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03-25-2010, 01:58 AM
satisfied_camel satisfied_camel is offline
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I'm in a pickle. I'm a film student at Columbia College Chicago and for aesthetic purposes, I've shot four hours of footage on a Sony VX1e PAL hi8 camcorder. Once captured, to avoid generation loss, I'll be exporting it through a circuit bent video mixer (to glitch the video) and reimporting it back into the computer.
The workflow is looking like this...

For Capture to negate generation loss:
Sony vx1e hi8 PAL -> ATI for huffyuv capture -> Final Cut for PAL 25p to NTSC 24p transfer

For Glitching after capture:
??? somehow I need to get the captured footage from the computer, feed it through a circuit bent video mixer, re-import the glitched footage back in through the ATI

For Exporting:
ATI -> Final Cut (to crop and zoom in to change 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9) -> DVD for distribution

Within Final Cut, I will be cropping 25% of the vertical lines to fit the 16:9 aspect ratio. Also, I will be doing either a pulldown or 4% slow down to convert the PAL to 24p NTSC. Therefore, I need the huffyuv compression format to yield the most high quality resolution as I import, export, and reimport the already low-resolution hi8.

So, here's my questions...
I own an iMac, macbook pro, and a PC. Are there huffyuv format capture capabilities on the Mac? If not, will my low-end PC work with a huffyuv format capture card? I read you found a capture card for under $50, that sounds extremely reasonable!

Will the additional resolution through PAL help with the vertical resolution or will I lose it in the post 24p NTSC conversion?

Would inverse telecining help or hurt this process?

As far as in camera audio, is it possible to resync the 25p PAL audio to fit the new 24p NTSC format?

I'm really sorry for all the questions, you don't even have to answer all of them!!!
Anything helps, any advice at all, I'm flying blind.

Thank you very much for your time, it is much appreciated.
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  #2  
03-25-2010, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satisfied_camel View Post
I'm in a pickle.
Well, let's see what I can do for you...

Quote:
I'm a film student at Columbia College Chicago and for aesthetic purposes, I've shot four hours of footage on a Sony VX1e PAL hi8 camcorder.
Nice. It's always good to hear students appreciating the "old ways" and using the older tech in fun ways. Good for you!

Quote:
Once captured, to avoid generation loss, I'll be exporting it through a circuit bent video mixer (to glitch the video) and reimporting it back into the computer.
Interesting. I've not used one of these before, but I mostly understand what they are.

But why not do the video mixing before the capture?

Quote:
The workflow is looking like this...
For Capture to negate generation loss:
Sony vx1e hi8 PAL -> ATI for huffyuv capture -> Final Cut for PAL 25p to NTSC 24p transfer
Being a student, I'll avoid the usual "don't convert PAL<>NTSC" advice -- I'll assume you know what you're doing, and the conversion is for good reason.

Otherwise the workflow looks fine to me.

Quote:
For Glitching after capture:
??? somehow I need to get the captured footage from the computer, feed it through a circuit bent video mixer, re-import the glitched footage back in through the ATI
This might take two computers -- one to do the export, one to do the new capture. You'll still have some loss on analog > digital > analog > digital workflow path. It will be better than all-analog workflows, of course.

Quote:
For Exporting:
ATI -> Final Cut (to crop and zoom in to change 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9) -> DVD for distribution
Looks good.

Quote:
Within Final Cut, I will be cropping 25% of the vertical lines to fit the 16:9 aspect ratio. Also, I will be doing either a pulldown or 4% slow down to convert the PAL to 24p NTSC. Therefore, I need the huffyuv compression format to yield the most high quality resolution as I import, export, and reimport the already low-resolution hi8.
Yes, very smart approach. All correct.

Quote:
So, here's my questions...
I own an iMac, macbook pro, and a PC. Are there huffyuv format capture capabilities on the Mac? If not, will my low-end PC work with a huffyuv format capture card? I read you found a capture card for under $50, that sounds extremely reasonable!
HuffYUV is not usually a Mac-friendly capturing format, no. The Mac is a great system for editing, but it's really limited in other video areas -- capturing is one of the areas where a Mac is crippled compared to Windows options.

