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Best file type as export from ScreenFlow to FCP X to keep the file size down (PR422 is overkill)

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Dave Gage
Best file type as export from ScreenFlow to FCP X to keep the file size down (PR422 is overkill)
on Dec 7, 2012 at 7:45:28 pm

I just began giving and then capturing with ScreenFlow, some live online instructional classes. I will then ultimately archive the classes on my website for people who can't make the live class.

I'm currently exporting for FCP X a ProRes 422 file from ScreenFlow at 1600x1000. This worked great when I was doing 5-10 screen capture tutorials, but now these classes are 45-70 minutes and the ProRes 422 files are 55-85 GBs each. After five classes, I'm already running into storage issues and even though I'm creating Proxys in FCPX, it's still a bit slow with FW800 and a 2-drive RAID 1 enclosure.

Since the audio (talking) and video are slightly out of sync and the video quality is that of a built-in MBP webcam (appears to be about 10-15 fps when run through the server), I may not need to export such a good quality file from ScreenFlow.

Any suggestions of what file type to export and then edit in FCP X? Even the Apple Animation option is fairly large.

I was thinking a good quality H.264 file and then make a Proxy of it in FCP X would be an option even though compressed formats are not a first choice for editing. Does this make any sense? I already use ClipWrapped Canon AVCHD files without too much problem and usually without creating Proxys. I would think the H.264 would be a similar case.

Thanks,
Dave


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James Cude
Re: Best file type as export from ScreenFlow to FCP X to keep the file size down (PR422 is overkill)
on Dec 7, 2012 at 9:07:26 pm

Personally I try to edit completely within Screenflow and take advantage of the high quality scaling and easy call outs and then when I'm totally done I export as ProRes 1080p to incorporate into projects in FCP. If your workflow doesn't work like that I'd recommend exporting as 1080p ProRes anyway- H.264 might work but at that odd frame size your performance will be really rough.


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Nikolas Bäurle
Re: Best file type as export from ScreenFlow to FCP X to keep the file size down (PR422 is overkill)
on Dec 7, 2012 at 10:14:06 pm

You could export the files to XDCAM EX if possible. It works natively in FCP X and the files will be less than half the size.

You could use H264 and edit with proxies. But be sure to avoid working in original quality, in this case.


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James Cude
Re: Best file type as export from ScreenFlow to FCP X to keep the file size down (PR422 is overkill)
on Dec 7, 2012 at 11:34:44 pm

That's one way to go but XDCAM EX rendering is very slow in X compared to ProRes, might not be the fastest workflow.


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Dave Gage
Re: Best file type as export from ScreenFlow to FCP X to keep the file size down (PR422 is overkill)
on Dec 8, 2012 at 12:43:04 am

Thanks for the replies. I will run some tests tonight with FCP X and see how it goes.

I have enough editing chores on these class videos that I need to do it within FCP X. The built-in editing features of ScreenFlow are impressive, but I need more.
--

Here's some numbers from an 1:03:00 class from yesterday:

Original ScreenFlow file: 2.78 GB
ProRes 422 Export: 67 GB
ProRes 422 LT Export: 49 GB
H.264 (data rate- 2000 kbps): 942 MB (look great by the way full screen)
--

I will try the H.264 file this weekend and create a Proxy from it and see how it edits, then export from the "original media". Because this is a screen capture of an Adobe Connect class streamed off of their servers, the fps and sync is not great anyway. It is highly unlikely I would do any color correction for these classes, so Proxy should be fine. It's not likely I would need to go back and re-edit any of these classes, but if I keep the .screenflow doc and the H.264 file, I could if I needed to. There's no way I can warehouse the ProRes 422 files with 3 classes a week.

I'll post back with the results.

Thanks,
Dave


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Dave Gage
Re: Best file type as export from ScreenFlow to FCP X to keep the file size down (PR422 is overkill)
on Dec 15, 2012 at 1:00:42 am

[Dave Gage] "Here's some numbers from an 1:03:00 class from yesterday:

Original ScreenFlow file: 2.78 GB
ProRes 422 Export: 67 GB
ProRes 422 LT Export: 49 GB
H.264 (data rate- 2000 kbps): 942 MB (look great by the way full screen)
--

I will try the H.264 file this weekend and create a Proxy from it and see how it edits, then export from the "original media". Because this is a screen capture of an Adobe Connect class streamed off of their servers, the fps and sync is not great anyway. It is highly unlikely I would do any color correction for these classes, so Proxy should be fine. It's not likely I would need to go back and re-edit any of these classes, but if I keep the .screenflow doc and the H.264 file, I could if I needed to. There's no way I can warehouse the ProRes 422 files with 3 classes a week.

I'll post back with the results."


I got busy, but got a chance today to edit one of the classes with an H.264 export from ScreenFlow. Here's what I came up with:

1. ScreenFlow exported file was: H.264, PCM 48k, video data rate: 3000 kbps, size: 1600x1000, 54 min. long, final file size: 1.76 GB.

2. Used my 2-drive RAID 1 enclosure via FW800 for media/Events/Projects. (I could have connected via an eSata ExpressCard, but wanted to see how it felt with FW800 first). This is all with my Early 2011 i7 MBP 17" with 8GB RAM.

3. Decided to try it first with "Original Media". Next time, I'll see if it's any better with Proxy, but this went fine.

4. Did my edits on a 720p, 30P Project, did not render. Exported standard Pro Res 422.
--

Conclusions:

It was fine. A couple of short beach balls, but not much problem at all. I can try it with Proxys, but it may not save time if I've got that going on in the background while I'm editing. I thought FCP X did surprising well with the compressed H.264 format.

The H.264 quality is more then sufficient for the low-quality video captures I'm getting via the Adobe Connect servers (I think they only put out about 10-15fps and because of the Internet delay, the audio is not quite in sync with the mouth movements).

The FW800 connection was fine too. As much as I'd like to say I've seen big differences between a FW800 and eSata connection, I haven't. I've gotten tired of trying to edit in different locations and dragging around external drives (powered and non-powered). I broke down last week and bought a new Hybrid HDD drive to replace my optical drive (although I will move my boot drive to the optical slot). The benchmarks I've seen should put this Hybird media drive at about twice as fast as the external RAID 1. (When I get time, I'll also convert the RAID 1 to RAID 0 for when I'm working at home and see if it out performs the new internal Hybrid drive.)

That's my story. If I come up with any other significant info, I'll post back at this thread with an update.

Dave


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Craig Seeman
Re: Best file type as export from ScreenFlow to FCP X to keep the file size down (PR422 is overkill)
on Dec 8, 2012 at 5:37:24 am

If size is an issue export ProResLT from ScreenFlow.
Make sure Audio is PCM 48kHz.

BTW there's a ScreenFlow form although it could use more presents from users.



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Dave Gage
Re: Best file type as export from ScreenFlow to FCP X to keep the file size down (PR422 is overkill)
on Dec 8, 2012 at 6:19:24 am

[Craig Seeman] "BTW there's a ScreenFlow form although it could use more presents from users."

Did you mean forum?

Thanks,
Dave


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Craig Seeman
Re: Best file type as export from ScreenFlow to FCP X to keep the file size down (PR422 is overkill)
on Dec 8, 2012 at 6:21:56 am

[Dave Gage] "Did you mean forum?"

Forum of course.



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