Canon 7D (HD .mov) footage slow and crashes Vegas

engineeringnerd wrote on 1/8/2010, 1:52 PM
Been using a Canon 7D that shoots HD .mov and Vegas doesn't seem to handle it well. Previews are extremely slow and choppy, which is somewhat expected, but Vegas continuously crashes after I get more than just a few clips in timeline or if I try to load more than say 5 clips at a time. I've tried 3 different computers (all dual core, 4 gig ram, and good graphics cards) and 3 different operating systems (XP Pro, Vista 64, Win 7) and all have same problem.

I can run CS4 Premiere Pro and although preview isn't exactly smooth, it seems stable and can handle large projects with many HD .mov clips.

Any tricks to make such files work with Vegas 8 or 9 more gracefully?

Comments

Wadro65 wrote on 1/8/2010, 2:05 PM
try updating your sata drivers. I just did and it fixed a lot of issues.
David Newman wrote on 1/8/2010, 3:48 PM
You could also try CineForm NeoScene, as it generally makes playback smoother.

David Newman
CTO, CineForm
pjrey wrote on 1/8/2010, 9:21 PM
having the same issue with the rebel 500D in HD movie mode...
it is SO slow.. (doesn't crash though)
lots of red frames...
i cant even edit it.. i am only using one track of video, no audio.. and its unbearable...
im shocked that 1, canon chose h.264 as the codec, and or 2. that nothing edits the h.264 codec! (without the help of 3rd party plugins/software)

pj
PerroneFord wrote on 1/8/2010, 9:51 PM
Why are you shocked?

Consumers demand that they can record 1, 2, 10 hours or whatever on industry standard memory technology, and it's got to be cheap or the manufacturers are just "goughing" people.

So the only 2 ways to do that right now, are h.264 or Wavelet. Wavelet is tough to do in camera because there aren't any encoding chips that I am aware of that do it in that kind of space. So they are left with h.264.

This of course becomes prblematic for NLE manufacturers because decoding h.264 is best done in hardware, but people are too cheap to buy decoder boards, so they have to struggle to do it in software. The more expensive programs can assume that the users have a decent graphics card (or they can demand one for compatibility) so they leverage it to decode. But the consumer based public wants a $100 NLE that can cut Hollywood movies, so there isn't going to be a hot card with a strong GPU in most of their machines.

The answer of course, is to transcode the footage to something that the NLE can handle, but then the consumer wants to edit the footage NOW, just like they did with DV (which is 1/5 the size) and they don't want to have to upgrade hardware either. It should all just work... Hey, they've got a dual-core and that was plenty fast enough before....

You want to edit this stuff? Fine. Buy an NLE that can handle it, buy a decoder board, or transcode. Or buy a camera that doesn't present these problems. But stop putting high bitrate h.254 video on the timeline. It doesn't belong there whether you're a pro or a newbie. It's a crappy editing codec.
DGates wrote on 1/9/2010, 1:50 AM
Well said, Perrone.

I shoot in AVCHD, and I realize that it's simply an acquisition format, and not meant to be an ideal editing format.
JohnnyRoy wrote on 1/9/2010, 7:04 AM
> I shoot in AVCHD, and I realize that it's simply an acquisition format, and not meant to be an ideal editing format.

Absolutely! Why can't editors get it through their heads that acquisition formats are not necessarily good editing formats? IMHO, anyone who owns Canon 5D/7D should own a copy of Cineform NeoScene. You acquire in your camera's format, transcode to Cineform for editing, and render to whatever delivery format you choose. That is the workflow.

The other reason for this is editing accuracy. H.264 uses interframe compression. That means only 1 in 15 frames is "real/whole" (given a 15 frame GOP). The rest are deltas and predictive frames which may or may not get interpreted the same depending on which direction you are playing them from (forward or backward) on the timeline. If you try motion tracking or other compositing thinking that a particular point is going to be at a particular place, you may get very surprised when you render your final output and see that the tracking is off. Editing with a intraframe codec like Cineform is the only way to do accurate compositing and tracking. I use Cineform for all of my work that goes out of Vegas into After Effects.

~jr
Rob Franks wrote on 1/9/2010, 7:28 AM
"The other reason for this is editing accuracy. H.264 uses interframe compression. That means only 1 in 15 frames is "real/whole" (given a 15 frame GOP). The rest are deltas and predictive frames which may or may not get interpreted the same depending on which direction you are playing them from (forward or backward) on the timeline."

