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AVCHD workflow suggestions?

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Arturo Glass
AVCHD workflow suggestions?
on Aug 9, 2017 at 9:12:11 pm
Last Edited By Arturo Glass on Aug 9, 2017 at 9:21:46 pm

I'm a recent convert to Premiere Pro. In the past I would ingest and encode all of my footage after each shoot. But now it looks like Premiere's ability to use AVCHD without pre-rendering footage can be a huge time saver.

I'm shooting on a Sony FS700 and bringing the "Private" folder from my memory card to my hard drive.

To ingest the footage, dragging and dropping into the Media import window of Premiere ended up giving me some duplicates (because of split video files or something AVCHD does with long takes). So instead I've been going to the import menu and importing the folder through there, which doesn't result in duplicated.

Then I have my bin with a bunch of files with filenames like 00000.MTS, 00001.MTS, etc.

What suggestions do others have for organization or optimizing this? I used to name all of my footage sequentially by reel/memory card # (for example, 01 001.mov, 01 002.mov, etc.). Is there a faster method to do this in Premiere to a bin full of footage? Will changing these names affect a project export if I'm going to work with another editor (who will also be working off the same "Private" AVCHD footage folder)?

Thanks for any tips or for pointing out any flaws in my workflow that you see.


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Shane Ross
Re: AVCHD workflow suggestions?
on Aug 9, 2017 at 11:05:48 pm

[Arturo Glass] " But now it looks like Premiere's ability to use AVCHD without pre-rendering footage can be a huge time saver."

In order to do this, you need a lot of RAM (32GB) and a very good graphics card (4GB to 8GB of RAM on that) that will enable CUDA and the mercury engine. Without those, editing AVCHD native will be a HUGE pain. It takes a lot to decode AVCHD on the fly like that. In fact, even with those options, the more footage you add to a project and sequence, the more difficult it gets and things might still slow down.

[Arturo Glass] "To ingest the footage, dragging and dropping into the Media import window of Premiere ended up giving me some duplicates (because of split video files or something AVCHD does with long takes). So instead I've been going to the import menu and importing the folder through there, which doesn't result in duplicated."

You talking about the MEDIA BROWSER window? Hmmm...shouldn't do that.

[Arturo Glass] "Then I have my bin with a bunch of files with filenames like 00000.MTS, 00001.MTS, etc."

YUP! AVCHD cameras (and many others) restart the names and timecode when you swap out cards. Makes editing VERY difficult...potential to linking to the wrong file, especially in online, is pretty high. Almost inevitable.

Personally I wouldn't work with AVCHD native. I'd convert it to edit media, DNxHD or ProRes, give each file a unique name, and make those my masters. Use Prelude or Resolve for this.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Arturo Glass
Re: AVCHD workflow suggestions?
on Aug 9, 2017 at 11:58:24 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. What would you recommend between the 2 formats you mentioned? If either is somewhat compressed, but stable, it'd help to be able to save on disk space. But not if it'll affect performance.


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Steve Brame
Re: AVCHD workflow suggestions?
on Aug 10, 2017 at 11:26:20 am

[Shane Ross] "You talking about the MEDIA BROWSER window? Hmmm...shouldn't do that."

Not supposed to, but I just noticed on a project that it did it as well. Shot a speaker that ended up being 2 spanned clips, and importing the entire folder via Media Browser generated 2 duplicate clips in the bin.

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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Jeff Pulera
Re: AVCHD workflow suggestions?
on Aug 10, 2017 at 3:50:29 pm

Here is the workflow for AVCHD that works and Adobe recommends -

1) Copy ENTIRE contents of SD card to new folder on hard drive. Copy EVERYTHING, not just certain folders from card. For each card you copy, make a new folder of course like Card 1, Card 2 and so on. Make backups of all data of course, always.

2) In Premiere, only import using Media Browser. This will properly handle "spanned" clips that are broken up on card, they will import into Premiere as one long continuous clip.

Using this workflow, I've never had any issues working with AVCHD footage, no clips getting switched or anything like that when using multiple cards in same project.

I would also disagree with "how difficult" it is to edit AVCHD. Until getting a new PC recently, I'd been using a 5-yr. old model with 16GB and it worked just fine, thank you. Everyone has their own opinions.

Don't be scared into converting all your footage, just edit.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Arturo Glass
Re: AVCHD workflow suggestions?
on Aug 26, 2017 at 9:26:55 pm

I'm trying using your method of importing via the Media Browser, but for some reason it's still importing 4 or 5 files for one long spanned clip. Any idea how to work around this?


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James Barry
Re: AVCHD workflow suggestions?
on Aug 10, 2017 at 3:48:47 pm

The method for ingest and organization we use for my production team is to actually grab the footage out of the AVCHD folder. This helps to prevent syncing issues within premiere and pluraleyes.

On a mac, right click the AVCHD file and click "Show Contents", after that you'll see a BDMV file. Do the same right click "Show Contents" step. Now you should see a folder called Stream. That's where all your footage is.

Take that footage and move it onto your HD that you're editing from. All your video files should show up as MTS files and listed by numerical order of shots. MTS files are viewable in finder depending on which version of OS X you have. Otherwise they can easily be opened with VLC.

Now you an drag the folder of MTS files directly into premiere and you should be good to go for editing.


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Jeff Pulera
Re: AVCHD workflow suggestions?
on Aug 10, 2017 at 3:56:37 pm

I should add that I've not had to collaborate with other editors, in which case Shane's conversion workflow may have its merits. But again, have had no issues over the years editing AVCHD natively for myself.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Arturo Glass
Re: AVCHD workflow suggestions?
on Aug 11, 2017 at 3:13:15 am

Thanks for the tips in your previous post, and for the side note. I was excited about the possibility of doing simple edits without rendering everything. I'm thinking I may give the AVCHD approach a shot for a simple trial run edit where I won't be collaborating with anyone else. I've been using FCP 7.02 for years and immediately felt the speed difference with Premiere (using more than 1 processor has its advantages) so even if it's a little sluggish with AVCHD, my guess is it'll be faster than I'm used to.


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Steve Brame
Re: AVCHD workflow suggestions?
on Aug 27, 2017 at 12:46:00 am

Yep, I always copy the entire AVCHD folder over from a card, and import the entire folder via Media Browser. Tried to reimport the same AVCHD folder again, and this time it came in as one clip representing the 2 spanned clips. Not sure why this didn't work a couple of weeks ago for the same project and same AVCHD folder. Must've been a temporary glitch.

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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