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Ray Sherman
Need a Video Converter:
on Feb 17, 2017 at 11:22:01 pm

Hi, I have an enormous amount of m2t formated video's. I want to convert them to .mov for FCPX. I have looked at wondershare video converter ultimate and MacX Video Converter Pro which both seem to be great converters. If you have used these and/or other converters I would like your thoughts and/or suggestions. Your help would be most appreciated. Thanks, Ray

Need a Video Converter:


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Craig Seeman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Feb 18, 2017 at 7:16:40 am
Last Edited By Craig Seeman on Feb 18, 2017 at 7:18:16 am

First, professionally speaking, no one should be handing you m2t files without the complete container but, unfortunately there are people who do that.
I believe the products you describe are mostly front ends to ffmpeg encoders. They might be OK for sharing files but I wouldn't use them in a serious post workflow where, if sources needed transcoding, I'd transcode to a flavor of Apple ProRes (some might use DNxHD on Windows). Or, if you want to avoid the transcode, rewrap the file in a .mov container.

You'd be better off using something like Divergent Media's Edit Ready.



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John Rofrano
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Feb 18, 2017 at 9:42:00 pm

EditReady is definitely the way to go. I use it all the time. Worth every penny.

You want to re-wrap your m2t files into a QuickTime mov container so that there is no quality loss. EditReady is great at this. It can also transcode them to Apple ProRes 422 if you want but re-wrapping them should be fine.

~jr

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



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Ray Sherman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Feb 18, 2017 at 10:53:12 pm

Thanks goes out to all of you for your help! I will definately take a look at EditReady. I'm sure it's the way to go since all of you are recommending it highly. Thanks again, you've been a great help. Ray


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Ray Sherman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Feb 21, 2017 at 8:40:52 pm

Hi,
Just wanted to let everyone know that I'm going with EditReady as you suggested. A BIG PLUS for (Today Only) is that it's 33% off due to their 10'th anniversary. It's $33.49 instead of $49.99. Use this code 10years for the discount. http://www.divergentmedia.com/editready
I'd like to add, EditReady also had a new update on February 14'th as well..... ver. 1.4.7
I do have a couple questions;
1) Does anyone know if EditReady can be downloaded to more than one computer?
2) Are there free updates?
Thanks again for your help.......... Ray


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John Rofrano
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Feb 22, 2017 at 12:25:40 am

[Ray Sherman] "1) Does anyone know if EditReady can be downloaded to more than one computer?"
Yes, I have it running on my Mac Pro and MacBook Pro without any issues.
[Ray Sherman] "2) Are there free updates?"
So far, minor updates (e.g., 1.3 to 1.4) have been free. I assume that a major update (say from 1.x to 2.x) would be paid for just like any other software but they have been very good at keeping 1.x up to date.

~jr

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



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Ray Sherman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Feb 22, 2017 at 12:44:58 pm

Thanks John! I was playing around with EditReady yesterday and was amazed at how well it converts on my maxed out 2016 15" MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, I received all the files I mentioned in .m2t clips only. I now see that a lot of storage is needed when I convert them to ProRes 422.
1 minute: Native m2t = 209MB
Converted to ProRes 422 = 976MB
I also converted a (1 minute 25 second) 4K MXF (H.264) clip:
Native = 1.06GB
ProRes and 422 = 6.06GB......WoW!!
At least FCPX will handle the 4K natively without conversion.........
As a newbie, I need to learn about the presets along with how it affects final output in FCPX. I'd like to add, I do have Ripple's Core training, Media Mgt. and Color correction training in which I am now getting started. I did come from Sony Vegas Pro and DVDA which should help me with the general basics. You, along with many others here have been a tremendous help to me and I sincerely appreciate it. Thanks, Ray


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Joe Marler
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Feb 22, 2017 at 1:47:36 pm

[Ray Sherman] "....playing around with EditReady...all the files I mentioned in .m2t clips only. I now see that a lot of storage is needed when I convert them to ProRes 422....At least FCPX will handle the 4K natively without conversion..."

