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h.264 conversion to ProRes422?

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Ju Santana
h.264 conversion to ProRes422?
on Mar 29, 2010 at 3:05:24 am

Hello everyone,

I am sort of stuck on figuring out how to edit footage shot with a Canon 5D Mark II which has a native format of H.264, I've read many postings that say to convert these files to ProRes422 using compressor or quicktime pro, however when i converted a RAW video clip, which was 668MB to ProRes422, the file then became 2.17 GB... what i would like to know:

-Does this conversion enlarge the video file and the overall project
-Will this affect my render and exporting time
-Will this affect the size of my final project?


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Errol Lazare
Re: h.264 conversion to ProRes422?
on Mar 29, 2010 at 3:52:38 am

No no no.
That is way too big a file.

Ok what you need to do is search for MPEG Streamclip and download it. (It is free to download)

When you are in Mpeg Stream Clip, you will want to go to the top menu beside "file" and "edit" and find "list"

>Click on Batch List and simply drag all your files into the batch list.
>Make a home for your transcoded files to-be and then the movie exporter window will appear.

Put quality at 100% and find Proress format in the compression list.
In the list there are 2 Proress files. Be sure to select the bottom one as the top one will eat your computer and will take too long to render...not fun...but 5DMII proress files in final cut that are quick to render and playback beautifully...now that's fun!

Hope this helps.
Questions? Just ask.

Errol

Errol X. Lazare
EXL Films
http://www.exlfilms.com


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Ju Santana
Re: h.264 conversion to ProRes422?
on Mar 30, 2010 at 12:16:59 am

Posting this thread has brought back many results sort of like my internet searches on Google and other sources of info, however what many people forget to mention about the Canon EOS FCP plug-in is that it wont recognize the footage if you try to pull up just the clip, it has to be in the same order it was made in on the compact flash card...too bad for me because i deleted that and just kept the clip...

With that being said, I was wondering if I used Mpeg stream clip to convert, would i be able to compress using the apple prores 422 (proxy) b/c the other prores codecs do not reduce my file size, instead they become bigger, extremely bigger...Please help so i can start cutting my footage on FCP and not end up ripping out my hair!


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cowcowcowcowcow
Ben Heusner Brownlee
Re: h.264 conversion to ProRes422?
on Mar 29, 2010 at 6:29:34 am

If you use the EOS Plugin in FCP then you can use Log and Transfer to do a selective transcode to ProRes of only the bits of the clips you want. This will save diskspace and make editing a bit faster too because you've already cut out some footage and have a chance to name your clips.

Hope that helps,
Ben

Curious Turtle Pro Video
Training | Editing | Support
Out Now - Creative Color Grading with Apple Color, Film Wash Color Effects Vol. 3
& Mocha training for AE & FCP


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cowcowcow
Lance Bachelder
Re: h.264 conversion to ProRes422?
on Mar 29, 2010 at 3:38:39 pm

Thanks for the sane post Ben! Anyone shooting Canon DSLR and cutting in FCP should be using the new Log and Transfer plug-in period. So easy and logical. All this Streamclip crap needs to cease - there is absolutely no reason anyone using FCP and ProRES should be using that software to transcode their files anymore. And if you say it's because you have an older version of FCP then stop everything you're doing and get to the freakin' Apple Store or wherever and BUY the Studio 3 upgrade! No excuses!

On another note - enough of this ProRES LT and standard ProRES talk - the only choice anyone should use is ProRES HQ (unless you specifically doing an offline/online workfow). I don't care what Philip Bloom or anyone else says - hard drives are cheap - use HQ. Why would you not want your footage transcoded into the best codec possible if you're cutting in FCP? We're doing features films for real money with these cameras and we've tested everything out there and there are two choices in my opinion Cineform Highest or Filmscan (either better than any ProRES flavor or ANY other compressed codec for that matter) and Apple ProRES HQ.

That's my rant for the day - back to editing...:)

Lance Bachelder
Southern California



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Aaron Stewart
Re: h.264 conversion to ProRes422?
on Mar 29, 2010 at 2:46:02 pm

What is interesting is that I started to write this post on what file sizes you SHOULD be getting for ProResLT, but then noticed that I wasn't getting the file sizes that I should ideally be getting either (no wonder I just purchased 2x 2TB HDD's). It seems that the ProResLT flavor takes a bit more space than most video space calculators say. It is SUPPOSED to be about 3 min and 15 sec. per GB. But in real-life, a 2 min 14 sec clip is around 1.8 GB. Quite a difference. But ProRes is VBR so it is no wonder that it is bigger.

