Archive for July, 2010

Parallels – “Clone” a Boot Camp to a VM

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Reading Avid DNxHS into FCP

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

I installed the (free) LE version of Avid’s DNxHD onto bothWindows and Mac, in order to round-trip between Sony Vegas and FCP.  Having received no responses to my threads on forums for Sony Vegas and for FCP, I tried Avid’s forums.

  • The “Avid on Windows” Forum:
    • PC MediaComposer to MAC FCP
      • Thread from August 2009.  Might well be out of date now.
      • If you export DVCProHD from your PC Avid you’ll want to check the “Use AvidDV Codec” box.  This will encode the file as AvidDV100 (which is Avid’s DVCProHD codec).  With the Avid codecs installed on your FCP system you’ll be able to read them.
      • Why don’t they mention DNxHD ?
  • The “Avid on Mac” Forum:
    • Search on [fcp dnxhd]
        • Error while loading DNxHD QT .mov into FCP
        • Someone with same issue as me: they rendered from Sony Vegas to DNxHD to import to FCP, and the media wasn’t recognized.
        • Thus far, that thread is inconclusive, with suspicions focussing on the precise format settings etc. and the fact that the media was rendered from Sony Vegas (as I guess the latter is relatively “unknown territory” to the Avid/DNxHD folks).
        • I copied this info (& thread link) to the Sony Vegas forum  Useful replies:
          • …a smalll but critical point; the codec DNxHD does all the encoding of the video stream, vegas does not touch the encoding process. At most, vegas may update the file headers and starting meta data as it closes the file. If Sony has an issue it will be there, but I would question FCP file handling when it opening the file.
        • ?

Deshaker for VirtualDub by Gunnar Thalin

Monday, July 26th, 2010

I have used this for years.  Here are some things I learnt and re-learnt today, about and around it:

  • Deshaker’s main forum is
  • Deshaker is used as a plugin to VirtualDub.
  • VirtualDub can’t directly read XDCAM-EX files.
    • One way round this is to transcode to an AVI format.
      • I traditionally use Cineform (CFHD).  In Sony Vegas, when rendering-out to this from a 720p50 Project single XDCAM-EX .mxf file of 720p50 footage, the result when viewed in the original project has a weird effect where the image only advances every two frames.
        • This does not occur for larger Projects, reason unknown (need to experiment, but maybe ? it’s because because larger projects tend also to contain media in other formats?).
      • So instead on this occasion I render to HuffYuv.  Larger but lossless and no (obvious) issues.
      • After every such render, check for the “doubled-up frames” issue, e.g. in case accidentally rendered to unintended format.  Mistakes happen, especially when under pressure of long hours…
  • The result, from VirtualDub, can be saved to AVI formats e.g. Cineform (CFHD).
    • If saving to CFHD then be sure to specify RGB mode (in the codec’s dialog), this preserves the levels in 0..255 (“Computer”) range, otherwise (default non-RGB) it scales to 16..235, giving a washed-out appearance when viewed back in Sony Vegas.

