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Questions on the preview output

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Chris Cooke-JohnsonQuestions on the preview output
by on Aug 14, 2002 at 2:26:21 am

Hi all,

just wondering if someone can toake the time to explain how the preview output from the Kona works.

Does it function in a similar fashion to M100's video preview (define an area of the screen to be passed through to the video outputs)? Or is it more software-based (i.e. liked to AE's preview). M100's drawback for preview is it's 1 sec refresh rate (although of course anything rendered to the M100 codec is realtime), but it is useful in the sense that it will put annything on the screen (motion paths, safe areas, etc) out to the screen - amasingly useful for colour correction work.

Is it like Matrox (preview goes directly to output, but there's no refreshed 'on screen' output as per M100)?

We're looking at the Kona HD - in M100's case, you'd want to have a monitor capable of more than 1920x1080 in order to define the area... is this the case? Probably putting in an order for computers in the next week or so ;-)

Hope this makes some sense to someone...

Take care,
Chris


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Dean NurscherRe: Questions on the preview output
by on Aug 14, 2002 at 2:55:19 am

Hi all,

I had an issue where audio was dropping out on a program I mastered to Digi Beta in PAL on our Kona system. I hadn't hooked up ref as It was just a quick job I was doing for a guy who's showreel I helped cut. All appeared fine in the edit to tape but about half way through the 8 min project audio dropped out when we played the tape back. Redid the edit to tape with ref to Kona and DigitBeta and all was good.

Definately use ref!!


Dean Nurscher
Future Reality
Sydney, Australia


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Marco SolorioRe: Questions on the preview output
by on Aug 14, 2002 at 6:36:49 am

When I first read your post, I thought you were asking if the RT effects were preview quality, like Media 100 does with single-frame dissolves. So instead of erasing my answer for that, I've decided to keep it and I'll answer you're real question after it.

As for RT effects, these are not preview quality. They are full frame, two-field effects. RT effects do NOT require "preparing video" time like Cinewave, Voodoo and Igniter need when performing an edit to tape function (an insert edit). If you have a 1-hour program and you have sepia tone on 90% of it (for example's sake), you do NOT need to sit there and wait 50 hours for it to "prepare video". All RT effects are D1 spec as if they were rendered clips on the timeline.

Okay, now for the real question. There are two ways to work in AE for D1 preview. Both are through Kona's RGB output capability and it's VERY powerful. I first saw an example of this at NAB this year at AJA's botth. First, understand that the Kona SD acts as an additional desktop (like second or third Apple display). You can open up a file in Photoshop, drag the file over to the Kona desktop, hit "F" on your keyboard (for full frame) and use Photoshop like a Quantel Painbox system. All brushes, moves, effects, etc., are all working in real-time to your NTSC/PAL monitor... you are essentialy working on your image on your NTSC/PAL monitor in real-time. Very cool.

In AE, you can use the Kona in the old way, where you drag the comp window to the Kona desktop, full screen it, and now the theory is the same as Photoshop... you interact with the comp window in real-time on your NTSC monitor. Problem is though, is that all your comp window buttons are hidden, like RGBA, safety, etc.

The other way (and new way) to work in AE is to MIRROR your comp window to the Kona RGB output. This is MUCH better. You still have a comp window with all your buttons and it mirrors it to your NTSC monitor. Even better is that all your layer guids are ON the comp window but OFF on the NTSC monitor. I like that a lot. Want a RAM preview? No sweat... plays back real-time in full 29.97 FPS. Interaction is real-time and playback is real-time. This really REALLY brings AE to another level IMO.

No 1-second refreshes like M100... everything is real-time.

Oh and yes, Kona HD will give you HD spec desktop size with real-time output.

And since the Kona desktop is SDI output, you can work in Photoshop and output to a still store or tape deck. All in real-time. Have goose-bumps yet? I do.

Marco Solorio  |  OneRiver Media


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Chris Cooke-JohnsonRe: Questions on the preview output -half way there...
by on Aug 14, 2002 at 10:51:09 am

Thanks Marco,

I think Grant missed that I'm really only interested in the operations as they relate to the Kona HD.

