2007 August 2nd, 22:47
Intensity Pro, Cineform NeoHD, Prospect HD, 1080P monitoring, Uncompressed HDMI....
I have been lurking a little bit lately and wanted to share my experience with everyone. I purchased an HV20 and a Blackmagic Intensity Pro. I also built a RAID array and downloaded a trial version of NeoHD and ProspectHD by Cineform. Here are some conclusions I have drawn. I would be happy to discuss how I came to these conclusions, though I will be away from a computer until mid-next-week and unable to respond.
Capturing uncompressed from the HDMI port using Intensity Pro works well. I did not experience any drop-outs nor errors. The only appropriate setting to use is 1080i 59.94fps. You may get picture from some other settings, but the frames will be blurred (even though you may have a hard time telling without test equipment such as a timecode slate). The camera can be operated in either 29.97 DROP-frame or 24p mode. Contrary to some postings, this camera does real 24p, pristinely I might add. I will note that the drop-frame is common among low-end digital video cameras and essentially makes timecode issues even more confusing in favor of having the timecode match real-time (the clock on the wall). In professional applications this framerate is usually limited to live productions of significant length (i.e. concerts).
My 24p workflow:
Set the camera to 24p. Connect the HDMI output cable to the Intensity card. Capture with Media Express (BMD's included software) or Premiere Pro. Import footage into After Effects. Right-click on that clip and go to "Interpret Footage" and tell it to guess the 3:2 pull-down. It does that and tells you the field order it determined. This may be different for different clips as the first field of the file could be one of many in the pattern. Create a 1080p 23.976fps composition and drop in the footage.
My 24p Cineform workflow:
Load NeoHD or Prospect HD. Set the camera to 24p. Connect the HDMI output cable to the Intensity card. Launch HDLink. Open the "Prefs" and mark the checkbox for 3:2 pulldown (which names the HV-20 specifically). It will automatically choose HD1080 8-bit 4:2:2 29.97PsF (progressive segmented frames). In this scenario, HDLink performs the pulldown on the fly and only records 24PsF to your disk as compressed files. The compression looks great and file sizes are about 1/10th that of uncompressed files even when using the highest quality setting on HDLink (flim scan 2). My first test-file does not appear to have been pulled down correctly. I would repeat this test a few times if I planned on going with Cineform, but I still have reservations. I don't believe I changed any settings before repeating this test (this time with successful results). The repeat test file was pulled down correctly starting 16 frames into the file.
Editorial considerations with Cineform:
I could not properly monitor my timeline when editing in the cineform intermediate codec. The Blackmagic Intensity card is not an option in the project setup (confirmed with Cineform) and the only other option is a secondary monitor. I have a Quadro FX1500 with two DVI ports, but was unable to get proper monitoring of 1080P while editing with the ProspectHD presets nor with other tweaks I tried. I called Cineform and left a message with tech support but have not heard back. I would get behind their product like gangbusters if they would improve the editorial codec. I refuse to edit with any footage that requires pre-rendering before playing back the timeline. I will not buy this product until it is also capable of monitoring via the Intensity setup.
I purchased a BenQ FP241WZ with 1920 x 1200 resolution and a 1:1 pixel mapping setting. The intention was to view each pixel with as little processing as possible. I can do this during capture by connecting my BenQ to the Intensity HDMI output. I am unable to get 1080P when connecting the HV20 directly to the BenQ. They do not play nice and the setup produces a 480P picture. I should not that the BenQ set to 1:1 pixel mapping has a black border all around the picture. This is an overscan problem that is known far and wide. They did a firmware "fix" that merely stretched the image (not 1:1) which I refused. I am living with a loss of 5% of the picture information on all sides until they produce a proper firmware upgrade (this will be firmware #4 for this monitor. Get on the ball, BenQ.) It's not a deal-breaker on the monitor however.
The resolution is ridiculous. Keying the footage is painless, though slow. My friend with an unskilled eye though some of my greenscreen footage was CG.
