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Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue

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James HughesBlackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 21, 2012 at 9:32:48 am

Hi all,
a few things:
I just purchased 2 Hyperdeck Shuttles and have installed the 2.5 firmware update.

1: When I record in DNxHD the blacks are really high and noisy.
The uncompressed is great, but the DNxHD is pretty rubbish really.

Is there maybe a decoding issue that others are having.

2: I can open the DNxHD.mov in FCP studio 7, but not in Premiere CS5.5

3: The DNxHD codec pack 2.3.4 fails to install on my Mac (OSX 10.7.3), but the 2.3.2 version seems to install fine.

Does anyone have any ideas I may try?

cheers


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Jay BloomfieldRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 21, 2012 at 6:19:56 pm

I doubt that this will help with those issues, but the most recent version of the codec is 2.3.7:

http://avid.custkb.com/avid/app/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=423319


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James HughesRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 21, 2012 at 9:25:25 pm

Thanks. I'll give it a try.


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Bill RavensRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 21, 2012 at 9:46:11 pm

I'm running MC6.01 with the latest DNxHD codecs on a PC. Importing DNxHD files recorded on a Hyperdeck Shuttle 2 are shifting the gammas incorrectly. This happens whether you use the DNxHD direct or QT wrapped DNxHD recording method.

Bringing in the QT wrapped DNxHD by linking via AMA does not help. And the ability to change the range within Media Composer is greyed out for Quicktime DNxHD linkage.

BMD has yet to respond to this problem. They seem to be ignoring it.



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James HughesRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 21, 2012 at 10:15:28 pm

So it sounds like BM have not implemented the codec properly into the Shuttle.
Surprise, Surprise, that's very unlike Blackmagic to bring something to market too early...... NOT....

Most of the BM gear I have is OK but there's always something that's not quite right.
I guess you get what you pay for.

Come on BM... Sort this out please!


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Kristian LamRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 21, 2012 at 10:54:11 pm

[James Hughes] "2: I can open the DNxHD.mov in FCP studio 7, but not in Premiere CS5.5
"


Have you tried updating to Adobe Premiere Pro 5.5.2?

regards

Kristian Lam
Blackmagic Design


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Bill RavensRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 21, 2012 at 11:06:29 pm

adobe premiere? no!
I'm importing files into Avid media Composer 6.01 or Davinci Resolve. They both show the same gamma shift.



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Kristian LamRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 21, 2012 at 11:08:52 pm

Thanks Bill,

We'll look into this.

regards

Kristian Lam
Blackmagic Design


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Bill RavensRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 22, 2012 at 1:43:06 am

[Kristian Lam] "Thanks Bill,

We'll look into this.

regards

Kristian Lam
Blackmagic Design"


Kristian...
FWIW, there is quite a detailed explanation of how the DNxHD codecs work in the following user guide from Calibrated{Q}....
http://www.calibratedsoftware.com/downloads/CalibratedQ-MXF-UserGuide.pdf



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Bill RavensRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 21, 2012 at 11:13:21 pm

Thanx, Kristian...here's some frame grabs from Avid






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James HughesRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 21, 2012 at 11:33:00 pm

Bill....yep, that looks like exactly the issue I'm talking about.


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James HughesRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 22, 2012 at 9:47:04 am

The new codec installed fine, but unfortunately didn't fix the gamma level issue.
I tried using the CalibratedQ software, but it didn't seem to make a difference either.
Interestingly though, opening the same file in both Quicktime player and in MPEG Streamclip, the levels were a bit better in MPEG Streamclip.
So, BM..... I'm still looking for a solution to this. Really hope you can figure this one out!

cheers.


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Greg BoothRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 22, 2012 at 1:42:23 pm

Hi James,

If you're using Calibrated{Q} MXF Import with the BlackMagic DNxHD MXF files in Adobe applications then you should change the DNxHD Color Levels in the Calibrated{Q} MXF Import Options application to 'Full Range' since Adobe applications use Full Range RGB when converting YUV to/from RGB.

Here's a link to the Calibrated{Q} MXF Import User Guide here. In the User Guide we go over how the Avid QT Codecs will encode/decode to/from RGB<->DNxHD422 with either SMPTE Range RGB or Full Range RGB, as well as what Color Level works best in different applications (like Adobe apps or FCP).

I hope that helps!

