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Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed

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Ian WilsonTrouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 7:01:43 pm

Up to now I've been quite happy editing in HDV, but I recently started experimenting with 8-bit uncompressed and I've run into a few problems. I'm using a 3Ghz Mac Pro with 4Gb RAM and a X1900XT card. I've installed a 300Gb Seagate SATA II drive in Bay 2 (not journaled) and I'm capturing all my clips to it and using it as the primary scratch disk. Last night I converted some footage shot on my Sony HC1 to 8-bit uncompressed using HDVxDV. But, when I play the footage back, it stutters and freezes. Surely my Mac is fast enough to handle 8-bit uncompressed? I've gone through all my settings and everything seems to fine, but perhaps I'm missing something. Can anyone suggest what I've overlooked?



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CharlieX2Re: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 7:15:41 pm

....so you realize that 8-bit @ 1080 footage needs about 100 MB/sec sustained transfer rates?



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Graeme NattressRe: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 7:15:56 pm

A single drive is not fast enough for HD. You need at least 150MB/s or so for good playback. The second question is "why?" when HDV support in FCP is very good, and turning HDV to uncompressed does not in any way improve it's quality.

Graeme

- http://www.nattress.com - Film Effects and Standards Conversion for FCP


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Ian WilsonRe: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 7:31:35 pm

It was just an experiment. I assumed it might lead to an improvement in quality. I'm quite happy with HDV, so I think I'll stick to that for now. Many thanks for the prompt replies.



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Alan OkeyRe: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 7:35:30 pm

[Graeme Nattress] "The second question is "why?""


Maybe he wants to use G Nicer?

;)


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Graeme NattressRe: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 7:40:10 pm

For 4:2:0 I'd use G Chroma Sharpen though :-) And you just need to be on an uncompressed timeline, but you don't need the source media to be uncompressed.

Graeme

- http://www.nattress.com - Film Effects and Standards Conversion for FCP


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Alan OkeyRe: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 7:46:59 pm

[Graeme Nattress] "you don't need the source media to be uncompressed."

True enough, although you essentially end up with just as much disk space being used, since HDV clips on an uncompressed timeline end up getting rendered anyway.


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Ian WilsonRe: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 8:09:23 pm

I keep reading that you should get out of HDV workflow as soon as possible and into 8-bit uncompressed or DVCPRO HD. Is this correct? And, if so, what are the advantages?



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Graeme NattressRe: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 8:15:53 pm

You'll read that a lot, but:

HDV never gets better than what it is,
HDV support in FCP is very good,
Uncompressed HD takes up a phenonemal amount of disc space
Going to DVCProHD will reduce picture quality, not improve it

Graeme

- http://www.nattress.com - Film Effects and Standards Conversion for FCP


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walter biscardiRe: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 8:53:25 pm

[Graeme Nattress] "Going to DVCProHD will reduce picture quality, not improve it"

Not in our experience using the Kona 3 to convert to DVCPro HD on the way in. Picture looks identical to the original HDV content. I'm sure if we go way in on the scopes and blow up the image 200% or larger we'll see the difference, but Quality Control at the network loves what they are seeing from our workflow.

I'm using DVCPro HD because it's a faster workflow on our system than HDV in terms of RT features.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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Graeme NattressRe: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 9:00:51 pm

Well, I see nasties on DVCProHD au natrel, before you do anything to it, never mind rendering to it, but you've got to remember I've now got 4k eyes and they squew my judgement :-)

As with all production, there's practical reality and that often wins. However, in my mind HDV is bad enough to start with without subjecting it to further lossy compression, the first task of which is to remove 12% of the horizontal resolution, something you don't have much of to begin with....

Graeme

- http://www.nattress.com - Film Effects and Standards Conversion for FCP


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walter biscardiRe: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 9:11:45 pm

[Graeme Nattress] "However, in my mind HDV is bad enough to start with without subjecting it to further lossy compression, the first task of which is to remove 12% of the horizontal resolution, something you don't have much of to begin with...."

I'll agree with you on the quality. I have never been a fan of HDV and from what I'm seeing here, when it looks good, it looks really good. When it looks bad, it's really bad and there isn't much room in between.

The Producer of this series has decided to purchase an HDX-900 so we'll be dumping the HDV workflow very shortly which makes me a very happy camper.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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Alan OkeyRe: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 8:17:44 pm

[Ian Wilson] "I keep reading that you should get out of HDV workflow as soon as possible and into 8-bit uncompressed or DVCPRO HD. Is this correct? And, if so, what are the advantages?"

While converting HDV to uncompressed HD won't get rid of any pre-existing compression artifacts in the footage, working in an uncompressed timeline will avoid any further degradation that might be introduced when layering or compositing clips. Also, any color correction, image filtering or added graphic elements (titles, etc.) will not suffer from compression artifacts. If you have the space and the drive speed, go uncompressed.


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Graeme NattressRe: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 8:22:35 pm

Sure, but you can get the same benefits from just doing afinal render to uncompressed at the end, rather than editing uncompressed. Also, you'd better be mastering to a really good pro HD tape format to see the benefit :-)

Graeme

- http://www.nattress.com - Film Effects and Standards Conversion for FCP


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Alan OkeyRe: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 8:35:57 pm

[Graeme Nattress] "Sure, but you can get the same benefits from just doing afinal render to uncompressed at the end, rather than editing uncompressed."

Very true.

[Graeme Nattress] "Also, you'd better be mastering to a really good pro HD tape format to see the benefit :-)"

HDCAM SR, anyone? ;P

Of course, then the only place you could actually see your pristine content displayed would be on a computer monitor or in a high end post suite... ;)

It's kind of funny how carried away people can get when talking about pie-in-the-sky formats (HD is great! No, we need 2K! No, we MUST have 4K!) when the average HDTV broadcast looks like crap because of the compression artifacts... People are running out and buying big plasma and LCD screens right and left but there's no content out there to really take advantage of them yet. Even Blu-Ray and HD-DVD can't hold a candle to an uncompressed 10-bit HD source. Pity that most people will never get the chance to see one.


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CharlieX2Re: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 5, 2006 at 9:45:23 pm

However, on the brighter side, the 1080i broadcasts on DirecTV using the new MPEG-4 codecs are looking MUCH better than the mpeg-2 junk that's out there now



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BorjisRe: Trouble with 8-bit uncompressed
by on Dec 6, 2006 at 12:33:52 am

[Alan Okey] "Even Blu-Ray and HD-DVD can't hold a candle to an uncompressed 10-bit HD source."

I don't know that I would go that far.

HD-DVD is quite capable of a stunning picture that blows away the image of Over the air HD.



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