Best AVI codec resembling Blackmagic or Cineform

chap wrote on 6/2/2016, 5:21 PM
Hello-
I used to use Blackmagic as an intermediate codec for quick rendering from Vegas. Before that I used Cineform, now GoPro.

I can't find the Blackmagic codec anywhere online, nor a place to download the GoPro.

Does anyone know a good, low-bandwidth but lossless AVI codec that can be read by Vegas and Premiere?

If so, link?

thanks
matt chapman

Comments

videoITguy wrote on 6/2/2016, 5:46 PM
The current best multi-platform AVI container codec - Magic YUV.

But don't forget old favorites like Lagarith and there are many others....
John_Cline wrote on 6/2/2016, 6:00 PM
Personally, I use the UT Video lossless codec, it can be read directly by Handbrake. It is available for both Windows and MAC platforms. Like Lagarith and Magic YUV, it isn't "low bandwidth" but neither is any truly lossless codec. (Technically, Cineform isn't lossless.)

http://www.videohelp.com/software/Ut-Video-Codec-Suite
NormanPCN wrote on 6/2/2016, 6:24 PM
", nor a place to download the GoPro."

You install the GoPro software to install the Cineform codec. There is no Cineform codec only install. The GoPro studio software does not take up much disk space. GoPro installs Video for Windows (AVI), Quicktime and Directshow codecs.
John_Cline wrote on 6/2/2016, 6:41 PM
The Cineform codec is included as part of the free GoPro desktop app. It's a 187 meg download and installs a bunch of stuff you may never use unless you happen to own a GoPro camera, nevertheless, it's the only way to get the Cineform codec.

http://shop.gopro.com/softwareandapp/gopro-app-%7C-desktop/GoPro-Desktop-App.html
videoITguy wrote on 6/2/2016, 6:51 PM
The Magic YUV codec is mathmatically lossless with certain great efficiencies. If you are looking for a digital intermediate to survive many generations of compositing - this is the perfect kind of codec to have.

Many other good codecs like Cineform are NOT mathematically lossless BUT are able nonetheless to maintain very good visual presentation thru about 5 generations.
musicvid10 wrote on 6/2/2016, 7:13 PM
I'm with John Cline on UT.
I tested it against Magic yuv and found no difference in shadow / chroma noise, hyperbole notwithstanding.

Of course, the purest yuv codec remains our own Sony YUV, but if you're going to be making 4K or UHD intermediates, have a ton of storage space at your disposal.

The one no one mentioned is Avid DNxHD in MOV format, and it's right up there with ProRes and produces smaller files than Cineform, from what I've seen.

See here for some controlled tests:
http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/forums/showmessage.asp?forumid=4&messageid=769368

wwaag wrote on 6/2/2016, 7:42 PM
+1 Magic YUV. I've used both Magic YUV and UT Video. I get better preview performance with Magic. Also Magic YUV will smart-render, unlike Cineform whch requires a re-compression. Don't know about smart-rendering with UT Video.

wwaag

AKA the HappyOtter at https://tools4vegas.com/. System 1: Intel i7-8700k with HD 630 graphics plus an Nvidia 1050ti graphics card. System 2: Intel i7-3770k with HD 4000 graphics plus an AMD RX550 graphics card. System 3: Laptop. Dell Inspiron Plus 16. Intel i7-11800H, Intel Graphics. Current cameras include Panasonic FZ2500, GoPro Hero8 and Hero5 Black plus a myriad of smartPhone, pocket cameras, video cameras and film cameras going back to the original Nikon S.

musicvid10 wrote on 6/2/2016, 7:45 PM
UT is seamless with Handbrake. Is Magic as well?
wwaag wrote on 6/2/2016, 8:00 PM
@ musicvid10

You cannot (or least I can't) open Magic YUV files directly in Handbrake or Mercalli 4.

I remember now the primary reason for choosing YUV over UT Video. I do a lot of round trips from Vegas to avisynth/vrtualdub and I could never eliminate color shifts with the UT Video codec, whereas Magic YUV was pretty much spot-on.

AKA the HappyOtter at https://tools4vegas.com/. System 1: Intel i7-8700k with HD 630 graphics plus an Nvidia 1050ti graphics card. System 2: Intel i7-3770k with HD 4000 graphics plus an AMD RX550 graphics card. System 3: Laptop. Dell Inspiron Plus 16. Intel i7-11800H, Intel Graphics. Current cameras include Panasonic FZ2500, GoPro Hero8 and Hero5 Black plus a myriad of smartPhone, pocket cameras, video cameras and film cameras going back to the original Nikon S.

NormanPCN wrote on 6/2/2016, 8:24 PM
Handbrake should soon be able to open Cineform and DNxHR files since libavcodec/ffmpeg has received decoders for those recently. The Handbrake nightly builds might have that ability already.

I'm not sure what flavors of Cineform have been supported beyond 10-bit 422. Meaning 12-bit RGB(A) 444 and raw.
musicvid10 wrote on 6/2/2016, 8:25 PM
You are welcome to put in a ticket with libavcodec team and someone there may take an interest.
I got support for dnxhd hi10p in libav / handbrake, but it took about a year of sending tests back and forth.

Cineform will possibly never be supported in handbrake, because of licensing.

Spectralis wrote on 6/2/2016, 8:37 PM
I tried to buy Magic YUV by donating at Gumroad via paypal but the order didn't go through. Concerned this is some kind of scam. Why don't these developers just charge a fair price and set up a straight forward purchase system?
musicvid10 wrote on 6/2/2016, 9:28 PM
Well, it's one guy, possibly in eastern Europe. I don't know if that helps.
And really, lossless compression has been around for decades, resulting in politicalization. Nothing "magic" about any of it.
wwaag wrote on 6/2/2016, 9:32 PM
I donated $5 (guess I'm a cheap skate) sometime back via PayPal. No problems. Seemed pretty fair to me compared with the near $50 I paid for the MainConcept DV codec package years ago.

