switching from Vegas 7 to SE

paulfierlinger

Mirage 2D animator
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

XDCAM HD production
Tom Wood said:
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

Production Wizard
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,
 
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radams

Production Wizard
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,
 
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Tom Wood

Amused
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

Mirage 2D animator
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

The African Savannah...
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

Amused
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

Mirage 2D animator
Tom WoodPaul - this would mean rendering out two sets of clips from Mirage said:
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

Amused
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

Mirage 2D animator
Tom Wood said:
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

New member
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

Mirage 2D animator
rbartlett said:
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

The African Savannah...
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

Mirage 2D animator
kleima said:
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

The African Savannah...
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

Mirage 2D animator
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

The African Savannah...
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

Mirage 2D animator
kleima said:
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

The African Savannah...
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.
 
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