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Apple HDV uncommonly used codec?

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Thomas O'Carroll
Apple HDV uncommonly used codec?
on Nov 14, 2011 at 11:56:29 am

I generally edit HD footage from a Sony Z7 camera so I usually edit on an Apple HDV timeline.

Anyone else doing this?

Is this an uncommon format to use for editing?

It seems this is not a good format to output to for Sorenson Squeeze (if you want things in h.264), and Sorenson consider my codec/workflow to be "uncommon".

I thought I was being very common.

??


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Shane Ross
Re: Apple HDV uncommonly used codec?
on Nov 14, 2011 at 5:50:10 pm

[Thomas O'Carroll] "Anyone else doing this?"

I have, yes.

[Thomas O'Carroll] "Is this an uncommon format to use for editing?"

No, not really. TONS of people who shoot HDV capture and edit HDV native in FCP. Very common practice.

[Thomas O'Carroll] "It seems this is not a good format to output to for Sorenson Squeeze (if you want things in h.264), and Sorenson consider my codec/workflow to be "uncommon"."

It isn't? You mean Sorenson Squeeze, on your computer, won't compress this format?

One thing to note, is that the Apple HDV codec really only works on machines with FCP installed. It is a codec that only comes with FCP. So if you give the file to someone else to encode, they cannot work with it.

The solution is to work in a ProRes sequence. Render out ProRes and anyone with QT 7 can view that format.

Shane

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Thomas O'Carroll
Re: Apple HDV uncommonly used codec?
on Nov 14, 2011 at 9:53:34 pm

[Shane Ross] "It isn't? You mean Sorenson Squeeze, on your computer, won't compress this format?
"


No, I mean Sorenson Squeeze on any mac (not just mine) will have problems encoding from AppleHDV to h.264.

It is easy to demonstrate and has now been acknowledged by Sorenson (quite graciously I might add) that it is a bug... Source media of AppleHDV encoded to h.264 (thats Mainconcept or Apple's) results in a sort of pixelated result. It looks like the movie has been a lower resolution at some point: Jaggies on straight edges etc. It is particularly rotten on text. I thought it was some sort of interlacing issue at first but its arm.. different.

In a nutshell Sorenson Squeeze v7 cannot create mp4, iPad/pod/phone movies etc from HDV files. Its a bit of a bummer if your source is HDV, considering how ubiquitous h.264 has become. You'll need to convert to ProRes first before going h.264.

Personally I think this really sucks. I'm a little surprised I am the first to discover the problem.

I've not tried HDV with v8 and Sorenson has provided me with the means to do so. I am a bit surprised no-one at Sorenson has tried HDV to h.264 either.

Perhaps I'm the only one using HDV cams on FCP to make web friendly movies. (!)

[David Roth Weiss] "You haven't actually specified what you want to do with the file after exporting from Sorenson."

My workflow:
transfer footage (HD25p) from Sony Z7 camera in FCP,
Edit natively in FCP (Apple HDV),
Export with same settings as timeline to save render times and create a self-contained archivable master movie,

Bring master movie into Sorenson to create:
A file that is suitable for uploading to Youtube (usually a slightly tweaked Squeeze preset)
Some mp4's for Flash files for website
some mp4's for iPhone/iPad
some FLV's
anything else that is asked of me

FLV (VP6) work just fine - as does WMV and any other codec other than h.264


I bought Squeeze so that I could use one app for all my encoding. It seems I will either have to use Compressor for the h.264 encodes, squeeze for FLV - or wait extra minutes while a Prores file is created on my FCP export.

Either way its a pain in the rump.


I'm a bit miffed at sorenson about this but I'm not just griping here. I do wonder how many other folk have simply not noticed the poor result you get from Apple HDV to h.264 in Squeeze 7. The end result works as a movie file and looks ok at first glance. I guess the issue could be overlooked - at first I just thought "compressed movie" before I thought "hang on - it should much better than that!!".

I'm going to try squeeze v8 when I can get round to it.

Thanks for your replies


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Apple HDV uncommonly used codec?
on Nov 14, 2011 at 5:54:52 pm

You haven't actually specified what you want to do with the file after exporting from Sorenson. HDV is a highly compressed long-GOP format, that is not a typical delivery codec, so it is unusual that you would be exporting it from Sorenson.

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

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