The 'new" way you describe above - how do you define the area of the screen that contains the comp window? I Gather it's only mirorring the actualy video area of the comp and isn't putting th buttons etc out to NTSC (i.e. the mirroring areas is 1920x1080 - if I were running in on a computer monitor with 1920x1440, I'd have sapce above and below, or all below if I chose?)

Is is something like a box in the center or is it again like M100's repositionable box? What if the comp is at 50% on the computer monitor - is it at 50% on the NTSC or is it still full-screen; I gather the same would be true to enlargements.

Sorry if I didn't make my question clear, it knod of assumed that you knew what M100's video Previewer application did - oops.


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Marco SolorioRe: Questions on the preview output -half way there...
by on Aug 14, 2002 at 11:07:13 am

Oh oops, I kind of missed the point too... I was referring to the Kona SD and its real-time mirroring to NTSC/PAL. I know you can mirror from AE in HD, but I don't know if the RAM previews are real-time. Someone else will have to answer.

Photoshop, from what I understand still works in real-time on HD output.

I don't think you understand (unless I don't understand your question) that the Kona SD or HD are a seperate desktop when you're not in an app like FCP. Yes, I am very familiar with the M100 preview box... I used it for 5 years! ;-) Instead of positioning the preview box over a PSD file for NTSC output, you instead bring the PSD file over to the Kona desktop (or Kona desktop "preview box" IOW).

If you shrink an AE comp at 50%, then the RGB mirrored output will enlarge it to full screen.

When you mirror the AE comp to Kona RGB output, it's mirroring it without the buttons/layer-controls/guids/etc while the actual comp still does retain those guides. It's magic! Your mirrored comp is a true SD or HD output that you could even lay to tape from a RAM preview in real-time (again, I don't know if HD can do it though).

Oof, it's much too late for me. Time for bed.

Marco Solorio  |  OneRiver Media


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Chris Cooke-JohnsonRe: Questions on the preview output -half way there...
by on Aug 14, 2002 at 11:43:57 am

Marco - Time for bed??

I'm just getting started for the day!

Ok, I get the feelign you're reply included both what you called the 'old' way and the 'new' way.

To clarify what I understand:

Under the 'old' way, the cards output is a 1920x1080HD (720x486)SD "monitor" - just treat it as the third monitor and drop your comp over there and have3 fun getting the positioning right.

Under the new way, it someone "knows" where your comp is (you didn't seem to imply that you selected the area as with M100. This comp is on your normaly computer monitor. It outputs whatever's in that comp (including guides, motion paths, etc) to the video out and plays RAM previews etc (kinda like the M100 app, just with 30fps refresh).

I still don't understand how it knows what to output - what if I have two comp windows open at the same time? Is it some kind of plug-in for AE that gets it to redirect it's output?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to figure out the work flow - half our work ends up in AE and that ability to see what's going on it real time is essential.

Take care,
Chris


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Grant PettyRe: Questions on the preview output -half way there...
by on Aug 14, 2002 at 2:10:48 pm

Hi,

Ooops, I did not notice you were speaking about the Kona HD.

The Kona HD has had this desktop feature, however for the moment we have disabled it. The reason is Final Cut Pro has a full resolution capture window when doing video capture. This is so big in HD, that it goes off your main display, and covers part of our desktop output. This causes Final Cut Pro to drop frames in capture.

We have asked Apple to change this in the next version of Final Cut Pro, and then we can add it back. We could build a version with this feature if someone needed it, and we are going to do our own simple play capture application which would not have this problem, so it could be used.

Anyway, the main thing for the moment for us is to make sure the Kona HD is shipping and stable, and we can add this back when Final Cut Pro's capture window is changed to be smaller if it won't fit on the Mac monitor.


Regards,

Grant Petty
Blackmagic Design
http://www.blackmagic-design.com



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Chris Cooke-JohnsonRe: Questions on the preview output -half way there...
by on Aug 14, 2002 at 2:31:03 pm

Grant,

what about if you have a monitor with a resolution of 1920x* or greater (like La Cie's 2048x*)? Then surely the Capture window would fit on a single screen?

Or if you had dual monitors and split the capture window across the two 'real' monitors?

I'm really interested in the situation with previews from AfterEffects. As I mentioned, the reason I'm asking all these questions is I'm putting together the purchase order for the computer system and need to figure out if dual 1600x* monitors will work or we need dual 1920+x* monitors.

