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Choppy Video Playback in FCP 7

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Joe Baur
Choppy Video Playback in FCP 7
on Dec 2, 2015 at 10:49:07 pm

Hey all,

I've seen this issue come up in other forums and have tried following the feedback to no avail. So I've given up and am taking to posting a fresh one.

What's bizarre is I've never had an issue until recently despite the H264 codec. Nevertheless, my footage plays choppy in the viewer and again in the timeline, making editing incredibly frustrating. I've read about changing the codec to ApplePro Res, but it's not letting my load my footage under the "load and transfer" option.

Like I said, I've been pouring other forums to find a solution without having to bother anyone, but I'm just not getting the right steps. So I'd be very greatful if anyone could help me out!

Thanks for your time.

Cheers,
Joe


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Shane Ross
Re: Choppy Video Playback in FCP 7
on Dec 3, 2015 at 2:48:22 pm

It's LOG AND TRANSFER, and that only works with camera masters that have a supported card structure, and require a LOG AND TRANSFER plugin for those cameras. Most that shoot H.264 don't have log and transfer plugins. So what you do is use Compressor or MPEG STREAMCLIP to convert to ProRes 422. And then you simply drag that, or import it using FILE>IMPORT...into FCP.

Shane
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Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Joe Baur
Re: Choppy Video Playback in FCP 7
on Dec 3, 2015 at 3:12:04 pm
Last Edited By Joe Baur on Dec 3, 2015 at 3:13:52 pm

Thanks, Shane. Much appreciated.

I just don't get why this is happening suddenly. I've been editing this type of footage for about six months or more with no issues. I'll give that a shot.


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Shane Ross
Re: Choppy Video Playback in FCP 7
on Dec 3, 2015 at 4:45:53 pm

Because H.264 and FCP 7 are tricky. They appear to work, and then don't. This is why FCX works with the footage natively, but also suggests, on it's own, that you "optimize" the media, convert it to ProRes. FCP 7 works with Quicktime, but doesn't really say "Hey, this codec is trouble, man!" So you can head down a path and get stuck.

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


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Michael Brown
Re: Choppy Video Playback in FCP 7
on Dec 3, 2015 at 6:16:37 pm

Joe, Shane and Co. are the specialists around here, but I've been through your issue in and out, so here are my 2ยข worth:

If my original source is typical Sony .MTS files, use AVCHD encoder to convert my footage to either ProRes LT or (just recently) ProRes Proxy, the latter providing sufficient playback quality for editing but files 1/3 in size, thus gaining lots of storage room and dealing with multicams with no glitches. In the latter case, I then just reconnect my media to the format I want in the end.

If the source is MPEG4, I've used compressor, or if it's GoPro footage Quicktime Pro (7) does an excellent and fast job.

I only use MPEG Streamclip when the files come from DVDs.

I have tried ClipWrap, but ClipWrap doesn't offer ProRes LT in the menus.

Now that I'm on Yosemite I can use EditReady, works very well.

I have also frequently used Wondershare for some formats, also very good, but NOT the Ultimate version (again no ProRes LT).

But for FC7, ProRes is the way to go and you'll spend some time converting, but then it'll leave you alone to edit in peace ;-)

Michael Brown


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Joe Baur
Re: Choppy Video Playback in FCP 7
on Dec 28, 2015 at 8:19:09 pm

All -- I've been meaning to pop back on here to thank you for the insight. Converting to ProRes Proxy in Compressor more than did the trick!

Now here's what I'm wondering... Is it worth reconnecting to the original .mov files? I didn't notice any quality differences between the proxy files and the original, but I was just testing on my computer.

If it is better to reconnect to the original files, then I wonder what the fastest way to do it is. I assume there's something better than going file-by-file. Or could I simply export the Proxy timeline using the H264 codec?

Besides quality issues, I'm also looking to save space on my external. So if it's better to leave it at the proxy, then I'll go ahead and delete the original files. Or if it's better to reconnect back to the H264 files, then I'll delete the proxy since I'm done editing.

As always, thoughts are appreciated!


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Michael Brown
Re: Choppy Video Playback in FCP 7
on Dec 29, 2015 at 12:36:51 am

Joe, like I said, there are specialists here who know a lot more about this than I do, but no matter what you think you're seeing, NEVER EVER delete your original files, no matter what format they're from. Depending on what original format(s) you converted from (I'd be surprised that your source footage is all .mov's, but who knows what it was shot on), you're likely to have anything form .mov to MTS files; now if you first converted to ProRes (straight or LT or HQ or whatever), and you then re-converted to Proxy (from your source footage or from your -mov files? in my case the latter) to discover how much smoother your FCP works, then finish all the editing, fx and coloring you can, and in my opinion stay in multi-clip as long as you can. Once you're happy with that, reconnect your media to your best quality files (I guess in your case ProRes or ProRes HQ), uncheck all multi-cam options, and believe me, your results are MUCH MUCH BETTER than in proxy. Especially when you realy want to see what you really have, show to someone or export to QT for ex.

But for the sake of your pictures, don't delete your source media!

Have fun and good luck ;-)

Michael Brown


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