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Multiple Codecs on the Same Timeline??? Yes!

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Sean ONeil
Multiple Codecs on the Same Timeline??? Yes!
on May 20, 2005 at 12:11:20 am

Well this is a surprise with FCP5. 10-bit Uncompressed Easy Setup. 10-bit Uncompressed sequence. I threw down a DV clip in the sequence. I got an orange bar - not a red one. And it plays back fine out of the Decklink. This is fantastic!


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Sean ONeil
Re: Multiple Codecs on the Same Timeline??? Yes!
on May 20, 2005 at 1:54:11 am

Ok, I'm not halucinating. This is for real! Every single codec shows up as orange RT-Extreme. Every one! Unbelievable. Why wasn't this touted? FYI, I have dynamic-RT on, so that might be important.

FCP5 with the new BMD drivers have turned our Decklinks into Cinawave cards with the RT option. I ran a several tests and I'll get to that. Here are my results on my dual 2.5ghz, 2 gigs of RAM, and an ATI 9600. Results are one stream playback.

ALL ON THE SAME BLACKMAGIC 10-BIT NTSC SEQUENCE
8-bit NTSC - Real Time
DV25 - Real Time
DV50 - Real Time
P-JPEG - Real Time
IMX MPEG2 - Real Time
Animation - Full Speed PB but w/ occasional stutter and tearing
Media 100 Lossless - Full Speed PB but w/ slight tearing

I'll post more results in a little bit. I'll try a DV timeline next. I'm also going to try HD footage on an SD timeline, as well as SD footage on an HD timeline.


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Sean ONeil
Re: Multiple Codecs on the Same Timeline??? Yes!
on May 20, 2005 at 2:14:38 am

Ok, the remaining tests didn't turn out so great unfortunately. On an Uncompressed HD sequence, all SD codecs do show up with an orange RT-Extreme bar, but playback is very poor.

I tried a DVCPro HD 1080i clip on the uncompressed 1080i sequence. It wasn't even RT-Extreme. I got a red bar. Same thing when trying 8-bit on a 10-bit timeline and vice-versa.

So with standard def everything is incredible but HD isn't there yet.


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Kevin Gardam
Re: Multiple Codecs on the Same Timeline??? Yes!
on May 20, 2005 at 10:43:44 am

Unfortunately this is enough for me to make the leap to Decklink, very impressive and useful.
(I'm at present Kona IO)
So the question is, I work PAl SD with Digibeta and would like to be HD ready.The FCP is a standalone system buts works opposite an Adrenaline. Which card is right for me and besides the above what are the advantages over Kona 2. Thanks in advance for any input.Oh thanks Sean for doing your homework.



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Peter Wiggins
Re: Multiple Codecs on the Same Timeline??? Yes!
on May 20, 2005 at 2:32:37 pm

Sean,

Can you do us a favour and drop a PAL DVC PRO (might have to export some bars) clip into a 10bit & 8bit Pal sequence and see what happens?
I would try it myself but I'm locked into 4.5 & 10.3.9 as it is all a bit mission critical at the moment

We are about to set up a 9 seat Xsan system(+2 x MDC) in London and using DVCP for archive material would mean that we could save 2 XserveRaids on the instalation.

Ta
Peter

http://www.peterwiggins.com

In Paris editing The French Open for ESPN


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Ron
Re: Multiple Codecs on the Same Timeline??? Yes!
by
on May 20, 2005 at 2:28:59 pm

[Sean ONeil] "Unbelievable. Why wasn't this touted?"

It was in the NAB press release, but I thought it was for the multibridge product they have coming out. I'm shopping for a Cinewave replacement, and this is GOOD news!!!--- I enjoy this feature now with Cinewave, but the Kona2 might get my dollars based on HD/SD on one card, etc...

But this news makes the horse race a little tighter. Thanks for the heads up.

Ron


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Emery
Re: Multiple Codecs on the Same Timeline??? Yes!
on May 20, 2005 at 4:44:58 pm

"but the Kona2 might get my dollars based on HD/SD on one card, etc... "

Um, the Decklink does SD and HD on one card too.


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Emery
Thanks Sean
on May 20, 2005 at 4:47:32 pm

This is fantastic news. Bummer abou the HD but this is still exciting. Gives BM an edge over the Kona 2. This ferature was mentioned somewhere but it was just a small blurp. Maybe they didnt make a big deal about it becuase it doesnt do HD and after all, this is "the year of HD."

Emery


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Adolfo Rozenfeld
Re: Thanks Sean
on May 20, 2005 at 5:21:28 pm

Are we sure this a Decklink feature and not a FCP 5 /dynamic RT feature? What happens if you choose the generic 8 bit uncompressed easy set-up and try the same thing?
Did you try an Animation codec RGBA file with transparency? That playing in RT would be amazing!


