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Anonymous
September 19, 2005 11:09:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I've been looking at a number of still animation packages and I've
been disappointed by their output options. I've demoed Imaginate,
ProShow Gold and JASC Animation Shop 3. The fist two are limited to a
maximum resolution suitable for DVD output. I will be displaying the
output files on-screen and via a high resolution projector, so I want
to be able to output to a higher resolution, usually 1280x960 or
1280x720 depending on the aspect ratio of the source material.

Animation Shop 3 does allow me to output to a very high resolution AVI
file, and the codecs it offers on my system are:

Uncompressed
Cinepak by Radius
Microsoft Video 1
Indeo Video 5.1
DivX 6.0

The uncompressed option obviously creates excessively large files and
I'm not sure that the other codecs are suitable for my purposes? I
want to be able to import the avi files into a video editing package
at a later stage, to mix with DV/HDV footage.

I'm wondering if there is a better package than Animation Shop 3 that
suits my needs, or could I use a different codec with the software? If
the later, I was wondering if MJPEG would be suitable, although I
don't know how to get hold of an MJPEG encoder.
Since I will be using the animations with DV footage later on, would I
be better off using a dedicated video editing package to create the
animations in the first place? Are there any packages that are
particularly suitable for this purpose? I think of video editing as
being limited in the range of resolutions that it handles, as it is
usually focussed on specific TV standard resolutions. Is this the
case or can I create custom resolutions?

I'm finding there's an awful lot to learn as a graphics newbie.
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 5:04:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

HS Crow wrote:

> I'm wondering if there is a better package than Animation Shop 3 that
> suits my needs, or could I use a different codec with the software? If
> the later, I was wondering if MJPEG would be suitable, although I
> don't know how to get hold of an MJPEG encoder.

You didn't tell much about the type of images you're willing to animate.
If you want to make an informed choice of a video codec, the general
characteristics of your images/animations need to be taken into account.
Are they continuous-tone photographs or cartoonish animation (large flat
areas of discrete colors) or what? High-motion or low-motion? Do you
have storage space concerns? etc.

I'm going to give you some pointers, anyway.

You can buy an M-JPEG codec here: <http://www.morgan-multimedia.com/&gt; or
here: <http://www.mainconcept.com/products.shtml&gt;. (There are
downloadable demo versions which you can try before you buy.)

If the nature of your animation is cartoonish, you might want to try a
lossless codec such as HuffYUV (free,
<http://neuron2.net/www.math.berkeley.edu/benrg/huffyuv....;) or
Alparysoft Lossless Video Codec (also free,
<http://www.alparysoft.com/products.php?cid=3&gt;).

> Since I will be using the animations with DV footage later on,

Then what's the use of creating them in higher resolution first?

> would I be better off using a dedicated video editing package to
> create
> the animations in the first place?

Not necessarily. The thing you need to take into account, though, is
that normal (standard definition) video is usually interlaced. If you
want to make the motion quality of your animations absolutely
silk-smooth, the only way to achieve this is making your animations
interlaced as well (see
<http://www.lurkertech.com/lg/fields/fields.html&gt; for a good
explanation.)

Generic animation packages usually cannot produce interlaced animations,
but you can overcome this problem by rendering your animations in a
progressiva fashion at 50 fps ("PAL") or 59.97 fps ("NTSC"), using the
full video resolution. Once you have your animation in this kind of
format, you can use video tools like Avisynth <http://www.avisynth.org/&gt;
for discarding the odd and even lines from adjacent frames, and weaving
the remaining parts together into interlaced video frames.

> I think of video editing as being limited in the range of
> resolutions that it handles, as it is usually focussed on
> specific TV standard resolutions. Is this the case or
> can I create custom resolutions?

Some codecs - such as DV - are very much tied into the video world and
do not let you to use any non-standard resolutions. Many others will let
you choose a resolution to your liking, but if you render your
animations into a non-standard format, you can generally only display
them on a computer. (Unless, of course, you're willing to convert them
to video resolution later, but what's the use of an intermediate higher
resolution non-standard file, then?)

