Archive for the ‘FirstLight’ Category

Cineform and Alpha Channels

Friday, August 31st, 2012

The full (paid) version of GoPro-Cineform Neo (as I have) does support alpha channels.

(A colleague initially thought otherwise – but that impression turned out to be based on info from old forum threads)


Cineform Neo is now GoPro Studio Premium

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

This great codec has changed its product name once more.  I have GoPro/Cineform Neo installed and it said there was an update available.  But on the download page I could not see [Cineform Neo] anywhere.  A web-search revealed that it is now called [GoPro CineForm Studio Premium].

    • (<<about 78 days ago we said, RT @David_Newman)
      • First public beta for the new GoPro CineForm Studio Premium application that soon replaces CineForm Neo (PC version)>>
    • Neo and Neo3D are going away, to be replaced with GoPro CineForm Studio Premium (Neo level) and GoPro CineForm Studio Professional (Neo3D level.)
    • These applications incorporate much of the functionality of the older products in an easier to use new user interface that combines the conversion features of HDLink with the image manipulation of FirstLight.
    • As not all existing features are supported today within the new interface, FirstLight and HDlink will continue to exist for some time, although they will not be greatly enhanced beyond bug fixes.
    • Mac users will find the same for Remaster, with its key features moving into CineForm Studio (Mac and PC applications will be much more inline.)
    • All future enhancements with go into the new application, and today MVC 3D camera support has been added, with much more to come.

Cineform FirstLight: Interactive Grading for a Sony Vegas Project

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

The tutorial videos for FirstLight (linked in my previous post) made it look very simple.  And indeed it pretty-much is, but Sony Vegas introduces a “bijou problemette” (franglais) in teh form of its Video Preview cache, which lacks a corresponding “Clear Cache” button.  As a result, when I first tried using FirstLight with Vegas (10e), adjustments in FirstLight did not always show up in Vegas.  The possible solutions are:

  • In Vegas, set “Dynamic RAM preview (max) MB” to zero.  Then on each FirstLight change, just wiggle Vegas’s timeline cursor (playhead) at least couple of frames either way (moving it by just one frame is not sufficient).
  • Alternatively, if “Dynamic RAM preview (max) MB” is not set to zero,  then on the Preview window, try flipping between settings, like from Good/Half (my usual setting) to Good/Full.  It’s no good doing an open/close of that window or indeed changing its scale – these seem to have no effect on the cache.

Cineform FirstLight: Explanatory & Instructional Links

Saturday, August 20th, 2011


  • The main principle is great – the decoder part of the Cineform Neo codec has to do levels-mapping work etc. anyway as part of its normal function, and so getting it to do the grading at the same time just means altering its scaling factors etc., which in principle means using less CPU as compared to the grading being done in the NLE (post-decode).   Also fewer successive quantizations (hence better overall visual quality).  You can specify different sets of factors (hence grades) for different video files. There are also some “Movie Looks” presets.
  • Additionally it gives the ability to split the grading process off to another person (as the tutorial videos show) – a great extra bonus. By using DropBox (say) the two (or more) of you can work in parallel at remote locations, grading-updates appear automatically on the remote NLE. Essentially only a tiny shared grading project file is saved in DropBox, no need to exchange actual video files.

I’m currently trying it out on a client project (non-critical) in Sony Vegas.  I will post my experiences from this separately.

Sony Vegas: “Movie Looks” via FX Presets or Cineform-FirstLight

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Sony Vegas allows chains of effects (“FX”) to be built up, which can optionally be exported or imported as FX Presets.  Some generous people on the web have offered their own FX Presets to achieve “Movie Looks” (dramatic looks) of various kinds.  These are more about emphasizing different kinds of mood than achieving clinically pure or film-grainy image quality.  Further details below…