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H.264 footage in FCP

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Nate Hanson
H.264 footage in FCP
on Jan 11, 2010 at 6:32:39 pm

I'm getting ready to order new cameras for my Multmedia classes. Up until now we have used MiniDV tapes. I was considering some of the consumer level flash media camcorders that are so popular these days, just to speed up our workflow (ingesting as opposed to capturing tape).

However, a friend of mine tried the same thing and said that his class was actually slowed down due to the difficulty in editing the compressed footage (H.264) in Final Cut Pro.

Is this really an issue? Are those consumer camcorders not made with editing in mind?



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David Roth Weiss
Re: H.264 footage in FCP
on Jan 11, 2010 at 6:42:15 pm

Actually, most of the cameras, such as Flip Cams, record MP4. You save some time because no capture is required, however you lose time elsewhere, because transcoding to ProRes or another format is preferable for editing. You can edit the MP4 files, but it's never realtime, it's always a slow process, and it's horrible for any type of compositing, etc.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: H.264 footage in FCP
on Jan 11, 2010 at 6:45:10 pm

[Nate Hanson] "Is this really an issue? Are those consumer camcorders not made with editing in mind? "

They're certainly not made with editing in Final Cut Pro in mind.

H.264 is not an editing codec. It's an acquisition and final delivery codec. Anything in-between should be done in a different codec.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Tom Wolsky
Re: H.264 footage in FCP
on Jan 11, 2010 at 7:27:07 pm

H.264 is used in the AVCHD format. It's used in many school and if ingested correctly using Log and Transfer it works very easily. If you could be more specific about what devices and formats you have in mind it might be helpful.


All the best,

Tom

Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"
Author: "Final Cut Pro 5 Editing Essentials" and "Final Cut Express 4 Editing Workshop"


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Nate Hanson
Re: H.264 footage in FCP
on Jan 11, 2010 at 8:17:26 pm

Thanks, Tom.

I've got iMacs in my room:
2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM

Running Final Cut Pro 7

I also teach After Effects and I'm hoping to avoid problems sending footage from FCP to AE and back.

The cameras I'm looking at are:
Canon HF200s and they record in SD MPEG-2 format (Whoops...I guess it was another camera I was looking at that had the h.264 mp4).

I'm also looking to buy a Canon Vixia HV40 (HDV on MiniDV)

Do you see any trouble ahead with that set up?

Thanks for your help!


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Tom Wolsky
Re: H.264 footage in FCP
on Jan 11, 2010 at 8:56:32 pm

They both should work with FCP without problem. The first is an AVCHD camera. HDV is captured natively in FCP; AVCHD is converted to ProRes on ingest, which takes quite a bit more drive space, and requires fast drives. You can also convert to ProRes LT, which might serve you well, or even ProRes Proxy if you're pushed for drive space.


All the best,

Tom

Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"
Author: "Final Cut Pro 5 Editing Essentials" and "Final Cut Express 4 Editing Workshop"


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Justin McAleece
Re: H.264 footage in FCP
on Jan 12, 2010 at 8:45:58 am

log and transfer or compressor all the way. There are so many flavors of Pro Res now that it's way better as well. I tried editing the 7D 1080p files and on a BUILT system without transcoding they were super slow.

Justin McAleece
Production Manager

Video Production Services





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