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Old November 3rd, 2010, 05:05 AM   #1
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How to work with mixed formats - and how to set the different Properties?

Hi. There's a subject I've been wanting to get straight in my head for ages and its the whole relation between the video properties of (A) the Project Settings (B) the source file itself, as was originally shot (C) the video events on the timeline, as they appear when right clicking an event and selecting Properties from the drop-down menu and (D) the Render dialog.

Let me start off by describing how I think it is and please correct me if I'm wrong.

(A) Project Settings - this basically effects ONLY the way the project is previewed while working. It does not have any effect on the original file on hard drive and does not effect how Vegas will ultimately render the project. Am I right?

(B) Source File - will always remain as is and cannot be effected through changes in Vegas such as Project Settings, or event Properties.

(C) Event Properties - This I'm not too sure about. For example, under the Media tab - what effect does changing the Field Order or Pixel Aspect Ratio have on either playback, or rendering?

(D) Rendering settings - Here again we are faced with setting Field Order, Aspect Ratio, Frame Size and Frame Rate. Basically this is how the rendered file will be. But to me it is not clear how the previous settings effect how the final render will ultimately turn out. Say for example I shot in lower-field first, then right clicked the event on the timeline and set it to upper-field first and then rendered with settings to lower-field first. What overrides which? And what should I take into account when running into situations where different settings don't necessarily match.

Let me give a more practical example, like one I'm facing now...

I'm working on a video project. The final video presented will be on a PAL DVD (not wide-screen). The frame is split down the center to two halves - left and right.
On the left side I will have HDV footage shot and imported at 1440x1080 /50i.
On the right side will be HD material - source media is 1920x1080 / 24p

My first question is about how I should set my Project settings? I should probably set them to how the final result will be - which is normal sized PAL. Yet working on a previous project with mixed formats - I was advised to set Project settings to the higher resolution of the bunch. I was working then with DV PAL and HDV. With Project settings set to PAL Vegas seemed to have a tougher time producing a preview when compared to having Project settings set to HDV. So this is the source of my confusion here.

Assuming I have that part figured out, the next step is to place the clips on the timeline and create the split screen.

It is clear to me that I need two video tracks - one for each side of the split screen. I should place the HDV on one track and the HD on the other. I gather I'll be cropping each event so that the width is 360 which is half of PAL's 720 pixel width and then using each track's Track Motion settings to position each of the tracks respectively - one to the left and one to the right.

Yet... somehow I it seems its not that simple. No matter how I try to tweak things the images are either too wide or too narrow, or stretched or not in place. Furthermore, when I had finally achieved what I thought was a proper PAL split frame with these two tracks - when finally rendering - much to my dispair, I got narrow black margins to the right and left of the frame.

I have a feeling this has to do with how some are square pixels and some are not... but then this brings me back to what I wrote about above and I just get lost in all of it.

Sorry for the long post, I hope I can finally sort this out.

Thanks!
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 08:43 PM   #2
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Hey Adi, alot of the questions you have asked I would like to here the answers to myself from someone more qualified than I.
However, if I can offer this, I have never had any success using mixed formats, I always look at what Ive got, pick the least amount, and convert into the majority.
But in this instance, with your project, I would convert the HDV into square pixel 1920x1080 progressive, first.
Then convert your 24p into 25p (absolute frames project, resize it and disable resample).
Now you have 2 high rez clips the same.
Do your editing, save as a 1080p square pixel file in Cineform or Lagarith or dnxhd (whatever you use as an intermediate codec)
Now open up Virtualdub, apply the resize filter, and set it to 1048x576 (square pixel Pal)
Save to Lagarith.
Now put that file into your DVD authoring software.
Stress free, no unexpected results, and the resolution of your Pal DVD will almost look HD.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 09:30 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Gerald.

