Solved Intermediate Files

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Intermediate Files was created by Schell

I usually create video proxies to help with the look of things in the preview window. Using intermediate files has been suggested to me. Do intermediate files help more when viewing various effects in the preview window...and... how do you create intermediate files? I've been looking but haven't been able to find out how to do it in Sony Movie Studio Platinum 13. Thanks to anyone who might have an answer to these questions.
24 Oct 2016 03:16 #1

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Replied by Eagle Six on topic Intermediate Files

Hi Schell,

This is my opinion, based on using intermediates files for about a year.....

Schell wrote: Do intermediate files help more when viewing various effects in the preview window...


Yes and No! Some intermediates files will run smoother and faster in playback preview, than the original source. How much smoother and faster, of course, depends on the original source, the intermediate file format selected, and your computer system. For SMS13p, the best intermediate format I found has been CineForm. However, when applying FX's, we need to keep in mind, with enough FX's we can bring almost any system to a craw as far as playback speed is concerned. Nonetheless, I found CineForm intermediates to run at full playback speed in 'Best (half)' or 'Best (full)' on my old system depending on the quality of CineForm used for the intermediate file. For me, it was the only method I tested that would give me reasonable results and continue to use the old computer system.


Schell wrote: and... how do you create intermediate files?


We create intermediate files by simply rendering the video. But we select a format that is either lossless or visually lossless. CineForm is a codec format that will provide visually lossless intermediates that run smooth and fast, yet are of reasonable files size and have visually no loss of quality. Straight lossless (uncompressed) file formats are sometimes the best as intermediates but the file sizes are huge.....real huge. CineForm format file intermediates are usually larger than the source, but much smaller than uncompressed, yet retain most of the original quality.

The only difference in the steps to create (render (Make Movie)) an intermediate files is using a different format template. You can do this without any special codec as a test by using the 'uncompressed' format.....

Start SMA13p, add a short test source media to the time line as usual. Select 'Make Movie' then 'Save to my hard drive', then 'Advanced options...'. From the left window 'Formats' scroll down and select 'Video for Windows'. From the right window 'Templates' select a template that closely fit your source media. For this example my source media is 1920x1080 29.97 progressive, so I selected the 'HD 1080-60i YUV' template. Then select 'Customize Template...'. A pop up window will appear labeled 'Custom Settings - Video for Windows' (at the bottom of this windows the 'Video' tab should be selected, if not select the 'Video' tab). In this window we can make the precise settings to match our source, as well as, selecting the codec to be used. For this example I will list the setting I have changed, but you will of course want to make the settings which better fit your source media.

Frame size and frame rate I left alone because that matches my source media, 1920x180 and 29.970 frame rate. Field order I changed from "Upper field first' to 'None (progressive scan)' to match my source media. 'Video format:' I changed to 'uncompressed'. Then I select the 'Project' tab (at the bottom of this window). In this window I change the 'Video rendering quality:' to 'Best' (note: if you have 'Best' select in your project settings, then using the default 'Use Project Settings' will also provide the best render quality). Then press 'OK'. Change the Folder and file name to somewhere you will be able to easily find it and the name to something that relates to your project source media. I use the a folder named 'Intermediate' and the original source media file name adding 'Intermediate' to the end, such as the original source file name is 'Lakeside Pan Left-to-Right-01' to Lakeside Pan Left-to-Right-01-Intermediate'. Don't include the file extension, as it will get changed from whatever extension your source is to '.avi'. For example my source media is in an .mov container and the uncompressed file render will be '.avi'.

Press the 'Render' button, that's it! Now you have an original source media clip to compare to the uncompressed (lossless) intermediate, both in size and how they playback within SMS13p.

If you are interested in trying the CineForm codec intermediate, reply back and I will post the steps which are very similar to this uncompressed method.

Keep in mind, the uncompressed and CineForm are not the only intermediate file format available, just CineForm, the one I use with success, and this uncompressed you can quickly use as a test. Hope you find this helpful.....

Added: Intermediate files, because of there physical size, are usually considered an editing format. They run smoother and provide great quality as source media. They are not good as a delivery format, such as for DVD's, Bluray disc, or publishing on the internet or viewing on a PC or handheld devices. A typical delivery format would be h.264 codec in an .mov or .mp4 container. So we take the source media, render to an intermediate, then use it as our source media to perform editing, color correction, titles, transitions, adding music, etc and then make the final render in our favorite delivery format such as h.264/MP4 for uploading to YouTube, etc.
Best Regards......George
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24 Oct 2016 05:09 #2

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Replied by DoctorZen on topic Intermediate Files

If you want to keep things simple, you can use the inbuilt Proxy Video creation tool in MSP13.
I show how to do this here:
Zen Tip #3: Why Is The Preview Window Lagging So Much in Sony Vegas?
Remember to turn everything off at least once a week, including your brain, then sit somewhere quiet and just chill out.
Unplugging is the best way to find solutions to your problems.
Peace :)
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24 Oct 2016 08:16 #3

