Sheer Video Codec
  • Doerak
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    Sheer Video Codec

    by Doerak » Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:20 pm

    The guys from Grid (Vidvox) are really hyping this Sheer codec for VJ-ing. Is this just marketing or does it really have advantages? Unfortunately I'm not such a video guru that I can test this myself. Can somebody enlighten me?[/url]
  • Guest

    by Guest » Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:15 pm

    well, as you i'm not a guru - but i'm quite sure you will be perfectly fine with Apple's PhotoJPEG at 75% quality. and it's for free ;)

    i had a look at Sheer when i needed a usable codec for the wintel platform (still on the run, btw) - seems to be a real wonder when it comes to archiving (reducing size with no loss), but i don't think it performs better than PhotoJPEG ...

    still on my test list, though
    greetz, fons
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    yves@garagecube
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    Re: Sheer Video Codec

    by yves@garagecube » Wed Feb 16, 2005 1:04 pm

    Doerak wrote:The guys from Grid (Vidvox) are really hyping this Sheer codec for VJ-ing. Is this just marketing or does it really have advantages? Unfortunately I'm not such a video guru that I can test this myself. Can somebody enlighten me?[/url]


    Last time we checked it was not faster than the Photo-JPeg, at least in the context of Modul8. It is suprising because in theory data are arranged in a good way for Modul8 (ARGB). Now I think that a new version has been released since the last time we tested it, so it may be interesing to give a new try.

    Yves.
  • Doerak
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    by Doerak » Wed Feb 16, 2005 1:12 pm

    I assume ARGB means RGB+AlphaChannel. Is this the same stucture as PhotoJPEG has?

    But as I understood, most of the clips are decompressed and put in the memory for fast access. I assume you put them in the memory in some sort of compression, or does that depend on the way the clip is compressed?

    And (again, I am not an expert here) I always understood that YUV was way faster for VJ programs, because it handles data more eficcient?

    I would love answers on this, but be sure to give V2 more priority :wink:
  • Guest

    Hi from VIDVOX!

    by Guest » Thu Feb 17, 2005 6:46 am

    Howdy,

    David from Vidvox here!

    Just thought I'd pop in and post our findings and give our little bit about why we think Sheer is so great. As a note, we don't see a single dime from BitJazz. We really think it is an awesome codec that let's you work with video in real-time without a visible loss in quality.

    So, Sheer is like best of both worlds when it comes to video codecs for real-time video.

    PhotoJPEG is great because the files are very small and very easy on the processor to decompress. However, they introduce a lot of aliasing, especially when you get below 90% quality.

    On the other hand you've higher quality codecs that for one reason or another become too much for the computer to handle when you have multiple streams. For example DV files are processor intensive to decompress and uncompressed files which are very large (esp. with ARGB), so lots of disk access.

    Then you've got Sheer, which is loss-less (very high quality), easy to decompress and not too big.

    In terms of performance and disk size, how does it compare to PhotoJPEG..? It's close. PhotoJPEG files will be smaller and easier to decompress, so under an extremely very heavy load, P-JPEG will perform better.. the exact details depend on what quality settings you are using.. but there is a HUGE difference between the way P-JPEG will look, even at 90 or 95% compared to Sheer.

    Hope this helps clear up our position on Sheer.. let me know if you've got any Q's about what I've written..

    - DL @ VV
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    yves@garagecube
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    Re: Hi from VIDVOX!

    by yves@garagecube » Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:26 am

    Hello David!

    ...thank you for the explanation!

    Yves.
  • Doerak
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    by Doerak » Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:36 am

    So it boils down to:

    Sheer (compared to PhotoJPG) will decrease your performance by a little, but increase the quality of your images by a lot.
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    by mannikin » Tue Jul 12, 2005 7:06 pm

    I tried out Sheer. I still think PJpeg at 100% looks great and does the job nicely. I don't understand why you'd want to compress your PJPEG files at anything other than 100%?! If you're worried about performance, just use a fast external HD (FW800).

    J.

