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GH2 Flow Motion v2 - 100 Mbps Fast Action Performance - Series 2
  • GH2 Flow Motion v2.02

    • Reliable 100Mbps peak performance in AVCHD 24H, HBR, FSH, SH, and MJPEG HD.

    • Exclusive 140Mbps turbo mode boosts peak bitrate to handle 80% Slow-Motion 24H mode.

    • Records reliably with Class 10 30MB/s cards, with 60Mbps file-spanning in 24L, FH, and H modes.

    • 95MB/sec SD cards support file-spanning in all video modes (except NTSC HBR 30p and FSH 60i).

    • Full support for all NTSC and PAL video modes and options, including ETC zoom mode.

    • In-camera playback of all AVCHD video files. (MJPEG HD videos not playable in-camera.)

    • Failsafe operation with any lens, in any video mode, under any type of shooting conditions.

    • Consumer-friendly auto-exposure features fully supported in 60Mbps 24L, FH, and H modes.

    • Fast Action 3-Frame GOP performance with B-frames visibly indistinguishable from I-frames.

    • Optimal motion picture quality consistently maintained in underexposed low-light conditions.

    Flow Motion v2 is the culmination of over three months of investigation into the core encoding parameters of the Panasonic GH2 AVCHD encoder. The goal of this project has been to produce a unified patch that combines failsafe reliability with consistent, high quality performance across the entire range of video modes and options provided by the GH2. These criteria include not only still-frame image quality, but frame-to-frame motion picture continuity as well, evaluated perceptually at 24, 25, 30, 50, and 60 frames per second. Rather than simply maximizing the encoder's peak bitrate, Flow Motion v2 is fine-tuned to produce optimal motion picture quality with minimal degradation from undesirable aliasing and digitizing artifacts. The result is an unmistakable improvement in video quality with no significant drawbacks, using Class 10 30MB/sec SD cards and virtually any lens compatible with the GH2.

    Functional Limitations of Stock GH2 Video Firmware

    Although it offers a wide variety of video modes and options, the GH2's stock firmware is restricted in both functionality and video bitrate. Thanks to the dedication of Vitaliy Kiselev, many of these limitations can be overcome through the custom firmware settings provided by PTool v3.65d. Flow Motion v2 is an integrated set of patches that enable the following extended features:

    • Selection among all supported interface languages.

    • Access to both PAL 25/50p and NTSC 30/60p frame rates.

    • Extended low-light exposure settings up to ISO 12800.

    • Removal of 30-minute recording restrictions in EU locales.

    • Enlargement of MJPEG videos to 1080p FHD frame size.

    • Pasadena Pulse Audio Patch V2 B2, thanks to Per Lichtman.

    Image Quality Shortcomings of Stock GH2 Video Firmware

    The GH2's stock firmware limits its AVCHD encoder to a peak bitrate of 24Mbps in 24H and HBR modes, and to 17Mbps in FSH and SH modes. In addition, it uses long-GOP recording sequences of 12-30 frames that produce only about two keyframes (I-frames) per second. Flow Motion v2 boosts the AVCHD encoder's peak bitrate to 100Mbps in all video modes and uses a short 3-frame GOP in all 1080p video modes (and a 6-frame GOP in 720p modes), that produce 8-10 keyframes per second. These improvements enable Flow Motion v2 to capture highly detailed, fast moving images with far more fidelity than the stock firmware's restricted bandwidth can accommodate.

    At a deeper level of operation, the GH2's AVCHD encoder uses built-in Quantization Tables designed to compress the video data as efficiently and compactly as possible. When shooting highly detailed subjects, quantization often produces undesirable rectangular artifacts ("macroblocking") which are then filtered by built-in Deblocking Tables. Unfortunately, the tables used by the stock GH2 firmware sacrifice image quality in favor of compression efficiency, producing consumer-grade results. In a further reduction of image quality, highly compressed P and B-frames are encoded with coarser quantization tables than I-frames, degrading frame-to-frame consistency within each GOP.

    Flow Motion v2 replaces the GH2's Quantization and Deblocking Tables with custom matrices, hand-tuned for each video mode, that are crafted to minimize macroblocking and digitization artifacts. This enables the encoder to make full use of its available bitrate to encode genuine image details rather than wasting bits attempting to correct macroblock encoding flaws. In addition, Flow Motion v2 applies equal levels of quantization to all types of frames, producing P and B-frames that are visually indistinguishable from I-frames.

