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Red render bar - framerates or codec problem?

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Ina Clausen
Red render bar - framerates or codec problem?
on Feb 21, 2011 at 10:56:01 am

I am working on a project involving different video formats.
All of it - sequence and clips are 1920x1080
One of the clips is mpg4 compressed using H.264 framerate 25
The other clips use Photo-Jpeg with a framerate of 29.97

First I edited the 29.97 clips in a sequence with the same basic settings: Aspect ratio HDTV1080i (16:9) but when I try to add the H.264 clip I either get a "general error" message or a red render bar.
Ok I get that these clips are different and not exactly compatible. But I am in the dark as to how to solve the problem. I have tried making new sequences with different settings but when I copy and paste the clips into the new sequence I get a red render bar all over the place.
I dont know where to start. What is the biggest problem? The framerate or the compressor or both? Should I convert all my clips using different compressor?
My end product will be 25 frames, so it makes no sense to convert the 25 frame clip to 29.97 - and proves difficult too so it seems more reasonable to convert the other clips to 25 as they will end up that way anyway or?
What is my major problem here and where do I start to solve it?
Thanks in advance
Ina


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Paul Jay
Re: Red render bar - framerates or codec problem?
on Feb 21, 2011 at 3:33:14 pm

You can't edit with H264 in FCP, and you shouldn't edit with Photo Jpeg.

Convert the H264 footage to ProRes HD 25 and edit. Photo Jpeg can be edited but can't do realtime effects.
So convert this to ProRes aswell.

For the 29.97 footage , you have 3 options.

a.Conform to 25 ( plays slower, including audio) in Cinema Tools.
b.Convert to 25 with Compressor or Jes Deinterlacer
c. Just edit them in a 25 timeline, but FCP wil skip 5 frames every second ( not an option with moving images)


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Red render bar - framerates or codec problem?
on Feb 21, 2011 at 4:26:09 pm

Ina,

Paul is correct, but let me be a bit more specific for you, because Paul seems to assume you know what he's talking about.

First, FCP recognizes only certain Quicktime video codecs as "realtime codecs" (sic: RT). So, while all .mov files are Quicktime files, not all Quicktimes are created equal.

So, you can't just choose any .mov file and hope it will give you realtime performance, you have to know which files are and which files aren't RT codecs. That's means that you have to look at the manual and/or read an article or two online.

And, if you're given files that aren't a RT codec (MJPEGs), you have to transcode them properly to RT codecs, otherwise you will get the red render bar and you'll have to render everything. There are hundreds of posts here on the Cow about this and new ones every day.

ProRes is the goto codec... When in doubt transcode to ProRes. Compressor has presets that automatically keep every parameter of the video you want to transcode (called pass through), while changing the file to the ProRes codec. that's often your bet bet.

And, one last thing, h.264 is more than simply not a RT codec, it's not an editing codec in FCP at all. So, every h.264 must be transcoded to something else for editing, again, preferably ProRes.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


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


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Ina Clausen
Re: Red render bar - framerates or codec problem?
on Feb 22, 2011 at 9:02:45 am

Thank you to both of you. Both posts were helpful. We ended up hiring an editor to come help solve the problem and he did explain some of these things to me. For now the problem seems to be solved. First we tried to convert the h.264 using a different codec, but it wouldn't work in any converter, so we had to request an uncompressed version of the h.264 file and then we converted that to have the same codec and framerate as the other files. For now that seems to have solved the problem. If the JPEG codec causes problems at least I will know where to start to solve it.
Thanks for trying to explain this to me in detail. I am sure that knowledge will come in handy in the future.
Can you suggest a good site to help me get a solid fundamental understanding of how these things work?
Thanks again.
Ina


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Paul Jay
Re: Red render bar - framerates or codec problem?
on Feb 23, 2011 at 4:58:07 pm

''First we tried to convert the h.264 using a different codec, but it wouldn't work in any converter, so we had to request an uncompressed version of the h.264 file and then we converted that to have the same codec and framerate as the other files. ''

What converter did you try then?

H264 to ProRes conversion works in:
Mpeg Streamclip
Compressor
FCP Log and transfer ( with canon FCP plugin and the THM metadata files)


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Ina Clausen
Re: Red render bar - framerates or codec problem?
on Feb 28, 2011 at 10:30:26 am

We tried both Mpeg Streamclip, Sorenson Squeeze and Compressor, but I suspect the file may have been corrupt somehow.
I'm a video journalist and still quite new to Final Cut Studio as we used Sony Vegas before. We occationally call in a freelance editor to help with projects that require special attention - like more advanced graphics or commercials - and he helped get things running.
I was not actually on that project but was helping a new employee who just quit so now it's all mine to deal with. Unfortunately it does seem the JPEG codec is causing problems. I need to pretty much re-edit the whole thing and it proves difficult to watch effects of any kind without rendering.
Will I need to convert everything in order to be able to work with this smoothly?

Right now preferences are 1920x1080, 29,97 frames, Photo-JPEG codec and we are working in FCP 6.06
Kind Regards Ina

Ina Clausen
Videojournalist (VJ)
LeadIT ApS
Odense, Denmark


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