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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.

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Old September 15th, 2006, 02:11 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Santa Cruz, California
Posts: 30
Quirky pulldown removal

I recently captured a lot of footage (nearly 18 hours actually) for an indie movie, using an XL-H1 through a blackmagic card's HD-SDI onto a MacPro 2.6 GHz - live.

We captured into a mixture of Uncompressed (blackmagic) and DVCPROHD. The reason for mixed formats is that sometimes our RAID's performance would deteriorate to the point of having dropped frames (which we learned the hard way), and we would have to switch to DVCPROHD for the rest of the night until we could offload and defrag or restripe.

We also have tape and FireStore HDV backups of everything. Since we are intercutting with film, we were shooting 24p, so everything came down the SDI at 60i. Final Cut happily recorded everything at 60i.

Removing the pulldown turned out to be a real trick. After Effects handled the majority of the footage very well. However, for any of our captures with dropped frames it was totally helpless. The output would be great until we hit a drop, and then interlacing would be everywhere, presumably from a messed up pulldown pattern.

I was able to fix some of these damaged clips using AviSynth and its excellent TIVTC plugin (on windows) along with TMPGEnc Xpress4's Quicktime output, which alllows for adaptive pulldown removal. All of our source material is getting encoded into Photo JPEG @75% (4:2:2, minimal compression mode) to allow editing on FCP.

The latest issue that I have run into is this. After Effects seems to not like working with DVCPROHD. Some clips it handles fine, and some it refuses to encode, throwing error "After Effects error: compressing frame of movie -- QuickTime codec error (-8966). (44 :: 39)" . Some clips it encodes, but ghost frames / pulldown artifacts remain in the output.

I'm going out of my mind!!! I would just do all the DVCPROHD stuff on Windows with AviSynth and TMPGEnc(which has been bulletproof to this point), but sadly there is no DVCPROHD Quicktime codec for Windows.... GAAH!! Perhaps DVCPROHD ->uncompressed on mac, then uncompressed->avisynth->photoJPEG, but this is exceedingly time and space consuming. Grabbing our HDV backups would be a lot easier, but then we have 5 total source formats on this movie! (uncompressed, super 16 film from 2 cameras and 2 film stocks, DVCPROHD, DV, and HDV). 4:2:0 is not ideal also...

Do you guys have any idea as to why After Effects (7) is giving me so may headaches with DVCPROHD? Any ideas on alternative ways to remove pulldown on this DVCPROHD material? BTW After Effects is dreadfully slow on the MacPro through rosetta... My Athlon3500+ with a 7800gt for OpenGL rendering runs circles around it, even without the RAID our MacPro is endowed with :)

-Derek Prestegard
Digital Media Factory
Santa Cruz, California
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Old September 15th, 2006, 08:25 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 7
3:2 dvcpro PC

Not sure if yo uhave heard about this but serious magic has a dvcpro hd decoder for PC that comes with their HD rack 2.o software that lets you use dvcpro hd on a PC runing premire or vegas.

good luck. Canon should have given us the option to get HD-SDI without pulldown of the camera, but hey! what do we know, we just use the stuff.
Anthony Miles
Indie Film Maker/DP
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Old September 16th, 2006, 12:21 AM   #3
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Location: Santa Cruz, California
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Thanks for the idea Anthony. This utility seems to be for transmuxing MXF files (from p2 cards) into QuickTime or AVI files. ffmpegX does this for free I discovered today. In other words, I can go from a quicktime dvcprohd mov into a dvcprohd avi, and then use a VFW decoder in Windows through AviSynth to decode and IVTC the DVCPROHD. In theory anyway, I've yet to try it out.

Anyone else have a better idea?

-Derek Prestegard
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