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Thread: Video with Alpha by GV Edius (Newtek SpeedHQ Codecs)

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    Video with Alpha by GV Edius (Newtek SpeedHQ Codecs)

    Curious if any User has had issues with creating video media with alpha channel using the Newtek codec. The editing system being used is GV Edius 7/8 exporting with the Quicktime wrapper and the Newtek SpeedHQ (SHQ0-SHQ9) codecs. There is no AVI option when exporting SpeedHQ under Edius 7/8. The SpeedHQ *.mov files will not be accepted by vMix or Edius upon completion of the export. Having undertaken much testing using each of the SpeedHQ codecs (SHQ0 – SHQ9) with no success. Operating Systems used Win7Pro, Win8.1Pro and Win10. Current release of Edius 7 & 8, with the latest version of vMix. The Newtek SpeedHQ files will play in VLC Player (V3.0.3), and it reports that the files are OK and with Alpha channel.

    I’m concerned that there may be a conflict between the Newtek SpeedHQ codecs installed, as I have those provided by vMix, the Newtek NDI Tools, and the separate Newtek Codec Pack for Edius. I trust these are all on the current version and are interoperable between the various applications. There is no version information provided in the properties dialog by Newtek accompanying these SpeedHQ codecs.

    The test files are of 10 seconds duration and can be downloaded as a zip file for viewing if Newtek Support is interested in assisting with this issue. Appreciate any help on this . Edius Alpha Channel Codecs.zip (802M) https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Gwc...ew?usp=sharing

    Below some of the screen captures to illustrate the settings used and the responses by various applications:










  2. #2
    I think alpha needs 4:4:4:4. I'm not sure as I haven't used the SpeedHQ settings before.
    John Erbicella
    Experienced in TriCaster, OBS, and various streaming solutions
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    Hi John, Tried all the Newtek variants of the SpeedHQ codec, including 4:4:4:4 with no success. A colleague has also tried using the SpeedHQ codec with Alpha as well today, and has the same problems. I have used the SpeedHQ codec over the years for the TriCaster and 3Play when encoding in GV Edius, but with no alpha channel, and no problems. Only in the last 48 hours have I tried to use this Alpha channel facility with the SpeedHQ codec. Using the SHQ7 variant, it's worst. No video and no alpha channel, but a huge (very huge) file with black only video. Rendering to AVI uncompressed with Alpha, no problem. Rendering to Grass Valley HQ and HQX codecs, no problem. So Edius is configured correctly on the timeline and exporting. Only SpeedHQ appears to be the problem, or at least appears to be.

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    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jperbicella View Post
    I think alpha needs 4:4:4:4. I'm not sure as I haven't used the SpeedHQ settings before.
    I typically choose 4:2:2:4, but any of the '4 digit' SpeedHQ codecs should be capable of handling an embedded alpha.

    I looked at a couple of these .movs (4:2:0:4 and 4:2:2:4), and had no trouble loading them into applications on my Window system - but the alpha channel for both did not contain any transparency. It's an age since I looked at Edius, and a quick perusal of the net didn't turn up much detailed info, so I'm not sure whether or not there might be some less obvious setting that needs to be enabled in its options to assist in exporting the alpha channel. (I get that this doesn't seem to be necessary with certain formats, but that's not 100% conclusive.)

    It may be necessary to do a transcode after exporting something that does work, instead.
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    Thanks Steve for taking the time to download the package and review the alpha channel video clips. I’ve been editing from a time before non-linear and quite perplexed by this problem. Edius has one very useful feature under the VIEW menu, where the User can view the actual alpha channel, so as to provide confirmation that all is well in the creation of the alpha channel video clips. All good there. Both Edius, VLC Player and MediaInfo confirm the existence of the alpha channel (ie: 4:2:0:4, 4:2:2:4, 4:4:4:4), though there appears to be only ‘Black’ is my guess where the alpha channel should show shades of white & grey.

    As you have seen with the included screen captures, there are very few options when encoding with SpeedHQ within the QuickTime wrapper. And that is understandable. Have a look when you have time at the SHQ7 video clip, there is nothing but total black. Curious that. Perhaps, thinking more broadly, could there be an issue with the QuickTime wrapper, since QuickTime for Windows is no longer supported by Apple? Also, can the TriCaster import an uncompressed AVI with Alpha and transcode into the native SpeedHQ codec. Would be interested to see if any other User can confirm if this is an issue at present.

