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Old December 17th, 2011, 11:07 AM   #1
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Vegas 11 Handling AVCHD Color Better?

Hi Folks,

I am editing a project on my clients machine with Panasonic HMC150 and AF100 source files.

My client had just downloaded the trial of Sony Vegas 11 and we are giving it a go.

For a long time, I have converted the source files to Cineform High Quality, and there was always a marked improvement in both editing performance, and even more notably the colors always looked much better on the Cineform file.

***

I converted the footage to Cineform, and replaced it, but I didn't see the change in quality - which is normally so dramatic.

So to test, I stacked the source AVCHD files and the Cineform file on separate tracks and toggled between the two. With some serious pixel peeping, I did see a difference between the footage, but I would hesitate to say the Cineform footage looked "better", just "different", but almost unnoticeable.

My question is, has anyone had the same experience? Is there an change or improvement to the way Vegas 11 displays AVCHD? Or Cineform? Could there be another reason why?

I even opened an older project where the difference between Cineform and source files was dramatic - the skin tones looked much better with Cineform when I first worked on it. But again, the two files looked virtually the same!

Please share with me your experience.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 02:59 PM   #2
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Re: Vegas 11 Handling AVCHD Color Better?

Since 10, they've always looked identical to me, but I didn't use high quality settings.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 03:56 PM   #3
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Re: Vegas 11 Handling AVCHD Color Better?

I did the same stacked footage test in Premiere 5.5, and there was a pretty significant difference. It appeared that there was more range in the Cineform footage, blacks got crushed in the AVCHD, but I saw detail in the Cineform files.

However, the Cineform footage appeared somewhat washed out, while the source AVCHD footage "popped" more and was more saturated. In my experience, clients tend to like deeper colors more often, and in this case so did I.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 05:13 PM   #4
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Re: Vegas 11 Handling AVCHD Color Better?

Cineform footage in vegas shows up as 709 or (16-235).
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Old December 17th, 2011, 05:52 PM   #5
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Re: Vegas 11 Handling AVCHD Color Better?

^^ I have almost no knowledge of these color spaces. Would you elaborate or point me in the direction to some further information please?
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Old December 17th, 2011, 07:35 PM   #6
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Re: Vegas 11 Handling AVCHD Color Better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Fisher View Post
^^ I have almost no knowledge of these color spaces. Would you elaborate or point me in the direction to some further information please?
Everything you ever wanted to know - and a lot of stuff you had no idea about at Sony Vegas Tutorials and Other Articles, courtesy of Glenn Chan.
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Old December 18th, 2011, 05:20 AM   #7
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Re: Vegas 11 Handling AVCHD Color Better?

Hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Fisher View Post
Hi Folks,

I am editing a project on my clients machine with Panasonic HMC150 and AF100 source files.

My client had just downloaded the trial of Sony Vegas 11 and we are giving it a go.

For a long time, I have converted the source files to Cineform High Quality, and there was always a marked improvement in both editing performance, and even more notably the colors always looked much better on the Cineform file.

***

I converted the footage to Cineform, and replaced it, but I didn't see the change in quality - which is normally so dramatic.

So to test, I stacked the source AVCHD files and the Cineform file on separate tracks and toggled between the two. With some serious pixel peeping, I did see a difference between the footage, but I would hesitate to say the Cineform footage looked "better", just "different", but almost unnoticeable.

My question is, has anyone had the same experience? Is there an change or improvement to the way Vegas 11 displays AVCHD? Or Cineform? Could there be another reason why?

I even opened an older project where the difference between Cineform and source files was dramatic - the skin tones looked much better with Cineform when I first worked on it. But again, the two files looked virtually the same!

Please share with me your experience.
Apart from level shifts which would result in more contrasty/less contrasty comparisons, with one being correct the other not, and would need a level shift to compare like for like then:

When you convert to Cineform the original AVCHD footage has to be decompressed into an uncompressed frame(s), then handed to Cineform to recompress, which is lossy and on the Sony timeline in your preview, Sony has to uncompress it again. This means you AVCHD footage has gone through a lossy compression cycle to get it to Cineform, while Cineform is good, lossy is lossy, so something will be different/changed.

With your original AVCHD footage on the timeline, Sony just uncompresses that for your preview, and it hasn't been through an additional lossy compression conversion. AVCHD straight on the time-line is going to yield the best quality, if not the best editing experience because it takes more work for the PC.

The Sony preview window really is just sampling the video and resizing it, and different decoders will be used to sample a preview for AVCHD and Cineform. So all the above will cause there to be a difference when you pixel peek. You are probably better off exporting a still frame of each and comparing those for the most scrutiny, on a Windows PC if you maximise both still images in Paint, you can Alt-Tab between them really quickly and see differences.

Regards

Phil
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