The ATI 600 USB card will capture both NTSC and PAL -- I ran tests last week, and was pleased with the results. These cards are fairly inexpensive:
Don't let the photos or descriptions of the card (as seen on Amazon and most other sites) fool you -- it is not just a coaxial input TV tuner. While it does that, too, it's is a composite/s-video capture card at its core. It can capture NTSC and PAL both, through VirtualDub or similar capture tools, and HuffYUV is an option. If you use the Catalyst Media Center program that comes with the ATI card, then you can only capture into MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 formats.

There are older cards, too.

What works (or does not work) also somewhat depends on the Windows system you have -- CPU, RAM, Windows version, hard drive space (and number of hard drives)

Quote:
Will the additional resolution through PAL help with the vertical resolution or will I lose it in the post 24p NTSC conversion?
The resolution differences are completely vertical (top to bottom). This axis of resolution is generally not perceived by human eyes as much as the horizontal axis (left to right). PAl vs NTSC makes almost no clarity difference. You actually stand to lose more quality by converting interlaced-native PAL to NTSC. It would almost be better to just leave PAL as PAL, in these cases. Let the viewing device sort it all out. A computer won't know any difference -- a DVD version will generally play worldwide in a quasi format (yes, including most USA DVD players).

Quote:
Would inverse telecining help or hurt this process?
You can only IVTC a soure that was telecined to begin with -- film. You shot video, so you'll have to just find a non-destructive deinterlacing method (area-based, Yadif, etc). You can't IVTC a video-shot source. The deinterlacing options available really depend on the software in use. Again, Mac is super-duper weak in this area -- it really needs to be done in Windows, be it with VirtualDub or Avisynth scripting.

Quote:
As far as in camera audio, is it possible to resync the 25p PAL audio to fit the new 24p NTSC format?
It requires a 4% pitch shift. This has been covered before in the NTSC to PAL / PAL to NTSC format conversion guide. Again, Windows software is suggest -- mostly because Goldwave is one of the few programs able to measure audio by video frames instead of timecodes.

Quote:
I'm really sorry for all the questions, you don't even have to answer all of them!!! Anything helps, any advice at all, I'm flying blind.
Thank you very much for your time, it is much appreciated.
No problem.
Generally such lengthy responses are reserved for Premium Members, but you're a student with an interesting project, and you've asked nicely.

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  #3  
03-25-2010, 08:06 PM
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Got the PM...
Quote:
Hey lordsmurf,
I wanted to thank you for combatting edTV in the forums, it has helped me out immensely. In fact, I almost destroyed the resolution of my senior project because I nearly jumped on the ADVC train. So, for that, thank you very, very much!
With that being said, I'm in a pickle. I'm a film student at Columbia College Chicago and for aesthetic purposes, I've shot four hours of footage on a Sony VX1e PAL hi8 camcorder. Once captured, to avoid generation loss, I'll be exporting it through a circuit bent video mixer (to glitch the video) and reimporting it back into the computer.
The workflow is looking like this...
Sony vx1e hi8 PAL -> Final Cut -> video mixer -> Final Cut to edit -> DVD
4:3 25p PAL -> 16:9 24p NTSC
Within Final Cut, I will be cropping 25% of the vertical lines to fit the 16:9 aspect ratio. Also, I will be doing either a pulldown or 4% slow down to convert the PAL to 24p NTSC. Therefore, I need the huffyuv compression format to yield the most high quality resolution as I import, export, and reimport the already low-resolution hi8.
So, here's my questions...
I own an iMac, macbook pro, and a PC. Are there huffyuv format capture capabilities on the Mac? If not, will my low-end PC work with a huffyuv format capture card? I read you found a capture card for under $50, that sounds extremely reasonable!
Will the additional resolution through PAL help with the vertical resolution or will I lose it in the post 24p NTSC conversion?
Would inverse telecining help or hurt this process?
Is it possible to resync the 25p PAL audio to fit the new 24p NTSC format?
I'm really sorry for all the questions, you don't even have to answer all of them!!!
Anything helps, any advice at all, I'm flying blind.
Thank you very much for your time,
All the best,
Avoiding lossy DV in this project is definitely the smart route!
Other stuff already answered above.

