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paulfierlinger
11-26-2006, 06:22 AM
I might as well start this department off with a question that has had me worried ever since I have prepaid my delivery of SE. I am in the midst of animating an 80 minute 2D film in Mirage, using Vegas 7 as my current NLE. The source size is 1080p but I downsize to 720p before I bring my QT clips into Vegas.

What has me worried is how am I going to make the transition without having to reedit every bit of the 17 minutes I have completed so far. I have used no FX in V 7 except for real time dissolves. I have heard about AFF but have never done this nor do I know anyone who has done this before.

Is there someone here who could help alleviate my worries and explain what is involved in this process and if it can even be done between V7 and SE or if I should use an EDL, which is just as much a mystery to me.

My next question, related to this is, can someone tell me if I will need to downsize to 720p in SE as well (my film is headed for theatrical release, slated for a mid 2008 release). I downsize now because V7 can't sustain real time speed of 1080p clips for any length of time above one or two minutes. Actually V7 slows down on some clips even at 720p, particularly clips with zooms.

I work on a PC with a dual processor raid and 3GB of RAM.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Paul

Seattle-HotShot
11-26-2006, 02:19 PM
Just a thought here, based on my single experience with actually trying to do a project based on animated clips. I was making some space ship sequences for use in a sci-fi type movie. The less said about that project, the better!

But what I learned that may apply to you, is don't spend too much time in your NLE at this stage. Assemble the clips into a rough cut edit, so you can see what you have, but I would say don't spend any time with disolves yet. That will make it easier for you to make the jump to SE, or what ever else you end up using.

In my space ship sequences, I had spent a whole lot of time with LW cranking out the shots, sometimes 3 or 4 views of the same sequence, so I could cut them into a video. I rendered them all full size, with everything turned on, reflections, shadows, etc. Then I had lots to edit with. The smart move would have been to render super low res, do my edit, then go back and render full res of only the shots I needed. Would have saved me probably a month of rendering. I had slow systems then, and even with ScreamerNet running 24 / 7, it was painful. Now, with my 2 new systems it woulnd't have been so bad. But the same idea holds. I'd recommend doing a low res version first, do a quick cut edit, get your story assembled, then go back and do the big renders.

Hope you can gleen some nuggets from that. I know it doesn't quite fit what you're saying, and I get the idea you're a whole lot smarter than me here anyway :)

Good luck, and be sure to post back when we can go see it!
Carlin

paulfierlinger
11-26-2006, 03:45 PM
Carlin, thanks for the advice but I work in a very different way and one of the ways we are different is that I edit in tandem with my animation work; I draw scenes and put them together to a previously prepared soundtrack. I actually have the entire soundtrack of the 80 minute film recorded with real actors and edited before I even start the animation. I don't draw storyboards but I do make animatics which I edit to the soundtrack (which already has some music composed and recorded as well). I might have 10 minutes of animatics in place on the timeline before I start animating.

Then I animate scenes starting with scene one until I arrive at scene last and along the way replace each animatic scene with my newest pencil test scene and once my wife finishes coloring backgrounds and frames I replace PTs with final color scenes and naturally, I want to see all the proper edits in place as the film grows.

In other words I don't collect all the scenes first and when finished drawing start the editing process. This is the only way I know how to make films and I've made close to a thousand of them -- all by myself because I have been a freelancer all my life. I worked this way even when everything was on film.

Rich Deustachio
11-26-2006, 04:30 PM
You said a dual processor, give more specific info on your system and probably one of the Newtek guys can give you an answer.

paulfierlinger
11-26-2006, 06:25 PM
OK, here's what I have:
3.4 Ghz dual core processor
4 GB DDR2 memory
8 port SATA Raid controler
7 500 GB internal HDs
NVidia Quadro Video Card
ASUS P5LD2-delux motherboard

Seattle-HotShot
11-27-2006, 10:19 AM
Paul

Thanks for taking the time to explain your work flow. Like I said, I suspected you knew more than I did :)

In my video work (weddings mostly) I tend to shoot too much footage, and then cut down to the best. I can see where that wouldn't be a good move if you're doing animation!

I have always said I would benefit a lot from working with someone else, like a mentor. When I started doing animation stuff, all I had was POV-Ray. Ran on DOS, no GUI. Again, for me, when I say Animation, I'm thinking Lightwave. I've never did anything really professional with the 3D side actually. The irony is that I got into Video stuff to support my 3D stuff, I bought my first MiniDV camera to record landscapes to put 3D stuff into, then I shot a wedding for a friend, and some how 6 years later I hardly have time for 3D stuff anymore :)

Very cool to hear that you're doing hand drawn animation, if I read that correctly. That's awesome! Also that you and your wife work together. Congratulations on that.

Do you have a website?

Thanks
Carlin

Seattle-HotShot
11-27-2006, 10:27 AM
Quick thought to keep on the subject here!

If nothing else, you could always export the work you've already finished as an uncompressed AVI from Vegas, as individual scenes, to bring into SE. Then at least you wouldn't have to start over, right?

Something else I'm getting stuck on here, in your first post you say you're working "in Mirage, using Vegas 7 as my current NLE. The source size is 1080p but I downsize to 720p before I bring my QT clips into Vegas."

If that is the case, are you planning to stay 720p or finish back to 1080p? I haven't used Vegas 7 aside from about 20 minutes one night with the demo. Is it downsizing the clips, or just the project? When you're done the project, can you then switch your project settings to 1080p and output your final?

If you can out put 1080p, my first idea of outputting each scene as uncompressed AVI should fit your work flow, and let you move over to SE fairly easily.

Again, I think I'm stating the obvious. That and the way I work isn't always useful to others either :)
Good luck.
Carlin

lwaddict
11-27-2006, 12:05 PM
Yeah, just do a "save as" with "Copy and trim media with project" check in the Save As requester, while in Vegas...

then in SpeedEdit, if I understand that it's a newer incarnatio of the Toaster editor, you should be able to pull it to the storyboard without too much hassle.

Or you could just finish this project in the NLE you're currently using. The go with SE on your next...just my thought. I mean, planning the completion of your current project based on software you haven't even seen or tried yet isn't advisable.

Not that I'm not twitchin' to get my hands on SE either...but I'm up to my neck in a 1hr 30min feature and won't be porting it over, it'll get done with the workflow I started with.

John Perkins
11-27-2006, 01:45 PM
Note that save as EDL in Vegas is NOT an EDL. It is a text version of their own project format.

There is a script somewhere (can't remember exactly) that exports a real EDL.

Also, keep in mind that EDLs are made for very simple linear style editing. Overlays and such won't make it through.

If you couldn't do it with two decks, the EDL will toss it out the window.

paulfierlinger
11-27-2006, 04:46 PM
Note that save as EDL in Vegas is NOT an EDL. Yes, I remember now reading about that on the Vegas forums. So what is AFF? Can that be of any help? Otherwise I think I will just have to spend some time reediting what I have in SE. The sunny side of that prospect is that it'll sure help me get aquainted with SE's workings.:)

billmi
11-27-2006, 05:29 PM
And considering it's the world's fastest editor, you will at least be taking less time to re-edit than with any other package :)

paulfierlinger
11-27-2006, 05:35 PM
I don't think there are any other packages I would have gone to. Vegas isn't all that bad, after all but I like to keep my applications coming from the same town if I can't get it all in one package (and the forum formats are the same too).:)

Jim_C
11-27-2006, 05:39 PM
Your work is moving, introspective and thought provoking Paul.

If you end up using SE to do the movie, Newtek should run, not walk to ask to feature you in their profile section.

Well they should do that whether you use it or not. Just because you own a copy. :)


Jim

paulfierlinger
11-27-2006, 05:47 PM
That's nice of you to say Jim. I'm grouchy too.

