I tried to follow Dan's and Jeff's HD to SD workflow using HD2SD. The possible results are much better than the Premiere conversion, but I have problems with VirtualDub that is crashing. All the components were installed according to the video of Jeff Bellune (I hope I didn't mess up).
My system runs on Windows 7 64-bit, Intel i7 CPU, 12 GB memory, Quadro 4000 graphics card. I'm still running CS5.03, because I want to finish my current project before updating. I further have the AXIO LE (actuall drivers) installed.
Here are my steps:
My footage is HD422 and HD-EX material from a PDW700 and an EX-3. It is recorded in 1080i50. My timeline is a Matrox HD1080 timeline.
Step 1. Export MPEG I-frame
Using AME I'm exporting an MPEG I-frame clip "Classes-I.m2v" + "Classes-I.wav" with the following settings:
Encoder: Main Concept,
TV Standard: PAL,
Frame Size: 1920x1080,
Frame Rate: 25fps,
Field Order: Upper,
Pixel Aspect Ratio: Square,
Profil: 4:2:2, Level: High,
Render at Maximum Depth: off,
Bitrate Encoding: CBR,
M/N Frames: 1,
Color Primaries: ITU-R. Rec. 709,
Use Maximum Render Quality: off
Question: Are there any benefits or disadvantages using the Matrox I-frame codec instead?
Step 2: GDIndex
I now generate the 2dv file "Classes-I.2dv" with DGIndex. The Information window shows Interlaced format with BT.709.
Step 3: AVISynth script
I created the following AVISynth script "Classes.avs":
hd2sd(Interlaced=true, OutputFieldRate=50, OutputColorSpace="RGB32")
According to the hd2sd info text file I set RGB32 to encode within Encore.
I also tried to use "YUY2" to encode with ProCoder 3.
Step 4: Creating SD file
I open VirtualDub 32-bit.
For "Compression" I select Lagarith, RGB(default), Multithreaded
I open "Classes.avs" and select "Save as AVI".
VirtualDub starts to encode for a fraction of a second (18 frames) and then crashes with kernelbase. I added the thread call stack at the end of this post.
Crash reason: Unhandled Microsoft C++ Exception
An exception occurred in module 'KERNELBASE'.
I'm able to render with the lagarith codec from AME. For testing VirtualDub I tried to encode to the Matrox DV codec. It crashed, too, but this time at frame 19. I was able to choose the RGB uncompressed mode to render with VirtualDub, but it didn't work after the lagarith crash. I had to restart the system. Restarting VirtualDub didn't help.
Can anybody tell me how I can get VirtualDub to work with the lagarith codec or something else?
The resulting SD-AVI file with the RGB uncompressed codec looks sharp and good, but on fast movements it seems to have a smear effect (played with Media player). When I check it with GSpot it doesn't indicate any upper or lower fields.Can it be that the file was rendered progressive? GSpot shows 25 fps. Loading the file into Premiere it shows No fields (Progressive Scan), too. I assume that the fields are just copied in one frame.
I created the MPEG2 DVD file once with Procoder and once with AME from Premiere (I used both times the file with the RGB color space to limit the testing work, since the main problem is sharpness and motion. The hd2sd info file recommends YUY2 for ProCoder. I will test this later.)
When I drag the AVI file into Procoder it shows lower fields first, but I can choose different options. To keep the field order of the source material I chose manually upper field and set the aspect ratio of the source to 16:9. As the target I chose MPEG2-DVD mastering quality. Here the field order shows upper field first. I can't change the setting in Procoder. The ratio is set to 16x9 again. The result looks good and the movement is smooth.
To compare I also created a MPEG2 DVD file with AME from Premiere. Since the Interprete Footage dialog showed Progessive I switched it manually to Upper Fields. The resulting movement is fine, but the image was blurry again! I played around with Max Render and Max BitDepth. I have to do the test agains. There must be an error. It seemed that I needed to set only one of them to get pretty good results, but it didn't matter wich one. Since I have a GPU supported card it should not matter if Max Render is selected or not.
Besides Media Player I tried to compare the files in VLC, too. In VLC the videos show in general more motion artifacts, but it might be just VLC deinterlacing. Can anybody recommend me a good player? Should I drop the files into Premiere and whatch them on my JVC broadcast monitor via the Matrox output to get the best comparison?
I also saw that DebugMode FrameServer is now available in 64-bit. Does the DGIndex workflow has any other advantage than just being faster in the sum? I would prefer the to use the FrameServer, instead of the MPEG-I workflow since it would eliminate the space required for the interim file? I can let the system render over night when I don't use it.
Thanks for any help.
[Please do not post crash logs]
Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
Application Name: VirtualDub.exe
Application Version: 188.8.131.52
Application Timestamp: 4d150e35
Fault Module Name: KERNELBASE.dll
Fault Module Version: 6.1.7601.17514
Fault Module Timestamp: 4ce7bafa
Exception Code: e06d7363
Exception Offset: 0000b727
OS Version: 6.1.7601.2.1.0.256.1
Locale ID: 1031
Additional Information 1: 6e2c
Additional Information 2: 6e2c5b7dda76ef819de36e144d50d576
Additional Information 3: 9a96
Additional Information 4: 9a968b4f6589cce1e779aaaf6506f518