> I'm finding there's an awful lot to learn as a graphics newbie.

You might want to take a look at <news:rec.video.desktop>. That's the
group where these kind of things are usually discussed.

--
znark
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 11:51:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Thanks very much for the extremely detailed reply. To answer your
questions:

Most of the material I'm shooting is of nature: streams, rivers,
ponds, waterfalls, waves, clouds, sky, trees etc. A lot of it is
fairly static or slow moving, except for the faster moving water
features. I'm creating a sort of ambient multimedia nature piece to
ultimately be projected digitally. Initially all viewing will be on a
PC display only.

I don't have storage space concerns; I'm just looking for the right
codec for the task in hand. Obviously, an uncompressed AVI of high
resolution is not practical unless the clip is very short.

>> Since I will be using the animations with DV footage later on,
>Then what's the use of creating them in higher resolution first?

I simply failed to repeat what I'd stated earlier, which is that I
will be using DV & HDV footage, so there is a point to having high
resolution. I haven't shot any film footage yet and if the right HDV
camcorder is released when I'm ready, I'll go straight to HDV. I
might still need to shoot some water shots in DV, as I don't know how
long it will take before a consumer HDV camcorder that takes a
waterproof housing hits the market?

I figure that since my end product will probably be 720p resolution, I
should aim to produce as much footage as I can in that resolution or
higher. I'm not against 1080i, it just seems too expensive and
unmanageable compared to 720p, at the moment.
Not sure how to mix DV 50i with HDV 25p though?

<< The thing you need to take into account, though, is that normal
(standard definition) video is usually interlaced. If you want to make
the motion quality of your animations absolutely silk-smooth, the only
way to achieve this is making your animations interlaced as well>>

Well, that would certainly make sense if I am to mix the animations
with DV. But if I am mixing animation with HDV only, would I be
better off animating at 25 fps (non-interlaced)?

I looked at the demo version of After Effects last night and that can
handle custom resolutions and is DV & HDV compatible. I'll need to
spend some time with it to see what it can do. It looks like a steep
learning curve and I can see that it's going to take quite a while to
get to grips with this new field. I'm fairly informed in the digital
audio field, but this new area seems a whole lot bigger from a
beginner's perspective.
Related resources
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 3:40:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

HS Crow wrote:

> Most of the material I'm shooting is of nature: streams, rivers,
> ponds, waterfalls, waves, clouds, sky, trees etc. A lot of it is
> fairly static or slow moving, except for the faster moving water
> features. I'm creating a sort of ambient multimedia nature piece to
> ultimately be projected digitally. Initially all viewing will be on a
> PC display only.
>
> I don't have storage space concerns; I'm just looking for the right
> codec for the task in hand. Obviously, an uncompressed AVI of high
> resolution is not practical unless the clip is very short.

Since these are natural images (as opposed to computer-generated or
hand-drawn images) I'd presume one of the M-JPEG codecs (to which I gave
some links in my previous message) would serve you well, then. Or if you
aim for the highest possible quality and multi-generation editability,
you could consider the lossless ones (HuffYUV and the Alparysoft
lossless codec) as well. Since the lossless ones are free and there are
demo versions available of the M-JPEG codecs, you might simply want to
try both and then decide which one you would like to use.

HDV uses MPEG-2, so that will be your final target format. But since
MPEG-2 is often a bit of a pain to edit (common, full-fledged NLE apps
are only beginning to have some native HDV-MPEG-2 support), a
high-bitrate M-JPEG stream at a HD resolution will probably serve you
better for your animations, for the time being.

If you're more adventurous, you might also want to check out this:
<http://www.etymonix.com/products/VideoCodec/VideoCodec....;. (I'm not
sure if there are any great benefits with I-frame-only MPEG-2 as opposed
to M-JPEG, though.)

