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Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro

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Sean Livings
Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 17, 2012 at 11:02:26 pm

Hi All

I shot some .MTS footage on a HD Panasonic camcorder and I need to edit it on FCP. This is how I'm converting files:

Using 'Handbrake' to convert files into .mp4 and then using MPG Streamclip to convert those files into .mov (I can't convert directly from .MTS to .mov as Streamclip won't recognize .MTS files)

As I'm sure you can imagine, this is very labouriois proccess.

Does anyone know a better way of converting .MTS files to edit in fcp? If any software is recommend please recommend a free one the charity budget for this project is zero!

Many thanks in advance.


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Matt Campbell
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 17, 2012 at 11:26:19 pm

Don't know of any freeware for this but After Effects does this nicely. Which is what I've used in the past, because you can go directly to ProRes or any other codec for that matter. Every time you make a conversion, like you are, you will have significant generation loss. How is your footage looking after the mp4 to mov conversion?

I would not use Handbrake for any conversions for editing. You should be able to connect your camera and maybe try FCP log and transfer. Not sure if this will work, as I have not tried it. But there might be a driver for this. I hate working with MTS files. So problematic.

OS 10.6.7, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 4 gb ram and AJA IoHD


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Sean Livings
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 17, 2012 at 11:45:08 pm

Hi Matt

Thanks for the quick response.

Unfortunatly, I don't have the camera now, only the MTS files. It does lose considerable quality when I transfer from mp4 to mov.

Hoping to find another way...


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Juan Carlos Arellano
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jul 31, 2012 at 12:57:28 am

I use iMOVIE to capture the clips from the camera, It takes a long to capture but I do no see any alteration in the quality, my clips are saved in a iMovie events folder, I just drag'em to the final cut timeline, since they are captured in .mov it works perfectly on my computer, it also takes a lot of storage space, so make sure you capture your clips in an external hardrive, I hope this works also for you.


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Hb Abels
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Feb 25, 2014 at 4:27:09 pm

Thanks for the suggestion! I was having a similar problem and After FX seems like it will work great. I never would have though to try it without the suggestion.


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Shane Ross
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 18, 2012 at 12:19:03 am

Don't use any external converters unless you need to. And Handbrake is never advisable, as it doesn't make editalble files.

First option...FCP's own LOG AND TRANSFER...I have a video tutorial for that:

http://library.creativecow.net/ross_shane/tapeless-workflow_fcp-7/1

If that doesn't work, then ClipWrap2 will do it. DivergentMedia.com

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Dave Farrants
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 18, 2012 at 5:40:55 am

I use .MTS files and FCP 7, Clipwrap is the way to go and not expensive, it'll either re-wrap or convert for you. FreeMTS a free app from the App store and will also convert MTS files but it's not quick. The Panasonic AVCCAMImporter (free + Google) works as a plugin for QT7 / FCP7 and allows direct import of .MTS files to FCP 7.0.3 - not recommended for anything other than a quick cut though as it'll work like the program is stuck in treacle!


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Greg Pacheco
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Sep 2, 2012 at 3:50:54 am

Dave -

The recommendation to try the Free MTS app from the app store saved my bacon.

Thank you.

Greg


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Sean Livings
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 18, 2012 at 8:37:10 am

Thanks for the advice.

Have decided to use Log and Transfer. However, when I get to 11:30min (import) part of your video the .MTS files come up in light gray so I can not click on them. Do you know how to overcome this?

Many thanks.


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Dave Farrants
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 18, 2012 at 9:16:59 am

FCP won't natively import, play or edit .MTS unless you install the Panasonic AVCCAMImporter, even then I'd STRONGLY recommend you use ClipWrap instead.


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Sean Livings
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 18, 2012 at 9:39:07 am

Thank you very much Dave.

Will use ClipWrap as you advice - am using the trial version as a tester to make sure it works and it seems fine.

Which 'Output Format' do you recommend I use?

The final film will be uploaded to youtube.


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Dave Farrants
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 18, 2012 at 9:40:12 am

ProRes


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Sean Livings
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 18, 2012 at 10:28:26 pm

Thanks! Am doing that now...

All working fine - the only thing is the files being converted to .mov are huge. A 1min clip is 2gb.

Is this normal? (Same clip is 214mb as a .MTS file)


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Dave Farrants
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 19, 2012 at 9:05:52 am

About right.