Grant, I'd also like your comments on the thread below regarding the new macs and the 66Mhz bus if you get a chance ;-)

Take care,
Chris




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Dean NurscherRe: Questions on the preview output -half way there...
by on Aug 15, 2002 at 12:15:20 am

Hi Chris,

I would definately not recommend any config where captures or even playback need to span over 2 monitors, It is always best to keep any QT movie playing back on one display only. I would definately recommend the 23" Cinema Display If you are planning on doing HD. Historically the reason for this is dual displays genereally required multiple display cards (1 x AGP, 1 x PCI) which meant the data was being split and sent all over the place internally. This may change with new dual head cards, but I would still be reluctant to recommend this.


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Chris Cooke-JohnsonRe: Questions on the preview output -half way there...
by on Aug 15, 2002 at 11:57:23 am

Dean,

I've certainly been eyeing those 23" displays...it is really tempting. But at a practical level, they're too expensive. For the price of just one of thoses (and we'd need two), we could buy three(!) LaCie electronblue 22" monitors - each with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 @ 80Hz. That would give us HD with space around, unlike the 23"CD's whichare the same width as HD. Even from a clients POV, I somehow thinks three massive monitors will win over 1 really big flat-pannel.

But thank you, I've always agreed with what you'e said on splitting monitors but just wanted to see if I was just being overly conservative (it's the Brit in me...)

Take care,
Chris


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Patrick InhoferRe: Questions on the preview output -half way there...
by on Aug 14, 2002 at 7:59:11 pm

I still don't understand how it knows what to output - what if I have two comp windows open at the same time? Is it some kind of plug-in for AE that gets it to redirect it's output?

I don't know how it does this but...

When you have several comp windows open, your monitor will display whichever comp window is active. Put another way, whichever comp window will render when you do a RAM Preview is the one that gets displayed on your broadcast monitor.

--
Patrick Inhofer
editor, compositor, nice guy
applePi Editorial, nyc


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Marco SolorioRe: Questions on the preview output -half way there...
by on Aug 14, 2002 at 10:43:09 pm

[Chris Cooke-Johnson] "Under the 'old' way, the cards output is a 1920x1080HD (720x486)SD "monitor" - just treat it as the third monitor and drop your comp over there and have3 fun getting the positioning right. "

This is correct. And your comp window buttons will dissapear as they are cropped out of the active video portion of the comp window. Getting the position is easy as it's a key-comb to auto-fill the window prefectly... [shift] + [command] + []

I learned this in the Kona SD manual. Good manual!

[Chris Cooke-Johnson] "Under the new way, it someone "knows" where your comp is (you didn't seem to imply that you selected the area as with M100. This comp is on your normaly computer monitor. It outputs whatever's in that comp (including guides, motion paths, etc) to the video out and plays RAM previews etc (kinda like the M100 app, just with 30fps refresh). "

Under the new way, the comp is mirrored to the Kona output. There are two comp windows... one *with* layer guides and one *without* which is the NTSC/PAL output. This is made possible by selecting it in the AE preferances for Video Preview.

Whatever comp is active, gets sent out to the Kona SDI output in real-time. You can have 50 comps open, but whichever one is in bold (active) will mirror to the NTSC/PAL monitor.

I also want to clarify something important:

If you view your comp at 50%, it will output at 100% on your NTSC/PAL monitor. If your quality resolution is half, it'll display this quality on the NTSC/PAL monitor. IOW, only the quality resolution will affect the NTSC/PAL output quality and NOT the zoom view setting. FWIW anyway.

Marco Solorio  |  OneRiver Media


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Grant PettyRe: Questions on the preview output
by on Aug 14, 2002 at 7:00:30 am

Hi,

If your talking about the ability to use Photoshop out the Kona SD video output, then this is easy. When the Kona SD is not running with a QuickTime application like Final Cut Pro in the foreground, we can display the video output as a second Mac monitor.

So your Mac has two monitors, the main one and the Kona SD output at video resolution. The good thing about this is the updates are instant. You can also use Power Point to output direct to SDI video.


Regards,

Grant
Blackmagic Design



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