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Canon HD camcorder - issues, tip and tricks?

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Aaron Bear
Canon HD camcorder - issues, tip and tricks?
on Jul 8, 2011 at 6:41:38 pm

Hey all,

I got a Canon HD Vixia HF R10 handheld camcorder a while back and have been playing around shooting things on it. Ive never had an HD camcorder, or anything above DV for that matter, so Im looking for any HD tips and tricks. Im trying to remember my video and format lectures in school..but I forgot quite a bit. :P

I notice the camcorder records 1920x1080 at 60i..say I wanted to uploaded a reduced resolution video to youtube, would I need to convert the framerate down to 24 or 29 fps? If so how would I do this and would it drop/repeat frames?

One of the biggest issues Im running into is the video file formats; they're .mts files. I can play them in VLC but cant do much with them unless I convert them using something like Total Video Converter. Others have said After Effects will import .mts files but I always get the not-supported-file-format message. Anything Im doing wrong? Also, if editing in After Effects, do I need to specify the video's information, like fps, resolution?

Im doing a lot of 2D/3D tracking for fun personal projects and to build my skills so Id like to maintain the original video quality as best as possible while editing it. Does anyone have any tips or tricks for editing/2D/3D tracking HD video at 60fps?

Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

-Aaron-
"Wherever you go, there you are"


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Mike Cumberworth
Re: Canon HD camcorder - issues, tip and tricks?
on Jul 8, 2011 at 10:40:16 pm

Hi Aaron,
I have a similar Canon VIXIA (HF100 I think - about 3yrs old).
When I first got it the MTS files were a HUGE pain & I could only play them in VLC or the bundled software (which I stupidly threw away).

After upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 (still 32-bit for now), MTS clips automatically play very well using the latest Windows Media Player, even directly off my SD card (which I don't really recommend). My older XP desktop benefited somewhat from a new video card, but raw MTS playback still kinda sucks. Hardware limitation since it's really the processors that have to de-compress the files.

For playback on a Mac, VLC works ok but insists on opening each new video at full HUGE 1080p, which has to be manually resized. You can allegedly convert to QuickTime format using iMovie, but the resulting files are massive & I haven't tried.

After Effects & Premiere only supported MTS and MP4 files well from CS4 on - if you have CS3 you'd want to upgrade. CS5 (64-bit OS only!) handles MTS files very well & was designed for HD playback/editing. Haven't crashed it yet, which I couldn't say for CS4 (got in the habit of saving after EVERY change).

Your question actually got me to look into the 24P/60i pulldown issue, which I never really clearly understood or bothered with ... There are "remove pulldown" or "Guess Pulldown" check boxes in both Premiere and After Effects when you import/interpret footage (AE allegedly works better). As I understand it, they will attempt to identify & remove the duplicate frames to properly de-interlace your 60i footage & turn it into "real" 24p.

I need to go home & try this myself, because I had a horrible time trying to convert my 1920x1080 "24P Mode" MTS files to a more workable alternative. After lots of experimentation w/Media Encoder, it seemed 720p MP4s @ 29.97 were the only thing that worked w/o stuttering - probably because I didn't properly remove the pulldown! That little check box probably would've made all the difference...

YouTube converts all uploaded videos to 30FPS FLVs & MP4s anyway, so you don't really need to worry about that. You'd just be re-compressing a compressed file for further loss of quality. I think the only necessary change is to ensure your renders/projects use "progressive (no fields)" frame settings, since they'll be for computers & not broadcast.

Haven't done 3D tracking, but knowing a bit of the concept I imagine it'd be easier to track a progressive shot than an interlaced one, and would suggest removing the pulldown first & using "progressive" settings in your project. Otherwise your tracking points would constantly jitter between interlaced fields or just disappear completely between frames, wouldn't they?

Found this article w/a link to a Script for AE that might be useful:
http://www.coertvonk.com/technology/videoediting/24p-avchd-with-pp-cs5-2697

Going to try it out myself later on. Might have to revisit all the old files I converted! :) Anyway, I hope that helps & isn't just a bunch of rambling nonsense...
Good luck & thanks for inspiring me to investigate!

~ Mike


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Aaron Bear
Re: Canon HD camcorder - issues, tip and tricks?
on Jul 9, 2011 at 5:33:54 am

Thanks, very helpful information, Mike. Im using After Effects CS3 so thats probably why the .mts files wouldnt import. Total Video Converter worked pretty well to convert the file to a quicktime png image sequence.
The 3D tracking program doesnt have the pulldown options like After Effects has, only the field order, non-interlaced or only one particular field. Do you think it would be best to export the image sequence from After Effects as a progress format and set the field order to non-interaced for tracking? If I do that would that change the fps or sequence length?
I never fully understood interlacing fields and how converting worked.

Thanks again!

-Aaron-
"Wherever you go, there you are"


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