SBowie
11-27-2006, 06:24 PM
I've been preoccupied, or I'd have stepped in here sooner (hi Paul) ... Paul will likely be annoyed with me for outing him, but just thought y'all should know that he has long since and very deservedly earned his own star in the firmament of independent 2D animators.

And you're right, once he gets up to speed with SE, it would likely make a dandy little user profile:

http://www.bauhaussoftware.com/community_userstories_paul_fierlinger.php

paulfierlinger
11-27-2006, 06:44 PM
Hi Steve, so you don't have any encouragement either about an easy, painless transfer, ey? Well then for that I'll be on your doorstep via telephone day and night until I learn everything and get my edits done all over again. I tell you, I should be an expert after that on comparing the ease and speed of the two NLEs. No interviews before I'm done (to be on the safe side).

Chrusion
11-28-2006, 09:20 AM
So what is AFF?

AAF, not AFF. AAF = Advanced Authoring Format. AFF is Advanced FORENSICS format -- something crime investigators use for analyzing hard drive data.

See Advanced Authoring Format (http://www.aafassociation.org/html/faq.html#TheAdvancedAuthoringFormat) for details about AAF. But basically, it's a Super-EDL that's flexible and accommodates anything modern NLEs can create.

Yes, it would be what you need in getting your Vegas timeline into SE, but sadly, Newtek is NOT a member of the development group creating this free and open source format. Hint - Newtek... get on board, join hands with Apple, Sony, and many others (http://www.aafassociation.org/html/Memberlist.html) and add AAF support to SE!!

paulfierlinger
11-28-2006, 09:49 AM
Thanks Dean.
You can depend on me to mangle any name, acronym, or expression (oh and numbers; mostly numbers!).

It is strange that NewTek, presumably wanting to see people switch party affiliations, wouldn't have something in place to make this switchover as attractive as possible. I'll just have to wait and see how it goes...

I have my film split into a series of 5 to 7 minute episodes to make editing more manageable and I suppose the easiest for me would be to render each of the completed segments into a single avi which I would inport into SE. Later, if I needed to make a change (and I always do) I can split the avi and insert a new clip between the two closest clear-cut edit points.

This should be simple enough. Will it make a difference if this compiled and lengthy clip is an avi or QT? Which should I choose to make the transfer lossless? Any advice? Each of my current clips are 720p QTs downsized in Mirage from 1080p.

Later, I will have to decide whether I want to stay with 720p as my final product or replace all clips by the original 1080p clips before conversion to 35 mm film. Would anyone know of a major reason why I should revert to 1080p in the end or even now, that SE is supposed to be so fast? Having the computer I described earlier, will I be able to playback in SE 5 to 7 minute films in real time using 1080p uncompressed files, considering that I have typically just a single image layer with 3 or 4 sound tracks? I have no need for any special effects since I draw all the effects I like by hand.

rbartlett
11-28-2006, 04:59 PM
Sorry to be pedantic with you Paul.

Please - What is your choice format for the 720p and 1080p options you render out of Mirage? You give mention to lossless in this thread. Also you draw a lot of attention to the fact that you have brought all the clips together into Vegas7.

If you were to output this tomorrow from Vegas, what container format and codec would you expect to use?

The main difference between the Sony-Vegas-NLE and NewTek-NLE products that are shipping today being that although they are both 8bit, Sony has an RGB pipeline and NewTek-NLEs are known for their YUV (YPbPr) orientation. Sometimes these different representations can seem as contrasting in nature as the difference between paint and light. Level errors (calibration) and contouring would probably be an animators enemy.

That very difference might be the very crux of what the best option would be for you. The second selection criterion might be to then adopt a codec that is both lossless (or near lossless) and that performs throughout your whole workflow.

Is 720p the delivery format for broadcast, while 1080p is the delivery format for film transfer? Or is 720p simply more optimal for editing your MOV in Vegas7?

I can see there being a lot of folks here with animation requirements who have Mirage, VT-Edit and eventually SE workflows. Many will have a ventured over to Sony's Vegas too.

Don't you just love it when a question comes in where someone is mixing art and science in such large globs?

paulfierlinger
11-28-2006, 05:34 PM
[QUOTE=rbartlett]Sorry to be pedantic with you Paul.Don't worry. I like education.


Please - What is your choice format for the 720p and 1080p options you render out of Mirage? You give mention to lossless in this thread. Also you draw a lot of attention to the fact that you have brought all the clips together into Vegas7.As you see, I don't have this sorted out in my mind yet. Since I draw everything in Mirage at 1080p I figure that I can go ahead and draw without knowing how I'm going to end this. 1080p can never be wrong, right?


If you were to output this tomorrow from Vegas, what container format and codec would you expect to use?
Again, I don't know.




That very difference might be the very crux of what the best option would be for you. The second selection criterion might be to then adopt a codec that is both lossless (or near lossless) and that performs throughout your whole workflow.Which would be ....?


Is 720p the delivery format for broadcast, while 1080p is the delivery format for film transfer? Correct. My film is aimed for theatrical release, worldwide and home video.


Or is 720p simply more optimal for editing your MOV in Vegas7?That is it. My plan was to stay with 1080 but this was not a realistic plan. But here's another question; my drawings are all 2D hand drawn and painted in 2s, that is single frames in a 12 fps project, converted to 24fps whilst outputting to an NLE, making it animation in 2s. It's jittery and it's flat. Will this imagery make such a big difference whether it should stay at 720p or revert to 1080p once it appears on the big screen? To keep it at 720 seems to be alright to me but this is based on zero experience with transferring to film. I've just read a lot about the subject and the way I understand things, 1080p is a camera thing and different from imagery coming from a graphics application of a computer. What I could decipher is that the difference between 1080 and 720 on the screen will be minuscule or completely non existant to the naked eye.


I can see there being a lot of folks here with animation requirements who have Mirage, VT-Edit and eventually SE workflows. Many will have a ventured over to Sony's Vegas too.That's me.


Don't you just love it when a question comes in where someone is mixing art and science in such large globs?According to Eric Shlein in his much acclaimed book Art and Science, innovations in the arts have always
been the bellwethers of what was to come next in science.

Thanks for your patience and please be pedantic with me...

tmon
11-29-2006, 03:26 AM
Paul,

I look at this thread as a "REAL WORLD" challenge to NewTek's newest offspring (not yet born to the retail market)....excellent thread, though no one has provided comprehensive answers yet. Maybe if everyone chimes in, we can all chip away and discover an answer. I have zilcho experience with HD editing, and have little to contribute, however....

Earlier, you state:


OK, here's what I have:
3.4 Ghz dual core processor
4 GB DDR2 memory
8 port SATA Raid controler
7 500 GB internal HDs
NVidia Quadro Video Card
ASUS P5LD2-delux motherboard

You have an 8-port SATA RAID controller and (7) 500GB internal HD's. Are those 7 drives RAID-striped and controlled by the SATA RAID controller? What RAID-level do you have them striped with? I'm just asking because that would also affect your playback experience with any NLE that you might be using....e.g. Standard Def video needs about 22-23MB/s sustained read per stream of video, 720p or 1080i or 1080p much more...maybe you know this already...this is a piece of the equation that all SpeedEdit users will have to address, particularly with regards to HD editing.........

See what a big help I am?

rbartlett
11-29-2006, 10:35 AM
Mirage and VT-Edit has a good history of working with individual frames in the form of stills held as sequences. So as far as codecs are concerned, this maybe moot until the final print/render is made.

Vegas can be co-erced to generate stills from the earlier work. So again, this is OK.

So whether the stills format (with companion WAV) or the AV format is 8bit YUV or RGB still stands. In a near perfect world we'd be HD resolution and HDR or floating-point for the animators pixels.

So I take it that Vegas has been used or dabbled with because of the fact that it is better at dealing with a bed of audio and sync with that of the video than Mirage?

