CINEXTOOLS OVERVIEW

cineXtools is a media-file and deliverables management application comprised of several modules. The primary module is cineXinsert which enables true File-based insert edits to closed files. cineXinsert is accompanied by several standard and optional modules including; Trim and Extend, Rewrap & Audio Versioning, Create Insert Media and the DPP Metadata Editor. Learn about the cineXtools workflow revolution:
32 AUDIO CHANNELS

HOW IT USED TO BE

If you have never been in one of those editing ‘crash for air hot-seats’, believe it, last minute changes to a program can be extremely tense.

For those who were not part of the “tape generation”, magnetic video tape, in a cassette or on a reel (still in use in many facilities), was the mainstay of video production, at least until the late 1990’s. Over the years, tape technology improved but across the evolution, typical workflows for putting together a program consist of:

1) Gather the many source tapes that hold the content for the final program

2) Accurately re-record segments from a tape player to a tape recorder, shot-by-shot, audio track by audio track, from the beginning of the program to the end.

It is tedious and requires excellent timing, rhythm and planning because once you pass a section, significant changes are difficult. That said, one major advantage to linear tape editing is that when you get to the end, you are done…There is no additional output phase as there is with non-linear edit systems and QC (quality control) is already complete because the work is observed and processed in real-time. More to the point, because tape technology allows inserting (replacing content), another dramatic advantage is last minute changes can be completed mere seconds before a program has to be delivered or go “on-air”.

These crash sessions can be very upsetting  but the practical deadline is however many seconds it takes to rewind a program back to the start from wherever the changes were made. Let’s face it, no matter how stressful it might be, making the delivery just-on-time is better than not making it at all.

When used in conjunction with a non-linear system as the deliverable format, a tape can also be a great time saver. When a change is made to the show timeline, all that needs to be done is a quick insert from the NLE to the tape of the changed section. Besides the many machine support issues, the main issue is video tape has already been phased out to the point that many companies only accept files for program deliveries, which brings us to why cineXinsert matters.


WHAT DOES IT DO?

cineXinsert solves the time and resource-intensive problem of repeating an entire export and QC process just to make a small change in a program, by giving you direct access to the video and audio essence in your flat deliverable files.

In other words, cineXinsert allows content to be accurately replaced in a file, based on timecode in and out points – pretty much just like working on tape.

The freedom brought on by non-linear editing from the restraints of linear tape, is nothing short of a miracle. However, non-linear edit solutions do have limitations.

The biggest current challenge with file-based post workflows and deliverable files is that when a problem is discovered in a file, it is necessary to go back and repeat the entire export and QC process – throwing away hours, possibly days of additional time and resources.

Instead of facing time-consuming and costly work to make even the simplest correction to a file, cineXinsert gives you all of the tools you need in a familiar player/recorder interface to simply change specific audio and video essence in your flat file.

This eliminates massive backwards steps and cineXinsert can streamline the deliverable process by allowing you to create files with up to 32 audio tracks, bypassing the 16-track limitation of SDI.


HOW WILL IT HELP ME?

cineXinsert can reduce a multi-hour or multi-day re-export and QC process to just a few minutes by editing new content directly into an exported ProRes, DNxHD, AVC-Intra, XDCAM-HD, or JPEG 2000 file!

To really illustrate and understand how cineXinsert helps, we need to review the process which makes even simple corrections to files unproductive and costly.

Wherever you work and whether it is at a large or small post-production facility, you go through a time-consuming and tedious process to create a final deliverable file. In the best and most streamlined situations, you edit a program with your non-linear system, export the program to a flat file , QC the file, find and fix an issue and repeat the entire process. Larger facilities tend to have even more complicated workflows, which integrate additional steps like first laying off to tape to help isolate problems and reduce workload in the QC phase.

cineXinsert is all about eliminating complete show exports and full QC sessions just to make small fixes by directly accessing and changing flat, exported files – helping to save you hours, sleep, hair and $$$.

Instead of a massive multi-step dance to produce a new corrected deliverable file, with cineXinsert in your arsenal, you simply create a small file containing just the elements you need to replace:

1) Open that file in the cineXinsert Player.

2) Load the show file in the cineXinsert recorder, set the edit points and place the new correct content over the old wrong content, and you are done.

A multi-hour re-export and QC process was just reduced to a few minutes!


HOW DOES IT WORK?

cineXinsert understands where content is located in the files – somewhat the same way a tape machine understands where frames reside on a tape, allowing you to accurately go in and replace that specific video or audio content.

Although not a scientifically accurate description, your video files are like a strip of film and changing content in them is like cutting into that film and replacing some frames.

This is easy to do with real film because you can see the frames and what’s in them. In the same way, cineXinsert can see and understand the structure of where specific content is located in the files – somewhat the same way a tape machine understands where certain frames reside on a tape. This knowledge map allows cineXinsert to accurately go in and replace specific video or audio content.

So instead of re-exporting an entire program after making a change in your non-linear system, you export only the changed section – just the minimum of required content.

For example, it may be that someone’s name is incorrect so you need just the 7 seconds of the interview that contains the corrected lower 3rd title. Of course, rendering out 7 seconds from your NLE is much faster than rendering out the entire hour. Once you have created a small file containing the required new content, the insert process is easy, using an interface similar to a typical non-linear edit system:

1) Open the source and target files into the cineXinsert player and recorder.

2) Set edit points for a three point edit.

