14 Replies Latest reply on Aug 6, 2008 7:37 PM by Steven L. Gotz

    Lossless HDV export

      If your captured files are HDV (from an FX1 for example), after you have edited this down to just the stuff you would like to keep, is there a way to export this from the timeline into the same format as the original capture files? Would this be just MPEG 2? Is there anyway to tell it to not recompress unless it has to for a transition or other special effect? I am looking for some way to store the finished videos in a form that I can later use to store on Blueray without losing quality.
        • 1. Re: Lossless HDV export
          Level 1
          (courtesy of Steven Gotz)

          Try the following:

          a) Plug in your HDV camera via firewire
          b) File > Export > Export to Tape
          c) When the "rendering" process starts, pull the plug on the camera
          d) When you return to your project folder, there will be a weird named file. Rename that and you should be all set

          - Aanarav
          • 2. Re: Lossless HDV export
            Level 1
            If you have Premiere Pro 2.0 installed you can use Main Concept's MPEGPro 2.0 plugin to export your timeline and/or clips to an M2T file. MPEGPro uses smart rendering so that only modified frames and adjacent GOPs are modified. The remainder of the HDV video remains untouched. Export is much faster than re-rendering all footage. Unfortunately, I do not know if Main Concept will be offering a version that will work with CS3. I know their MPEGPro 2.0 plugin does not work with CS3 as I have tried it.
            • 3. Re: Lossless HDV export
              (C._David_Young) Level 1
              Thanks for the suggestions, Aanarav and Ron. Ron, the MPEG Pro 2.0 plugin looks great but way out of my price range. I have found another technique that takes longer but seems to work great. Looks like the Adobe Media Encoder has an MPEG 2 preset for HDV 1080i 30 that generates a .m2t. I tried this and it looks indistinguishable from the original footage. Is there anyone who would disagree with this?

              BTW, I am still using PPro 2.0 but have been looking for a reason to upgrade to CS3. I figure that when I want to burn my .m2t files to BD that would be the time. Is there any advantage to doing it sooner as far as using this technique to generate the .m2t files? Does CS3 use the same codec for this that 2.0 does?
              • 4. Re: Lossless HDV export
                Level 1
                > I tried this and it looks indistinguishable from the original footage. Is
                > there anyone who would disagree with this?

                It may matter if a new GOP is created for a clip. Did you test any edits?

                Best,
                Christopher
                • 5. Re: Lossless HDV export
                  (C._David_Young) Level 1
                  My testing is just limited to viewing the original and rendered footage. I can't see any degradation on my HDTV output. Is there a specific test I should do?
                  • 6. Re: Lossless HDV export
                    Level 1
                    Hi C.David,

                    I have done extensive testing of this with CS3. The .M2T export is NOT lossless. I'm a videophile and compared the footage on a few different HD displays, and a 1920x1080p projector. Even if you do no filters, overlays, color correction, etc., just straight cuts then re-export to HDV (via the export to tape/pull the cable trick) .M2T, you will see artifacting during scenes of extreme motion or scenes where the MPEG encoder has a very hard time with (my torture test is a pan following a woman walking along a beach where the ground is all stones, all the small stones are a killer for mpeg encoding). There is very noticeable motion artifacting on the .M2T output as compared with the original M2T shot from the camera.

                    BTW, I also did extensive experimentation with using some type of AVI intermediary, for both editing and as an output format, and NO avi, whether it's cineform or using smth like Lagarith lossless, provides the same degree of "3D" or "you are there" feeling as the original M2T footage has. Even if there is no 'generation loss' in terms of motion artifacts or loss of resolution, there is a definite and visible deterioration of the image quality when using either an AVI intermediary for editing (regardless of what kind of AVI) or outputting to avi. I was going to write a detailed report about this but I've been too busy...

                    Best results, by far, for me come with editing in native m2t and outputting to H.264 at about 30mpbs.

                    It really is a bummer. Re-encoding in PPro CS3 does have a generation loss, even without adding effects. Best results I've gotten is exporting to 1920x1440 H.264 at 25-30mbps (and then I distribute on BluRay or WMVHD for the web).

                    Best,
                    Patrick
                    • 7. Re: Lossless HDV export
                      i have imported a mt2 file from which i captured on my Canon XH A1.which was filmed in HD. im having problems exporting this footage to a vob file without losing quality. Can you help me??
                      • 8. Re: Lossless HDV export
                        Level 1
                        I have imported a mt2 file from which i captured on my Canon XH A1.which was filmed in HD. im having problems exporting this footage to a vob file without losing quality. Can you help me??
                        • 9. Re: Lossless HDV export
                          Harm Millaard Level 7
                          Yet another unanswerable question without relevant details.
                          Look here and supply details as outlined.
                          • 10. Re: Lossless HDV export
                            Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                            > (courtesy of Steven Gotz)
                            Try the following:
                            a) Plug in your HDV camera via firewire
                            b) File > Export > Export to Tape
                            c) When the "rendering" process starts, pull the plug on the camera
                            d) When you return to your project folder, there will be a weird named file. Rename that and you should be all set
                            - Aanarav

                            You mean disconnecting the firewire while the camera is on?
                            That's a sure way to blow up your firewire on your camera, camera's are not hotswapable.
                            • 11. Re: Lossless HDV export
                              Steven L. Gotz Level 5
                              Not necessary with CS3 now anyway. The export to MPEG2 Blu-ray can be identical to the HDV source material. Unplugging is safer than plugging though, Ann.

                              I have a feeling that coddi is looking for a way to export to a standard definition DVD. That can not be done without losing some quality, and there are a few discussions on this forum about how to use free 3rd party utilities to achieve a better downscaling.

                              My footage can usually survive the downscaling by importing the HDV footage into a SD project, then exporting as SD MPEG2-DVD. I prefer that to exporting HDV to SD right out of the HDV project, because I generally want to use a little careful scaling to get the best part of the larger HDV frame into the SD frame before exporting.
                              • 12. Re: Lossless HDV export
                                Jim_Simon Level 8
                                >camera's are not hotswapable.

                                It works perfectly fine and there is no danger either to camera or computer using a 4 pin Firewire connection (without power).
                                • 13. Re: Lossless HDV export
                                  Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                                  Well i'm not risking it, it's expensive to get the camera's firewire fixed.
                                  • 14. Re: Lossless HDV export
                                    Steven L. Gotz Level 5
                                    Since it is no longer necessary, don't worry about it.