1 Reply Latest reply on Aug 4, 2013 4:23 AM by DavidGaryEsp

    Premiere CS6 on Windows 7 makes QT 10-bit crazy in "Max Bit Depth"

    DavidGaryEsp Level 1

      Summary:

       

      Problem: 10-bit QT-Cineform footage in Premiere CS6 on Windows 7 looked ok with Sequence in 8-bit mode but crazy (mostly noise) when same Sequence was in "Maximum bit depth" mode.

       

      Solution: Re-wrap the footage as AVI-Cineform (or else use Premiere CS5.5 or a different NLE).

       

      Detail:

       

      This problem occured on two different machines, each running Windows-7 (64-bit), each machine having a different update-versions of Premiere CS6.  This problem was absent when I imported the same footage to CS5.5 (5.5.2, 003, MC 258762).

       

      I recorded 10-bit footage from a Sony EX3 camera via its SDI to a QuickTime (.mov) file containing video encoded in Cineform (CFHD) 10-bit format.  The recorder (a Cinedeck) only records to QT, not AVI.

       

      In Premiere CS6, this footage looked as expected when processed in 8-bit mode.  However when the same Sequence had its "Maximum Bit Depth" setting enabled, the image (from Preview and Render) appeared as mainly noise.  The last thing one wants to discover just prior to final render...

       

      The same footage looked fine, with all 10 bits of information being used, both in the earlier Premiere CS5.5 and also in Sony Vegas 12 (in its equivalent mode, "32 bits, Video levels").  Verified "all 10 bits used" by expanding levels-range (by increase in gamma and minimum level in Fast Color Corrector) and inspecting the result (for dark regions of the image) in Waveform (YC) Monitor in Reference window.

       

      A "DIT-Craft" workaround:

      Convert the footage from QT to AVI, best achieved by re-wrapping (not transcoding).  In my case I did this via the Convert function of the Cineform tool HDLink.

       

      Conclusion:

       

      CS6 on Windows 7 doesn't like QT containing 10-bit Cineform, or maybe (I just wonder) 10-bit anything?  Quicktime version was 7.7.2 on one machine and 7.7.3 on the other.  Latest version of QT is 7.7.4 so I next tried updating one of the machines to that but it made no difference.

       

      Questions:

       

      Can anyone else confirm this?  Does it also happen in the new "Premiere Pro CC" version?

        • 1. Re: Premiere CS6 on Windows 7 makes QT 10-bit crazy in "Max Bit Depth"
          DavidGaryEsp Level 1

          Following a brief "moment" of (unjustified) doubt (but justified requirement to verify),  it now seems the "re-wrap work-around" does work, and HDLink does re-wrap provided its "Force Re-Wrap" option is enabled in Cineform's HDLink (otherwise it re-encodes to 8-bits).

           

          My only issues were niggling ones with HDLink, in terms of the mentioned setting-requirement and also its (repeatable) crash/freeze issue at the end of processing, requiring a process-abort (from Windows' Task Manager).  Fortunately this ugly state of affairs does not appear to harm the generated AVI file, other than to fail to update Windows Explorer and also the file's Accessed/Modified timestamps at the end of processing.

           

          In practice, the AVI file generated from this process was found to be playable by Windows Media Player and importable by Premiere CS6, where it appeared as expected in both 8-bit and "max bits" modes, the latter receiving the full 10 bits of levels information.

           

          So problem solved!  Verified!

           

          Just for the record, the "moment of doubt" and the resolution of it:

          <<<

          Oops... need to verify, properly this time, whether that workaround actually worked...

           

          Following an overnight conversion, the result seemed to be only 8-bits.  This view was supported by file-size reduction (39GB to 31GB, proportion = 8/10) and by 8-bit-like levels-banding when viewed on Premiere's Waveform/YC Monitor on a Premiere CS6 test Sequence in Max Bits mode.

           

          ...In which case my quick test previously suggesting that re-wrapping had fixed the problem was in fact misleading, because it was not only changing the container (QT->AVI) but also the encoding and the bit depth...  So the result of that test was neutral...

           

          So now I will re-try HDLink conversion, but this time with HDLink's "Force Re-Wrap" option selected in its Preferences.

           

          <Some time passes...>

           

          This time, it took only 45 minutes to complete and furthermore the CPU (4-core) load was tiny, just 1 or 2%, as opposed to around 16% for the overnight "unwanted re-encode" process.  Both of those factors are supportive of the prospect that re-wrapping was indeed happening this time...

           

          Then HDLink failed to terminate properly.  After 30 further minutes, there was no change, and no CPU load from it, so I elected to abort its process.

           

          The resulting AVI file was of almost exactly the same size as the QT original, was interpreted correctly when Premiere was in "Max Bits Mode" and verified as containing a useful 10 bits of information (via banding in Premiere Waveform/YC Monitor, comparing with and without "Max Bits Mode") .

          >>>

           

          This "Video Detective" can now hopefully say "Case Closed", but I'll "leave the files open" for a few days more in case any further issues show up.

           

          Regardless, it would still be helpful to hear of anyone with similar experiences or alternative solutions.