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Old May 25th, 2009, 11:45 PM   #1
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Vegas' preview Vs other NLE previews

I'm currently editing footage from a Sony EX1 on Vegas Pro 8 and just as a test I tried importing the same footage onto Premiere Pro CS4's timeline. It stuttered badly whereas in Vegas it flies! Why is that? What does Vegas do that Premiere doesn't, won't or can't do? And its not just with Premiere, I don't think any other NLE gives the same preview options as Vegas does.

Also, am I doing something terribly wrong by previewing 1080p footage by firewire going through my DSR11 Deck and into a standard 14 inch TV set using standard AV cables? Am I breaking some sacred code of ethics or something? Its important to mention here that I'm going to master the final edit onto DV PAL anyways so why all the fuss with HD monitoring and such? Is this even a valid argument that I'm making?

If other NLEs don't allow for compressed previews like Vegas does then I'm sure they must have a reason. And if someone asks how can Vegas do it, what do I tell them? How DOES Vegas show smooth HD previews when other NLEs require expensive hardware and high-end equipment to just display the timeline?
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Old May 26th, 2009, 01:47 AM   #2
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Ali, Premier Pro may or may not be designed with XDcam support, I don't know, but I have found that for other HD footage PP seems to preview as well or better than Vegas.

Grass Valley has the best preview ability I've even seen and makes both Vegas and PP look inferior in that department.

CS4, from what I've read is notoriously buggy, and there are many people unhappy with it, just as there are a few unhappy with Vegas' new release, version 9.

I find that some files play poorly in Vegas 9 but play fine in Vegas 8.

There are those unhappy with the preview ability of Vegas, so consider yourself fortunate that you are finding it to work well for you.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 07:33 PM   #3
 
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CS4 does have an XDCAM plugin, and you shouldn't be experiencing stutter.
That said, Vegas 9 does indeed handle it more efficiently.
As far as previewing XDCAM via firewire and component cables; you're not breaking any "rules," you're just not seeing an accurate picture of what the camera shot. You're seeing a different colorspace and different resolution.
If this works for your needs...then who is to say anything about it?
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Old May 27th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #4
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RED r3d file preview

Strange things going on here...

In Vegas Pro 9, if I click on the top "Play" button to play the r3d media in Vegas Pro 9 explore window, the videos play back fine. (of course under auto preview quality).

If I drag the r3d file onto the timeline (without any effects or transitions) it stutters under the auto preview setting.

It "may" be an issue for all video files, but shows up more due to the demanding data rate of RED r3d files.

I'm very puzzled why the top preview plays smooth (same preview setting, size etc..) , but drops to 10fps or so and stuttters.

I'm using a fast NVIDIA 1GB Video card and also ran a drive speed test which is capable of sustaining 68MB/s.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 08:48 PM   #5
 
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The timeline media is buffered so it can playback/edit/transform. Preview/explorer/trimmer playback are not buffered.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:08 PM   #6
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So Douglas, wouldn't that imply the timeline would perform better?

On the timeline with absolutely no effects, color, transitions, etc....I would think it would run the same as playing it using Vegas explorer window playback.

I've been using Vegas since it's been around and have never witnessed this issue before.
Having said that, it's the first time for Vegas and 4K video.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 05:02 PM   #7
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A mystery of the universe

I tell you, they will find a cure for cancer, fly through a black hole, and hell will freeze over before anyone discovers the rationale behind Sony vegas preview window performance. If you had all the money in the world you wouldnt get a preview at full res at 25fps even if you had only a single color corrector plug-in on it ;-)
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Old May 29th, 2009, 07:54 PM   #8
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The preview window plays badly when there is a clip also loaded in the trimmer. For this reason I never hold anything in the trimmer; I use the lightning icon to delete anything I put there after I've done what I needed to do with the clip.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 12:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle View Post
The timeline media is buffered so it can playback/edit/transform. Preview/explorer/trimmer playback are not buffered.
If I put an AVCHD clip on the timeline and play it, it will first play horribly slow around a few frames a second. If I stop the playback and start it again it will be full frame rate but only for at least part of the duration of what I originally played.

Apparently it is being buffered and when I replay it, it is playing the buffered part instead of the actual file.

