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MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?

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Jonathan Ziegler
MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Dec 23, 2009 at 5:28:44 pm

Hi there,

Came across this video: http://www.absolutepresence.com/2009/12/dslr-workflow1/

Is anyone already using MPEG Streamclip (freeware: http://www.squared5.com/) and, if so, what are the pitfalls? I used it to convert 5D footage to ProRes 422 and it looks great, but I'm not sure about the overall quality.

I'd love to hear feedback!


Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Nels Chick
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Dec 24, 2009 at 5:41:46 am

I use Compressor to transcode my 7D footage. I've been very impressed with the quality, and ProRes is an excellent codec to use. I use Mpeg Streamclip all of the time, but usually when I need to have more control over the quality, I use Compressor, that is, if Compressor can see the footage, because sometimes it can't, depending on the codec.

inconveniencethemovie.com


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Dec 24, 2009 at 4:58:12 pm

Thanks for getting back! You know, I've only ever used Compressor for compressing and the 5D/7D footage already seems pretty compressed. Do you mind saying what settings you are using? Also, do you use any FCP custom presets or just the ProRes files in an existing preset?

Thanks for the feedback!

BTW: saw your trailer for inconvenience. Looks like fun!

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Astrid Karlsson
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Jan 5, 2010 at 2:40:52 pm

I could use some tips for Compressor settings too, if anyone can share.

Thanks.

MBP 2.2 GHz intel core duo
2GB ram
GeForce 8600M GT
10.4.11 + FCP 6.04


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Jan 5, 2010 at 5:44:11 pm

okay, so I'm playing with Compressor now:

In Compressor, I add my first file (actually a wide, est shot from the 5D), then, under Settings, go to Apple > Other Workflows > Advanced Format Conversions > Apple Codecs > Apple ProRes 422 for Progressive material (High Quality). Drag this to your open file above in Compressor.

There's another setting for interlaced versus progressive, but we shot the footage at 30P so I'll use that.

Now, make some custom changes:

Make sure you have your codec with your file selected.

Go to the Inspector, look at the Summary - all is well for me by default except the frame rate is at 30fps and I'll be editing this as 29.97. Click the Encoder button, click on Settings by Video, change the frame rate to whatever you want (29.97 in my case). By default, this area has "Enable 4:4:4 chroma filtering" checked. I'm leaving it. Anyone know if this is particularly detrimental to the final product? click Ok.

That's it for me, but I also saved this as "Convert 5D to ProRes 422 HQ."

MPEG Streamclip will batch an entire folder, but it doesn't want to change the frame rate so there are +&-.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Nels Chick
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Jan 5, 2010 at 6:20:30 pm

I was actually writing my post while you were posting yours, so I probably reiterated what you've already posted. Compressor is an awesome tool!

inconveniencethemovie.com


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Nels Chick
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Jan 5, 2010 at 6:26:04 pm

The only reason I don't usually use ProRes HQ is to keep my files smaller. By transcoding to HQ, you will likely have more information to play with while doing FX or Color work, but remember that this information is intelligently created by the software, not native in from the camera. By the time the camera compresses the footage to H.264, it has baked in the look, and has thrown away any information it deemed useless.

inconveniencethemovie.com


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Nels Chick
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Jan 5, 2010 at 6:18:16 pm

Sorry it took me so long to get back on this one. With my 7D, I just copy the .mov files from the card to my hard drive, then open them all using Compressor. With all of the clips selected I right-click one of them and select: New Target with Setting> Apple> Formats> Quicktime> Apple ProRes 422.

I usually change the output to a new folder and leave all of the other settings as they are, then submit the batch.

Now, that is with 1080 24p footage from the 7D. I haven't done anything with the 5DII, but I believe you will just need to adjust the frame rate in Compressor from 30p to 29.97p. This is done in the Inspector pane, under the Encoder tab. Where it says video, click the settings button. A window with a bunch of options will pop on the screen. The only thing you will need to change is the frame rate from current to 29.97. Click OK and remember to copy these settings to each item in your batch, then submit.

In theory you can convert to 24p through this same process (choose custom and type 23.976 in the box), but you'll want to spend some time in the Frame Controls tab within the Inspector. Turn the controls on by clicking the little cog button and selecting On from the drop down menu. Skip the Resizing controls, and go to the Retiming controls. First change the Rate Conversion to Better (not Best, it takes too long, and the quality improvement from 'Better' is minimal). Now you have a few options, you can leave the timing the same by selecting the top option, 100%, or you can slow down your footage by selecting the last options, which plays the 30 frames back at 23.976 frames a second. The top option will take longer to transcode, but will allow you to keep the speed at 100%.

Once again, I haven't worked with 5DII footage, so this is only a theory. Try it and let me know how it works out.

As far as editing, if you are using Final Cut 6 or later, you can just import one of these clips into the browser and drag it straight to the time line. Final Cut will ask if you want the sequence settings to match the clip settings. Click yes, and away you go.