I prefer Tv 48 (translation: shutter speed priority set to 1/48th of a second shutter speed) when shooting typical scenes at 24p. I also like cinema mode but have not figured out the gamma curve enough to determine whether I prefer it.
In order to control the aperture I simplified the instructions included in the helpful video I found at this site. I shine a light into the Lens and lock the exposure at 4.8. When I up the EXP to +11 it opens the aperture fully to 1.8 without introducing electronic gain. This offer sthe best range of control for typically lit situations (i.e. not outside in direct sunlight - this camera is not good with low-light). I plan on carrying a light which covers the HV20 lens and provides the right amount of light to lock it at 4.8. I will also print a cheat-sheet for the corresponding apertures for each EXP setting.
Bought a Brevis, will share soon.
The Sony V1U rocks as well. The audio is unusable for semi/professional purposes on that camera but I always record dual-system audio.
I'm sick of Premiere Pro crashing. I'm a loyal PC user and builder, but I'm going to have to give FCP a try. If clients saw some of the stupid showstoppers I've seen using PC-based Premiere Pro systems, they would bring their business elsewhere. I never want to pay the Mac tax as I think it's not worth it in most instances, but I may have to in order to use Final Cut Pro. It will all hinge on whether there is a real-time, wavelet compression based, editorial codec for 1080P 4:2:2 8-bit footage available for a reasonable price. If so, I will have to use a Mac to make my mac-bashing anti-commercials. There I was, all business-like until the end of my post...
Last edited by RHKFilm; 2007 September 15th at 19:04.
2007 August 3rd, 00:24
Thank you sharing experience.
I was really wondering about actual workflow which you described perfectly.
Many other forums/websites have state - you cannot record 1920X1080 via HDMI due "protection" etc.etc. A reason to buy more expensive CANON models.
I'm buying mine in 2 weeks
2007 August 3rd, 06:13
Are you saying you use After Effects to remove the 3:2 pulldown?
Are you saying you use After Effects to remove the 3:2 pulldown?
Is this After Effects CS3? And is this After Effects CS3 stock right out of the box? Or is this with an added plugin that NeoHD or AspectHD or ProspectHD installs into After Effects upon installing these Cineform trial versions?
2007 August 3rd, 07:39
"Interpret Footage" and tell it to guess the 3:2 pull-down. "
For 24p capture select “Progressive” for Frame Format AND check “remove 3:2 pulldown”
2007 August 8th, 11:19
After Effects CS2 removes the pulldown for me with no problem by using the interperet footage dialogue box as I mentioned in my orig post.
2007 August 25th, 05:50
Intensity cineform etc.
Just like to say a big thank you to RHK Film for sharing.
I have shot a couple of HDV projects now and Cineform 4 has done quite well for me except when creating the Cineform AVI when I have had to render it a couple of times before the audio was good throughout the clip.
I then used U Lead DVD Movie Factory 6 "Plus" and got really good results on the resulting DVD.
Cineform 5 I believe has sorted out the sound problems during the creation of the Cineform AVI.
I am still having a problem creating M2T files for archiving, but have not really investigated this too deeply as yet.
To burn your HDV project to tape (Premiere Pro 2) you must have PP 1.5 installed or use CS 3. There is some licensing problem between 1.5 a 2 which causes this problem. You do not have to edit in 1.5, just have it installed.
RHK Film. Don't jump headlong into FCP especially if you are using After Effects regularly. The interoperability between the Adobe products is really great. I think you will need to have another programme (???Duck if I remember it incorrectly!) for the interface between the two.
From what i have read FCP has its roots in Premiere and has not grown too well with the developments of the past few years. This is a "hearsay" comment.
2007 August 25th, 05:52
PS. I have still not managed to master the "gain control" thing.
2007 August 26th, 17:16
but it upconverts to 10 bit(check box gone)
Originally Posted by RHKFilm
2007 August 26th, 17:17
For CF in realtime you need Aspect/Prospect via PPro
2007 August 29th, 18:43
Would you please share some frames of your INtensity grabbed frames? I'm quite interested to see the quality difference of HDV vs. the HDMI captured 4:2:2 video. It would be nice if you could post the images as some lossless image format like PNG so that there is no compression on the example of the "uncompressed" image.