You are apparently using EditReady to transcode, not rewrap. This is NOT necessary and will take a lot of time and space. In EditReady, simply set the preset to "Rewrap". This will rapidly produce .MOV files which can be almost instantly imported to FCPX using "leave files in place".

Do NOT import AVCHD bare files to FCPX -- whether .m2t or .mts. The import phase takes a long time and it does NOT handle them well after import. It may cause significant performance problems down the line.

IF you need higher editing performance you can have FCPX create proxy (not optimized media) when importing the rewrapped files or afterward.

To review:

(1) Use EditReady to rewrap (not transcode) the .m2t or .mts files.
(2) Import the rewrapped .mov files using "leave files in place". This will be very quick.
(3) IF you need better editing performance, create proxy files -- but not optimized media. You can do this during import or afterward.

Optimized media is a lot bigger and not generally necessary when dealing with 4k. Proxy 4k is still HD resolution so the viewer resolution will be good even in proxy mode.

To change to proxy mode, at the upper-right corner of the viewer set it to proxy. After you are finished editing, remember to set this back to "Optimized/Original", otherwise your export will be at proxy resolution.

If you want to edit in 4k but have no need for 4k export, you can put the 4k material on a 1080p timeline. This will retain the ability to crop/zoom into the frame, using all 4k resolution, but the temporary render files will be 1080p so it will help performance.

You create a 1080p timeline (aka project) by doing File>New>Project, select "Use Custom Settings", and select (typically) 1080p and 29.97p. If you don't do this, by default the project properties will be whatever the 1st clip is -- 4k in your case.


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Ray Sherman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Feb 22, 2017 at 2:20:37 pm

Awesome Joe!! I was typing the previous reply at the same time you were replying. You answered a lot of questions in my mind and for that I am very greatful! I did plan on "Leave Files in Place" simply due to being a solo offline editer. Once in FCPX, I will try Optimized along with ProRes 422. Also, I just started shooting in 4K about a year ago, mainly for the very answer you gave along with being able to zoom up to 200% without quality loss in a 1080p timeline. I also plan on exporting native 4K when not in a mixed format envirement. My 4K media is MXF H.264. With that being said, do you feel that I should rewrap my 4K as well or just use it native in FCPX? Again, thanks for your help. Ray


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Ray Sherman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Feb 22, 2017 at 1:57:46 pm

I do have a question in regards to the Presets in EditReady......... If I convert the m2t media to ProRes 422 LT and/or ProRes 422 Proxy, will I be able to to optimize the media in FCPX to ProRes 422? Please correct me if I'm wrong but, wouldn't I be degrading the media upon the conversion therefore, making it impossible to bring it back to it's native quality in FCPX? I tried researching this but, I couldn't find any definitive answers. Thanks, Ray


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Joe Marler
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Feb 22, 2017 at 4:17:04 pm

[Ray Sherman] "...I also plan on exporting native 4K when not in a mixed format envirement..."

If you need 4k export you have two options, both of which will preserve the full 4k resolution for a crop/zoom:

(1) Edit the 4k material in a 1080p timeline (aka project) as described above, then when you are finished, copy/paste the entire timeline into a 4k project and export from that. Otherwise you can only export at the 1080p max project resolution.

(2) Edit 4k material in a 4k project and export from that at 4k. Editing performance won't be quite as fast but if you are using proxy it likely won't matter -- it will be fast enough.

[Ray Sherman] "My 4K media is MXF H.264. With that being said, do you feel that I should rewrap my 4K as well or just use it native in FCPX?"

Provided you have installed Apple Pro Video Formats 2.0.5, FCPX should be able to handle MXF OK: https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1898?locale=en_US

However MXF media cannot be imported "in place" from a copy of the original card structure. You can theoretically copy the .MXF files outside the structure and import it in place from that location, but that is considered a poor practice and risks losing valuable metadata.

The other option is rewrap the MXF using EditReady which should combine the metadata from the folder tree into the resultant .mov file. You could then import from those .mov files using "leave files in place". Any workflow decision should be thoroughly tested and verified before adopting it for production.