Good luck! And Johnathan, thanks for watching my trailer!

inconveniencethemovie.com


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Jan 5, 2010 at 6:43:02 pm

I'm thinking the 7D and 5D footage are pretty much the same in terms of overall quality, MPEG4 (I think), and h.264. I know the 5D has a bigger sensor than the 7D and doesn't have a magnification factor, but since the final comes to a relatively small 1080x1980, I'm pretty sure it's a nominal difference.

I'm setting up a project where my people will have a 5D and a 7D (as well as another camera) for the production so I'll be able to check the differences. Now I'll need to figure out how to sync 2 canons together. Shouldn't be too bad, but there's no timecode on these, I don't think.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Andrew Clark
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Jan 17, 2010 at 8:10:09 am

Just an FYI regarding the 5D MKII 30p setting ....

.... it is truly 30p; not 29.97 as some have assumed.





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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Jan 17, 2010 at 4:21:37 pm

Hey there,

Yeah, I generally have to convert this 30fps to 29.97 using Compressor now - MPEG Streamclip doesn't seem to want to convert the frame rate.

Also, Canon is working on or has developed a firmware update that will supposedly update the 5D MKII to do 24p, 25p, and 60p (@720p). A friend told me the reason the cameras do not drop frames is because they were designed to allow photographers to shoot long streams of continuous images for photography (they can just pick the frame they want from the video).

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Jiri Fiala
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Feb 4, 2010 at 9:15:49 am

I usually transcode to ProRes with MPEGStreamclip and am usually happy with the result.

Other than framerate conversion or resizing, is there any advantage to Compressor for simple batch conversion jobs?


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Feb 4, 2010 at 2:51:58 pm

Well, MPEG Streamclip is not as robust as Compressor. I also use MPS for ripping DVD captures and such. I don't really think you can compare the 2 inasmuch as they are both markedly different apps designed for different purposes. I still use it when I have a ton of video to convert to prores or another format and I don't need to alter the frame rate. It's usually when I have DSLR footage at 24 or 30 fps that I hit problems and I have to use Compressor.

On the other hand, if anyone is familiar with both MPEG Streamclip and Compressor on a more technical level, I would love to hear pros and cons. If you haven't seen it, info is at http://www.squared5.com/ - Compressor is apple.com of course.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Gregory Abbey
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Jul 12, 2011 at 2:29:13 pm

Hi,

I just came across this thread this morning. Wondering if you can help me. I'm trying to use MPEG Streamclip to decompress some quicktime files I shot on a Canon 7D so I can start editing. My director/editor had to leave town so I'm trying to figure it out. He walked me through the process, but I'm getting stuck once I try to go to batch because of this:

Under "compression" he told me to select "Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)", but when I click on the drop down button, that is not an option and I'm not sure what to select in it's place.

Any advice would be appreciate!

Thanks.
Greg Abbey


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Astrid Karlsson
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 12:52:43 pm

Hey Greg,

Off the top of my head, I'd guess that MPEG streamclip might not natively have the Apple prores codec available (perhaps my version picks it up from the install of FCP?). Does anyone else know?

Do you have the latest version of MPEG streamclip and and FCP/Compressor on the same Mac?

Cheers
~Astrid


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Gregory Abbey
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 3:11:03 pm

Thanks Astrid,

I think the culprit is that I only have Final Cut Express on my computer. I'm pretty sure AppleProres 422 is not compatible with it. Now I'm wondering if there's a way to get the codec without upgrading FC.

Still digging!
Greg


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Astrid Karlsson
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Jul 13, 2011 at 3:21:00 pm

Ah, yes. I had a quick squizz too and I think you need some genuine FCP components.

Someone here may disagree, but perhaps the older "Apple intermediate codec" might be on your system and therefore MPEG streamclip It was a precursor to prores but would give you an easier editing format I think.

Best of luck and let us know your conclusions!

MBP 2.2 GHz intel core duo
4GB ram
GeForce 8600M GT
10.4.11 + FCP 6.04


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graham bird
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Jul 23, 2011 at 1:49:46 am

Hi, I want to use MPEGStreamclip to convert a BATCH of 5dII clips to prores 422.

I'm sure I have seen (or done) this before, but looking at it tonight i'm baffled as to how. I tried dragging all the files to the batch editor, but can't seem to set the output in any way.

Can anyone help with a step by step list of instructions?

Cheers

Graham


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Tarek Gamaleldin
Re: MPEG Streamclip and a DSLR Workflow?
on Aug 25, 2011 at 2:07:00 pm

Hello,

I wonder if anyone can help?
If i use Mpeg Streamclip to convert my DSLR clips to ProRes 422 Proxy, would there be a way in FCP to conform my Sequence to ProRes 422 (the way you can if you use Log and Transfer)?

Thanks!!!


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