I am now mastering all PrP projects to OP1a AVC-I 100. 2X as fast as DNxHD/Prores. Very clean imagery. I use VLC for full screen playback which is stunning .Bye bye QuickTime!
Could you please help me w/ your mastering choice:
1. I use almost solely AVCHD files. does your method rendor those files out nicely.
2. Why are you in favor of this master as opposed to what many folks are doing with DNxHD
3. Can you give me the steps to render out a test clip to see how it looks.
1. I dont use AVCHD so I cant comment on that.
2. As a FCP user Prores was the industry standard because of its clean compression and small file size. When I switched to the PC Prores had to be replaced by another industry standard, DNxHD.
Unfortunately both are QuickTime based and very slow to export. I wanted to take advantage of the power of my new PC so after some dialog with some very smart folks I decided to test it out. The files look very clean to me and sizes are comparable to Prores and DNxHD. But OP1a AVC-I exports 2X as fast and that is a great thing when exporting from PrP.
3. I dont have my edit system up but I will ball park the process.
A. In PrP select Export.
B. In the Export window select OP1a at the top .
C. Under the Video tab select AVC-I 100 . Select the Audio tab and choose Uncompressed
D. Select all the format / frame rate and pixel aspect options that are appropriate to your PrP project.
The rest of the steps are the same as you would use for any export process.
Download and use VLC Media Player to view the files. Under Preferences / Encoding check GPU acceleration if that is appropriate to your system.
The only drawback is many clients and distributors still request Prores or DNxHD masters. In that case just use AME to make them a copy in their desired codec.
In my export settings under format my choice is mxf op1a.....I assume that is the choice.
Then, however, in both preset and under the video tab there is no choice for AVC-I 100....Is that something I would need to download?
I understand the rest.
No problem, I understand I don't want to bother you, I have been looking for it where I thought it was and where you suggested but I do not have it as an option in CS5.5....I will look on the internet to see if I can get it on CS5.5
Thanks for your time.
Hmm so you can get MXF-OP1A AVC-I to play correctly in VLC? I still can't get it to not freak out. I might have to troubleshoot this... My audio always goes nuts for some reason. I've reproduced the issue on several different windows 7 systems.
Not sure what you mean by edit mode.
If you mean sequence type in PrP, I match the sequence type (format/pixel ratio/frame rate)to the dominant kind of media clips being editing OR the desired format for output. Codecs are not really involved in the process until I decide to Export. Thats one of the big differences between FCP and PrP.
Sometime they match. If I am provided DNxHD source files from an Arri Alexia, I generate the timeline from the clip. (i.e. 1080P, 23.976, 1.0)
To phrase another way. "are you using mxf op1a avc-i as your preview format?"
I'm assuming that from your above post you don't customize the sequence preset and change it from the default. Thus you never have smart rendering during export.
I ask because im wondering if it is an acceptably fast preview format and whether the exporter is smart render capable (ie copy instead of retranscode each already preview rendered frame).
Ha ha. I just made the decision to switch so Im not that far along into the process to consider those options yet.
The sequence might be a preset, or generated from a clip or custom. Each project will determine that.
I probably will leave the preview in MPEG I frame since that if I need to render an effects to play the clip back, that will be a hell of a lot faster then rendering in OP1a ACV-I 100.
Most of what I do involves motion graphics or effects. As I understand it Smart Rendering doesnt happen when clips have stuff added to them.
I chose OP1a partly because of the fact is 2x faster then DNxHD when exporting. Thats a great speed up right there.
Im sure I will learn more of the ramifications of this choice as time goes on.
I agree. The only time that OP1a as a preview format makes sense is if you have an effect that is uber slow and you don't want to render that frame again (thus the value of previews) AND the exporter supports Smart Render AND the damage of encode and decode from MPEG-I Preview files is unacceptable.
'doesn't sound like that's a combo that is in your day-to-day.
Computer Novice. Did you ever find out what the problem was?
For the first time I just mastered a project that plays back on VLC at double speed. Its a 29.97 sequence where everyting else Ive done has been at 23.976. They played back just fine. I can appreciate how annoying this must have been for you because it certainly is giving me a headache.
No sadly I never did. Although the frame rate thing sounds like a place to start looking since you're now having issues with it. I never tried anything other than 29.97 since almost everything I do is 29.97FPS. When I get into work on Monday I will attempt doing 23.976 and see if that plays back correctly. I did however reproduce the same issue on several machines (with 29.97 though), but I never did find a fix for it. If you ever find a fix/solution please let me know because I'd love to begin using this format for mastering purposes. It offers truly wonderful compression that doesn't degrade picture quality/compression ratio.
At least now (Maybe) this is a place to start eliminating things one by one. Since now we (might) know it has something to do with the frame rate of the content.
I ended up using Adobe Bridge in the full screen film strip mode. It will play back OP1a AVC-I 100 29.97 files just fine. I then can use it to make any other versions that might be needed (DNxHD. H.264. etc).
we did some tests with MXF OP1a AVC-I-100 encoding and Quicktime H264, which are in fact both AVC formats. With more than 100 Mbit of datarate the MXF format is excellent and comparable to industry standard formats like ProRes etc.
But using Quicktime AVC with PCM audio and setting the quality to 100% with a bitrate up to 100 Mbit the result is the same plus the rendering in AME is faster, since the MXF encoder seems to use only 1 virtual CPU, whereas the Quicktime AVC encoder uses about 80% of the total CPU capacity.
The only thing we noticed is an error in AME CS6, you cannot disable the bitrate setting level. If you do that, it will be switched on again while rendering or if you re-open the setting.
Actually I have found that using any Quicktime wrapped codec is much slower then MXF OP1a AVC-I
Quicktime use necessitates the use of the qt32server which Adobe uses to communicate with Quicktime since it is not a 64 bit application. This acts as a bottle neck in the process that non Quicktime codecs do not suffer from.
And when exporting to MXF OP1a AVC-I 100 directly from Premiere ( which is also using AME) on my PC I get 32 hyper threads displayed, so not sure why you only get one.
Exporting using non Quicktime codecs in my expereince is about 2x faster.
And I get his same great performance when using the MP4 based version of H.264 as well.
Here's what I'm seeing on my system.
1080p/24 MXF files play just fine in VLC, and work just fine as Masters for further conversion.
1080i/30 MXF files play video at the correct speed, but audio is garbled at a higher speed. However, they still work fine as Masters for further conversion, and play just fine inside of PP. So it seems it's only a VLC problem with playback, not a genuine problem with the file itself.
Exactly! I posted a note letting the developers know about this issue at their VLC website. So hopefully...
I need to QC both audio and video on a master to make sure it is perfect. This makes that impossible at the moment.
I am using Adobe Bridge in the Film Strip / Full screen mode for the time being.