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Transcode intermediary (GH4) H.264 files for editing

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Geoff Chandler
Transcode intermediary (GH4) H.264 files for editing
on Apr 6, 2017 at 8:08:36 pm

To make the best possible editing experience working with my Panasonic GH3/4/5 HD MOV H.264 files in Vegas Pro 14, I'm experimenting with transcoding, trying to come up with a workflow for my 2017 wedding season. I'm mainly shooting HD but might like to try some 4K which I know is very problematic on my timeline.

I've been reading and reading forums and I think I understand one solution is to transcode camera files in the Vegas timeline using a "script." This doesn't sound practical for my work since the average wedding might have a hundred files. I think I'd want a stand alone program that would take all my files at once and transcode while I sleep.

So, question #1
Now that Vegas (14) now supports ProRes, wouldn't this be a great codec to use to edit? Wasn't that what it was designed for? I tried a trial versions of both Pavtube Video Converter and Acrok HD Video converter last night to make ProRes 422 files (which were physically larger but easier for the computer to play) and they played beautifully in the timeline.

Question #2
Will ProRes files have better ability to be color corrected and graded comparing to the native H.264 Panasonic GH3, GH4, GH5 files? Or will that remain the same?

Question #3
Is there a better transcoding codec I should consider? I tried using GoPro Studio to convert my camera files. The AVI files (cineform?) play great in my Vegas 14 timeline but GoStudio strips the audio to there is no sound. So, that's out as an option.


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John Norton
Re: Transcode intermediary (GH4) H.264 files for editing
on Apr 7, 2017 at 12:33:02 pm

You could use the free ffmpeg to transcode to Prores overnight, setting your desired quality and size.

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Ole Kristiansen
Re: Transcode intermediary (GH4) H.264 files for editing
on Apr 7, 2017 at 1:02:21 pm

I record MP4 on my GH4 because I use Windows computer -

ProRes is best for MAC !

Have you tried to make Proxy's in Vegas ?

Creating Proxy Files in Vegas Pro

1. Add your clips to the Project Media window.

2. Right-click the clips in the Project Media window and choose Create Video Proxy from the shortcut menu.

Vegas Pro creates video proxy files (.sfvp0) alongside the original files in Windows Explorer. You will not see these files in the Project Media window or Vegas Pro Explorer.

4. Add your clips to the timeline and edit your project as usual.

The Preview Quality setting in the Video Preview window determines whether the proxy files or original files are used for editing and preview:

When the preview quality is set to Draft or Preview, the proxy file is used.

When the preview quality is set to Good or Best, the original file is used.

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Aaron Star
Re: Transcode intermediary (GH4) H.264 files for editing
on Apr 7, 2017 at 7:23:11 pm

I agree with Ole's recommendation.

Converting to Cineform, you can use Vegas and the batch render script. Vegas will keep the audio when converting to cineform.

Question #2 - Nope. The rule of thumb is "garbage in, garbage out." You will never get better than your original format. In 10-bit color space, you will just be representing 8-bit colors in 10-bit numeric values. The gradient values in between light and dark are already lost in the low end capture format. There are exceptions to this when you apply composites or filters that effectively re-write the image, or numeric values of the image.

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