Cheers,
Greg

Calibrated Software


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James HughesRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 22, 2012 at 1:55:04 pm

thanks greg.
I've only tried it in demo mode as i was trying to avoid a cost.
i'll have another go as you suggest.
cheers.


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Gunter PuszkarRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 22, 2012 at 10:04:26 am

Hi Guys,

if I look to your pictures I see not a "gamma shift" I see a difference between decoding of DNxHD 422 into RGB and AVCHD in RGB via DNxHD. Thats a codec issue, which we saw in Baselight as well with transcoded footage generated with Avid MetaFuze.
Same happend here with AfterEffects. The workflow guides from "cablibrated MXF" are correct and helping us to avoid this fullrange (0-255)/headrange (16-236) issue.

I believe, AVID has changed the DNxHD decoding method to work in 444 with DNxHD, because than they need fullrange decode. In the AVID SDK i've have seen new methods implemented...
This introduces a new standard process issue, on processes were no new decoding method is used. We worked that out with other systems as well.

Thats why I think the issues are in the old Avid codecs prior to 2.3.4

The biggest problem of ignoring that issue is the compression levels gets to hard. We had transcoded DNxHD ARRI Alexa Footage with LogC graded without massive artifacts. Now on the new codec methods, the same grading process looks awfull with a lot of bandings. But thanks to Filmlight, the issued a new decoding method per each clip, so you can decide, how you want to go.

Gunter Puszkar
Head of Postproduction
PostFactory GmbH
Berlin, Germany


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Alex MarandaRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 22, 2012 at 10:23:38 am

That's not a gamma shift issue, which by definition affects midtones.

The Luma graph from the AVCHD recording shows full range data (full swing), with values from 0-255, which is good for dynamic range but is illegal video (for broadcast purposes). It has both superblacks and superwhites, which is good for CC.

The DNxHD recorded by the Shuttle shows legal video ranges (studio swing 15-235). Looking at the luma density around the black point it appears the full range signal outputted by FS100 has been COMPRESSED to studio range and not clipped. It is arguably correct behavior, if one was to broadcast the recording directly.

The dynamic range can be stretched back in color correction as the information is not totally lost (it's a less than ideal situation though as the compression/stretching will induce artifacts).

I think there should be an option on how the data is to be recorded: full swing vs studio swing (Rec709).
Personally I would choose to record full swing (illegal video) at all times and color correct to legal range for broadcast delivery, as it keeps all options open (web, cinema).

The trick in AVID is to import full swing data as Rec709, which leaves it as is. If you specify RGB it will compress/rescale it upon import to Rec709 (studio range).


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Bill RavensRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 22, 2012 at 1:49:05 pm

Good call! I agree with you guys. The option should be given to the user, full range RGB or remapped YUV range. I'm not convinced that there isn't clipping going on. BTW, the pedestal level is really a function of the exposure. I used an example that was exposed to 0 RGB. If I had exposed to 16 RGB, the Hyperdeck pedestal values would have been around RGB32. Calibrated{Q} explains the issue very well in their user manual.

BTW, I'm using the latest DNxHD codec, v2.3.7, and I'm still seeing the gamma shift.



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James HughesRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 22, 2012 at 1:57:07 pm

yep. the option would be great.


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James HughesRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 23, 2012 at 11:58:27 am

Liam, any ideas on this?
(I'm told if anyone can sort this out, you can!)
cheers,


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Bill RavensRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 23, 2012 at 10:26:33 pm

James....

I recorded HD color bars from my FS100 to the Hyperdeck. Opening these files in Resolve shows the levels to be remapped to levels that are compressed across the entire range. We know all this. Using Resolve to expand the levels back out, there appears to be no lost data or clopped superwhites/superblacks.

My plan, as a workaround, is to simply reexpand the acquisition in resolve to RGB levels.



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James HughesRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 23, 2012 at 11:26:31 pm

Yeah, it looks like the only way.
My problem is that the shuttles are part of my rental stock, and I can't really expect someone who is hiring my camera / shuttle kit to have to deal with all this.
Anyway, hopefully BM come up with a solution, and hopefully I haven't wasted a couple of thousand bucks.
Cheers Bill.


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James HughesRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 24, 2012 at 1:06:06 am

sorry... that last post... directed to Liam was supposed to be directed to Kristian Lam..... Sorry about the spelling mistake.
cheers.