> Not sure how to mix DV 50i with HDV 25p though?

If going from DV 50i to HDV 25p, by deinterlacing. Make sure to use an
intelligent deinterlacing algorithm that preserves as much vertical
detail as possible. Google for "Avisynth" and "KernelDeInt". Or see
<http://neuron2.net/kerneldeint/kerneldeint.html&gt; and
<http://www.avisynth.org/&gt;, for starters.

If going the opposite direction (HDV 25p -> DV 50i) there isn't much
else to do than to resize. Theoretically you _could_ create the missing
fields by means of motion interpolation / phase-correlated
motion-compensation (Google for the term), but I've yet to see a
hobbyist/prosumer level solution that would employ this technique. There
are professional standards converters that do this (to a point), such as
"Alchemist Ph.C" by Snell & Wilcox, but they're quite expensive. You
might want to see
<http://www.snellwilcox.com/knowledgecenter/books/books/...;.

>> The thing you need to take into account, though, is that normal
>> (standard definition) video is usually interlaced. If you want to
>> make the motion quality of your animations absolutely silk-smooth,
>> the only way to achieve this is making your animations interlaced
>> as well

> Well, that would certainly make sense if I am to mix the animations
> with DV. But if I am mixing animation with HDV only, would I be
> better off animating at 25 fps (non-interlaced)?

If you are going to base your work on 720p, I see no reason to make the
animations in a different format.

> I looked at the demo version of After Effects last night and that can
> handle custom resolutions and is DV & HDV compatible. I'll need to
> spend some time with it to see what it can do. It looks like a steep
> learning curve and I can see that it's going to take quite a while to
> get to grips with this new field. I'm fairly informed in the digital
> audio field, but this new area seems a whole lot bigger from a
> beginner's perspective.

I can only repeat my earlier recommendation about rec.video.desktop.
(And other rec.video.* newsgroups as well, especially
rec.video.production.) You'll find other AE users there.

--
znark
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 10:10:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Tue, 20 Sep 2005 23:40:49 +0300, "Jukka Aho" <jukka.aho@iki.fi>
wrote:

Thanks again,

I'm started evaluating the MJPEG codecs, but yet to look at the
lossless ones.

> HDV uses MPEG-2, so that will be your final target format.

That makes sense, although I didn't think of that, as I relate MPEG-2
with lower resolution distribution formats (DVD), but I was aware of
its use in HDV.
Assuming that I'm mixing HDV with other formats & codecs, is MPEG-2
necessarily the best choice here? Since the MPEG-2 footage will need
to be uncompressed, does it still make sense to render to MPEG-2 as a
final cut? I was wondering whether QT or WMV could be equally good
choices, as they support HD codecs!

Since HDV seems to be widescreen only, I figure it makes sense to
shoot any DV footage in widescreen also. I also need to choose video
editing software that is HDV ready. Plenty of research ahead.
I shall continue my research at rec.video.desktop as you suggest.
Anonymous
September 22, 2005 3:11:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

HS Crow wrote:

>> HDV uses MPEG-2, so that will be your final target format.

> That makes sense, although I didn't think of that, as I relate MPEG-2
> with lower resolution distribution formats (DVD), but I was aware of
> its use in HDV.

MPEG-2 is also used in DVB and ATSC broadcasts (for both SD and HD
content), although it is possible that a more modern codec
(H.264/MPEG-4/AVC?) will be chosen for European HDTV when the time
comes. See <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264&gt;.

> Assuming that I'm mixing HDV with other formats & codecs, is MPEG-2
> necessarily the best choice here? Since the MPEG-2 footage will need
> to be uncompressed, does it still make sense to render to MPEG-2 as a
> final cut?

According to the announcements made by various companies, I think we
will soon be seeing native HDV/MPEG-2 "smart rendering" support in many
common NLE apps. (That is, the NLE app will handle the MPEG-2 stream at
the GOP level, only recompressing those GOPs whose content has been
altered in the editing process. Pretty much the same thing as with
"smart rendering" DV video, but the granularity is on the GOP level and
not on the frame level.)