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  #4  
03-31-2010, 01:44 AM
satisfied_camel satisfied_camel is offline
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I'm sorry for the late response, I've been traveling from back home.
Anyway, anyway...
Thank you for the terrific answers!!
I'll be sure to check out the ATI 600 USB and will look into Goldwave for a non-timecode based audio corrector.
Also, thank you for solidifying the work-flow. It's fairly complicated, but your validation has given me a boost of self-confidence... a swelling of pride... hahaha cue Bob from Enzyte to whack a golf ball with a massive nine-iron.
In addition to all that, I'll have to play with the analog -> video mixer -> ATI work flow. There's just two issues: 1) I wanted to have a back-up, pure, digitized version just in case I really messed up the mixing, 2) The mixer is NTSC and the video feed would be PAL so this might cause some extreme flicker and color issues.
Lastly, Huffyuv will capture massive files, and that's great, but my Western Digital USB 2.0 500GB drive can barely handle compressed HD footage.
Knowing the direction I'm heading with the project, what type of hard drive would you recommend??
It's got to be huge, fast (to enable editing to FCP from external hard drive), and... inexpensive?.. if that's even possible.

Okay, that's it! I'm really sorry for overstaying my welcome, but you're feedback has more than trumped the film and video department capture crew here at Columbia! I really can't thank you enough!
All the best,
Jake
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  #5  
04-02-2010, 12:39 AM
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Be sure you're not assuming the video mixer is NTSC-only. Quite a few devices -- be it TBCs, proc amps, etc -- can do both formats. I'd go so far as to suggest most devices are capable of PAL and NTSC both, with a minority of devices being just single-format hardware. Even if a device specifies "NTSC" only, test it anyway -- I've found several times now that the items are merely marketed for NTSC, as opposed to being hardware limited.

You can't capture video to USB2 hard drives - -they're too slow. Even if you're able to "barely handle compressed HD footage", I would imagine you're dropping frame or ending up with other artifacts, due to inadequate resources.

If there's no way to add a new internal IDE/SATA hard drive, look instead to eSATA or an external SATA connection, via a new PCI card. (Or maybe your system has an existing connection?)

If you're on a laptop, look for a PC ExpressCard to add a new eSATA/external SATA ports.
  • Not PCMCIA, that's too slow, too -- worse than USB2, even!
  • Understand that external SATA and eSATA are not the same thing:
    • eSATA is a unique connector, different from plain SATA connector
    • whereas external SATA is just a normal SATA connector on the outside of the computer instead of the inside.
If adding a card is not an option, then you're in a real pickle -- time for a new system.

About sizes:
  • HuffYUV is about 35-40GB/hour, slightly varying depending on the internal codec compression settings.
  • Uncompressed YUV (YUY2 and others) is about 75GB.hour.
  • Compare against compressed DV, which is 13GB/hour.
You've not overstayed any welcome -- you're most welcome anytime. The fiml/video department there is probably just behind on their technical knowledge -- that's sadly VERY common. I'd bet their creative work, however, is most interesting (or at least it should be) -- learn that from them.

Thanks, hope that all helps you.

PS - Would love to see the project when it's done!

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  #6  
04-13-2010, 06:14 PM
satisfied_camel satisfied_camel is offline
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Hey lordsmurf,
This is wayyyy overdue...

I wanted to thank you so very much for all the outstanding help I've received on 'digitalfaq.com' and 'videohelp.com' both reading open threads and posting my own. Your thorough responses and detailed explanation you put into every post make reading the forums a truly enlightening experience.
So, once again, thank you for being so dedicated to posting and thanks for help making my project possible.
PS- I'll be sure to send you a rough cut once the shoot is finished this summer!