    Below is an example of the digitization artifacts produced by the GH2's stock firmware, compared to results produced by Flow Motion v2. On the top is a 200% crop of a 24H mode frame grab from the unhacked GH2 AVCHD encoder. You can clearly see jagged macroblock encoding artifacts due to the stock firmware's inadequate bitrate. Below it is the same stream of water shot with Flow Motion v2 in 24H mode:

    image

    Support for GH2 Auto-Exposure Features

    Flow Motion v2 works reliably with the GH2's consumer-friendly auto-exposure features in both 24p and HBR video modes. However, in 720p SH video mode, auto-exposure operation may cause recordings to fail sporatically and the camera may need to be restarted. To avoid this pitfall, I recommend using Flow Motion's 60Mbps 1080i FH and 720p H video modes when using any combination of the following features:

    • P, A, or S exposure modes or when shooting in iA mode.
    • Auto-ISO mode.
    • iDynamic auto-contrast mode.
    • i.Resolution mode.
    • Motorized zoom lens operation.

    I've tested and confirmed these features to work reliably at 60Mbps in 1080i FH and 720p H video modes. The 60Mbps FH and H video modes also support 4GB file-spanning on 30MB/sec Class 10 SD cards, and produce excellent motion picture quality that is just a notch more compressed than Flow Motion's 100Mbps FSH and SH video modes.

    Flow Motion v2.02 Patch Settings File

    This zipped INI file can be used to apply complete patch settings to firmware loaded into PTool 3.65d. To use, unzip the INI file into the same folder as the PTool application. Launch PTool and load the firmware v1.1 binary file for GH2. The settings contained in the Flow Motion v2.0 INI file will automatically be installed in the "F" button at the bottom of the PTool main window.

    Note that with the following PTool Settings File, you may at any time re-install the original Panasonic GH2 v1.1 firmware into the camera. You may also copy each patched or original firmware file to separate SD cards, and use them to quickly switch between patches as often as you like.

    GH2 Flow Motion v2.02.zip
    1K
  • 310 Replies sorted by
  • @batterismico - In HBR mode, the video is scanned at 25p non-interleaved. However, it is stored in a 50i interleaved file format. I'm not familiar with FCPX and I'm not sure how it would handle the kind of import you describe. In Premiere Pro, you have to import the file into a project, and manually mark it as a 25p video before you drag it into the video timeline.

  • @LPowell I' really honoured to have a reply directly from you, Mr. Powell. Then, it's right I preview the clip (filmed, obviously, in HBR) with QuickTime the Inspector shows me a 1920x1080 25i but really the file is in 25p, right? I have 2 way in my workflow: import clips ( all Private Folder) in FCPX, it shows me a 25i clip but I put the clip in a project 1920x1080 25p and the clip works as a 25p or, second chance, I can use EditReady to convert in ProRes 422 LT and final result it's a clip ProRes 422 Lt 25p. My workflow it's correct?

  • @batterismico - When the GH2 is set to PAL mode, the HBR mode will produce 1080p video at 25 fps. With the FlowMotion patch, HBR mode will record at up to 100Mbps. There's a tricky part however: The GH2 records the HBR 1080p25 video into an interleaved file format that is indistinguishable from a GH2 FHD 1080i50 recording. When you import the HBR file into a video editor, it may misinterpret it as an interleaved 1080i50 recording. In that case, you'll need to configure your editior to manually conform the video to 1080p25. This will not alter the actual video data, it will just correct how the video editor interprets it.

  • @valpopando I'm looking for a native file 1920x1080 25p, not for a decoder to change original file. My original question is: how kind of setting I can use on a gh-2 with Flowmotion patch applied to have a fullHd 25p (not 25i) clip?

  • @valpopando thanks for reply. I use to convert file (after) with it' EditReady (it's ok for me because I convert in ProRes -very good for FCPX ) but I did not understand why if I set "cinema mode" the clip I see in FCPX (direct import) or preview in Quick Time with inspector showed it's "1920x1080 24p" so if I set 720p Mode the data showed are "1280x720 50p" and it's impossible for me to see a clip directly from the card in 1920x1080 25p but only 25i when in HBR or any setting in Creative Mode...

