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View Full Version : Suggestions for workflow for windows?



olmy
08-12-2009, 05:30 AM
Well I have my GH1 camera now (thanks Crutchfield). I was wondering what others suggest for good basic workflow software for a windows pc, dual core 2 gig of memory that will not break the bank. Would Neoscene (to convert the AVCHD to 24p) and Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Pro work fine? Anyone has any experience with that combination or any suggestions.

bbinnard
08-12-2009, 08:54 AM
My system is a bit more robust than yours (i7, 6GB RAM, Vista-64) and I'm going with Vegas Movie Studio which is about $85. I also looked at PowerDirector (lower cost that Vegas MS) but it is not nearly as functional. Note that Vegas MS has serious problems with codecs. The only format I found that worked (worked = no crash while rendering) is the M2TS format. This is 1920x1080 video with 5.1 surround sound.

I did try Vegas Pro and it did not seem to have the codec-related crashes. But it's a $600 product and I'm just an amateur.

Ozpeter
08-12-2009, 03:17 PM
I've recently added PowerDirector 8 to my system (alongside Pinnacle Studio 12.1, Premiere Elements 7, and Nero 9) because it offers significantly improved timeline responsiveness compared to anything else I've tried - on my quad core 9300 system at least with a cuda compatible graphics card.

If I had to give a one-line summary, PE7 isn't happy with GH1 720p footage but is otherwise the most professionally featured app of these, Nero is great for fast simple lossless (not re-rendered) editing of 1080i clips, Studio 12 has the best output side, and PD8 has the best timeline performance needing no transcoding before editing. I tend to use the app or several that's best for the task in hand. Eg I might edit and output to AVCHD DVD using PD8, then transcode that to standard def using Studio (which gives a better looking SD output). But most people seem to go for Vegas, which I didn't personally warm to on brief acquaintance.

yabyum
08-12-2009, 05:35 PM
I use Vegas 9 but I have a more powerful system than yours. You might want to try it out and see how it runs for you.

Premiere Pro CS4.1 makes use of the video card for playback so it is much smoother. It's about 15-20% less CPU intensive on my system. That's probably your best bet.

bbinnard
08-12-2009, 05:47 PM
Even from the limited testing I've done with both Vegas Movie Studio and PowerDirector it is clear the PowerDirector renders much faster than Vegas MS. Both progras use all available CPUs but, as mentioned in a previous posting, PowerDirector also uses your graphics card engine if it can. I don't know if that is the sole reason it is quicker; it could be their codecs are more efficient as well.

Lindenberg
08-14-2009, 09:40 AM
Olmy,

I was curious about using the same work flow you asked about. It seems to me converting the AVCHD with Neoscene would place less of a burden on our slightly older PCs.

petersr
08-14-2009, 12:24 PM
My system is a bit more robust than yours (i7, 6GB RAM, Vista-64) and I'm going with Vegas Movie Studio which is about $85. I also looked at PowerDirector (lower cost that Vegas MS) but it is not nearly as functional. Note that Vegas MS has serious problems with codecs. The only format I found that worked (worked = no crash while rendering) is the M2TS format. This is 1920x1080 video with 5.1 surround sound.


bbinnard, I have the same hardware as you and Vegas MS did crash sporadically at 720p on long projects, but seems to be better when no other programs are running. Have you tried pre-rendering clips (I have not)? Other than this, rendering speeds on a 6GB i7 with Vegas seem pretty good.

bbinnard
08-14-2009, 01:43 PM
petersr:

Here's what I've found out about Vegas MS so far. Keep in mind I have only experimented with full HD resolution and no transcoding. Everything I have done has been within Vegas MS itself. Note also that currently I am only interested in rendering output that plays on my PC (via Windows Media Player) and on my HDTV via a Sony PS3 game console.

1. Vegas MS crashes or hangs when rendering almost any output format other than MTS2. I have no idea why this occurs. I understand transcoding could help this but that seems like a poor way to work around buggy software. My demeanor is to not do workarounds; I simply don't use things that don't work.

2. Using the MTS2 format I've been able to render successfully with both stereo and 5.1 surround sound. 5.1 is very cool indeed.

3. I've only done short videos so far that combine GH1 video with GH1 JPG images (also full HD aspect ratio) and some Ken Burns effects for the stills. I used a generated Cinescore music track with envelopes and this all worked OK when rendering to MTS2 format. I've used only simple fades between video takes & JPGs so far but plan on trying some of the fancier ones soon.

4. There is a trick to controlling the Vegas MS parameters that I found on an old Vegas thread here: hold down the Shift key when you click on Options/Preferences and the resulting window has a new tab called Internal. I used this to change the max # threads from 4 to 8 (since i7's have 8 cpus), I upped the buffer space to 2 GB, and I changed JPEG quality from 95 to 98.

I thought upping the buffer space to 2 GB would allow Vegas MS to render the other formats, but it didn't help. I just discovered that what I actually changed was the upper limit for the RAM buffer; the Preferences tab remained at 1024. So I need to change this to 2048 and try rendering again.

I did notice that my CPU usage goes to 100% when rendering. I guess this is what it should do. The overall rendering speed is slower than I had expected, but then I am starting from a base of 0 experience. Consequently the term "render farms" is taking on a whole new meaning for me.

One more note: If you use (4) above to tweak things you may cause Vegas MS to not be able to load. In this event use Ctl-Shift when clicking on the Vegas MS icon; this causes it to start with all default values, just like holding down Shift does with Office applications.

bbinnard
08-14-2009, 04:36 PM
In my previous post I said I was able to render to the MTS2 format. This was a mis-type; the actual format is M2T and it comes from the Sony Main Concept template.

petersr
08-14-2009, 11:38 PM
In my previous post I said I was able to render to the MTS2 format. This was a mis-type; the actual format is M2T and it comes from the Sony Main Concept template.

Thanks bbinard. M2T does indeed work well - rendering very quickly, but producing large files. Wmv and Mp4 seem to work OK in 720p for me though. The concurrent thread "Vegas Users need your help" has a nice link to http://eugenia.gnomefiles.org/2007/1...-for-vimeo-hd/ (http://eugenia.gnomefiles.org/2007/11/09/exporting-with-vegas-for-vimeo-hd/) with suggestions for the mp4 format settings. Interestingly, that link suggests that the reducing the max # threads to just one will reduced system crashes... I will play with your settings though!