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Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?

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Chris Jacek
Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 2, 2016 at 5:08:31 pm

My Premiere system is really humming along right now, so I have obvious trepidation about upgrading to the initial release of CC2017. I was wondering, however, if Adobe has finally addressed the sync issue with iPhone and other variable frame rate videos. I've not been able to find any info one way or the other. Does anyone have insight on this? The percentage of VFR video I receive from clients has been steadily increasing, so this is a rather important issue for Adobe to address. I'd rather not change platforms, but the added time needed for re-encoding (which doesn't even work all the time) is becoming a real productivity killer.

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 3, 2016 at 12:18:22 am

[Chris Jacek] "The percentage of VFR video I receive from clients has been steadily increasing, so this is a rather important issue for Adobe to address."

To my knowledge it hasn't.

In the meantime, I'm sure you encourage clients to avoid shooting vertical video. I'd also encourage them to get the apps for their phones that shoot video at a constant frame rate.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Chris Jacek
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 6, 2016 at 2:54:33 pm

Unfortunately, that's not a realistic option. These are non-professionals who often don't even use a tripod or external microphone. I'm a remote sub-contractor, so I have no contact with those who are shooting.

I'm sure I am not alone in these kinds of scenarios. We are in a time when it's simply not plausible to demand best practices, as we are often hired to work with what can best be compared to "found footage." We are allowed our professional standards only when we control the process.

The fact of the matter is that there are millions upon millions of iPhones and other cameras that shoot variable frame rate video, the majority of which are in the hands of people who have no idea what a variable frame rate is. Adobe is a company that often boasts about its great flexibility. To me, this cannot be viewed as anything but a failure to back up that claim.

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Chris Wright
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 6, 2016 at 3:39:23 pm

are you saying that handbrake fails re-encoding? even professional users have to transcode for proxies, digital intermediates, redcine-x etc. The world out there isn't kind to slow computers.


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Chris Jacek
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 6, 2016 at 6:03:07 pm

No, it has nothing to do with slowness of computers. If anything, my setup could be described as overkill for blog videos (2015 workstation with gobs or ram, all SSD, fast Nvidia, yada yada).

Handbrake works some of the time, but nowhere near every time. When there is too much "corrected" camera shake in these VFR files, there are no viable fixes that I've found. So I just chop it up and slip a few frames here and there. Either way (transcoding or editing the sync slippage), it is an unnecessary and time-consuming step when there are other products on the market that have handled this issue better for years.

We can all say that best practices of professionals like ourselves would eliminate any such problems, and I certainly agree when it comes to work that I'm doing. The reality, however, is that collaboration across disciplines becomes greater every day, and many of us "professionals" will have clients, or even supervisors who don't have a clue about best practices, but are still signing expecting a result.

I think that hiding behind the argument of Premiere being a professional product, so it doesn't need to address basic functionality of its competitors, is short-sighted at best, and a B.S. excuse at worst. It would be like saying that Adobe Premiere only accepts video with SEMPTE timecode. Yes, once upon a time, that was a obiquitous professional standard, and might have been an acceptable limitation, but times change.

Like them or not, iPhone cameras are viable cameras. When you have millions of viable cameras on the market, to me it is irresponsible not to address an issue that causes workflow disruption to those of us who must work with the resulting footage.

And please do no post another link to Adobe's feature request page. I've made this request numerous times, as have many others, only for our requests to fall upon deaf ears. It's nice for Adobe to collect feedback, but is a bit disingenuous to hide behind that feature request page as a way of dodging responsibility for R&D expectations. Issues like this should fall under the umbrella of competitive analysis. Or is Adobe satisfied with ceding all of those potential users to FCP X and other inferior (except with this particular issue) products?

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Alan Lloyd
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 7, 2016 at 12:11:55 am

This is the second post (that I've seen this week) blaming Adobe for not fixing Apple's shortcoming.

