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H.264 .MP4 Videos Ideal For Premiere Pro Timeline? (Previously Final Cut User)

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Brad Anderson
H.264 .MP4 Videos Ideal For Premiere Pro Timeline? (Previously Final Cut User)
on Jun 16, 2017 at 7:02:12 am

I have searched and cannot find an answer to a basic question without the deep knowledge and lengthy technical responses that grace the all mighty Creative Cow forums. I am just looking for a straight and narrow answer for a Premiere Pro novice coming from a Final Cut background. I am working on a PC for reference.

As a Final Cut 7 user, the software never liked playing with .mp4 files. The standard process would be to transcode them to ProRes to be worked in the timeline. But, I've noticed .mp4 files seems to play and edit fine in Premiere Pro with the exception of occasional audio sync / playback issues. Any advice on if h.264 .mp4 files are ready to be worked on in the timeline or if they should be transcoded with another codec? ProRes? DNxHD?


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Jon Doughtie
Re: H.264 .MP4 Videos Ideal For Premiere Pro Timeline? (Previously Final Cut User)
on Jun 16, 2017 at 1:57:26 pm

In most cases you should be able to work on h.264 encoded MP4 files directly without difficulty. I do all the time.

One little rub; h.264 is a lossy codec. If you are going to be doing multiple renders to get to the final product, you will experience quality loss. So, depending on your workflow, you may sometimes wish to transcode to a more durable, lossless codec.

For example, we're working on a longform piece right now. My other producers and I are working with h.264 MP4 original footage, along with some AVCIntra100. We're editing it natively for our segments, but exporting the finished segments to DNxHD, for inclusion in the final edit. The final deliverable will once again be h.264 MP4. But by going to a loss codec in between, we minimize the generation loss done to the finished product.

System:
Dell Precision T7600 (x2)
Win 7 64-bit
32GB RAM
Adobe CC 2015.02 (as of 6/2016)
256GB SSD system drive
4 internal media drives RAID 5
Typically cutting short form from HD MP4 and P2 MXF.


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Brad Anderson
Re: H.264 .MP4 Videos Ideal For Premiere Pro Timeline? (Previously Final Cut User)
on Jun 17, 2017 at 7:31:36 am

Thanks Jon for the informative response. The source file is h.264 .mp4 and the delivery in most cases would be in h.264 .mp4 to be uploaded ot the internet. So I figured if h.264 edits fine in Premiere Pro (which it does not in Final Cut 7, not sure about X) than there would be no need to convert it again to DNxHD as that takes up space and then convert it to h.264 for delivery. But, I read that there were some audio issues with h.264 files at times. Though, I will take your word for it if you use h.264 as the source. Thanks again!


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