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Started a big project in H.264 and want to change to 422 and move up to X

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luke christopher
Started a big project in H.264 and want to change to 422 and move up to X
on Feb 7, 2012 at 11:20:46 pm

Hi, this is my first post and I'm in a bit of a pickle. I've not been editing in a while, I'm still using FCP 6.01. I now have a monstrous 45-min doc that I'm in shooting and editing using a 5d MII. Now I've shot a few small projects with it and finished them with this version of FC and did not think much other than it was a bit sluggish.

So I've been working on this project for a while in pieces and did not know about transcoding my footage to 422. So what do I do if I've already done a lot of editing? Is there a way of using new 422 source material? I see there is a render timeline option to convert to 422, but how can I convert my H264 sequence to 422 AND link to my old h264 clips to new 422 clips? I don't mind converting the 600gb of footage, but I don't want to rebuild my sequences from scratch, which Apple support said I would have to.

Oh, and if I manage to do this, then how in the hell can I upgrade to X and keep my work. All of this made me try out Premiere CS5 but I can't get used to it, it seems like a toy.

And what are the pitfalls of working in H.264, I notice it's a bit slow in rendering some effects, but if I when I finally join all my sequences for a 45 min program, will it export?

I appreciate any help, any.

Cheers,

Luke


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Michael Gissing
Re: Started a big project in H.264 and want to change to 422 and move up to X
on Feb 8, 2012 at 12:00:34 am

FCPX now has a third party app to convert 7toX. If you have a relatively simple timeline it might be worth trying out FCPX (trial version lasts 30 days) and the conversion software is $10 from the app store.


If you do this path you might be able to avoid all transcoding. You kight have to load the project file on a 7.0.3 machine somewhere to create the correct XML.

No guarantees that you will find FCPX any less of a toy than PP.


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luke christopher
Re: Started a big project in H.264 and want to change to 422 and move up to X
on Feb 8, 2012 at 5:02:29 pm

OMG, I just tried X, what a f'ing joke. I've never been so dissapointed in anything in my life. How could Apple destroy such a product that so many have used for years in a professional arena? There is no chance I could finish a show with this junk. Granted, it's way, way faster than my current 6 version. But it's like being strapped to a rocket with no controls. I think I'm going to switch to what I started on, Avid. They seem to still care about us.

Maybe I'm doing this wrong, has anyone converted after years of using prior versions and now can have a fast workflow? I'm literally all thumbs.


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Started a big project in H.264 and want to change to 422 and move up to X
on Feb 8, 2012 at 6:28:28 am

One thing you can do is convert to ProRes422 in Compressor and tell Final Cut to reference these files instead of the H.264 source files.

The procedure I would use for this would be as follows:
• Use the Save as command to copy of your project. Call it "Project name relinked" or similar.
• Open Compressor
• Go to the Destinations tab
• Create a new destination (+ button) close to where your source clips are. Perhaps make a ProRes422 folder where they're hanging out. For 600gb of H.264 you're looking at terabytes of space.
• Open the Compressor preferences
• Make the default setting Apple -> Formats -> Quicktime -> ProRes422 and the default destination your custom destination you created
• Drag your H.264 movies into Compressor. Hit Submit and Submit.
• Go to sleep for the night.
===
• When Compressor is done make an H-264 folder where your H.264 clips are at and move them into this folder. This will make Final Cut unable to find the clips, which you want.
• Open your relink project up. Final Cut will tell you that x media files and x render files are offline. Pick reconnect. Point Final Cut to the folder with the converted ProRes media. It'll relink to those clips and use them instead.
• Change the Compressor in your sequence settings to ProRes422.

If things go awry just put your H.264 clips back where they were and open the old project.


===
As for the pitfalls, slow rendering, and general instability top the list. If you're nesting rendered ProRes sequences you'll probably be okay, but nesting H.264 sequences is asking for disaster. You could finish in H.264, make your sequence compressor ProRes422, export, and bring exported movies onto a final timeline instead of nested sequences.


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luke christopher
Re: Started a big project in H.264 and want to change to 422 and move up to X
on Feb 10, 2012 at 6:42:01 pm

Thanks for your detailed post. I will give it a go, but it may take more time and sweat than dealing with the H264 clips.


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Started a big project in H.264 and want to change to 422 and move up to X
on Feb 10, 2012 at 8:26:31 pm

When you get to color correcting later you'll be glad you went to ProRes now. That'll be a painful process with H.264. At least change your Sequence Compressor to ProRes when you get to that stage.


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luke christopher
Re: Started a big project in H.264 and want to change to 422 and move up to X
on Feb 10, 2012 at 10:11:05 pm

Thanks, but what's all this I hear about ProRes screwing up the gamma?


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luke christopher
Re: Started a big project in H.264 and want to change to 422 and move up to X
on Feb 13, 2012 at 10:34:46 am

Okay, I have transcoded all the footage to ProRes. I renamed the H264 folder and moved it, but when when I open the copied project, it still sees the H264 files, I can't seem to make them offline. I moved them some more in different folders but each launching of FC it read the original media fine. Why is it still seeing this media if I have moved it?

Will I have to move it to a different drive and then force FC to made those files offline?

Thanks again,

Luke


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luke christopher
Re: Started a big project in H.264 and want to change to 422 and move up to X
on Feb 13, 2012 at 3:47:05 pm

I just figured it out, I made my duplicate project bins "make offline" then relinked to the 422, man, what a difference in speed and playback. H264 can go F itself says the noob.


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