Can you record simultaniously to tape while captureing HDMI? If you can then we could see a 1:1 comparison of the exact same frame captured from HDMI and HDV.
2007 August 29th, 19:28
Good request. I am also interested in seeing this.
Originally Posted by lordtangent
2007 August 29th, 22:33
HDV vs HDMI...? why, you allready know the hdmi is going to kill HDV
2007 August 29th, 23:07
Well.....I have already seen some samples..and to be honest it is not that far off. I mean you don't get the motion artifacts of HDV but to the naked eye....it looks so similar. I'm sure keying would be a big differece (so I hear with the 4:2:2 sampling) but overall it has not wowed me as yet. I think maybe I need to see more samples.
Originally Posted by SalaTar
2007 August 31st, 15:25
Update to HDMI / Intensity / Cineform workflow
It's been awhile since I last posted and I have learned a lot. I'll list my findings in bullet form for simplicity's sake.
Cineform HDLink live capture:
Cineform will drop frames without any notification other than 100% CPU usage. These dropped frames make syncing sound nearly impossible as more frames are dropped with more complex compressions and the dropped frames are simply gone so when it plays back at 24fps your clips are too short in unpredictable ways. Furthermore, the 3:2 pulldown does not work because the frames and cadence are unpredictable.
Advice: Check minimum requirements for Cineform as it is difficult to tell (unless there is a smart slate in frame) that frames have been dropped.
Cineform editing in Premiere Pro CS2:
Using the ProspectHD and/or AspectHD trial versions for editing in Premiere Pro CS2 has two quirks that I found crippling.
Cineform editorial problem #1:
Poor timeline monitoring support on secondary monitor during editorial:
Since the Cineform timeline will not play out the HDMI port of the Intensity; the only choice is to have your video card (I have a Quadro FX1500) autodetect video and play it full screen on the secondary monitor. I don't have confidence that 1:1 pixel mapping could be achieved (thus innaccurate monitoring due to resampling by the video card). The situation was actually worse, I could not get figure out how to get the video to playback as widescreen 1920x1080. It would only play the 4:3 aspect ratio which was unuseable.
Cineform editorial problem #2:
Complicated video overlay calibration:
The timeline shows still images in the RGB color space. They are sharp and represented with an RGB colorspace. When playing back video, Premiere stutters and plays the video back in the YUV colorspace. The colors all change. Cineform says on their website that one just needs to calibrate the YUV colorspace to one another properly and the RGB and YUV will appear the same. I calibrated my video card a few times and it seemed to work okay, but the settings would not stick. Anytime I reloaded premiere or rebooted, the colorspace was off again, this time in the opposite direction. I may have been able to get further with this but gave up at this point.
Backup to HDV tape:
This is the best part of the HV20 camera. When rolling I make two copies of each take, one directly to my computer via HDMI and one to the HDV tape inside the camera. I considered the tape the primary media for the last short I shot, as it was my first outing using HDLink. It was a lifesaver when I discovered my direct capture cineform footage was useless. I love redundancy and this time, it saved the short. This is not possible with an HVX200 or the like. One would have to run cable to an external tape recorder which negates the benefit of the tetherless P2 cards.
An excellent side effect of live-capture: Video Assist!
I was able to use my live capture station as a video assist station as well in between takes. We could revisit shots from 10 hours earlier and answer questions like "was the remote control straight or crooked?" We were also able to work out eye-lines which would have been too difficult without video assist.
Thoughts on intermediates:
I was all for capturing to intermediate codecs a few months ago. My current stance is that it is merely a stop-gap. Apple's Pro-Res codec can do live capture and high-end editorial. It does not make sense to record an intermediate for a 1920x1080 24p video when a new Mac can directly capture to the editorial format without any quality loss.