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James HughesRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:31:40 pm

Kristian,
Just wondering if you're planning on addressing this levels issue in the next firmware release?
Cheers


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Anmol MishraRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Apr 6, 2012 at 5:47:18 am

thanks for explaining the full swing vs studio swing issue.
At least I`m glad its not being clipped.


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Evan BurnsRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 28, 2012 at 5:33:10 am

Looks like I'm encountering the same problem in CS5.5. Just to be clear, can I fix this with color correction or is the information being clipped in some way?

DNxHD (Hyperdeck Shuttle 2)


AVCHD (straight from camera)


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James HughesRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 28, 2012 at 6:45:52 am

Everyone tells me that there is no information lost. Technically this seems to be the case, but the picture is crap compared to something like ProRes422.
I'm told DNxHD is supposed to be superior to ProRes, so I can only assume that having to process the DNxHD file is causing the artefacts I can see.
If BM were to implement the codec in a more user-friendly manner, or give us the option to select the 0-255 range, then I'm lead to believe this would solve our issues.
I know I'm repeating things already said, but nothing has been done about it yet.
BM........???????


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Bill RavensRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 28, 2012 at 12:58:43 pm

I've been engaged in a similar discussion over on the COW Davinci Resolve Forum. It seems Resolve has already dealt with this issue by providing the option to select full range or remapped range.When I import the Hyperdeck DNxHD files into Resolve, and select 'full range', I get a 'properly' colored image.

It looks like the Hyperdeck is exporting the recorded data with the wrong flag set in the header. The flag is telling your NLE to remap all input values to a reduced range. My workaround is to import into resolve, first, and export to OP1a. Alternatively, you can reset the levels after you import into your NLE.

At this point, however, I'm not convinced that the superblacks aren't being clipped. I sure would like BMD to give us some feedback about this.



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James HughesRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 28, 2012 at 1:11:36 pm

Yes, I agree. The lack of feedback is what bothers me the most.


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Evan BurnsRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 28, 2012 at 2:47:14 pm

Tomorrow I will compare the Quicktime uncompressed with the corrected DNxHD and perhaps highlight some of the artifacts or potential clipping. Unless someone has already done that. I'd like to know the severity of the issue before resulting to buying additional SSD dives.


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Bill RavensRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 28, 2012 at 2:54:39 pm

FWIW, here's my comparison of the FS100's native AVCHD and the DNxHD on the hyperdeck...
http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/124/879660



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Jay BloomfieldRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 28, 2012 at 11:24:22 pm

I tried to upload a complete metadata listing for a BMD Shuttle 2 DNxHD MXF file, but I'm not sure where it ended up. Anyway, here's the snippet that describes the video essence:

CDCIEssenceDescriptor
InstanceUID = {daa94d91-6dd8-fae0-e4a2-739abd196d03}
ContainerDuration = 1377
SampledWidth = 1920
SampledHeight = 1080
StoredWidth = 1920
StoredHeight = 1080
DisplayWidth = 1920
DisplayHeight = 1080
SampleRate = 30000/1001
ComponentDepth = 10
PictureEssenceCoding = [060e2b34.0401.010a.04010202.71070000]
ColorRange = 897
WhiteReflevel = 940
BlackRefLevel = 64
ColorSiting = 4
VerticalSubsampling = 1
HorizontalSubsampling = 2
ImageAlignmentOffset = 8192
AspectRatio = 16/9
VideoLineMap
VideoLineMapEntry = 26
VideoLineMapEntry =
FrameLayout = 0
DisplayYOffset = 0
DisplayXOffset = 0
SampledYOffset = 0
SampledXOffset = 0
EssenceContainer = [060e2b34.0101.01ff.4b464141.000d4d4f]


As you can see, the range is from 64-940, not 0-1023.


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Evan BurnsRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 29, 2012 at 12:29:31 am

Thanks Jay,

That's hard evidence and very clearly shows the issue.


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Jay BloomfieldRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 29, 2012 at 1:19:56 am

I'm trying to figure out whether it is worth writing a C program using MXFLIB or maybe just using a hex editor to change the three values in a test MXF file and see what happens. Maybe BMD will fix this with the final version of the 2.5 firmware.


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Jay BloomfieldRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 29, 2012 at 3:32:39 am

I'm trying to figure out whether it is worth writing a C program using MXFLIB or maybe just using a hex editor to change the three values and see what happens. Maybe BMD will fix this with the final version of the 2.5 firmware.

