Assistance with codecs
This is not directly Vegas related, but Vegas is in the workflow for me .
I am working on fixing up some old 8mm home movies I had professionally scanned. The files are Prores422. (And I looked at a few recent threads here already, Prores422 is busy here as of late).
In my case, and what I believe should be my first step, I plan to use Deshaker on those that I think need it, which will be on a lot of them, but at a mild setting. It has been suggested to me to consider the CineForm codec, (I downloaded the GoPro studio, which included it) and/or the UtVideo codec suite to keep the resulting avi file size down.
After deshaker, into vegas for color/brightness tweaks, out to a frame server for some avisynth scripts for degraining mostly, then back into Vegas for final rendering. (I'll do multiple renders, some want BD, some want DVD, etc.)
So, when I look in the compression area of VirtualDub to select my codec, I see the Cineform and UtVideo codecs in there, but in the Cineform, there are many options as to how to configure it, and for the UtVideo codecs, there are many listed:
UtVideo Pro YUV422 10bit VCM
UtVideo RGB VCM
UtVideo RGBA VCM
UtVideo YUV 420 BT .601 VCM
UtVideo YUV 420 BT .709 VCM
UtVideo YUV 422 BT .601 VCM
UtVideo YUV 422 BT .709 VCM
I'm assuming for the Ut, it's probably one of the 422's, but which one for my intended use/situation? Or would the CineForm be the better choice? And if so, configured in which way?
Again, it's my ProRes422 .mov's into VD, then out to Vegas --> Avisynth --> Vegas.
John Rofrano, any thoughts? (Your advice has been spot on for me before)
Any other experts here that can shed some light?
I've never used the UtVideo codec but ProRes 422 is 10-bit and it looks like UtVideo Pro YUV422 10bit VCM is the only choice that will maintain 10-bit. CineForm is also 10-bit. If you didn't care about that, then UtVideo YUV 422 BT .709 VCM or UtVideo YUV 422 BT .601 VCM would be the next choice which is 8-bit but still 422. BT .709 is for HD and BT .601 is for SD. You didn't say if your film scan was HD or SD.
For CineForm look for the Medium codec. Medium is a good tradeoff between file size and quality and is the default that Vegas Pro used for versions 6, 7, & 8 which use to ship the CineForm codec as an included component in Vegas Pro. Of course if you want maximum quality, choose one of the FilmScan options. After all, you did scan film. ;-)
Thank you John. Yes, the scans are HD.
I tried to see if they would work, and when I am in VD, in compression, when I have my file loaded up and select the "UtVideo Pro YUV422 10bit VCM", there is a message that says:
Couldn't find compatible format
* Codec may only support YUV
* Codec may be locked
* Codec might be decompression only
Mediainfo says the file is YUV. Any ideas on what's happening there? Do those reasons point to something you've seen before in your experience?
The UtVideo YUV 422 BT .709 VCM works fine.
Is maintaining 10 bit important? After all, it isn't going to maintain its format, after deshaker it's an .avi. (Or is it something like it'll still be 10 bit, just wrapped in an avicontainer? [The real, real nitty gritty about all of this stuff I'm not really very fluent in])
Thr UtVideo codecs are lossless, and the Cineform isn't, is that correct?
You said "Of course if you want maximum quality, choose one of the FilmScan options". This is probably taking you out of context, (you probably meant max quality out of the Cineform options) but if not are you saying a lossy (if that is correct) Cineform codec, at max quality is better than a lossless UtVideo codec? (again, if correct)
Thank you again John.
[Bruce Richard] "Mediainfo says the file is YUV. Any ideas on what's happening there? Do those reasons point to something you've seen before in your experience?"Like I said, I've never worked with the UtVideo codec so I don't know what might be going on. Apple ProRes 422 file is definitely YUV 10-bit.
[Bruce Richard] "Is maintaining 10 bit important? "You tell me? Is it important to you? If not, don't worry about it. While 10-bit is more accurate and will stand up better to processing and re-processing, unless you are going to do a lot of color grading and processing, I wouldn't worry about it. All of my cameras shoot 8-bit so I don't work in 10-bit but it's nice that your film was scanned at that high a quality but it may be overkill for what you need.
