[ANSWERED] Mavic 2 Pro - D-log, 10bit H265 conversion

TerraPiVi Posts: 5
edited January 2019 in HitFilm

Hi there,

A few weeks ago I bought a brand new Mavic 2 Pro from which I hope to get and maintain the best possible quality all along the editing process.

Using D-log profile for the wider editing possibilities, it can deliver 10bits MP4 files, but only using H265 codec.

I recently (and painfully) discovered that H265 compressed files would not be supported by Hitfilm. Is it quite irrevocable (I read there was an underlying fee matter, correct me if I misunderstood) or can we hope an update in the coming months ?

Secondly, in case the situation would remain as is, what could be the best editing process to keep both best video quality and editing performance ? I know I should select an editing format such a Cineform, but I must admit I am a bit lost at the moment when it comes to converting such files with Handbrake for example.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated !


  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,122 Enthusiast

    Even if Hitfilm supported HEVC/H.265 video you would really not like the edit performance of such files. HEVC is an extremely high overhead format and it is a safe bet that your CPU is not fast enough to handle them in Hitfilm.

    Cineform would be your best option for an edit format and it performs quite well in Hitfilm. VirtualDub 2 would be your best option to transcode to Cineform. Handbrake does not support Cineform or Prores output. Handbrake is designed to output playback formats and that is all they care about.


  • Great !  Thanks @NormanPCN for your answer (and I know you are the one I can trust :) )

    Just downloaded VirtualDub2 from the link you gave me and made a video conversion test : just awesome ! What was laggy and twitchy before with LUTs applied became completely smooth ; several videos put in parallel in the same timeline come to the same conclusion. Very impressive to see how a simple file format can entirely change the user's experience

    However I just have two more questions to ask about VirtualDub configuration (because answers very often call for other questions ! )

    1) In the Cineform options, there is a menu called "Pixel format" next to "Configuration", where you can find advanced settings regarding Rec709 for example. Does it make sense to change anything here and enable Rec709 ?

    2) The original file was about 1.3 Go and resulted in a 8 Go file after conversion, for a running time of 1.53mn. Anything I could tweak without sacrificing too much quality ?

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,518 Ambassador

    Not much. The simple equation is more compression=more resources to decode=slower performance. HVEC is very highly compressed footage. ProRes, Cineform and DNxHD are compromise formats between very high compression and no compression. This does require a larger file size...

    For some comparison, uncompressed 4k, 10-bit video is over 50GB per minute, call it about 105GB for 2 minutes. Your video is now about 8 GB for (about) 2 min, so a compression ratio of roughly 13:1 (my numbers are rounded, but I'd expect 12:1 on an intermediate codec, so, close enough for illustration).

    For 100mbps drone footage, roughly 750 megabytes per minute--pretty much lining up with your actual file size (again  I'm rounding here). It's a compression ratio of about 80:1.

    The responsiveness of the Cineform comes from the much smaller compression. You can try a lower Quality setting on the Cineform. Smaller file sizes, but greater risk of compression artifacts. For me, Cineform medium is great for 4k,but,from your file size, that's my guess for the setting you used.

    @NormanPCN is better with codecs than I  but that's a close enough discussion to be accurate.  

  • That makes sense, thanks for the explanation

    Just tried to encode the same video file with Cineform set to medium (was set to "High" for my previous attempt), which resulted in a 6.4 Go file, without any visible quality or editing performance loss.  Great !

    I am still wondering what is the point with this Rec709 option. If by chance some experienced Virtualdub user had a clue...

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,122 Enthusiast

    "Does it make sense to change anything here and enable Rec709 ?"

    No. Just keep the default which is not not alter the color space/interpretation of your source. VirtualDub will select a suitable pixel format default once you select the 10-bit Cineform YUV, or 12-bit Cineform RGB(A).

    Cineform Medium is the common goto recommendation for average camera, and technique, output.


  • Thanks again for all these welcome elements

    "10-bit Cineform YUV, or 12-bit Cineform RGB(A)" :

    Just for my education... What are the main differences and implications of these formats, technically speaking ? I guess there is no use choosing 12-bit for a native 10-bit video ?

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,122 Enthusiast

    Typically the Cineform RGB format is used because one needs to save an Alpha channel. Cameras never have an Alpha channel. Only Cineform RGB supports an Alpha channel.

