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FCP7 can't use H.264 files exported from QT Player

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Steve Maller
FCP7 can't use H.264 files exported from QT Player
on Mar 16, 2013 at 9:46:10 pm

I discovered that Quicktime Player X (with OS X 10.8) can open the AVCHD containers on memory cards, and can import and play AVCHD files (even 2.0 format ones). This is quite nice. It can even export these files to seemingly 'kosher' .MOV files.

Unfortunately, FCP7 doesn't recognize these exported .MOV files, even though they appear to be standard .MOV files, with the video track in H.264 format. Every other app I have on my Mac treats these files as workable Quicktime files except for FCP7.

My workaround is that I drop the file into MPEG Streamclip and transcode it into XDCAM EX and it works fine. But this takes a lot more space and time.

Any ideas why Quicktime player writes a .MOV file that FCP7 can't read?

Thanks!


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP7 can't use H.264 files exported from QT Player
on Mar 16, 2013 at 11:03:13 pm

.MOV is just a container. All it means is that it is a Quicktime file...that's it. FCP 7 does not work with any QT file. No, for peak performance, it needs to be in an EDITING codec...one found in the Easy Setups. The best one is ProRes, but it takes up more space than XDCAM. XDCAM isn't the best as you are converting one GOP format into another GOP format. Although FCP works with XDCAM...but it doesn't work with AVCHD well at all.

The best workflow for tapeless media is to use Log and Transfer...and yes, convert to ProRes. ProRes LT is the lighter full quality codec...and yes, it takes up more space. Get bigger drives...video editing is drive space hungry. If you want to work with those files natively, you need to use Adobe Premiere. Even FCX wants to "optimize" those files...meaning convert to ProRes.

Here's a tutorial for the tapeless workflow:







If L&T doesn't work with AVCHD...ClipWrap 2 will. Or, use the workflow you have with MPEG STREAMCLIP.

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


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Steve Maller
Re: FCP7 can't use H.264 files exported from QT Player
on Mar 16, 2013 at 11:07:47 pm

Thanks, Shane. I am well aware of the container issues. When I look at the metadata of the suspect Quicktime file, it shows that the track has been converted to h264, but there must be something else in the file that FCP7 doesn't like.

FCP7 Log & Transfer won't work with AVCHD 2.0 stuff (60fps, etc).

I'm using Pavtube, which works OK, but when the MTS files are split on 2GB boundaries, I have a problem with the segments not lining up exactly. Quicktime Player seems to be the only program that can properly line up those segments. I've tried ClipWrap. It doesn't work right, either.

These files are coming from a Sony CX760V camcorder, BTW.


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP7 can't use H.264 files exported from QT Player
on Mar 17, 2013 at 1:06:12 am

You tried the latest ClipWrap2 from divergentmedia.com? It has the option to re-wrap the file to Quicktime, or to transcode to ProRes. Choose the transcode option.

1080p60 is a very non-standard format, and FCP will have issues using it. It isn't a broadcast format, so FCP doesn't know what to do with it. It mainly exists so that you can do nice slow motion filming, conforming it to 30fps or 24fps....as there currently is no delivery method that supports 1080p60.

Your best bet is to start using an NLE that will work with that format...like FCX or Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.

FCP 7 is just too old, and now, end of life.

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


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Rafael Amador
Re: FCP7 can't use H.264 files exported from QT Player
on Mar 17, 2013 at 3:54:16 am

[Steve Maller] "My workaround is that I drop the file into MPEG Streamclip and transcode it into XDCAM EX and it works fine. But this takes a lot more space and time. "
That's a ver degrading workflow.
You start with a very compressed format and recompress it to an even less efficient codec (XDCAM).
If you are rendering to XDCAM in FC, probably you are killing the picture.

[Steve Maller] "When I look at the metadata of the suspect Quicktime file, it shows that the track has been converted to h264, but there must be something else in the file that FCP7 doesn't like."
Is the very H264 codec what FC doesn't like. Is not supported.
Some H264 flavors work OK; some others make FC crash.

[Steve Maller] "FCP7 Log & Transfer won't work with AVCHD 2.0 stuff (60fps, etc)."
I'm not sure if 5DtoRGB could make the conversion.
That would be a better option than Pavtube.
rafael


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