AKA the HappyOtter at https://tools4vegas.com/. System 1: Intel i7-8700k with HD 630 graphics plus an Nvidia 1050ti graphics card. System 2: Intel i7-3770k with HD 4000 graphics plus an AMD RX550 graphics card. System 3: Laptop. Dell Inspiron Plus 16. Intel i7-11800H, Intel Graphics. Current cameras include Panasonic FZ2500, GoPro Hero8 and Hero5 Black plus a myriad of smartPhone, pocket cameras, video cameras and film cameras going back to the original Nikon S.

malowz wrote on 6/2/2016, 9:45 PM
for cineform-like codec (lossy), i highly recommend Canopus HQ (now grassvalley)

it has VFW, directshow and Quicktime module.

I've been using for a decade I believe with no problems.

also, it's fully free ;)
wwaag wrote on 6/2/2016, 9:56 PM
another +1 for canopus HQ, a codec that I've used for rendering avi's with an alpha channel--a lot quicker and uses a lot less space than uncompressed avi. Thanks to Malowz and his registry hacks.

AKA the HappyOtter at https://tools4vegas.com/. System 1: Intel i7-8700k with HD 630 graphics plus an Nvidia 1050ti graphics card. System 2: Intel i7-3770k with HD 4000 graphics plus an AMD RX550 graphics card. System 3: Laptop. Dell Inspiron Plus 16. Intel i7-11800H, Intel Graphics. Current cameras include Panasonic FZ2500, GoPro Hero8 and Hero5 Black plus a myriad of smartPhone, pocket cameras, video cameras and film cameras going back to the original Nikon S.

Kinvermark wrote on 6/2/2016, 10:07 PM
I still really like cineform. Works well with Vegas and resolve. Plus you get really good "optical flow" slow motion for free! ("FLUX" technology.)
NormanPCN wrote on 6/2/2016, 10:38 PM
"You are welcome to put in a ticket with libavcodec team and someone there may take an interest."

It is already in libavcodec and thus anything that uses it like ffmpeg. Handbrake uses the libav fork that split off from libavcodec. They do keep up with each others changes but some may take time.

Anyway someone has posted such a note to HB. It all depends on when LibAv gets updated with the codec and when HB updates to use that LibAv version.

https://github.com/HandBrake/HandBrake/issues/55

"Cineform will possibly never be supported in handbrake, because of licensing."

Can you elaborate? Libav has DNxHD and Prores without license issue and the Handbrake developers do not strip these LibAv codecs from their compile of LibAv. I know the HB folks want to try and keep to pure GPL sources only. Zeranoe ffmpeg only builds a pure GPL ffmpeg and it has Cineform, right now.
NickHope wrote on 6/2/2016, 10:41 PM
Take a look at my post of 12/4/2014 6:19:35 PM on this thread. In my testing then, MagicYUV was a clear winner over the UT and Grass Valley (Canopus) lossless codecs. Rendered faster, played back at higher frame rate, smaller file size.
John_Cline wrote on 6/2/2016, 11:10 PM
"Handbrake should soon be able to open Cineform and DNxHR files.

Handbrake opening Cineform files would be great! I'm off to get the latest nightly build.

UPDATE: I can report that the latest Handbrake 64-bit nightly build dated 5/28/2016 does NOT yet handle Cineform files.
Wolfgang S. wrote on 6/3/2016, 3:57 AM
There is much wrong in the recommendations of this thread. For example, the Canous HQX is decoded in Vegas as 8bit only! Even if this codec is great in Edius, it is less worth in Vegas (where the Canopus HQ would be enough).

I do still not know if the Magix YUV codec is decoded in Vegas as 10bit or more. I do not use this codec.

But what I know is that Cineform has been implemented as native codec since Vegas Pro 6 - and is decoded as 10bit or even 16bit in Vegas Pro in a 32bit floating point project. The Cineform codec is available also up to 4K for free with the GoPro Studio application. And Cineform has also the advantage that is is implemented in Premiere too, so decoding in 10bit or more should not be an issue at all.

Sony YUV would be great too in terms of bit depth, but will deliver large files. The question is if it is necessary to work uncompressed at all.

Another possibility would be to use XAVC what is decoded as 10bit 422 in Vegas too and can be rendered by Vegas too. I do not think that Premiere will have here an issue too.

The Blackmagic codec will also not decodec as 10bit or more in Vegas, as far as I remember - maybe in the uncompressed version but not in the compressed versions. This codecs come into your system if you install a Blackmagic hardware like the Intensity 4K or Decklink 4K extreme. But I would not choose that codec due to the decoding issue.
larry-peter wrote on 6/3/2016, 8:00 AM
Performance-wise, Magic YUV has been the best lossless codec for me. Also, Cineform (not lossless) and Lagarith have both given me occasional black frames when dozens of their files were used in a project. I've had up to a hundred Magic YUV files in projects and never had a rendering issue.
Wolfgang S. wrote on 6/3/2016, 8:35 AM
And have you tested if Magic YUV is decoede with more then 8bit in Vegas?

I never have seen black frames with Cineform in Vegas. Maybe you should use the old trick and disable the GPU acceleration for the preview?
NickHope wrote on 6/3/2016, 1:59 PM
The freely available MagicYUV codec is 8-bit. The OP didn't say he needs more than 8-bit.