I need some starting tips for working with Panasonic HDC-TM700 and Vegas - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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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 August 29th, 2010, 04:21 PM   #16
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"1. With PicVideo are there also some rendering issues to overcome? Is setting RAM preview to 16 and rendering threads to 1, etc. also necessary?"

yes; but as I mentioned, I get better results with Preview RAM set for 0. And under the View menu, the Waveforms and Frames, especially, is a RAM-bytes thief. I've often been able to render stubborn projects just by clearing the checkmark for that one.

Turning off background TSRs, such as antivirus programs, probably won't make any difference unless you use the utility to set Vegas.exe to use more than 2GB RAM - usually there still will be plenty left over after the 2GB used by Vegas for WinXP OS and whatever background services are running. But if you do set Vegas.exe to use more than 2GB, then it should help to turn off all TSRs.

If you watch the Memory in the Performance tab of Windows Task Monitor (Ctrl-Alt-Del), you'll know when rendering is about to stop on your computer if you catch it a few times at the point of failure and note the number (shown in Green color font).

Again: Does the computer have 4GB of RAM? WinXP can't use that much, but it can use 3.? GB - and every byte helps - up to 3.? GB; 2GB is certainly not as good as 3GB; but 4GB gives a fraction more.

You can learn how much RAM is in the computer here:

Programs - Accessories - System Tools - System Information

"2. When rendering an HD project in Vegas to PAL DVD - is it better to first render to .avi and then rendering that .avi to mpg2 video stream and AC-3 audio? or can we just render to mpg2 and AC-3 straight from the edited project?"

Only if it works.

If you have trouble getting a complete render:

Rendering first to Cineform probably is more likely to complete than would be the case for rendering to any inter-frame codec, such as MPEG2. Then, with all the hard work imposed by editing choices (color corrections, masks, etc.) already having been done while rendering to Cineform, the resultant clip then should render to MPEG2 with no problem.

Remember, that (usually) any failed renders will leave behind a file that can be put on the TL if you use Cineform, or (with some loss in quality) PicVideo. But if you try to put a partial MPEG2 clip on the TL, you'll certainly see some artifacts after rendering again all such clips on the top track to a final MPEG2 file.

I used 32-bit versions of Vegas for several years after I started editing HD (HDV, actually) and I never failed to finish a project. It's tedious, but certainly it can be done on any normal WinXP computer (I only switched to Win7-64 late last year). And, as I mentioned, I never felt the need to try to get past the 2GB limit for Vegas.exe.

Another tip: try to keep the number of codecs on the TL to a minimum - use only Cineform video files, and only .WAV audio files - plus .PNG (ideal) or JPEG (OK) stills. Just last week I failed to obey my own good resolution and had quirks because of 3 MPG3 files I had put on their own separate audio tracks. I always put .AVIs from Cam1 on one hard disk, .AVIs from Cam2 on another, audio on a third, etc. Probably excessive, but maybe it helps some. Certainly it's a good idea to render to a separate disk that holds no project files.

Just last night, as a test I rendered out a project based on thousands of files (lots of .PNG animations with alpha), with lots of blue screen chromakey and many other special effects, using Vegas 9c-32. This morning my Cineform file was complete. Prior to that, I tried using MPEG2 and it failed early on the TL.

But don't fret - almost all of us early adopters of HD found the way to complete every project with 32-bit versions of Vegas.

Earlier versions of Vegas were so bad that I used Veggie Toolkit (I believe it was created by Edward Troxel) to batch render 2-min. segments. I routinely did that for every project, knowing that every long render would fail. Even so, I'd have to reboot after every 6 renders, then work on the remaining 2-min. segments. Even then, sometimes I'd have to cut the 2-min. segment in half, or even down to just a few seconds. We should be thankful that 9x works so much better than earlier versions for rendering (but I don't recommend that you edit in 9x - you'll get 100% glitch-free editing only from 8c, in my experience).
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Old August 29th, 2010, 04:53 PM   #17
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Hey Larry, thanks for the somewhat reassuring reply. It gives me hope to keep trying :)

The computer has 4GB RAM while XP-32bit recognizes 3.X GB as you said.

We'll keep hacking at it till we get there. Maybe rendering smaller segments of the timeline - each at a time - is the way to go. It just seems so awkward. It's amazing to me that there isn't an easier solution for the consumer-end user with AVCHD becoming so popular with non-professional cameras. I mean it seems to me most of the people buying the Panasonic HDC-700 or the Sony HDR-550 and such, are not expecting to have to get into intermediate codecs, tweaking computer RAM and/or batch rendering their projects. Do you know if other NLE programs such as Premiere face the same difficulties?

Anyway, since I've already convinced this friend of mine to buy Vegas rather than Premiere, I'll try my best to find a working workflow that he can live with.

