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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.

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Old September 5th, 2007, 02:48 PM   #91
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Sorry, forgot to say - if I try to mix a photo taken by the camera it mixes that full screen and correctly. Just this mask file.

Dimensions of the mask file is 650 x 488
Dimensions of the photograph taken is 640 x 480

I have created a 640x480 image in Photoshop and made my own mask but it still does the same thing.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 03:29 PM   #92
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Done it!

Wayne Orr's thread helped me, he gave me step by step instructions. Aparently it's something to do with the way Photoshop reads .jpg images - creating them has to be very specific with no thumbnails, certain quality, etc.

Thanks for all your help.

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Old September 7th, 2007, 11:09 AM   #93
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Yeah. Actually, as long as the filename is in the right format, the images will work. I figured it out shortly after this thread died. I took a still photo to the MS (with the PD170) and changed my file names to a similar format.

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Old February 23rd, 2008, 09:24 PM   #94
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Finding the right "Memory Stick"

I recently purchased a Sony memory stick NON-PRO MAGICGATE MSH-128 exactly like this one on Ebay. (link removed) It ended up not working at all. I couldn't get it to work in my PD150, my HP PSC 1610xi all-in-one printer, or my computer (sony adapter to USB).

Is it because it is "MagicGate" or did I get hosed?

Last edited by Chris Hurd; February 23rd, 2008 at 10:43 PM. Reason: Ebay link removed
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 10:47 PM   #95
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Chuck, see this post:

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Old June 21st, 2009, 02:40 PM   #96
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Sony Memory Mix Mattes

I've made plenty of Sony Memory Mix mattes, at first I just loaded them on the 1GB (one gigabyte) memory stick, no loading luck. Then I racked my brain and pulled my hair reading the manual, with no help there. But I did extrapolate that the only difference between a trv350 (ntsc) and a trv351(exclusively sold to South American market) was the inclusion of a memory stick preloaded with mattes for the trv351. The mattes were included on the software CD-ROM along with a program to load them. So I inserted and formated a SanDisk Memory Stick PRO Duo 1GB MagicGate in the camera and connected the camera to the computer with a 6pin(large) to 4pin(small) USB cable, and loaded the files. That didn't work because I loaded them into the root directory, but I had the mattes now, and used them as examples for creating more.

I examined the file/file-structure on the memory stick after touching 'record' during playback or touching record in Memory mode (to create a 320x240, 6fps, "MOV000xx.MPG") - or snapping stills by pressing photo in any mode except live Camera/16:9 screen capture (to create a 640x480 "DSC000xx.JPG")[but you CAN screen capture 16:9 playback] by connecting the USB cable and placing the camera in Memory mode. Indeed the files were located as "*:\DCIM\101MSDCF\DSC00xxx.JPG" (where 'x's indicate numerical digits.) When I then placed the mattes in that folder and danced jubilantly as the camera accessed each type of matte - Memory Chroma (key blue from matte), Memory Luma (key bright from matte), Camera Chroma (key blue from lens/sensor) and Overlay (cross fade from matte to lens/sensor). Next I determined that 2GB memory sticks work fine, I didn't have larger to test 4GB or 8GB.
I at once decided to keep only mattes in "*:\DCIM\101MSDCF\" directory/folder to avoid confusion later and have since found that to have been a wize choice. It's cleaner to add a new record folder in the field when changing location/client. Then the next folder will be named 102MSDCF, 103MSDCF, et cetera, and in each new folder the first capture file name is reset to dsc00001.jpg. I snap twin cameras simultaneously for 3D with the infra-red remote, and occasionally one of the cameras will misfire, skewing the file numbers - adding a new record folder to both re-syncs that - and having matching file#s line up in separate left and right folders on the computer screen is a huge assist in post.

