0 color encoding.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 12:05 PM   #5
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Thank you for the explanation John. If I want to render the final project to SD but want to render directly from the m2t files, I could do that, couldn't I?
Yes, absolutely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
In an unrelated vein, John, I am under the impression that m2t files rendered to SD create a superior image to downconverting prior to final render. Can you speak to that?
Yes, and part of the reason is that the color space for HDV (m2t) is 4:2:0 and DV is 4:1:1 so you loose color information downconverting to DV first. Since DVD MPEG-2 is also 4:2:0 it is better to encode 4:2:0 HDV directly to 4:2:0 SD MPEG-2.

You can download GearShift and use it in trial more for 15-days fully functional. This way you can try it on a project and see if the workflow fits your needs.

~jr
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Old January 30th, 2009, 12:32 PM   #6
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Seth and John, thanks. It seems clear that despite the benefits of Neo Scene, for my particular needs Gearshift will be a perfect fit. Among other reasons, the savings in storage space alone is significant since I turn out a significant number of weddings and all on one machine.

I have been going around and around on this issue. I'm relieved to have a solution at hand that will fit my needs.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 01:56 PM   #7
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Glad I could help and if you have any questions you can always send an email to the ultimatesupport email in the about box of GearShift and someone from VASST will be glad to help you even if you are only using the trial version.

~jr
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Old January 30th, 2009, 01:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by John Rofrano View Post

GearShift can also create CineForm intermediaries which you can use both for editing and directly for rendering and not have to swap out at all.


~jr
john how does it do this? i have neo hdv. can i use gearshift to create cineform intermediaries and dv proxies at same time? thanks
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Old January 30th, 2009, 02:00 PM   #9
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Good to know John...thanks again. I'll download the trial but won't install till I start my HD editing in a few weeks.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 02:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sherif Choudhry View Post
john how does it do this?
It uses the CineForm codec that ships with Vegas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherif Choudhry View Post
i have neo hdv. can i use gearshift to create cineform intermediaries and dv proxies at same time? thanks
Yes, GearShift will create both DV proxies and CineForm intermediaries at the same time. It also supports Sony YUV as an intermediary. In fact, you can create any type of AVI proxy and intermediary you want. GearShift get's it's templates from Vegas so you can make a new template, for example, that makes MJPEG proxies and HuffYUV (lossless) intermediaries. You can control the AVI codecs that it uses for each via templates.

~jr
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