> I was wondering whether QT or WMV could be equally good
> choices, as they support HD codecs!

QT is not a video format per se, but a container format - a "wrapper",
if you will). What goes inside a QT file is determined by the video and
audio codecs you choose to use. As for WMV, I don't see it as an editing
format.

Some companies, however, argue in favor of specialized intermediate
editing formats:
<http://www.cineform.com/technology/HDVQualityAnalysis/H...;.

> Since HDV seems to be widescreen only, I figure it makes sense to
> shoot any DV footage in widescreen also.

That would probably be a good idea; it should make the content more
future-proof. Just make sure that you get full 16:9 resolution out of
the camera. Some cameras fake it by masking the 4:3 picture with black
bars, whereas others may do basically the same, but by stretching the
lower-resolution cropped image to full-screen anamorphic 16:9, even
though the CCD chip does not have enough resolution to fully take
advantage of the format.

> Plenty of research ahead. I shall continue my research at
> rec.video.desktop as you suggest.

Yep, that's at least a good group to check out.

--
znark
Anonymous
September 22, 2005 3:11:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Wed, 21 Sep 2005 23:11:27 +0300, "Jukka Aho" <jukka.aho@iki.fi>
wrote:

>According to the announcements made by various companies, I think we
>will soon be seeing native HDV/MPEG-2 "smart rendering" support in many
>common NLE apps. (That is, the NLE app will handle the MPEG-2 stream at
>the GOP level, only recompressing those GOPs whose content has been
>altered in the editing process. Pretty much the same thing as with
>"smart rendering" DV video, but the granularity is on the GOP level and
>not on the frame level.)

Is this going to be a software only solution do you think, or will it
require add-in hardware support (PCI etc)? I was looking at a Canopus
solution which required a 64 bit PCI slot; very restricting.

>If you're more adventurous, you might also want to check out this:
>http://www.etymonix.com/products/VideoCodec/VideoCodec....;. (I'm not
>sure if there are any great benefits with I-frame-only MPEG-2 as opposed
>to M-JPEG, though.)

Interesting, but it only supports resolutions up to 768x576.

>QT is not a video format per se, but a container format - a "wrapper",
>if you will). What goes inside a QT file is determined by the video and
>audio codecs you choose to use. As for WMV, I don't see it as an editing
>format.

Is AVI similar to QT in that respect? What HD codecs does QT support
then?
As for WMV, when I said to use it as a final cut, what I meant was as
a final playback only format for distribution, not for editing.

As for MPEG-2 as a final destination, I think I've been confused by
limitations placed by certain applications which were to do with the
output format chosen, rather than the codec. Will commonly used NLE
apps support output to HD video using MPEG-2 at high bit rates? I
suppose the bit rate chosen should be related to whether there is any
HDV footage in the project!
I'm thinking of the low to mid-level price range NLE apps that support
HDV: $150 - $750.

>Just make sure that you get full 16:9 resolution out of
>the camera. Some cameras fake it by masking the 4:3 picture with black
>bars, whereas others may do basically the same, but by stretching the
>lower-resolution cropped image to full-screen anamorphic 16:9, even
>though the CCD chip does not have enough resolution to fully take
>advantage of the format.

I'm with you; sometimes it is not easy to determine exactly what a
camcorder does with 16:9 without a fair amount of delving. There's a
hell of a lot of research to undertake when choosing all this hardware
and software. I enjoy it sometimes, but I feel a bit stressed by it
all at other times. I hope that the weather is interesting tomorrow
so I can go out and shoot some frames :) 
Anonymous
September 22, 2005 6:57:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

HS Crow <nomail@please.com> writes:

>I'm with you; sometimes it is not easy to determine exactly what a
>camcorder does with 16:9 without a fair amount of delving. There's a
>hell of a lot of research to undertake when choosing all this hardware
>and software.

