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BloodSpell Development Updates

Canopus ProCoder - Just Say No.

BloodSpell Development Updates

Canopus ProCoder - Just Say No.

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I must echo Ross's comments on one thing last week - Canopus ProCoder is a total and utter dog of a program. Seriously, I'd be unimpressed by its level of unexplained bugginess in a shareware package, never mind something costing 300 - yes, 300 - pounds.

Let's see.

We bought it to automate our release process by running off Quicktime, Windows Media and Divx versions of our vids automatically. It can't do that - it doesn't play nice with Quicktime 7, and crashes with unexpected errors whenever you ask it to encode an H.264 video. It also sometimes mysteriously crashes when running out WMVs.

We also wanted it to convert our AVI files to Quicktime for Final Cut Pro. It can do that - most of the time. I reckon it crashes about 1 time in 4. However, it can't handle input files with different aspect ratios - it just automatically puts black letterboxes around the edge of some of the videos. It does this, by the way, automatically, and there's no way to turn it off, according to Canopus Tech Support.

(Virtualdub, which is FREE, handles the problem without incident. Oh, how I wish there was a version of VDub that would handle Quicktime.)

And, just now, it won't convert 2 files with inpoints and outpoints into Quicktime. No wierd aspect ratios, no odd codecs- we're using PNG, for heaven's sake - it just crashed out every time with a "QT Writer Error". Eventually I did it in Premiere instead. Because it was easier.

So, if you're reading this and looking for a decent video conversion package, for the love of whatever deity you choose, buy Cleaner XL. (We would, but we can't afford another three-figure purchase right now). Or code your own. Or use Compressor. Just don't buy ProCoder. It's possibly the worst, most buggy commercial package I've ever used.
  • Are you in a postition to make a complaint to the company (how long have you had the programme)? If you were paying someone to perform that service for you, and they performed that poorly, you certainly wouldn't pay them. I think it sounds like you'd be absolutely justified in going right to a manager and asking for a refund, and sending the software back. After all, it's not even remotely doing what it was meant to do, and you'll need to spend the money on getting a programme that really works.

    If you've not got the time/energy, I can help out. I'm working 9-5, but after that I'm quite happy to bend people to my will. I had that sort of day on Sunday. :)
    • *Looks rather embarassed*

      We kinda lost the box, with the CD in it. However, we still have the dongle (the bit that makes it go) and we have receipts and all that sort of thing, so if you reckon it would be a goer on that basis...

      We've had the program a bit over a month.
      • Well, there's nothing to lose in trying. I'd argue it on the basis that you purchased the programme to perform a task which it said it could do, that you're running it on more than adequate hardware, and it's not performing at all to an adequate standard; crashing one use out of four is not acceptable in a programme that costs that much. I think as long as you have the reciepts, and you can send them back the dongle, and tell them that you've been so busy attempting to make up for the lost time that the programme has cost you that you're unable to supply them with the cd and box at this time, but you will do as soon as your deadline is up. I cerainly would advise that it's worth going right up the management chain - after all, they don't know that you're a small company - and it would be very easy for you to let the film community know that their software is worse than useless. I suspect if you get a highish up manager they'll be quite happy to arrange a refund.
  • MPEG Streamclip

    (Anonymous)
    You might have better luck with MPEG Streamclip. And it's free.

    http://www.squared5.com/
    • Re: MPEG Streamclip

      Only outputs single files, as far as I can see - I'm normally needing to batch-convert 60 or so files at once.
  • Super is simply that

    (Anonymous)
    Not sure if you've explored SUPER at all, but I use it for all my export flavors. Generate one AVI and then use SUPER to export MOVs, MP4s, WMVs and even FLVs.

    Believe me, I don't mean to sound like a salesperson but its freeware and its been a great addition to my video software library.

    http://www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html
    • Re: Super is simply that

      Damn. Super looks great, but it doesn't encode to all flavours of .mov, only some compressed versions.

      We need to go to the Animation codec, which Super doesn't support.
  • cleaner xl

    (Anonymous)
    go to www.katz.ws and do a search for autodesk or cleaner xl .

    you will be pleasnatly surprised ..
    • Re: cleaner xl

      Thanks for the suggestion, but, well, there's this whole thing where using warez on a very high-profile, publically-accessible project isn't the smartest idea in the world...

      Plus, I'd infinitely prefer to use either reasonably-priced or open-source software.
  • I agree

    (Anonymous)
    We have been using ProCoder here for a while too and found that it makes high luma levels and superblacks on mpeg2 files, rendering them unbroadcastable. Haven't used the quicktime support that much but have found it a bit buggy.

    Oh and as for the black bars yes they are annoying, but can be dealt with. You have to fool PC into thinking you dont need any aspect ratio change, so put the same aspect ratio setting in the source and target. (this normally takes 2 tries before the damn thing works how you want it)
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