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Issues with high end footage in Premiere CS 5.5

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John MorgeraIssues with high end footage in Premiere CS 5.5
by on Dec 1, 2014 at 3:50:34 pm

I recently purchased a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera and Panasonic GH4, and have had issues with both in Premiere CS5.5. The the Pocket Camera, I have had playback issues when I apply effects. With the GH4, I'm not sure what settings to make a sequence. When I make a custom sequence, the playback has been choppy.

Any ideas? I'm using a mid-2011 iMac. Would a RAM/Memory/Hard drive upgrade help me with these issues? Would upgrading to the Creative Cloud help?


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Richard HerdRe: Issues with high end footage in Premiere CS 5.5
by on Dec 1, 2014 at 6:26:36 pm

Here are the fundamentals:

1. Put your media on an external drive, called a scratch disk.
2. Use the Media Browser inside Premiere to drag-and-drop the files into the Project Pane.
3. Make a sequence setting based off of your EXPORT DELIVERABLE or Right Click a clip in the Project pane and choose New Sequence from Selection.


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John MorgeraRe: Issues with high end footage in Premiere CS 5.5
by on Dec 1, 2014 at 6:29:27 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I do have all of my footage and scratch folders on external drives. I generally import my footage from the Film menu (I had a camera that did not import correctly dragging and dropping), and I tried making a sequence from the 4K footage directly, so I'm not sure that's my issue. So, that's what's making me think it's either a CS5.5 issue, or more likely, a hardware issue with an aging iMac.


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Richard HerdRe: Issues with high end footage in Premiere CS 5.5
by on Dec 1, 2014 at 6:55:22 pm

[John Morgera] " I generally import my footage from the Film menu"

i assume you mean File (not Film) :) but that's the issue.

When you import Long GOP formats, use the Media Browser because Premiere creates an AVCHD contents package rather than the .mts, which are processor intensive. You can also cut down on the processing overhead inherent on Long GOP formats by using Prelude to transcode to an intraframe codec, like APR or DNxHD. Transcoding first is the long-term, industry standard workflow, and it's still very much important to do if you have a lot of footage stacked in the timeline in a lengthy sequence. Please note "Lengthy" for me seems to be about 13 minutes, and I'm using a Mac Pro via GigE.


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John MorgeraRe: Issues with high end footage in Premiere CS 5.5
by on Dec 1, 2014 at 7:06:59 pm

Thank you again for your response; I'll definitely give that a try. My response may be a be out of left field being a little over my head on the tech side of things, but the files I'm having issues with are .mov files mostly, and some .mp4. Would that make a difference?

I also have a question when it comes to transcoding. With the GH4 footage, I'm probably not going to have a lot of projects where I master to 4K, but wouldn't I lose a lot of information on the front end of the project, or would I be creating proxies?

Thanks for your help, I greatly appreciate it.


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Richard HerdRe: Issues with high end footage in Premiere CS 5.5
by on Dec 1, 2014 at 8:01:59 pm

You are ready for some serious research. Here is the place to start: https://library.creativecow.net/galt_john/John_Galt_2K_4K_Truth_About_Pixel...

then here: https://www.theasc.com/magazine/jan05/conundrum/page1.html

& Here: http://lurkertech.com/lg/video-systems/

Whew. These are difficult articles.

[John Morgera] "the files I'm having issues with are .mov files mostly, and some .mp4. Would that make a difference?


Some old school video: Light moves through your camera and hits a photosensitive diode and then the electrical reaction creates VIDEO. In a perfect world (and on expensive cameras) the video is recorded as it is "full frame," so that all of the Green channel is recorded, all of the red and all of the blue (actually it is YUV, because of the filters on the bayer pattern, mentioned in an article linked above). They write that as 4:4:4 video. But inside the Cinema Pocket Camera they use an aliasing technique and chop the video to 4:2:2, and other cameras, like your GH4 chop the video even further to 4:2:0. We used to worry about this as being "component video," "composite video," "super video." Those terms are a bit old, now.

Having said that, the camera then uses an analog to digital converter to store the video to a file inside the camera. This creates the next bit of compression/decompression and then that CODEC is saved in a format (.mov, .mp4, etc.) Inside the codec (compression/decompression), there are two big categories. Intraframe and Long Group of Pictures (GOP). Intraframe means each frame of video is compressed. Long GOP means the Intraframe (i-frame) data is written every 1/2 second (15 frames or so). It writes the I-frame, then a B-frame (which is the information that has changed from the I-frame), then another B-frame (what has changed from the previous B-frame), then a P-frame (what has changed again). It can be represented like this: IBBPBBPBBPBBP. Then back to a new I-frame.

ALL dSLR video is 4:2:0 Long GOP. And that means lots of compression.

Imagine what all of this decompression does to your computer's processor when you cut video, where there is no I-frame. Your computer has to render the missing information. The more cuts you make the more processing you are asking your computer to do. The more video you stack the more processing. Effects. Dissolves...you get the picture.

So! The best thing you can do is to put your video into an intraframe codec so the computer no longer has to process the missing i-frames, because you have front-loaded all of the processing. Since this is "unpacking" the compression, it will require more drive space. Prelude is the way to do this. In the old Final Cut Pro, we had no choice but to transcode using Log and Transfer. Avid still requires transcoding to DNxHD. Now that computers are much faster (and 64-bit), often the log and transfer step goes missing, which is ok for small projects.

But it is still a good idea to transcode your footage before you edit especially for longer running times (and/or if you have a lot of footage) because it will save processing cycles. I tried to explain why above, and I hope it makes sense.

:)


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