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Codec conversion for FCP

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Joseph Herman
Codec conversion for FCP
on Dec 1, 2009 at 3:33:40 pm

Hello,

I am doing some work in After Effects on the PC for use in FCP on a Mac. Although I am sure that this question has been asked before, I need to get it into the proper codec which is dvcpro HD.

Is there a way to do it reliably and effectively on the PC so that FCP won't have any issues reading it in?

Otherwise, I don't mind doing it on the editor's machine. My question is, is it best to open Quicktime player and choose "Export" and export the movie in the dvcpro HD codec? I am looking for the fastest (yet high quality) way to do it.

Thanks!

Joe.


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Rob Grauert
Re: Codec conversion for FCP
on Dec 2, 2009 at 12:06:44 am

DVCPro HD probably isn't the best codec to export from AE even though your project in FCP may be DVCPro HD. I would go with the Animation codec.

Robert J. Grauert, Jr.
http://www.robgrauert.com


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Richard Harrington
Re: Codec conversion for FCP
on Dec 2, 2009 at 5:18:11 am

Animation overkill unless you need embedded Alpha

You can also get ProRes 4444 and others from Apple site for free for Windows machines


DVCPRO okay (not great) if you don't have alpha

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: Video Made on a Mac, Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Studio On the Spot and ATS:iWork


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Andy Mees
Re: Codec conversion for FCP
on Dec 2, 2009 at 1:39:36 pm

Pretty sure there is no Apple ProRes 4444 encoder for PC, nor would a PC based DVCPRo HD encoding necessarily be compatible with Apple's DVCPro HD codec component.

I'd agree that Animation codec, although large and unwieldy as a timeline codec, would nonetheless be fully cross platform, very high quality, and as such a reliable interchange format.

Apologies in advance if I've misunderstood anything

Best
Andy


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Joseph Herman
Re: Codec conversion for FCP
on Dec 2, 2009 at 6:04:33 pm

Thank you very much for your comments.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a DVCPro or ProRes encoder for Quicktime on the PC (although there does seem to be a ProRes decoder).

So I will continue using the Animation codec. Unfortunately at HD resolution it skips frames when being played back from the timeline in Final Cut so that is why I wanted to switch the codec to a more compressed one. I was wondering if Final Cut automatically converts the codec when importing Animation encoded movies, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I guess it just keeps whatever codec it is in (The rest of the project seems to be using DVCProHD).

What I have been doing is bringing my drive over to the editors station and opening the Animation movies in Quicktime player and exporting them from there into the DVCProHD codec. Does anyone see any problems with that? Should I be using FinalCut or After Effects (Mac) do do the encoding instead?

Just one more question if I may. I can see that some of you recommend using the ProRes Codec instead of DVCPro HD. Am I right to assume the ProRes codec is better quality? Is it good for editing purposes as well? Finally, are there any problems mixing ProRes and DVCPro HD in a Final Cut project?

Thank you!

Joe.


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Todd Gillespie
Re: Codec conversion for FCP
on Dec 2, 2009 at 7:01:11 pm

Hi Joe,
With what you got, you're correct with your workflow. Although I would start using ProRes instead of DVCProHD. Both the ProRes and DVCProHD are both 4:2:2 color space (not including the new ProRes444), but the ProRes codec is a 10 bit codec. While you may or may not notice, 10 bit pixel depth is a LOT better when you start looking at it. I'm no image purist, but since FCP works with ProRes just as easy as DVCPro and the files sizes are close to the same, why not use the better codec. FCP can play both in the same sequence.
I would use FCP to do your conversion from DVCPro to ProRes. It's probably the easiest and it will always work correctly. You can just drop the file into a sequence and export it to ProRes.

Good Luck,



Todd at UCSB
Television Production


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Joseph Herman
Re: Codec conversion for FCP
on Dec 2, 2009 at 7:38:46 pm

Thanks!


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