Adolfo Rozenfeld
Buenos Aires - Argentina
http://www.adolforozenfeld.com
adolfo@adolforozenfeld.com


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Sean ONeil
Re: Thanks Sean
on May 20, 2005 at 5:57:04 pm

I didn't have time to do more tests. I tried 10-bit uncompressed SD on an 8-bit uncompressed sequence. It was RT.

The only pattern I can find is this. If it's standard def, and FCP5 natively supports the format (Uncompressed/DV/DV50/IMX/PJPEG) then you get smooth RT playback in any SD sequence no matter what. And if it's unsupported SD Quicktime format, it at least tries to play it back in RT. You get the full frame rate although it's not so smooth.

This could be a FCP5 Dynamic RT thing and have nothing to do with the Decklink. I have no way of knowing that. AJA owners should try it out. All I know is that Apple never mentioned this capability, and in a Q&A session I read yesterday about FCP5, they specifically say you can't do it without extra hardware (I assumed that meant without a Cinewave).

I've always know that RT playback for multiple codecs could be achieved if allowed. It's a simple matter of telling it to fall under the RT-Extreme umbrella. My suspision is that Apple didn't want to allow it for political reasons as well as giving false expectations to what should be RT. But now it works (for SD at least).

Yes, Blackmagic mentioned a very vague blurb of this capability. Then when asked to be more specific, Luke mentioned that he wasn't sure 100% but that he thinks it means 8-bit and 10-bit on the same timeline. Nothing about DV, etc.

I didn't try Animation with alpha. Will do when I get a chance. The Animation I did try (no alpha), like I said, had tearing and slight stuttering. If it helps, the Media 100 file did have an alpha and the results were similar. Even with the tearing, this is still a massive improvement. There are probably plenty of situations where a graphic artist gives you an anmiation video. You can now drop it in and get a very good idea of what playback looks like. No need to convert and no need to render until it's time to master to tape.

On a side not, FCP5 with Tiger and the Decklink 5 drivers is so far VERY stable and solid. It's hard to describe specifically, but the quirkiness I had with 10.3.9 and FCP 4.5 seems to be gone. Everything feels quicker and more responsive. I worked all day yesterday without a single hiccup. The only problem I had was no video output at all - but this was due to the Automatic Duck plugin. Removing that solved it. I'll know for sure how solid it is when I export to tape next time. Before, I experienced black flashes whenever my reference cable was plugged in. I'm anxious to see if that problem has gone away.


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Sean ONeil
One quick thing
on May 20, 2005 at 6:18:14 pm

I tried two DV video layers on a 10-bit sequence. It stuttered and choked (didn't crash or anything). So while it's perfect for one stream, that appears to be it. I only have 2 gigs of RAM and an ATI 9600. Maybe someone with a tricked out system with 4 gigs of RAM and an X800 can try it out.


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Michael Alberts
Re: One quick thing
on May 20, 2005 at 6:34:12 pm

This feature is working with my Aurora Pipe Pro and Pipe Studio cards. Aurora doesn't mention this as a feature of their card so I've got to assume that it's FCP 5 doing the work and not the flavor of card or driver that you possess. I haven't installed FCP 5 on our Kona2 system yet, but I'm sure I'll get the same results.



Michael Alberts
Ambidextrous Productions, Inc.


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Francois Stark
Re: One quick thing
on May 20, 2005 at 8:23:33 pm

Funny how this news is coming out. This is a big thing for us editors.

HUGE. Really.

But it seems the cardmakers and Apple marketing people still don't realise it! Cinewave earned a huge premium above other cards for three years because of this one capability.

And it's the one thing that Avid's Adrenaline could do over the past two years do that FCP couldn't (without Cinewave).

Believe me, in day to day workflow this is going to boost efficiency on FCP tremendously.

Regards
Francois


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Ron
Re: One quick thing
by
on May 20, 2005 at 8:30:36 pm

[Francois Stark] "Funny how this news is coming out. This is a big thing for us editors.

HUGE. Really."


Tell me about it!!!! Can someone run over to Apple and poke them with a stick!!!!!???!?!? Please?
I would love an official announcement about this.

This is definitely not a single format world anymore. And for those building systems, this can mean the difference of thousands of dollars in drive space!!

Ron


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B.J. Ahlen
Re: One quick thing
on May 23, 2005 at 6:48:59 pm

If it's any consolation, Sony didn't say much about this in the Vegas NLE either, and it's had mixed video codecs on the same timeline for years: it can mix most SD & HD video formats ever conceived, and 18+ different formats on the audio tracks (including AIFF and studio formats).

Realtime performance is good for everything except MPEG (it's not designed to be an MPEG editor, that's for XPRI although that may be about to get its code merged with Vegas, per official Sony statement last week).

Vegas also supported 24P (including the DVX100) well before any other NLE, and it always generated effects and transitions in true 24P which some other NLEs can't do even today.


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Multiple Codecs on the Same Timeline??? Yes!
on May 31, 2005 at 8:52:14 am

Do these all need to be rendered out for playback or will the card handle it in real time from the timeline?


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