Cineform vs XVAC intermediates in Vegas Pro

Cliff Etzel wrote on 4/17/2018, 12:13 PM

I'm looking for input regarding the pro's and cons of each file format for editing in Vegas Pro 13 (and future editions). As much as I'm comfortable in PPro CS6, it's getting long in the tooth and at some point it's probably going to stop working due to future versions of Windows 10 updates and I'm still on the fence about switching to Vegas Pro still.

I haven't really found a viable NLE alternative hence why I've stuck with my aged copy of PPro CS6.

I've been told XAVC works really well in Vegas Pro 13 but if I need to go into PPro CS6 for any reason - especially due to stability issues, PPro won't read the XAVC file format as it wasn't a feature at that time from Adobe.

I love the ease of editing Cineform and now that it's open source, that appeals to me but I also need to be pragmatic about how to integrate it into my post production workflow and with the Humble deal on Vegas Pro 14, I'm debating about the switch as I am in between projects and don't want to lock myself into the middle of a project in Vegas only to discover it chokes and have to rebuild from scratch either in PPro CS6 or Resolve (the latter I'm both investigating and resisting at the same time due to it's hardware specs which I can't use on my older laptop)

Yes - I've batted this topic around for a long time but I'm not happy with the direction Adobe has gone and I'm not impressed with their "new" features in addition to renting software only option.

I look forward to others input on this topic


Marco. wrote on 4/17/2018, 1:09 PM

Some advantages of CineForm are:

- option to include alpha channel for export
- more audio export options
- more frame size export options

Also, on my system playback of CineForm is better than playback of any of the X-AVC choices.

Cliff Etzel wrote on 4/17/2018, 1:24 PM

Thank you @Marco. My experience with Cineform has always been rock solid as well but others have said XAVC is more stable in Vegas Pro.

Another question then: Would you stick with Vegas Pro 13 or upgrade to the Humble deal's Vegas Pro 14? I'm hesitant to invest even $20 if Vegas Pro 14 isn't 'any better stability wise than 13

Marco. wrote on 4/17/2018, 2:22 PM

I can't tell how much worth an upgrade to VP14 could be. More stable than VP12 or VP13? I'd say no, while on my system, there neither is a stability problem with VP14 or VP15. But for sure this differs from system to system.

See the list of enhancements and new features of VP14 to see what you'd get for $ 20:

  • Added Smart Zoom, Smart Scale, and Smart adaptive deinterlacing to allow you to upscale clips for Ultra HD delivery (requires a supported NVIDIA, AMD/ATI, or Intel GPU).
  • Added a Vignette video effect.
  • Added support for working with high-frame-rate (HFR) clips.
  • Added hover scrub to the Trimmer for fast scrubbing.
  • Updated support for current BlackMagic Design hardware:
    DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G, 4K Pro, 4K Extreme, Studio 4K, SDI 4K, HD Extreme, Extreme 3D, Mini Monitor, and Mini Recorder.
    Intensity Shuttle, Pro 4K, and Pro.
    UltraStudio 4K Extreme, 4K, Pro, SDI, Express, Mini Monitor, and Mini Recorder.
  • Improved support for clips from RED ONE, EPIC, SCARLET, and WEAPON cameras.
  • Added Post lift, Post gamma, Post gain, and Dragon enhanced blacks controls to the R3D Decode Properties dialog.
  • Updated support for current AJA hardware.
  • Added a Resample mode drop-down list to the Video tab in the Project Properties dialog. You can use this control to set the default resample mode for your project video. To override the project resample mode, you can use the Force resample and Disable resample event switches.
  • Improved playback and editing performance when using a Dynamic RAM Preview cache size greater than 200 MB.
  • Improved gamma calculations for still-image sequence renders for 32-bit floating point projects. Now levels for 32-bit floating point (video levels) and 32-bit floating point (full range) with nonlinear gamma are more consistent with 8-bit levels.
  • Added a Group Video and Audio Events script (Tools > Scripting) to allow you to easily group audio and video events from an imported EDL.
  • Increased the top-end of the range of event Velocity envelopes to 1,000% to increase the maximum possible overall velocity of video on the timeline to 40 times normal speed (in conjunction with the Playback rate event property).
  • New artwork and icons for buttons and other interface elements give the application an updated, more modern look and feel.
  • Support for reading and writing HEVC/H265 files.
  • Native support for reading ProRes 422 files without the need for QuickTime.
  • Improved the Velocity envelope Set to functionality so that all points selected with the Envelope Selection tool will be set to the value entered for any of the other selected points
  • Added functionality for reading and saving project media tags to HEVC and ProRes media
  • Add new Velocity envelope presets (20% and 40%) to make working with high-frame-rate video easier
  • Greatly increased the number of scripts that can be shown in the Scripts menu
  • Added a general preference to allow users to enable legacy GPU rendering
  • Expanded the low-end range of the sharpen effect to allow access to softer values
  • Native support for reading ProRes 4444 files with full bit-depth
  • ProRes rendering capabilities including presets
  • Trimmer toolbar Add buttons and keyboard shortcuts now always honor the Trimmer in and out points
  • Hover scrub improvements have been made to support quantization, snapping, and showing selection
  • Support for reading HEVC hvc1 file variants
  • Added ProRes rendering options for 24p, 30p and 60p/I framerate.
  • Adjusted the horizontal tolerance for Trimmer window hover scrub to make it easier to add the selected area to your timeline without inadvertently establishing a new selection.
  • 10-bit rendering has been added for HEVC files along with new 10-bit render templates and the ability to create custom 10-bit render templates

For $ 20 this may be a lot if you would use some of these new features. But if you would not use them, not much left to make you spend the money.
On my system playback performs a bit better than it did with VP13 (maybe due to the tweaks they made for the VP13 RAM preview buffer). Also it may be you won't get some of the plug-ins and scripts for VP13 anymore. But if VP13 already satisfies all your needs you should be fine.

Cliff Etzel wrote on 4/17/2018, 2:39 PM

I couldn't find that info - Thanks! I just ordered :-)

Kinvermark wrote on 4/17/2018, 2:44 PM

Good decision. The money is nothing. It is your time that is valuable - either lost fixing problems or gained with an NLE update. As you said, cs6 is getting very old.

Musicvid wrote on 4/17/2018, 6:51 PM

Cineform will survive 5 or more generational renders without taking a hit. I don't know if xavc would hold up as well.