15 Replies Latest reply on Aug 2, 2010 6:54 AM by ECBowen

    AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....

    ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

      and you don't have the budget for much. Then Cineform's Neo Scene is your new best friend. There seems to be quite a few people posting here that don't have a budget for a new system or can't afford the I7 system needed to handle these 2 codecs natively while editing. Don't despair or think you have no option but to upgrade now. Go take a look here - http://www.cineform.com/neoscene/features.php. For around a $100 you can give your current editing system or new editing system on a budget new value and make use of every dollar you have invested in it. If you don't believe me then download the free trial and see the results. It may give you far more time to decide on upgrading to a new system down the road or edit on a new system without spending what you don't have right now. Don't let these high compression codecs force your hand when there is a solution for you

        • 1. Re: AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....
          joewilde

          I use this code for HDV, AVCHD and HDSLR - in a word "impressive" I can edit easily on my Q6600 vista 32bit and 4GB of RAM. I am going to upgrade to an i7 though simply because I might as well add a little extra speed in rendering / playback and Vista is a dog that should have been shot years ago 

           

          Also, don't forget about it's fast converting, 4.2.0 - 4.2.2 conversions and it's stunning converting to 24p........all this with no quality loss makes this an amazing product!

           

          Oh, I don't work for Cineform...... just a lover of a product that got me out of a bind (all this for under $100USD is a steal)

          • 2. Re: AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....
            TL2121 Level 1

            Ok

             

            EC this looks good- one question- what is the difference in filesize in GB/per hour from native AVCHD to the Cineform AVI codec

             

            Thanks

            Tony

            • 3. Re: AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....
              joewilde Level 1

              RE:

              Ok

               

              EC this looks good- one question- what is the difference in filesize in GB/per hour from native AVCHD to the Cineform AVI codec

               

              Thanks

              Tony

               

               

               

              Hi Tony,

               

              Just did a test on 62 seconds of 1080P 25fps HDSLR footage. The original file is a 349MB .Mov and I used the Cineform codec to convert to AVI. The file went from 349MB up to 1GB in size (in 2 minutes on my Q6600 quad core 4GB RAM) so roughly you could say it triples in size for HDSLR footage.

               

              The HDSLR footage is roughly 5.5 MB per second but I would say if you want an accurate gauge as to what it will do with AVCHD you may have to download the trial and try it out on your footage. Would be very interested to hear back from you.

               

              I know it seems like a big jump from 365MB to 1GB but HD space is pretty darn cheap these days

               

               

              Joe

               

               

               

              • 4. Re: AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....
                ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                Well it depends on the resolution and frame rate of the material you are converting and also the quality settings. 1080p24 frame material that I use for testing is 1.67GB normally. After I convert it to Cineform with the high quality setting, the file is over 8GB. This puts the ratio around 5 to 1. So figure between 3 or 5 to 1 ratio for  your material.

                 

                Eric

                ADK

                • 5. Re: AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....
                  TL2121 Level 1

                  EC & Joe

                   

                  This is great info- I currently don't own AVCHD cam (just HDV for now) but when I found this thread- thought that your Cineform suggestion is a good way to finally break down the AVCHD wall for me- I have a nice CPU

                   

                  Adobe Production CS4

                  I7 980x

                  Windows 7 pro 64 bit

                  12 GB Ram

                  Nvidia GTX 260

                  3 1 TB drives (1 for programs, 1 for media, 1 for scratch)

                   

                   

                  But still believe that AVCHD natively will put too much stress on even a modern cpu- it's good to know the pros and cons of all available resources to help work with this footage

                   

                  Thanks again

                  Tony

                  • 6. Re: AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....
                    joewilde Level 1

                    Oh, what a modest system you have there

                     

                    Your right, you could edit AVCHD with that system but the real bonus lies in the 4:2:2 conversion for color processing, it really does make a noticable difference. You can find Cineform at videoguys for $99 (save $30 off the Cineform site)

                    • 7. Re: AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....
                      PaulieDC Level 2

                      I started using NeoScene in May 2009 (to convert my 5D Mark II files) and I couldn't be happier. It's true that the MPE in Pr CS5 coupled with my GTX285 makes my footage fly, but I still use NeoScene to get that extra 4:2:2 10-bit breathing room for grading in post. I don't care if it's interpolated, it just looks good!

                       

                      All great things have a drawback, and the one drawback with NeoScene is the increased file size, which you would expect when turning an 8-bit file into 10-bit. However, that's not really a big drawback because hard drive space is CHEAP. Plus you can always delete the NeoScene file after you encode and burn. If you need to go back into your project, just re-NeoScene it (new verb).

