Frames randomly turn blue - long plea

DavidSSmith wrote on 7/20/2014, 11:37 PM
Video randomly turns blue for a frame or two when using image processing - Vegas 11, 12 and 13

A little back story:
I first asked for help on this issue back on SONY's site 08/24/2013 and started a thread a week or so later ( I got some clarity from this forum, but no real answers to my issues. I finally received a response via CSS Web on 10/04/2013--over a month after my initial post--saying I should just download the latest release, which I did. The ticket was then marked "solved" even though it was not. In fact, I lost the client because of this issue. I have not used Vegas for any "real" project since.

I start posting a project with a NEW freelance client this week (and I would love to use Vegas). And, I have to give my department chair an answer by Wednesday morning as to which software I want to teach in the Fall. So, unless someone can shed some light on this issue, I and my department (that's 25+ licenses, BTW) will be done with Vegas. I/We just can't afford to continue.

The Issue:
When I add any image processing (color correction, curves, pan/crop, etc.--either to the instance, track or project), I get a color shift in the footage for one to two frames. Mind you, this color shift does not occur on every clip with image processing. Instead, it occurs in random spots in the timeline on the clip(s) with any image processing. It looks like all the color is flipped (mirrored) on the Vectorscope for a frame or two. This occurs in Playback and in Renders.

If I turn off all plugin(s) or effect(s), the issue seems to go away. I have tried various project settings from basic templates (including Match Source Files) to creating my own settings. I have toggled on and off the GPU acceleration. Regardless of what I do, Playback and Renders are fine until I add image processing.

Some tests I've conducted include adding Pan/Crop, Color Corrector and Curves to a clip, parking the playhead on a "blue" frame and adding a "Mark" to that spot. I move all the clips on the timeline and the same frame remains blue. However, if I delete or trim a clip earlier in the timeline, rearrange the plug-in chain or toggle off a plugin the blue frame becomes normal. Yet, another frame randomly within the clip or on another processed clip in the timeline turns blue. I Mark this frame. I put the plugin chain back the way it was, toggle on the plugin(s), etc. and the first Marked frame is back to being blue and the second Mark is normal.

Another test is with Pan/Crop. I crop a clip from 1080p to 720p and position it in the upper left area of the clip. I then add the Color Corrector and Curves plugins. I play the clip and pause on the first blue frame I come to. I then open Pan/Crop and reposition/nudge the Pan/Crop 1 pixel in any direction and the blue frame becomes normal. I go back to the original position and it become blue again--every time.

The last test is rendering out the original clip (no processing) to another codec, placing the new clip on the timeline and applying image processing. I get the same results as above.

The same thing happens when I copy/paste the project into VP 11/64bit or open the file in the Trial version of Vegas 13.

My setup:
Vegas Pro 11/64-bit; 12/64bit build 670, 726, 765, and 770; Vegas 13 Trial, Build 373
System: Windows 7-64-bit; i7-920, 2.66, 8MB, Processor; 12GB RAM;
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD5800 series
Footage: 1080p - MOV; MXF and AVI (from Canon 60D; 5D Mark II, XF305 and some footage provided by the client--unknown amera)
I have all the latest video card drivers, system updates, etc.

I have, also, tested this on my day-job system. Unfortunately, it too is a similar system running Windows 7-64-bit; Intel i5, 8GB RAM; and an ATI Radeon HD???? series video card.

My Plea and Rant:
Although I have edited in countless NLE applications, I have been a loyal--almost evangelical--user of Vegas since Vegas 3.0 (circa 1999/2000). Everywhere I landed, either as a freelancer or a contract employee, I was able to show my supervisors what Vegas could do. As a result I have convinced a couple faith-based organizations, a state agency, a Fortune 100 corporation and a handful of design firms/agencies to switch to or use Vegas. And now, as an Associate Professor at a University, I persuaded our department chair (who has since personally purchased Vegas) to include Vegas in our curriculum. So, for the past six years I've used Vegas to teach editing fundamentals (juxtaposition, pacing, parallel action, etc.) with great results. Most students who struggle with other apps pick up Vegas really quickly, with many students purchasing their own copy of Vegas so they can edit at home rather than using our labs. I would not be surprised if some of them are on this forum.

