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Old 03-11-2008, 01:35 PM   #1
msvideo
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Default HD to SD Downconvert via Edius, VirtualDub & Procoder Procedure - Perfect results

This procedure is only necessary for certain full HD cameras with high detail such as the Sony EX1/EX3 and similar. Also, is only necessary for footage with fine detail. Early generation HDV cameras such as the Sony Z1 or eg. footage of people against soft backgrounds that doesnt have fine patterns or diagonal lines will output to SD without noticeable flickering with Edius/Procoder built in scaler.

The purpose of this procedure is to get HD out of Edius, scale it down to SD without introducing scaling artefacts, flickering or zebra like patterns as found going direct from Edius to Procoder. Testing concludes the "resize" filter built into Virtualdub solves all scaling issues.

Unfortunately it is not too user friendly to install and get frameserving working for the first time. In the process of much web searching, investigation and testing, I have compiled a long procedure so I can repeat in the future which I share here. The procedure is less complex to repeat after everything has been installed and the first encode has been done successfully so dont be put off.

Revised 29/05/10 - If using Vista or Windows 7, Vfapi readAVS needs this workaroud to install:-
1. Open a command promt with administrative rights (type cmd in the start menu and hit Ctrl+Shift+Enter).
2. Navigate to the %SystemRoot%\SysWOW64 folder. (should be c:\windows\SysWOW64
3. Type rundll32.exe advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection C:\Your_Path\vifp.inf,DefaultInstall and you're done.
4. Substitute C:\Your_Path with the path to your vfip.inf, but note that you can't use placeholders like "*" to shorten the folder names or you'll get an error message stating the inf could not be found...

When everything went right, you'll see the VFAPI Reader Codec in the virtualdub video compression menu.


Revised 29/05/10 - If using Vista 64 bit or Windows 7 64 bit, do not download the 64 bit version of Virtualdub (no 64 bit canopus codec - you will get errors importing canopus .av). The 32 bit version of Virtualdub works fine under 64 bit OS's and works with the 32 bit VFW codecs on the system

1. Export Edius HD timeline to Canopus HQ.avi (default standard settings are fine)
2. Download Virtualdub http://www.virtualdub.org/index.html from http://virtualdub.sourceforge.net/
3. Extract zip file to C:\program files\virtualdub
4. Run auxsetup.exe and click on Install handler
5. Download VFAPICodecV105en.zip from http://www.digital-digest.com/softwa...0&ssid=0&did=1
6. Download ReadAVS from http://www.aussievideosearch.com/fil...nc-readavs.zip
7. Unzip both zip files to C:\program files\VFAPI
8. Go to that directory, right click vifp.inf and select install and double click vifpset.bat
9. In notepad, open and change ReadAvs.reg to this path "Avisynth"="C:\\Program Files\\VFAPI\\ReadAVS.dll"
10. Double click on ReadAvs.reg and allow the information to be added to the registry
11. Launch VirtualDub
12. Open video file – Open your CanopusHQ .avi file
13. Right click the video window to change view zoom to something smaller – 50% or so. This is the input window and should leave space to see the output video window to the right
14. Goto Video / Filters and Add Resize Filter, double click filter or select configure. Disable aspect ratio and change new size to 720 x 576 (PAL) or 720 x 480 (NTSC)
15. Default filter mode Precise bicubic (A=-0.75) is fine but very slow to render, try Lanczos3 (not much difference in quality but quicker to encode). Select Interlaced (very important to select the interlaced tick box)
16. File / Start Frame Server
17. The Framerserver name is not important – leave as it is and click Start
18. Enter a filename such as framerserve.vdr (make sure you type in .vdr)
19. Goto C:\Program Files\VFAPI and run VFAPIConvEN.exe
20. Add file – select the framerserve.vdr created above and click open
21. Change the output file location if you want, and click OK
22. Click Convert
23. frameserve_vdr_vfapi.avi should be created in the directory specified.
24. Launch Procoder or Procoder Express (Any version seems to work except Procoder 3.05 - see thread comments about black video. Earlier versions work fine. See post #31 - thanks to Barry)
25. Add video source frameserve_vdr_vfapi.avi
26. If interlacing defaults to Lower field first, change to Upper field first
27. Change the aspect ratio to 16:9 for widescreen
27b. Add a 709 to 601 color correction filter to the source
28. Add Target Preset – your usual MPEG-2 DVD preset or whatever output format you want

Voila! When complete, place the encoded file onto a SD Edius timline and view on an external monitor to check the results.

(Step 27b added to procedure - necessary)

After going through this procedure the first time, you can create desktop shortcuts to VirtualDub.exe and VFAPIConvEN.exe and keep the same paths and naming conventions - framerserve.vdr and frameserve_vdr_vfapi.avi overwriting the existing files from the previous time. The VirtualDub settings can be saved with “save processing settings”.

