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Video Conversion & iMac 27" 5k Display Settings?

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Ray Sherman
Video Conversion & iMac 27" 5k Display Settings?
on Feb 22, 2016 at 12:39:42 pm

Hi,
I'm about to pull the trigger on a maxed out iMac 27" 5k (Late 2015) along with a Pegasus2 R8 24TB in RAID 5 for 4k video editing. I have an enormous amount of 720 x 480 29fps and 1440 x 1080 29fps .avi video that I want to edit in FCPX. Please correct me if I'm wrong, I believe that I would need to convert the .avi to H.264 and then ProRes 422 within FCPX for the best quality. I have a few questions;
1) How well does FCPX deal with these formats?
2) Can FCPX convert my 720 x480 video to widescreen without degrading, etc.?
3) In regards to the 27" 5k retina display;
a) How well will the video display due to its lower resolution?
b) Will 720 x 480 and/or 1440 x 1080 be too pixelated or will the display settings correct this?
c) How good is the quality of older DVD's?
4) Any converter suggestions?

I know it's a lot of questions, but I would sincerely appreciate your experience along with any suggestions that you may have. As always, Thank You. Ray


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John Rofrano
Re: Video Conversion & iMac 27" 5k Display Settings?
on Feb 22, 2016 at 3:06:11 pm
Last Edited By John Rofrano on Feb 22, 2016 at 3:53:02 pm

[Ray Sherman] "Please correct me if I'm wrong, I believe that I would need to convert the .avi to H.264 and then ProRes 422 within FCPX for the best quality."
No, this is not entirely correct.

AVI is a container which can hold many different codecs. H.264 is a codec. You don't convert a container into a codec. Depending on which codec is in the AVI file you may just need to rewrap the AVI to QuickTime MOV and maintain the same codec.

I'm going to guess that your 720x480 AVI files are using the DV codec. If so, you don't need to do anything. Final Cut Pro X can edit DV AVI files natively without any conversion.

As for the 1440 x 1080 29fps .avi video. What codec does it use? Is it CineForm? ??? You need to understand the codecs inside the AVI files in order to determine how to best convert them if needed.
[Ray Sherman] "1) How well does FCPX deal with these formats?"
FCP X is pretty good about editing native formats. Unlike FCP 7 before it, you don't have to convert everything to ProRes 422 unless you want to. Of course, if you will be doing heavy grading or other processing, it's best to use ProRes which will stand up better to heavy processing but it's not required.
[Ray Sherman] "2) Can FCPX convert my 720 x480 video to widescreen without degrading, etc.?"
if the original video is widescreen it will be maintained. If you are planning to convert 4:3 media to 16:9 then you will lose something in the process. There's just no way around it. In order to fill the 16:9 screen you will need to zoom in on the 4:3 video which will degrade the quality.
[Ray Sherman] "3) In regards to the 27" 5k retina display;
a) How well will the video display due to its lower resolution?
b) Will 720 x 480 and/or 1440 x 1080 be too pixelated or will the display settings correct this?
c) How good is the quality of older DVD's?"
if you are asking if the display resolution of the 5K iMac will somehow modify the video quality the answer is no, it will not. What will affect the quality of the video is how you render it. If you are planning to deliver SD video as 4K, it's not going to look good.
[Ray Sherman] "4) Any converter suggestions?"
We need to know more about the codecs in the AVI file and what your final delivery format is before anyone can determine what needs to be converted and how.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Ray Sherman
Re: Video Conversion & iMac 27" 5k Display Settings?
on Feb 22, 2016 at 8:42:30 pm

Thanks John,
I was under the impression that FCPX wouldn't accept .avi, therefore I thought I needed to convert it to H.264 or ProRes. As for the 720x480 AVI files, it is 4:3 DV media.
The 1440 x 1080i 29fps is AVCHD Video(.m2t) which is interlaced.
As for finding out which codecs were used, I don't know what codecs are inside the AVI files.
I didn't think the 5k retina display would make the video cleaner, I was concerned about the pixelization and what display settings I would use.
I do understand for example when using mixed media in FCPX such as 4k and HD1080 that you need to make the event/project HD1080. As you know, the nice thing about 4k you can zoom it in approx. 200% in this example for decent quality. My mind set has always been "convert down, not up."
Since DV .avi files can be used natively without any conversion in FCPX, can AVCHD .m2t file be used as well?
As always John, you have been a tremendous help! Thanks, Ray


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John Rofrano
Re: Video Conversion & iMac 27" 5k Display Settings?
on Feb 22, 2016 at 9:17:39 pm

[Ray Sherman] "As for the 720x480 AVI files, it is 4:3 DV media. "
That will open fine in FCP X.
[Ray Sherman] "The 1440 x 1080i 29fps is AVCHD Video(.m2t) which is interlaced. "
For that I would get a copy of Divergent Media's EditReady ($49 USD). This will re-wrap the M2T files in a QuickTime MOV wrapper and keep the AVCHD video intact with absolutely no loss in quality. This is what I use to get AVCHD files into FCP X.
[Ray Sherman] "I didn't think the 5k retina display would make the video cleaner, I was concerned about the pixelization and what display settings I would use."
I would run the display at it's native 5K setting. You could keep the FCP X preview window at 1920x1080 (for example) and be able to preview at full quality. of course, you could stretch it to be larger but it's just a preview anyway.
[Ray Sherman] "I do understand for example when using mixed media in FCPX such as 4k and HD1080 that you need to make the event/project HD1080. As you know, the nice thing about 4k you can zoom it in approx. 200% in this example for decent quality. My mind set has always been "convert down, not up." "
Yes, that's a good strategy if you plan to deliver HD from 4K and mixed media. FCP X does a pretty good job of upscaling SD media as well. I've used Boris FX UpRez from their Image Restoration Continuum Units to scale SD to HD with great results.
[Ray Sherman] "Since DV .avi files can be used natively without any conversion in FCPX, can AVCHD .m2t file be used as well? "
Once you re-wrap the AVCHD files with EditReady (or whatever tool you choose) you'll be able to edit them natively in FCP X. BTW, EditReady is the follow-on to ClipWrap which many people, including myself, have used to re-wrap AVCHD and HDV files in the past.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Ray Sherman
Re: Video Conversion & iMac 27" 5k Display Settings?
on Feb 23, 2016 at 1:00:12 pm
Last Edited By Ray Sherman on Feb 23, 2016 at 1:11:18 pm

Hi John,
Thanks for all the great information and links for EditReady and Image Restoration Continuum Units. Both programs look to be powerful and is exactly what I could use. As always, you have been a great help for me and I sincerely appreciate it. Thanks, Ray


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John Rofrano
Re: Video Conversion & iMac 27" 5k Display Settings?
on Feb 23, 2016 at 2:22:48 pm

You're welcome. Glad I could help.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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