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You haven't provided much info to determine your needs.If you are simply using a standard computer monitor then you can output from AE using the secondary output of a typical display card on most computers. Just set the output from AE Preferences.
If you plan to use an i/o card like Blackmagic or AJA, your monitor will need to have HDMI or HD-SDI inputs. I've used Blackmagic cards extensively for over 7 years and haven't a single criticism of them.
There isn't an enormous benefit to using one of these cards if you're only outputting to a standard computer monitor - the goal of the cards is to provide a standardized output for a high-quality reference monitor. In your situation, the only real advantage is freeing up your second display output for a dual-display work environment.
I use an Intensity Pro Card and it works absolutely fine with 720P. (AEFX, PremPro, Photoshop) I use RGB Component connections.
I have never tested 1080i on it.
What I really need is to preview 1080i. I am doing HD effects. I know that Blackmagic has lots of cards but I heard thta intensity pro does not work well with 1080 footage.
So what would you recommend me ? I will be using a Viewsonic 1090 x 1080 monitor as external monitor. Obviously it has HDMI input.
1090x1080 (square monitor or typo?)
Have you asked Black Magic?
Says here that it works with 1080 so I can not see why not:
Yes I am aware of that but I read a Post round here that said it does not work well and Director of Black Magic have accepted that.
What a problem.
I just want to know about somebody who use one of them to recommend me which one should I use.
I spoke to a couple of colleagues who use Blackmagic Intensity cards (both on Macs) and both have no problem with the cards for capture and playback of full 1080p uncompressed 8 and 10 bit material. Please cite your references that state otherwise. I can guarantee you that any claims that the "Director of Black Magic" accepts that Intensity doesn't work as advertised are incorrect.
Note that disk performance is of utmost importance when working with 1080 HD. Both my friends' systems have internal and/or external RAID systems that provide data throughput of greater-than-150Mb per second. You need to consider RAM configuration as well.
There's a lot more to true HD functionality than an i/o card. But I have confirmation that Intensity cards DO work well with the correct hardware.
I played out some 1080 8/10 bit footage via Intensity Pro card and there were no problems (as p or I)
HD enabled Blackmagic and Aja cards all capture and playback HD 1080i footage fine with a fast enough hard drive.
The original post specifies to "preview" HD work and I assume Andrew07 means from within AE using Ram previews. As far as I know this is still not possible with an external monitor set to HD res. I have tried using my 8 core mac pro with 16Gb of ram and AJA Kona LHe and I can Ram preview full HD on my Computer monitor (30inch Cinema) with external output disabled, or half-res HD with external monitor set to SD res.
The only way I can preview full-res HD is with pre-rendered files and played through FCP, AJA TV or similar.
If anyone knows different please let me know ....
I can preview the comp and from RAM at the speed the system allows. eg as shown in the Speed Indicator.
There is no R/T Acceleration
Scrubbing only previews the updated frame. ie when scrubbing stops
Hey Craig, Nic and Andrew:
So you are telling me that with a system similar to mine MacPro Dual Qaud Core 2.8 with 16Gb Ram with a raid 0 (3 disks of 500 GB ) you can preview 1080i footage running RAM preview on After Effects CS3 in an external monitor via Intensity Pro ?
It helps me a lot to know this.
So if I am not understanding incorrectly being by goal just monitoring my Ram preview in external monitor there wouldn't be any difference between intensity pro and decklink extreme. Am I right ?
What I mean is if intensity pro will or will not give me realtime preview on my external monitor, decklink extreme will not change this ?
I know that there are 3 possible cards: Intensity Pro
Decklink HD extreme.
I read on After effects manual the recommendation of using HDLInk But....
I would need some SDI output on my computer right ? Is it that possible ? Is there another way to connect Mac to HDlink ?
The only solution I have is to purchase the Decklink HD extreme ? My need is just monitoring in realtime my RAM preview on After Effects.
I am not really sure if Intensity Pro will give me a decent monitoring in colors and contrast.
I really appreciate your help guys. I really need to find a solution for this
In my case I am running on a Windows Platform (XP32)
As stated I get R/T Preview but the playback speeds vary until rendered or precomposed etc.
The resolution, colors and contrast are perfect on my calibrated External Monitor Panasonic LH1700W
I am using RGB Component connectors. Intensity Pro CArds use RCA connectors (weird but true)
The HD Link products convert SDI signals, so you'd require a Decklink card in the computer as well.
There is no technical reason why the HDMI output of an Intensity card would be any different to the HDMI output of a Decklink HD Extreme. The issue of colour and contrast is far more about your monitor than the card. As I stated earlier, don't expect accurate or calibrated colour from a standard computer monitor. There's a reason professionals spend thousands of dollars on broadcast-accurate monitors, like the LH1700W mentioned above.
OK thanks. You have help me a lot.
I think i will go for the Intensity Pro.
Visual Effects Supervisor
With my Mac Pro 8 core, AJA KONA LHe SDI card using Final Cut and a fibre channel disk array I can capture and play back 1080 HD footage, no problem. (I have also used Blackmagic cards as well)
With After Effects if I have my External Monitor set to 1080 and I try and RAM preview a 1080 composition I can only achieve a frame rate of about 15 fps. If my external monitor is set to normal SD and the composition at half res I can then preview in real time. But that is not Full res HD.
If I render the RAM preview to disk I can then play that in Final cut in realtime at full res
So you have to work around AE as it just can't pump out that much data quickly enough, but I do HD graphics everyday using AE and it does work just not quite as well as I would like ...
Hope this helps
Did you ever have any luck with this? Just curious how your experience turned out.
You didn't mention the most important element in playing back Uncompressed 1080i HD...what type of gear you are using? Is your array fast enough to spit out UNC 1080i? A Kona LHe rocks and is more that 1/2 the price of a Kona 3 and has the best Tech Support in the biz, IMHO. I have dealt with them in emergencies and they have overnighted me a new board with cables with no fuss whatsoever. I would suggest Aja.