Personal View site logo
Make sure to join PV on Telegram or Facebook! Perfect to keep up with community on your smartphone.
GH2 - 2.5fps AVCHD 24h Timebuster/TimeHBusteR 2.0 settings - The day is not over!
  • 323 Replies sorted by
  • Hello, been lurking for many a day here, but here's a newbie post. Forgive my ignorance if I get things horribly wrong... ;)

    When I followed your workflow from the post on the 23rd January I misread and set the dial not to M Movie Mode (the one with the camera icon), but to M mode (in the bracket with S,A and P modes). From previous experience of shooting video, once you press record in this mode it sets to full automatic, with no manual control.

    If I was actually supposed to go to this mode, then ignore the rest of the post! :)

    If not, read on...

    For my testing I'm using a 16GB Class 10 Transcend Card and shooting in PAL Land.

    Whilst messing around with record mode settings I noticed that when I set it at 1080i SH mode and hit record I was shown an available record time of around 25minutes.

    But when I set the mode to 1080i H mode the available record time shot up to just over 3 hours. I pressed record, and noticed the one second on time remaining would click over around every 26 seconds. So 26 x 3 hours available to record. Well, I don't think so, but I'll get at least a few hours to the card.

    Even though it lets you set shutter speed and aperture for still photos, this resets once the record button is pressed. (I did try setting it to 2fps, but to no avail)

    Have plugged the GH2 into mains power and I'm trying a long (5-6 hour) record now. Will let you know how I go.

    Anyone explain to me whether I'm just doing a variation of the original intention?

    I am able to use it in Autofocus mode, though for my testing I'm using manual focus.

    If anything, it would be interesting to use automatic focus in time lapse, even though it's probably the much less sought after method of time lapse, it may be worthwhile in certain situations.

  • @Franger: In M Mode (Photo not Manual Movie) the camera will capture using 1080i50/60 or 720p25/30 according to the quality settings.

    In a quick and dirty, static, well illuminated and soft subject, 1060i60 is using about ~10Mbps which shakes my theory that the AVCHD modes other than 24p weren't compromised in any other way than GOP, but OTOH the P-Frames are a healthy 50% size of the I frames. I've yet to determine if I'm impairing them with the quantizer tables (which would be logical).

    (EDIT) I have tested and P-Frames are not impaired in 1080i60 nor in 720p, which makes sense after all since there are separate Quantizer Tables for 1080p24 and 50, for 1080i60 and for 720p. :)

    So I was probably using 1080i50 when that happened.

  • @duartix

    Yep, got about 210mins of ~10Mbps files spanned into four parts. It's an intersting mode, and may work better for certain cirumstances. Look forward to your further work in the field.

    I'm sure everyone is appreciating the amount of magic we can do with the GH2's in the past 6 months. :)

  • Yesterday I performed a few tests to clarify whether the Timebuster settings were impairing the 1080i60 mode.

    Well it's good news, they don't. The quantizer tables are only shared between 1080p24 and 1080i50, you can expect the same quality on 1080i60 and 720p as in LPowell's Flow Motion settings, so:

    • If you want to quickly switch from a timelapse to a FHD mode to capture at full speed and full IQ, you can! Just make sure your camera is set to NTSC.

    Quickly after that I went on to test a few other QPs (quantizer parameter) for 1080p and that's when I made an amazing realization about I-Frames which I will come to in a while. Reading , I was wondering whether I should make these settings more flexible by allowing the QP to be lowered and trade recording length for even more quality. I began by raising the 1080p24 Frame Limit to 10,000,000 (which @cbrandin says is the highest value that has any real effect ) and then I measured I-Frames which were pretty hefty topping at little over 1MB. When I lowered the QP from 20 to 16, little change occurred in I-Frame size. I then lowered it to 10. Same size as before. I couldn't get them any bigger no matter what I tried and not even close to 10,000,000! It then occurred to me to compare them to @driftwood 's Quantum or @bkmcwd 's GOP3ILLA and that's when it came to me:

    • I-Frame size in Timebuster @2fps is already as high as it gets. This means the same IQ or higher than the craziest bitrate patches out there. :) Probably as consequence of the very low fps and low P-Frame bitrate usage, the I-Frames already received enough bitrate to top their limit.

    P.S. I'm waiting for the next version of Lpowell's Flow Motion to adapt and release Timebuster v2. Meanwhile if you want to make use of these very little changes you just need to pick v1.2 and change the following:

    Quantizer for 720 modes=21 (was 20)

    1080p24 Frame Limit=10000000 (was 8800000)

  • Beware @Timelapsers.

