Latest post Fri, May 25 2018 1:17 PM by BenoitM. 7 replies.
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  • Wed, May 23 2018 2:37 PM

    Current state of timeline frameflex effects quality...

    Having read Michael Phillips' very interesting 24p article on just what Frameflex is and isn't doing, I'm still fairly unsure (four years later!) about it's abilities and at what point you are actually gaining full resolution pixels and at what point frameflex is simply resizing to 1080 (for example). Avid seems to have done a particularly bad job at informing users what the limitations are of this feature.

    From previous dicussions it seems that frameflex is only of any use when working with AMA linked media that is currently linked and has not been transcoded.  Seeing as barely anyone working in broadcast would dare to have a timeline full of AMA clips or mixdowns this seemed like a rather show stopping limitation.

    People noted that ticking the "apply transformations' box in the transcode dialog will resize the timeline frameflex effects to the timeline raster and then perform the moves which obviously means you've lost access to the full res pixels thus making frameflex totally redundant when you could have just used a resize effect instead. This was from a time when MC did not support larger than HD frame sizes as native i.e DNxHR had not been implemented.

    Now that you are able to transcode to source resolutions in the transcode dialog, has anything changed?

    Example:

    I have some GoPro footage shot at 2704x1520 (2.7k).

    I transcode this footage using Raster Dimensions = Source Dimensions in the transcode dialog box and I transcode to ProRes LT keeping the frame size of 2704x1520.

    Now I cut this 2704x1520 Prores LT clip in to my 1080/50p timeline where a frameflex spatial adapter is applied.

    I open this frameflex effect in my timeline and under the Size properties I click "Match Project Raster" which seems to reframe the frameflex effect bounding box to what would be the equivalent 1080p size frame.  In other words, what I hope it is doing is pushing in to the 2.7k image to the exact point where we are using exactly a 1080p section of the frame.

    I now come out of frameflex and the timeline updates with my newly zoomed in clip showing me the area I just selected.  

    I render this clip at DNxHD185X.

    Is this 1080p rendered timeline clip using the full resolution of the source? Am I seeing this push in at the sharpest it can be seen or has a resize taken place when I rendered the frameflex?

    Long story short, I guess what I'm asking is, now that Avid supports native codecs above 1080 via the DNxHR codec and other native third party codecs such as XAVC Intra, are we finally getting the full benefit of pushing in on a 4k clip in a 1080 timeline (for example) and still being able to work with native Avid media?

    Andi

     

    Macbook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, mid 2014) 2.5GHz Core i7 16GB 1600 MHz DDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048MB MacOS Sierra 10.12.6 MC 8.10.0 Symphony option... [view my complete system specs]
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  • Wed, May 23 2018 5:22 PM In reply to

    • Marianna
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    Re: Current state of timeline frameflex effects quality...

    Hi Andi

    Why send this long post instead of simply trying it to get hthose answers :) The post from Michael Phillips dates from 2014 - and while awesome - there have been a few tweaks over time.

    Tip...

    When you do not check ‘apply source transformations’ the clip is transcoded by keeping its original size (all the pixels).

    Then, when used on the timeline with Frameflex, we do access all the pixels (2704 x 1520 in your case).

    Marianna

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  • Wed, May 23 2018 6:58 PM In reply to

    Re: Current state of timeline frameflex effects quality...

    Hey Marianna,

    Thanks! I realise that was a bit of a long winded post but I was basically looking for someone else to confirm or deny.  I have done my own testing but not having access to a decent grade 1 monitor currently makes it difficult to judge quality on a Macbook screen alone.  

    I've had a look at the editing guide manual and there is barely any mention of frameflex in it - 5 metions to be precise and none of them describe how it works or mentions what you told me above i.e that all the pixels are being used. I'd suggest it needs it's own section and a very clear explaination of under what circumstances quality is being maintained.

    I'd also suggest that probably a lot of people may be frameflexing an AMA clip and then transcoding to native Avid media and not realising that they have lost quality by doing so.  So in a way, your answer has proved my point, Avid loves to have us users figure it out but really, this information should be easily accesible and clear to understand and available in the form of an official Avid document (Still haven't seen an HDR whitepaper from Avid yet either?) and also within the application in the form of a pop up warning when you go to transcode a clip with a FF move on it.  

    Not having a go at you, you are basically a goddess around here and have helped me out with your replies many times over the years, but I will humbly suggest that something important like this should not just be left up to chance that every user decides to take time out of their day job to test Avids workflows for them.

    Andi

    Macbook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, mid 2014) 2.5GHz Core i7 16GB 1600 MHz DDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048MB MacOS Sierra 10.12.6 MC 8.10.0 Symphony option... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, May 24 2018 9:41 PM In reply to

    • Marianna
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    Re: Current state of timeline frameflex effects quality...

