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Cluster X: Series 1 - moon - ЅріzZ - nebula - drewnet - Slipstream
  • Cluster X Series Settings.

    Whats it all about? Achieving the best looking overall pictures around - throughtout the popular GOPs. The great thing about Cluster X developments is you can mix and match some of the settings to combine into your favourite setting (e.g. GOP1 for 24p and 25p/FSH, GOP 6 For 1080i60/30p and 12/15 for 720p etc...). Slipstream settings do this for you (mixed and matched and with spanning capabilities where we can plus 80% modes on H & iA mode support).

    This has been a tough (and still ongoing) challenge, each setting (and ptools patch change) takes an age to check & measure. Its exhausting work - even with 4 cameras on the go. The measuring to check Quantisation, frame sizes and stability adapting one change at a time is pretty debilitating on mental energy. I hope people appreciate waiting for each setting to appear.

    All the new Cluster X series settings for each GOP attached below have been tested on the notorious 14-140 Pany sharp lens. Give me feedback.

    Its as simple as A, B, C, D, E, F ! Each .ini setting in ptools for Cluster X Series will equate to setA ('DREWnet' 12/15 GOP), setB ('Nebula' 6 GOP), setC ('Spizz' 3 GOP), setD ('Moon' 1 GOP/3 GOP), setE (Slipstream 1) & setF (Slipstream 2). Any updates will stay on these sets.

    "Bitrate is King. Who needs hi powered scaling matrices when enough Bitrate (if you have it) can drive the quantisation..." Quote from my conversation with Dark Shikari - X264 dev 2012

    If you enjoy these settings please don't forget to donate to personal-view by clicking on the link above. Gratitude and thanks to Vitaliy Kiselev.


    Cluster X 'Slipstream'

    A series of GOP combination settings drawn from the Cluster X series but set at nominal bitrate settings (40 to 72Mbps) to achieve a better spanning percentage for longer recordings plus the ability to be used on slower sd cards. Slipstream attempts to correlate the actual clip duration to the TS (transport stream) duration whilst providing error free population of the cpb buffers. And it seems to work very well at these settings. :-)

    Slipstream #1 (Rev B): Release Date: 10/03/2013

    A mix of Nebula and DREWnet settings all tightly packed into 72Mbps max 24p and around 40-52Mbps for everything else which in my PAL tests SPAN! You also get 80% mode at 24H and iA modes working. NTSC 720p60 and FSH/HBR30p should now span.

    1080p24/1080i50/HBR25p/720p50 at GOP 6 1080i60/HBR30p & 720p60 at 12 GOP

    Slipstream #2: Release Date: 10/03/2013


    1080p24H 88Mbps GOP3

    FSH1080i50/HBR25p 60Mbps GOP3

    720p50 62Mbps GOP6

    FSH1080i60/HBR30p 44Mbps GOP12

    720p60 52Mbps GOP12

    Slipstream #3: Release Date: 15/03/2013


    1080p24H 150Mbps GOP1 (moon style)

    FSH1080i50/HBR25p 70Mbps GOP1

    720p50 62Mbps GOP6

    FSH1080i60/HBR30p 64Mbps GOP3

    720p60 52Mbps GOP12

    NB: Ive had one occasion where the camera just freezes with no apparent error. If this happens simply leave the camera alone for a minute or two until it fully writes out to sdcard (emptying all buffers) THEN turn off/battery pull. Hopefully you will notice that all your spanned files are there on next powerup.

    Driftwood Cluster X 'Slipstream #1' 6 GOP to 12 GOP -
    Driftwood Cluster X Series - 'Slipstream #1' (rev B) 6 to 12 GOP -
    Driftwood Cluster X Series - 'Slipstream #2' (rev. A) 3 GOP - 6 GOP - 12 GOP -
    Driftwood Cluster X Series 'Slipstream 3' with GH3 matrix - now you can grade with the GH3 -
  • 1008 Replies sorted by
  • 12 (PAL)/15(NTSC) - Traditional GOP 'DREWnet'

    Update News:Today (Saturday 3rd March) Trial 8 released with more adjustments to 24H matrix to improve P/B frame sizes and 80% mode working in 24H.

