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Should I convert my H.264 files to AppleProRes?

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christina rule
Should I convert my H.264 files to AppleProRes?
on Jul 25, 2012 at 5:59:01 am

I recently had someone give me footage that they shot with a Canon VIXIA HF R300 some of the files were AVCHD and some were shot as h.264.

The AVCHD, which record to the camera card as MTS files, came into FCP just fine. For the h.264s I'm wondering if I should convert them to Apple ProRes like the rest of my footage?

I realize that the h.264 is already a compressed file so would converting it to AppleProRes be harmful to the quality in anyway?

Thanks in advance!

http://www.christinarule.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: Should I convert my mp4 files to AppleProRes?
on Jul 25, 2012 at 6:06:54 am

MP4 is not an edit codec so convert to ProRes422.


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christina rule
Re: Should I convert my mp4 files to AppleProRes?
on Jul 25, 2012 at 6:08:25 am

Sorry! The edit codec is h.264.

http://www.christinarule.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: Should I convert my mp4 files to AppleProRes?
on Jul 25, 2012 at 6:26:47 am

Same thing just in a quicktime wrapper. H264 is just apple's description of MPEG4. MP4 is how it is often presented on Windows PCs. It is also sometimes labelled as DIVX or XVID.

In all cases a ProRes422 quicktime is the best to edit with in FCP


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christina rule
Re: Should I convert my mp4 files to AppleProRes?
on Jul 25, 2012 at 6:51:40 am

Thanks Michael. I also have a few files that are in HDV1080i60 and 1440x1080. Which basically means that I have 3 different formats I'm dealing with:

HDV1080i60 (1440x1080)
AppleProRes422(1440x1080)
H264 (1280x720)
(what a mess!)

A majority of the files are in hdv1080i60 so it would take a great deal of time to convert them all to AppleProRes. Are there any disadvantages to leaving it at the hdv1080i60?

For the H264 (1280x720) if I were to change the video resolution to 1440x1080 I'd image I'd be losing a lot of quality. What is my best bet?

http://www.christinarule.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: Should I convert my mp4 files to AppleProRes?
on Jul 25, 2012 at 7:45:23 am

You can mix HDV and ProRes422 in a sequence. I would use a ProRes422 sequence so that any renders will automatically convert the HDV to ProRes.

The H264 should be converted to ProRes422 and scaled to 1920 x 1080 in Compressor in one pass. In the frame controls tab set resize to best. It is slow but much better than scaling in FCP.

The ProRes files should have been converted to 1920 x 1080 but if they are not, then the sequence should still be able to give real time playback with a green render line which means you don't have to render as you work. The sequence is best set to 1920 x 1080. I hope all your frame rates are the same.


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christina rule
Re: Should I convert my mp4 files to AppleProRes?
on Jul 25, 2012 at 7:49:00 am

THANK YOU!

One last question for you


When I convert the H264 to ProRes422 and scaled to 1920 x 1080 in Compressor won't this effect the quality of the footage? I only ask this because I will need to key this footage in AE once the edit is complete.

Thanks again.

http://www.christinarule.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: Should I convert my mp4 files to AppleProRes?
on Jul 25, 2012 at 8:15:41 am

The conversion and scaling needs to be done somewhere and ProRes422 is effectively lossless so a good choice. It will key as well as the H264 and won't suffer from potential gamma changes.


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christina rule
Re: Should I convert my mp4 files to AppleProRes?
on Jul 25, 2012 at 8:42:54 am

Awesome thanks! So what should I put my sequence setting to in FCP?

http://www.christinarule.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: Should I convert my mp4 files to AppleProRes?
on Jul 25, 2012 at 11:35:07 am

Sequence = ProRes422 as recommended in my fourth post


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christina rule
Re: Should I convert my mp4 files to AppleProRes?
on Jul 25, 2012 at 3:55:33 pm

yes but the pixel aspect of the footage is HD(1440x1080) and the mp4 are square. So should I convert the mp4 to a 1440x1080 pixel aspect ratio when converting them to apple pro res?? and should my comp size be 1440x1080 or 1980x1080?

http://www.christinarule.com


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Steve Eisen
Re: Should I convert my mp4 files to AppleProRes?
on Jul 25, 2012 at 4:10:12 pm

1920x1080

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


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