DreamColor Monitor – Links & Snippets

Monday, July 26th, 2010


  • HP
  • Creative Cow
    • Article:
      • {Great article, including simple block diagrams of its internal processing-chain}
      • The HP DreamColor LP2480xz Professional Display was released in 2008, which raises the question, why do a new review in 2010? The answer is simple: even two years after it hit the streets, no oher 10-bit monitor looks this good, at this price.
      • …along with the monitor, HP offers the DreamColor Advanced Profiling Solution, which includes Windows and Mac software, and an HP-branded colorimeter licensed from X-Rite, the industry leaders in color science who are HP’s “Color Technology Partner.”
      • …this monitor has a few caveats.
        • You must use the $300 calibrator to truly color calibrate the monitor, and for the “DreamColor Engine” to work. In other words, in order for the monitor to display the proper Rec. 709 (or another user defined video color space/gamma) the monitor must get a true progressive signal, and it must be RGB.
        • The monitor is equipped with HDMI 1.3a, which supports 10bit per channel depth, but HDMI can be interlaced or progressive. Many capture cards and even stand alone converters might be HDMI 1.3a capable, but most of them will simply pass through the given SDI signal.  So, I now needed to track down the AJA HDP2 which will output both an HDMI 1.3a signal (via an inexpensive DVI to HDMI cable) and it will also output progressive images all the time as RGB (as opposed to Rec. 709 YUV).
      • …the HP LCD calibration kit … measures (among other things) the actual Red, Green and Blue values that are being projected off of your monitor. Then, after the calibration process is complete, the full range of RGB is then mapped to the Rec. 709 (or 601 or whatever you want) color specification and the monitor’s gamma is set to 2.4.
        • Why 2.4 you ask, when Rec. 709 HD has a specified gamma of 2.2?  Well … since this monitor was meant as a true CRT replacement, they measured some of the most well regarded CRT production monitors on the market, the Sony BVM series – and the gamma level coming off of those displays is 2.4, which is why they recommend setting the DreamColor’s gamma to 2.4.  If you don’t like this, you can select any gamma when creating a color profile, along with adjusting the color of the monitor based on the CIE color space. This, then makes the monitor infinitely flexible to your needs.
        • { Esp: I am confused still … is it the case that these monitors, including BVM, do not adhere to 709? }
        • Greg, one of the developers:
          • Regarding the 2.2 gamma. Certainly that’s the recommended gamma for Windows XP, but there’s no reason you can’t use another if you prefer. The key is to make sure you match what your target is. For example, after the initial release we tweaked the factory calibration for Rec.709 to raise the gamma slightly from the standard 2.2. The reason we did this is that we placed the monitor side by side with Sony BVM tube monitors and worked to match the actual response of the monitor. That resulted in a slightly higher gamma than 2.2
      • The only downsides are that any firmware updates have to be done by a computer running Windows, you can’t tweak sharpness, and calibration requires a computer with either DVI or DisplayPort, and a separate USB cable to attach to the monitor — but as a package and value, there’s nothing out there that offers what the DreamColor can do for this price.
    • Forum:
      • {Esp: This is a huge thread, many posts and pertinent points and useful answers.  Mandatory reading!}
      • Key HP guys there:
        • Greg Staten
        • Dan Bennett
      • What Input Signals it will Accept:
        • you can’t enable the LP2480zx’s internal color engine when the video content is interlaced. This is also true for YUV content. In other words, the HP DreamColor Engine is available ONLY for progressive RGB content. This is due to the architecture of the display, and the re-tasking of its electronics when content needs to be deinterlaced or converted to RGB.
          • Workaround: HP has seen good results with Gefen’s HDSDI to HDMI converter, which can deinterlace and convert to RGB in the box, thereby delivering progressive RGB to the LP2480zx display, whatever the format of the content.
        • …the DreamColor LP2480zx can accept a 2048×1200 signal … It will display a 1920-wide “center cut” of the source.
      • How to Update Firmware
        • (Full stepwise instructions are give, they are too lengthy to sensibly paste here, so will make it a fresh blog item)
        • it needs to be done from a Windows computer.
      • Red Tint:
