Cineform files have crosshairs

bjrohner wrote on 9/6/2013, 7:00 PM
I am using Cineform to save my video files and have for many years. Suddenly, when I place these files in the newest DVD Architect, they appear with a horizontal and a vertical line (crosshairs) on them. Makes no difference whether they are 720 or 1080, makes no difference what type of video I am trying to make (BR or DV.) The cross hairs do get rendered on to the final disk product. I use these same Cineform clips all the time in assembling video in VMS 12 with no problem and they play clean on screen in every viewer I have.

All other video types function correctly in DVDA so I want to blame it on Cineform, but Cineform says they never water mark any products and the cross hair is not a full time watermark at any rate. Also I can pull up Cineform files which are years old and have been use in older DVDA programs many times with the same problem. Got me stumped.


bjrohner wrote on 9/6/2013, 7:19 PM
After some searching, I found a old 3.0 version of DVDA among my souvenirs and loaded it up. The Cineform files work perfectly, both old and new which leads to the conclusion that it must be a compatibility problem in the 5.0 version of DVDA and Cineform. Any fixes would be appreciated.
musicvid10 wrote on 9/6/2013, 9:47 PM
"Any fixes would be appreciated. "

Don't use Cineform in DVDA. It wasn't designed for it, and letting DVDA render for compliant DVD and BluRay is done without any controls whatsoever!

Render compliant DVD Architect video and audio files first, and your life (and free time) will be greatly improved.
videoITguy wrote on 9/6/2013, 10:05 PM
AFAIK, Cineform in its latest third-party form is NEVER acceptable by SCS DVDAPro product line. You may be able to load early versions of SCS sponsored internal Cineform codec into early forms of DVDAPro - but I seriously doubt you want to do this.
bjrohner wrote on 9/7/2013, 4:47 PM
Thanks for the reply fellas. All I wanted to know was how to get rid of the cross hairs. There is absolutely no reason for DVDA not to do the trans-coding as promised and in fact it does for many, many types of video files. But someone at Sony has decided to throw a cross on the Cineform files which otherwise render absolutely beautifully. They need to fix it.

Trans-coding is/has always been a part of DVDA to enhance its usefulness. Rarely, do the video files not need some tweaking in the creation process, and rarely, will they pass inspection without being recompressed again by DVDA. You could not be advocating a double re-compression which is a function of the square in quality loss.

Sony introduced the VMS-Cineform-DVDA process many years ago. Since that time to date I have produced hundreds of beautiful videos in my business by using this simple and straight-forward process. The results in head to head observations are far superior and much simpler than what you are suggesting.

We store our clips as cineform so they can be updated and modernized many times without major loss of quality. Until now to make a custom video utilizing many such stored clips we needed to only arrange them in DVDA. With this new Sony fiasco, we must render new video and audio files for each clip (eating up hours of time), transfer these to DVDA, and remember to delete them afterwards as they are essentially worthless as archives, hardly a fast or efficient way of doing things.

Thanks again for your responses.
musicvid10 wrote on 9/7/2013, 4:50 PM
Get it right in Vegas, where you have a robust set of controls, thus recompression becomes unnecessary. DVDA has no responsibility to support third party codecs, nor is such support universal.

Rendering in DVDA is for soccer moms.

Don't use DVDA Pro 6. It is bug-ridden and provides no useful improvements for the vast majority of users.

videoITguy wrote on 9/7/2013, 5:46 PM
bjrohner, Not sure what versions of DVDApro you have been using over the years, but traditionally DVDAPro has been built as a companion to VegasPro and IS NOT a good prospect as it's own transcoder. How you ever got a different impression than this over the process, is well I believe kind of askew.

I suggest for example a comparison to the Adobe Premiere and Encore product development. Unlike the SCS products, Encore was first billed as it's own capable transcoder- albeit, with fair warnings to the customer that there would be huge trade-off in using the software that way. Over the years Encore philosophy matured and had finally assumed more of the nature of the SCS product line.

In the current lineup for modern versions of VegasPro and DVDAPro there is really two acceptable video forms that one can use to move up from VegasPro product effectively - an elementary video stream or an encoded Sony MXF container fed to DVDAPro. Note that both are compliant Mpeg2.
bjrohner wrote on 9/7/2013, 8:06 PM
I did not mean to start any rhubarb here.

But, Yes MusicVid, I am absolutely guaranteed support of alternative video codec by Sony DVDA. It is what I by-god paid for over and over through the years. I have every right to expect each upgrade to be better and more functional than the last. Many of us have little interest in playing tiddly-winks with lossy and degenerated codec when solid solutions are at hand.