I'd expect that VT[5] and SE would both slot in nicely here. Any work already edited in Vegas could either be frameserved into the NewTek product (via debugmodes frameserver set into YUV mode presumably), rendered out as stills or uncompressed/barely compressed. With the same PC used throughout one could also consider an AVI workflow using:

1. huffYUV - lossless (ignoring pixel representation changes)
2. SonyYUV - low loss
3. NT25 - low loss

Stills isn't that useful if you've spent anytime sync'ing the work up in Vegas as all these NLEs have different thoughts on what 12,24,25,29.97,30,50,59.97,60 is all about when bringing the stills back in again.

Another consideration for the workflow will be in how the 12fps work is frame rate adapted into the final work. Mirage, Vegas and NewTek all have code in their solutions to deal with this. Whoever is doing the film transfer might also have an opinion/solution to air on this subject.

I wouldn't get too hung up on industry standard techniques for transferring works between facilities. They are usually meeting the lowest common denominator at best.

So given that the sound track tells the story and the hard labor is getting the imagery to compliment and enhance this. The practical side to all this is that one should probably only use the tools that make this activity as painless as possible. So you know what needs to be done next, what is left to do overall and to be sure that it'll play through when you want it to (given the hardware investment).

Now I'd have thought you'd avoid worrying about 1080p or 720p considerations until the final print is ready to run-out. This might also encourage you to work at 2K as Mirage and Vegas support this (Mirage goes beyond). However the speed of the system may moderate these good intentions.

I'm actually quite pleased for Paul that folks are not coming back with hard and fast answers. aka Their way.

The system seems adequate for HD, but for low compression HD or film work perhaps it is wise to have the best available that can be had for mortal prices. For this a quad-core single-chip Intel Core2 1066FSB-4MB-cache or Xeon 1333FSB solution might be worth some amount of consideration.

With NLEs there is always the "best-for" and "favorite" argument to consider. That usually fits into the hierarchy of needs even before the file formats are firmed up.

Paul's "POST PRODUCTION" needs are not too different to that of the modern LW animator.
A similar question on workflow for HD might be placed into that forum too I suppose? (one probably shouldn't encourage cross-forum-posting)

paulfierlinger
12-01-2006, 01:01 PM
Hmm..it just occurred to me if I would highlight all the QT clips in my Vegas timeline, including the overlapping ones, and saved them to the clipboard and then opened SE; could I simply paste the clips into a SE timeline? Is this technical naiveté speaking on my part or is it not that absurd that this would work? After all, there are no proprietary files involved here -- just plain ol' QT files.

Is there anyone here who has both Vegas 7 and SE willing to try this out for me? Of course I could wait untill next week to try this out myself when SE appears at my door.

lwaddict
12-01-2006, 02:39 PM
Oh man, if life were only that easy.

I say, try it on the Toaster and see what happens...somebody!

But I'm thinkin' this won't work.
Here's why...
Vegas isn't using the clips directly the way VT and SE do/will...
it creates some sort of temp file for the clips as you pull them into the timeline. Most of which stick around even after you've deleted something from the timeline...
so I'm not sure if what you'd be cutting and pasting is actually what you'd think it is.

But still...
somebody do it!
I'm not near my Toaster or I'd do it.

paulfierlinger
12-01-2006, 03:06 PM
Oh man, if life were only that easy.Yeah, you're right. I didn't think of that. The clips are just place holders and won't even appear on a clipboard. Oh well, I'm still looking forward to working with SE based on all I've heard about it.

Seattle-HotShot
12-01-2006, 07:17 PM
Yeah, that would sure save some problems and time now wouldn't it? :)

I had a similar thought a couple of days ago. When I'm using my VT, sometimes I'll open 2 or 3 TEd windows, and copy / paste clips between them. One example is when I'm doing my first rough cut, if I see a good blooper I'll just drop it into a new project, etc. Now I wonder if there will be a way to open SE twice or to open 2 projects at the same time?

Otherwise its back to my Premiere 6 work flow, save a project 2 or 3 times, then make different edits in each version. Urg!

I had a dream one night, I was able to open AE and Premiere INSIDE the VT Desktop. Man was that sweet! I was all dragging clips from one to the other, no rendering, they were on the switcher... then I woke up... bummer :)

SBowie
12-02-2006, 08:33 AM
Hi Steve, so you don't have any encouragement either about an easy, painless transfer, ey? Well then for that I'll be on your doorstep via telephone day and night until I learn everything and get my edits done all over again. I tell you, I should be an expert after that on comparing the ease and speed of the two NLEs. No interviews before I'm done (to be on the safe side).Back again (though I'd much rather be in San Antonio today.)

Re: AAF - although at one time this looked like it might be "The Answer", the last time I checked it had turned into yet another one of those disappointing things where everybody had their own subtle flavour and it was nothing like the satisfying inter-program transfer mechanism promised once you stray outside the ranks of one developer's products. I remember a chat I had with a programmer who had done the AAF implementation for one of the major supporters - it was not encouraging.

Whether you are coming out of Mirage as either 720 or 1080 (I'm a 720 fan, myself.) A lossless variant of either Quicktime or AVI should serve nicely.

paulfierlinger
12-02-2006, 08:41 AM
Whether you are coming out of Mirage as either 720 or 1080 (I'm a 720 fan, myself.) A lossless variant of either Quicktime or AVI should serve nicely.How can one tell what's a lossless variant of QT? Is the Animation codec, which I've been using, lossless?

Seattle-HotShot
12-03-2006, 12:07 PM
From what I've heard, the Animation codec is lossless, and I believe it also preserves the Alpha. See if we can get Harlan to comment on this?

paulfierlinger
12-03-2006, 12:14 PM
From what I've heard, the Animation codec is lossless, and I believe it also preserves the Alpha. See if we can get Harlan to comment on this?I can confirm that it preserves an Alpha channel since I use this all the time in Vegas. I like to use the Simple Text Tool in Mirage to create titles and import these as Targas to place over image clips in Vegas.

paulfierlinger
12-03-2006, 12:37 PM
Does "Real-time up & down conversion" mean that I can import into SE all my clips as 1080p QTs, but if at a certain point of complexity of my edits these clips won't play in real-time anymore I will be able to simply convert them down to any size that will become real-time playback again?

If this is the case, what happens here? Will I have to wait for the clips to be rendered downward or does this happen virtually and will thus be reflected only as a virtual downsizing in the preview window, leaving the original clips untouched and the down conversion happens at the speed of an OK click?

kleima
12-03-2006, 07:25 PM
It means that if your project size is 1080 and you put an SD clip on the timeline, the SD clip is uprezed to 1080 in real time. It also means that if your project size is 480 or 720 and you put a 1080 clip on the timeline, the 1080 clip is downrezed in real time.

paulfierlinger
12-04-2006, 04:18 AM
Hmm.. I just found out that Vegas does that too. And I've been downsizing everything in Mirage without having to do that... How does this affect the playback power? Is the NLE playing back the full size and just displaying a smaller rez or by displaying a smaller rez does the software need less CPU power to playback in real-time? Sorry if I am asking naive questions but being self-taught I obviously have some gaps in my understanding of how NLEs work and I appreciate these forums as a source of education.

SBowie
12-04-2006, 04:55 AM
... How does this affect the playback power? Is the NLE playing back the full size and just displaying a smaller rez or by displaying a smaller rez does the software need less CPU power to playback in real-time?It takes noticeably more system resources to playback a project comprised of 1080 clips than if they are 720. But you *can* work quite flexibly - you could go with either 1080 or 720 right through, and still output as SH, 720 or 1080 (or PAL for that matter.) Obviously 720p source files will soften a smidgen going up to 1080, but we've discussed that before.

paulfierlinger
12-04-2006, 05:02 AM
It takes noticeably more system resources to playback a project comprised of 1080 clips than if they are 720.
Thanks Steve. This is what I need to know. I don't believe my system can pull it off at full size.