        • …my Dreamcolor seems too red. Seems a very common complaint. Is this something the probe can deal with, or is it a manufacturing defect that necessitates repair or replacement?
          • Regarding the Red color, that isn’t a common characteristic of the monitor and it is possible that your monitor requires recalibration. You should be able to correct this with the DreamColor calibration probe.
          • And … the calibration probe and software can create a profile (software calibration) of a non-DreamColor monitor.
      • Profiles (ICC etc.)
        • If your system employs a dual link DVI video card it is capable of utilizing two separate icc profiles, one for each monitor
      • Advanced Profiling Solution (Calibrator)
        • Greg (HP:
          • The HP DreamColor calibration kit comes with a modified X-Rite i1D2 calibrator. Due to the very wide gamut of the monitor, we had to modify the calibrator’s firmware so that it could properly read the monitor’s wide gamut color primaries. (Essentially it had to be re-programmed to read a different base wavelength for each R,G,B primary.) Using a standard i1D2 will give incorrect results and wrong calibration.
          • The HP DreamColor probe can be used to calibrate other monitors. Since they have a narrower gamut, it is easy for the probe to operate as a “standard” i1D2 and calibrate other monitors. The HP Advanced Profiling software provides you with that option.
          • At this point the calibration software for Mac and Windows (developed for us by X-Rite) does not support any other calibrators. That said, we and our studio partners have developed an open source calibration tool for Linux called Ookala ( that can be used with either the DreamColor i1D2 or an X-Rite Chroma5. In addition, the hooks are provided to write a driver for different calibration hardware.
        • …how do you calibrate from a mac? i didn´t get mac software with the APS (Advanced Profiling Solution).
        • The APS calibration software will allow you to perform a calibration of non-DreamColor monitors. If you launch the software with multiple monitors connected or with a monitor other than the DreamColor connected it will allow you to select it for calibration.
          • That said, this capability does introduce a risk. It is possible to tell the software to do a standard software calibration of the DreamColor LP2480zx which I emphatically don’t recommend doing. When you are calibrating the DreamColor be sure to select it in the software – which you may have to do twice if you have multiple monitors connected (or have connected the monitor to a laptop) – otherwise you will not perform a hardware calibration of the monitor.
      • HP support is severely lacking.  The HP DreamColor Advanced Profiling Solution as well as the DreamColor Monitor are especially difficult to get tech support information about.
      • There are two specific format converters. Gefen’s, which is only an announcement on their news page at this point ( and Aja’s ( Which of these are recommended for sending an HDSDI signal into the DreamColor ?
        • The new Aja Hi5-3G converter sounds like it may work as well as the Gefen …
      • For HP’s tech info:
        • 1. Go to
        • 2. Search for “dreamcolor” in the upper right search box, click on the first link.
        • 3. On the HP Dreamcolor product page, in the grey box on the Right Side, click on “HP Support & Drivers”
        • 4. On the Support Page in the bottom section “Resources for HP DreamColor…” Select Manuals
        • 5. The Bottom of the manuals page has 5 white papers which have tons of great info about this monitor.
      • Q: I’ve got HP Dreamcolor monitor connected to MacPro via BlackMagic HD LinkPro (display port) to monitor FCP footage. I managed to calibrate the monitor using APS soft and the Xrite/HP calibrator. During the calibration the monitor is connected to MacPro via DVI cable and works as a computer monitor. Then I disconnect one and use BlackMagic to feed the signal. Is the calibrated profile stored in the monitor regardless of the signal source?
        • A: I believe that the APS color calibration profile is only used when connected via DVI and the Dreamcolor is functioning as a second (or third) computer monitor. As far as I know, as long as your Blackmagic HD is feeding the proper, progressive, RGB signal to the monitor, and your monitor is in the proper color space preset, you will have a correctly calibrated picture. The ICC color profile only comes into effect when the Dreamcolor is connected as a computer display.
      • ???
  • DvInfo (Forum)
  • Sony Vegas (Forum)
  • RedUser Forum (for users of the RED Camera)
  • ?

