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Transcoding is sending me mental.

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Mike Smith
Transcoding is sending me mental.
on May 10, 2013 at 2:00:50 am

I'll try to keep this calm so it makes sense, but I'm in a shouting and swearing mood right now.

In short- Just bought a Nikon D5200. Video footage is stunning. The only minor complaint from studying the footage just now is some lens breathing from the otherwise stunning 50mm f/1.8 D, but hell, it cost £80 and is otherwise perfect.

So, now to edit this stunning footage in Premiere CS4. Well, for a start, the native footage is .mov MPEG4 H.264. At 24fps (well, 23.976) the files aren't enormous, but I've read it's far better to transcode them to enable snappy editing in Premiere. The native footage doesn't even work in CS4 anyway - I can import it but it's just a black screen. Audio works, but no image.

So I download MPEG Streamclip, which Nikon themselves along with countless people on Youtube highly recommend, and get cracking. I get the required version of Quicktime Alternative to go with it, and some nice AVID codecs which include the DNxHD setting a Youtube user recommended.

But NOTHING. This time, an imported video just shows up white (the opposite of Premiere, almost like it is mocking me).

The native files play fine on MPC (got the K-Lite codec pack installed) but it seems no other software recognises this. It's the same story on both my laptop and PC, so this isn't a hardware issue.

In short, whatever I try, it seems IMPOSSIBLE to edit this footage. But I recognise I'm new to this and the best way to learn is to do endless Google searches (didn't throw up any answers) and then if your issue is too specific (it seems mine is), ask on a forum.

I thank you in advance for helping me out here.


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Rob Manning
Re: Transcoding is sending me mental.
on May 10, 2013 at 5:03:14 am

Hi, a kettle of fish.

It sounds as if CS4 is behind the curve then?

VLC Player might bridge the gap, like Streamclip is supposed to.

You could use the View NX 2 program from Nikon, limited in some respects but should play/edit fine.

Also, GoPro (CineForm) has a free editor, which is fairly well rounded.

Trans-coding into DNxHD for which purpose?

If you are capturing onto an external device perhaps if the work is going to be edited for motion effects and graphics primarily, otherwise the visible differences are so slight as to not be noticeable but, best is always the best, I get it.

Older CPU/GPU combinations would slow down with native h.264 which is why the transcode meme exists but newer gear does better now with native h.264.

Have you tried asking on the Premiere Pro forum here in Cow land?

Try downloading the CS6 demo, if that works then I would seek an answer on the Adobe forums via the help menu in Premiere.

I'm sure you will find a solution.

There are guys on this forum who may have a better take: http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topics&forum=402

HTHs,

Rob Manning


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Steve Crow
Re: Transcoding is sending me mental.
on May 10, 2013 at 4:17:23 pm

Try transcoding into ProRes instead....oh are you on a PC? I thought the whole deal with Premiere is that is supposed to be able to edit H264 files natively....something sounds definitely wrong. Oh (again) I guess you need the CS5 version to do that

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Mike Smith
Re: Transcoding is sending me mental.
on May 10, 2013 at 9:21:14 pm

To summerise (was rushing a bit when I wrote that post) -

I have an old-ish PC. Core2 Quad, overclocked and 2GB of RAM. Not amazing, but I can't afford to upgrade for a few months. To be fair, if I can get it working fine with CS4, that's great. If not, I'll upgrade my hardware and move to Windows 7 and a 64 bit system in order to use CS6. So that's why I'm stuck on CS4.

Using MPEG Streamclip seems to be the suggested solution. Why won't it work for me? I've tried various methods. The only reason I downloaded the Avid DNxHD codecs is because this guy did and it worked for him -





I've done EVERYTHING in that video and it doesn't work. Imported files just come out with blank video. I've worked professionally with audio for years and have never encountered an issue like this before. I knew video was more complicated but I didn't realise it could drive a person insane.


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Steve Crow
Re: Transcoding is sending me mental.
on May 10, 2013 at 9:54:39 pm

I'm going to take a bit of leap here but I think the clue lies actually in the white screen. This tells me that Premiere doesn't understand the video content of the file, in other words that PREMIERE doesn't have the codec you downloaded installed.

