Thursday, April 15, 2010

Update: The Rendering Situation


I believe I mentioned in my last post how I hate Canon's lie about 24p video. I mean, it IS 24 fps video, but in a 60i stream wrapper. This is not only a pain in the ass, but requires you to remove pulldown to get true 24p.

Since yesterday, I played around with Premiere Pro CS4 and After Effects CS4, and have come to two conclusions: 1) Yes, it's just as painful to new users as I remember, and 2) I'm not getting the results I needed. This, after rendering twice in After Effects (Premiere won't natively handle the pulldown for some reason, so I have to export the project to After Effects, run it's 3:2 pulldown removal guesswork, and then either export back to Premiere or render from After Effects. Not seeing the point in exporting a second time, I processed the render through AE after matching the product settings to output an uncompressed .avi. Problem is, and for some unknown reason, this was just a video file, and processed an accompanying audio file as a separate .wav. What the hell is the point of that?

Kind of fed up, I went online to see if there were any tutorials on how to both remove the pulldown and export a complete and lossless file back out. Not really having any luck, I did stumble upon a suggestion on a random site (sorry, didn't save the link) that pointed to the TMPGEnc Xpress 4.0 program as a pulldown removal solution comparable to the $129 Cineform Neoscene. While I was unable to procure a copy of Neoscene, I was able to get TMPGEnc (retail $99).

Program in hand, I did a quick search for 24p pulldown removal settings on Google, and stumbled across this site:

Even though this pertains to the Canon HV20, the file systems and capture settings are close enough to the HF20, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Using the instructions listed in the first post (Exporting to uncompressed .avi instead of the lossy 1440x1080 MPEG-2 outlined) I was amazed that it only took about 20 minutes to re-encode. Opening the new file, I genuinely had a tremendous grin on my face.

Not only is the footage identical to the original file, but there was no ghosting to be scene. I verified through import into Premiere and Vegas that the file was, indeed, natively 24p. Now the thing is, when you transfer files from the HF20 to the computer, because the 24p is in a 60i wrapper, there is no ghosting. When rendering after editing, however, it doesn't matter if you use 60i as the output or 23.976 fps...ghosting is prominent. The only fixes, as I said before, are to remove pulldown outside of the program or to just shoot in 60i from the beginning.

TMPGEnc allows me to remove the pulldown efficiently (we're talking 25 minutes for a 10 minute video here...efficient enough for me), then export to either a lossless format or something of an intermediary for easier editing. In a word: perfect. The results are pretty amazing, and the best part is that the output files are comparable in size to my input (in this case round-about 2GB). This allows me to gauge both disk-space necessary as well as if my publication carrier of choice (in this case, Youtube) will allow the video. Just what I was looking for, essentially.

So it seems that this chapter in the never ending battle of noob-production has come to a close. Now I need a Blu-ray burner, a decent shotgun mic, an adapter for additional lenses (as my pal Bob pointed out), and...there was something else. Hmmm....I know! A plan for actually filming my ideas!

Yeah, you can tell I sweat the small stuff, can't you?

And so ends another exciting installment of "Justin Gets His Shit Together." Tune in next week, where we find our hero pursuing a big person job, paying off his small mountain of debt, and generally learning to become a productive, functioning member of society!

Bitch ya later, folks.

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