Quote:
I would convert the HDV into square pixel 1920x1080 progressive, first.
Do you mean rendering the HDV material to a 1920x1080 progressive .avi file using one of the codecs you mentioned? (I bought NeoScene, so its Cineform for me)

Quote:
Then convert your 24p into 25p (absolute frames project, resize it and disable resample).
Does this mean rendering again?... and not sure what you mean by "resize it and disable resample"

Quote:
Now open up Virtualdub, apply the resize filter, and set it to 1048x576 (square pixel Pal)
Save to Lagarith.
Never used Virtualdub before... but I'll try it. Then you mention "Save to Lagarith" - only Lagarith? or is my cineform codec ok?

Thanks again!
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 10:18 PM   #4
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yeah, convert the HDV into square pixel Neoscene.
at the same time you could be converting your 24p into 25p in another window of Vegas,
by resize, i meant if you have to sync it to the other footage (2 cameras on one subject), you will have to control drag the end to get it to sync. If it is not in sync then dont worry.

When playing around with fps ALWAYS right click the clip and Disable resample, it stops Vegas from "making up" frames where there are none, each frame will remain clean.

Virtualdub just does a better job of resizing it down.
Lagarith is lossless so imo its a better option, also one of the dvd programs i use wont read neoscene.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 10:21 PM   #5
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Kind of two separate Qs there. I'll offer my thoughts on the a-d part first.

a) Yes, as far as I know (and can tell) it is essentially just a preview setting. Now, the things you do during the editing will likely be affected by these settings, so I think there is good sense in setting the project up to whatever your final output is going to be. If you don't, you might suddenly get issues in render you didn't expect.

b) Correct. Vegas is non-destructive, everything source remains as is. The only caveat is if you save your project to include trimmed media, the copied media will obviously be different. I would presume that the original file remains unchanged.

c) It doesn't change playback or rendering, but it might force Vegas to make changes before that. As I understand it, if you change the Field Ordering, for example, Vegas might think it needs to flip fields. If you save the file is bottom first, and the project is top first, then Vegas will adjust the handling of the source file to present it top first. Or if you tell Vegas that the PAR is different, then it will adjust the sizing of the source to match the preview or render.
If you have something that is square pixel, and it's brought into a project that 1.2121, then Vegas knows that it needs to stretch the input image by that factor to still have the source appear in correct aspect ratio.
For example, in DV widescreen, 100 pixels actually consume 121 "square" pixels on the screen. So if you put a 100x100 square pixel image in the middle, the 100 width will be squished. So, Vegas knows that the PAR of the preview is 1.2121 and will "stretch" the 100 width into 121, then put it in the preview. Then it will look square again.
But, Vegas can't determine for certain what those settings are. It makes decent guesses based on standards and likely defaults, but you might need to specify something specifically.

d) Here, it is my understanding that the preview/project settings essentially don't matter. The render settings take over. And again, Vegas will use the information about the various media to determine if any framerate/field order/pixel sizing changes need to be applied in order to render out as directed.
This is why having the project settings match is important to prevent surprises.

This is how I've viewed/understood all of these, and it seems to have served me OK. Hopefully, I've not grossly confused something.

Try just setting the PAR on each individual clip (all clips share the same, so change it once and it's changed everywhere that particular clip is used) based on what the drop down says. PAL DV, PAL Widescreen, or HDV (1.333) if your 1440x1080, 1920x1080 is square. Set your project to PAL DV 1.09XX, and render to the same.

Gerald's suggestions are great, and would probably yield a superior final, but I think it could all be done inside Vegas.

As for the track motion issues, I'm not sure. Perhaps an SS of one when you have a problem with it.

As for the bars on the output, what are/were the project and the render settings you chose? And where did you view it? I think the actual DVD on a TV output drops the slight edges off as overscan. So it might just be something you noticed on the computer?
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Last edited by Craig Longman; November 3rd, 2010 at 10:33 PM. Reason: Changed Gerard to Gerald ... sorry =)
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 10:32 PM   #6
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One thing with the track motion though, is make sure you have the Lock Aspect Ratio option checked at the top. Then your resizing won't inadvertently squish or stretch things.
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