    FSH & 720p modes plus iA (intelligent Auto) modes stabilised and working. Same QP10 Rate Control - Amazing quality as Trial 6 on 1080p24 - Defeats the GH3's IPB modes. :-) We are very nearly there on 12/15 Long GOP (as far as we can go)

    Cluster X Series: 12/15 GOP - 'DREWnet' Trial 8 - Released 03/03/2013


    Hi Settings Rip up and start again! Inspired by the GH3 we redesign the matrix and scale it across IPB frames to spread the bitrate evenly and create very low quantisation. This isnt so hungry on your precious sd cards but its quanted like the GH3 and looks very good. :-)

    82Mbps Low detail to 88Mbps Hi Detail 1080p24 - This is an insane setting - equivalent to over 240Mbps Intra but using less memory (88Mbps tops). Most pictures will quantise to an incredible low value of Q8-16 - comparable and better than the GH3. !!!

    50+Mbps 720p modes on high detail/38-40Mbps Hi detail 1080i/HBR modes - These settings are the equivalent of 80-100Mbps short GOP and are very good - best i frame sizes yet on 720/HBR/FSH.

    Hi Settings 1080p24 80Mbps Hi detail 720p50/60 50+Mbps Hi detail 1080iFSH/HBR 38-40Mbps Hi detail

    Low Settings 1080p24L 60 Mbps All other modes 36Mbps

    pic. BELOW Shows the GH2 Stock 12 GOP versus GH3 IPB Stock 12 GOP versus GH2 Cluster X DREWnet (DREWnet clearly the winner of the death chart resolution test)


    Driftwood - Cluster X - DREWnet 12-15 Classic GOP (TRIAL 4) - MEGA Quantisation -
    Driftwood - Cluster X - DREWnet 12-15 Classic GOP (TRIAL 5) - MEGA Quantisation -
    Driftwood - Cluster X - DREWnet 12-15 Classic GOP (TRIAL 6) - MEGA Quantisation All QP10 -
    Driftwood - Cluster X - DREWnet 12-15 Classic GOP (TRIAL 7) - MEGA Quantisation All QP10 plus iA modes working-
    Driftwood - Cluster X - DREWnet 12-15 Classic GOP (TRIAL 8) - MEGA Quantisation - 80percent mode on 24H setting - All QP10 plus iA modes working-
  • 6 GOP - Middle Earth 'Nebula'

    Latest update notes: Trial 6b - 1080p24 mode massively adjusted HUGE quality improvement. 1080i/720p modes stabilised and tested for iA modes. *Minor update to HBR25 for stability reasons as reported by top tester @towi - many thanks.

    Cluster X Series: 6 GOP - 'Nebula' Trial 6b (Released 03/3/2013)

    Great middle ground setting - even 6 GOP with i frames closer together than classic GOP reporting quality in motion and excellent picture resolvement at decent bitrates - adjusting itself to picture requirement accordingly.

    • Excellent 1080p24p around 90Mbps Lo detail to 130Mbps Hi detail.

    • Superb quality 720p60/50 50Mbps lo scene detail to 70Mbps Hi detail and fast action.

    • Top notch 50Mbps HBR30p/25p/FSH 1080i50i/60i setting.

    Cluster X Series - 'Nebula' 6 GOP - Trial 4 -
    Driftwood Cluster X Series - 'Nebula' 6 GOP - Trial 5 -
    Driftwood Cluster X Series - 'Nebula' 6 GOP - Trial 5b -
    Driftwood Cluster X 'Nebula' Trial 6 -
    Driftwood Cluster X 'Nebula' Trial 6b Towi -
  • 3 GOP - Hi-Quality - Pro Motion 'Spizz'

    Update News (03/03/2013): Spizz Trial 5 released based on some of the ideas from Nebula and DREWnet. Its a safe QP15 and seems to work on all modes including iA (Intelligent Auto) @bkmcwd and @towi will be testing these findings and improving them even further. More possible updates on Spizz with bkmcwd's and towi's findings soon.


    Cluster X Series: 3 GOP 'Spizz' from Driftwood, bkmcwd and with the help of @towi Trial 5 (Released 03/03/2013)

    Updated Matrix and NO frame limit to cater for the hi-bitrate superior looking files. 1080p24 now records at a minimum of around 90Mbps on low detail stuff and 137Mbps at high detail. 720 SH/1080iFSH now work on iA modes, HBR modes should be very high quality.

    Many thanks to @bkmcwd and @towi for improving these settings.

    Cluster X Series: 3 GOP 'Spizz' from bkmcwd Trial 4 (Released 12/02/2013)

    An update and 'tune-up' to Trial 3 with stability in 720p modes. Matrix and frame limit amendments to cater for the hi-bitrate superior looking files.