3) Select the appropriate video and or audio source and destination channels.

4) Trigger ‘insert’ to fill in the selected area with the new content.

What is particularly amazing is that because you are working entirely in a file-based domain, the insert happens at the speed of light – well, the speed of your processors, bus and drives which in any case is significantly faster than real-time.


WHICH FILE TYPES?

Whether it’s ProRes, DNxHD, AVC-Intra, XDCAM-HD or JPEG 2000; MOV or MXF; SD, HD, or 4K, cineXinsert has you covered, regardless of how or where the file was created.

Cinedeck’s cineXinsert currently supports Apple ProRes, Avid DNxHD, AVC-Intra, XDCAM-HD and DPX files. The content can be contained in a MOV (quicktime), MXF OpAtom or MXF Op1a wrapper and the files to be edited can be from anywhere. Also, insert edit is resolution independent so cineXinsert can insert new content into your flat SD, HD, or 4K file.

Files might come from Final Cut, Media Composer, Premiere or any number of other production systems… They do not need to be Cinedeck generated but of course, Cinedeck files can be edited as well. As long as your file is not some sort of non-standard creation, cineXinsert can make changes in it and save you time.

It is also important to note that the resulting file is NOT some form of MXF package or QuickTime Reference file.

Unlike the process of editing the metadata of something like a MXF AS-11 file to point to content newly added into the package, when an insert is done using Cinedeck’s cineXinsert, you are actually replacing parts of the original flat video and audio essence.

THIS MEANS SEVERAL THINGS:

1) The process is not limited to AS-11 files.

2) The Cinedeck system can change MOV, MXF OpAtom, MXF Op1A or the more specific DPP Op1A files, containing ProRes, DNxHD, AVC-Intra, XDCAM-HD or JPEG 2000 essence.

3) Because changes are being written into the flat audio and video essence, file compatibility is maintained. The resulting file after inserting is the same file – it’s just that some audio or video frames were replaced.


32 CH. AUDIO

Deliverables with 5.1 sound, stereo, multiple languages and more are no problem with 32 audio tracks per file.

Many recording systems are limited to just a few audio tracks, sometimes just 4, sometimes, just 8 and SDI only carries 16 channels but files can support more.

Using cineXinsert, it is possible to work with up to 32 channels of audio in your deliverable file. Additionally, you can create blank “black files” (the file-based analogy to black tapes) already prepared to take those 32 tracks, reducing or eliminating the mayhem of multiple deliverables, just to fulfill the complete track count.


TRUE INSERTS

Cinedeck’s cineXinsert provides a radically new post workflow. The resulting file after an insert is NOT a different file or some form of MXF package or QuickTime reference file; it is a flat, fully compatible, normal ProRes, DNxHD, AVC-Intra, XDCAM-HD or JPEG 2000 file.

Unlike the process of editing the metadata of something like a MXF AS-11 file to point to content newly added into the package, when an insert is done using Cinedeck’s cineXinsert, you are actually replacing parts of the original flat video and audio essence.

The process works with MOV, MXF OpAtom, MXF Op1A or the more specific DPP Op1A files, containing ProRes, DNxHD or AVC-Intra essence.

Moreover, because changes are being written into the flat audio and video essence, file compatibility is maintained. The resulting file after inserting is the same file; it’s just that some audio or video frames were replaced.

With all of these editing capabilities, (just like on tape) when you get to the end you are done, there is no need to export, render or consolidate.


SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

cineX – We can talk about it all day but the bottom line is, cineXtools is Simple Magic

Cinedeck’s stand-alone tools are designed to solve problems and make your life easier, not harder so the system requirements are also quite simple.

macOS:

If you work in the Apple space, you can use just about any Mac computer, the only real requirement is that it needs to be running OS X 10.9 {AKA Mavericks} or newer.

Windows:

If you are in the Windows world, again, just about any hardware will do but it needs to be running Windows 7 x64 (64-bit) service pack 1 or newer. Windows 10 is fine.
If you are having difficulties starting cineX on your Windows 7 system, run Windows update to assure that it has the latest fixes.

In rare situations, after the Windows 7 update completes, you may receive errors indicating missing files. In this case, it may be necessary to manually install both of these Visual Studio libraries:
VS2015 Redistributable​:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=48145
VS2010 Redistributable​:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=13523

cineXtools License:

CineX needs a license to run but bear in mind that licenses are OS independent; in other words, it does not matter if you are using a Mac or a PC.
The license can be installed on your system (this is known as a machine license) or, if you need more mobility, you can put your license on an iLok Second Generation USB Smart Key device and plug it into whatever computer you are using. This is the same device used by Avid and many other companies and the keys can hold many licenses. If you do not currently own a 2nd gen iLok USB key, they can be purchased at iLok.com and through many other resellers worldwide.

Additionally, you need a free iLok account. If you do not have one, no worries, when you go through the purchase or trial request, one will be automatically setup. If you do have an iLok account, you can use it.

Performance:

Of course, a more powerful system will perform better when running cineXtools but really, the biggest factor is disk I/O. Source and target files can reside on any drive; a local built-in disk, local attached disk (USB, Thunderbolt, etc.) or somewhere on your network but cineX is all about reading and writing data so the best performance will be seen when you work on SSDs, particularly for the target drive. A fast local RAID or fast network storage on an 8 Gigabit or faster connection is good too. The worst is something like a USB2 single platter spinning hard drive.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.