All the best,
Jake
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  #7  
04-13-2010, 08:06 PM
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Awesome.

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  #8  
05-11-2010, 08:33 PM
satisfied_camel satisfied_camel is offline
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Great Lordsmurf,
I must call upon your great wisdom once more before going out on my voyage, and finally making some purchases. Now, this time, I need you more than ever...

I discovered "avidemux" (less efficient mac version of virtualdub) which allows huffyuv codec for video, but formats to AVI. I don't know how it could allow Huffyuv video codec to be recorded and formatted to AVI at the same time without losing quality, but there it is.

So, a friend of mine through Youtube used an "ATI TV Wonder HD 650 Combo USB for Mac" and "avidemux" to yield a huffyuv codec in avi format. For the results, he posted a link to mediafire...

http://www.mediafire.com/?gwmi45ymfxz

...I know you understand that I'm cropping a Hi8 image from 4:3 to achieve 16:9 so I'll be demanding more from an image that is already pushing pixels in standard definition, let alone a wide screen blow-up.

Would this device allow me to accomplish my Huffyuv lossless quality footy or would I get better results through the ATI 600 ATI Wonder TV Tuner for PC that you already suggested?

The reason for my inquiry is that I'm desperately trying to cut down my work flow because I'm limited to mac machines at college currently. I know you've stated macs are horrible at importing (which is sooo true), but maybe there is hope! I'm also still worried that these capture cards won't capture glitched and distorted feed footage. Is this a valid concern or are these cards more than capable (the ATI TV Tuner 600 and 650 in particular)?

I know I should just dive in for one, but I'm strapped for cash and I can't make a first purchase mistake, which is true for everyone right now.

Lordsmurf, I most appreciate your help on this project, I need to find out your real name to get some credits where they are definitely due! I always feel terribly for bugging you.
But, thanks again for coming to the rescue and I'll keep you up to speed when I get that rough cut done in early August!

All the best,
Jake
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  #9  
06-22-2010, 02:18 AM
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Sorry for long delay on this, I somehow missed it in the unanswered queue.
Will download the video and answer it here in a few minutes.

EDIT: .... Well, actually ... maybe I did come in here already! That mediafire link is taking forever, and I vaguely remember this from last month, while away on business. I probably gave up on it, planned to come back again later that day, or when I got a more stable connection, and ... well, we know how that went down .... Anyway.... Currently downloading the file... another hour left.

Back in a bit...

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Last edited by lordsmurf; 06-22-2010 at 03:53 AM.
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  #10  
06-22-2010, 03:51 AM
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Okay, reading back through the question....

Files and codecs are separate.
Think of cars and engines.
The car is the file (.AVI), and the engine is the codec (HuffYUV).

My car, for example, was built in three different engine classes.
An AVI file can have dozens of "engines" (codecs) to choose from.

You can't use the terms interchangeably.
Make more sense?

You want the most quality pixel-for-pixel that you can get, because you're cropping 4:3 to a 16:9 widescreen -- no stratching, no funny business. Just a crop. Yep, I understand it. I've had to do it before myself, for various reasons.

The quality of the ATI 600 and 650 are going to be identical for HuffYUV capturing.

If there's a way to ...
  • use avidemux (Mac version) on a Mac to capture,
  • with a Mac version of an ATI card --- or the card is "dual OS" with both Windows and Mac drivers
  • and you can install and/or select HuffYUV as the capturing codec
... then go for it.

I've been Mac-less for more than a year now (sigh!), so I've missed out on some developments in the past year or two. If there is an ATI 600/650 option that works on Mac somehow, that's excellent news.

Gspot confirmed the download file you posted is a HuffYUV encoded file, with AC3 audio.

I still look forward to seeing what all your video projects look like when done. I bet they'll be impressive. Or so I hope. Thanks. Don't forget to sneak me a peek when it's time!

Hope that helps.

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