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View Full Version : New Transcode Options: VoltaicHD 2.0 and ClipWrap 2.0



arceye
10-27-2009, 06:07 AM
Has anyone had a chance to test out the new versions of VoltaicHD and ClipWrap with Gh1 footage? Both claim improvements to their processing/transcode/wrapping layers, and I'd love to hear what y'all think of the new versions (especially ClipWrap, as it seems to solve the speed issue involved with transcoding by avoiding the actual transcode).

I'm something of a lurker on these forums and have been one for quite some time, as I jump back and forth between wanting a GH1 or a 7D (shocking, I know). In essence, I've decided on the GH1, but the only issue that's held me back has been the annoying transcode issues, both in terms of an Avid MC workflow, as well as a general time involved in getting the footage into a more usable format.

Thanks, as always, for all of the great info I've found here. Y'all have been a big help.

j.


bewillia
10-27-2009, 07:36 AM
does clipwrap work with avchd footage? i thought it was just an HDV utility.

arceye
10-27-2009, 08:12 AM
The latest version does AVCHD wrapping/transcoding and it specifically mentions 24p support. I haven't bought the GH1 yet, so I can't test it, but if it ClipWrap does what it claims then I'll probably stop waffling and just buy the GH1 in the next week or two.


Mark R.
10-27-2009, 08:56 AM
Interesting, but looks like it doesn't work yet with the GH1.

On this page they say there seems to be an "issue"
http://www.clipwrap.com/downloadtrial.php

'Known Issues
Issues rewrapping files from the Panasonic GH1 (no video)'

The video clip on the tutorial page looks promising.
Hope they can get it working with the GH1.

Mark R.

arceye
10-27-2009, 10:58 AM
Mark:

Wow... i'm a dumbass. i completely missed that. i saw a press release about clipwrap's new version and got excited about it. hopefully they can fix that issue. otherwise, voltaicHD's new version is supposed to be better in terms of both speed and quality, here's hoping!

Thanks again.


Mark R.
10-27-2009, 11:58 AM
There was some discussion here a while back that Volraic's quality was not very good because it used FFmpeg. The quote below is still on their home page.

"VoltaicHD relies on FFmpeg for part of the conversion process on both Mac and PC."

CineForm NeoScene might be a preferable option for you. ($99 or so?)

Park Edwards
10-27-2009, 12:59 PM
cineform > voltaic

arceye
10-27-2009, 01:21 PM
The issue I have with cineform is the workflow becomes a transcode-orgy to get the files into Media Composer. One has to output through neoscene and then run that file through metafuze to create DnxHD files. Metafuze only runs on PC, so I'd have to either go into bootcamp or run it through Parallels. Now, the other hit on VoltaicHD was that it was super slow, so even though there may be more steps to go the Cineform->Metafuze->Media Composer route, it may actually be quicker. I haven't done any tests yet (as I indicated above) but was wondering (hoping) that someone had a chance to run some tests on the new version of it.

thanks - again - for everyone's 411.


AdrianF
10-27-2009, 02:24 PM
I've been using Voltaic for some encoding and I don't see any difference in quality going to Pro Res than I would see through FCS log and transfer. Maybe there is a theoretical difference, but going on what I can see it's the same output.
The advantage with Voltaic is you don't need the Private folder, but the encode can be slower. I'll have to try the new version, seeing that it now has preview and clip trimming.

arceye
10-27-2009, 07:00 PM
Adrian:

Thanks for replying. I'd love to hear if you find a difference in time between the old version and the current version. What kind of time do you see in Voltiac processing currently? I've heard as much as 12x real time. I'm on a macbook pro running at 2.26 GHz, so encode times are important to me.

Thanks again.

j.

commanderspike
10-27-2009, 07:05 PM
Do those who've purchased Voltaic 1.8 get a free update to 2.0?

Nothing happens when I click update on mine ><"

AdrianF
10-28-2009, 01:28 AM
I tried updating yesterday, seems like there is a problem with their store. It's a free upgrade.


What kind of time do you see in Voltiac processing currently? I've heard as much as 12x real time. I'm on a macbook pro running at 2.26 GHz, so encode times are important to me.

On my MBP 1.8 first gen, it isn't as slow as that, I'd say around 1.5x-6x realtime, depending I think on the resolution of the clips and/or the codec I'm going to. It's definitely a little slower than FCP log and transfer, but nothing to write home about.

AdrianF
11-11-2009, 01:43 PM
For anyone who hasn't done so yet..
The new version of Voltaic doesn't add a significant speed boost, but it is fairly solid from the small amount I've used it so far. It's worth the update for anyone with the earlier version, as you can now set in/out points and preview clips ( albeit with dropped framerate ). A few new touches too for casual use, like joining the clips on encode are nice to have.

Hopefully Clipwrap will become GH1 friendly in the not too distant future.

justin-shedworx
01-10-2010, 11:58 PM
As far as we know, Voltaic on both the PC and Mac handle the GH1 just fine.

FYI, we don't use FFmpeg for the video conversion at all now. We go from H.264 to YUV straight to Quicktime, or Windows Media Encoder. This has given us some performance and quality improvements.

The speed improvements aren't huge - maybe 10x real time instead of 12x before.

Quality is a little better since we don't use FFmpeg anymore.

