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H.264 Workflow

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James Whittington
H.264 Workflow
on Mar 15, 2011 at 6:35:50 pm

Hello!

I just received a project that was shot on the 5D Mark 2. Obviously, all the footage is in H.264 format. The DP was nice enough to organize all the clips into a FCP 7 project already. Between interviews and b-roll there are around 600-700 clips.

I'm trying to work with the sequences in this codec...sometimes it works fine, sometimes not. Occasionally FCP will randomly shut down. I'm occasionally getting errors when trying to render like...

"Codec not found. You may be using a compression type without the corresponding hardware card"

"Out of memory"

However I only get these occasionally. Most of the time it works. I really don't want to encode that many clips and reorganize the whole project. That's probably a few days work that I don't really have.

Has somebody who's done multiple projects shot on the 5D figured out what an easy workflow is?

Thanks!!!


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John Kaley
Re: H.264 Workflow
on Mar 15, 2011 at 6:41:59 pm

If the DP was REALLY nice they would have converted all the footage to ProRes first. As you're finding, FCP just can't handle H.264 as of version 7.



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Rafael Amador
Re: H.264 Workflow
on Mar 15, 2011 at 6:42:29 pm

[James Whittington] "Has somebody who's done multiple projects shot on the 5D figured out what an easy workflow is?"
The easy workflow is start by converting the footage to Prores.
H264 is not yet supported on FC and as you are experiencing you never know what may happens on editing. Too risky to start a production on those conditions.

Anyway, try setting the sequence codec to Prores. Things should improve.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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James Whittington
Re: H.264 Workflow
on Mar 15, 2011 at 6:48:05 pm

Thanks for responding. Sounds like I may just have to bite the bullet and convert all 600+ clips to ProRes. I could change just the sequences to ProRes but I don't want to have to render all the time.

I'm thinking about using compressor and just replacing the original files with converted ones. That way my original project will be in tact...just have to reconnect things. I have all the originals backed up on an external drive...so any downside or risk in this?

Thanks!


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Shane Ross
Re: H.264 Workflow
on Mar 15, 2011 at 7:09:15 pm

Please inform that nice DP that what he did was wrong, and that they should never ever ever do that again. H.264 native does not play nice in FCP...or Avid. Backup the entire card structure, Log and Transfer to convert to ProRes.

Send them this link: Tapeless Workflow for FCP 7 Tutorial

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Cameron Clendaniel
Re: H.264 Workflow
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:33:27 pm

If your original media is backed up, no downside or risk - and you don't really have a better option than ProRes (note: NO NEED to convert to ProRes HQ - which is overkill and will eat up enormous amounts of drive space). Depending on how much footage you have ("600 clips" is less informative than number of GBs), converting to ProRes may end up saving you time as it's less processor intensive and is more robust for whatever may await in your post process (gfx, titles, color grading, etc). Compressor is a good way to handle the conversion, especially if you have many cores.

Cameron Clendaniel
film editor, NYC
http://www.camclendaniel.com


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James Whittington
Re: H.264 Workflow
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:57:20 pm

Thanks for the help guys.

I have about 500GB's of footage. Converting everything in compressor was going to just take way too long. I'm finding logging and transferring all the original footage as ProRes back into a new final cut project probably is quicker. I'll just have to re-organize it like the original project.

One other question you guys may be able to help with...he had set up a couple of REALLY handy sequences. Basically synced up two angles of interview footage with separately recorded audio. If I organize my new project exactly the same...same folders, file names, etc...only difference being the footage codec, is there a way to transfer those sequences over using XML data or something?

Thanks!


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John Kaley
Re: H.264 Workflow
on Mar 15, 2011 at 11:29:57 pm

[James Whittington] "If I organize my new project exactly the same...same folders, file names, etc...only difference being the footage codec, is there a way to transfer those sequences over using XML data or something?"

If everything remains the same, you can simply relink the new ProRes clips. You can also export XML's of the current sequences and relink too.



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Rafael Amador
Re: H.264 Workflow
on Mar 16, 2011 at 6:22:51 pm

[John Kaley] "[James Whittington] "If I organize my new project exactly the same...same folders, file names, etc...only difference being the footage codec, is there a way to transfer those sequences over using XML data or something?"

If everything remains the same, you can simply relink the new ProRes clips. You can also export XML's of the current sequences and relink too."

Not so sure that's so easy.
Canon files has no TC. If I'm not wrong you have to go through L&T, the EOS plugin or some other third part software.
Don't miss this:
http://library.creativecow.net/ross_shane/tapeless-workflow_fcp-7/1
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Rafael Amador
Re: H.264 Workflow
on Mar 15, 2011 at 10:24:00 pm

[Cameron Clendaniel] "NO NEED to convert to ProRes HQ - which is overkill "
That's may be correct depending of your computer and what you are trying to do to your footage,
For what we see every day here and in all DSLRs forums, no transcoding quiet often end up on restarting from scratches once you are in the middle of the project.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Nick Price
Re: H.264 Workflow
on Mar 16, 2011 at 3:30:32 pm

Hi
i would persevere with compressor if i were you. If you are using a machine with multiple cores like a mac pro then you can utilize all of them making it way faster than doing it in FCP. Once you are done you can use a program like 'A Better Finder Renamer' to rename the files exactly the same as the H264 ones and then just relink and all your timelines will be the same. Duplicate your project just in case though.

cheers
nick


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Michael Prince
Re: H.264 Workflow
on Apr 13, 2011 at 12:56:24 am

Hi,

Not sure if anyone's on here anymore, but I've been having difficulty trying to find it answered any place else.

I'm working on a feature on my home MacBookPro, shot on Cannon 6D, and am in the process of converting all my MOV files to manageable ProRes LT files.

I want to do this in Compressor, but am unsure as to the process of doing this. (FCP was taking up way too much time to do this. Is there a tutorial video that can show me, or can someone give me a basic rundown of the procedure? I would be most appreciative.

Cheers!


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Michael Gissing
Re: H.264 Workflow
on Apr 13, 2011 at 1:47:13 am

Just search this forum for H264. It is the most covered topic here and you will find Shane Ross's excellent tutorials on tapeless workflows that include Canon DSLRs


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