  6. #6
    I downloaded and tried as well, here are my results.

    The Uncompressed AVI would open in both VMC1 and After Effects, but neither application saw the alpha channel.

    Neither VMC1 or After Effects could understand the Grass Valley codec.

    VMC1 would open the SpeedHQ files, but the alpha was wrong in them. Either was was no alpha, or 100% alpha for everything in the case of the SHQ7 encoded file. After Effects have me an error when trying to open the file. First After Effects said there was no 'importable streams', then a second error said that file was damaged.

    I have gone thru a lot of testing with importing files into TriCaster. Haven't tested exports from Edius, but here are results from other applications.
    https://www.newtek.com/blog/tips/imp...nto-tricaster/
    Here is a PDF version of the document: Importing media files into TriCaster.pdf

    If you have one of those other apps, I give them a try just to make sure the workflow is correct. If it continues to still have an error with Edius, I can only think it is something with how it exports files.
    Last edited by kanep; 07-30-2018 at 09:27 AM.
    Kane Peterson
    Key Accounts Sales Engineer
    NewTek, Inc.

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    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Editec View Post
    As you have seen with the included screen captures, there are very few options when encoding with SpeedHQ within the QuickTime wrapper.
    I did notice that, but it would not be that unusual to find there were deeper config options that are not readily apparent. I'm not saying this is so, but in a number of other applications the mere selection of a format that may well be listed as having alpha support does not always mean that exporter will use it. It's not entirely clear whether Edius is simply enabling alpha output for specific (pre-selected by the developers) formats internally, or it is globally available without any other intervention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Editec View Post
    Also, can the TriCaster import an uncompressed AVI with Alpha and transcode into the native SpeedHQ codec. Would be interested to see if any other User can confirm if this is an issue at present.
    I just tested an uncompressed (BGR32) AVI and TriCaster succesfully transcoded it to SpeedHQ with an alpha. This works, but uncompressed is pretty big if you're dealing with video clips.
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    Good to hear from you both, Steve and Kane. Thanks also to Kane for downloading the package and investigating the issue. I read with interest the comments from you both, and also the Newtek materials on the links you provided. I see a pattern here, don’t use QuickTime . The *.AVI container/wrapper seems to be the more resilient in Windows.

    Upon further investigation, I found a Forum Post on the vMix site from one of the members discussing a similar problem last year. They spoke of the very affordable BluffTitler, which uses the SpeedHQ codec for exporting animations and titles. So, I imported the uncompressed alpha GV Edius file into BluffTitler and then exported using the SpeedHQ SHQ7 variant to AVI, and success!

    It works within every Windows application that plays video, including VLC Player (3.0.3) and Windows Media Player. Can even import the SHQ7 file back into Edius, with the Alpha channel available. Adobe, Avid, TriCaster, vMix, all happy to accept the file.

    Below is the export dialog from within BluffTitler, with the correct choices available.



    If BluffTitler can get this correct with the SpeedHQ codec, then I see an opportunity to gently advise other vendors on the correct implementation of Newtek’s SpeedHQ codecs with AVI. Personally, this codec is an all-round performer, and IP aware (NDI). Otherwise, I use MPEG2, 4:2:2 High Profile, i-Frame only, as that format is interchangeable everywhere. Though that could change very quickly if this issue can be resolved with other vendors.

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    Well it looks like Grass Valley do not have a solution for the SpeedHQ export using QuickTime in their Edius application. Their best solution, “You can export to Grass Valley HQX with alpha and use an external app to convert it to the NewTek solution you seek.” Is this vapourware, or does such a transcoding application exist.

    Also, “Future versions of Premiere Pro will no longer support Quicktime 7 era formats and codecs.” Product Manager, Adobe Premiere Pro. Dated 2nd April 2018. (Google Search) Interesting article. The writing maybe on the wall for QuickTime in Adobe, Edius and probably other vendors, hence the move to the tried and true Microsoft AVI wrapper in recent times by other multimedia companies.

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