GigaBit Router

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

D-Link’s gigabit router, 802.11n (“up to 14x faster speeds* and 6x farther range* than 802.11g while staying backward compatible with 802.11g devices”):

Camera Artistic Techniques

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Camera Artistic Techniques (by Garth of Gold Coast Video Camera Club):

Camera Manual Grip Techniques

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

  • Elbows-in
  • Shoot sideways (with respect to to chest), back-elbow against ribcage.
  • “Create a Tripod With Your Knee” (bod-pod, as one responder called it)
  • Lie face-down (on chest) with hand flat or fisted under lens, to achieve requird tilt.
  • “The Machine Gun Hold” – cam-front/lens rests on upper-arm, hand of which grasps upper of other arm.  Awkward.
  • “Cradle”.  A sideways-shooting-mode, with back of camera on shoulder (?) and hands gripping cam from same side, at middle and back.
  • It’s best to see the pictures really!  At the above link.

Film & Theatre Educational Material

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Michael LoMonico’s tutorial on small-scale (e.g. serious student) film-making:

Michael is “the Senior Consultant for National Education for the Folger Shakespeare Library”. His course material provides a great overview of project planning (to deliverables), roles (Cinematographer, Director…), actor abilities/assessment, filming/camera technique and more.  The other UNITs cover for example the stage area terms.

The Zoom H4N Audio Recorder

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Zoom H4N Audio Recorder, looks great:

MacBook Pro System & FireWire issues

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Some issues:

  • Had a serious system-disk issue, where CHKDISK deleted corrupt unknown system-related stuff.   Windows still worked afterwards as far as I could tell but it was cause for concern…
    • Later, the Mac OS function keys became unresponsive.
  • The FW800 port only worked in Mac mode, not Boot Camp / Windows 7.

Some fixes:

  • As a potential fix to both issues, was advised by machine supplier to reinstall Boot Camp
    • Method:
      • Mac (machine): Run [Boot Camp > Windows]
      • Windows:
        • Use [Remove Programs] to remove Boot Camp
        • Use Mac OS system disk (from Windows) to reinstall BootCamp (was 3.0).
        • Check for any Boot Camp updates – get the latestone (was 3.1).
    • Result:
      • Function-keys fixed, FW800 issue remained.
  • As potential fix for FW800 issue:
    • A Sony Vegas forum post advised disabling Aero.
      • Result: No difference.
    • Web-searching and Vegas forum advised installing the free FW800 driver from UniBrain, allegedly better than the Boot Camp one.
      • Prior to the BootCamp reinstall, this was not possible – installation aborted.
      • Following the BootCamp reinstall, installation worked but FW800 drive not visible in Windows Explorer.
      • Tried a Windows Repair, in case it was not just the BootCamp that had been damaged (possibly by the serious system disk issue mentioned at the start).
  • Windows Repair & successive steps:
    1. Boot Camp: Repair the windows system (Windows 7).
    2. Check whether System Restore works now.
      1. Yes, when I set a restore-point, wait a few mins and restore to it.  But what if I reboot then try to restore?
      2. Seems hit-and-miss: sometimes Restore works, sometimes not.  Rebooting doesn’t affect that but system crashes/freezes e.g. as caused by FW800 failing, do appear to.  Uncertain, just rough observations.

iPhone Camera Enhancement: stabilization & wide-angle

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

The idea of the OWLE Bubo is to get better video from your iPhone. You place the iPhone into the provided silicone case; pop it into the Bubo and go. You now have wide-angle optics on your iPhone as well as a more stable grip.  Can also (reporte

The wide-angle is especially desirable since the inbuilt camera lens is too zoomed-in for most filming purposes.

Wireless Audio Kit

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Need better wireless audio kit.  Production Video provide good advice.  Also, to help gain familiarity, here’s a good-looking article on the Sennheiser MKE105S-EW:

Deshaker by Gunnar Thalin: Usage & Background Info

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Some good links:

  • Doom9 forum attended by Deshaker’s author (Gunnar Thalin):
    • Highly recommended, give it a trawl-through (allow an hour or so!).
    • Many specifics and clear explanations beyond the user manual.