Thoughts on uncompressed capture to a RAID:
I built an 8-bay SATA RAID that is capable of >300 MB/s read/write rate. It is beautiful when it works, but I would not trust my primary footage to SATA arrays simply because of the problems I have had with them. I do not leave mine running 24/7. It has more than sufficient cooling yet four Seagate 320GB perpendicular recording drives have died in it. Furthermore, they didn't die completely and were very hard to track down. The failure caused the read back speed to jump from 300MB/s to 0MB/s in huge spikes that made editing impossible. I determined my RAID's ability using a great program called HDTune.
My current outlook for high-res video using inexpensive gear:
Cineform's editorial codec does not meet my 1080p monitoring needs at this time.
I would like to avoid an intermediate for simplicity's sake. Especially given the existence of Apple's ProRes 422 codec.
I have given Premiere Pro its last chance. At the moment I am editing with Sony Vegas instead which has excellent native 24p support.
HDMI capture must be done carefully because of possible dropped frames with no warning.
The HV20 looks great but will surely lose to a camera capable of better low-light.
The HV20's lack of manual controls is also truly impeding.
60i pulldown looks great when it works. It is a nightmare of interlacing artifacts and ghosting when not handled correctly.
Capturing directly to a SATA RAID is a bad idea because it is likely to break, especially under transport.
Possible gear considerations:
Though I cannot find a confirmed end-user, Apple states that it's MacBook Pro is capable of live-capture of a single-stream of ProRes 422 1080p footage.
Magma ExpressBox has been successfully used with a PC laptop to do live capture to cineform. Perhaps the same is possible for a Mac laptop.
Est Price: $1000 for Magma with Intensity and $4000 for Macbook Pro
A quad-core or octo-core intel Mac Pro is probably the best bet for a capable 1080p capture station and editorial suite. They are really heavy and expensive however.
Est. Price $4000
Building a new computer to use with a Cineform NeoHD for 1920 x 1080 live capture and transcoding to a more editable codec (as yet undetermined, uncompressed being too cumbersome)
Est. Price $1250 for computer components and $600 for NeoHD.
The best solution at present is AJA ioHD with a MacBook Pro runnin Final Cut Studio 2 and capturing to ProRes 422 despite the price. I am not a fan of Apple nor Mac computers, but feel pushed in this direction if not all the way to Avid.
Est. Price: $7500
Having full HD-resolution footage and bypassing HDV compression is a realistic possibility for indie filmmakers.
The high resolution and true 24p immerses me, as a viewer, in a world that is like film.
The Sony HVR-V1U has a far more usable user-interface as well as an HDMI port and excellent picture quality and true 24p.
I look forward to hearing feedback regarding my efforts to make this technology straightforward. I'm also looking at 35mm adapters. If anyone in the Los Angeles area owns a 35mm adapter that works with the HV20 and would like to run some comparisons I would be interested. My chief concern in this endeavour is the off-center nature of the HV20 CMOS, the poor low-light performance of the HV20 and physically support the camera and lens (preferably upside-down).
2007 September 3rd, 12:29
Thanks RHKFilms. I am new with digital video and it looks like you have already tried many of the post possibilities that I have been considering.
I am bewildered by your raid array experience. Four drive failures with Seagates is incredible! I am building an array now with Samsung drives, but only plan to use it for learning Vegas at this point. I have been considering the V1U after I have "mastered" some of the basics, but I read in another forum that the BM Intensity Pro does not yet support either the V1U or Vegas.
2007 September 4th, 08:58
RAID drive failures
I have been informed by the company that built my custom RAID array that the Seagates are much more prone to EMI (electromagnetic interference) when running in 3.0 gbps mode. I will be jumpering all of my drive to 1.5 gbps (won't hurt my speed as I've already hit the burst ceiling speed long before 3.0gbps) and hope that will fix my issues. Four is too many to make sense, especially since I'm not running them 24/7.
2007 September 6th, 23:23
I just got a my Blackmagic Intensity today. My initial tests at 24 yielded some bizarre field problems, no predictable pattern (like 3:2) and attempting to pull up in Fusion just didn't work. I assume it's dropped frames, and I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this and has a fix.