    If you have updated to Firmware 1.1 avoid the HBR mode @fps like The Plague. I've been performing some preliminary tests to port Timebuster to fw 1.1 (I haven't found any major problem so far) and I found that HBR @2fps has terrible flickering/interlacing artifacts. Here's an example:

    I don't know if it translates to other SSs but so far @2fps it's always there and the more or less repeating pattern is: 15 frames OK, 3 Interlaced, 22 OK, 1 Interlaced, 13 OK, 3 Interlaced, 36 OK, 1 Interlaced, 22 OK...

    (EDIT) This is not just 2fps, I've tested 25fps and it also happens. :(

  • @duartix your findings are very interesting with the HBR mode. However, even for PAL land there is no need for the 25fps mode in case of timelapses. The resulting 2fps counts....

  • Oddly, try as I might, I couldn't replicate this behavior. I tried some other settings (FlowMotion vs Quantum) in good daylight and it didn't happen anymore. Now I've also tried it under incandescent (like yesterday) and no problems either... It looked related to PAL but I'm not sure if it's some weird interaction with my monitor because all other subjects failed to trigger this problem.

    Well, back to Timebuster work... :)

  • TimeBuster 1.3 is out with a lot of significant changes:

    • Ported to PTTools 3.64d

    • Savings on P-Frames is now accomplished by using a Scaling Table that is full of 0xFFFF for 1080p modes.

    • Quantizer boundaries were removed since they are now much more dependent on the new Quantizer Tables.

    • Redesigned for merging, these definitions try to be as independent as possible from their re-packaging definitions (in this case FlowMotion 1.1) and are published in two flavors: Timebuster 1.3 Base (for merging) and Timebuster 1.3 FloMo (merged with FlowMotion 1.1)

    Timebuster Base 1.3 was merge tested with @LPowell 's FlowMotion 1.1, @Balazer 's Cake 1.2 and Nick @Driftwood 's Quantum X (v2) with minimal impact on all modes except for 1080p. I recommend FlowMotion or Cake for the simple reason that the 1080p24 Frame Limit is set to a much higher value in these settings. In fact, if you care for nothing other than the 24p timelapse IQ and don't mind impacting some of the other modes, you should set it to 10,000,000.

    Merging Timebuster Base 1.3 with other settings is easiest done by loading Timebuster Base 1.3 first and then Alt+Clicking your choice of merger.

    The day is not over. :)

    Timebuster Base
  • Thanks @Vitaliy but the credit goes to you. With the new Scaling Tables my settings on AVCHD are now as simple as changing only 3 settings.

    The result (flatlines.png) is a beautiful flatline with Monster I-Frames and microscopic P-Frames that could almost hide behind the audio frames (which now I wish that could be disabled altogether).

    As a side note, I have to confess I developed a funny tendency to look up to some of the members of this community as the Three Musketeers:

    @Driftwood : The I-Frames (short GOP) Musketeer. :)

    @LPowell : The B-Frames Musketeer. :)

    @Balazer : The P-Frames Musketeer. :)

    Well, I really never had a choice. This (P vs B.png) is FlowMotion with totally trashing Scaling Tables (full of 0xFFFF) for P & B frames. It's obvious why I went with P.

    1716 x 839 - 81K
    P vs B.png
    1625 x 785 - 80K
  • My apologies if I have missed it .. @duartix, is there a possibility this will work with a GF2

  • WoW, very nice job! You are the P+B-Frame killer! Al

  • @kavadni : As it is, I seriously doubt! :( Forgive me my ignorance, I've just dl/ the GF2 fw and loaded it in PTTools 3.64d. The GF2 doesn't seems to have a 1080p mode.

    However, and if you are interested in adapting it to GF2 it should be pretty straightforward. Chose one of the available video modes of the GF2 to sacrifice. The real "meat" of AVCHD timelapsing is about 3 things now (as you can see if you dl Timebuster Base):

    • 1080i50 and 1080p24 GOP Size=13

    (synchs the I frames with 1/2s on 24p)

    • Encoder setting 1 1080i/p=2

    (inhibits B-Frames)

    • 1080p24 Scaling P=0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF, 0xFFFF

    (Trashes the P-Frames)

    It's really that easy. :) Now, can the GF2 go as low as 1/2s shutter in video? If not, you are going to have frame content that changes a lot more (and that will be much noisier) than on the GH2. P-Frames will still be trashed but now you'll have to be double careful in Post to take only the I-Frames from the input because P-Frames will look UGLY.

    In the end, I don't know if it pays off. It will depend A LOT on the I-Frame IQ.

    Sorry I can't be of more help, but without a GF2 body it's a bit difficult.

  • @duartix You dont have to bother with scalers to inhibit B frames, just do this. Encdoer Setting 4 720 = 2 or 1. Oh yeah I repeated myself! ... lost my memory in the myriad of pm requests methinks. sorry!

  • Hi, I have been reading a lot on this site about making timelapse. Still not succeded in making a timelapse myself with my GH2 so I have a question. I cannot open (or see) any .mts file on VirtualDub on my 64bit windows, I do have the plugin for 64bit and can select 'DirectShow Plugin' but .mts are not shown. If my question is on a wrong topic, please remove.