A good clue is that the horizontal angle of view increases when you
switch into 16:9 mode. That indicates the camera is using more of the
CCD width, rather than using *less* height, to get the wider aspect
ratio.

But even that's not foolproof. What you really want to know is whether
the camera is using at least 480 rows of pixels on the CCD to produce
480-line video in 16:9 NTSC mode (substitute 576 lines for PAL, 720 for
720p HDTV, etc). For example, it's possible to build a video camera
with a 1280x960 pixel 4:3 aspect ratio CCD, downsampling the whole area
to 704x480 for standard output. When you put it into 16:9 mode, the
camera would switch to using only the central 1280x720 region,
downsampling that to 704x480. It's using fewer pixels in the vertical
direction for 16:9, but CCD pixels still exceeds output line count, so
there should be little or no degradation of the image.

Dave
Anonymous
September 22, 2005 10:47:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

HS Crow wrote:

>> According to the announcements made by various companies, I think we
>> will soon be seeing native HDV/MPEG-2 "smart rendering" support in
>> many common NLE apps. (That is, the NLE app will handle the MPEG-2
>> stream at the GOP level, only recompressing those GOPs whose content
>> has been altered in the editing process. Pretty much the same thing
>> as with "smart rendering" DV video, but the granularity is on the
>> GOP level and not on the frame level.)

> Is this going to be a software only solution do you think, or will it
> require add-in hardware support (PCI etc)? I was looking at a Canopus
> solution which required a 64 bit PCI slot; very restricting.

I can't see any reason why there couldn't be both hardware-assisted and
software-only solutions. MainConcept already has a plugin for Premiere
Pro that allows "native" MPEG-2 editing - in "smart render" fashion -
but according to their website, it does not (yet?) support HDV properly.

>> If you're more adventurous, you might also want to check out this:
>> http://www.etymonix.com/products/VideoCodec/VideoCodec....;. (I'm not
>> sure if there are any great benefits with I-frame-only MPEG-2 as
>> opposed to M-JPEG, though.)

> Interesting, but it only supports resolutions up to 768x576.

My bad, I didn't notice that restriction.

>> QT is not a video format per se, but a container format - a
>> "wrapper", if you will). What goes inside a QT file is determined by
>> the video and audio codecs you choose to use. As for WMV, I don't
>> see it as an editing format.

> Is AVI similar to QT in that respect?

Yes, it is. You might want to see
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Container_format&gt; for an overview of the
topic. There are others as well (ogg, matroshka). Even WMV/ASF and
RealMedia can be counted in.

> What HD codecs does QT support then?

Hard to say, I'm not a Mac person. :) 

> As for WMV, when I said to use it as a final cut, what I meant was as
> a final playback only format for distribution, not for editing.

Yes, it will probably do as a distribution format. I think Microsoft has
already been demoing some HD content on the WMV "platform":

<http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/content_provider/...
ContentShowcase.aspx>

> As for MPEG-2 as a final destination, I think I've been confused
> by limitations placed by certain applications which were to do
> with the output format chosen, rather than the codec. Will
> commonly used NLE apps support output to HD video using MPEG-2
> at high bit rates?

I have no idea about the current level of HD(V) MPEG-2 support. I have
not had to deal with that in practice.

> I suppose the bit rate chosen should be related to whether there
> is any HDV footage in the project!

The bit rate chosen for what? If I've not totally mistaken, HDV uses a
fixed (CBR) bitrate - the same as DV. I'm not sure about the typical
MPEG-2 HDTV (ATSC & DVB) broadcast bitrates - would be interesting to
know.

--
znark
Anonymous
September 22, 2005 11:03:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Thu, 22 Sep 2005 02:57:53 +0000 (UTC), davem@cs.ubc.ca (Dave
Martindale) wrote:
>A good clue is that the horizontal angle of view increases when you
>switch into 16:9 mode. That indicates the camera is using more of the
>CCD width, rather than using *less* height, to get the wider aspect
>ratio. …..