As quoted directly from DVD Architect Promotional Specs:
Import audio, video, and stills from an extensive range of formats
Supported Formats: Image: .bmp, .gif, .jpeg .jpg, .png, .psd, .tif, .tiff, .targa, .tga
Video: .avi, .mov, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .qt, .wmv
Audio: .aa3, .ac3, .aif, .ogg, .oma, .sfa, .vox, .w64, .wma

Does that or does that not say SUPPORTED?????

Videoguy; I've never needed more than the VMS package which is currently 12.0 and DVDA 5.0. They have all the capabilities I need to make fantastic presentations of our plasma research. Perhaps Soccer Mom is a good title but the money just keeps rolling in. Thanks again guys/girls. I am experimenting with your comments now since I have no choice.
musicvid10 wrote on 9/7/2013, 9:22 PM
"Many of us have little interest in playing tiddly-winks with lossy and degenerated codec when solid solutions are at hand."

You just don't seem to get it.
Every DVD video on the face of the earth uses the same "lossy and degenerated codec" you referred to! You gave it Cineform, you get back MPEG-2. That is the DVD Specification, no voodoo or tiddly-winks about it.

1. DVD Architect, when it must encode, does so only at 6 Mbps ABR, with 192 Kbps minimum BR. That is suboptimal (assuming there is some motion), so giving it Cineform to start is the equivalent of putting 95 octane in a flathead 4 cylinder pickup. IT DOES NO GOOD. Do you remember me saying "no controls?" That's the "soccer mom" factor.

2. AVI is a wrapper. There are as many flavors of AVI as there are jelly beans in a 5 gallon jar. Cineform has NOT enjoyed native inclusion in Sony Creative Software titles for many years. Therefore, its development and its compatibility (or not) with Sony applications does not result by any act of collusion OR GUARANTEES! Example: Put an AVI file using the x264 codec in DVD Architect, without first installing an external VFW codec, and see what happens.

3. I have no "rhubarb" with you whatsoever. You are free to continue delivering suboptimal DVDs, based on your belief that a lossless codec fed to a dumbed-down render engine will produce better results than optimized, compliant source files that won't need to be rendered a SECOND TIME, as you are already doing. By offering our help, videoITguy and I have no investment in you, only in the production art.

I suggest you follow the Knowledgebase Article linked above, and,
Best of luck.

videoITguy wrote on 9/7/2013, 9:59 PM
In my posts in this forum, I always qualify my remarks by noting my personal experience with SCS Products VegasPro and DVDAPro. Sometimes these remarks are not deemed applicable to the SCS poor stepchildren, the Movie Studio incarnations and similar. In some cases therefore, the reader will have to interpret how the comments apply to their situation.

Also would note that there is a lot difference by reading marketing materials produced by the marketing contractor of SCS and what the software code is actually built to accomplish. Since they are two different entities, there is a lot left to the " buyer beware" concept to be educated not by the box top, but through peer communications. I would certainly agree that in a good moral environment this is not the perfect situation. Just note SCS is as guilty as the next of these sins. On the box it says appropriate use with .wmv files - but what does that really mean? For heaven's sake, don't try feeding a highly compressed .wmv video stream when you have access to the original HDV footage. The marketing arm has a purpose to make the product generally inclusive, but one has to really understand the tech to get the value under the hood.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 9/8/2013, 3:08 PM
Not sure what version of DVDA you guys are using, but both my 4.5 & 5.x let me manually control the bitrate of the video/audio files it encodes. Biggest issue I've ever seen with the DVDA encoder is that it only uses a single core/CPU while Vegas mpeg-2 uses more.

I am absolutely guaranteed support of alternative video codec by Sony DVDA.

For the version you paid for. Newer don't need to support the same codec's, older doesn't need to support the same codec's. The codec also needs to be compatible with their software. If a codec is playback only, you can't render with it, or if it's render only you can't play it back.

But... if DVDA3 works for you, just use that. Solves all the problems right there (you'd save a LOT of encoding time by encoding to mpeg-2 right from Vegas though, and if you need to tweak something you'd have the advantage of smart render which results in no loss of quality).
musicvid10 wrote on 9/8/2013, 6:58 PM
"both my 4.5 & 5.x let me manually control the bitrate of the video/audio files"
Nope, if you're talking about the dropdown project properties, that is a bitrate cap, not a control. If the cap is exceeded, you will get a prompt to re-render. Not at all what one wants.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 9/8/2013, 8:16 PM
No, not talking about the properties.

Make DVD - > Prepare (I never burn from DVDA but I'd guess it's in there too) -> Next -> Optimize.

You'll have a list of media in your project. You can select one from the list. On the right side click the "Video" button and you have Estimated Size, Duration, Re-compress (gives reasons for re-compress if required) and re-compress settings. Click the little + and you have the option to use the project default bitrate or manually set your own. You can also select a new aspect ratio, resolution, framerate and field order.