    Even without an Alpha channel one might use the Cineform RGB format as an intermediate export/save of a complex composite scene to read back in and/or transfer to another edit program. RGB has no chroma subsampling. The subsampling is the 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 thing you see referenced with video codecs. The RGB save is less compression, so less loss, and thus bigger resulting files. Your camera is outputting 4:2:0 so the RGB format is overkill for a straight transcode.

  • NormanVCN, you should definitely be a technical formator. But maybe it is already the case :)

    Suggestion for moderators : I know the words of wisdom "Google is your friend" but as a lambda user, it would be so useful to have these knowledges all gathered in a technical database sometimes, without having to struggle putting all pieces together.

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,743 Ambassador

    @TerraPiVi Agreed that @NormanPCN is the resident expert on encoding.  I would recommend following his advice.  And I understand that it can be frustrating to get a handle on how to deal with video in HF.

    I also agree that we should gather best practices in one place.  An attempt was made to do that at one time.  If you click "All Discussions" at the bottom of the forum page then you will see several standing discussions parked at the top of the page (apologies if you knew this already).  One of them titled How to work with & edit video game footage in HitFilm.  is pretty long in the tooth and is overdue for an update.

    Another thing that can help is being able to search the forum using this technique:

         site:hitfilm.com/forum/ <search string>

    For example:

        site:hitfilm.com/forum/ motion tracking

    will bring up all sorts of discussions on tracking in HF.  You can use the same technique to search for posts by the same user, as well.

    Keep in mind that moderators are not staff but are volunteers and have limited management capabilities on the forum.   Tagging @GavinBarker and @Ady who are staff to look into creating a Transcoding best practices parked post/link. 


  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,122 Enthusiast
    edited January 2019

    We have a universal transcode thread that links to all the other transcode threads. It probably could be trimmed and cleaned and stuff like that. Like discouraging the DNx codec given current Hitfilm implementations.


  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,743 Ambassador

     Actually I think this link is more current (at least for Cineform) https://fxhome.com/forum/discussion/comment/122299#Comment_122299


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,518 Ambassador

    I should  of course  point out my own video:

    Which covers basics of codecs  MediaInfo and several transcoding tools, and links to the same threads listed by others above in its description. 

    This video is also due for revision, but the updated version is going to integrate @NormanPCN and @Stargazer54's notes on things like VirtualDub and FFMpeg (hell, the current version already integrated a lot of information I got from Norman and Stargazer54 and @Aladdin4d - steal from the best!), as well as discuss Handbrake's issues with 23.97/59.94.

    Actually, with Handbrake having those issues, GoPro Quik (or whatever the current software is) being useless, and MPEG Streamclip being long out of development the new video will really push VirtualDub or FFMpeg as transcoder of choice after I re-pick the expert's brains for their recommendations. 

    Norman, Stargazer, Aladdin since we no longer have DM on this forum, take that as an invite to recommend which transcoders I should prioritize in the updated video right here. 

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,743 Ambassador

     @Triem23 I would say VirtualDub2 64bit is the tool of choice to get you to Cineform.  So I would put that at the top of the list.  

    Also on a side note, I think Win7 is pretty much done as a platform for HF.   There may be problems ahead within the next year or so for users still on W7.   So recommend upgrading to W10 as part of the information to get out.

  • Palacono
    Palacono Posts: 3,423 Enthusiast

    @Stargazer54 Yeah, that's not going to happen at the users' end. The changes don't warrant the upheaval involved for the 1/8th of the supposed several million users of Hitfilm still on Win7.  It'll get outvoted by the dozens of other products that still require Win7 on their machines.  If they've not upgraded yet it's because they don't need to or want to.

    Just because someone managed to break one of the most fundamental parts of the Windows UI for the last two decades and made Hitfilm unable to respond to the minimise button is no reason to throw out a perfectly good operating system.

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,122 Enthusiast
    edited January 2019

    I would say for Windows that VirtualDub be targeted as a transcode platform. For Cineform of course but you can also do NormanAVC without the Handbrake framerate problems. In fact, I am going to put some VirtualDub screen shots for the settings in my AVC thread for VirtualDub.

    For Prores on Windows ffmpeg is maybe the only way. I have posted some sample drag and drop ffmpeg Windows scripts. Link in the transcode thread.

    FFmpeg is also a great way to do NormanAVC.

    There is some irony in that old versions of Hitfilm, pre VFR support, would not have a problem with the Handbrake framerate issue (alternating framerate). The fact that Hitfilm added VFR support but it is seemingly worthless is well, and sad state of affairs.

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