Obviously 720p source files will soften a smidgen going up to 1080, but we've discussed that before.
Yes, this is not so much my concern anymore. I thought I'd be saving myself some time if I wouldn't have to convert every scene when exported out of Mirage.

kleima
12-04-2006, 11:05 AM
I don't believe Vegas plays it all back in realtime at full res. That is what the realtime means - if you press play after putting the clips on the timeline, then it all plays back in realtime at full project resolution! (Assuming your hardware can handle it.)

paulfierlinger
12-04-2006, 11:26 AM
I don't believe Vegas plays it all back in realtime at full res. That is what the realtime means - if you press play after putting the clips on the timeline, then it all plays back in realtime at full project resolution! (Assuming your hardware can handle it.)What I meant is that if I forgot to downsize from 1080 to 720 when exporting from Mirage, Vegas 6 would show just a 720 segment of my 1080 image. Now, after Steve's remark, when I tried to do this in Vegas 7 (since I just got Vegas 7), I found I can export a project as 1080 and it will also automatically resize to 720 (if that is my Vegas project setting; this I believe is a new feature). I've been hoping that SE will play 1080 in real-time on my computer but I don't believe it will if Vegas 7 can't either.

rbartlett
12-23-2006, 06:19 AM
The two rendering systems are quite different - SE is fresh and new and peels away from the legacy of an app that used to run nicely in Win98 until just recetnly. Vegas preview isn't directly comparable as it doesn't make as much is of your graphics card/ directx.

Not to take too much away from Vegas - I still use it an awful lot.

Now, as for choosing format and what to do with your drawn source. While you can listed to the virtues of SpeedHQ etc. The choice of an animator is different from a videographer heading out to film.

Paul, I'd encourage you to choose either a motion-sequence or still image workflow that suits your needs for both productivity and the retention of your original image quality all the way through to film.

That might be SpeedHQ, SonyYUV, PNG, TGA, uncompressed-AVI or MOV, an Animation MOV, RGB or YUV. You'll know more when you investigate what your transfer house uses for their media currency of choice.

I'd say that LW animators will be going through much of the same thought process.

Have you dabbled with a picture sequence as yet with SE? I'd say you might have a tighter control envelope for the 24p aspects with a picture source. However the main recommendation is for a 4:2:2 (YUV sub sampled) SpeedHQ codec right now.

Do keep your source files in the best format you can though. You and whoever looks after your work in the greater hereafter will certainly value that as will the world. Not trying to be morbid, more greedy really.

Tom Wood
12-23-2006, 07:08 AM
I don't see any mention of Newtek's RTV format in all this, is it going away in SE?

I animate in LightWave and render out lossless image sequences to be composited in Mirage, then render out an RTV there for use in VT-Edit. I'll probably stick with that to complete the current project in 720p. I actually have to degrade the images in LW with some blur so I'm wondering if HD is all that important to me anyway.

TW

billmi
12-23-2006, 07:51 AM
Probably not much discussion of rtv because it is not a new feature (relative to what is supported in VT Edit in VT[4]) but yes, Speed Edit reads and writes RTVs.

paulfierlinger
12-23-2006, 08:38 AM
Paul, I'd encourage you to choose either a motion-sequence or still image workflow that suits your needs for both productivity and the retention of your original image quality all the way through to film.
I appreciate your input so much -- more than I can express here. My problem is that I don't have the technological knowhow to arrive at a firm decision on my own. So many conflicting answers and all from people with knowledge on the subject. My intuition is to go with image sequences for the reason you state here but I certainly have to make a few experiments before I take that step. I don't want to have to switch systems mid stream again if I can help it. It's just my wife and me drawing and painting and EDITING this film and I have responsibilities to my backers to get it done in a reasonable amount of time.

ScorpioProd
12-23-2006, 09:51 AM
I don't see any mention of Newtek's RTV format in all this, is it going away in SE?

I animate in LightWave and render out lossless image sequences to be composited in Mirage, then render out an RTV there for use in VT-Edit. I'll probably stick with that to complete the current project in 720p. I actually have to degrade the images in LW with some blur so I'm wondering if HD is all that important to me anyway.

TW
RTV is supported in SpeedEDIT, but it's more of a legacy format. RTV doesn't and won't support HD resolutions. There are other uncompressed AVI formats out there if you need one.

radams
12-23-2006, 09:52 AM
Hi Paul, & All,

Seems you're having some fun deciding which format and way to go ;) Like with Steve, Paul & I go way back...

Paul you've been given some good advice....but just wanted to put my 2 cents in...

SE is for the most part a YUV application...thou the new SpeedHQ has a 4:4:4 option....

You are looking to create a for FILM out movie...correct....then keeping things as STILLS is the most beneficial...and to keep the edit setup for 24 P

Depending on how your system can handle 1080P or 720P will help determine which format you will want to work in...
Thou for Film Outs...I prefer to use 1080P...but even with your dual 3.4 Xeon's you may NOT be able to properly work with 1080P...If you have technical questions...you can always private email...or give me a call ;).

SE seems to like the new generations of processors...and systems due to the PCI Express busses....and proper multi processor/multicore scaling and memory handling....along with better heat and board designs.

720P will allow MUCH better system performance while creating the movie....but will not work as well when printed to film... May I make a suggestion....to know which way to go for you Paul...

Do a Test sequence FILM out...one with 1080 @ 24P....the other 720 @24P and actually see for yourself the differences and challenges....then you will know what is acceptable and what isn't....also to work with a proper Film Lab that can handle such things...listen to their recommendations....(you can also let the producers handle this side of things...but you should do a test to really know which way to go ;)

Well that's enough from my big mouth.....Paul give me a call :)

To all on this thread and forum....Have a great Holiday !!!

Cheers,

radams
12-23-2006, 09:59 AM
Woops a double post.... Sorry all. this edit function messes things up...

I also wanted to say Paul that you should also check with your Film lab as to what still or file formats they support...

There are good QT and AVI uncompressed formats.... also know that you are going to be transcoding from a YUV to RGB...then to Film emulsion... There are many variables...so do a couple of tests to see how your material translates...is your best way to make informed decisions.

Cheers,

Tom Wood
12-23-2006, 10:17 AM
After creating a project in VT-Edit/SE is it possible to replace all the video files used in a project with new files but with the same filenames and 'trick' VT-Edit/SE into updating the project using the new files? That is, could I create a VT-Edit project with files in a given folder, then replace those files using files with the same filenames so they load in the same places on the timeline, but with the new files' different/higher resolution? This would allow working at a lower resolution to do the edits in real time and then upgrade to a higher resolution later for final output.

I know from experience this won't work for audio files but I think they are handled differently.

paulfierlinger
12-23-2006, 12:25 PM
Thanks for the offer, Ray. I will contact you privately, but I do not have your phone # so if you would care to e-mail me this with a suggestion of best time of day to call you I would be grateful.
Paul

kleima
12-26-2006, 11:12 AM
Tom,

If you name the two sets of files the same names, but put them in different folders with different folder names, then you can delete your low res clips, and VT will automatically show everything with red borders, meaning the asset is missing. Then you can use the spread sheet to point it to the folder that contains the high res clips, and it should replace everything automatically.

Tom Wood
12-26-2006, 11:49 AM
Thanks kleima,

I don't have my VT system up at the moment, but I thought that would work that way. Would this also work if the low res clip is 720p and the high res is 1080p? Maybe have to change the project properties?

