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Old April 10th, 2004, 08:00 PM   #1
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Need help with Vegas and HD performance

Not quite on topic, but I have not been able to get feedback in the Vegas section.

I'm currently making very short films (longest so far is 20 seconds) by using a 35mm motordrive and Twixtor.

I output these 2K filmrez files from AfterEffects to 1080 24p uncompressed AVI files and then edit in Vegas using the 24P 1080 settings.

Playback is appalling, only draft/auto give usable framerates. I'm 90% sure it's hard drive codec related as CPU usage is only 30% or so during playback.

I can do DV projects with lots of tracks at Best quality, so I know my systems is well optimized. It's a 3.0 Ghz HT system, 800FSB, RAID 0 SATA for OS and WD 7200 RPM 250 & 200 GB Special Edition drives for video.

What type of RAID system is going to give me preview full quality previews? Would SATA or IDE RAID be sufficient or SCSI RAID required? 7200 RPM drives? My mobo has SATA and RAID capabilities but I would have to replace my 200 & 250 GB drives.

Would Concept HD do anything for me since 1) I don't used HDV and don't plan to i the future & 2) I would really like to be able to edit at 2K or 4k film rez for possible output to 35mm?

Thanks for any experience.
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Old April 10th, 2004, 08:30 PM   #2
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I use Vegas quite a bit for with HDV 720P -30fps editing. I have an HP 2.8Ghz and Raid 0 on 2 cheapo 180 Gig Maxtor hard drives and it works ok. I am editing raw MPEG2 ts files and it is a little sluggish but it gets by. I regret not getting a PC with much faster memory (I am using 333Mhz I think). Memory speed is a big factor no matter what the CPU or hard disk speed. My issue is that the RAM seems to cycle a lot and I cannot leave Vegas and come back without a significant wait time (30 seconds or so). Otherwise it works well for my usage but I am not doing any professional type editing.
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Old April 10th, 2004, 08:35 PM   #3
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I'm running 400 Mhz memory in dual channel (effective 800 Mhz). My system is very fast.

Is your RAID hardware or software via the OS?
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Old April 11th, 2004, 12:30 AM   #4
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24p or 2k on a Desktop PC?

If you are running 1920x1080 at 24p in uncompressed 8bit, you are going to need to sustain 1920x1080x24x2 = about 100MBytes/s. Your are not going to be able to sustain that using any RAID system off standard 33MHz PCI (which peeks at about 80MB/s.) If you have a PCI-X motherboard, you can add a RAID controller that will sustain the data rate using about four stripes drives.

You could use Connect HD for your project, but it is true you won't be needing HDLink, the HDV I/O module. Connect HD (just like all the CineForm product line) is more about HD than HDV. With Connect HD installed, you can use Vegas to convert your uncompressed footage into CFHD compressed AVIs. These will run single stream real-time at 1920x1080 on your class of PC. You will not need to upgrade your motherboard to support 100MB/s RAID, plus you can fit 8 times more video on your existing drives.

Technically you can use Connect HD to edit native 2k or even 4k data, but I have never done that under Vegas. If Vegas allows you to run at those resolutions, the CFHD compression engine will work as it has no resolution limits. I imagine that 2k will play in real-time on your PC, but 4k will not (yet.)
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Old April 11th, 2004, 12:35 AM   #5
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David:

Thanks for the info. Connect HD is probably more cost effective than putting in a SATA RAID which might be close enough.

Questions:

Is Connect HD's compression lossless?

What do you need for dual stream RT?

Pricing - any special deals for DVInfo members and/or Vegas users?
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Old April 11th, 2004, 12:53 AM   #6
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Connect HD is a visually lossless technology with compression ratios between 6 and 8 to 1. Mathematically lossless engines will result in 2:1 files with decode times typically slower than your current uncompressed experience (try HUFFYUV for this painful experience.) The visually lossless solution is a compromise targeted for performance without impacting quality.

Unfortunately guaranteed HD dual stream in real-time is only available using Aspect HD under Premiere Pro. Technically Vegas can't be accelerated as much as Premiere Pro as Vegas lacks the type of plug-in structure we exploit in Premiere. Aspect HD replaces Premiere's entire playback engine (it acts like a hardware accelerator -- yet it is software only.) Vegas will do dual stream, but it will drop some frames at that resolution.

P.S. We have more HD production systems being announced at NAB, some might be what you need.
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Old April 11th, 2004, 12:57 AM   #7
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Thanks for the quick response and NAB tip.

I will wait and see what NAB brings from Cineform and/or Vegas. If I compress, I need lossless so I can film output to 35mm if needed. Unless of course you think Cineform willl uprez back to 2k film rez without artifacts?
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Old April 11th, 2004, 12:20 PM   #8
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You can uprez after compressing in CFHD without issue. CineForm compression was designed with digital intermediate in mind. Compression artifacts occur when your target bit-rate is too low, or through the multi-generation losses that occur when a codec is not design for that work, i.e. these issue occur readily in DV or MPEG. CFHD is a high bit-rate wavelet compressor with very good multi-generation characteristics. Experience is telling you that compression is bad, but not all compressors are the same.
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Old April 11th, 2004, 02:56 PM   #9
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Stephen,
If you are not comfortable with the non-real time playback during editing, why not edit 1/2 size proxies to get the playback speed you need to tune your edits cadence and look?
You don't need to see every hair on someones head to edit.
You can use common free codecs for this and get real time playback.
After all, feature films are edited this way.
Did you try that?
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Old April 11th, 2004, 03:38 PM   #10
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Les you are correct, that does serve as a good work around. The tricky part is tools like Vegas are not setup well for offline/proxy editing. I imagine you could have 960x540 MJPEG proxies created and stored in a parallel directory structure, then swap the files out. Vegas may work doing that. But proxies are a trade-off, and as technology moves forward they are slowly being replaced by high resolution digital intermediates. That said, Stephan could try using a free VFW codec (Vegas uses VFW only), and as his current projects are short, the conversion time will not be an issue. A lot of opportunities to experiment.
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Old April 11th, 2004, 05:28 PM   #11
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Les:

As David pointed out, if Vegas has a smooth proxy subsytem, I would do that as 50% would be fine - frame rate is the key. But the since my projects already have a high overhead in file management (since they start as individual 3fps frames!), proxy would add a lot of time.

Vegas 5 might introduce something along those lines to make proxies easier (right now just a replace footage command). For now, I just render out a low end wmv file to preview.

David:

Thanks for clarifying the uprez quality. I was hoping that would be the case and I will watch NAB for announcements.

I have around a 10 minute short using this technique planned for later this year that will consist of thousand of frames and dozens of Twixtored sequences - sounds like I should have an option by then.
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