[Ray Sherman] "If I convert the m2t media to ProRes 422 LT and/or ProRes 422 Proxy, will I be able to to optimize the media in FCPX to ProRes 422? Please correct me if I'm wrong but, wouldn't I be degrading the media upon the conversion therefore, making it impossible to bring it back to it's native quality in FCPX? "

You don't need to externally transcode .m2t media to ProRes before import. You only need to rewrap it with EditReady, then you can import it with "leave files in place" and -- optionally -- create proxy or optimized media. If the material is 1080p you probably don't need either proxy or optimized -- you edit the rewrapped .m2t files (in .mov format) directly, with adequate performance and quality.

Because your .m2t media is 1080p, proxy would be fairly low resolution, so in that case IF you needed better editing performance (which I doubt) it might be better to create optimized media either during or after import. In theory you could do that directly from the .m2t files without rewrapping them first. However I don't trust anything FCPX does with bare AVCHD files. Even though it is an extra (albeit quick) step, I would always rewrap any AVCHD content (whether bare files or not) using EditReady.


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Joe Marler
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Feb 22, 2017 at 5:53:12 pm

[Joe Marler] " rewrap the MXF using EditReady which should combine the metadata from the folder tree into the resultant .mov file. You could then import from those .mov files using "leave files in place". Any workflow decision should be thoroughly tested and verified before adopting it for production."

In line with the above, note that while EditReady in general supports rewrapping of MXF media, it does NOT support this from a Sony PXW-FS5. The rewrap seems to run but the resulted rewrapped files cannot be edited with FCPX or played with Quicktime. This is technically not a bug with EditReady but Sony is using some kind of special codec variant which can only be interpreted by Apple Pro Video Formats 2.0.5 if run against the original camera file. Note the FS5 is not listed as a supported device by Divergent Media: http://www.divergentmedia.com/devices/supporteddevices

This again illustrates why you must thoroughly test any workflow using the exact cameras and codecs before making an investment and committing to production.

My documentary team recently shot 2.4 terabytes of 4k H264 material in one week. Fortunately it was using camera media which FCPX can import with "leave files in place". I would never use a camera (like the FS5) which FCPX cannot import with "leave files in place" AND cannot be rewrapped with EditReady. This isn't a knock against the camera itself, but when you scale up workflow to large volumes, it must be supportable.

Interestingly Premiere CC 2017 has no problem importing 4k MXF material from an FS5 and with Premiere it's always "leave files in place". So if shooting huge amounts of MXF material from an FS5, Premiere would have a significant workflow advantage, even if both FCPX and Premiere had to create proxy files. With FCPX the import would have to copy all that to the library or you'd be stuck with a science project trying to figure out is it safe to remove the bare MXF files and import in place.


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Ray Sherman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Feb 22, 2017 at 7:09:52 pm

[Joe Marler] "If you need 4k export you have two options, both of which will preserve the full 4k resolution for a crop/zoom:

(1) Edit the 4k material in a 1080p timeline (aka project) as described above, then when you are finished, copy/paste the entire timeline into a 4k project and export from that. Otherwise you can only export at the 1080p max project resolution.

(2) Edit 4k material in a 4k project and export from that at 4k. Editing performance won't be quite as fast but if you are using proxy it likely won't matter -- it will be fast enough."


Great advice....... Never thought of that.



[Joe Marler] "Provided you have installed Apple Pro Video Formats 2.0.5, FCPX should be able to handle MXF OK: https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1898?locale=en_US

However MXF media cannot be imported "in place" from a copy of the original card structure. You can theoretically copy the .MXF files outside the structure and import it in place from that location, but that is considered a poor practice and risks losing valuable metadata."