Its unlikely that Clipwrap will be able to support 24p pulldown, because you have to get into the individual frames to do that. So far Clipwrap (as the name implies) re-wraps the transport stream for the movie without touching the video stream - thats why its so fast.

philiplipetz
01-11-2010, 07:52 AM
While Voltaic handles GH1 files just fine, the quality does not match what I get with Neoscene. I keep eying Voltiac's ability to preselect portions for transcoding, but then I run a test and the degradation is obvious even to untrained eyes. Among other things, Neoscene converts to 4:2:2 color space so the colors look better and supposedly stand up to color grading better. Voltaic has been promising 4:2:2 conversion from the GH1's 4:2:0 color space, but they never produce what they promise. In a recent post they said that new features are much more important than having better color. Their target market is obviously the many uncritical people who will buy the GH1 and never use its full capacity. They do not care about critical use, or at least that seems to be what they are saying.

Tameside
01-11-2010, 08:34 AM
Also for the 1080i euro (25) do I select de-interlace and get full hd 1080 25p o/p?

Many thanks

Barry_Green
01-11-2010, 08:34 AM
But to be fair, Voltaic's file sizes are much, much smaller than Cineform's. Voltaic recompresses to low-bitrate MPEG-4, Cineform recompresses to high-bitrate wavelet. So they're not doing the exact same job. One inflates the file sizes incredibly, the other recompresses and loses some visual quality.

mkeep
01-11-2010, 10:33 AM
Is Voltaic recompressing the files even if you output as an uncompressed tiff sequence or something? When I first got it I tested all of the different formats and didn't see any visible difference between AIC and the uncompressed formats. But are you saying that it's recompressing anyway regardless of the settings? I just thought that the AVCHD was so compressed already that you don't really loose anything going to AIC.

justin-shedworx
01-11-2010, 04:18 PM
While Voltaic handles GH1 files just fine, the quality does not match what I get with Neoscene. I keep eying Voltiac's ability to preselect portions for transcoding, but then I run a test and the degradation is obvious even to untrained eyes. Among other things, Neoscene converts to 4:2:2 color space so the colors look better and supposedly stand up to color grading better. Voltaic has been promising 4:2:2 conversion from the GH1's 4:2:0 color space, but they never produce what they promise. In a recent post they said that new features are much more important than having better color. Their target market is obviously the many uncritical people who will buy the GH1 and never use its full capacity. They do not care about critical use, or at least that seems to be what they are saying.

We do have 4:2:2 choma interpolation on the roadmap, but we have put a number of other features in front of it - like AVCHD previewing and trimming. Our next step with Voltaic is to bring the PC version up to speed.

Its not that we don't care about more critical/advanced use, we have just given higher priority to features that are more often requested.

We weren't aware of the colour difference between Neoscene and Voltaic. We were under the impression that 4:2:2 just helped the colour grading workflow. At the end of the day there is only 4:2:0 colour in the AVCHD movies - the 4:2:2 conversion is just an 'interpolation' - you're not really increasing the quality of the footage. We will run up Neoscene and Voltaic side by side though to understand what you are talking about.

Thanks for bringing it up - we will revist it now, but we can't promise on timelines.

philiplipetz
01-11-2010, 04:58 PM
We do have 4:2:2 choma interpolation on the roadmap, but we have put a number of other features in front of it - like AVCHD previewing and trimming. Our next step with Voltaic is to bring the PC version up to speed.

Its not that we don't care about more critical/advanced use, we have just given higher priority to features that are more often requested.

We weren't aware of the colour difference between Neoscene and Voltaic. We were under the impression that 4:2:2 just helped the colour grading workflow. At the end of the day there is only 4:2:0 colour in the AVCHD movies - the 4:2:2 conversion is just an 'interpolation' - you're not really increasing the quality of the footage. We will run up Neoscene and Voltaic side by side though to understand what you are talking about.

Thanks for bringing it up - we will revist it now, but we can't promise on timelines.

thanks. with your suite of clip storage, clip transcoding, and clip blu ray burning your solution has potential that makes me salivate, but I need every bit of quality I can get. So thanks if you can give that to me with your other fine features. Also give us more control over the target bit rate in the conversion.

GMC
01-12-2010, 03:50 AM
But to be fair, Voltaic's file sizes are much, much smaller than Cineform's. Voltaic recompresses to low-bitrate MPEG-4, Cineform recompresses to high-bitrate wavelet. So they're not doing the exact same job. One inflates the file sizes incredibly, the other recompresses and loses some visual quality.

Thats exactly what I like about VoltaicHD (I am using the PC version) - the quality with regard to the small filesizes is incredible, and I can edit films on my dualcore laptop even in battery mode (slower harddrive, etc...).

Blackout
01-20-2010, 11:00 AM
I think Neoscene looks MUCH better. Sure, the file sizes are ridiculous, but i would rather deal with that than a quality hit right off the bat to already fragile footage.

Barry_Green
01-20-2010, 11:53 AM
And that is the exact tradeoff that's being asked for: you can have low cost and small file sizes by using Voltaic, but you won't get as good quality. You can get better quality (Cineform) but the file sizes will be much larger and the program costs more. Pick your preference.

Phil Seastrand
01-22-2010, 04:23 PM
If VoltaicHD would write back to AVCHD, wouldn't there be no quality loss?

Barry_Green
01-22-2010, 04:32 PM
Only if it output the file in its original format, without modification (the way ClipWrap 2.0 is supposed to work). But if ti did that, it wouldn't be able to strip out 24p pulldown, etc.

noirist
01-23-2010, 04:40 AM
I used NeoScene and VoltaicHD on Windows 7 to deinterlace and reverse telecine some GH1 FHD AVCHD footage of people running in a circle indoors. The clip is challenging to the GH1 because there is significant vertical and horizontal motion. The VoltaicHD conversion has no obvious errors. At "high quality", the WMV file is about 2x as large as original MTS file and looks okay. The NeoScene high quality conversion results in an AVI file that is 6.3x as large as the original MTS file and contains obvious transcoding errors in the first 10 seconds of the clip (ghosting).