=========== Creating Mattes =================
Earlier in the thread Rob Unck mentioned "Memory stick mask to 'trick' my system into capturing a letterbox or anamorphic image". Yes, and you could lay in transparent (keyed) or other color within the bars, for text such as web address, phone# to order now, or even legalese. I built two binocular masks, one for 4:3 and one for 16:9 and they both have a scale of pixels marked off in 5 and 10 increments along the lower right corner - the scale doesn't show in playback, it is apparently cropped visually by the studio video monitor, and it is distorted by MPEG compression on my Digital 8 stream but there is enough fuzzy/off-color blobs to pick up a pixel width/height measurement from a screen capture in the camera. This thread also reminded me that long ago I had forgotten that I wanted to create a 'binocular' matte/mask, so I did that in 4:3 as well as making one up anaphorically 'compressed' perfect circles for use in 16:9 capture, and both MUST BE 640x480 pixels! So below I include a specification range and a short "How to Build Mattes." But first let me explain this all holds true for the trv350 and this is a forum regarding the Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion, but it seems that the previous posts in this thread indicate that these Memory Mix matte specifications and instruction are correct but may perhaps be a subset of the capabilities of other Sony cameras.

Baseline: image settings from screen capture
----------- Test 1 - Baseline ====== snapshot provided by camera ======
640x480 pixels
*:\DCIM\101MSDCF\DSC00xxx.JPG folder&filename
quality 0.85
smoothing 0.00
Restart markers: off
Optimize on
Progressive: off
Force baseline JPEG (Readable by all decoders): on
save EXIF data: off
Comments: [must be blank]
========= test 2 - Quality ============== With extensive notes included.
form factor: 640x480 only!
I have tried ranging the width from 600 to 700 pixels.
I have tried ranging the height from 450 to 500 pixels.
There is a black bar mask mentioned in this thread at 650x488, that'll never work for me.
ONLY 640 by 480 pixels can be read, now earlier in the thread someone mentioned that using a hexadecimal file editor application they were able to trim out a section of jpeg header code. That seems to me the width/height portion of the header, but I am probably wrong. If it is I would assume the camera to grab only 640 by 480 of the matte.

I save Sony Memory Mix matte/overlay/underlay images onto the memory stick only in the "*:\DCIM\101MSDCF\" directory/folder for my sanity in the field but first I save them in the \MemoryMix\ folder on my computer, file by file identically (which is not mirrored or briefcased!) Replication/duplication between the memory stick contents and my computer are always carried out manually to avoid loosing the great amount of time creating mattes by accidentally changing one and then propagating that error/omission to all copies. So I treat the computer folder as the source/master. Editing/creation is done in the \MemoryMix\work\ folder and files are saved in native app format (for me that's Gimp's .xcf) to preserve layers for later adjustment if needed. I commonly capture in 3D with a matched pair of trv350's mounted together on a simple "flash bar" in 640x480 4:3 and another hand-held trv350 in anamorphic 640x480 16:9 as hand-held, every camera is loaded with the same mattes for convenience, and arranging the file structure this way keeps that easily done. The camera is case insensitive, meaning it doesn't care if the filename is all caps or all lower-case or mixed, so I code the name as lowercase if the source is me and let the camera to PC connection (idiotic PC can't keep the name lowercase after transfer) indicate that all caps DSC0xxxx.JPG. You can have a dsc00000.jpg and mine is the b/w Indian test pattern (which I adapted from the original RCA art, owned by TV historian Chuck Pharis,) but it's title display on-screen is just that. Other title displays show as FFF-XXXX where FFF is the folder # and XXXX is the file number. The camera does not recognize file names DSC10000.jpg or higher, and when snapping a still at DSC09999.JPG it rolls over, and resets to DSC00001.JPG adding a new folder automatically. In the viewfinder properly recognized files display in the lower right corner as FFF-XXXX using a hypen separator, and images/mattes with problems display as FFF_XXXX using an underscore separator. Entirely unreadable images are skipped. When memory mix mode is selected, and a properly recognized preview image is in the frame, a photo snapshot can be taken that includes the preview image.