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Matt Campbell
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 20, 2012 at 8:03:34 pm

Sean, you might want to try converting your MTS file ProRes LT. Those camera's don't shoot at a very high bit rate and ProRes LT is probably the equivalent to that. Plus it will save you some storage space on file size without a noticeable difference in image quality. ProRes 422, IMHO, is just overkill for YouTube web delivery.

We often use ProRes LT for even pro-sumer level camera's like the Sony EX3, which shoots XDCamEX footage at 35 mbps. ProRes LT is right around that bitrate I think, at about 45 Mbps. ProRes 422 is like 110 and 422 HQ is about 220. Again, you'll save storage space.

OS 10.6.7, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 4 gb ram and AJA IoHD


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Sean Livings
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 20, 2012 at 8:20:56 pm

Thanks for this information Matt.

Have now transferred all the files to ProRes 422 - in total they take up just over 300gb!!! That is a lot of storage space - way too much.

Unfortunatly, I don't have the ProRes LT option in ClipWrap. Although ClipWap has worked brilliantly for me - great sofware.


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dorit grunberger
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 21, 2012 at 11:40:30 pm

Regarding this issue, how much bigger than the .mts files are the ClipWrap files and is it possible to edit ClipWrap .mov files in FCP 7 without transcoding to ProRes? I ask this because the transcoding inflates the files almost 10 fold!! Is there any way around it?
A friend who owns a PMW-EX3 gets great ingested XDCAM footage at a fraction of the size...

Thanks in advance,
Dorit


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Shane Ross
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 22, 2012 at 12:26:44 am

[dorit grunberger] "how much bigger than the .mts files are the ClipWrap files"

About5 times larger. If you go with ProRes 422. Go with LT and they will be about 3-4 times larger.

[dorit grunberger] " is it possible to edit ClipWrap .mov files in FCP 7 without transcoding to ProRes?"

They aren't "clipwrap movie fies." Clipwrap transcodes the native format to one FCP can edit with. That happens to be ProRes. FCP requires the footage be converted to ProRes. The wrapped version without converting is H.264, and FCP does NOT edit H.264 well at all. Too many potential issues to get into.

[dorit grunberger] "Is there any way around it?"


Want to edit native? Then use Adobe Premiere.


[dorit grunberger] "A friend who owns a PMW-EX3 gets great ingested XDCAM footage at a fraction of the size..."

Because the camera shoots XDCAM, and FCP edits XDCAM natively. Well, it has to be re-wrapped, but FCP edits it. It does not edit AVCHD native. Two different formats.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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dorit grunberger
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 22, 2012 at 1:42:10 am

Thanks Shane

I have Adobe Premiere and am seriously thinking of switching, or adding it to my FCP 7 workflow.
Do you think ProRes LT will be good enough to export out my final project or are you suggesting I edit with it and take my fine cut out in ProRes or ProRes HQ? In other words, will ProRes LT have all the info from the AF100 I could get from a regular ProRes transcode?
Yeah, I understand about the FCP-H.264 incompatability, I was just hopeful the ClipWrap found a way to make it palatable for FCP....
I still don't understand why the AVCHD to ProRes transcode gets so inflated with no discernible increase in quality over the smaller XDCAM files. I guess, like you said, two different formats.

Thanks in advance,
Dorit


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Matt Campbell
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 22, 2012 at 2:30:28 pm

Do you think ProRes LT will be good enough to export out my final project or are you suggesting I edit with it and take my fine cut out in ProRes or ProRes HQ?.

This wouldn't make sense because if you edit ProRes LT, you won't get any better than that. Just a larger file. Unless your thinking about doing an offline/online edit. But with this type of footage, there is really no need. Stay online and edit PR LT. Export your master as PR LT.

I still don't understand why the AVCHD to ProRes transcode gets so inflated with no discernible increase in quality over the smaller XDCAM files.

AVCHD is a camera codec not designed for editorial work. Its the same with DSLR's that shoot H.264. The footage looks great, but the bitrates are not as high as the higher end cameras. No matter what codec you transcode to for editing, in any system, the footage won't look any better than the originals. So I would transcode to a codec of a similar, but higher bitrate for editing. This won't improve the quality, but it will prevent it from getting any worse.

