Conversion and pre-processing of QuickTime Files (Mac)

ReMaster Feature Summary

•  Converts most QuickTime files to CineForm files
   - converted files retain spatial resolution and frame rate of source files
   - converted files are compatible with all QuickTime applications including Final Cut Pro

•  Convert non-QuickTime camera formats to CineForm files: ReMaster converts most HD camera formats to CineForm files, including HDV (if captured using QuickTime Player), AVCHD, Infinity J2K (with I-J2K suite add-on), Red One, Canon 5D Mk II, Lumix GH1, and more.  HDV tape formats must be ingested first using a tape capture application like QuickTime Pro prior to CineForm conversion. 

•  Converts DPX files into CineForm 444 files

•  ReMaster supports numerous preprocessing options including:

- resampling during conversion of non-square source images (such as HDV or DVCPRO HD) to square pixel formats using CineForm's very high quality Lanczos filter
- telecine removal to extract 24p from 60i sources or from 24p-embedded-in-60i sources
- deinterlacing performs a linear light blend of the two fields to maintain the highest resolution, while preserving much of the smooth motion look of 60i. Field based deinterlacers trade off resolution to reduce motion blur; we intend to add this option in a later release.
- image flip (horizontal and/or vertical)
- rewrapping of AVI files to MOV files (this retains the underlying compression and simply replaces the wrapper)

•  ProRes Export: When Apple Pro Tools are installed with the ProRes codec, ProRes is an optional destination format as an alternative to CineForm files. 

•  DPX Export: Any supported input format can be exported or converted directly to DPX files.

•  XDCam HD/EX, HDV, and DVCPRO HD (P2) File conversions: Read about the additional steps (at the end of the Tech Note) necessary to convert these formats to CineForm (or ProRes) files.

•  NOTE: ProRes HQ and CineForm 422 both support 10-bit 4:2:2 chroma resolution.  If your source is RGB, or if you prefer to upsample your 4:2:2 source to RGB, then you should choose the CineForm 444 format which provides 12-bit precision.

File Conversion Using ReMaster

Step 1: Launch ReMaster.


Step 2: Navigate to the folder where the files exist that you want to convert.  After selection they will show up in the work queue as shown.


The Size field represents both the number of frames and the length of time in seconds for each clip.

Also note in the in the example that we're simultaneously converting clips that are of different source formats.  The top clip in the queue is a 480i SD clip, the second clip is DVCProHD 720p, etc. (For this example the filenames were conveniently renamed to emphasize different format conversions that are possible).

During conversion the characteristics of the source clip are preserved; e.g., spatial resolution, frame rate, interlace/progressive, etc.

The Description field shows various clip information including timecode.

TIP: If you want to add more clips to the work queue prior to conversion, select File-Open (or Command-O).


Step 3: In the work queue (above) select the Parameters arrow (bottom right) and the panel to the right will appear.  Currently PROCESSING and OUTPUT are the only operational panels. PROCESSING is where you find controls for spatial resampling, telecine removal, and deinterlacing.  OUTPUT allows you to choose the encoder, the CineForm encoder quality and destination folder for converted files.  (In subsequent releases the SOURCE panel will be enabled for the source specific decoder features.)


Step 4: Select the PROCESSING tab and the panel will show the processing options, as seen to the right.

Image Size Change Enable: Check the box to enable changing the size of the image. When the box is checked, the rest of the fields in the panel can be edited.

Pixel Aspect Ratio: The pixel aspect ratio of the destination QuickTime movie. Unless you have a need to match some existing material, it is best to leave this as "Square".

Output Frame Formatting: This controls how a mismatch of the source and target frame sizes is handled. "Match input" will match the source frame aspect ratio. For instance, HDV 1080 is recorded as 1440x1080, with a 16:9 frame aspect ratio. Selecting "Match input" with a "Target Width" of 1920, will perform spatial resampling to convert the source into square pixel 1920x1080 material. If you set the "Target Width" to 1280, it will also resize the video to fit the 720p format. "Center Crop" and "Letterbox" are used when you convert wide material such as 2:1 to 16:9, or even 16:9 to 4:3. Choose "Center Crop" if you want the edges to be chopped off. Choose "Letterbox" if you want black bars above and below the image.

Note: All spatial resampling performed uses CineForm's very high quality Lanczos filter.