    Cluster X Series: 3 GOP 'Spizz' Trial 3 (Released 06/02/2013)

    An update to Trial 2 with stability in 720p60 by utilising a 6 GOP. Also the 24p L setting is now fashioned to 72Mbps i/b frames for fast action and more ameniable quality than the previous 50Mbps L setting.

    Note: 3 GOP 720p60 is still being worked on by bkmcwd amd 'may' appear in Trial 4. However, the 6 GOP as usual is the best there is.

    Cluster X Series: 3 GOP 'Spizz' Trial 2 (Released 03/02/2013)

    An update to Trial 1 with stability in HBR/FSH/720p modes and better overall constant picture QP.

    Cluster X Series: 3 GOP 'Spizz' Trial 1

    • All round 3 GOP from 720p, FSH 1080i, HBR, and top rate 24p all using the new balanced Cluster X series matrix.
    • Very Hi-quality reliable setting including upto 117Mbps 24p.
    • Unique 3 GOP 720p implementation with great QP upto 76Mbps Hi Scene detail / 40Mbps avg Lo scene detail.
    • Hi quality HBR Progressive 25p/30p and FSH 1080i interlaced modes. Upto 80+Mbps Hi-detail scenes.
    • No Frame limit on any of the 3 GOP settings and ALL utilising B frames.

    Further tests & releases of these settings will be conducted by @bkmcwd and @towi.

    Spizz in action:- 3 Pictures of 24p, HBR25p & 720p50 (Spizz handles 720p50 at 3 GOP - Flowmo uses 6 GOP) modes demonstrated against another popular 3 GOP setting. You be the judge.



    HBR25p HBR

    720p50 720p50

    Cluster X Series - 'Spizz' 3 GOP - Trial 1 -
    Cluster X Series - 'Spizz' 3 GOP - Trial 2 -
    Cluster X Series - 'Spizz' - 3 GOP - Trial 3 -
    bkmcwd - Cluster X 'Spizz' Trial 4 -
    Driftwood Cluster X Series - SPIZZ - Trial 5 from Driftwood and bkmwcd -
  • 1 GOP Intra - moon - Top Grading - Best Motion

    Update News (updated 18/02/2013): Released after 720p/HBR/FSH renumerations - Great quality and QP all round in the moon tradition ;-) - 'moon' (trial 5) 1080p24 stays with the sharper 'Blue moon' matrix and the QP of Trial 3 - nice all round mix.

    Cluster X Series: 'Moon' includes 1 GOP Intra 24p & HBR25/ 3 GOP 720p50/60 and HBR30p/FSH modes Trial 5 (Released 18/02/2013)


    • 1080p24 All Intra - Low 14-16 QP avg picture quantisation - hi-bitrate 100+ to 151Mbps superior quality

    • 1080i50/HBR 25p All Intra - 14-16 avg QP - 60Mbps Med detail scenes bitrate excellent quality to 90Mbps hi bitrate/hi detail great quality

    • 1080i60/HBR30p 3 GOP with P frames avg 14-16 QP 50Mbps Lo bitrate great quality to 72Mbps Hi bitrate hi detail

    • 720p50/60p 3 GOPwith P Frames - avg 14-16 QP - 50+Mbps to 72Mbps stabilised hi bitrate / detail / quality

    80% Mode recordings should be operated on the high bitrate 'L' setting primed for this mode.

    This setting is primed for 1080p24 'in tight', medium, and busy detail scenes offering even sharper quantisation performance and is in the middle of trial 3 and trial 4 to please everybody (inc. me).


    Driftwood 'VK' Trial 1 -
    Driftwood 'VK' Trial 2 -
    Driftwood 'Moon' Trial 3 -
    Driftwood Cluster X Series 'moon' Trial 4 featuring 'Blue Moon' Matrix -
    Driftwood Cluster X Series 'moon' Trial 5 'Blue Moon' Matrix QP16 - plus reliable 720p-HBR-FSH -
  • Looking forward to this series.

  • Cluster X 6 GOP 'Nebula' - looks like intra .I tested only noise in low light (24h).

  • I've been stuck to Cluster V6 DrewNet as it seems to be the only one which spans forever. 6 GOP Nebula ran for 10min before stopping. Are any of the other X versions likely to span reliably?

