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OT - edit ready video files that aren't too huge

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Paul Dougherty
OT - edit ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 29, 2013 at 7:24:26 pm

A producer called me last minute to try to convert 2.5 hours worth of SD footage on video dvds into edit-ready video files that aren't too huge. What does too huge mean? Say files I could ftp upload in less than five hours or a file size total under 5 gigs.

The quality of the footage is not that great so it's not like I'm the gatekeeper of pristine quality. My first thought was to extract the dvd footage using MPEG Streamclip and converting to ProRes LT with the quality dial turned below 50%. I don't know what I'm doing wrong but tests dialing down the quality that way did not delivery great file size reductions. Thoughts?

The next thing I can try is using Compressor after creating (large ProRes) interim masters. This is a new challenge for me trying to turn around this volume (2.5 hours) of footage as an Internet deliverable. Any thoughts on a ProRes alternative ie. another way of getting the file size down and keeping it edit-ready?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Paul


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Andrew Rendell
Re: OT - edit ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 29, 2013 at 9:28:23 pm

If it were possible to have high quality at low bit rates in an editable format we'd all be doing it all the time. My inclination for editable SD material at DVD quality would be to try the DV codec - but IIRC 2.5 hours would be something like 30GB...





[BTW, material on DVDs does bring up the nagging question at the back of the mind of where it came from... if the producer doesn't have access to camera rushes or a broadcast quality master it does kinda beg the question: does he/she have the rights cleared to use it?
It's not necessarily a problem (I'm actually using archive material off DVDs in my current job and what we choose will be ordered up from the library and replaced in the cut before the final online), it's just something to be aware of.]


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Shane Ross
Re: OT - edit ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 29, 2013 at 10:05:41 pm

The lowest, "high quality" format FCP works with, as Andrew pointed out, is DV/NTSC. You can convert to offline codecs, like Offline RT, but that's very LOW quality...used in offline/online editing situations. If you do that, best to use Streamclip to rip to DV...then media manage to Offline RT...send those. And then they edit, send you a project file, you relink to the DV footage...or send the DV footage (13GB/hour in size) via snail mail on a thumb drive....and they relink later.

But again, Offline RT is a very low res format.

I too recommend DV. But 2.5 hours isn't under 5GB. No final quality format with that total running time is going to be that small.

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


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Rafael Amador
Re: OT - edit ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 30, 2013 at 4:26:25 am

IMO, the best, and faster, option is to upload the DVD and convert it in the other size to whatever decent codec.
rafael


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Mark Suszko
Re: OT - edit ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 30, 2013 at 2:42:16 pm

Rip the DVD to h.264 using streamclip. Send the h.264 files to the other guy, that's what h.264 ia good for, then have him use mpeg streamclip on his end to change the h.264 to pro res.

Or tell him to take the DVD and do this all on his end beginning to end.


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Paul Dougherty
Re: OT - edit ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 30, 2013 at 3:30:51 pm

The upshot from my posted question and answers yesterday (Thanks everyone!) is that here is no 'magic bullet' to do what I hoped for… if a client has this problematic mandate (rapid internet delivery of lots of footage) the best but flawed solution is to compress to h.264 set to 'all frames.' To get the file down to a reasonable size (yes subjective) and edit-ready - would mean something less that professional hi-rez, but for some emergency circumstances this might be tolerable.

If the client is dealing with certain vendors or partners regularly we could work-up a routine doing lo-rez proxies etc but for a general release to unknown recipients, it's too complex.

Just a quick dummy question, in testing the h.264 set to 'all frames' in FCP7, I find that a modified Compressor preset results in audio that needs to be rendered in the FCP sequence, how can I avoid this? (What audio setting would minimize the need to render audio in the FCP sequence?)

Thanks,

Paul


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Rafael Amador
Re: OT - edit ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 30, 2013 at 3:55:08 pm

[Paul Dougherty] "the best but flawed solution is to compress to h.264 set to 'all frames.' To get the file down to a reasonable size (yes subjective) and edit-ready "
No edit-ready with H264.Not supported by FC.
That beside the picture degradation. Yo need high data rate to make a decnt Intraframe clip.
There is no way you can upload something small, ready to edit and with quality.
You have to decide your priority
Uploading the original DVD files, the stuff won't be ready to edit, but will be small and full quality.


[Paul Dougherty] "Just a quick dummy question, in testing the h.264 set to 'all frames' in FCP7, I find that a modified Compressor preset results in audio that needs to be rendered in the FCP sequence, how can I avoid this? (What audio setting would minimize the need to render audio in the FCP sequence?)"
PCM audio.
The audio data size might be bigger than the picture data.
rafael


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Paul Dougherty
Re: OT - edit ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 30, 2013 at 6:32:24 pm

[Rafael Amador] "No edit-ready with H264.Not supported by FC."

I ran some tests FCP7 that seemed promising with the h.264 all-frames compression setting. It seems my FCP defaulted to a Seq that was 1440x1080 and (compressor) HDV1080i60. I think I edited in the h.264 clip and the only thing that required rendering was the audio. At some point I changed the Seq compressor to ProRes did a cupel of more edits and the several edits in the timeline (seq) played fine except for needing to render audio. Was this a pipe dream?

Paul


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Greg Ball
Re: OT - edit ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 30, 2013 at 7:10:30 pm

This would take you all night to upload to an FTP site. Why not just export the FCP project and the footage on a portable USB hard drive. Also export a pro res file onto the drive. Then FED EX it. Much faster amd higher quality



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Paul Dougherty
Re: OT - edit ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 30, 2013 at 9:14:37 pm

this is the summary of the 'research' I'm sending my client...

Lot's of really smart people have weighed in on yesterday's challenge, the upshot is that there is no 'magic bullet' work-around. 2.5 hours of footage will translate to over 30gigs which by my reckoning is to big for practical internet upload/download.

One area that hold promise but would require additional experimentation on my part in finding a sweet spot between quality and file size that might represent something like VHS quality, not great but totally watchable. Part of the complexity is that when you deviate from the industry full-rez standards like ProRes and DV, it's really up for grabs as to what is 'edit-ready'… next do we mean ready for FCP, Avid or Premiere?


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Michael Gissing
Re: OT - edit ready video files that aren't too huge
on Jul 31, 2013 at 12:48:36 am

Totally concur with Rafael. Do not convert the DVD files. Send the VideoTS and Audio TS folders via ftp and convert to ProRes at your end. MPEGStream clip can does this from those folders.

So no loss by going to intermediate compression like H264 which doesn't edit nicely in FCP. The DVD files will be less than 4 gig - doable over ftp.


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