This really shouldn't make a difference....(although I don't do h.264 from the 7D, I work with avchd mostly) and in fact I have few (if any) tracking/timing issues when editing in native format. All of these compressed-type codecs are uncompressed during the actual edit phase... THEN they're re-compressed to form the final output.

if you're talking about Vegas having to interpret the data while uncompressing... well... cineform or any other transcoding program must do the same.
JohnnyRoy wrote on 1/9/2010, 7:47 AM
> if you're talking about Vegas having to interpret the data while uncompressing... well... cineform or any other transcoding program must do the same.

I have had problems with SD WMV and MPEG2 so maybe because h.264 is HD and thus 5x the resolution of SD the tracking issues are much smaller. The fact remains that while Vegas uncompresses the image while editing, the image that it uncompresses might not always be the same one due to the interpretive nature of interframe compression (i.e., it has to interpret what the frame should look like based on previous frames except in the case of I frames). Just something to be aware of. I don't to any tracking with intraframe codecs anymore.

~jr
pjrey wrote on 1/9/2010, 11:12 AM
perroneford... how much you wanna bet that there will be plenty of application that will handle h.264 in the near near future (i bet vegas even will)
you make it sound impossible.. it not impossible... i just think they jumped the gun, people are going to be very frustrated.. im not talking about professional video editor (for they know of course, hahaha, its not an editing formate, you must recovert it, of course!) s, im talking about regular folk, hobbiest.. they will have issues.. and YES, they don't want to go out and buy a decoder board; why because their cheap? no, they don't do it enough to justify it.. the canon 500d is by no means pro, and i think they should have kept that in mind...don't do something, unless you can do it right... (that goes for products.. not creative endeavors of course!)
im silly to think i could have edited the footage, but my logic was, if vegas can see it, vegas can edit it.. not true, and i have leaned from all of this...
thanks for the feedback!
pj
JohnnyRoy wrote on 1/9/2010, 11:36 AM
> how much you wanna bet that there will be plenty of application that will handle h.264 in the near near future (i bet vegas even will) you make it sound impossible.. it not impossible...

Actually... it probably is impossible. You talk about h.264 like it is one thing. It is a specification that is so broad that no one can support it all. I refrain from calling it a "standard" because a standard implies that everyone actually agreed to do something a certain way. H.264 is what you get when no one can agree so you agree to do it um'teen different ways and call it a standard. There are subsets like AVCHD that minimize what needs to be supported, but there are so many profiles, levels, and features in all of H.264 that no one can support it all and every day some manufacturer is coming out with a new $99 HD camera that combines these profiles, levels, and features in yet another different way to cause their output to be unreadable by anyone but the camera itself and whatever unique software program it ships with. (this is what Perrone was referring to) As soon as the software supports it all, a new camera is introduced that does it different but still within the spec.

Just look at the tables, upon tables, upon tables in this Wikipedia article H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and you'll begin to appreciate what I mean. This article does a pretty good job of showing who's codec support which part of the spec. It's mind numbing.

H.264 is the "wild west". (Yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay) ;-)

~jr
Dreamline wrote on 1/9/2010, 12:02 PM
Sorry, but I own a 7d and I don't use Cineform and I will never. It sorta beats the whole purpose of going tapeless. Why save time from not capturing only to waste it on the transcode. Plus, the waste of disk space.

HD decoders will soon be built into cpus, so playback won't be an issue. The issue will be what do with your license of Cineform. By that time ULTRA HD will be here and most early adopters of HD will have to upgrade again in order to stay current.

If you have to transcode, use the vegas mxf as a proxy, not cineform. Don't waste any money on software that's not needed.
Rob Franks wrote on 1/9/2010, 1:50 PM
"Actually... it probably is impossible. You talk about h.264 like it is one thing. It is a specification that is so broad that no one can support it all."

Yes, i heard much the same thing years ago with mpeg2! Granted you are correct in that it IS the wild wild west with the endless h.264 variations out there which does complicate things a little. But i remember avchd and h.264 on the time line as little as 2 years ago. It was just awful.

We have come SOOO far in such a short period of time and in another year or so I bet the advancements will be even deeper.