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Can I use H264 without letting fcpx convert it to Prores

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Glenn Payne
Can I use H264 without letting fcpx convert it to Prores
on Apr 29, 2017 at 3:48:48 am

Hey guys,
I have a project coming up with H264 footage. I'm a fairly recent crossover from final cut 6 to fcpx. I know I used to have to convert my footage to prores for it to edit/export smoothly. I know that fcpx can convert H264 to prores for me in the background, but for the sake of storage I was curious if I could actually edit the H264 footage as is (saving storage space on a drive). If I need to let it convert then that's fine. I was just wondering if the technology had improved enough to allow me to do it without converting.

I've done a few tiny projects that were straight H264 and they seemed to work fine all the way to exporting (1-3 minute clips). This project will be closer to 25 minutes and I didn't want to risk it without asking someone who had been using fcpx longer than I have.

Thanks for any info!


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Claude Lyneis
Re: Can I use H264 without letting fcpx convert it to Prores
on Apr 29, 2017 at 5:19:41 am

I edit all my H.264 directly in FCPX without converting to prores. I have an I5 mid 11 27 inch iMac, nothing special. It is a big advantage to not have the storage issues accompanying prores although there are work arounds.


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Can I use H264 without letting fcpx convert it to Prores
on Apr 29, 2017 at 5:51:32 am

FCPX will only convert h264 to ProRes if you specifically ask it to create optimised media.

----
Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Hobart, Tasmania | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Noah Kadner
Re: Can I use H264 without letting fcpx convert it to Prores
on Apr 29, 2017 at 5:54:22 am

Depends on your system specs, resolution and # of streams. I cut in 4K on a MBP and find the performance benefits of proxy editing greatly outweigh the relatively minor extra storage requirement. Your mileage may vary.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP Exchange - FCPX Workshops
XinTwo - FCPX Training


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Joe Marler
Re: Can I use H264 without letting fcpx convert it to Prores
on Apr 29, 2017 at 1:24:15 pm

[Glenn Payne] "if I could actually edit the H264 footage as is (saving storage space on a drive). If I need to let it convert then that's fine. I was just wondering if the technology had improved enough to allow me to do it without converting. "

If it's 1080p and you have a decent machine you can usually import the content with "leave files in place" and you don't need to transcode to either proxy or optimized media. Performance is usually very good. If you don't select "leave files in place", the content will be copied to the library. That is not transcoding but it takes up more space -- when your video files were already sitting on your hard drive. OTOH some prefer all content copied within a "managed library". This is a media management issue not a performance issue.

If it's H264 4k, you can try it without proxy or optimized. Single-cam material on a good machine can be doable, but multicam usually requires proxy.

If the H264 content is actually AVCHD, I'd recommend you rewrap that with EditReady before importing. FCPX can handle it without that, but EditReady removes the deep folder tree, combines all the original metadata, and enables the option to "leave files in place" for import.


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