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FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems

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Tom McAfee
FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems
on Mar 16, 2012 at 4:55:30 am

All,

I'm transitioning from using a Z-1 / mini DV tape to a Canon 5D MK II / Compact Flash, and speaking of transitions -- I'm doing a little test that's proving to be more of a learning experience than I had in mind . . .

What's happening is this: each and every transition I make needs to be rendered, and unfortunately that's about 98% of this little video, or say, 100 edits @ 15 seconds/render -- in other words, fergettabouddit. To make matters worse, at the end of each transition , i.e. the point at which the dissolve from clip A to clip B is complete, the image stutters and jumps back a frame or two, not exactly the smooth, silky effect I had in mind. In addition, when I drop in the MP3 music track, that needs to be rendered as well.

All I know is this doesn't happen when I shoot & edit using tape, so I assume this may have to do with the capture procedure and/or settings.
What I did is this:
(1) attached camera to my laptop via firewire, which automatically captured the clips using Aperture (is this a problem, and/or is there a better way?).
(2) exported the master .MOV files to my desktop, and then
(3) imported the files into FCP (7.0.3).

When I made the first edit / dragged the first clip into the timeline sequence, I got a pop-up message,
"this clip does not match your sequence settings, etc.:" -- I assume this is The Big Clue as to what's going on, but I don't know what to do at this point, what settings to adjust etc. I clicked "Yes" to change the settings to match, and got the results described above, Render Hell. I checked the sequence settings against the clips using Q/T player 7, and as far as I could tell they seemed to match. However, I couldn't find anything on the sequence settings having to do with data rate or data size -- could this be the smoking parameter?

So, does anyone have any idea what I'm doing wrong and how to fix this, or is this just a Mercury-in-retrograde issue?

Many thanks,

Tom McAfee


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Stephen Smith
Re: FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems
on Mar 16, 2012 at 3:17:02 pm

Cannon has a plug-in so you can log and transfer in FCP. It works great and will make editing smooth and easy for you again. Check out this tutorial from Shane Ross: http://library.creativecow.net/ross_shane/tapeless-workflow_fcp-7/1

Best of luck.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


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Tom McAfee
Re: FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems
on Mar 16, 2012 at 3:27:49 pm

lovely, thanks, I'll check it out.


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Stephen Smith
Re: FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems
on Mar 16, 2012 at 4:00:53 pm

Cool, best of luck.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


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Tom McAfee
Re: FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems
on Mar 16, 2012 at 5:12:02 pm

Steven, another very, very basic question: how do I get the files to my computer in the first place? In the past, Aperture has downloaded/imported the files automatically because I had it set up to open whenever a camera is attached. Should I then just export the .mov files to my desktop for further processing/coversion, or should I avoid the Aperture step altogether? Trouble is, when I turn off the Aperture auto-launch, nothing shows up and I can't find the camera's platform icon anywhere. Any ideas?

Thanks,

Tom


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Stephen Smith
Re: FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems
on Mar 16, 2012 at 5:17:00 pm

I create a new folder and name it. Then drag everything from the camera to that folder. Certain cameras like the T2i create a DCIM folder. Keep every thing as the camera has it. Then instal the plug-in from Cannon. Open up the Log and Transfer window and you are ready to go.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


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Brent Dunn
Re: FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems
on Mar 16, 2012 at 6:31:28 pm

It's best to lock your card before inserting it on a Mac. Mac's will write a program onto the card. I haven't had an issue with this, but some people have.

Don't use Aperture for capturing video. Just plug in your card to your card reader and open the drive mounted on your desktop.

Make yourself a folder for your project and then a subfolder for each card with the proper labling for your shoot.

Drag the entire contents of your card into the folder you created to copy it over. Some people use another program to do this which checks the transfer data against the card. I've heard of some people having some of the data not being transferred. I've not had this problem.

Once you copied your cards over onto your computer. Then you can start a project and use the log and transfer plugin to import and properly format your video clips to ProRes for editing.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Tom McAfee
Re: FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems
on Mar 17, 2012 at 6:04:18 am

Stephen, sorry to be dense, but . . . you lose me at the point where you say "Then instal the plug-in from Cannon. Open up the Log and Transfer window and you are ready to go." I'm following Shane's tutorial as you suggested, downloaded the Canon plug-in and the icon is sitting there on my desktop -- but how do I introduce it to FCP? I opened my FCP project > log & transfer, checked the import preferences by clicking on the "sprocket" as Shane demonstrates; however, there's no Canon option in my source format list, only "MPEG2 consumer cameras, P2 Plugin, and AVCHD plugin", a so apparently the Canon plugin didn't get installed or connected to FCP -- just to be sure I tried to do the "add volume" step, but when I selected the DCMI file a pop-up warning said the format wasn't supported. It's just not clear to me how to use the plugin. I'm sure there's a very basic maneuver I'm leaving out?
Thanks again, Tom


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Tom McAfee
Re: FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems
on Mar 17, 2012 at 6:25:29 am

Stephen, never mind . . . I brilliantly discovered that if I double click the canon plugin icon, voila, it gets installed, and like you say, off I go . . . sheesh. Thanks.