Paul - this would mean rendering out two sets of clips from Mirage, but if it works it would allow you to do the edits at low-res and then replace the clips to final render out of VT at high res.

paulfierlinger
12-26-2006, 12:06 PM
[QUOTE=Tom WoodPaul - this would mean rendering out two sets of clips from Mirage, but if it works it would allow you to do the edits at low-res and then replace the clips to final render out of VT at high res.[/QUOTE] I've been thinking of that option since day one of opening Vegas, leaving the task to rerender all clips to 1080p to the very end, but it looks more and more reasonable now to do it on the go, since storage isn't a problem. I am just not convinced yet that the effort is worth the trouble for the style I am working in. If I were to create the test Ray suggests, which is to make a test film of both sizes, I would probably see some difference if I was studying the screen to find it, but no one is ever going to view my film that way... my drawings might even benefit from a softened rendition.

On the Mirage forum some of us have been discussing the documentary about Dick Williams and how it took him over 25 years and 30 million dollars to not finish his Thief of Baghdad epic; a victim of his own perfectionism. I'm not in that category but if I believed I had to stay abreast of all the fast advances of technology I could slip into it.

I am determined to be done in 2008. I also don't believe in posterity.

Tom Wood
12-26-2006, 01:07 PM
Ah, okay. I thought the problem was the machine's ability to process the high res versions so the project can be watched in real time at the higher resolution during an edit session.

We were in Circuit City a few days ago and they had a bunch of HD screens with HD video playing, and the detail is amazing. I too think my own stuff looks better with a little blur, so it's a wasted capability -to me-. And, if the programming is still the same ol' same ol' TV shows then more detail sure won't help it. :D

paulfierlinger
12-26-2006, 01:35 PM
Ah, okay. I thought the problem was the machine's ability to process the high res versions so the project can be watched in real time at the higher resolution during an edit session.Well, it is that, because if that wouldn't be an issue then I'm sure I'd opt for the higher resolution. But now that I understand that 720p will be my limit as well as it has been when editing with Vegas, I'm not letting it bother me anymore. Earlier on I thought that SE would be "faster" than Vegas even in this respect.

rbartlett
12-27-2006, 08:46 AM
With regard to scrubbing / editing environment productivity etc I think you'll see SE has an edge when compared to a Vegas machine that is modern enough to pass as an HD editor. The important difference being the field (assuming 1080i-60) and full frame viewport that SE provides as the major advantage.

Given that your project is either going to be 720p-24 or 1080p-24.

When it comes to rendering, it perhaps matters less which of the NLEs has the advantage. Proxy files might have some advantages. However the very fact that you are working with 24p also has some benefits from a "lowering the bar" perspective.

Any short list of transfer houses yet Paul? I think that piece in the puzzle could dictate whether you take one approach over another. The source, final and usability choices are the concrete parts. Much of the rest is based on peoples preferences right now.

Another question to you please Paul:
You mention having to re-render what you've already done. Please remind us what that project consists of and what the output format was again?

I'm hazy over what you've got and what you've considered. Also, if the transfer house prefers stills (+WAV file), would that take you down the route of considering using Mirage to bring it together? I recall that the soundtrack is already made and that you and your wife create the art/animation to tell it's story. I'm thinking straight cuts and not too much blending/frame-to-frame-blur-interpolation.

paulfierlinger
12-27-2006, 09:43 AM
The important difference being the field (assuming 1080i-60) and full frame viewport that SE provides as the major advantage. In Vegas I work with 3 large, wide screen monitors and the 3rd one serves as a Windows secondary display. I have my Preview set to Full. At 720p 24 fps my machine can handle most of my scenes without slowing down. By "most scenes" I mean that when a scene will have a major camera move such as a slow zoom, the playback speed may drop but when I turn off the secondary display the playback catches up speed again. Should I expect the same of SE?



Any short list of transfer houses yet Paul? I think that piece in the puzzle could dictate whether you take one approach over another. The source, final and usability choices are the concrete parts. Much of the rest is based on peoples preferences right now. My problem here is that my producers cover the cost of the transfer and they know absolutely nothing about this technology. They do not want to commit themselves to a completion house until the end, looking into off-shore prices and so on. After googling a few well known large U.S. houses I see that all suggest QT clips or AVI.


Another question to you please Paul:
You mention having to re-render what you've already done. Please remind us what that project consists of and what the output format was again?My project is an 80 to 90 minute film which I have divided into roughly12 6 to 7 minute segments, to simplify file management and playback quality during editing.

At this point Mirage cannot preview these scenes at real time either unless I merge them in a secondary project. As I draw each scene I often export these to my NLE to see how they play with a complete sound track and in sequence with other scenes. This I may do every 30 minutes or so; in other words very often and all day long.

I draw each scene in Mirage at 1080p or higher if a major camera move is involved. Some of these scenes can be made of as many as 20 or 30 layers when Sandra is finished coloring them. I then export each scene as QT clips using its Animation Compresssion at "Best" quality/Best Depth; Key frame every 10 frames (default). The RGB mode I use is 24 bit because I have no need to export with an Alpha channel, all my FX having been completed in Mirage. To export Pencil Test scenes I use lower quality settings of the QT Animation codec.

These clips I then edit in Vegas/soon SE, using cross dissolves as the only effects that come into play. Most likely I will be using SE's title layer for titles, allthough Mirage has an adequate one too.


I'm hazy over what you've got and what you've considered. Also, if the transfer house prefers stills (+WAV file), would that take you down the route of considering using Mirage to bring it together? I don't quite understand this question but perhaps I have given you the answer in some of my previous answers. I am also hazy on what constitutes Stills as the final format. If I would render my scenes from Mirage as image sequences, which is how I understand "stills" as a format, what keeps the sequences together in the NLE as a clip? IOW, how do you edit scenes in an NLE if every image is an individual still?


I recall that the soundtrack is already made and that you and your wife create the art/animation to tell it's story.
The voiceovers are already made but I edit these in the NLE, adding SFX and music clips which I get from my sound man/composer. After I edit these, he reedits then in Final Cut Pro, enhancing all with filters and eventually splitting the tracks into a 5 speaker surround sound system. Essentially my sound track editing is a rough cut. The final mix will be done also at the completion house to be selected later down the road.


I'm thinking straight cuts and not too much blending/frame-to-frame-blur-interpolation.
That's correct.

Once more, I am indebted to you for your patience (and the patience of others who care to guide me through my works).

kleima
12-27-2006, 09:58 AM
Still image sequences (such TGA) in VT are handled like a clip. You drag the first frame (still image) onto the timeline and the VT represents the still sequence as a clip. The image sequence must be in the same folder and number sequentially in the correct way for VT to recognize the sequence. If you render it from VT it will number them correctly. I assume that SE will use the same method. I am not sure what the advantage for you would be by using still images, but then again, I not too much into animation. Maybe the advantage is that you could rerender just a small sequence of images rather than rerendering the whole clip.

paulfierlinger
12-27-2006, 10:12 AM
I am not sure what the advantage for you would be by using still images, but then again, I not too much into animation. Maybe the advantage is that you could rerender just a small sequence of images rather than rerendering the whole clip.Aha, I understand now -- DPS, my earlier NLE had a similar system and as you say, the advantage is that one can rerender individual frames. But I find the motions one goes to do that are not that different from rendering the whole scene (project) over again, which takes a few seconds. I am guessing the advantage of frames versus avi or QT clips may be in the way frames are scanned onto 35 mm film?

kleima
12-27-2006, 10:17 AM
That could be, although it the labs are taking QT and AVI, they must have an equally acceptable way of scanning those to film.

paulfierlinger
12-28-2006, 07:10 AM
As I await the arrival of SE I conducted some tests in Vegas to see what image sequence scenes might offer in the way of surprises. Clips I created this way are huge; basically the equivalent (or exactly the same?) as an uncompressed AVI file, making it completely impractical for editing purposes.