We'll do some more experimenting in the next couple of days. I'll report back and tell you what came of it.

Thanks again!
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Old August 30th, 2010, 10:36 AM   #18
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I used Premiere for a couple of years, and two others before that; all have their own nest of problems. Vegas is by far the most intuitive to use, and probably the fastest too (requiring fewer mouse clicks, etc.). And, until recently, I believe that Final Cut Pro (the popular NLE for Macs) required all vid files to be first rendered to an intermediate - not just for convenience and smoothness of the experience, but because there was no alternative. At least with Vegas, you can open almost any video file (Vegas was almost the only NLE that could open Sanyo files until recently), edit out any junk that you're sure you'll never use, then create the thus-truncated intermediate instead of having to wade through all the junk forever after.

Vegas made improvements in stability with v9-32, and - as I mentioned - by using 8c for editing and 9x-64 for rendering, many weeks can go by without ever encountering any quirk or glitch. It has become, for me, the very first NLE that lets me concentrate totally on the creative process instead of constantly having to put out glitch-related fires - as long as I follow my self-imposed rules, outlined herein.

Having said that, many Vegas users do edit directly from the .MP4 files if they have fast computers with no stuttering, etc. That's OK.

I immediately convert all files to .AVI Cineform or PicVideo because sometimes I want to bring them into Virtual Dub or some other utility for a little work that can be done better there (like slow motion, which I use fairly often). And, I do it from habit formed back in the day when I had a much slower computer - living with Vegas is just so much easier when the entire TL has only Cineform files or PicVideo files.

But if editing directly from the TM700 files works OK for you and you learn to deal with the rendering problems that are more likely to result when you own neither Cineform or PicVideo, then why not?
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Old September 1st, 2010, 11:07 AM   #19
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Hi Larry. I'm about to go through some testing, but a question came up which I never thought to ask before.

What should the Project Settings be when working with either 1080 50p AVCHD footage? I can't find a template for that format in the pull-down menu. Or must I enter the settings manually? If so, which settings are recommended?

I think I may have read something about it and set my projects accordingly, but I can't remember. And now I'm a bit confused.

Since I'm asking, if you could also tell me which settings are proper for the other formats on the Panasonic hdc-700 - for example 1080(50i) and 1080(25i), that would be great.

I've downloaded PicVideo as well for further testing and will post back results.

Thanks!
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Old September 1st, 2010, 03:53 PM   #20
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Shalom Adi,

Iím not Larry but I can help you selecting the Project Settings for working with 1080 50p AVCHD video.

Please observe the following screenshot.

If you have any questions regarding those settings I can be of assistance further.
Attached Thumbnails
I need some starting tips for working with Panasonic HDC-TM700 and Vegas-capture.jpg  
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Old September 1st, 2010, 05:44 PM   #21
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Mr. Bolotin - is there a reason why you are using 25p instead of 50p?
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 04:06 AM   #22
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Larry,

If you are asking why I use 1080p25 (i.e. 1,080 lines of vertical resolution by 1,920 pixels of horizontal resolution 25 progressive frames per second) video mode instead of 1080p50 mode, my answer is this.

In Europe, 1080p25 signals are the only ones that have been supported by the DVB Full HD suite of broadcasting standards. Even though 1080p50 has been foreseen as a future-proof production format, and eventually a future-broadcasting format, commercially available TV sets capable of showing 1080p50 are still nonexistent.

In the United States, all major networks use either 720p60 or 1080i60 encoded with MPEG-2. Satellite service though has many channels that utilize the 1080p/24-30 format (Direc TV, XstreamHD, Dish Network, to name a few).

Regarding video acquisition, as of year 2010, majority of consumer camcorders and professional video and DSLR photo cameras can capture 1080p24, 1080p25 or 1080p30 signal. Only Panasonic offers a few consumer cameras that can capture 1080p50 and 1080p60 picture.

Obviously, among high-end professional digital cameras the range is better: Sony CineAlta F23, Sony SRW9000, as well as RED One cameras are all that capable of capturing 1080p50/1080p60 pictures.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 12:47 PM   #23
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good answer regarding current standards and end-viewer options - at present.

Pretty much the same situation here in NTSC-land, as you noted. However, I started saving all projects to 60p anyway - back when I bought my first 60p cams - the Sanyo HF1 and HD2000; and I continue the practice with the TM700.

I will want to distribute those projects that I'm working on at 60p when viewers are ready. At present, I degrade the image to 60i for 1080, or else burn to DVD, or else degrade to lower pixels @ 24p for the web.

But I'm still left with the original 60p Cineform master which later can provide 60p MP4 or whatever format when the time is right. Even now I can distribute to my friends the 60p .MP4 files for viewing on their computer.