That said, I cannot continue to use or upgrade, let alone recommend, Vegas or any other SONY Creative Software product if this issue is not addressed. This is not a threat or vitriol. It's a fact. Remember that thread I mentioned at the top of this thread... because I could not get an answer from this forum or a response via CSS Web in a timely manner, I lost a freelance client. I lost money--a lot of money. As for our department? My chair is asking me what software I want to teach in the Fall. I don't know what to tell him. The learning curve for Vegas is weeks compared to months with Premiere or AVID (and I'm an AVID Certified Instructor). My problem is I cannot afford for the software NOT to work. It would tear away at my credibility as an instructor and the integrity of our department.

As I said above, I start posting a project with a new freelance client this week and I have to give my chair an answer by Wednesday morning. So, unless someone can shed some light on this issue, I and my department will be done with Vegas. It would be a sad day for me if this happens. So, if you cannot help, please send this to whomever can help or give some legitimate explanation.

Desperately yours,


ushere wrote on 7/21/2014, 12:26 AM
well to state the obvious, the problem must be in the system - otherwise the boards would be lit up like the 4th july....

of course that's no comfort....

first, i note your footage is (mainly) from canon cameras - i have no experience persnally, but have read hereabouts of some 'problems' with using them in vegas. perhaps others will elucidate you regarding this matter...

have you tried doing whatever you're doing fx wise with say generated media - do you experience the same problems?

does this happen with all file formats?

what happens if you take known problematic clips and transcode to vegas friendly formats?

personally i would never put mov on my timeline, preferring to transcode to xdcam or similar.

i have taught video production at nearly every level, and agree with you, students pick it up almost intuitively as opposed to the protracted curves for both ppro and avid.

farss wrote on 7/21/2014, 3:17 AM
I think the most any of us can do for you is to try to reproduce the problem. To do that we're going to need your project and media. If you could upload a sample project and media file(s) as a bundle for us to download would help.

If this is possible then we can confirm if it is an unresolved Vegas bug or something to do with your system(s). Unfortunately none of us can fix bugs, only SCS can do that. I also doubt you'll get any satisfaction within the time constraint you're under. I'm somewhat curious as to why you let this issue linger for so long. I agree SCS support is quite reckless in the way they declare problems "solved" however unless we all keep kicking on their door nothing will change.

dlion wrote on 7/21/2014, 7:54 AM
try converting the offending clip to mp4 with handbrake, making sure that all settings match your source footage. if the hb mp4 works, at least you have a work-around.
musicvid10 wrote on 7/21/2014, 8:20 AM
It is so unusual, you could try removing one stick of RAM, then replace it and remove another, and see if there is a difference. Lowering preview RAM is something else to try.
PixelStuff wrote on 7/21/2014, 9:08 AM
If the RAM (from the above post) isn't an issue...

Have you tried disabling the graphics card acceleration?
Or dropping the Dynamic RAM Preview to zero?
Or temporarily swapping to an nVidia card?

If none of the above, and since it is happening on both your main setup and your day-job system, what other software, or utilities, or drivers are installed on both systems?
larry-peter wrote on 7/21/2014, 9:17 AM
It is a correct assumption that you have been primarily working in Vegas 12, but saw the same issues when copy/pasting from the timeline into a Vegas 11 project? Are you working in an 8-bit project or 32 bit floating point?

I think suggestions to look at RAM might be on the right track - although it could be a Vegas issue with RAM handling or buffer clearing as well as a physical problem.. I have only experienced this once - in a two hour project - and the problem started manifesting only after I reached about 1-1/2 hours in length. I was working in Vegas 11/64 bit in a 32 bit floating point project, and all clips were Sony 10 bit YUV. The first one or two frames of random clips would be either "reversed" in color vectors or missing a color channel.