Target Width: and Height: Enter the size you want for the output frame. If you have "Match input" selected for the Output Frame Formatting, you can only enter a value for the width, ReMaster will automatically choose a height that matches the input frame aspect ratio.

Pulldown Removal and Deinterlace: These settings change how interlaced material is handled in the conversion. You should not select both deinterlace and pulldown removal at the same time. The following sections of a frame show how these change the image. The source footage is HDV material recorded at 24p. The camera used records the 24p (23.98) in a 29.97p video stream. It could also have used a 59.94i, the frames look the same when viewed on the monitor.


The image above demonstrates how an interlaced image looks on a progressive monitor when there is motion between fields.  The "jaggies" result from the fact that a progressive monitor displays the two fields simultaneously even though they were recorded with a time shift of 1/60 of a second. The image to the right shows how deinterlacing changes the image. The deinterlacing algorithm performs a linear light blend of the two fields to maintain the highest resolution, while preserving much of the smooth motion look of 60i.

How do you choose? If you know the camera recording was chosen as 24p and the resulting clip shows up in the source window as 29.97p or 59.94i, choose the pulldown removal option. If you do not know what the settings were, use QuickTime to single step some motion that has neither pulldown removal or deinterlacing applied. Interlaced source material will have jaggies on every frame where something moved. Telecine material with the most common 3:2 pulldown, will have 3 frames of no jaggies followed by two frames with jaggies.


Step 5:Select the OUTPUT tab and the panel will show the output options, as seen to the right.

Encoder Quality:For further information about about CineForm encoder quality levels, see the following Tech Note on CineForm Quality Settings. (The panels shown in the Tech Note are for Windows, but the discussion of Quality Levels in the Tech Note is not specific to Windows).

If you are encoding to Apple ProRes HQ, the Quality Level cannot be changed, and is set to High quality.

As a rule of thumb, for pre-compressed material like HDV, h.264, DVCPro HD, etc, you're generally fine using "High".  For those with the philosophy that "Higher is better", you might want to experiment with Film Scan 1.  For most pre-compressed material Film Scan 2 is way overkill and just results in larger files without observable quality improvement.


Output Format: For most video sources you should use "CF 422" for the output format, also known generically as YUV.  If you know you have RGB source then choose "CF 444" for your output format.  This parameter selection defines the chroma format for the destination CineForm file(s). If you have Apple's Pro tools installed, you will also have the option of converting directly to ProRes HQ. Just select "ProRes HQ" from the pop-up menu.

Output Folder: Leave blank to have your destination file(s) written to the folder you choose when you click the "Convert" button.  Type a name to create a subfolder within that folder.

Note about file naming: Your destination file will intentionally have the same name as the source file.

- Replace: The destination file will replace the existing file if it has the same name.
- Rename New: The destination file will have a new name if a file of the same name Already exists.
- Rename Old: The existing file will be renamed if the destination file has the same name.

Step 6: After you click the "Convert" button on the main panel, and if you have selected to "Replace" a source file with the to-be converted file, you will get a dialog at the right that forces you to double-confirm.picture202

Step 7: During conversion the work queue will update progress as shown.picture204

Halting Conversion

If you want to halt an in-progress conversion, click the “Stop” button.  The stop dialog will ask to confirm.


Note: Converting XDCam HD / EX Using ReMaster

If you are converting XDCam HD or XDCam EX files using ReMaster, you must first use a utility from Sony called XDCam Transfer.  XDCam Transfer replaces the source MXF or MP4 wrapper with an MOV wrapper understood by Mac apps.  The utility is available from the Sony Professional website.  After rewrap ReMaster will properly recognize your XDCam HD/EX source.

At the time you copy your files from external media you can run the utility so the files copied to your Mac are already wrapped as MOV.


Note: Converting HDV Using ReMaster

ReMaster does not include HDV tape capture capability.  To convert HDV files to CineForm (or ProRes) files you need to first capture your footage using an external capture tool such as QuickTime Pro.  After capture the files can be converted using ReMaster.


Note: Converting DVCPRO HD (P2) Using ReMaster

Panasonic DVCPRO HD (P2) cameras include their own capture software that rewraps the MXF files to QuickTime files.  After capture (moving the P2 files from flash media) you can directly convert the files using ReMaster.

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