Quality (compression factor inverse) 85-100%
I work in sharp, pixel for pixel 100%, bitmaped style, 16Million colors (hex FFFFFF= 16,777,216 combinations = 16,777,214 colors + white(#FFFFFF all on) and black(#000000 all off) and blue mattes key best at #0000FF (0 red, 0 green, all blue) in Gimp, but have used photoshop for my first mattes. I want to work in sharp corners, hard on and off precision, later I can smooth by loading a copy and saving with a new filename and induce smoothing by reducing the quality and adjusting the smoothing. I save my templates at the larger file size at 100% quality, but the camera will read lower quality, and itself will save at 85% quality for sake of file size compression.

Smoothing: 0
There is another problem with the black bars (650x488) mask mentioned in above, the interface edge is neither blue (#0000ff) or black (#000000), it is blue/gray (#2f34ff) and that leaves a capture through the matte with a blue edged capture. As mentioned above, the camera records at 85% compression, which is more than plenty, so I keep a sharp mask and let later processes introduce noise, er... blend the matte smooth for me.

Restart Markers: 0?
I have had intermittent success/failure with restart markers, but the camera can always open a matte that has none. I haven't played with saving in a range, so I don't know why some images with restart markers read and others don't. I just leave it off for reliability.

Optimize: off
I forget if I played with this, I'm not worried about space on my 2GB MagicGate ProDuo. So I leave it off for quality concerns, not wanting the save process to alter my matte image. I don't recall if setting this to 'on' prevents reading the image or not.

Progressive: OFF!
This is sure to kill any ability of the camera to read the matte, just as sure as 641x481 pixels does. Leave it off.

Force Baseline JPEG: on
I tend to listen to the Gimp say (Readable by all decoders) and think that's probably a good thing here.

save EXIF data: off
I seem to recall having set this 'ON' that it's o.k. when unmodified, such as when immediately using a snapshot as a mask/overlay. But the image has problems loading when EXIF data's been modified, even by Sony's very own GPS-CS1KA Global Positioning Unit Kit. I just leave it off for reliability.

Thumbnail: NO! [leave check-box blank]
The camera can't handle thumbnail attachment in the image file.

Subsampling: 2x1,1x1,1x1 or 1x1,1x1,1x1
Doesn't seem to affect read/load, but affects quality again. I generally choose 1x1 subsampling for a larger size and least compression.

Comments: [must be blank]
having comments attached to the image keeps it from being read/loaded.
I have a feeling that the JPEG compression header is affected and that is the basis for most read/load failures. Add your comments/properties/et cetera, after you get the image back from the camera.

=============test 3 - Progressive===============
quality 1.0000
Restart markers: off
Optimize off
Progressive on - choice caused inability to load file in imager
Force baseline JPEG (Readable by all decoders): on
save EXIF data: off
Comments: [must be blank]
=============test 4 - Subsampling===============
quality 1.0000
Restart markers: off
Optimize off
Progressive off
Force baseline JPEG (Readable by all decoders): on
save EXIF data: off
Subsampling:1x1,1x1,1x1 (changing subsampling from 2x1,1x1,1x1 seems to not affect reading the file or loading it for matte use.)
Comments: [must be blank]

I have a website for the trv350 Sony Memory Mix mattes at Sony DCR-TRV350 Digital Handycam / DCR-TRV351 extra images! where you can download the b/w Test pattern Indian, color test pattern bar, black letterbox bars, binoculars matte, and a variety of frames and backgrounds. But the most up to date collection, to which you are welcome to discuss and to add your own creations is the group at
Flickr: Memory Mix, insert Sony DSC TRV350 images!

And an hilarious example of skyblue chroma replacement using the Camera Chrome setting to insert a background live in-camera is at
Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Wizard Flee the Giant Cat Better Mouse Trap

Last edited by Mark Turner; June 21st, 2009 at 08:19 PM. Reason: clarification, spelling, additional information
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