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Tom McAfee
Re: FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems
on Mar 17, 2012 at 6:49:17 am

New render problem, not quite as bad, but -- I successfully accomplished a test transfer of two clips (thank you very much), put them in a timeline, applied a x-dissolve, and now instead of the red "not rendered" line at the top of the timeline, I have a green "sort of rendered" line, and it jerks and fits its way through the edit until I render it, a 20 second process for a three second dissolve. Once rendered it's beautiful , but this seems like a hell of a way to have to edit. Is this a function of my computer's processor, or is there a fix for this? This never happened when I was using tape. Thanks, Tom


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Neil Patience
Re: FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems
on Mar 17, 2012 at 12:44:55 pm

The green bar indicates a real time effect. So your system can play it in real time however is having to work at doing that hence the drop in quality or stuttering.

At the point of the dissolve you are having to access and playback 2 HD streams at the same time. My first thought is that your drive(s) are not quick ebough to access that. Clearly the single streeam is fine and once rendered (also then a single stream) is also fine.

What ProRes codec are you transcoding to ? 422 LT and 422 are usually good enough for 5D footage.

What kind of hard drive are you using for media and how is it interfaced ? Hopefully you are not using the internal OS drive.

For ProRes you really need 7200 rpm drives and firewire 800 is the bare minimum in terms of speed.

Once you start adding multiple HD streams you really need to start looking at faster drive interfaces, esata, raids etc etc or you will always have stuttery unrendered playback.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv


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Tom McAfee
Re: FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems
on Mar 17, 2012 at 8:41:06 pm

Neil, the Canon plugin list the target format as ProRes 4444 -- how does this compare to 422, 422LT etc.? Would i be better off transcoding to 422, and if so, would MPEG stream clip or Compressor be the way to go, or something else?

Also, I am indeed just working on my internal drive on my MB Pro; I'll move the project over to my external G-drive which I believe is 7200 rpm and see if that helps.

Thanks a lot.

Your name says it all . . .


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Neil Patience
Re: FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems
on Mar 18, 2012 at 1:05:30 am

Canon 5D shoots in 4:2:0 so converting to ProRes 4:2:2 retains all of the data in the original file.
Some DSLR shooters use ProRes LT as the quality is good and the file sizes are not so huge.
I tend to use 442 as it offers a little more quality but still more than retains the original but you are not going to gain anything by using 442 HQ or 4444 except a larger file.

It would be like copying a VHS tape to a broadcast digital format and expecting the picture quality to improve, you simply retain the original but its never going to be better.

4444 (note the extra digit) is designed to support high end files like those used in digital cinema or formats like HDCam SR and graphics files that need an alpha channel, carried by the extra "4"

So using 4444 for DSLR, you are just dragging around huge files for no gain.

Pick a short clip and transcode it to each option - see if you can tell the difference but note the file sizes.

The easiest way to handle the files is to use the Canon plug in, which it sounds like you already have.

Simply use the log and transfer tool - set the preferences to whatever flavour of ProRes you choose and let it batch import all your footage.

One thing to note is that there is a bug in the L&T tool that causes your clips to be truncated if you do anything else on FCP while the process is happening. So once you set it going - go make tea or walk the dog but dont do any FCP work.

You can also use MPeg Streamclip to batch this process or indeed compressor but L&T is easiest and what the Canon plug in is for.

Never a good idea to work with media on your internal drive - they are just not fast enough to deal with it.

Your external will be a good start.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv


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Tom McAfee
Re: FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems
on Mar 19, 2012 at 8:29:15 am

Neil, eureka, switched to 442LT (didn't realize it was imbedded in the plugin), absolutely lovely, no stutter, problem solved. Wonderful info and advice, many thanks.


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Neil Patience
Re: FCP7 / Canon 5D MK II edit/render problems
on Mar 19, 2012 at 9:54:45 am

Excellent, 422 LT is about 70% of the bandwidth of 422 so you might find that 422 also works without issue. But after that, HQ and 4444 offer you no more on 5D.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv


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