Quantcast PC Capture for Mac play/edit workflow - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
12-19-2010, 02:01 PM
Eagleaye Eagleaye is offline
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Since changing hardware and experimenting with the new capture set-up it looks like I'll have to have a change in workflow, hence the new thread.
I'm seeking specific advice as the more information I glean from web sources the more confused I become, I need clarity!

Here is the background, I have PAL VHS of TV shows and a few commercial animation VHS releases not available on DVD that I want to get into a format I can play on a plasma screen via a media centre (I'm intending to use a Mac mini running Plex) and possibly make DVDs from. For the majority of this I just need the quality to be as good as the original, but in a more convenient viewing form (I've been spoilt by PVRs).
Once I've achieved this I have a load of Hi8 family video that I want in a similar format (I suspect this will require some restoration) and be able to edit in Final Cut Express but this is a side issue at the moment.
The reason I want to use Mac is simple, I prefer it for everyday use, use Aperture for photography, want to use Final Cut Express for editing, can transfer future camcorder footage via Firewire and spent a lot of cash on buying them. I will use Windows where it is best to, hence the PC with AIW 9800, but at the end of the day want to use Mac to use the final product.

I have been experimenting capturing a music video and my plan has been to:

1. Capture at the best quality I can - what method would be best? What codecs? huffyuv seems to be the only one that results in playable files. I've had audio errors (no zero point or something) trying to play files captured with ATI MMC in Virtualdub, but no problems with Virtualdub captured files.
2. Cut out unwanted material - using Virtualdub? Seems to take a lot more disk space when saving, I would also like to be able to set chapter markers for potential DVDs or viewing, need help here.
3. Attempt restoration where needed - no issues at the moment.
4. Convert to a format for use on Macs - What software shall I use for conversion? What formats? What machine? Bear in mind my Macs are far more powerful than my PC. This is my main source of confusion, what is the smallest, useful file format/codec to use that won't comprise viewing quality.
5. Keep the lossless files of the more important material - best/ most efficient format to keep this in?

Sorry for the slightly rambling post, hopefully it gives a rough idea of where I'd like to end up. I'd be interested in comments on how others would go about similar projects before I go into more details of the problems I've encountered. I also appreciate the Mac is the "spanner in the works" here.
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  #2  
12-20-2010, 03:17 AM
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I just ran a workflow simulation/test.

I can do this:

1. Capture HuffYUV in ATI MMC or VirtualDub, on a Windows XP system dedicated to capturing with an ATI card. The system has very little other software, total of 10GB footprint for OS plus other software.

2. Transfer AVI file across network to Mac mini (OS X 10.6). Gigabit 1000-base network in use. (Not slow 10/100.)
You'll want a gigabit network. Get D-Link switches and a gigabit card for the Windows system. Your Mac probably has gigabit LAN already.
-- UK 5-port D-Link switch: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...SIN=B00022V2DA
-- USA D-Link 5-port switch: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B000FIVDIA
Any card will be fine. I prefer Trendnet, Realtek or D-Link:
-- UK gigabit cards for computer: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/redirect....creative=19450
-- USA gigabit cards: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.ht...reative=390957

3. With Wine (WineBottler) installed on the Mac, plus HuffYUV installed, I can run VirtualDub 1.9.x, and load up the AVI file. Many filters can be applied here, and a new HuffyUVI AVI encoded. Note that not all filters work via Wine-run VirtualDub -- cropping, for example (but there are workarounds that can still crop/mask). Deshaker won't work correctly, either. The Windows XP machine will still be best for encoding in fully-functional VirtualDub, if certain filters are needed. But all the basic NR filters seem to work well in Vdub/Wine setup, so it can meet most needs.

4. With Perian installed, Final Cut Express can import HuffYUV AVI files with no problems. Note that you'll have to render for live playback preview, but slow skimming on the timeline works fine. It's really not too much different from Premiere 6.5 (Windows), but with features missing. FCE is a good basic editor, although Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro are far better.

You can cut out unwanted footage anywhere along the way, VirtualDub on either platform ("stream copy" video compression output), or do that in FCE.

Wine/Winebottler, Perian, HuffYUV and VirtualDub are all freeware. You already own FCE (payware). Software cost: $0 / 0

What you want do do works fine.

1. Best capture from ATI All In Wonder (ATI AIW), to Huffyuv lossless AVI files.
2. Restore and edit on Mac.

The hard part will be installing all the software, both in Windows and on the Mac. With Windows, it's ATI MMC and getting VirtualDub setup. It's not obvious. Same for Mac setups -- it's not obvious, and EVERYTHING that I've seen online, as it regards installing VirtualDub + HuffYUV, is wrong. A few of the methods just made a mess, in fact, so looking elsewhere online, instead of waiting on what I need to write, could do more harm than good. I'm going to be writing out a detailed workflow guide, and related use/install guides, for Mac and Wine in January.

What I found pretty awesome on the Mac VirtualDub was that it was encoding HuffYUV at up to 110fps!! Even my quad-core Windows Vista x64 machines won't run more than 40-50fps on a good day, with no filters. So there's something positive from the Vdub/Wine experience.