Thanks Dave, I get what you're saying; it's just a matter a reading
reviews and spec sheets, although some manufacturers are more
forthcoming with information than others.

On Thu, 22 Sep 2005 06:47:35 +0300, "Jukka Aho" <jukka.aho@iki.fi>
wrote:

>Yes, it will probably do as a distribution format. I think Microsoft has
>already been demoing some HD content on the WMV "platform":

Yes, they have a dedicated website for HD content at www.wmvhd.com
I've been looking at various WMV and QT HD clips and I've been stunned
by the quality. I'm starting to wonder how close you can get to that
quality using a sub $2000 consumer HDV camcorder. As far as I know
none of those clips were even shot in HDV. Still, if I compare the
clips to commercial studio quality DVDs, it blows them away.

Well the weather was good today, so I went and shot some video footage
with my stills camera for the first time. I was very impressed with
the quality, although the resolution is limited to 640x480 @ 30fps. It
uses M-JPEG I'm almost sure and if I tried playing it at full-screen
it became very jerky. That's with an Athlon 64 3.0 with 1GB
dual-channel memory and a FX5200. I didn't expect it to look very
good blown up to 1280x960 but I determined that playback was system
constrained. So I converted it to WMV with a bitrate of ~3500 KBps
and it played back full screen easily. I was amazed how well it
looked blown up, it wasn't grainy at all (to my eyes); it bodes well
for DV & HDV.
I'm particularly pleased because I have a water-proof housing for my
Canon and I figure I can get away with mixing a bit of water bound
M-JPEG footage shot with the Canon with DV footage shot with a
camcorder. As Sony are the only company that seem to make water-proof
housings for their camcorders, I was thinking I would be tied to them
if I wanted such features. With the Sony range that fit the
water-proof housing not having a decent manual mode, I wasn't exactly
enticed by them in the first place. It was a productive first day of
shooting and encoding. This could get addictive :) 
Anonymous
September 23, 2005 3:02:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

HS Crow wrote:

> Well the weather was good today, so I went and shot some video footage
> with my stills camera for the first time. I was very impressed with
> the quality, although the resolution is limited to 640x480 @ 30fps. It
> uses M-JPEG I'm almost sure

That's easy to check out with tools like GSpot:

<http://www.headbands.com/gspot/download.html&gt;

Or just drop the AVI in VirtualDub (http://www.virtualdub.org/) and
check what it says in the "File information" window.

If it's a Canon, there's probably a fairly good chance that it really is
M-JPEG. I have a Canon Digital Ixus 700 (aka PowerShot SD500) myself,
and at least that model records the video clips specifically in the
M-JPEG AVI format. Although I have not really used the feature a lot, I
seem to have similar observations about the quality.

> and if I tried playing it at full-screen it became very jerky.
> That's with an Athlon 64 3.0 with 1GB dual-channel memory and
> a FX5200.

You might want to try the Morgan M-JPEG codec for playback. (Note that
if there are several codecs installed for a single format, it's not
always clear which one of them takes precedence. Sometimes you may have
to manually edit the FOURCC -> codec associations in the registry to get
it right.)

> I'm particularly pleased because I have a water-proof housing for my
> Canon and I figure I can get away with mixing a bit of water bound
> M-JPEG footage shot with the Canon with DV footage shot with a
> camcorder.

Yes, that could be interesting. I've been wondering about the same
(mixing some of my Canon clips with real DV camcorder shots.) As it is
640×480 @ 30 fps, it can be thought of being ready-to-use progressive
source material for an "NTSC" DVD. (The only problem is that I live in a
PAL country which somewhat diminishes the potential usefulness of it.
Those numbers nicely match up with 525/59.97 systems, but not with
625/50 systems.)

Anyway, make sure to get the pixel aspect ratio conversions right for
your target format: <http://www.iki.fi/znark/video/conversion/&gt;.

