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Xena and Prospect HD questions

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Jeff Kosmicki
Xena and Prospect HD questions
on Aug 9, 2007 at 5:27:12 pm

I currently have a Matrox Axio HD suite, and I'm looking to add a second suite. I'm interested in the Xena LHe and the Prospect HD codec and have a couple of questions for anyone using the two.

1) I know Cineform has their own Premiere project presets and AJA has their presets, which one would I use when working with Xena and Prospect, the Cineform or AJA presets?

2) Can Prospect files and AJA uncompressed files work realtime in the same project/timeline?

3) Do AJA realtime effects work with Prospect files realtime as well

4) Is there anyone working with Xena/Cineform on this forum, in the Washington DC area?

thanks,

Jeff Kosmicki
http://www.toyraygun.net


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Jeron Coolman
Re: Xena and Prospect HD questions
on Aug 9, 2007 at 6:36:33 pm

I'm pretty sure if you are working with ProspectHD media, you will want to use the Cineform ProspectHD Presets. If not, then you might as well look into Cineform's NEO which is basically the codec without the PPro presets.

When working with the ProspectHD preset, you should use the Cineform filters and transitions because their preset will allow you to preview them in real time. Any other filter or effect you use in a Cineform preset you will have to render to see it during play back. You can scrub through it to see it.

I think Cineform might have only certain AJA drivers that they support for ProspectHD; e.g. expect them to be behind in AJA driver support.

I haven't tried mixing media on the timeline and mixing filters and effects with the different presets.



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AJA Xena Support
Re: Xena and Prospect HD questions
on Aug 13, 2007 at 3:52:27 pm

Hi Jeff,

Because Prospect HD typically works on a different version of the XENA hardware driver than the latest XENA Plugins themselves, AJA advises Prospect HD users who need both the compressed Prospect HD workflows and the uncompressed XENA workflows, to install these things on separate bootable partitions or drives.

CineForm can provide you with their plugin installer along with the XENA hardware driver which they currently support. Their plugin set will include all their own project presets and several other plugins.

AJA XENA Support


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Tim Kolb
Re: Xena and Prospect HD questions
on Aug 14, 2007 at 3:46:26 am

While this probably does seem a little odd to some users, the bottom line is that when AJA boards are interfacing with other software, like CineForm, those software companies need to develop the hooks and systems to utilize the board. Potentially, every time AJA upgrades a driver by adding a feature or fixing a bug, that could potentially "break' something the third party company has done to 'plug-in' to the AJA board, leaving third party vendors constantly reworking their software.

By upgrading the OEM drivers less often, AJA is giving third party vendors a chance to really "lock down" their applications and give them some time to advance their software instead of chase AJA's advancements every time a new driver set is released.

Dual boot parts are simply the best way to insure that the systems are as clean an installation as possible.




TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Jeff Kosmicki
Re: Xena and Prospect HD questions
on Aug 14, 2007 at 12:20:38 pm

Yeah, I suppose, but something tells me this is not the case with Kona and ProRes. Cineform has been around for years and the only choice is to use Xena as a uncompressed-only editing solution, or reboot to a second hard drive and use Xena as a compressed/Prospect HD-only solution, each with its own set of very limited real-time plug-ins (so no sharing projects or mixing video codecs on a timeline). The second Apple announced ProRes, AJA was compatible, no dual-boot, no separate plug-ins. It seems to me AJA needs to focus on the PC side of their business a little more and make Xena more of a real-world editing solution.

Jeff Kosmicki
http://www.toyraygun.net


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Tim Kolb
Re: Xena and Prospect HD questions
on Aug 14, 2007 at 12:44:00 pm

[Jeff Kosmicki] "The second Apple announced ProRes, AJA was compatible, no dual-boot, no separate plug-ins. It seems to me AJA needs to focus on the PC side of their business a little more and make Xena more of a real-world editing solution."

Yes, AJA certainly embraces Apple.

It can be disheartening for PC users, but keep in mind that Apple is the only company that makes Apple computers...and ProRes is an Apple software codec, not a third-party codec...running on an editing application that is also made by Apple.