Having read elsewhere in these SE forums that compressed doesn't mean wrong, or bad, or necessarily less (or something to that effect) particularly if compressed with SpeedHQ, I have to wonder why indeed go the route of image sequences? Unless I would compress the image sequence to make the files more timeline managable, but then why go this route at all; what is the difference?

kleima
12-28-2006, 09:33 AM
The thousands of files created by image sequences also make things like virus scans and back-up much more painful and lengthy.
If you don't have a compelling reason to use them, then don't!
A film Tx house might have difficulty with SpeedHQ, however. Test it with them first before you choose it.

paulfierlinger
12-28-2006, 09:43 AM
A film Tx house might have difficulty with SpeedHQ, however. Test it with them first before you choose it.I expect to have to convert SpeedHQ into something more common like QT or AVI, so the question then remains, why not just stick with the QT clips I already have? Unless SpeedHQ will make my editing much easier in all sorts of respects resulting in faster renders, faster uploads, refreshes etc..

kleima
12-28-2006, 02:05 PM
QT support is new to SE (ie. it will be in VT[5] and was not in VT[4]), so I don't know how the QT performance compares with SpeedHQ. Presumably there may be some performance benefits to using SpeedHQ since it is the native codec. You'll just have to test it out.
I just tried an HDV clip (720p) render at the same resolution to a SpeedHQ avi. Windows Media could play the clip on one computer but not on another. So since it is an avi, your film house might be able to use it, but since it is a proprietary flavor they might not. So have them test it.

paulfierlinger
12-28-2006, 02:32 PM
So since it is an avi, your film house might be able to use it, but since it is a proprietary flavor they might not. So have them test it.That seems like something I could do, starting locally. Thanks.

ScorpioProd
12-28-2006, 04:31 PM
Well, but note that just like any QT codec or AVI codec, in order to play SpeedHQ, one needs to have that codec on one's system.

paulfierlinger
12-28-2006, 04:44 PM
Well, but note that just like any QT codec or AVI codec, in order to play SpeedHQ, one needs to have that codec on one's system.
I see; of course. I was caught in a moment of poor attention.

paulfierlinger
12-29-2006, 08:11 AM
All these threads on the SpeedHQ codec and I still don't have a clear mind about what I should do for the best result. If I were to edit everything as a SpeedHQ 720p and when done converted that to an "uncompressed" AVI, such as a Main Concept MPEG-2, how do you think the result of that would compare to just sticking to QT-Animation 720p in SpeedEDIT all the way to the completion house? Can anyone make an educated guess?

ScorpioProd
12-29-2006, 11:04 AM
Well, I would caution that if you need uncompressed as your final output, your maximum quality would be to keep it uncompressed for your entire path.

For things like CGI, everything tends to be "crisper" and more saturated than the more organic "normal" video, so CGI would benefit from uncompressed more than normal video would. CGI simply won't compress as well as normal video.

SpeedHQ is a great codec, but it's important to understand it's not necessarily best for everything.

paulfierlinger
12-29-2006, 11:25 AM
Well, I would caution that if you need uncompressed as your final output, your maximum quality would be to keep it uncompressed for your entire path.OK, I'm going to hold onto this plan, therefore I will render every clip out of Mirage twice, once as a 720p (or even smaller in the 16:9 format) just anything to edit the film with in SE, and the second render should be 1080p, uncompressed for a switch when the entire film is ready for transfer. So one last question please; what will be my best choice for rendering out of Mirage the uncompressed files? Mirage right now gives me a choice of:
Uncompressed UVYY, YUY2, BGR24, BGR32, and NewTek inc. Version 0.0, whatever that is. But after installing SE into that same machine will I get more choices and if that is the case, which one do you recommend most for my particular case (transfer to 35 mm film).

Lightwolf
12-29-2006, 11:44 AM
So one last question please; what will be my best choice for rendering out of Mirage the uncompressed files? Mirage right now gives me a choice of:
Uncompressed UVYY, YUY2, BGR24, BGR32, and NewTek inc. Version 0.0, whatever that is. But after installing SE into that same machine will I get more choices and if that is the case, which one do you recommend most for my particular case (transfer to 35 mm film).
Chiming in now...

If your final output will be 32bit, pick BGR24 (which is 8bit for red, green and blue, no alpha - unlike BGR32). However, it will also result in large files 3 bytes per pixel per frame.
At 1920x1080 that is roughly 2 million pixels, 3 bytes each -> roughly 6MB per frame. At 24fps that will be a throughput of 144MB/s to play back, add another 25-50% for safety.
At 720p it will be less than half of that (just short of a million pixels).

Most YUV codecs use less storage (2 bytes instead of 3 per pixel), but they also share one chroma value between two adjacent pixels. (so, you get the full luminance resolution, but only half the colour/chroma resolution). For video this is fine, since historically video uses a similar scheme. For printing to film this isn't sufficient (then again, I'm a quality freak) though, and in the case of CG I'd go the full RGB route mentioned above.

Cheers,
Mike

paulfierlinger
12-29-2006, 12:24 PM
blessed are the sheep, for they shall inherit the grassThanks for chiming in. Based on what you say I made these tests with a 1080p clip consisting of 280 frames to be played a 24 fps.
Using BGR.24 1080p the size is 1.64 GB (your math seems to be correct).
using BGR.24 720p the size is 749 MB
using QT.mov-Animation Best quality for 1080p the size is 357 MB
using QT.mov-Animation Best Quality for 720p the size comes to 181 MB

The only one of these clips in Vegas that can play at 24 fps real time is the QT 720p but the BGR.24 720 comes close; about 20 fps.

When I placed all four clips next to each other on the Vegas timeline and clicked back and forth between them, observed on a 24 inch plasma acer screen, I saw absolutely no difference in line quality or color. It was as if I kept clicking on the same clip.

But to backup any QT clip with a 1080p BGR.24 clip isn't anything I my HDs can't handle. An 80 minute film has roughly 115,200 frames. Multipled by 6 MB should come to about 700 GB. I can fit that on one or two external drives and carry them into a completion house. They seem to want films in 20 minute reels so I can even put 4 reels onto 2 drives. The soundtracks would be on a seperate drive.

Do I have this right now and leave you kind people alone? :)

Tom Wood
12-29-2006, 01:16 PM
blessed are the sheep, for they shall inherit the grass

Completely off-topic (sorry Paul) but this is a trailer to a low-budget horror movie coming soon, made by Jonathan King who is a filmmaker who posts over at Wordplayer from time to time:

BLACK SHEEP (http://www.blacksheep-themovie.com/)

The violence of the lambs...

Lightwolf
12-29-2006, 01:26 PM
Do I have this right now and leave you kind people alone? :)
You've got it allright.
I forgot, you are using QT Animation at 100%, which afaik is RGB as well (and lossless at 100% to boot). It should do well with more graphical imagery too, and seems a good choice.
The only downside is, as soon as you use keyframes, scrubbing can be slow (the longer the space between the keyframes, the longer it takes to scrub to a certain frame, since all frames from the last keyframe to the currently viewed frame need to be decompressed).

Cheers,
Mike

paulfierlinger
12-29-2006, 01:40 PM
The only downside is, as soon as you use keyframes, scrubbing can be slow (the longer the space between the keyframes, the longer it takes to scrub to a certain frame, since all frames from the last keyframe to the currently viewed frame need to be decompressed).
Is this why some scenes with camera moves tend to slow down in Vegas? And when I convert the QT movies to AVI to make a WIP DVD for the producer, there is no slow down in any of the scenes. Since this is most likely the case this should explain why I will be better off using SpeedHQ for editing. I think I am done with this topic and ready to get working with SE soon. Once again I thank all who patiently helped me figure this out and I'll let you get back to the black sheep of New Zealand.

paulfierlinger
12-29-2006, 02:30 PM
A new but related question: I realized that there might be no need for me to render each clip coming out of Mirage two separate ways. Wouldn't it be possible for me to render out just the uncompressed 1080p clip and then when loading it into SE, convert it to a smaller sized SpeedHQ without destroying the original clip? Or at least could I not make a copy of the original one and downsize the copy within SE?