I'm using Lightroom 3 for photo work -- and that's why I bought the Mac mini.

What version of OS X are you running? I think you may need 10.5 or higher, but not sure.

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Last edited by kpmedia; 12-20-2010 at 03:28 AM.
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  #3  
12-20-2010, 06:53 AM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Another option is to use Boot Camp and install Windows plus any software you need. Windows under Boot Camp supports full reading and writing of Mac HFS+ partitions now, so data transfer to the Mac side won't be an issue.

Perian does the trick on the Mac side for HuffYUV, kinda ironic that Quicktime has such poor codec support otherwise. Your only other option would be uncompressed AVI (yikes), since none of the intermediate codecs Apples uses is compatible with a Windows machine. Its too bad there is no frameserving in OS X, it would make life easier for some video tasks.
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12-20-2010, 09:37 AM
Eagleaye Eagleaye is offline
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Thanks for the replies.
So my first stumbling block is capturing, you mentioned on the other thread that captures through Virtualdub and ATI MMC were essentially equal. When I use MMC the resulting captures play fine with the ATI player but give an audio error when playing back in Virtualdub. Should I worry about this or just do all captures with Virtualdub? I like the ease of capture with MMC, but Virtualdub captures play fine and allow easier checking of the capture quality.

So Huffyuv is the way to go, I did have this vague idea of running test captures with different codecs for comparision, but if you're saying nothing else offers significant advantages over Huffyuv and it can be made to play nicely with Macs, I can bin that idea. Will uncompressed AVIs offer anything that warrants the disk space?

I have a gigabit network and running MacOS 10.6 on both mini and iMac, I'll install Wine or Winebottler with Virtualdub for a play about with Virtualdub, but eagerly await your guide. I might investigate Boot Camp as well.

This is where my lack of knowledge comes into play , when you say re-encode with Virtualdub, this is faster on the Mac with Wine, should be done in "direct stream" mode and is the "save as" command after cuts and filtering have been made to the file?

I wasn't planning on using FCE until I start transferring my Hi8 material and camcorder footage, but are you suggesting that as FCE can import huffyuv avi files with Perian installed there is no point or advantage in using something like MPEG Streamclip to convert avi files to formats FCE can natively accept (DV Stream,DV25, AVCHD?). Maybe I should use it anyway, for the simple cuts and edits, just to get used to it.

Finally, are there any filters you would routinely apply to captured VHS? Although I'm sure that this question and the others about playback formats are probably best asked in the appropriate place though.
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  #5  
12-20-2010, 09:39 AM
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The problem with Bootcamp is you're having to sacrifice a portion of the hard drive simply to install Windows. For that reason alone, I've never installed Bootcamp on any Mac I've owned or used. Can you access the Windows partition from the Mac side of the system? And then how does that work with big files, that must use NTFS and cannot use FAT32?

The closest you can get to frameserving is with Avisynth in Wine, which is only going to work with other Windows/DOS programs in Wine, of course. Wine-driven software and OS X can't actually communicate, aside from sharing file space.

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  #6  
12-20-2010, 10:52 AM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
The problem with Bootcamp is you're having to sacrifice a portion of the hard drive simply to install Windows. For that reason alone, I've never installed Bootcamp on any Mac I've owned or used. Can you access the Windows partition from the Mac side of the system? And then how does that work with big files, that must use NTFS and cannot use FAT32?
MacOS X can natively read NTFS partitions without a problem. There is a hack out for 10.6 that allows write access, but it isn't stable or safe. NTFS-3G is recommended for that task however. Tuxera also sells a commercial NTFS driver with better performance then the open source NTFS-3G driver.
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12-20-2010, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJRoadfan View Post
There is a hack out for 10.6 that allows write access, but it isn't stable or safe..
It's not?

I just learned about it this morning, and was planning to use it for backing up the new systems to an external USB2 drive that's already formatted for NTFS and is used to backup the Windows systems. Literally, today, in just a few hours. See http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/32571/ntfs-mounter and the dev's site is at http://ntfsmounter.com/

Quote:
NTFS Mounter... A simple utility designed to mount NTFS volumes in read/write mode. Although not officially supported, Snow Leopard is now able to mount NTFS volumes with both read and write support. NTFS Mounter simply uses this ability, and provides a simple user interface to the mount command for NTFS volumes.
It was actually NTFS-3G that I'd always read negative things about, in terms of not being stable.

I could always buy the Paragon Software program NTFS-Mac as I have a 25% coupon good through 12-25 (CHRISTMAS2011), so only $15 to buy. I just finished buying their Mac backup program, because I don't like the free options. This one actually has a restore option that can run off an external backup drive. I already own several copies of the Windows version, and it's quite excellent for backup and restore.

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  #8  
12-21-2010, 10:33 AM
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The backup went fine. I have a 15GB .dmg file for recoverable disaster reinstall. Used the above NTFS-Mounter to access my 2TB USB2 backup drive. Everything seems fine to me. Speed was as expected, drive condition looks fine.

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