MPEG Streamclip Formatting & Watermark Issues
I have been working with MPEG Streamclip to convert GoPro and other HD video files at the suggestion of the Master “Cow-Boyz” a few weeks ago. Short GoPro files work fine, however, other files, which are much longer in duration (video clips I got from some German associates) always come through with a video/audio watermark. Here is an example of a file name for formatting information:
It is 4.7GB (in wmv format) and runs 30:53 in length. There is another one that runs 43:39 in length. I wonder if they are just too long for the free program version, as the short (GoPro) video clips have all processed without the watermark. If so, I wonder if I can import a video clip in its’ original format, cut it up into shorter segments and output them (as Quicktime videos or something suitable) for processing in MPEG Streamclip without affecting the MPEG Streamclip effectiveness on the clip?
The whole reason for doing this is these clips greatly bog down the FCP project in their original format.
What is the best/most efficient format to use when converting the GoPro files for use in my projects? I have been converting the clips in MPEG Streamclip to Apple Prorez422 (HQ) as that is what I am required to use most times when outputting my Final Cut Pro projects. These MPEG Streamclip files come back HUGE---using up substantial harddrive space. (they start as a 1.6 GB GoPro file and end up as a 32.67 GB MPEG Streamclip video file). I have fast action in the video clips so I want to make sure to maintain clarity and resolution.
My computer is a Mac (OSX: 10.6.8). The processor is 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon.
What do you suggest?
[Daniel Monskey] "Here is an example of a file name for formatting information:
It is 4.7GB (in wmv format) and runs 30:53 in length."
It's not the GoPro format. GoPro records H.264 in the MP4 format. Whoever is supplying you those files is compressing them to WMV...and most likely you have a free version of FLIP4MAC...one that works fine on short clips, but watermarks longer ones. What does the watermark say?
[Daniel Monskey] "What is the best/most efficient format to use when converting the GoPro files for use in my projects?"
Compressor or MPEG STREAMCLIP...but it would be best if you were supplied with the raw files, not files converted to WMV. That's adding a pretty major layer of compression.
[Daniel Monskey] "I have been converting the clips in MPEG Streamclip to Apple Prorez422 (HQ) as that is what I am required to use most times when outputting my Final Cut Pro projects."
HQ is overkill, especially for GoPro..and really for GoPro converted to WMV. All you are doing by encoding to HQ is taking up more space. ProRes 422 is plenty. If you are required to deliver HQ, then convert to that when you export.
[Daniel Monskey] "These MPEG Streamclip files come back HUGE---using up substantial harddrive space."
Correct. ProRes has a much higher data rate than the raw GoPro footage...and higher than the compressed WMV you are dealing with. FCP prefers this format, as it is easier to edit than the compressed GoPro footage, and it really doesn't work with WMV at all. If you want to work with those formats natively, you need to use a different application. Adobe Premiere Pro, for example, edits these formats natively, no recompression needed
[Daniel Monskey] "I have fast action in the video clips so I want to make sure to maintain clarity and resolution."
Then you should be receiving the raw files, not compressed ones. But I assume that they are compressed to allow them to be delivered to you via FTP. So you have the raw converted to WMV to ProRes. Best to use Premiere Pro and not recompress the WMV files.
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THanks for the response.
The video watermark: Created with Flip4Mac WMV Demo
Below that it says: http://www.Flip4Mac.com
The audio watermark repeats the following every 20 seconds or so: “This is a demonstration of Flip4Mac”
As for the longer WMV files, I cannot buy another editing program like Premiere. I have to stick with FCP, my original investment. I've contacted MPEG Streamclip about this over a week ago too but they seem to be unresponsive with inquiries. If I have to buy a cheap conversion program I can do that. I also wondered about processing them through FCP chopping them down and then sending them through the free MPEG Streamclip program---or does that mess up the conversion formatting?
The WMV files probably can't be resent---getting these was a big enough hassle. I also see that MPEG Streamclip does not convert WMV files (it is not on their list), however, I don't think they all are in WMV format.
Daniel, I don't think your "chop it up *before* you transcode" idea is workable. Not without more expensive gear than you may own. Shane's right as usual.
H264 is a marvel of compactness because it was intended only as a DELIVERY codec for viewing finished material, not as an EDITING format. As you are discovering, unpacking the h.264 into something that is easy to edit with, expands the amount of space needed to hold all that detail information by quite a bit.
My suggestion would be to dip a toe in the water with FCP-X, use the free trial and/or buy it for $300 and use it to transcode your footage, because Apple built FCPx to deal with gopro and oddball file formats natively, more or less.
If you just haven't got a dime to spare, you might try using to free apps that are sort of like MPEG STREAMCLIP, one is called VLC, the other is FLV Crunch.
This isn't an MPEG STREAMCLIP issue. This is a FLIP4MAC issue. You have the free version. If you want conversions without the watermark, you have to pay for the full version.
[Daniel Monskey] " If I have to buy a cheap conversion program I can do that."
That would be Flip4Mac. Pay for that and this should work fine.
[Daniel Monskey] "I also wondered about processing them through FCP chopping them down and then sending them through the free MPEG Streamclip program---or does that mess up the conversion formatting?"
Won't work. FCP doesn't work with WMV.
[Daniel Monskey] "I don't think they all are in WMV format."
The ones that you convert that say '.wmv' and come up with the watermark...are WMV. No not all are, just the ones you are having the issue with. Know that the quality on these will be lower than straight from the camera. Considerably lower, as WMV is a web distribution codec...known and used because of the small file size. It shouldn't be used to send people footage to edit with. BUT...know that for next time.
[Daniel Monskey] "I cannot buy another editing program like Premiere. I have to stick with FCP, my original investment."
Something to consider for the future. You should be charging enough for your time, as well as an equipment fee. Because you spent money on your computer and software, and need to make sure that it is current, so when you bill clients, you bill not only for your hours, but your investment in the software you need to use to edit. Construction people aren't only paid for their time, they also rent those big trucks, or shovels, and trucks to the job. So keep that in mind too.
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Very wise business words from Shane. It's not about what YOU can afford, but what your CLIENTS can afford. Bill it thru to them. If they won't pay, then you need other, better clients.
You can keep on trying to eke out a living on the too-low rates, assuming that this will "buy" you the loyalty of your clients. I have news based on experience: clients are NOT loyal on price alone, but they also value capability, and when they want you to do something you can't do, just because it costs you xtra, they WILL go elsewhere, they WILL pay the extra to some other guy or gal,and likely not come back.
Here's an analogy: you take your car in for service, and the guy says you need a new timing belt, but he doesn't have one of that make. Do you tell him to just make something up with rubber bands and keep the bill low, or do you let him order the exact part from a supplier and put it in? You pay the man for his skill and the hours of his labor, plus the cost of the parts needed to do the job. Same thing for your costs to make the video the client wants.
I'm working in DVB domain. For one test purpose I need a video which contains watermark. Can you please share me those videos which you mentioned in this post.