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Should I be worried?? (importing not capturing .avi files)

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Rachel Adams
Should I be worried?? (importing not capturing .avi files)
on Jul 24, 2012 at 6:08:17 pm

I shot a movie on miniDV years ago and am finally trying to get it finished up. A friend uploaded all the tapes for me onto a hard drive as .avi files. I have been editing (using Final Cut Express) by importing from these files directly off the hard drive using in and out points for the timeline, NOT actually "capturing" any footage (so I don't have any clips in bins, only on the timeline).

Recently a friend who knows more than I, but not enough to answer this question, expressed concern about how these sequences would export. She thinks they might be interlaced because they're "not native"(??). I am a film/celluloid fogie -- I learned to edit on a Steenbeck in the early 90's -- I don't know _anything_ about codecs (even what one is) or compressing, etc., or too much about any of the actual "digital" side of things... Oh, how I miss my splicer!

This is a feature-length project (28 hrs of footage) and I have spent weeks on it -- I am now about two-thirds done. I just burned a test .mov file (using iDVD, if that matters) that I created by exporting a sequence using the Export > Quicktime Movie > Self-contained" function. I played it on my DVD player and older TV, and aside from the fact that it came out squeezed (not 16x9), it seemed to play all right - there are no glaring quality issues - but the TV is so old, it's hard to tell how it would look, projected on a large screen or played on an HDTV. Maybe it's a little blurry?

I want the best possible quality for the final product -- am I going to have to GO BACK and CAPTURE ALL THESE HUNDREDS of clips now to ensure that? After my friend expressed her concern, I am afraid to proceed! I really don't want to spend another 100 work hours with the .avi files only to find out I have to re-do them. On the other hand, I like the flexibility that importing gives me, so if I could prove to myself that everything is fine, I'd sure be happy.....

Thoughts??
Thanks!!


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Shane Ross
Re: Should I be worried?? (importing not capturing .avi files)
on Jul 25, 2012 at 5:56:39 pm

OK...at first I didn't have the heart to answer, but I see that no one else is, so...

FCP doesn't work with AVI files well. It isn't designed to edit them. And the footage might be interlaced...DV is an interlaced medium. But if it was captured on another system and just imported as AVI, the interlacing might not display properly on your system. The idea situation is to capture the tapes on the system you intend to edit it with.

The solution, to get the best quality out of this, would be to recapture the footage on your system. But the issue with that is, well, will the timecode match the AVI files? If you could capture exactly the same way they were on the other system, you could capture the footage in another project, make sure the names are exactly the same as the other files you received...and then try to reconnect to the new media. But the issue with that is that the timecode would need to match exactly, the start and end times of the captures would have to match exactly, and the duration would have to match exactly. Not promising.

But, you said the quality of the footage was fine...so that's seems to be OK...you can work with this. The only issue is that your DVDs are squeezed, meaning they are in CINEMASCOPE (anamorphic) but the TV lacks the ability to unsqueeze it. Older non-HDTVs have problems doing this, where HDTVs do it all the time. YOu need to burn a DVD that is letterboxed, not anamorphic. If I knew iDVD I'd tell you how, but I don't, so you need to see if you can find settings to do that.

All doesn't seem lost. The situation wasn't ideal, but you might be able to save things.

Good luck.

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


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Rachel Adams
Re: Should I be worried?? (importing not capturing .avi files)
on Aug 8, 2012 at 6:47:33 pm

Thank you very much for answering! That whole re-capturing/timecode-matching thing is scary, indeed, so I hope it doesn't come to that. Still, even if I have to (nightmare!!) adjust the In and Out points on every clip, that's better than trying to figure out which take I used for every single one as well! Plus -- do you agree that once I figure out how many frames the recapture is off by, they'll ALL be off by the same amount? That would make sense, right? So it would be tedious to fix, but I wouldn't have to re-edit, conceptually. Right?

And thanks for the words on the squeezed image -- I thought exporting it as "anamorphic" would automatically letterbox it, so I will now look into various other options - I may have an old Roxio Toast on my older computer - do people still use that? Will that have a letterbox option?

Thanks again!
Rachel


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Rafael Amador
Re: Should I be worried?? (importing not capturing .avi files)
on Jul 28, 2012 at 10:55:25 pm

If the footage has been captured from a DV tape, it doesn´t matter if is AVI or QT, will be Interlaced Lower First.
[Rachel Adams] " am I going to have to GO BACK and CAPTURE ALL THESE HUNDREDS of clips now to ensure that?"
No need to recapture, just rewrap the AVI as QT and this is very easy. Open the clips with QT Player and "Save as..".
The new files will be QT instead of AVI and will contain all the original Audio, Video and TC.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Rachel Adams
Re: Should I be worried?? (importing not capturing .avi files)
on Aug 8, 2012 at 6:51:47 pm

THANK YOU! This sounds like it _should_ be pretty easy!

...unfortunately... When I tried to "Save As," it wouldn't let me. The drive with the AVI files is "read only" but I'm trying to "Save As" onto a different drive (both connected through my MacBook Pro). Shouldn't I be allowed to do that?

I'm going to keep fiddling with it, but I'm nervous. My friend uploaded the AVI files using a PC -- does that matter in my "re-wrapping" them??

??


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Rafael Amador
Re: Should I be worried?? (importing not capturing .avi files)
on Aug 13, 2012 at 11:32:26 am

[Rachel Adams] "...unfortunately... When I tried to "Save As," it wouldn't let me. The drive with the AVI files is "read only" but I'm trying to "Save As" onto a different drive (both connected through my MacBook Pro). Shouldn't I be allowed to do that? "
You should be able to write to other HD.




[Rachel Adams] "I'm going to keep fiddling with it, but I'm nervous. My friend uploaded the AVI files using a PC -- does that matter in my "re-wrapping" them??"
AV files (same than QT), is a container and can contains different codecs. Some are no much compatible with QT, but with DV stuff shouldn't be no problem.
When you capture via FireWire a DV tape as AVI or QT, both files contains exactly the same Video and Audio information. that info will remains unchanged on rewrapping.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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