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Ray Sherman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Feb 22, 2017 at 7:22:48 pm

Thanks Joe for all the advice........... I just downloaded Apple Pro Video Formats 2.0.5 and your right, you can't leave files in place. My 4K media is in a contained in the original card structure. I imported the entire folder and played back a couple clips natively which seemed to play fine. Of course this is straight up without any plugins, effects, chroma keying, etc.. I do want the best output when it comes to my 4K media therefore, I will try the things you mentioned on a few clips at a time once I'm up and running. I saved all the info. that you have given me and I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate your help. A huge THANK YOU goes to you for taking the time in explaining the steps needed along with your advice. Ray


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Ray Sherman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Mar 1, 2017 at 3:36:45 pm

Ok guys........ Here's another one for you. I came across a large amount of .avi media that needs to be converted as well. I know FCPX will accept .avi but, wouldn't it in your opinion be best to convert it all to .mov before importing it into FCPX for editing? If so, do you have any suggestions for the best converter for this since EditReady won't ingest it? I've tried the free one through Apple App's called Free Video Converter but, the quality was terrible compared to the native .avi file. As always, your help would be most appreciated. Thanks, Ray


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John Rofrano
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Mar 1, 2017 at 4:54:06 pm

[Ray Sherman] "I know FCPX will accept .avi but, wouldn't it in your opinion be best to convert it all to .mov before importing it into FCPX for editing?"
QuickTime is the native container for Mac and Audio Video Interleave is the native container for Windows so I would recommend that it is best to place them in a native QuickTime (mov) container for best compatibility.
[Ray Sherman] "If so, do you have any suggestions for the best converter for this since EditReady won't ingest it?"
What codec does the AVI file use and does QuickTime support that codec? If yes, you want to look for a program that will just re-wrap. If no, you'll need to transcode.

Have you tried Apple Compressor 4? I have DV Widescreen AVI files that I drop into Compressor and select the DV/DVCPRO NTSC template and check the box that says [x] Enable video pass-through and it simply re-wraps the DV video into a MOV container. No quality loss at all.

So it depends on what codec you are dealing with.

~jr

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



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Ray Sherman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Mar 1, 2017 at 5:43:49 pm

Hi John, Thanks for the reply........
[John Rofrano] "What codec does the AVI file use and does QuickTime support that codec? If yes, you want to look for a program that will just re-wrap. If no, you'll need to transcode.
Unfortunately, I only have .avi clips not in a container. In addition, it's all 720x480 non-widescreen. Looks like I'll have to transcode.
I do not have Compressor as of yet, if you believe Compressor would do the trick without any quality loss, I'll go for it. Thanks again for all your help, very much appreciated. Ray


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Ray Sherman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Mar 1, 2017 at 5:59:14 pm

Hi John, Thanks for the reply........

[John Rofrano] "What codec does the AVI file use and does QuickTime support that codec? If yes, you want to look for a program that will just re-wrap. If no, you'll need to transcode.

Unfortunately, I only have .avi clips not in a container. In addition, it's all 720x480 non-widescreen. Looks like I'll have to transcode.
I do not have Compressor as of yet, if you believe Compressor would do the trick without any quality loss, I'll go for it. Thanks again for all your help, very much appreciated. Ray


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Ray Sherman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Mar 1, 2017 at 6:21:39 pm

Sorry about the double post :(


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Ray Sherman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Mar 2, 2017 at 1:19:04 pm

I did some digging and found out the camcorder used was a JVC GR DVL9500 tape based consumer handicam. I looked up the manual http://www.instructionsmanuals.com/u2/pdf/camara_video/Jvc-GRDVL9500-en.pdf which didn't have any good info. in regards to specs. The media is non-widescreen 4:3 720x480 .avi and it appears to be interlaced. I tried some free converter trials off the internet which produced poor quality. It would be nice if Apple's Compressor had a trial to try but, I didn't see one. I would just like to re-wrap the media to .mov for FCPX but, I haven't found anything yet to do so. I'm currently at a loss in regards to what to do. Once it's figured out, I'll certainly let everyone here know. Thanks, Ray


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Joe Marler
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Mar 2, 2017 at 3:43:34 pm

[Ray Sherman] "I came across a large amount of .avi media...camcorder used was a JVC GR DVL9500 tape based consumer handicam....The media is non-widescreen 4:3 720x480 .avi and it appears to be interlaced...."

That is DV -- FCPX can import that "in place" and edit that natively with no problems. Using proxy or optimized media is not required. Compressor can transcode it to ProRes before import but I don't see the benefit of that. By modern standards the DV codec is simple and the resolution is low, so there is no performance problem editing it. Transcoding to ProRes does not improve image quality -- that is determined by the camera and codec capture parameters.

