Archive for June 30th, 2009

Faking PF24 Pulldown Removal with Vegas

UPDATE, November 2009: This method doesn’t work anymore, I am investigating why. It only works if you export at 960×540 instead.

Sony Vegas does not have a proper way of removing pulldown removal on PF24 streams, but there is a hack/workaround that can work just fine for some users. There are limitations to this “fake” PF24 pulldown removal, but if someone is willing to live with these limitations, the result is acceptable.

So, basically, by telling Vegas that this is HDV-24p footage (and if you run the Pro version, by creating an HDV-24p SMPTE timeline), it attempts pulldown removal. Because Vegas only supports pulldown removal from streams that have attributes (e.g. from Sony’s cameras rather than the consumer Canons), the removal fails.

However, if you drop the project properties *and* exporting quality to “preview” quality, Vegas drops a field and the pulldown removal is successful. Not only there are no duplicate frames used, but you get a clean output (no ghosting). In fact, the pulldown removal is frame-by-frame sync’ed to a Cineform’s pulldown removed version of the clip — which tells me that the timestamp output is correct. Not only that, but Vegas does pulldown removal even more correctly than Cineform (my Cineform NeoHD seemed to completely ignore and crop-out the last 4-5 frames out of a 14 sec PF24 clip, while Vegas didn’t).

Here are the advantages:
1. No need to transcode to any other format. You edit as you normally would, directly.
2. It’s the easiest method to deal with PF24’s ghosting.
3. Works with both PF24 from HDV and AVCHD Canon cameras (possibly the consumer Panasonics too).
4. Works with both Vegas Pro and Platinum (although the Pro has the additional ability to set an SMPTE 24p-HDV timeline).
5. Faster exporting at the end, at “preview” quality 720p. Will look just fine on Youtube/Vimeo HD or on PS3/XBoX360/AppleTV.

And, here are the limitations:
1. You can only edit/export in “preview” quality. This means that color grading, effects, and added text will NOT look as good as if you had used “best” quality to edit/export.
2. You can’t export above 720p. In fact, because the “preview” quality drops one field, the real resolution you get out of this trick is 540p. But upresizing to 720p from 540p, is not a big deal. However, you can NOT export in 1440×1080 or 1920×1080, or the interlacing will kick in, as shown in the images below.

Exporting in “best” quality will result in the default PF24 look when pulldown is not removed: ghosting whenever there’s movement in the scene.

Exporting in “preview” quality at full 1080p, interlacing kicks in, since the “preview” setting doesn’t take deinterlacing into account.

Exporting in “preview” quality at 720p (or 540p) does the right thing: no ghosting, no interlacing, and no duplicated frames. Pulldown is removed.

If you are good with these limitations (quality/resolution), here’s how to go about it:
Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Twitter Update for 2009-06-30

  • Sushi was great: tuna, salmon, halibut, eel, shrimp, mackerel, rolls. I would have liked more mackerel I think, or some red snapper. #
  • I was always good at climbing trees, but particularly bad at getting down! Fear of heights made me ask for a ladder a couple of times… #
  • Tomorrow I am shooting the TV interview. Hopefully I won't forget words when I speak, as it usually happens (in both english and greek)… #
  • Listening to "5th Avenue" by Dustin Shey. Nice atmosphere in the song. #
  • Reused my old iPod Mini as my indie mp3 player, and I use Songbird to sync these files rather than iTunes (I'd need more than 1 libraries). #
  • Cooked some carbonara today. We might have sushi tonight though… #
  • And apparently, I have some type-2 diabetes too — in addition to all my other health problems. #