To check this, see if you can export a video clip (pick a clip that Premiere doesn't have a problem loading or editing, like an avi file) in the Avid DNxHD format. What I am thinking is that MPEG Streamclip has the codec installed but not Premiere, it may be a simple matter of copying the codec file into the correct Premiere folder on your PC and relaunching the application...that's my working theory.

Your computer specs are not far from my own although I edit on a mac with GB of RAM so I don't think it's the computer hardware....older hardware like ours is generally just slower, it should still work.

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Transcoding is sending me mental.
on May 11, 2013 at 8:01:10 pm

Steve is on the right track - I run into this with video provided by a client who sometimes forgets, and outputs footage from FCP7 in a codec which has to be purchased to work on the PC side (always a white screen with audio just fine - and it plays back in VLC player as well). When they send me ProRes 4:2:2 I'm good to go. The only problem with codecs between platforms is that sometimes they have to be purchased due to licensing agreements (or disagreements)...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Mike Smith
Re: Transcoding is sending me mental.
on May 12, 2013 at 1:52:29 am

OK, this is all very helpful and is starting to lead me in the right direction.

However, I think I've confused things by not being clear enough.

The white screen is when I load the files in MPEG Streamclip. It will not load these files. My computer will play them however.

In short, forget Premiere for the time being. It won't import the original files anyway. So I'm looking just to convert some files into another format.

What I should have asked from the start is this -

"Is there a good program to transcode the video files recorded on a Nikon D5200. They are .mov MPEG2 H.264 files. I want a piece of software which gives plenty of options for how I want to convert them."

The answer to this, I would expect, would be "yes, there's a great piece of software called MPEG Streamclip, even Nikon themselves recommend it!". (Here - Nikon officially promoting Streamclip

So I did as Nikon said, did as various Youtube tutorials said. About 10 sources all gave exactly the same steps and instructions. But it won't work. MPEG Streamclip, the software Nikon themselves and the rest of the internet recommends I use, won't do what it is meant to do. I have video evidence (posted above) of it doing exactly as I want it to do, but it won't.

Thanks for the advice about my computer. I was about ready to unload a shotgun into my PC until I learned about transcoding. If I can get this to work, hopefully I won't need to upgrade.

I will put this down to me having one or two extra chromosomes when it comes to video work. I'm clearly missing something blindingly obvious here. This makes NO sense, so it has to be just a really obvious and simple thing I've missed.

Will post this on other forums (the guy who recommended the Nikon forum, thanks for that link) and hopefully someone can answer.

Lastly, an apology, for being so retarded. I frequent various music production forums, and when you see endless posts from people asking "err, how do I import a WAV file into Cubase?", it's tricky to stay calm!


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Rob Manning
Re: Transcoding is sending me mental.
on May 12, 2013 at 8:48:28 pm

"Stay calm and be tricky"

Is CS4 handling this codec according to your other readings?

RM


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Mike Smith
Re: Transcoding is sending me mental.
on May 14, 2013 at 12:13:59 am

In what way?

CS4 isn't importing the original files and I can't convert them using streamclip.

Also, a clue - I installed Streamclip (and the required version of Quicktime Alternative) on my laptop too. When I double-click one of the video files, it opens with "Media Player Classic" but just shows a transparent screen (I can see the window "behind" where the video should be). In short, this "required codec" for Streamclip won't even play the sodding videos!

When I right click and select "Media Player Classic - Home Cinema" - the same media player but the one I installed with the K-Lite Codec pack - it plays perfectly.

So the codecs for the files my camera makes are on both my laptop and my PC, but MPEG Streamclip can't find them to convert the files.

I feel I'm getting close, but it's just getting more and more mental.


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Ann Bens
Re: Transcoding is sending me mental.
on May 26, 2013 at 10:39:50 am

CS4 cannot handle H.264 in a mov wrapper, whatever machine its running on.
This flaw was corrected in CS5.
Download this gopro app and convert files to mov with the Cineform codec.
http://gopro.com/3d-cineform-studio-software-download/
Now they are easy to edit in CS4.

and NEVER NEVER install a codec pack, it messes up the codec used on your machine.
Uninstall will not help get rid of them. A clean windows install will.

-----------------------------------------------
Adobe Certified Expert Premiere Pro CS6
Adobe Community Professional


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Rob Manning
Re: Transcoding is sending me mental.
on May 26, 2013 at 7:10:33 pm

Thanks Ann,

That is why I thought (surmised) after a while, better to be informed.

RM


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