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Organizing and Transcoding

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Greg Ball
Organizing and Transcoding
on Sep 15, 2017 at 7:39:36 pm

I'm woking on a large project that includes:
Footage that we shot (XDCAMEX) and footage someone else shot that includes MP4 footage and Drone footage. The MP$ and drone footage is not easily skimmable in the browser.

Do I need to transcode the footage first to prores422 first? ? If so how?

Is there a way to see what format this footage/codec is in
What's the easiest and most efficient way for me to skim through the footage to mark in an out points?

Should I edit in Proxy? If so how do I import everything so I can later output it at full resolution?

Thanks

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Organizing and Transcoding
on Sep 15, 2017 at 8:03:57 pm

Optimizing the footage within FCPX will create ProRes versions. Right click > transcode media > Create Optimized Media


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Greg Ball
Re: Organizing and Transcoding
on Sep 15, 2017 at 8:32:19 pm

Thanks Jeremy. Do I optimize it in the browser? All the footage lives on a 4tb OWC hard drive. I believe it's 4k but I'm editing a 1080P project.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Organizing and Transcoding
on Sep 15, 2017 at 9:41:14 pm

I echo Jeremy on transcoding in FCP X. Let it do the work for you so that it maintains it's database. If you prefer to do it outside of FCP X as I tend to do you may want to transcode using EditReady. We're very particular about having custom file names that are maintained and easily searchable/ identifiable through post, archiving, and resurrecting, a project if need be. Unfortunately FCP X can't do that inside it's database and in the actual Finder file name. 99% of our projects run through EditReady first, but you should be fine with all of those codecs in FCP X. If you're wary of space then transcode to proxy during editing, ProRes on Export.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Organizing and Transcoding
on Sep 15, 2017 at 10:01:49 pm

[Greg Ball] "Do I optimize it in the browser?"

Yes.


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Mark Smith
Re: Organizing and Transcoding
on Sep 15, 2017 at 9:47:39 pm

What is the source of your drone footage? I work with DJI inspire Mp4 all the time without issue and don't transcode.


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Greg Ball
Re: Organizing and Transcoding
on Sep 16, 2017 at 1:08:03 am

Yes DJI

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Joe Marler
Re: Organizing and Transcoding
on Sep 16, 2017 at 12:29:17 pm

[Greg Ball] "Footage...(XDCAMEX) and....MP4 footage and Drone footage...not easily skimmable in the browser...Do I need to transcode the footage first to prores422 first? ? If so how?...Is there a way to see what format this footage/codec is in...What's the easiest and most efficient way for me to skim through the footage to mark in an out points?...Should I edit in Proxy? If so how do I import everything so I can later output it at full resolution?"

4k H264 long GOP footage can be somewhat sluggish to skim, even on the highest-end Mac. Often the best approach is import with "leave files in place", also transcoding to proxy either on import or afterward. This can be done in FCPX. By default the proxy files will be placed within the library itself. This is transparent to usage, but it requires storage on whatever volume holds the library. There is a more complex procedure for creating external proxies outside the library which is documented in the Ripple Training 10.3 FCPX Media Management tutorial.

An issue with proxy and mixed 4k and 1080p footage is the proxy resolution is 1/2 the X/Y axis or 1/4 the total pixel resolution. On 4k this is still 1080p, which is adequate for editing. On 1080p it is only 960 x 540, which may be too low. Proxy does not include alpha channel data so transparency effects must be done using original or optimized files. Unfortunately FCPX's proxy mode is global -- you can see either proxy media or optimized/original but not both at the same time. So your choice is either accept this for the 1080p content or transcode everything to optimized media which is original res but will be much larger than proxy from a storage standpoint.

Proxy is ProRes 422 at 1/4 the total resolution, but does not affect image quality of the final product. You can crop/zoom in the proxy frame and upon final output it will use the underlying 4k resolution (if it was 4k). You only must remember to set the viewer back to optimized/original or the exported media will be at proxy resolution.

Relative to H264 long GOP media, optimized media might be about 6x or 8x the size, so this may require significant storage planning. Proxy media adds about 60-70% of the original size.

To see the original media characteristics I use either MediaInfo: https://mediaarea.net/en/MediaInfo/Download/Mac_OS or Invisor, which can compare multiple files in a side-by-side spreadsheet: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/invisor-media-file-inspector/id442947586?mt...

The only media I externally re-wrap (not transcode) is AVCHD, using EditReady. If I used XAVC-L, I might externally rewrap those with EditReady, because this would allow import with "leave files in place" while embedding any important metadata within the media files.


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