Deshaker by Gunnar Thalin: Tips

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Tips from Deshaker’s author, Gunnar Thalin []:

  • Q:
    • Any recommendations specifically for vehicle, motorcycle in my case, mounted videos?
    • Are there particular settings that would work better for high speed movement? 
  • A:
    • I know a lot of people seem to be using Deshaker for those kind of videos, but it’s not really designed to handle videos where the camera “moves around”, at least not where it moves very fast. Deshaker can only handle panning, rotation and zoom. That said, I’ve seen some very good deshaked videos of that kind.
    • As always, make sure you’re using a high enough shutter speed, if possible. There shouldn’t be any motion blur in each frame.
    • Also, you would probably get *a lot* better results if the camera didn’t have a rolling shutter. But I believe most helmet mounted cameras today have a rolling shutter. Deshaker can remove rolling shutter effects but only if the shaking isn’t extreme.
    • I would also recommend trying to stabilize only on the most distant parts in the frames, since the “moving inwards”-effect is less there. You can do that by ignoring the other areas.
    • And turn off zoom smoothing by settings zoom smoothness to 0. You will also need to change the edge compensation type if you do that. Start with “None”, maybe.
    • Finally, you should probably increase the value for “discard motion of blocks that move > X pixels in wrong direction”. That’s to allow the blocks to move “freely” a little, since Deshaker can’t handle the “moving inwards”-effect.
    • But maybe you should ask someone who’s actually stabilized these kind of videos. I haven’t.

Glide-shots: Steady-Shot / Smooth-Deshake-Stabilize / SteadyCam

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Which is best?   Depends on the camera, scene and shot dynamics I guess.  The same point is queried at the following thread:

Some general advice from a computer-post-savvy author: definitely use the camera’s SteadyShot:

Limitations of post

  • Stabilization necessitates motion estimation and image reconstruction, which are extremely CPU-heavy, hence really slow to execute.
  • Most stabilization apps (in post) can’t currently cope with motion-blurred edges or parallax effects (though both should be possible in principle, by deconvolution and 3D modelling both informed from multiple frames).
  • For rolling-shutter-ed footage (e.g. CMOS sensors as in Sony Exmor as in Sony XDCAM-EX e.g. EX1 & EX3), there exist options to reduce the effect (don’t expect perfection, but may suffice):

My experiences:

  • Stabilizing Tools:
    • Gunnar Thalin’s Deshaker works really well.  And it is multi-threaded, really speeds up the process.  The author says it is more intended for handheld pans etc. than fast-shaking shots from vehicles etc. (but has nevertheless seen good results in such situations).
      • The author says [] to try “to stabilize only on the most distant parts in the frames, since the moving inwards-effect is less there”.  And “you should probably increase the value for [discard motion of blocks that move > X pixels in wrong direction]. That’s to allow the blocks to move “freely” a little, since Deshaker can’t handle the “moving inwards”-effect.
      • Possibly equally applicable to other smooth/stabilize/deshake tools ?
    • Boris’s Optical/Motion Stabilizer (in Boris Red 4.3.3 on XP) is only single-threaded and I find it slower, clunkier and less intuitive than Deshaker.  Has a Smooth mode, which is like the others here, as well as a Stabilize mode (try to keep frame static, no good for motion then).  The other tools can be configured to do the same thing.
    • Mercalli in Sony Vegas has no mode for 720p50 but otherwise is pretty good and very intuitive and configurable.
    • FCP’s SmoothCam Effect worked best for a challenging clip for wobbly-hand-held camera tracking close past an object (a Formula-1 car) hence huge degree of moving-inwards effect.  The default settings worked straight away.  The result quality was way above that of the other tools.  On the other hand sometimes it’s not the best (sorry, forgot the exact situation).
  • Cameras & Shots:
    • Historically, using a TRV33 DV HandyCam indoors (hence low-light hence long shutter time):
      • Way back in the past, using a (now ancient) TRV33 DV handy-cam (which has huge sensor margin i.e. spare pixels), when I shot big zooms to lecture audience individuals (e.g. question-time) I had the camera’s steady-shot (digital, not mirror) enabled  and used Gunnar Thalin’s Deshaker (VirtualDub plugin) also.  The result was astoundingly steady.
      • The same arrangement worked OK with hand or shoulder mounted cam for walk-throughs past nearby objects (e.g. walls, people, furniture).
      • An attempt to do the same thing without steady-shot enabled on the camera resulted in seriously motion-blurred edges.
    • Now, using a Sony EX3:
      • With camera Steady-Shot set to Medium, hand-held pans and motion past nearby objects seem to acquire a positional instability, as if the camera feedback mechanism needs greater damping. Maybe the camera’s internal mirror “suspension” has to be tighter (than the TRV33 digital equivalent) because it lacks the generous pixels margin of the TRV33?  or maybe something to do with the mirror’s inertia?  Or (real-time-constrained) processing-power?
        • Experimentation is needed with the camera’s other SteadyShot modes (High, Low).
        • In the absence of more generous sensor pixel margins, I wish it could be loosened-up e.g. to allow black borders (to crop in post) so as to permit smoother rides overall.