I don't see a way to manually set the audio bitrate, you can change the file type of the rendered audio however (PCM, stereo AC3 or 5.1 AC3).
musicvid10 wrote on 9/8/2013, 9:43 PM
OK, never been there before (since I always provide compliant source), so now I see a slider for average bitrate only and a "fit to disc" button. Max seems to be fixed at 10 Mbps, and Min is unspecified, so it still comes in at grossly inferior 192 Kbps, right? So I'll stick to my guns -- useless without any control to reign in motion artifacting.

Regardless, it DOES involve re-rendering in DVDA, the least desirable of all possible scenarios.

TheHappyFriar wrote on 9/9/2013, 7:28 AM[IMg=][/link]

I never tried rendering most of my stuff in DVDA, so I can't comment on it's quality compared to Vegas. For all we know it could be better then, or as good as, anything from Vegas.
musicvid10 wrote on 9/9/2013, 8:31 AM
Sure. For a slideshow, without any motion, pan, zoom, motion effects, fades, or dissolves, it would be as good. I hinted at that above.
bjrohner wrote on 9/9/2013, 8:49 AM

I am desperately trying to learn from you regarding the use of MPEG-2 directly.

I don't know why you seem to have such poor setting available to you in DVDA 5.0. My bit rate sets up to 40Mbps which I believe is the maximum. Using this setting and my old way of converting, the ISO file size for 48 minutes of video was about ten and a half gigs. I was testing this using some old Logarith file.

The big problem I am having is that I have encoded using practically every Sony and Main concept MPEG-2 format listed in VMS and none will pass inspection. Short long big small makes no difference, DVDA5.0 always reports that it will re-compress. I must place several videos on a disc, and I must have a proper menu. Perhaps you know of something better?

Thanks to all of you for your help

musicvid10 wrote on 9/9/2013, 9:20 AM
You are burning a BluRay? So sorry; my response 9 posts up was tailored for DVD. I lost track of what you were doing somewhere along the line.

As a point of reference, A DVD video always contains MPEG-2; a BluRay can contain either MPEG-2, AVC/h264, or VC-1 (the last one is not supported by Sony).

I suggest using the appropriate Sony AVC BluRay video template, and either AC3 or PCM audio, to provide compliant files that will not recompress in DVDA, saving you a whole lot of time and an unnecessary rendering step which does no good. Again, refer to the Knowledgebase link I provided above.

Others also have success using the MPEG-2 BluRay template most closely matching your timeline source.

I'm not going to debate further whether DVDA "should" or "should not" interface seamlessly with any particular lossless intermediate; it is simply not necessary and I would view that workflow as a waste of my time at the very least.

I've suggest the most efficient and robust workflows I know for producing the best quality results from DVD Architect, with the least amount of wasted time, space, and redundant rendering steps. Sorry for speaking apples when you meant oranges, but the underlying workflow principles are all the same. Best of luck.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 9/9/2013, 9:22 AM
Are you making BD then? DVD's can't support more then ~10Mbps with video + audio.

The best bet to render from Vegas is to use a bitrate calculator to figure out what bitrate you should render at. I made several DVD mpeg-2 templates for different length DVD's. Ie one template for 2 hour, one for 2.5 hour, one for 3.5 hour, etc.

I found one online here:

So take the total length of all your footage (including menu times) and pick what kind of settings you want and it should give you the template to make in FILE -> RENDER AS. Make a new template for your mpeg's and render out that one next time.
TOG62 wrote on 9/9/2013, 1:23 PM
I suggest using the appropriate Sony AVC BluRay video template, and either AC3 or PCM audio

I think you need to use PCM to get compliant audio for use in DVDA Studio.
musicvid10 wrote on 9/9/2013, 1:53 PM
I recall that you are correct. Since the Studio software lacks the AC3 Pro encoder, the audio will be noncompliant for BluRay due to the well documented phase shift bug in the AC3 Studio encoder.
bjrohner wrote on 9/10/2013, 1:15 PM
After a lot of searching, I discovered that only the 60i and 50i MPEG-2 files are acceptable to DVDA5.0. I have no idea why or how but they are the only renderings the program will accept. Main concept or Sony. Otherwise the program gives you a warning than 24P is not supported and re-compresses the video. I am not kidding. I am alway talking BR here of course. DVD's are a slam dunk and have been for years and years. By the way, I notice someone talking about using image burn. Clicking the ISO file can send it to Windows 7 BR burner and verifier. Completely reliable.
musicvid10 wrote on 9/10/2013, 10:05 PM
The BluRay 24p video templates in Vegas work just fine for DVDA Pro 5, no recompression.
Project set up correctly?
Or is this another Studio "limitation"?
R0cky wrote on 2/27/2014, 2:20 PM
Any chance you opened the cineform file in First Light? You can put overlays over the video there that the cineform codec will render during decoding. The only way to get rid of them is to open it in First Light again and turn them off.