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Replied by Schell on topic Intermediate Files

Thank you so much, George. I'll be giving this method a try. I really do appreciate all the help. It may take me a bit to figure it out.... but I'll start working on it. I started a project over the weekend and already went with video proxies.... so, once I'm done with that, I'll be giving intermediate files a go. I'm still working my way through this learning curve of mine... I'm very glad to have some place to go when I'm at a loss... Thanks, George !! ~ Schell.
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26 Oct 2016 07:52 #4

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Replied by Eagle Six on topic Intermediate Files

Hi Schell,

By far I agree, as Derek posted, using proxies files in SMS13p is the simple and easy way to go. On my old computer, building proxies was a bit painful, so I went to CineForm intermediates (which actually look as good and run smoother than the uncompressed method I posted). Then I upgraded to Vegas Pro 13 and used a couple free script files (scripting is not available in SMS13p) which enabled me to batch render to CineFrom. Now that I have a more capable computer for video work, it runs my source media (ProRes 422 HQ) files at full speed and is much faster and smoother during playback with transitions and FX's. It's about getting what best works for you and fits your workflow and time you have to devote.

The biggest difference between the uncompressed method I posted and rendering out CineForm intermediates is to get the CineForm codec installed. To do that you simply download and install the free GoPro Studio software. It will install the CineForm codec and be available in SMS13p, the next time you start SMS13p. Again, when and if you are interested, post back here and I can post some information about which setting and options may be best when using the CineForm codec.
Best Regards......George
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26 Oct 2016 09:02 #5

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Replied by Schell on topic Intermediate Files

Thanks Derek,
OK, I think I'm getting it. Your video and George's advice are now processing through my brain and things are coming into focus. I'm not an athlete but I use a GoPro because it kind of just fell into my lap. I take my GoPro to abandoned houses, not ski slopes. I'll be trying all the methods you described in the Zen Tips #3 video and I'm very familiar with GoPro Studio... it's what I started out with. It's good to know that the GoPro videos are considered troublesome. That make sense. I've been using the built in Create Proxy method but I'm very excited to try running my video through GoPro Studio first.

It's crossed my mind to run video through GoPro Studio to take advantage of their Flux function of slow motion.... Source Video>GoPro Studio>Flux>Render>Sony Movie Studio 13... Also... for the GoPro Camera in particular... I've heard the zoom function might work a little better with video shot on their own camera.

I was basically just looking for a way to experiment with the available FX and see how they might look with out having to render so that I could move along in my projects quicker. I just have a basic computer with Windows X and all this information here at MSZ is extremely helpful. It seems like Proxy Video and Intermediate Files are basically the same thing but different methods. My thanks to you and my thanks to Eagle Six !! ~ Schell.
26 Oct 2016 09:13 #6

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Replied by Schell on topic Intermediate Files

Hey George,
I just mentioned to Derek that this is all starting to make sense to me.... I'm very familiar with GoPro Studio and I didn't know that I could render to CineForm there..... even though that's what I'd been doing for a long while. I'm going to see if that method works better than using Proxy Video... and I'm going to experiment with running slow motion through their Flux function to see how that works with importing to Sony Movie Studio 13. A better computer for video work is definitely a goal for me... as is upgrading from 13.... but those things will have to wait, and I am patient. Thank you, George. From the time print of your post I'm guessing you're heading into Spring.... I, thankfully am heading into Autumn... and then a nice Winter. All the best ~ Schell.
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26 Oct 2016 09:28 #7

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Replied by Eagle Six on topic Intermediate Files

Hi Schell,

I never asked why someone recommended you use intermediate files as opposed to proxies, or if they realized that rendering your source through GoPro Studio to avi actually was creating an intermediate. However, if you are using a GoPro camera and are familiar with GoPro Studio, I think you are already where you need to be. I have GoPro Studio, as a few years ago I used a Hero 3 Black as a supplemental third camera for a shoot. However GoPro Studio doesn't work for me to make intermediate files as it will not recognize the ProRes or DNxHD source files from my main camera.

Hopefully the avi files you get from GoPro Studio will run smoother for you. Again, whatever you do to get the desired end results, will best be dtermined by you.
Best Regards......George
The following user(s) said Thank You: Schell
26 Oct 2016 10:19 #8

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Replied by Schell on topic Intermediate Files

Thanks George,

I did a test and ran a clip through GoPro Studio and then popped it into Movie Studio. It seemed to work well. I think the playback in the preview window was a bit smoother. Proxies seem to work just about as well.... I may run some more tests in the future but I think I've decided that Proxies are working just fine for me and are one less step to go through.

Thanks for all your advice ~ Schell.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Eagle Six
27 Oct 2016 22:11 #9

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