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Martin Adams
04-24-2004, 06:11 PM
Hey everyone,

I just let DFX+ render out a 12 minute file as an AVI - Full frames uncompressed. I estimated this would be about 28GB in size. Normally, I would export straight to DV PAL as an AVI but this isn't supported by DFX+ (not to my knowledge anyway).

After rendering for 7 and a half hours, I find my exported video is only 4GB. Don't worry, I have my hard disk formatted as NTFS allowing larger files to be valid.

Is DFX+ capped at 4GB? Does anyone know of a better way to export 18,000 frames for conversion to the DV codec?

Another option for me is to export as single frames, but Premiere 6 is limited on what it can string back together. After Effects may help though (but I feel I am loosing the plot having to rely on so many programs).

Any help, tips and/or advice would be very much appreciated!!!

Martin Adams
04-24-2004, 06:29 PM
Okay, I may be on the road to solving my own problem...

The DFX+ 4.03b patch has the following...

Experimental: Writing of .AVI files with DirectShow has been implemented. This allow Fusion to write DirectShow-only formats such as long (> 4 GB) DV files. This has not been extensively tested yet, and may require recent versions of DirectX and Windows. To use this feature, create an environment variable called "DF_DV", set it to "true", and restart Fusion. You will then be able to explicitly select DirectShow from the list of formats in Saver tools. The codec can then be chosen from the Formats tab. Sound is not yet supported.

If it is using DirectShow, it may allow me to export to DV PAL as well as really large file sizes.

I'll give it a go and let you all what happens...

Martin Adams
04-26-2004, 07:50 AM
Okay, I thought I had got there, but not quite.

I finally managed to download the update for DFX+. It installed no problem and I added the environment variable to active the DirectShow export option. So far so good!

I now have the option to export as Microsoft DV which is what I want. So I select it and export. Everything appears to render as normal, except ... it doesn't actually save anything. The output files doesn't exist.

Going back to my original problem of the 4GB limit, since DirectShow can export video at greater than 4GB, I thought I'd try the full frames uncompressed using DirectShow. Well, the same thing happens in that it renders but there is no output file created ... and of course, DFX+ crashes.

Looks like I'm back to the drawing board. I'll give Eyeon to see if they have any advice, but failing that, I'm going to have to export each frame and try to put it back again in another app.

Of course, if anyone has any suggestions, do please share.

TyVole
04-26-2004, 10:04 AM
I had this problem as well and Eyeon confirmed that there is currently a 4 GB limit.

I worked around the issue by using Premiere to create the .avi. I'm sure other programs would work too.

Martin Adams
04-26-2004, 10:21 AM
Yes, from my experience, Premeire 6.0 only imports a limited number of frames at a time.

After Effects should do the job. Thinking about it, I could probably do everything I've got in my DFX+ flow in After Effects because its only some colour correction ... but that's not the point.

I may take a look at the scripting feature of DFX+ and see if I can "programatically" export the flow into different chunks of uncompressed AVI at just under 4GB each.

Personally, I refuse to set the start and end times of each chunk by hand ... but then if I get desperate then at least its an option.

I guess for most major productions it would always be a case of using single images. Well, thanks anyway TyVole.

Martin Adams
04-28-2004, 10:20 AM
Okay, I've played a little more, but still haven't quite got there.

I have got DFX+ to actually save my files when rendering via DirectShow. It appeared to start working after a reboot.

However, after referring for about 3 hours of my video, DFX+ usually crashes. I have a good feeling though at what can be causing this. Every time it crashes, WinXP says that it is readjusting the size of my system page file. What I will now try is setting a maximum and minimum page file of about 2-3GB (provided I can justify the space). If I set the minimum to the same size of the maximum, it should run faster because the page file doesn't get fragmented on the hard disk. Hopefully, my system will handle long renders.

I did however try rendering out each frame at as a Window BMP file, only to find that they are not compatible with Adobe After Effects. I'll get there, I just need to find out what does and doesn't work.

Of course, if anyone knows of any good program that can convert an image sequence into a video file, please recommend.

mrunion
04-28-2004, 11:26 AM
Unless I am mistaken, Lightwave can make an image sequence into a video file. Just load the image sequence as a camera backfrop, set the frame range, kill all the lights and stuff (probably no necessary, but...), Pick your output format and go with it.

At least that's what I do when rendering an animation -- first to single frames (in case of crash), then take the single frames and make a movie out of 'em.

Martin Adams
04-30-2004, 05:45 PM
Thanks for the suggestion mrunion, I hadn't thought of that. Although, I will admit, I don't actually know how to set the backdrop of a camera as an image sequence.

The support guys at Eyeon recommened that to help solve my crashing problem is to set the memory usage of DFX+ down to about 50% from 80%. (This can be found by double-clicking the memory status when rendering).

I haven't yet had the chance to re-render out my footage yet, but I'm hoping to give it a go over the weekend. Watch this space.

In relation to not being able to read in the BMP files into After Effects, they also said this may be because the BMP files have the alpha channels stored which could be conflicting. Saving as a TGA or TIFF should solve that problem.

I'll keep you updated on how it goes.

Martin Adams
05-05-2004, 06:58 AM
Well, I tried to reduce the memory to 50% but it still crashes when exporting to a DV PAL using DirectShow.

Nonetheless, while I believe this would work for smaller length renders, I have successfully rendered my entire clip as a Targa sequence (about 22GB in total or 12mins).

I did manager to render this back as a DV PAL AVI using Adobe After Effects with no problem at all. Phew!

I guess that's a workflow that works for me :).

What I have noticed is that DFX+ doesn't quite like gaps in the timeline created by Adobe Premiere. The footage had a small lead-in with nothing there (Premiere renders out black), but DFX+ (by default) rendered it as the first video frame later in the sequence (not black). Not a problem, but something to be aware of.