DNxHD & Windows/Mac Issues

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Gamma-shift issue:

    • “QuickTime movie, created with Avid on a PC, using the DNxHD codec. When I open it in QuickTime Player on a PC, the colours are fine, but when I import it into Final Cut on a Mac, the colours are a lot brighter- gamma shift”.
    • I have ProRes and DNxHD clips of the same thing on the timeline. When I switch from a frame in one clip to the same frame in the other clip, there is a very visible difference between the two. The DNxHD version is brighter and ‘milky’.  I’ve tried exporting DNxHD from Final Cut and it has the same problem as the DNxHD sourced from the Avid.”
    • “It’s the codec. DNxHD reports RGB values to FCP not Y’CbCr. Therefore FCP applies its internal RGB interpretation which causes the gamma shift you see.”
    • “Any non native codecs to final cut pro should be transcoded first through compressor; best way to check if the gamma has shifted is take an image with tonal ranges which vary over a gradient e.g. sky; look at the scopes in avid for the dnx file; look at the scopes in final cut pro for the dnx file; no guess work”
  • x

MacBookPro 17″ FW800 Driver Replacement (UniBrain)

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

On a MacBook Pro(17 inch, “5,2”), a FW800 connected drive worked fine from MacOS but not from BootCamp-Windows7.   From others’ advice, tried replacing the MS IEEE 1394 (FireWire, FW) driver.  Was initially skeptical, as I had not heard of that before, but others had recommended it and (according UniBrain’s own website), the drivers earned the “1394 Trade Association Compliance Logo”.  But it only made things worse for me.  Details of my experience:

  • Apparently (from web-search) there is an option to install a “legacy driver”.  Have not tried it, and won’t now, but maybe later.
  • Allegedly better option: UniBrain’s driver.
    • First install-attempt failed.
    • Wondered if AntiVirus (Parallels / Kapersky 2009) caused a problem, so temporarily disabled it.
    • Second install-attempt (no AntiVirus) worked!
      • Installer said it had finished OK.  Reboot requested and accepted.
      • Device Manager listed the “1394 Bus host controllers” as “UniBrain driver”.
    • FW800 disk read and write tests revealed worse if anything results than for the default MS driver:
      • Disk now not recognized unless connected during machine boot.
      • Write-test fails immediatly (as for MS driver) but now freezes the whole machine, requiring power-off (was aable to use system shutdown when using MS driver).

Windows 7 System Restore

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Windows 7’s System Restore utility (GUI): The .exe file and how to run it from commandline/script:

Bonjour (et “Au Revoir”) for Windows

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

On Windows I installed Safari (web browser).  The installer also offered Bonjour for Windows.  That is a service discovery app from Apple.  Like Safari it comes bundled with Mac OS and now it seems, is also availabe for Windows.  So is it useful or nuisanceful?  Unsure, I decided to play safe and not install it.  Here’s a deeper article on what it does/doesn’t do:

Migrate a Windows system to Parallels – manually

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Article about migrating an existing Boot Camp windows system to Parallels.  I’m guessing the method could equally be applied to manually migrating any windows installation (e.g. from another machine), as an alternative to the mainstream method.