First off, I noticed you were using ProRes422. You really don't gain much by using that over ProRes422(LT). The LT is the newest version, and is still a 100mb/s codec (the 5Dmkii and 7d both shoot around 47 mb/s). So between the 10-bit, 100mb/s, and 4:2:2 color space conversion, you really are not losing any information by using LT. Just gaining more hard drive space. Of course, if you don't have the newest flavor of Final Cut Pro, then LT isn't an option, so you've got to stick with 422.

One thing you COULD try (although I really wouldn't recommend it) is transferring the footage to something like XDCAM, and edit native XDCAM. Now, keep in mind, XDCAM is a compressed format (well, technically so is ProRes, but XDCAM is more compressed) and the XDCAM footage would be around the same size (I think... anyone want to chime in?) as the original H.264. So if you used an XDCAM 50mb/s setting you'd be at ABOUT the same quality (again you'll lose something in the compression) but keep those smaller file sizes. Plus editing XDCAM is a pain in the ass, so... again, I wouldn't recommend that route. And you are compressing the footage from Mpeg-4 to Mpeg-2... not the best. I suppose if you are going that route you could also try AVC-Intra or something like that. Again, you would be taking an already compressed format, and compressing it again. So you are going to lose information, at that point it is more worth it to simply invest in a bigger hard drive.


-Does this conversion enlarge the video file and the overall project
Yes it does. By a good bit. Overall project? You mean the FCP file? In that case, yes, but it won't be a huge deal.
-Will this affect my render and exporting time?
If you convert to ProRes, your editing will be mostly real-time, exporting pretty fast (unless you have heavy effects)
-Will this affect the size of my final project?
Your final project (on export) will be in the ProRes format, so yes, that'll be bigger than the h.264. The h.264 is NOT edit friendly, so you'll have to go to another codec to edit with. FCP with H.264 files will crash all over the place, and generally be extremely sluggish and temperamental.

Aaron R. Stewart
arstewart@gmail.com


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Uli Plank
Re: h.264 conversion to ProRes422?
on Mar 29, 2010 at 9:33:01 pm

You wrote:

"You really don't gain much by using that over ProRes422(LT). The LT is the newest version, and is still a 100mb/s codec (the 5Dmkii and 7d both shoot around 47 mb/s). So between the 10-bit, 100mb/s, and 4:2:2 color space conversion, you really are not losing any information by using LT."

Wrong! ProRes is an intra-frame codec, while H.264 is interframe (GOP). So it's far more efficient, plus you are increasing the size by having 10 bit and 4:2:2. So you can't compare the bitrates, ProRes MUST be worse at a similar bitrate. Why being a cheapskate with drive space? Drives are cheap these days!

Regards,

Uli

Director of the Institute of Media Research (IMF) at Braunschweig University of Arts


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Kris Merkel
Re: h.264 conversion to ProRes422?
on Mar 30, 2010 at 11:17:07 am

In regards to erasing the source media. When you are using FCP log & transfer, your first step is to create a disk image of your card. Then you will transfer all of your footage ( which includes timecode) from your disk image.

follow the directions from canon here http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/controller?act=GetArticleAct&articleID=3249

One way the 7D is superior to the 550D is the ability to choose incremental ISO speeds

Kris Merkel
Quad G5
OS X 10.4.11
FCStudio
CalDigit Raid


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Brown Maty
Re: h.264 conversion to ProRes422?
on Dec 12, 2012 at 2:53:30 am

You can follow the guide: Convert 5D Mark III H.264 MOV footages to ProRes.

The best settings:

If your H.264 resource file is 1080p, pls set the video frame rate as 30fps, video size as 1920*1080 to keep the best quality.

If your resource file is 720p, pls select video size as 1280*720.

The Best codec for choosing:

Apple ProRes 422 – Higher quality than Apple ProRes 422 (LT)

Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) – Keep original video quality for editing in FCP

Apple ProRes 422 (LT) – Get a smaller file sizes than Apple ProRes 422

Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy) – SD levels – 480i/p and 576i/p. Used in offline workflows.

Apple ProRes 4444 – Edit and finish 4:4:4 material

Convert AVCHD to Best Format on Mac


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