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Preparing MANY 1080P H. 264 .MOV's for FCP multicam editing

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Michael Konowitz
Preparing MANY 1080P H. 264 .MOV's for FCP multicam editing
on Aug 22, 2012 at 9:59:16 pm

New here & don't have much of a background in the nitty gritty aspects of editing tech, much less code. I'm helping out my roommate with a music video for a TV show shot in 1080 P and the clips are in H264 .mov which I know is problematic.

Last week, I had lower quality (720 P) footage from a GoPro2 that I figured out (I believe from this website) I just needed to change the single clip's codec to Apple ProRes 422 from QuickTime, and now it works fine in my FCP 7. The problem here is that not only am I dealing with really high quality HD footage, but also comparatively a TON of individual clips. There's gotta be a way to decompress/encode them for editing (without losing output quality of course) that doesn't involve individually exporting each one from QuickTime doesn't there?!

What's interesting: Unlike my single GoPro 720P clip, these ones imported and play semi ok in was only when I started making multiclips and they wouldn't display properly that I realized they were H 264. The multiclip won't play/stream the different angles in the viewer, edits don't show up till I stop playback, and that's when it works at all.

There may be other info you need, but here's everything I've got so far:
-I'm on a 2 GHz Intel Core i7 Macbook Pro w/automatic graphics card switching that has 4 GB ram 1333 MHz DDR3 on Lion 10.7.4. Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6490M 256 MB
-Because it's so much professional quality data, I'm working off/saving to the roommate's 2TB FreeAgent GoFlex drive that still has 1.29 TB free. It's in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format if that matters.
-Video: H.264, 1920 x 1080, 16-bit integer, Stereo 48 kHz, 23.98 FPS
For reference, one clip that's a full take of the song (~4 min) that I just pulled up inspector on is 2.62 GB with a data rate of 88.39 mbits/s.
**There are 9 angles of the full song that I want to make a multiclip of, in addition to many other partial angles & dramatic sequences that we're working with. This also needs to ultimately output without quality loss as it is for potential major broadcast.

Things I've tried:
-Selecting bunches of clips-->Encode from the finder folders view (Setting: Apple ProRes 422/LPCM) Seemed like there weren't many options/variables compared to QuickTime
--Encoded somewhat slowly, but FCP gave me a warning when I tried to import about them not being optimized for FCP...when I ignored & tried to play with them, it was a buggy mess)

-In FCP: File-->Media Manager-->Recompress Media Using ProRess 422 1920x1080 24P(is this the right one?) 48 kHZ
--Gave me an estimate of 5 hours, failed a few minutes later

Thanks ahead of time for putting up with my lack of knowledge in some of these areas. You guys rock.

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Eric Strand
Re: Preparing MANY 1080P H. 264 .MOV's for FCP multicam editing
on Aug 23, 2012 at 12:55:33 am

Try using Compressor. Don't do all the clips at once; try batches of them. In order to figure out the frame rate, open one of the H264 files in Quicktime and go to View > Inspector. It will tell you the frame rate.

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