[Bruce Richard] "You said "Of course if you want maximum quality, choose one of the FilmScan options". This is probably taking you out of context, (you probably meant max quality out of the Cineform options)"In Vegas Pro, the CineForm quality options are: Low, Medium, High, FilmScan1, FilmScan2, & Keying. I was referring to the FilmScan1 & FilmScan2 options.
[Bruce Richard] "are you saying a lossy (if that is correct) Cineform codec, at max quality is better than a lossless UtVideo codec? (again, if correct)"CineForm is a "visually lossless" Digital Intermediary 10-bit codec that will have better quality than an 8-bit UtVideo codec because once you choose the 8-bit option, you are losing quality. So while the codec is lossless 8-bit to 8-bit... you are losing information going from 10-bit to 8-bit. That's why I said go with CineForm instead. If you can get the 10-bit option to work with UtVideo then use that.
The CineForm codec was designed to be rendered over, and over, and over, and over again and not loose visual quality. That's what a Digital Intermediary is for. I wouldn't worry about losing any quality while using it. Apple ProRes 422 is also a "visually lossless" Digital Intermediary 10-bit codec. So going from ProRes to CineForm is a good move.
Thank you for the very detailed explanation John. It sounds like Cineform is the way I'll go, unless I can get the 10bit UtVideo to work.
One last question.
I looked into the configure options part of the Cineform codec. (where you select "Encoding quality [low, med, high,...filmscan 1, etc]), should I leave the other two options, "Video Format" and "Pixel Aspect Ratio" where they default to, which is "Automatic", or should I override those and force them? (As in Square Pixels (1.0) for Pixel Aspect Ratio)
[Bruce Richard] "should I leave the other two options, "Video Format" and "Pixel Aspect Ratio" where they default to, which is "Automatic", or should I override those and force them? (As in Square Pixels (1.0) for Pixel Aspect Ratio)"That's up to you depending on how you plan to use the template. If you think you might render HDV some day, which is 1440x1080 PAR 1.3333 then I wouldn't force the PAR to 1.0. I would leave it automatic. In general, I never override "automatic" settings unless I'm having a problem.
I know I said "one more question" above, but something else came up, at least I think so.
The scans that I was sent, are from what I can tell, doubled. I'm guessing the film was shot at 16 fps, and the transfer house slowed it down to 15 fps, and doubled the frames to the very common 30fps. (opening up a clip in Vegas bears this out, every second frame is a copy)
I'm betting that because of that, it's probably not the best form to send it thru the deshaker algorithm. I was helped in making an avisynth script for degraining, which took that into consideration and there is a "selecteven" command in it, taking out half the frames. Should something similar be done in this case? If so, what ways are available? I'm guessing there is a way to get avisynth do do deshaker, but those scripts are more than greek to me. I feel somewhat fluent in letting VDub do the deshaking. Any other options, or are the double frames a non issue?
Again, my present workflow (which I might need to change?
Video --> deshaker --> Vegas --> frameserver --> Avisynth --> Vegas for final renders
Thank you John
OK, I did some digging online, and I found a reference to a command inside VDub under "Video" called "framerate". There is an option in there where you can decimate by 2, IOW, in my case, every othetr frame, which removed my duplicates. After saving the file I am now down around 15fps (14.985 actually), but my original mov is now an avi.
I then load that 15fps file back up in Vdub, and run the deshaker program.
This is a big improvement. After I deshook the original file at a full 30fps, on some scenes with quick lateral motion, it was very, very choppy.
After running it through again with the framerate adjusted down to 15fps, the deshaker program runs as it was designed to. Very nice results. Choppiness removed.
After I deshake it, I'll have a 15fps file to feed into Vegas. I assume it'll come out (I'm rendering to a frameserver, out to avisynth. I'll remove the "selecteven" command there, as it will already have the duplicate frames removed, I think I have that right...)
Is what I did, and am doing, the best way to go about this? Or am I adding an extra step, or is there a smoother way to do this, etc?
Yea, getting it back to the original 15 fps was the right choice before processing with DeShaker if all they did was frame double. You can add them back in Vegas Pro by adjusting the playback rate to 0.5 or even have Vegas Pro blend the frames for smoother motion.