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View Full Version : VT & DVCPro solution, Finally!



ted
04-11-2006, 11:46 AM
Here is our workaround for using the DVCPro codecs with VT. We still have one VT system that allows us to use "native" MFX DVCPro 50 files and one that doesnít. We compared and duplicated Codecs till we are blue in the face, but to no avail???

In short, here is the method that both VT systems will handle. Notice that VT can handle the HD files! :thumbsup:

Set up a directory on your VTís video drive to receive your camera files. Weíll call it TEST-01. Now copy the CONTENTS folder from your HVX to the aforementioned TEST-01 folder on your VT system. You need to copy the WHOLE folder and all itís sub-directories. Copy Raylightís raymaker.exe application into the VIDEO directory of the CONTENTS folder.

Raylightís Raymaker application allows you to generate a series of AVIs from the MXF source files. These AVIs can then be dragged directly on to the timeline. YES, even if they were shot in DVCPRO-100 (ie 720p or 1080i). Youíll find that VT automatically sizes the image to 37.5% (in the case of a 1080 clip) and centers it in the screen creating a letterboxed image. And if you open the control tree and look at the source size youíll see that, sure enough, itís 1920 x 1080. Youíve essentially created your very own HD to SD down-conversion right on the timeline. There are a couple of caveats that go along with this process.

CAVEAT ONE
The Raymaker generated AVI pixels are square, NTSC pixels are rectangular. If you drag a Raylight-generated 1080i AVI clip onto the timeline you will note that it appears a bit stretched vertically.

SOLUTION
Open the control tree for that clip and twirl open the size box. Set the destination aspect ratio to 0.90.

CAVEAT TWO
When VT scales the HD image down to SD size you can get buzzing and strobing in high contrast areas or areas with sharply delineated edges.

SOLUTION
If this is the case you may need to open the control tree and put just the tiniest bit of blur (around 0.80 to 1.20) on the Raylight AVI. This will take the curse off the final render without compromising the image. Your final RTV output should look fabulous.

CAVEAT THREE
You may want to output your image in 16x9 anamorphic rather than letterbox.

SOLUTION
You can change the destination pixel aspect ratio back to 1.00 and change the vertical size to 1300. Or you can leave the destination aspect ratio at 0.9 and change the vertical size to 1500. Either way you get a full-frame anamorphic (16:9) image.

You canít transfer the .aviís over to another VT system. You must work with the files on the system that did the raylight conversion. You would need to render a .rtv before dropping files back and forth.

I hope we get a better method from NewTek soon as this is a royal pain. But at least we got a process going that will allow us to use our remarkable HVX200. That is as soon as I get more comfortable with it. But until we could use the files in our editor, I couldnít really use it.

Maybe some of you could play with this method and improve on it. Especially help figure why one system handles native MFX files and one doesnít. This has us stumped! But Iím sure if we got this far, we can make the next hurdle.
Enjoy!

Dillon
04-11-2006, 09:42 PM
Hey Ted,

Can you do a fellow toaster user a favor and run a simple low light test for me?

I'm considering replacing my very old VX1000 - I do events, as well as I'm a film maker - so my next purchase needs to double as my creative tool and my income maker.

I'd like to see if the HVX is capable of doing 60i SD video to tape in low light levels - like say - the typical levels at a wedding reception. No one on the dvx user forum has yet done exactly that - they've either run HD tests, or progressive tests - but not standard old fashioned 60i SD on miniDV.

Would much appreciate it. I'm also trying to find one in San Francisco that I can test out for a day too.

ScorpioProd
04-11-2006, 10:49 PM
Take a look at the latest DV Magazine reviewing all the compact HD camcorders now out there.

Low light response in any 1/3" HD camcorder isn't gonna be very good.

Myself, I have a Z1 and the low light performance definately isn't better than my old VX-1000. Low light with it sucks compared to my DSR-300A or a PD-170.

Jim Capillo
04-12-2006, 02:52 AM
Take a look at the latest DV Magazine reviewing all the compact HD camcorders now out there.

Low light response in any 1/3" HD camcorder isn't gonna be very good.

Myself, I have a Z1 and the low light performance definately isn't better than my old VX-1000. Low light with it sucks compared to my DSR-300A or a PD-170.

I was surprised the JVC got as well a review as it did.

Rethinking.....:)

ted
04-12-2006, 09:26 AM
Dillon, as Eugene said, none of the 1/3" cameras are great for low light. And the HVX is about a stop worse then many of those. You can 18db gain, but I hate doing that.
But, the HVX can record DVCPro50 and looks great with normal lighting, plus it can record DVCPro100-HD which is a big step over the HDV format. All for about the same cost, other then the P2 cards or attached hard drive.

The best part of the HVX is the fact that it can handle any task for us today and in the future. It allows you to get into real HD without breaking the bank. As an independent, I can't afford to have 3 cameras on stand by.

The big thing is getting a reasonable workflow now. I'm convinced that the HVX is going to be the darling of NAB. It is on my NAB swipe card, countless press pictures when talking about HD and new products. Seems like everywhere I turn, there is the HVX.