    Doerak wrote:So it boils down to:

    Sheer (compared to PhotoJPG) will decrease your performance by a little, but increase the quality of your images by a lot.
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    by Akira » Tue Jul 19, 2005 11:51 pm

    I use MJPEG at 100% and I am pretty satisfied with it. You think PhotoJPEG would do better?

    The thing that always oried me most about compression is how flat colors lok. I use a lot of flat stuff in my motion graphic designs, and anything but MJPEG @ 100% blurred things, specially if you used red!
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    by mannikin » Tue Jul 19, 2005 11:56 pm

    hmmm, I should do a test. I was just following their own advice on compression. Which one do you use, A or B? I could never figure out what the difference was!

    Thanks;
    J.

    Akira wrote:I use MJPEG at 100% and I am pretty satisfied with it. You think PhotoJPEG would do better?

    The thing that always oried me most about compression is how flat colors lok. I use a lot of flat stuff in my motion graphic designs, and anything but MJPEG @ 100% blurred things, specially if you used red!
    S Y N F O N Y<> S T U D I O S
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  • Guest

    Hi from Resolume!

    by Guest » Mon Aug 01, 2005 10:57 pm

    Anonymous wrote:Howdy,

    David from Vidvox here!

    Just thought I'd pop in and post our findings and give our little bit about why we think Sheer is so great. As a note, we don't see a single dime from BitJazz. We really think it is an awesome codec that let's you work with video in real-time without a visible loss in quality.



    Hi this is Bart from Resolume,

    i actually find this hard to beleave. the guys from Sheer actually contected us to ask if we could do some 'mutual benefit marketing' or something like that.

    We refused because the sheer codec is ok but not great. File size is pretty big so it,s not that fast if you play multiple files.

    So there is might not be any money exhanged but there must be an 'i rub your back you rub mine' deal going on between Sheer and Vidvox.
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    boris
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    by boris » Tue Aug 02, 2005 12:41 am

    Hi Resolume !

    The last year, we received the same message from Sheer :wink: :wink:
    Boris * garageCube team
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    rolin
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    Sheer vs. Photo JPG (vs. Animation)

    by rolin » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:40 pm

    This has been quite an interesting discussion,
    especially because representatives of 3 of the major VJ apps dropped their say ;)

    But now 4 years later the question still remains interesting (for us),
    because at the moment we try to squeeze
    the maximum performance and power out of Modul8.

    And one way would be to find the best codec…

    We also often use the Animation codec,
    because of it's ability to store alpha channels.

    Here's my recap of our resaerch and this thread so far (+/-):

    Photo JPEG

    + fast compression/decompression (Motion JPEG is slightly slower)
    + small files
    + free

    - compression setting below 100% quality causes visible loss depending on the complexity of the clip (Motion JPEG is far better there)
    - no alpha information

    Sheer Video Codec

    + lossless
    + stores alpha channel (RGBA)
    + fast compression/decompression (according to Sheer faster than Photo JPEG)

    - larger files
    - third party, future support?
    - $149 (!)

    Animation Codec

    + stores alpha channel
    + free
    + good compression on clips with large areas of constant colours

    - not lossless (when compression below the 100% quality setting)
    - large files and strong disc traffic (sometimes choppy playback)
    - hardly compression on complex clips or real world footage

    So in general I'd say in times of 4GB of RAM
    Photo JPEG is the winner especially because it's free compared to the Sheer video codec.

    But on the other hand for clips with alpha information and
    in terms of performance Sheer seems to be better than the Animation codec,
    but still far more expensive.

    So the question is: is the Sheer video codec really worth $149 ?

    Anyone with different or additional insights?

    Cheers,
    Roland
  • ilan

    by ilan » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:41 pm

    Have you tried using PNG for your clips with Alpha channel? I have pretty much converted all of the clips I used to have as Animation to PNG.
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    rolin
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    by rolin » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:12 pm

    Haven't tested that PNG option yet mainly because
    the research showed that the PNG codec causes huge amounts on data.

    But as most of the loops/clips are 10-20 seconds only
    this is def. worth a try!

    Thanx Ilan!

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