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  #1  
08-05-2020, 09:22 PM
renkema renkema is offline
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Most would likely say "just do it on a PC" but hear me out.

I had some old band videos from way back professionally captured/cleaned from VHS. It looks very good...on the PC only. However, I need to import into Media Composer 6 on my old Mac. The need is based around overdubs and other audio enhancements that I want to make either directly to the timeline or from submixes from protools (also on the mac). I familiar with both of these older programs and workflow and do this as hobby so not looking to learn a new software/new approaches at this time.

The HuffYUV imports don't bomb when importing to Media Composer, they just give blank video. from research I've done, apparently mac can't read the HuffYUV codec (at least the one I have). Been digging around on this site and others as I would have assumed this is a common problem but I have not been able to find "here is the best lossless approach to take HuffYUV material into the mac domain".

so that's my issue and hoping the much more knowledgeable folks on the forum have the best suggestion

Thanks

-- merged --

to prep the HuffYUV file for Mac use, was advised to use the VirtualDub2 product on a PC (open the HuffYUV file, set the compression to Pro Res and resave, then move to the Mac). It worked (meaning I was able to import the new ProRes file's audio and video into Media Composer).

Issue is the ProRes file is about half the size of the HuffYUV file. Not surprising, visually it looks deteriorated as well which is defeating the purpose of getting the VHS captured/corrected with HuffYUV in the first place. so am curious is this just life with a Mac or is there maybe a better codec conversion that will retain the level of detail in the original HuffYUV file?
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  #2  
08-06-2020, 12:20 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
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Under the codec options in VirtualDub, ProRes422 has levels. The default is level 4, and less compression is possible with levels 1-3. ProRes422 is lossy, but it can be visually-lossless lossy with adequate bitrate, not too different from MPEG 4:2:2 at 25mbps+ specs.

Mac is a limited OS for video.

Some years ago, Perian allowed Mac/Quicktime to read Huffyuv. But Apple did something that broke it. It still works fine, on older OS X systems with older Quicktime.

UtVideo is a a freeware lossless available on both Mac and Windows, but I've never tested it. Note a report this year flagged the download as having a virus, according to a VirusTotal scan.

MagicYUV is a payware lossless codec, and you'd need a copy on both Windows and Mac to make this work. It's a slow codec, contrary to it claiming to be "one of the fastest". I wanted to like it, being an option on Mac, Windows, and Linux, but it was just too buggy for my liking.

Given what I've seen in the past 30 years, with niche codecs, codecs being abandoned, forced obsolesence, I don't like anything but Huffyuv and ProRes422 for capture archive. FFV1 is the current fad, Lagarith is barely hanging on, UtVideo is more and more being forgotten, etc

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  #3  
08-06-2020, 04:29 PM
renkema renkema is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Some years ago, Perian allowed Mac/Quicktime to read Huffyuv. But Apple did something that broke it. It still works fine, on older OS X systems with older Quicktime.
this might be an option as I'm working with an older version of OSX (10.7.5) with the installs of MC and ProTools on the machine being at least 8-10 years old. been stuck inside the Mac from Pinnacle to Avid LP and now MC...so maybe time to move back to the PC world.

As you suggested, I changed the ProRes setting to highest quality on the slider scale and that generated a file at least from a size point of view at about 98% of the HuffYUV original. Havent viewed yet but hopefully its much closer to the original.

Thanks for helping push this along.
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  #4  
08-06-2020, 04:36 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
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Since using 10.7, try Perian first.
Download: https://perian.org
Scroll past that notice.

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  #5  
08-06-2020, 08:40 PM
cdisimone cdisimone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renkema View Post

to prep the HuffYUV file for Mac use, was advised to use the VirtualDub2 product on a PC (open the HuffYUV file, set the compression to Pro Res and resave, then move to the Mac). It worked (meaning I was able to import the new ProRes file's audio and video into Media Composer).
Does this process bake interlaced video into a progressive file, or can this still be deinterlaced afterwards?
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  #6  
08-06-2020, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdisimone View Post
Does this process bake interlaced video into a progressive file, or can this still be deinterlaced afterwards?
You cannot bake interlace, it's simply set on decode.

Interlace is messed up when (a) resized, or (b) decoded as progressive. So don't do that!