I suppose it depends upon possible use of the video in the future, or at least cuts from it. If it is unlikely to ever find a use again, then it makes sense to set the project for 25p. But if the material might be used in the future, it seems to me that the highest amount of information possible should be preserved - 50p (hard disks are so cheap now; last night I bought a 2TB Hitachi for $90 U.S. + $9 tax, after instant $20 off from NewEgg plus a $20 mail-in rebate - with free shipping).
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 05:26 PM   #24
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May I tell you Larry that preserving all your projects shot in progressive 60 frames per second mode in their original form is the right thing to do.

Doing so, you get the best of two worlds: the same temporal resolution (motion) as of the standard 60i video and the high vertical spacial resolution per frame as of progressive video.

As to what frame rate we can hope to have in the future, 60p is very close to the possible maximum.

According to the findings of Douglas Trumbull (the inventor of Showscan cinematic process), 72 frames per second is the maximum frame rate at which emotional impact peaked for viewers. Besides, 72fps is the maximum rate available in the WMV format.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 10:15 PM   #25
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"72 frames per second is the maximum frame rate at which emotional impact peaked for viewers" -

very interesting indeed; I didn't know about that, but I'll keep it in mind . . .

Thanks, Larry
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Old September 7th, 2010, 10:50 AM   #26
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Hey Larry, Hey Arkady!

Thanks for the replies and info!! This thread and all the stuff I've had to read as a result has become a real learning experience for me.

Meanwhile I've had to fly to China for an 8 week project, but never-the-less I'll be trying to give some kind of long-distance support to my good friend in Tel Aviv who is still struggling to get decent video played on a PAL DVD.

For our last tests before I had to jump on a plane - we shot material in 1080/50p and in HG as well.

Our goal was to eventually burn a PAL DVD that would look nice when played on his DVD Player/TV.

We tested each of the two materials separately.

Both were converted to 25p avi files with NeoScene and then imported to Vegas. We made a simple edit and then once rendered straight to mpeg-2 video stream and ac-3 using dvd architect templates. Then tried rendereing first to .avi (cineform codec) and then taking that avi and rendering it to mpeg-2 video stream and ac-3.

Then we created the dvd using the single movie option in architect.

Basically, all went rather well as far as the work flow.

I'll be honest, I can't currently remember the project settings we had set. I'll have to get back to you on that. I believe we used one of the HDV 1080 templates and then customized it so that it would be 25/fps progressive.

No problems editing. We managed to render up to 10 minutes of video with no crashes. Then we prepared and burned some dvds - one for each test.

All dvds had similar problems. Generally, everything seemed fine except for one thing. The video looked weird (like a flickering noise) specifically in various combination of the following incidences:
1. bright areas, like a white wall for example
2. horizontal lines, like window blinds
3. during camera movement.

Could this have to do with not setting the Project Properties up right in Vegas? Or maybe not rendering with the correct settings?

Right now I'm basically trying to get him to a point where he can take advantage of his new Panasonic HDC-TM700 (although he is not fixated on using 1080/50p if he can get satisfactory results easier with less demanding format). He wishes to edit with his new copy of Vegas 9 Pro, which he is quickly learning and eventually end up with a decent looking PAL DVD that he can play on his 27" inch TV.

I apologize again for having to relay things from you guys to him and then from him back to you... but it's the only way.

Thanks!
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Old September 7th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #27
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I've had a similar problem when playing back SD conversions from HD on a DV.
I put it down to viewing it on an HD LCD screen. When viewed on a SD CRT television, it was perfectly acceptable.
I guess it has something to do with the 720 x 576 SD anamorphic image being upscaled to the HD parameters..
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Old September 7th, 2010, 12:29 PM   #28
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Hi Robin. Indeed he is playing the DVD on an HD LCD tv set.

Any workaround?

Is there anything he can do differently at any stage of his work flow (described above) that can help overcome this?

THX
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Old September 7th, 2010, 12:39 PM   #29
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Hi Adi,
I can't think of anything at the moment - it seems that it's inherent in playing back SD material on this type of screen. I had the same problem when I first bought an LCD TV. I could only receive SD broadcasts from a digibox which was connected via a Scart plug. Those images had the same defects as you mention. When I changed the digibox for the HD version whch used the HDMI port, the quality of SD programmes was vastly improved. How is the DVD player connected? If it's possible to try an HDMI input, there may well be an improvement.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 09:30 PM   #30
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I see. Yet, as I understand from what you're saying - it is something that has to do with the SD material which in fact has been converted from HD material, right?

I'm asking because material he shot on his mini DV camcorder and burned to PAL DVD plays perfectly fine on the exact same display. So I'm figuring that possibly there is something that might be done at some stage to render out SD in a way that the LCD display can handle better. Otherwise, is he basically stuck with going out and purchasing a blue ray burner and player as an only solution?
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