ProRes files are larger, but that's just the nature of the beast. Again, choose a ProRes codec that's is close to the bitrate of the camera codec. I often use ProRes LT for XDCamEX footage, but use regular ProRes 422 for just about everything else. Just be glad your not working with full raster 1080 uncompressed or even larger like 2 or 4K. Remember the better the codec, the larger the file and the more CPU power and more importantly disc speed you'll need to edit it.

OS 10.6.7, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 4 gb ram and AJA IoHD


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dorit grunberger
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 22, 2012 at 7:50:37 pm

Thanks for your patience. I'm fast gaining a better understanding of all of this stuff.

So, looked up on Apple's site the data rates for all their ProRes codecs. ProRes LT is 82 Mbps and ProRes Proxy is 36 Mbps.
Maximum data rate on the Panasonic AF100 is 24Mbps in PH mode (average 21Mbps).
If I understood your recommendation I could use the Proxy (I don't know anything about it) to decrease file sizes and still get the same quality as LT?

Thanks in advance,
Dorit


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Shane Ross
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 22, 2012 at 7:59:17 pm

[dorit grunberger] "If I understood your recommendation I could use the Proxy (I don't know anything about it) to decrease file sizes and still get the same quality as LT?"

Proxy is low low quality. Meant for "offline" editing only. Meaning you will go back and reingest at higher quality later. It might be fine to use if all you are doing is going to the web though...

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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dorit grunberger
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 22, 2012 at 10:05:31 pm

Hi Shane

The plot thickens. Despite my best attempts at changing the ingest codec in FCP 7, it stays stuck on ProRes. I tried changing the audio/Video settings to either LT or HQ, and it completely ignores me :-(.
I also tried to change the preferences in the Log and Transfer window, hit OK and it just defaults back to ProRes. Does this sound like a corruption in FCP that would require a re-install? I sure hope not. As it stands, I'm getting transcoded files that are about 6x heftier than their AVCHD parents and I'd love to slim them down. Any ideas? Am I missing something?

Thanks in advance,
Dorit


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Shane Ross
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 22, 2012 at 10:10:55 pm

Trash your FCP preferences. That cures wonky behavior. Use Preference Manager from digitalrebellion.com. It's free.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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dorit grunberger
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 22, 2012 at 10:44:39 pm

Thanks for all your help Shane. Have a lovely weekend.
Dorit

Thanks in advance,
Dorit


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Penny Knapp
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Apr 28, 2014 at 11:50:06 am

I don't understand why when I connect my camera to the computer, the computer recognises it but FCP doesn't. Is there an import setting that I need to change for the firewire? Anything else I'm missing? I'm editing on FCP 6.0.6. Otherwise I understand that Clipwrap is the way to go. Would love to find a solution through FCP if possible though. Any ideas most welcome!


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Eli Sanchez
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Oct 16, 2015 at 5:04:55 am

I'm using clipwrap 2.4.3 which has worked well for a while. The MTS files I'm trying to convert to Apple Pro Res are coming out without audio and with a green screen at the beginning of the clip.

Any clue as to why this is happening, is this version too old for some MTS files?


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Shane Ross
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Oct 16, 2015 at 7:00:53 am

It might be. ClipWrap 2.7.3 is the latest version. Update it through the application (there's an option to do that)...and see if that does it.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Eli Sanchez
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Oct 16, 2015 at 2:58:41 pm

It got much close, still starts with the green screen at the beginning of the clip. The audio is there but it's out of sync.

I suppose I could resync audio manually but I would hate for the clips to have issues later on in the project.


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Steve Eisen
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 18, 2012 at 6:00:54 pm

[Sean Livings] "Using 'Handbrake' to convert files into .mp4 and then using MPG Streamclip to convert those files into .mov"

Sean

As an FYI, .mov is just an extension. You would want to convert your original files to ProRes.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Creative Pro Users Group


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Meredith Wright
Exporting.MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jul 5, 2012 at 12:42:58 pm

this is my first time editing MTS files in FCP 7. I converted the files to .mov, i then converted those files to Apple Pro Res .mov as suggested.

edited the video and text in fcp in a sequence with these settings:
720x480 NTSC DV (3:2)

square

none

editing time base 24
Compressor Apple Pro res HQ
rate 48khz
16-bit

clips in sequence are:
the same except pixel aspect: NTSC CCIR 601

Have tried exporting a million ways and the viewer and canvas are perfect and crisp, but the export remains fuzzy, especially the text.

am running out of ideas. help!


