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AVCHD and FCP - what to expect?

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Jon Harrison
AVCHD and FCP - what to expect?
on Sep 3, 2014 at 1:22:08 pm

Hi Everyone,

So I was filming on the JVC GY-HM600 ProH which was able to give me clips in .mov so bring into FCP was very quick and easy. The company I work for now does not have that camera and it's out of their price range so I'm looking at Sony HXR-NX3 or the Panasonic AG-AC130A both of which use AVCHD. It's been a while since I've had to deal with transcoding AVCHD when bringing into FCP and I was hoping you guys can shed some light on what I should expect as far as transcoding time and usability in FCP (rendering etc). What's the best format for FCP to reduce transcode and render time? (Other than .mov)

We do a lot of conventions, speaking events and interviews that we use mainly for web as well and to send attendees via DVD so I'll probably be filming at 1280 x 720/60p

Any feedback and advice would be very much appreciated!

Thanks - Jon

Thanks,
Jon


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Shane Ross
Re: AVCHD and FCP - what to expect?
on Sep 3, 2014 at 1:59:02 pm

First, follow this workflow:

ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhDnyWFAM10

Back up the footage, then log and transfer. You'll be converting the footage to ProRes 422...and the file sizes will increase to about 8 times their current size. So make sure you have plenty of hard drive space.

WARNING: FCP was discontinued 3.5 years ago...the last update was 4 years ago. It's VERY out dated. I say this because newer AVCHD cameras might not work with FCP...Log and Transfer might not see the format, because every new camera makes a slightly different version of AVCHD.

If FCP can't see it, then you will need to use CLIPWRAP2 from divergentmedia.com. Choose to convert the footage to ProRes 422...not "Re-Wrap."

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


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Jon Harrison
Re: AVCHD and FCP - what to expect?
on Sep 3, 2014 at 2:41:00 pm

Thanks Shane!

That's a great video! The company is actually purchasing Final Cut so I'm assuming it's going to be Final Cut Pro X. I still use FCP 7 at home, I can't help it, it's just what I'm used to and I love it.

I know there is a learning curve with FCPX but as far as Log and Transfer should I expect that same?

Thanks,
Jon


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Shane Ross
Re: AVCHD and FCP - what to expect?
on Sep 3, 2014 at 3:19:37 pm

FCX is a COMPLETELY different animal. There is no "Log and Transfer." You import the footage, and "optimize it." Sorry, I don't know FCX, so I cannot say how to do this. For tips on that, you need to visit this forum:

http://forums.creativecow.net/fcpxtechnique

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


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Jon Harrison
Re: AVCHD and FCP - what to expect?
on Sep 3, 2014 at 3:33:15 pm

I haven't looked but is Final Cut Pro still a viable option? Or am I forced to move to FCX - I've not heard very good things about it.

Thanks,
Jon


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Mark Suszko
Re: AVCHD and FCP - what to expect?
on Sep 3, 2014 at 3:34:39 pm

I follow Shane's suggested import methods even when using FCPx, and it works well. The only time I've had trouble is when I ignored Shane's advice because I was in too big a hurry, and just let FCPX ingest right away, without first making a backup. Sure enough, the P2 card got taken away and I ended up in minor trouble, relying just on MXF files alone.

You can tell FCPx to make a backup as it is simultaneously ingesting; this is handled in a setup dialog. I still tend to do it by hand, myself, and I test the backup before I proceed.


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Jon Harrison
Re: AVCHD and FCP - what to expect?
on Sep 3, 2014 at 3:36:47 pm

Thanks Mark - you you simply copy and paste or do you use Shot Put Pro?

What are your thoughts on moving from FCP to X?

Thanks,
Jon


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Shane Ross
Re: AVCHD and FCP - what to expect?
on Sep 3, 2014 at 3:42:45 pm

I rely on Shotput Pro for all my card offloads. And FCP 7 is fine if you like it and it still works. If it can't bring in the footage, you can use ClipWrap2 to convert. FCP 7 is still widely used, and still works. What you use is up to you, and to the person employing you. As I said, FCX is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...so if you do switch to it, you'll need a bit of lead time to actually learn how to use it. Totally new NLE.

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


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Mark Suszko
Re: AVCHD and FCP - what to expect?
on Sep 3, 2014 at 4:04:51 pm

I don't have Shotput, we have P2 readers with USB2 connectors going into the Mac tower or the imac for FCPX.

I was not a fan of X until relatively recently, since the latest upgrades. I now try to work in both 7and x simultaneously on 2 machines, side by side. Takes a little mental shift, going back and forth. We're in a phase this year of evaluating FCPX as the shop's standard platform. Premiere CS6 is also in the running, but we haven't spent as much time on that, partly due to uncertainty if our organization will buy into the cloud-based version.

I find X much faster than 7, but I'm still doing my serious compositing work in Motion and FCP7, mainly out of familiarity. I'm trying to push myself to do more and more things using X instead, using the newer Motion more, and there is also aftereffects on my list of things I need to master.

I think if you cut news or short spots, you'd like fcpx for the speed and the handy canned plug ins for handling color and audio. I really want to give the multicam in x a workout soon. I hear it's nice.


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Jon Harrison
Re: AVCHD and FCP - what to expect?
on Sep 3, 2014 at 6:29:38 pm

Thanks Shane and Mark - very helpful.

I've been a long time user of FCP7 - full suite and enjoy using motion with FCP7. It's just hard to break away from something tried and true, but I guess when you have no choice you do what you got to do. I remember switching from Avid to FCP - what a change that was!

Thanks,
Jon


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Mark Suszko
Re: AVCHD and FCP - what to expect?
on Sep 3, 2014 at 7:47:06 pm

Good luck with the change-over. For what its worth, what finally got me comfortable was watching the tutorials by Larry Jordan. Very methodical system he uses, and if you watch it while running the actual application in front of you and copying what he's doing, you'll get comfortable quickly.


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Jon Harrison
Re: AVCHD and FCP - what to expect?
on Sep 4, 2014 at 12:27:29 pm

Thanks Mark! I'll be checking out Larry's videos for sure. I'm not so worried about the new UI for FCPx, but more that there seems to be less control than you have with FCP7. At least that's my understanding, and I could be completely misled on that.

Thanks,
Jon


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David Howard
Re: AVCHD and FCP - what to expect?
on Sep 4, 2014 at 4:25:10 am

Good advice

Redefined Media

Video Production Sydney


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