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manually LOW-RESING HD footage for smoother playback

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Alan Langdon
manually LOW-RESING HD footage for smoother playback
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:47:50 am

FCP 6.0.6
4 GB RAM
MacBook Pro 2.2 GHZ
Leopard 10.5.8

I am editing an HD short shot at 30 fps 1920x1080 using a Canon still camera which stores files as H.264 files. I am able to import them straight into FCP and edit with them, allowing the sequence to mold itself to the incoming footage. But there are a lot of dropped frames and it becomes less effective when editing for rhythm and detalied cut trimming.
So, in an attempt to reduce processing speed, I converted all footage using COmpressor, bringing the footage down to 1500 Mpbs H.264 at 960 x 540, which is proportional do the original screen size (16:9). In this case the footage scrubbed quicker, so it appeared it would be a faster and smoother edit, but each cut causes a huge 0.3 second pause in the image as the hard drive catches up to the incoming footage. In a way, worse than working with the original footage.

Any advice on a 16:9 format which I can temporariry convert the HD footage to and edit more smoothly, then later reconnect to the original footage to export/master? Would Anamorphic DV be of any help? I need to maintain the framerate, so that relinking matches up frame by frame.

Any help much appreciated form someone who doesn't yet have a huge quad-core cheese grater to haul through HD footage :)


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Petteri Evilampi
Re: manually LOW-RESING HD footage for smoother playback
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:10:25 pm

H264 is NOT an editing codec. You MUST convert all those camera original files to editing codec like ProRes by Compressor. Then, by using same codec as a base for timeline you will get smooth, realtime playback without any hick ups.


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walter biscardi
Re: manually LOW-RESING HD footage for smoother playback
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:40:38 pm

[Petteri Evilampi] "H264 is NOT an editing codec. You MUST convert all those camera original files to editing codec like ProRes by Compressor. Then, by using same codec as a base for timeline you will get smooth, realtime playback without any hick ups.
"


ditto



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Rafael Amador
Re: manually LOW-RESING HD footage for smoother playback
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:36:54 pm

As Petteri suggest, transcode keeping the original size, time-base and pixels aspect.
Then Conform to 29,98 fps in CinemaTool.
Edit a high quality picture in a standard sequence.
Use Compressor or MPGStreamclip for the transcoding.
Cheers,
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Chris Tompkins
Re: manually LOW-RESING HD footage for smoother playback
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:49:20 pm

What hard drive are you using for the media?
A laptop internal system drive will not provide the performance u need will it?

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta


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Alan Langdon
Re: manually LOW-RESING HD footage for smoother playback
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:58:03 pm

Chris, I am using a LAcie 1 TB external drive with 7200 RPM and FW 800 as the connection. My footage is on the external drive and the soudns are on the internal drive. I just noticed that if I cut in L, I get much less hickup, although the image playback is choppy almost always. Should I place my audio also on the external?

Thanks everyone for the info, this is helping, I will convert the footage. But wouldn't scaling down to at least 1280x720 make it smoother to work with?

I also tried the OFFLINE RT HD mode and it is smooth but lacks image quality for the client to watch the first cut.




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John Pale
Re: manually LOW-RESING HD footage for smoother playback
on Oct 28, 2009 at 3:15:00 pm

[Alan Langdon] "But wouldn't scaling down to at least 1280x720 make it smoother to work with? "

No, probably not. The H264 codec is processor intensive, and that is the main problem.


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Arnie Schlissel
Re: manually LOW-RESING HD footage for smoother playback
on Oct 28, 2009 at 2:15:57 pm

You can use Compressor to do this.

You can either set a default setting and location and then drag all of your rushes into Compressor, or you can make a droplet and drag the files onto that in the finder.

Either way, they'll all be encoded to the same place with he same settings.

You'll want to modify the preset to change the speed from 30fps to 29.97 fps. Compressor can do this frame for frame if you choose the proper option in the "Frames" tab.

Refer to the PDF manual in Compressor's Help menu for more details.

Arnie

Post production is not an afterthought!
http://www.arniepix.com/


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Alan Langdon
Re: manually LOW-RESING HD footage for smoother playback
on Oct 28, 2009 at 3:18:04 pm

Arnie-

Thanks for helping. One question: why switch form 30 fps to 29.97 fps? I know this is an issue for TV, for assuring the "real" length of a film, but this one will not go to VT, it will probably live on DV NTSC miniDV, SD DVDs, YouTube, Vimeo and someday a high definition DVD... So I am unsure of the need for Drop-Frame conversion. Can't I just edit in a 30 fps sequence the converted 30 fps footage?

I am first converting to Apple Intermediate Codec, since there is a lot of footage. ONce I am down to a final cut, I will upres by reconverting and relinking to Pro Res footage.



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Rafael Amador
Re: manually LOW-RESING HD footage for smoother playback
on Oct 28, 2009 at 5:27:41 pm

The Compressor way imply always a generation lost and a long rendering.
With CinemaTools you get the job done with a mouse click and you keep your transcoded picture pixel by pixel.
Cheers,
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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