Some background knowledge available here (from around 2007?):

Sony Vegas Forum Markup Editor

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Boris can’t do expressions – but doesn’t need to ?

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010  (a thread from 2003 re Boris 2.5)

  •  “As for expressions, well there is no real expressions in Red, but by using containers and precomps you can definately do some expression type of moves.”

Boris Stabilization/Smoothing (for a Sony Vegas project)

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Using Boris RED on Windows, mostly as standalone (Red Engine).  Today, wanted to apply it as a stabilizer.  Have done this a long time in the past, for AVI files etc., but this is the first time I have seriously tried to apply it to to XDCAM-EX footage, of 720p50 (intended for a PAL DVD 576i50 deliverable).   Summary:

  • Warnings:
    • Boris can’t be used in Sony Vegas for other than static effects, hence not for stabilization (a dynamic effect).
      • At least, not without a workaround of debatable overall advantage (explained under “More”).
    • Boris doesn’t recognize Sony XDCAM ClipBrowser’s “MXF for NLEs” format, but does recognize Cineform AVI (no need to be QT).
    • When altering any settings, Boris defaults to keyframing them.  Right-click the funny symbol and change it to Constant.
    • Have to double-check the compression settings, including the codec’s own dialog (their defaults are not always good and they can change “automatically”).
    • Boris can export 720p50 as QT-CFHD but, as far as I can tell, Sony Vegas cannot (it can only export such CFHD as AVI, though thankfully Boris can read that).
    • Boris doesn’t use multiple CPUs it seems.  Unlike DeShaker – of great advantage for such lengthy (CPU-heavy) processes.
  • Instructions (in Boris):
    • Delete existing tracks, drag-in the source file, de-select its tracks (audio & video), Menu: [Filters > Time > BCC Optical Stabilizer], select the Stabilizer track.
    • In Controls change Mode from default [Setup region] to wanted [Smooth], twirl-open the Stabilizer track, drag video track onto its Input Layer.  Also increase Smoothing Range from default (30 frames) to 1 or 2 seconds-worth (in my case 100 since footage was 50 fps).
    • Click Preview’s [ >>| ] “Go To End” button.  This causes motion analysis to begin.  Takes ages…  Likewise, don’t bother playing it…
    • [Menu: File > Export > Movie File].
      • Initially generate a quick draft to check the stabilization is as required:
        • Temporarily set 25fps, choose [Fast]
        • Select a limited region (I/O) for export.
      • Regardless, in compression dialog, if Cineform is used then select Quality = Medium (not Best or High which are overkill).
  • Links:


PC Windows <--> Mac OS X RoundTrip (Round-Trip)

Monday, July 19th, 2010


  • In Windows I export from Sony Vegas to AVI (CineForm).  In OS X I read the file into FCP and apply the SmoothCam effect, then export to ProRes.  In Windows, Sony Vegas, I replace the original file with the smoothed one.  The levels/gamma are wrong.

Solution (Search):

  • Sony Vegas forum
    • Use DNxHD
      •  Couple of tips re DNxHD:  709 color level assumes 16-235, and RGB assumes 0-255.
    • Force it back again:
      • But this presumably implies getting re-quantized twice (the roundtrip issue and the forcing), which for 8-bit footage I imagine could reduce the quality (banding).
  • Uncertainties
    • Where and how does this gamma get applied?  In FCP I didn’t (knowingly) alter the levels (eg until it looked right), I just applied the SmoothCam filter.  So I guess it would look wrong on the (pre-SnowLeopard) Mac but I wouldn’t care.  Wouldn’t FCP then export back whatever it got but smoothed?  This one is really confusing.    Experiments needed (when I get time…) I guess.

SpeedTools – disk speed test for Mac & Windows

Friday, July 16th, 2010