Lightwolf
12-29-2006, 03:07 PM
I assume you can just load the 1080p it into a 720p project and render that out to a SpeedHQ file.
Cheers,
Mike

paulfierlinger
12-29-2006, 03:12 PM
Wonderful. Life is too simple.

cholo
12-30-2006, 06:51 AM
You can render out without ever touching the timeline. Just right click on he add media window on the clip you want and select render/convert (I can't remember exactly what it says, just off the top of my head.) Alternatively, you can just use the quicktime 1080 files directly in your timeline even if it doesn't give you realtime playback by enabling the background render for all HD clips added, but you'll have to wait for rendering.

paulfierlinger
12-30-2006, 07:07 AM
That sounds OK too, but don't you think that I should have all my clips stored uniformly as BGR.24 1080p ones and resize each in SE with SpeedHQ to a smaller 16:9 size for efficient editing rather than have a mismatch of QT-Animation and BGR.24 clips? The rerendering of about 100 clips out of Mirage is not going to take that much time because they will be uncompressed files, but the re-editing of five 6 minute segments will be the time consumer no matter how I look at it and I mainly see this as time spent on learning and practicing SE.

radams
12-30-2006, 10:45 AM
That sounds OK too, but don't you think that I should have all my clips stored uniformly as BGR.24 1080p ones and resize each in SE with SpeedHQ to a smaller 16:9 size for efficient editing rather than have a mismatch of QT-Animation and BGR.24 clips? The rerendering of about 100 clips out of Mirage is not going to take that much time because they will be uncompressed files, but the re-editing of five 6 minute segments will be the time consumer no matter how I look at it and I mainly see this as time spent on learning and practicing SE.


Hi Paul,

Yes and No....

Keeping things uniformed is a preferred method...but with SE you don't have to...thou I would still recommend it...

SE allows you to work with ANY resolutions..& ANY frame rate....add to that if the codec works with SE you can mix and match them...on the same timeline or as Cholo stated just right click and render out to any of the supported codecs or formats....

I would recommend keeping your original art uncompressed...either with AVI, QT or even with Still a uncompressed still format....then I would convert those to SpeedHQ and edit your offline with it...at any resolution you want....then take the offline...with the original uncompressed to your completion house....let them and the lab conform the originals & audio to your offline...then take that to the lab...Note: I strongly suggest that you do a couple of tests to make certain that your get the proper gamma and color rendition as well as line integity that you want....you may want the lab to make some additional adjustments or so to properly bring out those subtlies of your masterful work ;)

Again, If there is anything I can assist with please let me know...

Your Friend,

paulfierlinger
12-30-2006, 11:37 AM
I would recommend keeping your original art uncompressed...either with AVI, QT or even with Still a uncompressed still format....then I would convert those to SpeedHQ and edit your offline with it...
Are you saying I should convert each of my AVIs to SpeedHQ before I import them into SE or do this as I import them? What I understand of SE is that if I set the timeline up with a 720p template and import 1080p clips they will automatically run as 720's in SE with all the advantages of a reduced size.

I don't think it is necessary for me to have a completion house re-assemble my entire film, scene by scene, if I can supply them with the film in four 20 minute parts already edited as four 1080p, uncompressed AVIs.


Note: I strongly suggest that you do a couple of tests to make certain that you get the proper gamma and color rendition as well as line integrity that you want.

We have all the color control we need in Mirage when painting the scenes and further in SE. I imagine that for purposes of transfer to film there will be some checking involved but do not expect any color correcting. My experience has been that completion houses have a tendency to screw up our colors badly, for instance the currently running Comcast spots make Sandra faint everytime one of those come on again. Of course, our client just gave our DVD to a lab and told them here are the final spots and someone in that lab had fun dulling and washing out all our colors. There was absolutely no need for this to happen from a technical point of view.

How do I know that our colors are fine? because a previous spot we made for United Air was completed without any lab correction involved and the colors were perfect -- the lab just double checked them for legitimacy in my presence and they confirmed that we had everything right. Likewise, every film we have ever done for PBS had to go through very stringent quality control by a house in Virginia, called Pillar to Post. Those guys are professional nit-pickers. We have been repeatedly told by these people at Pillar to Post that we are one of the rare studios that get everything right and nothing has to be changed.

There are musicians who have perfect pitch and don't need any gadgets to tune a piano and there painters who have a perfect sense of color pitch and don't need instruments to have their colors corrected.

So I pretty much trust our own gadget I call most of the time Sandra.:)

radams
12-30-2006, 01:02 PM
Hi Paul,

I also trust you and Sandra Paul...but what I don't trust is that there is a difference between your Monitor display and that which is shown on the Theater screen... There are many things that are different...including Gamma...

So That is why I suggested making certian the lab has their settings properly setup with the proper film stock to print your fabulous creation so that it is seen as you created it to be seen ;)

As for working with uncompressed, BRG24, QT, vs SpeedHQ....I understand you don't need the completion house to re-edit your peice...okay... But I would STRONGLY suggest using an uncompressed RGB based format to do your film out with...thus "not" SpeedHQ.

Each frame needs to be pulled anyway to be printed...If you have those already as frames or Uncompressed clips...then the completion house is only reconforming using your master edit...syncing the audio etc...but there are so many ways to do this.

Just trying to help give you the best Realtime feedback and best film out options...

Cheers,

paulfierlinger
12-30-2006, 01:07 PM
I understand Ray. Somewhere back a hundred posts and a day or so ago I had stated that I have decided to go the 1080 route. and thanks to you and all for helping me understand what I should do.

rbartlett
12-31-2006, 03:16 AM
I found this page was useful to firm up information I had gleaned from previous but fragmented sources. The page also provides some suitable pre-SpeedEDIT worfklow conjouring tools by dropping the product names in throughout:

http://digitalcontentproducer.com/di/depth/video_desktop_di/

For clarification, many non->8bit non-RGB non-uncompressed formats are forms of DI. Not just MPEG-2 I-frame, wavelet, MJPEG, SonyYUV, SpeedHQ, etc.


A google of "filmout" provides yet more. Thankfully Paul has years of good experience of digital to filmout. The aim is to get the most suitable and elegant workflow that will allow him to finish well inside 2007!

Quality wise I wonder how Vegas' 8bit-R'G'B' and SE's YUV pipelines have a bearing on the overall system capabilities. I realise that Paul isn't looking for a pure science solution. Also that if you cannot see what has been lost, well, it isn't really lost then is it? This is the whole principle of this modern digital world at the point of delivery.

Paul's next step ought to be to "impedance match" what he presents to the filmout center with what suits them best and that possibly allows them to assume certain grading attributes without him needing to sit in for the entire session. That could be achieved with some pantone references for Sandra's paint and a color swatch provided as a sort of painters-color-bars clip. Excluding the differences between how paint material and light is conveyed and how the ambient light interacts the mediums. I don't have a first hand working knowledge of such things but I'd have thought that this could be the order for the day.

Oh, for those following in Paul and Sandra's path - having a good better-than-6bit-DAC flat panel monitor is always a bonus.

paulfierlinger
12-31-2006, 04:51 AM
[QUOTE]I found this page was useful to firm up [QUOTE]Thankfully Paul has years of good experience of digital to filmout. Unfortunately non whatsoever. I have many years of film experience and about 15 years of CG experience but not a day of the combination of the two until this project.

The aim is to get the most suitable and elegant workflow that will allow him to finish well inside 2007!
Woa, you sound like my producers. It's 2008. We started production last July with 4 minutes of a pilot as a jump start.