Let me know how you get on. Any comments or suggestions to tweak the procedure welcome.
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Main system - NX, Edius 6.52, Procoder 3, Intel Core i7-3930K, Asus P9X79 3.2 GHz overclocked to 4Ghz, Win 7 64

Sony PDW-700 XDCAM HD, Sony NEX-FS100E, Sony PMW-EX1, Canon 5D MKii, Canon 7D

Last edited by msvideo; 05-29-2010 at 08:20 PM. Reason: update
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:48 PM   #2
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Great post Mark, thanks for taking the time. I will try this later today.
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:15 PM   #3
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it works!
whaddayaknow
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:03 PM   #4
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Great post, it should be sticky until GV fix the scalling problem with ProCoder3.
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:31 AM   #5
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I don't think you really need VirtualDub in the mix, aside from being able to choose an arbitrary source file?

You should be able to feed ProCoder an Avisynth script as a source. Of course you'll have to modify the script for your different sources, whereas using VirtualDub to load the source will let you use the same exact script every time.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:23 AM   #6
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Mark
Just tried it after some problems, the output only had Black Video
After point 21 before 22 Convert add the following
"Deselect video output by VFAPI Reader Codec" and the video comes through.
Other than that looks good, getting better all the time
Regards Barry
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrassValley_BH View Post
I don't think you really need VirtualDub in the mix, aside from being able to choose an arbitrary source file?
It is the VirtualDub scaling quality that the "resize" filter produces that is the whole point of this procedure.

I guess you are saying to write a resize script in avisynth, fine if you know what your doing to write scripts that work and produce the best results. VirtualDub offers a WYSIWYG interface where you see the result of filters imediately and can experiment with trial and error. I dont see what benefit there is to using avisynth alone and cutting virtualdub out of the loop?

I used to use avisynth many years ago to framserve between Premiere and Cinemacraft since there are plugins for Premiere. I could not find any such plugins or ways of frameserving out of edius, thus avoiding the first step of exporting the whole timeline to a Canopus HQ avi. Please correct me if I am wrong - is there a way of frameserving out of Edius? (excluding the procoder plugin).
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Main system - NX, Edius 6.52, Procoder 3, Intel Core i7-3930K, Asus P9X79 3.2 GHz overclocked to 4Ghz, Win 7 64

Sony PDW-700 XDCAM HD, Sony NEX-FS100E, Sony PMW-EX1, Canon 5D MKii, Canon 7D
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluetongue View Post
Mark
Just tried it after some problems, the output only had Black Video
After point 21 before 22 Convert add the following
"Deselect video output by VFAPI Reader Codec" and the video comes through.
Other than that looks good, getting better all the time
Regards Barry
Barry
Where were you seeing the black video? Were you trying to run the frameserve_vdr_vfapi.avi file in the likes of windows media player? In such an instance yes black video, probably the VFAPI Reader Codec is not at system level available to all apps. Why some and not others, I dont know. In Procoder the frameserve_vdr_vfapi.avi file will run fine. On my system if you "Deselect video output by VFAPI Reader Codec" VFAPI reader takes ages to build the frameserve file. Leaving it selected as per default state, the frameserve file builds in a fraction of the time and following the procedure to the letter should work.

If your findings are different, suggest double checking nothing was missed in steps 8 to 10
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Main system - NX, Edius 6.52, Procoder 3, Intel Core i7-3930K, Asus P9X79 3.2 GHz overclocked to 4Ghz, Win 7 64

Sony PDW-700 XDCAM HD, Sony NEX-FS100E, Sony PMW-EX1, Canon 5D MKii, Canon 7D
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:22 PM   #9
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Mark
Yes I did try to run it in Media Player but that was after placing it into Procoder and also getting a Black video out, sound is OK
That was with a short piece around 14 secs
Tried both ways on a long piece 24 Minutes, the Black video persists with the VFAPI Video codec and without the video is not recognised by anything
Experimenting further
Checked all points, in fact restored XP to before and re loaded, checked the entries in registry with Regedit and they are there
If I Leave the VFAPI codec selected no frames are delivered but considerable "non A/V requests and considerable Audio segments are delivered are shown in the VirtualDub frame server
Black video with sound
Regards Barry
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GB GA-X58A-UD3R MB, i7 990X@3.99G, 12G DDR3 1600mhz Mem, Samsung EVO-250G SSD, ATI 6950OC @ 900Mhz, 2x24 inch LG Monitors
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:27 PM   #10
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I just ran Ronnie's "difficult" clip thru Marks set up, and it looks very very good, I was at the stage of thinking the EX1's downconvert was as good as it gets, but this is much better - completely usable!

Paul
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