* * *

Oh, almost forgot. Did some checking around:

<http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/hdv.html&gt;
<http://www.ulead.com/spotlight/hd/runme.htm&gt;
<http://www.avid.com/products/hd/index.asp&gt;
<http://www.sonymediasoftware.com/products/vegasfamily.a...;

Everyone and their dog actually seems to be providing HDV support now,
in one form or the other. (Hadn't noticed that; it's a relatively recent
phenomenom - although quite predictable, of course. Still, not a long
while ago everyone only had press releases and no real products.) Now,
if I only knew which one of those to recommend to you...

--
znark
Anonymous
September 23, 2005 4:28:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Thu, 22 Sep 2005 23:02:49 +0300, "Jukka Aho" <jukka.aho@iki.fi>
wrote:

Thanks again for all the info.

>Or just drop the AVI in VirtualDub (http://www.virtualdub.org/) and
>check what it says in the "File information" window.

It confirmed that it is M-JPEG.

>You might want to try the Morgan M-JPEG codec for playback. (Note that
>if there are several codecs installed for a single format, it's not
>always clear which one of them takes precedence. Sometimes you may have
>to manually edit the FOURCC -> codec associations in the registry to get
>it right.)

That made a huge difference; I now have smooth playback at full-screen
with the CPU load under 40%.

>Yes, that could be interesting. I've been wondering about the same
>(mixing some of my Canon clips with real DV camcorder shots.) As it is
>640×480 @ 30 fps, it can be thought of being ready-to-use progressive
>source material for an "NTSC" DVD. (The only problem is that I live in a
>PAL country which somewhat diminishes the potential usefulness of it.
>Those numbers nicely match up with 525/59.97 systems, but not with
>625/50 systems.)

I'd overlooked that as I'm in the same boat as you. Mixing 30p with
50i doesn't sound like fun. Since my target destination is not TV, I
hope I have a few other options available. I might just stick with my
camera for now for both stills and short video clips. I already have
a lot of things to learn so maybe I should curtail myself a bit. I'm
new to photography also, so I'm getting to know my camera, Photoshop,
then there's the animation that I want to do, video editing,
compositing…

So I can render the animations @ 30fps so they'll sit easily with the
AVI's that my camera shoots. By the time I'm ready to go deeper into
the video side of things, hopefully there will be a consumer 720p PAL
camcorder available. Can I then just simply re-render the animations
at 25fps so they'll match the HDV footage?

I'll still have the issue of mixing 4:3 and 16:9 footage, but I've
accepted that, as there isn't currently a camera that takes widescreen
format stills that appeals to me. I imagine that more cameras will
add widescreen format capture in the near future! The Panasonic Z20 &
Z30 currently offer that in the ultra-zoom sector, which is what
interests me; I have a Powershot S1 IS.

I'm wondering if I'll be able to digitally project my 30 fps footage
using a PAL projector. I imagine that since I will output it directly
from the PC using a DVI connection, that the only issue will be
whether the projector can handle the resolution and refresh rate of
the PC output.

>Anyway, make sure to get the pixel aspect ratio conversions right for
>your target format: <http://www.iki.fi/znark/video/conversion/&gt;.

That seems to open a whole can of worms : )

>Oh, almost forgot. Did some checking around:
>Everyone and their dog actually seems to be providing HDV support now,
>in one form or the other. (Hadn't noticed that; it's a relatively recent
>phenomenom - although quite predictable, of course. Still, not a long
>while ago everyone only had press releases and no real products.) Now,
>if I only knew which one of those to recommend to you...

What surprised me was that even the sub £100 NLEs now support HDV or
in some cases there are imminent releases pending.
I'm going to start a new thread on one of the video newsgroups to try
and determine which applications suit my needs. It's the animation
and compositing side of things that has me in the dark. After Effects
sounds like it might be the daddy, but, it is horribly expensive and
there is no consumer edition (Elements). Hmm.
!