                       

                      Some may ask why the conversion from 8-bit (4:2:0) to 10-bit (4:2:2) is necessary, and the answer is this: the next time you make pancakes, put all your ingredients into a mixing bowl that JUST barely holds it all, then try to hand-mix the batter without spilling. You have no room to work! A bigger bowl gives you working room. 4:2:2 gives you working room. Renenber that H.264 files spitting out of a 5D Mark II may look good, but they are compressed just like when shooting stills to a JPEG. If you want to hammer that JPEG in Photoshop, your latitude is small (this is why we shoot RAW). So H.264 video looks good but your latitude is small, so one of the benefits of NeoScene is getting an AVI file with a wider 4:2:2 color space.

                       

                      Oy vey, how did I get going on all that, lol!

                       

                      Anyway, long-time NeoScene user agrees with y'all...

                      • 8. Re: AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....
                        ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                        Truly an excellent comparison and explanation. Nicely done.

                         

                        BTW this is the reason terms like acquisition codecs and intermediary codecs have developed as well as delivery codecs. The HD media content creation industry is seriously developing into specialized codecs based on the what you are currently doing in your workflow and the old bane of losing quality when transcoding is becoming less of a spectre.

                         

                        Eric

                        ADK

                        • 9. Re: AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....
                          PaulieDC Level 2

                          Bingo, you are exactly correct!

                          • 10. Re: AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....
                            TL2121 Level 1

                            Paulie

                             

                            thanks for the in depth response- when I first saw this thread by EC I thought wow what a great solution to AVCHD editing issues- but then I quickly realized that the files probably would be huge- but like you so nicely put it- It's basically worth it for the extra headroom in your video- as well as a smoother realtime playback experience when editing.

                             

                            Anyone know how the cineform codec stacks up to the apple pro res codec- I'm a pc'er for life but just curious

                             

                            Adobe should just buy cineform

                             

                            and include it with PR Pro CS6

                             

                            Thanks

                             

                            Tony

                            • 11. Re: AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....
                              ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                              Very similar in quality and bit rate but with higher resolution options and far better multithreading performance.

                              • 12. Re: AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....
                                hellopaul_1 Level 1

                                Guys - but I believe it's not the best codec to render your movie for web, right? (due to the file size)

                                • 13. Re: AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....
                                  J.Elliott8652

                                  Yeah, I've been doing some research on Neoscene too.  What I've come to is that the 4:2:2 is going to help with chroma keying, which I do a fair bit of with my students. I shoot short video clips of kids working out math problems against a green wall. Don't want to do your worksheets? Alright - will ya do it if I shoot you on camera? how 'bout if we having you floating in space while you're doing it, and we put out the video for everyone else to use as they work out their own answers? They fall for it most of the time and I end up looking like a forward-thinking teacher. Win-win!

                                   

                                  I built four AMD Phenom X4 computers around Xmas and thought I had blazing fast builds that would last 2 years, at least, before needing an upgrade. Probably true, for general use. Now I'm using one for CS5 and a Canon T2i (AVCHD) and keep running into theoretical problems with my single-green-drive, AMD builds.

                                   

                                  I am upgrading one to a two-drive RAID, slowly. Don't have it finished quite yet so can't answer my own questions here.

                                   

                                  Neoscene looks like the answer for the AVCHD, but one of the plusses of AVCHD is its low bitrate. Make life easier on the CPU but push off the load onto the hard drive. Good trade, in general, but what now is the ceiling on layers? With AVCHD, it is said even a green drive can supply several layers at once. Convert to Neoscene and now it become a question as to what a single drive can deliver.

                                   

                                  Anyone got an answer from experience?

                                  • 14. Re: AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                    AVCHD editing is about CPU/RAM communication and clock speed and cache size. AMD has a distinct disadvantage in that it does not support SSE 4.1 extensions, which are heavily used with AVCHD editing, so the threading in CPU is a major bottleneck. Single Intel quad cores easily outpace dual hexa core Opterons with this material, so you can imagine where a single quad core AMD is left: way behind in the dust.

                                    • 15. Re: AVCHD/H264 getting you down.....
                                      ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                      Cineform's codec decompresses files around 3 to 5 times their original size. That is why it's far less load on your CPU and how you can edit that material on  a system that could not handle it well otherwise. Since the original bit rate is so low the Cineform bit rate is not that high. If the original bit rate is 15 Mb/s then at most you are 45Mb/s when using Cineform. Remember bits is divided by 8 to figure out how many Bytes. 45 divided by 8 is only 5.6 MB/s. Most standard drives now days average 85 to 115MB/s. Based on that info you can see a normal drive can handle quite a few layers of the Cineform

                                       

                                      Eric

                                      ADK