The image quality is AMAZING though. I'm using this for VFX and up to now I've been plagued with artifacts. The uncompressed frames look very film-like.
Last edited by Tom Williamson; 2007 September 6th at 23:34.
2007 September 8th, 18:55
2007 September 9th, 07:52
Thanks for your careful eye- it seems that the mental energy needed to make full HD-resolution possible from the HV20 maxes out my mental processor, too! Dropped frames and dropped $$$, to boot. With all that HDMI-getting gear, it makes sense to wait for a real breakthrough and concentrate on screenplays. Good job breaking it all down and good luck to you too.
p.s. how about using that other canon camera? http://www.avid.com/exchange/forums/...howThread.aspx
Originally Posted by RHKFilm
Last edited by FreddieZ; 2007 September 9th at 09:28.
2007 September 10th, 05:04
Possible 24P workflow with Blackmagic Intensity ??
Hi! Does anyone have an update on the status of 24P capture from the Canon HV20 with Blackmagic Intensity ? I know that the Online MJPEG (Blackmagic coded) does not do pulldown - however can I record the 24P signal as 1080i (it is contained within 1080i anyway) and then do a pulldown on the recorded MJPEG file using Premiere ?
2007 September 10th, 07:44
live capture comparisons
Zscream - capturing 1080i with the intensity is no prob. Premiere can't do the pulldown correctly to my knowledge yet. Try Adobe After effects as described in my first posting on this thread.
Okay, I have comparison images for everyone to peruse. I pulled them all down with Adobe After Effects 7.0. The frame consists of some mineral spheres and a plant with my hand waving around in front for motion. I did not apply any processing or compression in the process of exporting frames from captured video. They are from my HV20 and are as follows:
was captured to miniDV tape and transfered via firewire in comparison with identical frame captured via the Blackmagic Intensity compressing it to MJPEG:
I also uploaded a third frame which is an uncompressed capture via the Blackmagic intensity captured with the camera in the same place at a different time:
My Cineform trial has run out and I'm not sold on it yet, so no cineform comparison this time around. I'm looking into Apple Pro-Res as my RAID is not big enough to handle more than the amount of 1080p uncompressed footage it take for me to shoot one short.
I will get around to making sample video clips in a few weeks once I get my Cinevate Brevis and have a chance to shoot some stuff with it.
2007 September 10th, 11:56
"Premiere can't do the pulldown correctly to my knowledge yet. Try Adobe After effects as described in my first posting on this thread."
Be careful when using After Effects to render MPEG-2 files. I have noticed chroma issues if I don't transcode to something else (AVI in my case) first. I believe it is a MPEG decode issue. To check if this affects you, look at your video in AE at 400%, especially at any areas with bright reds or yellows; if you see misaligned chroma (horizontal bands extending outside the object's borders), then you have the issue.
2007 September 11th, 15:21
Originally Posted by RHKFilm
Just wanted to say thanks for putting these up.
2007 September 11th, 16:27
Originally Posted by RHKFilm
Since you have first hand experience with the Intensity I have a question for you. Does the Intensity capture the full 1920x1080 from the HV20?
If so, that is quite exciting news because that would be quite a bit more luma and chroma is being captured compared to HDV.
Last edited by lordtangent; 2007 September 11th at 16:52.
2007 September 11th, 21:01
24P is 1080i ?
Intensity does capture 1080i - but what about 24P mode ? If I put the HV20 in 24P mode, is the generated signal still captured properly ? Thats the part I don't understand.
About full 1920 res, I believe Intensity offers 1920 rec mode but the signal in HV20 is output only AFTER downscaling to 1440 so 1920 can't be captured..Don't have the link for that...
Another workflow using the HDV from tape
I spent a lot of money and still have to use a freeware program called HDV Split to capture HD from this Canon and them use another freeware program called MPEG Streamclip to save in 1920x1080 HD .AVI and QT .MOV.