HDV capture questions

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  12 December 2007
HDV capture questions

Ive recently just purchased a HDV camera, the Canon HV20, and i have a few questions if i may.

1. Ive downloaded a few trial programs, to get in to the swing of capturing from the camcorder via firewire,

Adobe Premiere
Song Vegas
HDV split

and ive noticed that they all capture to a file called .m2t, is this a lossless format? ,do i have to set the capture to the resolution i want it to capture at? All the recordings are made in HDV 1920 x 1080, so will the .m2t file be 1920 x 1080?

2. When i want to use the .m2t file for compositing in After Affects is this best done via an image sequence? such as converting the .m2t file to image sequence first, and then loading that into AE, i believe when i capture the video in Premiere i can export as a tga sequence.
  12 December 2007
Hi Wheelie, you can try this free tool: CapDVHS
It captures directly in Mpeg2 and it is very easy to use.
  01 January 2008
--> wheelie: I personaly move to frames (tga or other), but it's my personal way of working.
Just out of curiosity, are you satisfied about hv20? I'm goign to buy it this month for personal and a bit of work as well.

--> Aritz : thanks for the program, very interesting thing!

Of all the things I've lost,
I miss my mind the most.
  01 January 2008
Thanks guys,

Halford, im very happy with the HV20, but its my very frist camcorder, so i really have no experience, but theres actually a HV20 forum


where you are able to view other peoples footage etc
  01 January 2008
M2T is a native format for HDV (if you can call anything "native" to HDV...) - yes, it's a comporessed format because you're shooting HDV to tape in the first place. If you were piping it directly from your camera to a hardware capturing setup you can get uncompressed HD from a number of cameras (I'm blanking on the HV20 specs - new ones come out almost every 20 minutes ;-)).

Works fine in AE and Premiere - versions CS3. Haven't tried Vegas, but it would surprise me if Vegas (owned by Sony - major pushers of the HDV format themselves) couldn't capture and edit M2T files as well. The resolution that will be captured to your computer will be full res - nothing gets downsampled, so it'll be 1080i.

I recently edited a short I shot with a JVC HD110 and the RedRock Micro setup - captured and edited in M2T files and it came out great!

Yes, feel free to export as a TGA sequence, but for regular editing and color grading you shouldn't need to unless you're planning on going down a few generations.

Hope this helps - good luck and have fun with the new camera!
-Lew ;-)
  01 January 2008
If you are going to be doing alot of AE I would definitely recommend exporting out the m2t into an I frame format, image sequence, HD avi or uncompressed AVI etc. You end up with large file sizes, so keep your edit clips short. That way your CPU is actually working on the effects as opposed to spending cycles translating the mpeg stream into something editable. Your milege will vary and is dependent on strength of your editing computer.Its a trade off between file size and editing efficiency.

You can definitely edit and color correct in HDV but every once in a while when you comp out from the sequence to another mgeg for DVD you will get anomalies. Not always but every once in a while. Trick is to comp out to an avi or mov and then convert to an mpeg.

I believe though that most consumer and prosumer HDV cameras shoot at 1440 X 1080 and then uses mathmatical trickery to resample to full 1920 X 1080. The upsampling pretty much takes place transparently so its not a setting you need to worry about unless you are doing some serious editing.
  01 January 2008
Thanks for the replies,

My current project is exporting an avi into 3ds max so work with, when exporting theres a whole bunch of avi formats to choose from, such as

Intel IYUV

etc etc

and which ever one i choose not only do i get horrible quality, but also huge files, such as 3gb for a 20 second clip, which i obvioulsy cant work with in Max, as its going to lag.
  01 January 2008
Render out a smaller proxy and use a file sequence, not AVI. 3ds Max tends to refuse Avis sometimes.
  01 January 2008
I guess the question that needs to be asked is what is your final format delievery?

No point in using full rez HD files if your final delievery is SD. Try down rezzing your HD file to SD size and them exporting it out. Will you be compositing something over it in 3DS or will you be using it as texture on the object. If using to texture you may run into a problem depending on how you composed your shot. If you used 16:9 framing then you down rez it will be letter boxed which will leave black bars on top and below the image which you need to take into account.

Just a thought you could use AE to set up a custom comp that would export out an irregularly shaped avi/ image sequence that takes 16:9 framing into account and reduce the over all video pixel count.
  01 January 2008
hmm, thanks for your thoughts,
  02 February 2008
Some one asked about the H20, its a great little camera, with the US version being able to dump out 24p (25p in the Euro version). The biggest issue with the H20 is that it has whats called a rolling shutter, which makes it almost impossible to get accurate 3d tracking from a shot. (from what I understand though its a common problem on CMOS cameras, Red being the exception)

  02 February 2008
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