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  #7  
08-07-2020, 07:38 AM
cdisimone cdisimone is offline
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Would you still recommend this approach if you haven’t captured yet? Meaning would you still use HuffYUV as your compression type in virtualdub if you knew your plans were to convert to ProRes and bring into the MAC world for editing?

(I tried capturing ProRes using Virtualdub2 but I get an error.)
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  #8  
08-07-2020, 09:47 AM
renkema renkema is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Since using 10.7, try Perian first.
Question on workflow before I attempt with the point being generational loss due to steps.

Currently the older MAC build has QT. However, the MC install cannot import the HuffYUV codec file as is (it fully imports but just shows a black screen). So how does Perian work as a go-between to address this beneficially. Point being, VirtDub is converting to ProRes for Mac use but that step has generational loss issues (even if slight). How is Perian different from a generational preservation point of view. does it somehow tweak the HuffYUV file so that it's generationally unchanged but now readable by the Mac?

Also, does Perian prep the file on a PC or do so within OSX?

Thanks
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  #9  
08-14-2020, 12:06 AM
Winsordawson Winsordawson is offline
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I do not know what the Pro Res levels correspond to in VirtualDub, but for an old VHS, HuffYUV to Pro Res 422 HQ will have minimal quality loss, given how large the bitrate is on the latter. It may not have been intended for analog video, but it seems to be the best you can do on a Mac.

I believe Perian made use of components of FFMPEG to play other formats. Perian does not work on newer Macs because, according to the Perian developers, Apple changed the architecture for QuickTime and the manner of implementing plugins. However, they did not release documentation on how to create plugins like this on the new architecture, so progress became too difficult.
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  #10  
08-14-2020, 05:33 PM
cdisimone cdisimone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renkema View Post
How is Perian different from a generational preservation point of view. does it somehow tweak the HuffYUV file so that it's generationally unchanged but now readable by the Mac?

Also, does Perian prep the file on a PC or do so within OSX?
Perian is a program for the Mac, not the PC.

I've also been playing around with Perian and trying to wrap my head around what it's doing behind the scenes. I got it working - I initially had some trouble installing it due to my security settings not allowing programs downloaded from the internet to install, although it wasn't clear there was even an issue at first. I temporarily changed my security settings to allow all programs regardless of source and reinstalled the Perian Preferences Pane from scratch, which automatically should install the Perian Component into the Quicktime Library. (Go to Library->Quicktime in your home directory and verify that you see "Perian.component" in that folder. If you don't, something didn't work.)

Once installed, it allows the Mac to read a file encoded with HuffYUV.

I tried opening an AVI HuffYUV-encoded file in Quicktime Player after I got this working and it didn't "just play it". It went through a long conversion process before actually playing the file, but it did eventually play. Before Perian, it just would give an error. When you go to close the file, it prompts you to save it. Out of curiosity, I saved it, and inspected the details after - The file size was significantly smaller and it had re-encoded the video using AVC MPEG4. It left the audio as PCM. I figured Perian would make the file playable and not have to re-encode it to do so... I don't know if something is not working right or if it's something I did, or just the way that it is.

I'm not familiar with Media Composer but I was able to open the HuffYUV AVI file in Final Cut Pro 7 and place it on the timelime with no issues. I was able to immediately play the file in the preview window without any type of conversion process. It had the orange line above the video track which I believe means it needed to be rendered, but I was able to play it immediately regardless. So it appears different things are happening based on where you try to use the file. Before Perian, I could bring the file into FCP, but there would only be audio. Video was just a blank screen.

I've been trying to get my own answers about this process but it seems it's not that common because no one has replied to my threads yet here or at videohelp. I haven't captured anything yet so I am trying to figure out the best codec to use before I even start.

Personally, I am not feeling very confident relying on Perian because I don't understand what's happening behind the scenes, if there are any conversions happening that I don't know about, etc... At this point I think I would feel more comfortable converting to ProRes on the PC before even bringing over to the Mac, provided the conversion process didn't do any noticeable damage to visual quality. I'd rather not have to do another conversion step, but until I can understand Perian more or someone can tell me "it's fine" (or until you can even get it working with Media Composer) I would feel most comfortable converting to ProRes.

If you get any more insight about this please let me know.
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