    Andi

    No worries.... and no offense taken.  Want me to create a case and have someone in support check it for you officially?  I can also do that on my end if this is something happening on a mac?

    Advise and I will.

    Marianna

    Director of Online Communities and Forums/Customer Advocate [view my complete system specs]

    marianna.montague@avid.com

    mobile 813-493-6800

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  • Fri, May 25 2018 9:40 AM In reply to

    • BenoitM
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    Re: Current state of timeline frameflex effects quality...

    Just to confirm Marianna's statement:

    I do this in multicam 1080 projects where one camera is UHD (3840x2160):

    1) link to the source UHD clips (MP4)

    2) transcode to DNxHR LB, Raster Dimensions="Source dimensions" (& "keep source's framerate"), Source scaling=full, apply source transformations=NONE

    3) edit confortably with these clips on the timeline, even on a modestly powered system, thanks to the low footprint of DNxHR LB (even at UHD res)

    4) perform frameflex resizing/repositioning on a clip by clip basis to reframe the shots (theoretically down to HD (i.e. 50% or "match project raster"), but I keep a 'margin' because the camcorder used is a bit noisy/soft, so I go usually down to 65% max. to maintiain subjective sharpness compatible with the other cameras (HD) in the TL). As Marianna says this is accessing the full resolution of the (transcoded) source clip.

    5) when all editing & finishing is done (grading etc), re-link to the source AMA clips

    6) transcode to the final codec; frameflexed clips are baked in at the timeline res with all the possible source resolution.

    I confirms it works just fine, even a few things could be improved (mainly when copying frameflex settings from one clip to another)

     

    With a more powerful system, the workflow could be changed to:

    - 2.new) transcode the (higher-than-timeline-resolution) clips to DNxHR SQ, HQ or HQX, Raster Dimensions="Source dimensions" (& "keep source's framerate"), Source scaling=full, apply source transformations=NONE

    - 5.new) no longer needed

     

    MC 2018.9 (Symphony option)/BCC 10.0.5/RED 5.6; BlackMagic Ultrastudio Mini Monitor (10.11.2.0); DELL Precision 5530 - Intel Core i7-8850H 2.6 GHz - 32... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, May 25 2018 10:37 AM In reply to

    Re: Current state of timeline frameflex effects quality...

    Thanks Marianna and no need for a case, I just wanted to have someone at Avid confirm with me.

    Cheers!

    Andi

    Macbook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, mid 2014) 2.5GHz Core i7 16GB 1600 MHz DDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048MB MacOS Sierra 10.12.6 MC 8.10.0 Symphony option... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, May 25 2018 10:54 AM In reply to

    Re: Current state of timeline frameflex effects quality...

    Thanks Benoit,

    Just a quick one to clarify your point 6 above - presumably you are transcoding to source resolution for the final transcode in order to keep the frameflex using all available pixels?

    In other words, relinking to the AMA clips, then transcoding to 1080 at say DNxHD 185 will leave you with the same problem we had before where scaling is processed before frameflex translations but transcoding to say DNxHR HQX with source dimensions will keep the correct frameflex moves AND still be using all the source resolution?

    So for a 1080 timeline, the wokflow should be:

    1) Edit with offline res clips set to source resolution and apply any frameflex effects to your timeline, using the full source resolution.

    2) Conform sequence.  Relink to AMA clips, transcode to online res codec eg DNxHR HQX keeping source dimensions.

    3) The frameflex moves should translate to the new high res clips in your 1080 timeline and use the full resolution of the source to extract your area of interest.

    4) Render your timeline and export/play to tape etc happy in the knowledge that you are using only the finest quality pixels for your masterpiece!

    Does that sound correct to you? 

    Andi

    Macbook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, mid 2014) 2.5GHz Core i7 16GB 1600 MHz DDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048MB MacOS Sierra 10.12.6 MC 8.10.0 Symphony option... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, May 25 2018 1:17 PM In reply to

    • BenoitM
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    Re: Current state of timeline frameflex effects quality...

    Hi Andy

     

    My bad:

    point #6 should read: render and/or mixdown instead of transcode.

    So you 'bake in' whatever geometry changes were applied in step #4 with all available pixels to the target resolution of your timeline (i.e. 1080)

    Step #5 is necessary in the first workflow, where I used a low-res (but full source raster) codec only for comfort of editing, just to recover the full source quality (the full source resolution was kept during step #2)

    MC 2018.9 (Symphony option)/BCC 10.0.5/RED 5.6; BlackMagic Ultrastudio Mini Monitor (10.11.2.0); DELL Precision 5530 - Intel Core i7-8850H 2.6 GHz - 32... [view my complete system specs]
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