  • @batterismico Witch editor use? FCPX ? U have to convert HBR files with 5DtoRGB app or others I can’t remember well ( u can found a guide online ), dunno why FCPX convert 25p hdr in 25I If I will found a tutorial I will link here

  • Sorry for my stupid question but I have read a tons of topic, I have tried a lot of patch, and I have not found a solution. In my Gh-2 there was the slowmotion patch but after some test I can't found the 1080 25p setting (1920 x 1080 filmed at 25p). I have tried all combinations and, for example, in HBR mode the file is full hd filmed in 25ì (I see this with inspector of quick time and in FCPX ...I'm in Europe and I need a fullHD 25p mode. Where is my error? Thanks for helping me.

  • Panasonic GH2 + Flowmotion V2.02 Hack [24L]. 640iso. Color Graded with my own LUT:

  • @Mrgatopardo Thanks, Man. Sigma 18-35mm (Nikon fit).

  • @Bozzie beautiful picture, what lens(es) used?

  • Once again, the Flowmotion 2.02 hack delivers the quality, reliability and small file sizes (24L) needed for this artist short film:

  • Again HUGE THANK YOU to @LPowell! Used two GH2s with Flowmotion on this (one with Canon FD 28mm f2.8, one with 50mm f1.4), aswell as a Nikon D5200, can you tell which one it is? (Shouldn't be too hard) We had a great time filming this, great musicians! GH2 with Flowmotion still ROCKS in 2016!

  • Quick question

    I need a new SD Card for my new GH4 to be used along my beloved GH2.

    I'm still using the SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC 64 GB 95 MB/s Class 10 UHS-1" Is there any new product that will work flawlessly with this setting and GH4? Should I buy another card?

    Thank you in advance

  • @Bozzie very nice pictures. How many lights did you use?

  • Finally got around finishing this up. GH2 with Flowmotion 2.02 on shoulder-rig and GH1 with Reliable In-Camera Playback Patch on Tripod.

    Workflow: Merge spanned clips with MTS merge script, transcode to DNxHD in XMedia Recode, editing in Premiere Pro CS6, Audio mixing in Audition CS6 (only camera sound sadly, always make sure to record from mixer even if the sound guys tell you it's fine and they'll record for you, learned that the hard way...) Export to DNxHD, transcode for web in Handbrake with custom setting.

    Again BIG thanks to @LPowell for this wonderful patch, still going strong!

  • I am also having this rain, flickering in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. I guess the only solution is to convert your MTS AVCHD file to a DNxHD and import to Premiere Pro.

  • Flowmotion v2.02. 24L. 640 iso. Rock solid performance even after all this time. Great job, @LPowell.

  • Music video shot on GH2 with Flowmotion v2.02 and G7 cameras. GH2 has Canon FD 28mm lens and is the left angle of the two cameras at the beginning skit part. Both cameras had ND filters of different brands. My brother was shooting on the G7 and doesn't have much experience so some of those shots are over exposed. It was hard to match the color between the two cameras. GH2 is primarily used throughout. Neat Video was used on a few of the end mountain shots. All shot on 23.98fps and some shots slowed with FCPX's optical flow. Still impress how well they both graded. Learned a lot. Lot to work on for the next one.

  • First time use of this hack. Must say it is very nice. One thing is the issue (weird diagonal rain stripes) with after fx cs6, but if you convert the file before importing then the problem is solved. Thanks @LPowell

  • Haven't used the Flowmotion hack in a while. Still holds up really well, IMHO:

  • Hey @LPowell! I just wanted to say thank you for this great hack and all your work, I use Flowmotion v2.02 on my GH2s for all my unrepeatable shoots because of its great quality and reliability. Latest work, shot on two GH2s, equipped with the kit lens 14-42 and the other one with canon 50mm MC 1.4:

  • sorry but that difference exists between flow motion v2 and Flow Motion v2.02 Patch Settings File?

    thank you.

  • I really thank you about what you are doing here, now i can use a great camera with good price for my passion. And im learning to improve my skill and how to control my gear so i need you guys help me to learn about that. I have a question, there is some mode can down the shutter lower than 30 or 25? It can make camera record people moving like floating, i remember i did it one time but i did record and how to set up again, thank you very much!!!