  • @Driftwood

    I'm on Cluster X Nebula 6 GOP now. Not a very representative test. I use ExTele on a Nikon 400mm f3.5 wide open for filming ducks in the snow. I shoot 30p and slow down in post to 25p for more relaxed looking ducks. I also use a ND4x drop in filter, but that doesn't help much. I'm forced to close down the aperture at times or slightly increase the shutter above 1/60th. I'll try to post some results as soon as possible. Thanks for all your hard work.

  • Cheers Nick @driftwwod.

    First of all I'd like to thank you for working on long GOPs too.

    The trials links might be more pinpoint like this: and

    For efficiency reasons I've very much interested in these settings. Which matrices are you using in them?

    If you don't mind, it would be nice if you set a purpose/mission statement/small description in the first thread. :)

  • @duartix Soon... its the mystique! But just for you, its all about trying to achieve the best balanced settings for Q16 throughout the differing GOPs.

  • Ok, I'll wait, thanks again! Meanwhile I'll test your advance.

    Q16? Isn't it overkill? I've read reports saying that SSIM values of 0.985 are near transparent and my x264 exports regurlarly exceed that at Q20. I'm probably comparing apples and oranges because any similarities between the GH2 and x264 regarding h.264 profiles, might be a pure coincidence. I even seriously doubt that the GH2 codec is tuned for SSIM, probably it's just PSNR. No CABAC either, no dynamic DCT partitions, different scaling matrices, etc...

    Taking these considerations I understand perfectly that your priorities are on absolute IQ, while mine are more focused on efficiency and "just" maintaining visual transparency, but since you have a lot of "Pro" settings, I'm grasping at some "diversity" here, in the lines of a Sanity sidekick. :)

    Great work!

  • @duartix I can get fairly low Q with an appalling matrix on certain pictures. It has to be a decent matrix for overall use so a death chart and my own 'busy' park scene of death (a scene which includes lots of trees and bushes and a moire prone grille in a wall) is being used to judge the results. Basically the goal is to get average PSNR to near (or just over) to 50db YUV in Elecard for a fairly busy hi/low contrast image. |:-)

    I'm hoping you guys will give me the subjective quality test results!

    Its going to take some time so be patient all.

  • OK, I didn't knew you were using some objective measure to access IQ, that's a good systematic approach, even though PSNR/MSE is a very poor (although simple and very fast to compute) when compared to SSIM:

    I was about to ask you how on Earth was StreamEye reporting PSNR values without a reference (uncompressed video) but after some research (and finally reading the manual) it seems that it's able to compute a very good estimation (thus the name E-PSNR) from the encoded stream (macroblocks, headers and quantisers). Well... it's better than nothing, and still very useful for settings development. :)

    Time to do some patching...

  • I just shot some stuff with Cluster X Series: 6 GOP - 'Nebula' and it's looking really good. Today is very sunny and contrasty, but all looks great so far! Can't wait to try it out some more over the weekend.

  • Wrong thread

  • NEWS: Still a lot of testing going on with all new Cluster Xs :-)

  • Wrong thread

  • Cluster X Series updated above.

  • @driftwood: Spizz sounds super interesting! Trying it right away. For which scenarios did you invent the new matrix? Cheers and thanks for your efforts!

  • Here is my promised birdvideo with Cluster X Nebula trial 2 Nikon 400mm f3.5@Ex tele 1080p30 playback at 25fps, ND4, 1/100, f3.5

    Got only one hangup with a lot of clips. Very very very nice setting. Excellent work Driftwood.


  • @RKM Bart, that looks very promising - and with EX Tele! :-) Excellent shot.

  • @driftwood, Thanks for releasing Spizz

  • @bkmcwd here is a HBR sample from Cluster X 6 GOP Nebula: Best HBR footage from my cam so far.(just converted with compressor for youtube) Other modes are also ok. tonight I've loaded 'Spizz' and give it a try couple of days. excellent setting 6 GOP nebula is. I hope 3GOP is better.and very curious about ClusterX intra VK. Also have to mention intravenus V1 is my personal best. Thank you Driftwood.

    all -2 smooth iso160

  • We're now at the climax of all settings to date.

    Folks this is it!

    Cluster X Series = the ultimate series - simply awesome!

  • @Mirrorkisser @abraham1307 @cjdincer

    I am starting the test for improving 'Spizz' requested from Nick. I think that this takes time for a while. Many thanks for your feedbacks about Spizz. :-)

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