CineForm and Adobe are both outside software manufacturers, and nether builds hardware. PCs are built by many, many companies in many configurations. Apple specs are tight...and an easier target to hit I would assume.

Don't get me wrong...I'm not running out to buy a Mac right at the moment (not that I wouldn't if it made sense business-wise), I'm spec'ing out a workstation right now that will be a PC...I'm just looking at it from a development perspective.






TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Jeron Coolman
Re: Xena and Prospect HD questions
on Aug 15, 2007 at 2:04:50 pm

"It seems to me AJA needs to focus on the PC side of their business a little more and make Xena more of a real-world editing solution."

I honestly don't see how AJA could behave differently. They are very open to suggestions. If you have any specific ideas on how they could handle their PC development differently, I'm sure they would love to hear it. In fact, I'd bet you could probably get the product manager on the phone if you tried :)

I think the issue lies more with the third-party application vendors keeping up with updates to AJA drivers.

I've got some serious crippling problems on my CS3 uncompressed Xena timelines of my current project. I don't want to wait around for Cineform and all other third party plug-ins and appliations to get around to approving the drivers before I can get a fix for my problems and let me finish my project.

"It can be disheartening for PC users, but keep in mind that Apple is the only company that makes Apple computers...and ProRes is an Apple software codec, not a third-party codec...running on an editing application that is also made by Apple."

Not to mention an operating system that is also made by Apple.



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Jeff Kosmicki
Re: Xena and Prospect HD questions
on Aug 15, 2007 at 2:37:37 pm

""It can be disheartening for PC users, but keep in mind that Apple is the only company that makes Apple computers...and ProRes is an Apple software codec, not a third-party codec...running on an editing application that is also made by Apple.""

Yeah, and that's one of the reasons I don't like Apple. And I certainly understand the complications inherited with several software/hardware companies working together. I guess I'm just surprised AJA and CineFrom haven't worked on a solution where the CineForm codec works within AJA projects, but it certainly won't prevent me from going with AJA/CineForm for building my second suite.

Jeff Kosmicki
http://www.toyraygun.net


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Jeron Coolman
Re: Xena and Prospect HD questions
on Aug 15, 2007 at 3:22:15 pm

Jeff, FWIW I've tried the ProspectHD trial many times in the past on the current "non-OEM" version of the AJA drivers and didn't have problems. I haven't tried mixing the footage yet. Next trial I try, I will.

Not that I'd recommend doing that. It was just an observation. If you have problems with ProspectHD running on the latest drivers instead of the "non-OEM" drivers, the issue will be who and where will you be able to get support.



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Tim Kolb
Re: Xena and Prospect HD questions
on Aug 15, 2007 at 6:56:01 pm

Yes, third parties can't write their drivers until the drivers are written upstream...and keep in mind that every party in the mix has a different optimal workflow they're designing for...

I think part of all of this is the interesting assumption that running the absolute latest software should somehow be trouble-free. Every time you update any software on any computer, there is a chance that you have some other piece of software on there that the manufacturer does not anticipate and there is somehow a conflict...

As much as I do test beta software, I very rarely run it for production...sometimes I'm a version back from the latest release even. If I ran the latest drivers for the PNY Quadro 4500 card in the machine, most of CS2 would simply flake out. The Adobe-blessed version is 2-3 versions back. That's not to say that anyone is doing anything wrong, it's just that every company only has so many people that can work on so many things at a time.

The latest drivers for any of this stuff aren't nearly as important as a stable, productive system. Sometimes an advancement is necessary if there is a feature you really need, otherwise don't mess with it if it's working.






TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Jeron Coolman
Re: Xena and Prospect HD questions
on Aug 16, 2007 at 12:57:21 pm

If it works don't fix it?

:)



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Tim Kolb
Re: Xena and Prospect HD questions
on Aug 16, 2007 at 1:29:51 pm

[Jeron Coolman] "If it works don't fix it?

:)"


Or...that. Yes.

:-)



TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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