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Editing using low-res SD file mov files from HD.

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Michael Dominic
Editing using low-res SD file mov files from HD.
on Jun 12, 2014 at 4:57:23 pm

Hello,

I'm editing on an iMac and don't have the memory or space to edit ProRes or similar files.

I have 138 hours of HD MTS files. I transferred them all to low-res SD MOV files keeping the Timecode and frame-rate of the originals. I made these so my transcriber/translator could play them easily while she worked on a laptop.

MY QUESTION: Can I edit these SD files in FCP and later match them automatically to the original files, or ProRes versions, with an EDL? If yes, is there anything that I need to do special to use this method.

NOTE: All the MTS files are on hard drives and no longer on cards. As far as I know FCP can no longer import MTS directly from the hard drive. If this is not correct please explain.


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Shane Ross
Re: Editing using low-res SD file mov files from HD.
on Jun 12, 2014 at 5:09:03 pm

[Michael Dominic] " I transferred them all to low-res SD MOV files keeping the Timecode and frame-rate of the originals."

How did you do this? With what app? And one big thing that FCP needs is a REEL NUMBER. It needs TIMECODE and REEL NUMBER in order to reconnect. And yes, the same frame rate. But in doing it this way, in order to reconnect you'll have to bring EVERY BIT of footage in at full resolution ProRes. All of it.

The only method you can use to uprez only what is needed in the cut is if you use Log and Transfer to bring in the files, and bring them in as Proxy. Then FCP has the metadata it needs to reconnect. Or, use L&T to bring in the footage all full res, media manage to whatever file size you want (DV/NTSC) and then relink to the originals. But then you are bringing in the footage full res again...all of it.

[Michael Dominic] "Can I edit these SD files in FCP and later match them automatically to the original files, or ProRes versions, with an EDL? "

Nope. FCP cannot batch capture if only an EDL is present...or XML. It can only batch capture at full res, only the footage used in the cut, if you use L&T, like I mentioned before.

[Michael Dominic] "All the MTS files are on hard drives and no longer on cards. As far as I know FCP can no longer import MTS directly from the hard drive. If this is not correct please explain."

It has issues doing that if you are running Mountain Lion or Mavericks...I hear. Because the OS hides certain folders. But there must be a work around. the standard practice is to backup the cards first, THEN import, and then back capture so that FCP knows to look on the backup drive.

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


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Michael Dominic
Re: Editing using low-res SD file mov files from HD.
on Jun 13, 2014 at 4:54:10 pm

To make the SD files I used compressor. I used MTS files re-skinned to MOV.

The way I have the folders and files organized are, the folder is the date with each of the video files from that day. So 07232011>00000.mov and so on.

So if I edit using these low-res, couldn't I simply replace the low-res files with HD later and FCP would accept them because they have the same path? Or could I just use an EDL to pull HD clips from folders that have the same exact name and structure?


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Shane Ross
Re: Editing using low-res SD file mov files from HD.
on Jun 13, 2014 at 5:04:35 pm

[Michael Dominic] "So if I edit using these low-res, couldn't I simply replace the low-res files with HD later and FCP would accept them because they have the same path? "

Nope. The names are different, Compressor doesn't add a reel number to the footage, timecode might not match...and you cannot relink FCP to the originals because it doesn't link to .MTS. If you go back and convert EVERYTHING to full res ProRes, you'll have to rename them exactly the same as the SD copies...but then they too don't have a reel number. But since you'd have to convert EVERYTHING to full res ProRes to even think of relinking...why don't you do this in the first place? You'd have to have enough storage to have all of this footage full res at some point.

But that's minor...the issue with relinking would be too much. With this workflow you have very little chance of relinking properly. If you do relink, it'll take a LOT of time and hard work...something that could be avoided if you just spend more money on more drives and bring it in all full res (is your time worth more than a larger hard drive?) or you need to do things properly, by using Log and Transfer to bring in the footage as Proxy. I have a full workflow here:

http://library.creativecow.net/ross_shane/tapeless_online/1

[Michael Dominic] "Or could I just use an EDL to pull HD clips from folders that have the same exact name and structure?"

Pull them how? Manually seek out the clips, convert them and manually relink each one? Because as I said, FCP needs 3 things to relink properly...file name, timecode, reel number. That's the only way to link a low res clip to a high res clip...all need to match exactly. Or, you do it as I lay out in the tutorial.

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


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Michael Dominic
Re: Editing using low-res SD file mov files from HD.
on Jun 13, 2014 at 6:00:19 pm

No, the files that I made in compressor have the same exact name as the MTS files. Also the directory structure is exactly the same. The only difference are the MTS files have MTS at the end and not MOV. However eventually I will convert everything to prores. I just don't have the capability of working with such large files on my iMac.


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Shane Ross
Re: Editing using low-res SD file mov files from HD.
on Jun 13, 2014 at 6:18:32 pm

[Michael Dominic] "The only difference are the MTS files have MTS at the end and not MOV."

Then that means that they aren't in a codec that FCP can edit. In order to edit successfully in FCP, you need to convert footage to an editing codec...like ProRes, DV/NTSC, DVCPRO HD, Proxy, offline/RT...stuff you see in the Easy Setup list. Anything else will cause a multitude of potential issues.

[Michael Dominic] "I just don't have the capability of working with such large files on my iMac."

sure you do. Just get a larger hard drive. An iMac can edit ProRes files easily.

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


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Michael Dominic
Re: Editing using low-res SD file mov files from HD.
on Jun 14, 2014 at 5:54:50 pm

OK. So I took three of the low-res clips and put one random cut from each into a sequence. I then copied the sequence and reconnected the media to their ProRes counterparts. The result was exact. Frame to frame.

Am I missing something? This test worked so why would it not work always?


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Michael Dominic
Re: Editing using low-res SD file mov files from HD.
on Jun 14, 2014 at 6:19:11 pm

No, it actually didnt work. It reconnected both sequences, so of course they matched.

OK, so this aint gonna work. I can buy a large harddrive to make everything prores. Is there a way to edit in a lowres mode that my imac can handle. I really dont want to buy a mac pro.


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Shane Ross
Re: Editing using low-res SD file mov files from HD.
on Jun 15, 2014 at 12:51:47 am

What year is your iMac? The iMac is a very viable option for editing ProRes...I've been on many iMacs that could handle it. From the 2008 models on. 2010 and 2012 models are more than capable.

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


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Michael Dominic
Re: Editing using low-res SD file mov files from HD.
on Jun 15, 2014 at 12:58:50 pm

I think it's a 2010 model. It's the one before they made them thinner.

I'll give it a shot. The end project will be approximately 90 minutes, so that means the rough cuts will be longer. I have the memory maxed out, but can it handle that?

Using a footage calculator, for 138 hours of ProRes will be around 7 TB. Any recommendations for a hard drive? I was thinking the 8 TB G-Technology raid, or two.

Thanks for all the help.


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Michael Dominic
Re: Editing using low-res SD file mov files from HD.
on Jun 16, 2014 at 1:38:14 pm

Do you have any recommendations for a hard drive? Thanks.


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Michael Dominic
Re: Editing using low-res SD file mov files from HD.
on Jun 13, 2014 at 6:01:06 pm

Also they have the correct timecode.


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