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Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss

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Yair BartalJust making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 1, 2016 at 4:21:00 pm

Since it's not a rewrap.

Is that correct?


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Shane RossRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 1, 2016 at 4:25:20 pm

Why would you do that? Why convert H.264 to H.264? It doesn't matter what wrapper it's in, it's a highly compressed format no matter how you slice it. Why not convert to something easier to edit, like ProRes? yes, you'll be recompressing and that does lose a little resolution. But I challenge you to see the difference.

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


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Yair BartalRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 1, 2016 at 4:33:07 pm

Thanks Shane,
Well, the reason is my colleague already did the conversion and I wanted to make sure that isn't the right route.
Indeed, practically I couldn't see the difference.


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Shane RossRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 1, 2016 at 4:40:08 pm

Just wondering WHY they did that? PPro reads AVCHD files fine...and that H.264 is no easier to deal with than MOV H.264.

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


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Yair BartalRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 1, 2016 at 4:59:40 pm

The reason is: We are a group of docs creators sharing two cameras and thus it happens that several projects are spread over several SD cards (I know it's not a good practice). That one lady wanted her project's material backed up for her separately on her portable disk.
It was easy to choose and pick up her files via FCPX and export those as single files (without the AVCHD folder structure which includes other projects).


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Gary HuffRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 1, 2016 at 7:30:01 pm

[Yair Bartal] "It was easy to choose and pick up her files via FCPX and export those as single files (without the AVCHD folder structure which includes other projects)."

Does FCPX rewrap AVCHD material into QuickTime? It's possible if you ingest into the Library itself, as opposed to leaving the media in its location.

That said, tools like EditReady exist in order to re-wrap footage into QuickTime files without re-encoding. I used to use this all the time because it was far simpler to navigate folders for specific clips.

However, even without all that, SD cards are incredibly cheap. There is no reason to be filming multiple client projects on a single card.

I'm going to say that this material's quality or lack thereof is probably not going to be an issue. However, with a re-encode from AVCHD to H.264 QuickTime and then an upload to any video sharing service is going to be three generations removed from the source, a pipeline of which will always be 8-bit 4:2:0 and low-bitrate throughout. I personally don't like the idea of that, but it is what it is, and a lot of people simply don't concern themselves with any loss generated by a process such as that.


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Yair BartalRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 1, 2016 at 8:06:59 pm

Thanks Gary,

FCPX does not rewrap AVCHD material into QuickTime.
That's why tools like EditReady exist.


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Gary HuffRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 2, 2016 at 12:53:10 pm

[Yair Bartal] "FCPX does not rewrap AVCHD material into QuickTime. That's why tools like EditReady exist."

Hey Yair, probably best not to state things like this unless you have first-hand experience. I actually just tested this out because I was pretty sure I had remembered that FCPX re-wrapped AVCHD into QuickTime, and it absolutely does.

EditReady has other reasons why I used it (there was a 30p issue with AVCHD from the C100 for a while), and it is absolutely a must-buy for anyone who works a lot with AVCHD.


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Yair BartalRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 2, 2016 at 1:13:25 pm

Hey Gary, you're correct in that I should've added: "to the best of my knowledge".
Now I'd appreciate if you can explain exactly how you used FCPX to re-wrap AVCHD into QuickTime, and especially what makes you sure this is indeed a re-wrap and not a re-compress process.


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Gary HuffRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 2, 2016 at 1:57:03 pm

[Yair Bartal] "Now I'd appreciate if you can explain exactly how you used FCPX to re-wrap AVCHD into QuickTime, and especially what makes you sure this is indeed a re-wrap and not a re-compress process."

No need to be flippant, Yair. You import the footage and tell it to ingest into the library. And there's no way it can be a re-compression because the only thing FCPX recompresses into is ProRes, and the process of ingestion is far too quick to be a re-encode. Plus, the details for the resulting QuickTime file are the same as for the .MTS. There's no reason FCPX cannot simple re-wrap the container.


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Yair BartalRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 2, 2016 at 5:50:10 pm
Last Edited By Yair Bartal on Sep 2, 2016 at 5:51:55 pm

Gary, I'm not flippant and I apologize if this is the impression you've got.
We may have a different definition of re-wraping vs re-compressing.
As far as I know re-wraping means no transcoding from one codec to another.
Once you ingest into the library, you do transcode once from h.264 to ProRes.
Then you export from ProRes to QuickTime with h.264 codec, that means you transcode again.
IMHO there's no way you can call this whole process from mts(h.264) to QuickTime(h.264) a re-wrap of h.264.
I'd be glad to learn otherwise if that is the case.


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Gary HuffRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 2, 2016 at 6:10:38 pm

[Yair Bartal] "As far as I know re-wraping means no transcoding from one codec to another."

That is correct, the file extension changes while the actual data inside the container remains as it was.

[Yair Bartal] "Then you export from ProRes to QuickTime with h.264 codec, that means you transcode again."

That's correct.

[Yair Bartal] "Once you ingest into the library, you do transcode once from h.264 to ProRes."

If you select "Create optimized media", which you do not have to do unless you are having performance issues editing the H.264 stream of AVCHD. Is that what you did? Because, if so, you didn't actually trash the original re-wrapped clips. In fact, if you right click on one of the clips and tell it to "Reveal in Finder", it will be the original, re-wrapped AVCHD. That is, if you did the steps I just did on ingesting AVCHD.


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Yair BartalRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 2, 2016 at 6:26:28 pm

Well, the guy who did the AVCHD to QuickTime conversion probably did use "Create optimized media".
I'll have to check the other way. Thanks.


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Yair BartalRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 3, 2016 at 11:29:36 am

So I've asked on FCPX forum here:
https://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/344/44104

I still don't think I have a definite answer.


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Gary HuffRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 3, 2016 at 12:18:23 pm

[Yair Bartal] "I still don't think I have a definite answer."

I gave you the definitive answer. Part of editing doesn't involve just putting clips next to each other on the timeline, but following workflow best practices and having a fundamental understanding of what the process is and how it works. I even went so far as to duplicate, and yet your flow of information seems very constricted and I am at a loss why you still seem to be at a loss.


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Yair BartalRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 3, 2016 at 1:57:05 pm

Well, the reason is I get other responses elsewhere, like in Apple's formal support forum here:
https://discussions.apple.com/message/30597623?ac_cid=op123456#30597623

That guy says that there IS re-compressing in the export process which involves a quality loss.


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Gary HuffRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 3, 2016 at 3:21:52 pm
Last Edited By Gary Huff on Sep 3, 2016 at 3:23:44 pm

[Yair Bartal] "Well, the reason is I get other responses elsewhere, like in Apple's formal support forum. That guy says that there IS re-compressing in the export process which involves a quality loss."

Yes, because if you re-compress with the export, then you will invoke quality loss. But this was already explained to you. And Tom explained it to you to on that link. Why can't you understand what is going on? What is the problem as to why you cannot grasp this concept? Why do you need to export instead of copying out the re-wrapped clips from your FCPX library? You have failed to do anything but continuously repeat yourself, you have not gone back and rechecked what both Tom and I have told you to check. You have failed to report on anything you have done since you were given new information. Why is this?


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Yair BartalRe: Just making sure: Converting AVCHD (h.264) to MOV (h.264) via FCPX before editing in PPro means one generation quality loss
by on Sep 3, 2016 at 5:03:18 pm

OK, I got you now.
I'll try that non-export procedure when I'm back at that Mac.
Thanks.


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