Update: Well, I'm a bit baffled. I manually changed the Black Reference Level to 0, White Reference Level to 1023 and Color Range Levels to 1024 and it made no difference in DaVinci Resolve Lite (Win 7 x64). Both the original and full range file displayed 0-1023. I don't have Avid MC, so there is no other way that I can look at the BMD Shuttle MXF file. I'm guessing that it must be up to the NLE as to what to do with those settings, if anything. If anyone wants to download DaVinci Resolve Lite (freeware) and see what they get with their MXF files, let me know.


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Jay BloomfieldRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 29, 2012 at 3:54:30 am

[Evan Burns] "
Looks like I'm encountering the same problem in CS5.5. Just to be clear, can I fix this with color correction or is the information being clipped in some way?"


How are you importing the DNxHD MXF file to CS5.5? Or is that a DNxHD MOV version? If it's MXF format, you have to be using an 3rd party importer like MainConcept or Calibrated{Q} and they both have settings that can affect the color range. I tried the demo of the Calibrated {Q} Importer and it worked fine with Premiere Pro CS 5.5.

If it's DNxHD MOV format, check the settings on both your sequence and your player that you are using for preview. They both have to be set to "maximum bit depth". I haven't seen that problem with the MOV wrapper and CS5.5, but I will look again at a few more files.


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Evan BurnsRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Feb 29, 2012 at 3:52:36 pm

Hey Jay,

I'm using the DNxHD MOV version. I do have maximum bit depth & render quality checked in the sequence. Is there somewhere else it needs to be enabled as well?

Thanks again for all your hard work, Jay. This problem has been bothering me weeks.


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Jay BloomfieldRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Mar 1, 2012 at 4:42:19 am

I was confused a bit at first by this too, because most of the presets in PPro are YUV and have max bit depth unchecked. So once I got over that hurdle, I noticed that I had three options for the "player" in the program Preferences menu. The default Adobe player, Blackmagic Design's player and Cineform's player.

Player Settings preferences

In the Player Settings pane of the Preferences dialog box, you can select the default player. Premiere Pro uses the player to play media from clips and sequences for the following:
Source Monitor
Program Monitor
the preview area at the top of the Project panel
Trim Monitor
Multi-Camera Monitor
the video transition preview in the Effect Controls panel.
You can choose the default player for your computer, or a third-party plug-in player for Premiere Pro. Third-party players are installed with some capture cards.


If you only have the Adobe player, then that isn't the problem.


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Evan BurnsRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Mar 1, 2012 at 3:16:29 pm

New beta version out for the Hyperdeck - http://www.blackmagic-design.com/support/detail/?sid=3960&pid=3968&os=mac

Probably doesn't fix the "studio swing" problem.


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James HughesRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Mar 3, 2012 at 9:55:13 am

just had a thought... why don't they just put the blackmagic codecs on the shuttles???
They work nicely on my MacPro's.


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Richard CrookRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Mar 31, 2012 at 1:07:00 pm

Kristian, any updates on this? I don't want to return my shuttle, so if you guys are working to fix the gamma shift then let us know. Many thanks!


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Jay BloomfieldRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Apr 1, 2012 at 7:55:55 pm

As an aside,I just wanted to update some information. The new version (0.7-rc7) of ffmbc (freeware, with donations accepted):

http://code.google.com/p/ffmbc/

will now read the op-atom DNxHD MXF files from the Hyperdeck series. I tried it out myself and ffmbc does work for rewrapping those files to MOV.

One advantage of recording with a MXF wrapper is that it not only works with Resolve & Avid MC, but when you use ffmbc to do a rewrap to MOV, those files work in AE CS5.5, unlike the native Hyperdeck DNxHD MOV files. You still have to open the audio MXF files separately or use ffmbc to mux the audio and video together.


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Richard CrookRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Mar 31, 2012 at 1:06:40 pm

Kristian, any updates on this? I don't want to return my shuttle, so if you guys are working to fix the gamma shift then let us know. Many thanks!


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larry towersRe: Blackmagic Shuttle DNxHD issue
by on Apr 6, 2012 at 11:35:01 pm

I am not sure that the conclusions being drawn by this comparison are correct. One can only compare levels by looking at the levels of the originating video in the original form. Once something is transcoded to something else one must factor in any processing that takes place. The direct hdsdi output of an Fs100 is not full swing. I see no reason to believe that the AVCHD file is full swing. Importing to full may simply be remapping to full not maintaining exact original values.
The only way to know for sure is to use scopes on the original file.



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