  • @driftwood : I do use Encoder Setting=2 to inhibit B-Frames (it was you who let me into that trick a few weeks ago), but then I also use the Scaler Tables to trash P-Frames, I have to trash them both, you see? This way I end up with 99% of the bitrate devoted to top IQ I-Frames very close to Frame Limit. The other 0,9% is Audio :( and the other 0,09% is P-Frames. ;)

    @RawB : No problem, .MTS is not a recognized extension so, in the File Open Dialog, type *.* in the filename and then Enter. You should see the .MTS files now. ;)

  • This may be a stupid question, but is it still necessary to use 1/2s shutter speed with v1.3?

  • @Kyle_167MX : The answer hasn't changed. You use what shutter speeds (SSs) you like best, however the settings as posted, are "married" to 1/2s by way of Parameter: 1080i50 and 1080p24 GOP Size=13. If you want other SSs, you should adjust that very GOP parameter according to this post:

    I was about to post an advice but I haven't finished testing and I'll explain it later, for now just take my word for it, if you care about motion fluidity, DON'T USE: 1/4s, 1/8s, 1/10s, 1/15s or 1/20s on 24p. Some of these have capture interruption that goes almost to 29%!!! This means that 1/3rd of the time the camera isn't capturing anything! :( But that will make it to another post!

  • @duartix This weekend Im going to give your setting a run out... exciting stuff.

  • Goddammit! Preliminary tests seem to indicate that HBR 25p is a lot more fluid than 24p. I might have to reconsider which mode to target...

    @driftwood : where it comes to settings, is HBR married to 24p or 1080i?

  • @duartix HBR is 1080i, there are no HBR-specific settings.

  • Thanks @LPowell , you've just made me dedicate another weekend to "the cause". :)

    @Everyone following this thread:

    In the making of this timelapse dedicated settings package, I've sacrificed 24p due to an initial hurdle in changing 1080i. After I've run a few preliminary tests with HBR 25p, everything points to the motion being much more fluid in HBR, so I'm standing on the wall right now and leaning to sacrifice 1080i instead.

    What we have now is:

    • Fully featured 720p

    • Fully featured 1080i

    • Seriously impaired 24p (fully dedicated to timelapses with "state of the art" IQ but pretty much useless for regular video at normal speed)

    • Fully featured HBR (with Long GOP on PAL 25p)

    • Even though there are some useful Shutter Speeds (SS), none below 1/25s is completely fluid (and I'll publish my findings in a dedicated thread)

    In other words these are specialized settings that work well on extreme timings short or long, but that are not the best you can achieve for regular video where you would have to use 1080i50/60 or HBR. This means you should be repatching every time if you want top Quality on both kinds of video. This isn't much of a nuisance if you have the patches on different cards and can afford to wait 3m for a repatch in situ.

    What we could have in the future is:

    • Fully featured 720p

    • Fully featured 24p

    • Seriously impaired 1080i & HBR (fully dedicated to timelapses with "state of the art" IQ but pretty much useless for anything else - like 1080i60 which may be dear to some of you)

    • Wide choice of completely fluid SS under 1/25s.

    In other words, these are less specialized settings that work well on both 24p Cinema, timelapses and 720p60, even though they are not the best you can have if you need extreme speed motion and 1080i50/60 is dear to you or if you need to use 25/30p a lot. But this also means that you are immediately ready to shoot all kinds of video with top IQ, and that you could have a long lasting settings package in the camera that is a Jack of all trades. The cherry on top is perfectly fluid motion on a good choice of SS.

    Now, which path?

  • @duartix: My vote is for sacrificing 1080i and HBR to create the timelapse mode, and retaining fully featured 720/60p and 1080/24p. This combination gives you the best mode for fast action (720/60p), the best mode for highest quality film-making (1080/24p), and what appears to be an even better mode than you've currently achieved for timelapse (HBR 25p), all in one settings package with no need to reflash firmware in the field.

    My understanding is that 1080i and HBR modes are unable to achieve comparable quality for film-making vs. 24p Cinema, so preserving them in an all-in-one settings package represents both a compromise in film-making quality as well as a compromise in timelapse fluidity (according to the findings you plan to publish soon).

  • Thanks for the votes so far, please keep them coming.

    @KeithLommel : I've seen some comparisons on youtube that put HBR on the same IQ level as 1080p24. I wouldn't consider going for timelapses on HBR if the IQ was inferior to 24p or in the same level as 1080i, but I have yet to test it myself.

    My fluidity tests are over and HBR 25p is a clear winner. The link is here:

    @tida : From those tests, do you think that 1/2.5s is a good candidate for TimeBuster SS? Is it a good SS for speeding up?