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Cineform becomes VC-5 now, under the wings of SMPTE
  • SMPTE Standardizes GoPro CineForm Codec as the New Open Standard for Video Acquisition and Post Production

    SAN MATEO, CA (June 6, 2014) – GoPro, maker of the Emmy® Award-winning HERO® camera and enabler of some of today’s most engaging professional video content, announced today that the core technology behind the GoPro CineForm Codec has been standardized by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®) as the SMPTE ST 2073 VC-5 video compression standard – the new open codec standard for video acquisition and post production.

    The GoPro CineForm Codec is a high-performance video codec widely valued in video post-production as the industry’s highest quality compression format. It is well established in the professional filmmaking marketplace and has been extensively used in Hollywood feature films, including Slumdog Millionaire and Need for Speed.

    SMPTE standardization of the GoPro CineForm codec as the VC-5 standard now means the professional production and post production community can access SMPTE-standardized codec technology for presenting high resolution imagery with a high speed, low-compute intensive workflow. The new VC-5 standard will provide a more efficient, cost effective and higher-performance workflow, delivering an 8x performance boost over the current JPEG 2000 format with higher resolution.

    That's huge - I was hoping for this since quite a while. Looking forward to finally get rid of ProRes. Cineform is so much better.®-cineform-codec-standardized-smpte®-vc-5-standard

  • 14 Replies sorted by
  • Well, even if I can't see it being that much better visually, I'm glad it get's standardized as a codec that might stay for a while. So we won't be at Apple's mercy to use their codec in a few years from now or on a PC anyway – they seem to have silently killed all the non-licensed ProRes encoders for PC like Miraizon.

    Maybe this news will force Apple to fully open it at least, since there are already so many machines around recording ProRes.

  • This is indeed good news. In my testing, I found Cineform to decode lightning fast. And it compresses with high quality to managable file sizes. Both of these factors are important as we move toward 4K workflows.

    For those who don't know, Cineform is a wavelet based codec. So, unlike discrete cosine transform based codecs, like Prores, there will be absolutely no blocking artifacts, even at low bitrates.

  • maybe blackmagic will include this as an alternative to prores on their cine cameras

  • I hope so. And it would be a welcome addition in the Atomos recorders.

  • I've been using Cineform for years (and it was a pricey add-on), but it has always been buggy, so here's hoping it gets the support it needs and we get some new and interesting hardware support.

  • GoPro says the Cineform codec is still supported and available in the free GoPro Studio download. But the premium and professional Cineform Studio products have been discontinued. I don't have a lot of faith in the Cineform compression format as a long-term option.

    And frankly, Cineform not nearly as relevant today as it was a few years ago. h.264 long-GOP (or intraframe, if that's your thing) with 8 or 10 bits per sample is now well supported by editing software and decodes quickly on modern hardware. Sony has standardized their own flavors as XAVC and XAVC S, and they're fabulous. They work very well straight out of the camera, or as intermediate formats. There's really no need for intraframe intermediate codecs like ProRes or Cineform anymore.

  • Where can I get H264 10bit 422 to use as an intermediate codec? And that means I could use it to render out from Premiere and After Effects. If it's out there, I would sure like to know about it.

  • I am still not sure if GoPro Protune has anything to do with Cineform 10bit 4:2:2. I thought that it was an urban legend that Protune was Cineform- rather - Protune was designed by Cineform tech guys.

    If anyone knows please correct me!

  • @alcomposer You are correct. Protune is H.264 4:2:0 with a special/optimized gamma curve, not REC.709. Also correct that it was implemented by the Cineform team; GoPro used the engineers, not the tech.

  • @radikalfilm why didn't they just use 10bit 4:2:2. :-(

  • Where can I get H264 10bit 422 to use as an intermediate codec?

    These NLEs support XAVC MXF files (h.264 4:2:2 10-bit, intra or long-GOP):

    • Sony Vegas Pro

    • Avid

    • Adobe Premiere Pro CC

    • Edius

    • Final Cut Pro

  • @balazer it would blow away AVC as an in-camera recording format. David Newman said it uses simpler processing than iframe codecs. If possible, I'm hoping camera companies/hackers will incorporate it in future firmware updates

  • I remember they were going to make a recording box with real time encoding. Years ago.

  • @DrDave You bring back memories :) In 2008 or so I was doing feasibility tests to make a Cineform encoder, and was in contact with David N. The best embedded CPU I had access to (Core2Duo) wasn't quite there for encoding HD in realtime, so I dropped the project. They had/have tighly tuned assembly for (portions of) the codec, and moving it to FPGA was no-go.

    I wonder how Kinefinity does it for 4K (the only company I know of which records CF).