I realize that Paul isn't looking for a pure science solution. Also that if you cannot see what has been lost, well, it isn't really lost then is it? This is the whole principle of this modern digital world at the point of delivery.So true. There is a lot of science involved with digital filmmaking and so is there with film filmmaking, book printing, meal preparation and vacuum cleaning. I am curious about science and biology but long ago I gave up the quest to know it all in depth. Yet I make films, read, raise dogs, keep a clean house and eat without dying of poison and now I'm going to draw a film on a computer that's going to end up on film.


Oh, for those following in Paul and Sandra's path - having a good better-than-6bit-DAC flat panel monitor is always a bonus.It's nice to have large, flat monitors but my first priority of importance goes to the tablet. The bigger the better applies here. The next is the positioning of the screen. My drawing screen is tilted by having it partially sunk into the table's top and it's bottom rim flush with the tablet's top rim.

There was a day when this was not possible to do because the activity of the tablet interefered with the monitor resulting in pencil stutter and making it impossible for me to draw directly into a computer. Once Wacom fixed that, was the day I became liberated from paper.

radams
12-31-2006, 06:49 AM
Welcome to your liberated Freedom Paul & Sandra ;)

We are all happy that day has come...and you can let your imagination and pure artistry flow to create paperless...and in a shorter time with more creative options & additional freedoms ;)

I'm looking forward to seeing it in a theater !!! 08 sometime

Happy New Year Paul & Sandra, May it bring you more joy and adventures !!!

Your Friend,

paulfierlinger
12-31-2006, 07:01 AM
Thanks, Ray.

rbartlett
12-31-2006, 08:08 AM
[QUOTE]Unfortunately non whatsoever. I have many years of film experience and about 15 years of CG experience but not a day of the combination of the two until this project.

My mistake. I'd presumed too much having seen your work on the TV/web, your examples during the Aura, now Mirage years etc. Yes, it does seem like a converged world. Indeed, your producers might do everyone a favor if this film was released to movie theatres but under the digital projection approach. No film. Not that I don't dislike grain, scratches and gate flicker.

Once you get SE, or access to a 15day demo, whichever comes first. Then I'll look forward to reading about what you find and adding my two-penneth to the attributes of Mirage, Vegas and SpeedEDIT for finalising your rapid editing/story-telling productivity.

Before it arrives Paul. Could you go over where Mirage is lacking for cuts/cross-fade work please? If it is the lack of fluidity, I wonder if that can be solved as easily as 1080p can be made fluid in SE. ie - new computer with the latest CPU and high-speed/low-latency memory bandwidth. Your disc storage appears to be plentiful. Or is the audio synchronization a significant factor?

Best wishes for 2007 and for telling this story in 2008.

paulfierlinger
12-31-2006, 09:51 AM
[QUOTE=paulfierlinger]

[QUOTE]Indeed, your producers might do everyone a favor if this film was released to movie theatres but under the digital projection approach. No film. This is up to the distributors, not producers. Who gets to be the distributor depends on the choice of the producers. The way this works is that when an independent film is going into production, the producers usually want to secure a distributor first because it makes raising money and securing stars easier and likelier. The flip side is that the distributors can charge a lot for their part in taking a huge risk with an unknown producer.

Then there's a second choice, which is not to bother with a distributor and raise the money just on the strength of the property (in my case a well known book) and the track record of the filmmaker. The money came together within a few weeks and now my producers have the luxury of putting out our film for bids among the biggest distributors. An interesting note here; there were a couple of stars who turned us down because we didn't have a secured distributor upfront.


Before it arrives Paul. Could you go over where Mirage is lacking for cuts/cross-fade work please? I don't quite understand this question. All I create in Mirage is the scene. If there is a camera move involved, I create it there. If there are dissolves involved between individual layers, I create them in Mirage. But if I need to make dissolves between scenes, I create these in the NLE. You might be referring to the instance where I had mentioned that some scenes with large camera moves could slow down in Vegas and this seems to be, as I have learned on this forum, due to the properties of the QT codec and that Vegas has a slow time reading the deltas.
Or is the audio synchronization a significant factor?I have no problems whatsoever with audio, whether in Vegas or Mirage and my film is about 60 or maybe higher percentage filled with lip-synch. What I read in Mirage is what I get in Vegas. I expect the same results in SE of course.


Best wishes for 2007 and for telling this story in 2008. The slated release date is for early 2008 but I think it will be more like late 2008, and thanks for your wishes. Up until now the work has been truly enjoyable with no hitches. I am progressing a few weeks behind schedule because every scene of the film is done in full animation (animating everything in two's, and just about every scene has at least one dog in it and 80% have humans speaking in lip-synch.) I am determined not to reuse a single background or animation sequence and to keep cycled image sequences down to almost nil. Another factor causing a bit of a slowdown are technical issues such as switching to a brand new, untested (for me) NLE. I also teach a couple of animation courses a week and school related work can cause a hitch. And lastly, since I do not work with a storyboard and have only a very cursory script (both by choice) I often enough find myself discarding entire scenes whenever I come up, belatedly with a much better idea of how to progress with the story. This is cottage industry, free of committees...:)

mbdavison
12-31-2006, 04:22 PM
Hello:
Was reading your posts with interest. I started out years ago shooting on film (8mm & 16mm) and then progressed to pro video formats. But began to do animation when the Amiga toaster was available.
Glad you decided to keep your work at the 1080 size, as that is just plain closer to "film" resolution. (Defining film resolution is problematic and I won't go into that, other than it is usually measured in the equivalent of thousands of pixels)
Now I am trying to start up an independant "film" shot on HDV (1080i x 1920) and posted in SE (When my order arrives ;-) ) one crucial difference in the resolution of video vs. film is TIME resolution. It sounds like you are producing your animation at 60 fields a second? Is there any reason you can't produce it at 24 per sec.? I would imagine that it would save on your file sizes & maybe speed up playback? Also here is an EXCELLENT site for information on what is needed in video files for transfere to 35 or 16 film.
http://www.dvfilm.com/ Marcus used to shoot on film "back in the day" and produced his own independant 35 and 16 features, but has developed his own company for doing video to film transferes. (He says they can transfer at 60 fields, so 24 p isnt Demanded, I would just think it might help in your situation. ) ALSO- Does the VT SE do 24p at hdv? Anyone? Anyone?

paulfierlinger
12-31-2006, 04:34 PM
It sounds like you are producing your animation at 60 fields a second? Is there any reason you can't produce it at 24 per sec.? Gosh, can you imagine animating in two's and still having to draw 30 pictures?! Where did you get the idea that this is what I'm up to?? No, it's been always :hat: 24 fps for me.

mbdavison
12-31-2006, 04:50 PM
That sounds OK too, but don't you think that I should have all my clips stored uniformly as BGR.24 1080p ones and resize each in SE with SpeedHQ to a smaller 16:9 size for efficient editing rather than have a mismatch of QT-Animation and BGR.24 clips? .

Just an additional note, 16x9 size is not a file or image size, its just the ratio of width to height. In other words, whether an image is 16 pixels wide, all the way up to 1,920 pixels wide, 16x 9 is the format ratio of the image. Even Fisher price Pixel vision has been transfered to 35mm film, (but it was in 4x3 format, if I remember correctly, if it was in academy widescreen then they probably cropped it to fit.)
16x 9 is usually the preffered width to height ratio for projection on 35mm movie screens- its closer to academy widescreen.
mbd

paulfierlinger
12-31-2006, 04:57 PM
Well, I thought I was saying the same by saying:

1080p ones and resize each in SE with SpeedHQ to a smaller 16:9 size for efficient editing
by which I was saying resize 1080p to any smaller size while keeping it in a 16:9 ratio. If I had said just a smaller size someone might think I'm asking for a completely different, smaller ratio.