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What would an alternate way be if cineform was not an issue?
Lagarith is my intermediary codec of choice.
Lagarith is good, but the file size is not predicatable. Depending on the content, the size coan be very nearly the same as uncompressed -- or it can be surprisingly small... very small, in fact, for simple things like titling ane 2D animation.
Generally speaking, Lagarith is not really practical for HD video sources.
One option I'm leaning toward these days is high-bandwidth MPEG-2. In Adobe Media Encoder, you can set profile to 4:2:2, level to HIGH and set M and N frames to 1 so that encoding is I-frame only, YUY2 colorspace. Set the data rate to 100 Mbps -- or whatever you can spare for disk space. Be sure to turn off multiplexing and provide the audio separately -- either as WAV files for later encoding or DVD-ready AC3 tracks.
See this thread:
Dan Isaacs, "Pixel aspect ratios in CS4 - issue" #10, 7 Nov 2008 9:23 am
But, since this is for NTSC, change the "PAL" referenced to "NTSC" and 25 fps to 29.97 fps. Otherwsie they are the same for HD.
(Oh, hey Simon... I just noticed that it's you! Sorry I forgot to reply to your email. I guess this is the info you're looking for.)
Hey there Dan!
No problem at all. I know you are busy. I did not want to bother you too much. ;)
But in the end you answered my question after all.
Thanks Jim and Dan!
Would you really use MPEG2 as an intermediary for later compression, though Dan? Even High profile I-frame MPEG is still a very lossy format, especially compared to Lags.
Yes, it is lossy -- but as an intermediary for HD->SD it will work fine in most cases (with a little post deblocking and noise reduction).
It's no substitute for Lagarith, mind you... but it is sometimes more practical.
In truth, I need to play around with this option a bit more before I make general recommendations. I'm basing this off of the Matrox HD AVI codec concept... not to mention the fact that Premiere itself uses a similar format for preview rendering in HDV projects.
Simon -- you coulod do a test: Export as Lagarith and then again as MPEG-2 I-frame per my suggestion and compare file sizes. If they are close, go with Lagarith.
Regarding Lagarith: the best way would be to export from Premiere via DebugMode FrameServer as YUY2, then encode to Lagarith AVI with VirtualDub in Fast Recompress mode. This may help avoid some colorspace conversions.
Okay. I will try that test out tomorrow.
If I do the MPEG-2 I frame method, can my friend just take the file and encode it in Encore CS4 or do I need to do anything else to the file?
As you know, Simon, I would never suggest using Encore or PPro to scale 1080i->SD. No way...
Yeah, I thought I would ask at least. ;)
We were hoping that Encore CS4 might be better but if you say it is not worth a try then I won't do it.
I haven't even tried it, honestly, so I can't say for sure. I did try some HD->SD conversions within Premiere CS4 that did not impress me. They did fix the colorspace issue, but the scaling is still pretty bad.
I can't imagine that it's better in Encore.
Yeah, I am not surprised. I love Adobe but I still can't figure out why such a great product can't create a good quality DVD. Very strange.
So the Lagarith AVI was about 70GB (49 minute video).
The MPEG was about 50GB (49 minute video)
When I inserted both into PPCS3, the lagarith looked great while the mpeg looked bad (strange blocky colors - not sure how to explain it).
Looks like I will stick with the Lagarith AVI. Now I just have to convince Ben to request your service to do the DVD.
>but the scaling is still pretty bad.
Even with the new High Quality mode form the recent update?
> Even with the new High Quality mode form the recent update
This is basically the same as using the "Preserve Edges" option in AE, I believe.