I could render successfully if I switched to 8-bit in project properties, OR if I opened the project in Vegas 11/32 bit. 64 bit Vegas and 32 bit float would not work together in this one project.
tim-evans wrote on 7/21/2014, 9:59 AM
If you really have found this problem using two independant systems then my guess is that it is connected to the way Vegas decodes and processes the Canon mov's.

I agree with the trancoding idea. Vegas 9 was impossible working with these mov files beyond about 5 minutes on the timeline and I trancoded to mxf with no problems.To think you are going to get a solution from Sony by Wednesday is a pipedream... your best bet is to find a work around rather than a solution.
NormanPCN wrote on 7/21/2014, 10:14 AM
To think you are going to get a solution from Sony by Wednesday is a pipedream...

+1 there. SCS support solutions amount to
Reinstall Vegas.
Make sure drivers are current.
Uninstall other software.

If those do not work, then they have nothing else and tickets sit open forever unresponded to for months.

I was once asked, "As a troubleshooting step", to uninstall a Wacom pentablet driver. I do not own a Wacom tablet. They seem to throw darts at the wall.
DavidSSmith wrote on 7/21/2014, 2:45 PM
First, a huge thank you to all you've replied. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Now, to answer some questions.

1. I would love to share the project to others to test. However, signed nondisclosure makes that a bit of a challenge.
2. I agree, I think this issue is related to my system config., which is similar to what I have at University.
3. I have opened OLD projects and the issue did pop up--but not too bad.
4. I experience this with .mov, .mxf and .avi (basic NTSC-DV codec) formats in various codecs. So, I don't think it's a codec issue.
5. Although I would like to switch out video cards to an nVidia or Radeon R9 290, I do not have another card available to swap out.
6. Project Properties Pixel Format is set to 8-bit, not 32-bit fp
7. GPU acceleration is was on, now is off.
8. Dynamic RAM was set to 200MB, not set to 0

Now, I ran the same tests as mentioned before and there do NOT seem to be any issues. I did a quick review of the three clips of varying lengths which were showing issues and I cannot repeat them--either through playback or scrubbing. I have, also, opened the project that started the original thread last year and I have not been able to repeat them doing some cursory tests.

I reset the GPU acceleration to on and the Dynamic RAM back to the default 200MB. I ran the same tests as mentioned before and there do NOT seem to be any issues. I cannot repeat the issues in the old (original) or new project.

My Assumption... RAM!
Maybe by setting the Dynamic RAM to Zero Vegas released whatever "hold" it had on the faulty section of RAM. Then, when I reset DR back to 200MB, Vegas selected a new area of RAM to use that is fine. I'm not sure if that's technically how it works, but that's the explanation that works for me.

Thanks again to all who've replied and offered help. I will let everyone know if this issue raises it's ugly head again.

As a side note, are there any recommendations for apps that could test the integrity of the RAM? I have 6 Dual In-Line Memory Modules, 2G, 1066, 256X64, 8, 240, 2RX8. I have been so far removed from the troubleshooting-side of computers, I just haven't been able to keep up.

farss wrote on 7/21/2014, 3:25 PM
[I]" As a side note, are there any recommendations for apps that could test the integrity of the RAM?"[/I]

Yes Memtest86 which is free is well recommended. Letting it run all its tests twice seems to be the recommendation and that'll take a few hours.

DavidSSmith wrote on 7/25/2014, 10:43 AM
Well, the issue is back--sorta.

After resetting the GPU acceleration back to ON and the Dynamic RAM back to the default 200MB, I did not have any issue for a few days. Yesterday, however, a few random blue frames began to appear.

I put just the Dynamic RAM preview back to 0 and things seem to be fine--for now.

Again, I am assuming this is a RAM issue.

Thanks again,
Steve Mann wrote on 7/25/2014, 11:09 AM
Is the PC overclocked?
DavidSSmith wrote on 7/25/2014, 7:41 PM
It is not overclocked--to m y knowledge. I have not set it up (and, honestly, I'm not sure how to) and I didn't buy it overclocked.

musicvid10 wrote on 7/26/2014, 9:52 PM
Did you try to rule out the RAM by following my suggestion?