I noticed when I use the 'Adjust Size and Quality for Optimal Playback' feature that it will choose 'preview-half' and stay there. It will never go back up to a higher setting.

Without that feature I noticed that parts of the video play poorly and other parts play well. I suppose it is because of the buffer.

Problem with 'Preview-Half' is with that feature on or off the playback is poor at that setting ALL OF THE TIME! It is never good at that setting and yet that stupid new feature picks it, the poorest playback choice there is!

All of this seems to be an extremely lame way of trying to make an old dead horse named VFW continue to work instead of doing it right with DirectX (or whatever you call the thing) in the first place!

I went back to V8 and use Cineform Neo Scene to convert to AVI.

I tried the upshift thing and it makes the quality go down too much even on the best settings. Click on the help for the manual and nothing happens. The progress dialog on multiple files will go all the way up on the first file but not reset to show any progress on the other files.

Yea, I am covering a number of items here but I feel the need to unload!

Vegas 9 so far is a 100% waste of money! Even for those who have AVCHD files!!!

Put that dead horse VFW out of its misery already and get a REAL and useable preview!

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Old May 30th, 2009, 12:59 AM   #10
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FWIW, I'm finding AVCHD files troublesome and I don't think Vegas is to blame for this particular issue. (BTW,I'm not a fan of this upgrade, by any means.)

I know very little about codecs and video formats, next to nothing, to be honest.

But what I've read repeatedly is that AVCHD is a consumer format that is still in development.

AVCHD, or some version of it, is definitely the future, that I believe is certain.

But the AVCHD cams and cards of today are not ready for prime time. At least not for me.

I bought a Panasonic HMC150 that produces really nice images. But the AVCHD files are a nightmare.

I know there are plenty who use them successfully, but my god, a 4GB file size limit on the cards? Is this a joke? I have 10-15 weddings in the hopper during peak wedding season, do I really have time to play with these files? No.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 08:30 PM   #11
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A few thoughts..

#1) Despite the 4Gb file limit recording capability in the camera, isn't there a utility or a way to stitch files together? I'm pretty sure I've seen Edward Toxel post something about how to do this.

#2) Though AVCHD plays back poorly in Vegas, why not go ahead and transcode the AVCHD file(s) into Cineform Neoscene? That's been a method used for a long time. I use it occassionally and it seems to work really well.

Considering the Panny's AVCHD implementation is supposedly much higher quality than any HDV solution, it would seem worth the $130 to buy Cineform and just encode your panny files into their intermediate.

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Old June 1st, 2009, 07:36 AM   #12
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Old June 1st, 2009, 03:28 PM   #13
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Edward, I did download the utility that stitches together the files, and it works perfectly, so that problem is solved. Thanks.

I've been going back and forth for several days on selling the Panasonic, and am having a devil of a time. I like the camera very much but have been going back and forth on a decision to sell it. This is a normal decision making process I go through and it drives my wife (and me)crazy.

I am doing such a volume of weddings now I am stressed out, and I played with these files last week and it freaked me out. Cineform files are too big for me, I just don't want to invest in several more external drives to accomodate them.

Part of my problem is I am shooting in SD (widescreen) with the Sony FX1000s and ideally I should have a camera that matches, not an AVCHD camera where the footage has to be converted.

I do have one more thing I'm about to try to resolve this issue. I just shot in 1080i the other day with the panny and I'm going to try transcoding the files to avi via the Panasonic transcoder and see how that works out. This was recommended earlier but I had 720p footage that wouldn't transcode to avi. We'll see what happens.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 04:06 PM   #14
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Jeff, if you're transcoding to SD, consider the AVI-DV codec. It's easily good for 10 generations before visible loss.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 05:02 PM   #15
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Thanks Seth. I just converted some 1080i footage from Friday with the Panasonic transcoder to avi and the conversion was really sweet and fast. I am cautiously optimistic and surprised how simple this was.

I am cautiously optimistic because I didn't set the white balance and it the footage was dreadful, which obviously is operator error, not an issue with the camera. It was so far off that even with CCing its not too good.

I just cancelled the sale of the camera to a friend who was cool with it, and I'm going to test the camera good a proper at a wedding this weekend.
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