SMPTE and VC-5

JCL_FilmsJCL_Films Website User Posts: 156
edited July 2014 in General
Hello,
So I have been looking at this VC-5 mezzanine compression standard that is based on the CineForm codec. SMPTE is now adopting this codec last I heard. If and when this happens, does this mean that we will have an open source compressed raw format like CineForm Raw? If anyone has any knowledge in this I would be interested.
https://kws.smpte.org/kws/public/projects/project/details?project_id=15
Thanks
:)

Comments

  • JCL_FilmsJCL_Films Website User Posts: 156
    edited June 2015
  • DreamArchitectDreamArchitect Website User Posts: 595 Enthusiast

    @SimonKJones Does Cineform work with hitfilm?

  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast

    I don't have any info on that either way right now, sorry - have mentioned it to QA to look into.

  • DreamArchitectDreamArchitect Website User Posts: 595 Enthusiast
  • JCL_FilmsJCL_Films Website User Posts: 156
    edited June 2015

    I am little confused as to what exactly this means though. Whether the VC-5 is a free replacement for the CineForm codec for all to use, or if it is just making CineForm the new standard and we all need to pay royalties to use it like before I don't know.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast

    @SRSStudios It appears as it's going to be free. GoPro are dropping the paid versions of GoPro Studio and the free version now includes a version of the codec with unrestricted resolution

  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast

     Right, I was a bit behind the times on this one. It is indeed on our radar but I don't have any details at the moment about when/if it might be supported. But it is being investigated.

  • JCL_FilmsJCL_Films Website User Posts: 156

    Thanks Simon and Aladdin4d,

    I am still researching this, but as near as I can figure VC-5 is not a codec but simply a standard that all future versions of CineForm will adhere to. It will be the CineForm codec that will be free to download and use (?). I wonder if other camera companies will be allowed to use the codec. Maybe the GoPro Hero 5 will have the new version of CineForm instead of H.264. That would be pretty awesome.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast

    Right VC-5 is now an open standard, not open source. What that means is others can now implement VC-5 without necessarily having to fork over licensing fees to GoPro for CineForm although they can still license it instead over developing their own implementation if they choose to. GoPro is making it available for free to the end user via GoPro Studio. In this respect it will be like Avid's DNxHD which is also an open standard, VC-3. 

    I don't know if any other camera companies have plans to use CineForm but they certainly can now much more easily than they could have before.

  • CedricBonnierCedricBonnier Staff Administrator, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 1,189 Staff

    To clarify what's been said before, HitFilm 3 can already import GoPro's CineForm encoded videos as long as you have GoPro studio installed (which is free).

    If you have some CineForm footage that cannot be imported in HitFilm, please send us a Support request with a link to the video you are trying to import.

    Regarding the fact that CineForm is now an open standard, it means that adding export to CineForm would be easier to do (easier, not easy). Whether this would happen I cannot say, but if a lot of people ask for it, we'll certainly look at it more closely / make it higher priority.

  • JCL_FilmsJCL_Films Website User Posts: 156

    Hello Cedric

    I think that it depends on whether or not FXhome or anyone else will still need to pay in order to use CineForm. If you still do, than I think MOX might still be a better option, even though CineForm has been standardized.

  • JCL_FilmsJCL_Films Website User Posts: 156
    edited November 2015

    It looks like you can now get the codecs for 3rd party exporting (with the exception of RAW) when downloading cineform studio. 4k at up to 12 bit color (if 4:4:4 really means 12 bit). Would this still be difficult for FXhome to bring the codec into Hitfilm? It doesn't look like you will even need to pay a fee.

    http://cineform.com/

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,262 Ambassador

    4:4:4 doesn't refer to 12-bit encoding. 12-bit, in this case, refers to using 12 bits per RGB channel of data, which gives each channel values of 0-4095 instead of the typical 0-255 of 8-bit color range. 

    4:4:4 is a "chroma subsampling" ratio. Basically, the eye is more sensitive to to luma (brightness) than chroma (color). The first number refers to how many pixels of luma information are stored per row of a 4x4 matrix. The second and third numbers to pixels of color data in odd and even rows, respectively. Typically, subsampling ratios are 4:4:4, 4:2:2 or 4:2:0. Cheap cameras (GoPro, DSLR) record 4:2:0. Midrange and broadcast cameras (Panasonic p2, for example) are typically recording 4:2:2. It's pretty much cameras aiming for feature films recording 4:4:4. It's a reason external recorders are gaining in popularity, since the external can grab the 4:4:4 image off the sensor before the camera downconverts to 4:2:2 or 4:2:0.

    Enough techie lecture. I totally agree that Hitfilm could use more export codecs, but also say that it's a little low-priority. Honestly with free tools like MPEG Streamclip allowing encode to other (4:4:4) formats off of Hitfilm-exported image sequences. Still nice to have. 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,262 Ambassador

    The following is a copy/paste of a post I wrote a few days ago about why image sequences are your best output format for Hitfilm video. I was comparing specifically to Uncompressed AVI, but the points apply to any video export. 

    will render significantly faster--each frame is a file that's written and closed, freeing up resources for render, where the AVI file is always being kept open and active. Image sequences also render faster than Mp4, Quicktime and direct YouTube uploads. Third, if something goes wrong on render (power failure, computer crash, render error), with the image sequence you can pick up the render where it left off--the AVI has to be redone from scratch. Fourth, while overlooked, image editing tools like Photoshop and Gimp can be used to batch process the output. There are cool things you can do with Photoshop that NO NLE does, but Photoshop doesn't like uncompressed AVI... Finally, I note that the big FX houses for TV/Film generally render everything as image sequences for the reasons I discuss above. 

    The bottom line is a PNG image sequence is your second-best quality Hitfilm output. Best Quality is Open EXR image sequences... But only if you are bouncing to another program for 16-bit/channel edits/grading. In every other case, PNG is the way to go. 

  • JCL_FilmsJCL_Films Website User Posts: 156

    Thanks Triem23,

    I see the benefits of using image sequences. I’ll start looking into PNG and EXR more.

    What I would really love is to see the Cineform codec in cameras. Even the latest 4k cameras are still striping the data down to an 8bit file (or the exact opposite with complete uncompressed raw). It would be nice to try to find a balance with the great technology that we already have. Sorry, I’m venting.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,262 Ambassador

    By latest 4k cameras, do you mean things like a BMCC or Sony A7s, or higher end cameras like an URSA, Arri or RED? 

    4K DSLRs and BMCCs are hampered by storage media. SD cards aren't good enough for the 200MB/s of Cineform and certainty can't handle the 800MB/s of uncompressed 4k. And these data rates are 24p!More than double if you're hoping for 60p slo-mo! 

    At these data rates you're looking at SDDs and CFast cards, and at 5GB every six seconds for RAW, that $200 256GB SSD is a minute or so of shooting time in uncompressed! There's a reason everything defaults to compressed formats. 

  • JCL_FilmsJCL_Films Website User Posts: 156
    edited November 2015

    Triem23,

    Thanks, that definitely explains the media issue, but I am seeing this breakdown of the Cineform data rates and 2k raw comes to about 15MB/s and 4k raw comes to 30-50MB/s.

    https://cineform.zendesk.com/entries/20000177-How-big-are-CineForm-files-

     

    I guess I am just finding it humorous that we are able to put more and more resolution on an SD card, but as soon as we want more color it takes a whole hardware overhaul.

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