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dorit grunberger
Re: Exporting.MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jul 5, 2012 at 6:22:57 pm

Hi Meredith

You should "Log and Transfer" the files into FCP7 and save the 1st transcode to .mov if possible. Do you have all the metadata or just single .mts files?


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Meredith Wright
Re: Exporting.MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jul 5, 2012 at 6:44:47 pm

Thanks for the quick response, only the MTS files were given to me.
However, I kept tampering with the sequence/codecs and discovered that if I create a new sequence, then manually change the settings to match the clip setting, THEN paste in the video it exports well.

The problem was I added clips to a sequence and allowed FCP to change the sequence settings instead of me. For some reason that does not allow the sequence to export properly.

hopefully that helps anyone else with MTS-FCP problems.


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Matt Campbell
Re: Exporting.MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jul 7, 2012 at 3:21:16 am

this is my first time editing MTS files in FCP 7. I converted the files to .mov, i then converted those files to Apple Pro Res .mov as suggested.

You should go straight from you MTS conversion into ProRes, which is a .mov format. No need for 2 conversion. Every time you change them, you loss a generation and degrade the video quality.

Also, convet your MTS files to the same resolution they were shot in. Meaning if shot in HD, 720 or 1080, convert them to that first, edit with that, then do you conversion using Compressor if you need a final output of SD.

edited the video and text in fcp in a sequence with these settings:
720x480 NTSC DV (3:2)
square
none


Square? NTSC video is not square pixels. they are NTSC pixels. If you've converted the MTS files properly, you should be able to load a clip in the viewer, edit into a new sequence and say yes to FCP prompt of matching clip setting to source setting.

editing time base 24
Compressor Apple Pro res HQ
rate 48khz
16-bit


With MTS files or even any Standard definition material, you shouldn't use ProRes HQ. This is generally for high end work, 2K and above. Use ProRes 422 or even ProRes 422 LT.

Have tried exporting a million ways and the viewer and canvas are perfect and crisp, but the export remains fuzzy, especially the text.

Make sure you export in your native editing codec and do not transcode on export. If done properly, your new self-contained QT file should match your sequence settings and be crystal clear. Use that file as you master to create whatever it is you need.

OS 10.6.7, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 4 gb ram and AJA IoHD


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Wei Xu
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Dec 10, 2012 at 2:33:40 am

Bros MTS converter is especially designed for HD video lovers to convert their MTS files to all popular video files like MTS to AVI, MTS to WMV, MTS to MPG, MTS to MOV, MTS to DVD, etc. At the same time, it also supports all other formats that common mobile phone supported.

It provides rich fuctions: capture pictures, setting diverse advanced profiles, create video from pictures, split one source file to several or output certain segment by setting exact time length, etc.

You can try this function is very powerful MTS converter software, there are those functions that you say, you can learn from it and see that you have no help.

Browser from Google search elements Keywords: Bros MTS converter you can find this powerful software.


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Peter Bello
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 25, 2013 at 5:11:35 am

ok hi everyone!

i am having a similar problem with .MTS files.

I use a Sony A65 camera witch can record 1080P at 60fps... i have been trying to capture at this 60fps to get some nice slowmo but i just can find a way of converting the .MTS to apple pro res at 60fps to then use the cinema tools and conform it to 24 or 30fps witch i think is the way to go because its the way i do it with the gopro footage... can someone help me with this? explain to me what am i doing wrong? what converter should i use that doesn't screw up the video quality? please this is driving me nuts!

thanx to everyone


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dorit grunberger
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 25, 2013 at 11:58:15 pm

I think all you have to do is convert the .mts to ProRes in FCP (or other) and then put it on a 23.98 or 29.97 timeline

Thanks in advance,
Dorit


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Peter Bello
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Jun 28, 2013 at 4:28:43 am

i dont think its that simple... bc when i convert to appleprores it does it to 30 or 29.97 or 24 fps it doesnt let me do it to 60 so i can then conform it to 30fps


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Nick Lan
Re: Converting .MTS files to edit in final cut pro
on Mar 24, 2014 at 6:33:30 am

How to Convert MTS Files to Editable Quicktime MOV. As a DV photographer, I purchased Sony HDR-AX2000 which creates MTS files that can't be read directly by FCP. But I am lack of skilled computer program instructions. It couldn't seem to pick a correct encodings to get the audio and video to stay in sync.


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