Nuendo 13 AAF import problems

If I import a video(H264 ) with audios before importing AAF embedded files ( or regular AAF files), Nuendo freezes and have to restart the computer . The workaround is to import AAF before importing videos.
Nuendo also freezes sometimes using the nudge function on the video. It freezes and I have to restart the computer.
Anyone else having these problems?

Windows 10 Enterprise 64bits-22H2

Either works on my system (see sig).

See if you can replicate the problem with a video from another project.

What is the precise format of the video? It would help if you could upload an example of the video and AAF in question so others could test.

I tried several videos with the same format…H264 + 2 PCM-stereo 48khz-24bit tracks. All episodes videos from one series freeze Nuendo 13. No problems with N12. Tried other videos from the same company-same format with no problems at all. Tomorrow I’ll send a link with the video and aaf for you guys to download. Thanks.

here is the link for video and aaf.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1kXcnZWvq0Rdq1VB7-cx9swjflwtFMHqX?usp=sharing

  • I can confirm that loading your video before your AAF crashes Nuendo. Doing the opposite is fine.

  • Also, deleting the video event on the timeline and removing it (unused media) from the pool and then importing aaf still causes a crash.

  • Deleting the video track as a whole then importing the aaf works.

  • Re-encoding the video to H.264 1920x1080 works.

So it seems to me that perhaps the video format may be a problem.

Yes…re-encoding the video ,works. If you put the video first in N12 and than the AAF, works perfectly, so I think it may be a bug in N13…maybe?
Thanks for trying. I think Steinberg should take a look at this.

Hi @rbesser ,
The video you shared has a few issues that you should avoid making when you want to use it As-Is (without re-encoding) in Cubase or Nuendo:

  • The video’s Format profile is coded as Main@L3. Note that Baseline@L4 is much better for DAW playback (even though ProRes and DNxHD both playback much better than any h264 video in Nuendo).
  • Nuendo does not fully support the non-standard video dimensions (854x480). It would be best if you always asked for standard FHD video dimensions (1920x1080) for the best results.

But, most notably:

  • H264 video should never include PCM audio streams, H264 video standard only supports aac audio codec.
    I didn’t try it, but I think everything will work fine if you only remove the included PCM audio streams, leaving the video untouched without any audio attached to it (even though the video dimensions are non-standard and the video Format profile is very old).
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Hi @Sagi.
Thanks for your suggestions. I didn’t do the videos. They are a standart format from a famous TV channel here in Brazil. I asked them a while ago to change the format and codec with no success. Everybody here receives it like this and it works fine with protools and N12 (and older versions)…even with PCM audio. What I don,t understand is, why I never had problems with “these videos” in Nuendo 12. I think I will have to convert them if Steinberg doesn’t do anything with Nuendo 13. Thanks for all the info.

Hi @rbesser , I see your point. I have no idea why it works in N12 even though the video does not meet Steinberg’s video standards. But I can tell you for sure that even in N12 you will have trouble exporting that video or even portion of it.
I work with lots of production companies who send me all kind of video formats and I always recode them to 1920x1080 and extract the audio out before I import them into Nuendo. Never had issues with this method for as long as I can remember, and the work is flowing smoothly when you work with good formatted video.

AFAIK it’s OK to use PCM audio in a .MOV container. And if I remember correctly, the h264 codec and the .MOV container can be used together like the TV channel has done, though most NLEs will assign the .MP4 container to the h264 codec.

Under Windows 10, when imported alone the video played fine here in N13 but there was a complete freeze when attempting to close the project. In my opinion, N13 should be able to handle this file with no issues. Since it doesn’t, I’d say there might be a bug in N13. Or it could be that N13 is simply less tolerant than N12 with regard to h264.

In the meantime, like others here have suggested, as a workaround I’d recommend converting to another format like ProRes or DNxHD before import. For accuracy and reliability this might be best practice anyway.

AAF not yet tested but I’d guess the video is the trigger for the issue.

There was a user here on the forum who (I think) created a very easy video-conversion app. You could basically set source and target folders and just drag and drop files and it would convert automatically to preset formats, including ProRes and DNx (I think). A very easy solution if you need to do this frequently.

I think it was paid but not that expensive. You’d have to search for who it and the name of the app was because I can’t recall either…

May be talking about ER Media Toolkit, which @Sagi (who posted a few above this) makes. Not sure if it has watch folders though.

That’s it. Not sure about folders either, for some reason I thought that was a feature, but that might have been in my dumb head only.

It is possible but far from being recommended. In fact, many players will crash or just freeze if you try to load such a video into them.
Mov is a container just like mp4 is a container. Both can include almost anything you want, so putting an AVC (h264) video along with PCM audio is possible in any of them, but unfortunately, it’s far from making it a standard. Too bad that even most video editors don’t know that.

I get vid ref “.mov” files with 24bits 44.1 / 48kHz PCM almost all the time with no problems.

I think the problem likely is the size/ratio of the video.

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@nogills and @MattiasNYC , yes, guilty as charged haha, I created the ER Media ToolKit. I did it for myself as I encounter these kinds of issues about 10 times a day in my own studios, so I needed an easy way to make the process of importing all the videos we get to a single perfect format that will work no matter what crazy video the client sends, and they invent all kind of videos. We found (for our need) that using ProRes Proxy 1920x1080 without any audio included is the perfect fit for all jobs. But we always keep the client’s original video and sometimes we delete the big ProRes Proxy file before archiving the project, as we can always recreate it from the original, which is usually much smaller and highly compressed.

@Sagi when transcoding a compressed video format like h264 (which is not frame accurate to my knowledge) into ProRes, does it “uncompress” the video and make it frame accurate? Or is the only way to have a truely frame accurate video is to receive an exported prores from the client?

@nogills ,
Well, It is a misconception that AVC (Advanced Video Coding, also known as h264) is not frame-accurate. In practice, AVC uses what is known as GOP, which is short for Group of Pictures. So you get an I-frame at the beginning of each group, the I-frame is a “real” frame, and follows this I-frame are B-frames and P-frames, their data are only instructions for the player that say what been changed from the last I-frame. The player can interpret it into complete frames as long as you play the video continuously. Problems start to show when you try to start the playback in a middle of a GOP or when you scrub back and forth in your DAW. That is why ProRes and DNxHD are best for professional work, as they only compress frames within themselves, what is known as Intra-frame coding (compression). This kind of compression method is less complicated, so it uses much less CPU during playback and it always plays smoothly as it doesn’t need to know what was the last I-frame, because every frame is an I-frame, but as such it obviously demands more disk space.

To answer your question, when you convert an Advanced Video Coding file into ProRes or DNxHD, the conversion software calculates all the B-frames and P-frames into I-frames, so when it’s done you get a complete Intra-frame coding file as if it was made this way to begin with, just note that if the original file was in poor quality, the resulting ProRes will look the same but will playback smoother.

Another important thing to know; The fact that AVC is using a GOP is the reason why people don’t trust its frame accuracy, as it sometimes takes time to calculate its B-frames and P-frames in real-time (especially on older computers but not exclusively), so it is not that it’s not frame-accurate, but in practice it may look this way on many machines.

About the AAC audio codec, its sync issues are irreversible by converting it into PCM Wav audio or PCM AIF audio. The ER Media ToolKit I created attempts to correct its sync issue like no other app I know, but still, it will never be sample-accurate because each AAC encoding deviates a bit. So from my testing, I can say the ER Media ToolKit gets you as close as less than 45 samples from the original source before it was converted into AAC. Very impressive compared to what Pro Tools and Nuendo are doing with AAC audio when they try to convert it into PCM audio.

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