The biggest problem with DV content is not image quality per se but interlacing. Some DV cameras shot "matted" 16:9 DV which is another problem but fortunately yours did not. The interlacing issue can be confusing for several reasons:

(1) Some playback software like Quicktime will auto deinterlace under some conditions but not others.
(2) VLC defaults to "no deinterlace" but it can be enabled and has multiple selectable algorithms.
(3) Youtube will auto-deinterlace NTSC DV content, at least sometimes.
(4) FCPX will not deinterlace on export for an NTSC project even if you set the "deinterlace" checkbox in Inspector under Settings.
(5) FCPX *will* deinterlace on export NTSC content in a progressive project IF you set the "deinterlace" checkbox.
(6) If you put NTSC content in a progressive project, don't set the deinterlace checkbox, then output, the file will be degraded, apparently from discarding alternate scan lines.

Since most of your content is apparently progressive and you want to include some 4:3 NTSC DV stuff, use a 1080p or 720p project and for the DV AVI clips make sure you have the deinterlace checkbox set for those.

4:3 content in a 16:9 project will appear "pillar boxed". That is expected and you can evaluate how to present that.

When dealing with interlaced content always inspect the output for comb-type interlacing artifacts and for signs of degraded resolution from "discard-type" deinterlacing. Check (1) Using Quicktime Player, (2) VLC with deinterlacing off, (3) After upload to Youtube or Vimeo, and (4) Local playback on mobile devices if that is a distribution method. The final output should be no worse than the original interlaced files viewed in VLC with Yadif 2x deinterlacing enabled.

Test and validate your workflow early on small media samples. Do not do a huge project then find out 20% of the clips are messed up from improper hard deinterlacing that happened several stages up the chain.


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Ray Sherman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Mar 2, 2017 at 5:22:54 pm

Thank You Joe!! I will forget about re-wrapping and/or transcoding the .avi as you stated. I will follow your suggestions once I get the project up and running and I will certainly test early on for the best output. Currently, I'm re-wrapping my other media in EditReady as well as organizing it in folders. I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate you taking the time in helping me out. You, along with many others is what makes this forum! Thank you, Ray


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John Rofrano
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Mar 3, 2017 at 4:21:17 pm

I see that Joe already answered your question and I agree. DV AVI files should be fine in FCP X. No need to do anything special.

If you want everything in a QuickTime format, Compressor will simply rewrap DV AVI files as MOV files with no quality loss but as Joe pointed out, there is really no need since FCP X already handles DV AVI files natively.

If the project is HD and the DV files look bad, you might want to try a plug-in like Boris FX BCC UpRez. This will convert SD to HD with "smart" sharpening that can improve the picture quality over just resizing.

Here is training that I did for Boris TV on using UpRez in FCP X and Motion 5 if you want to see if in action:



~jr

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



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Ray Sherman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Mar 4, 2017 at 1:52:13 pm

Thank You John!! That is one awesome tool...... and great job on the tutorial! Looks to be pretty much straight forward. Cleaning up the media along with placing it in the proper aspect ratio would indeed be a great tool that I could use. I went to their web site but, couldn't find a price. In addition, I clicked on the "free trial" icon which took me to an "error page". It may be possible that they are working on their web site therefore, I will check later.
Thanks again John, for taking the time in helping me out and pointing me in the right direction. I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate it! Ray 😊


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John Rofrano
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Mar 4, 2017 at 5:57:02 pm

Sorry I should have given you a pointer to the product page.

Boris FX includes BCC UpRez as part of the larger Boris Continuum Complete (BCC) suite or it can be purchased as part of the smaller Continuum Image Restoration Unit which contains 12 effects including UpRez.

I checked the Free Trial links on those pages and they seem to work. ;-)

~jr

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



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Ray Sherman
Re: Need a Video Converter:
on Mar 5, 2017 at 1:09:41 am

Thanks for the links...... I'll try the free trial soon and go from there. Thanks again for all your help. Ray


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