The problem is not Premiere. The problem is Apple not making a fixed frame rate camera part of the iPhone.


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Chris Jacek
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 12, 2016 at 5:39:21 pm

[Alan Lloyd] "The problem is not Premiere. The problem is Apple not making a fixed frame rate camera part of the iPhone."

I cannot agree with this. The premise is flawed, because the editing platform must follow the capture technology, especially if the capture product becomes widely accepted. If you'd used that logic in the past, no NLEs should have ever accepted H.264 footage. Or, as I mentioned earlier, using that same logic, Adobe would be justified in refusing any footage that lacks dedicated time code. Adobe continually touts how flexible their creative tools are. In this case, they are being extremely inflexible.

What if Apple, or anyone else, creates a revolutionary VFR codec that is 10X the quality and 10x more efficient? Would it still be okay to ignore the sync issue, when everyone is buying these amazing new cameras?

As one technology evolves, it is the responsibility of those who serve users of that technology to adapt (or die). Those of us who've been in the game long enough surely remember the post-houses who refused to finish on NLEs in the mid 90s, because online tape-to-tape suites were "the professional" way to do it. Those post houses are now paintball facilities and parking lots.

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Ann Bens
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 4, 2016 at 12:49:00 pm

http://www.adobe.com/products/wishform.html

-----------------------------------------------
Adobe Certified Expert Premiere Pro CS6/CC
Adobe Community Professional


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Peter Garaway
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 6, 2016 at 5:38:35 pm

Hi Chris,

There are no new changes in PPro 2017 to address VFR issues. However, if your recording video on an iOS device, Filmic Pro announced an update that could be helpful for this workflow. NOTE: I have not tested this yet.

From the "FiLMiC Pro" Version 5.5 for "iPhone" Release Notes (Nov 11, 2016):

"... v5.5 includes fixes and optimizations to our iOS 10 codebase including the following: —Adobe Premiere and Windows compatibility has been assured. NOTE: This undertaking has required a change of the default audio encoding format from AIFF to PCM. AIFF is still supported in the app but should not be used if the intention is to export to Adobe Premiere or playback on Windows PCs. (Double-check and/or reconfigure your presets to use PCM audio if you plan to use FiLMiC Pro footage in Adobe Premiere and/or on a Windows PC) —Focus reticle refinements ensure accurate, smooth, and crisp focus actuation."

We're still looking into making changes on the Premiere side as well, but this at least helps users with this workflow.

Thanks,

Peter Garaway
Adobe
Premiere Pro


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Chris Jacek
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 6, 2016 at 6:07:03 pm

That sounds like a nice update. But it unfortunately doesn't help much in situations where we have no control over the acquisition process. Still, if I were shooting on an iPhone, I would certainly appreciate this effort.

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Shane Ross
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 7, 2016 at 1:25:42 am

Just convert the footage.

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


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Chris Jacek
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 12, 2016 at 5:25:28 pm

I think I addressed how this is not a reasonable expectation in my Dec 6 post. I hate to use the old "time is money" cliche, but it is certainly appropriate here. I'm sure there are others like me whose ability to maintain a good hourly rate is dependent upon volume. If I need to wait 5 minutes to encode a video that takes me less than 5 minutes to edit (a common situation for me), my productivity has been reduced by more than half.

It would be one thing if this were a common limitation across all nonlinear platforms. It is another thing altogether when competitors have had a solution for years, and you simply refuse to address it. And perhaps the following statement is best for the "debate" forum, but one must wonder whether Adobe would have been so dismissive if they didn't have users trapped with the subscription model.

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 12, 2016 at 5:49:32 pm

[Chris Jacek] "....one must wonder whether Adobe would have been so dismissive if they didn't have users trapped with the subscription model."

....which has been a contention of mine ever since the rental model was announced.



[Chris Jacek] " I hate to use the old "time is money" cliche, but it is certainly appropriate here."

Well, how much does iMovie cost?

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Chris Jacek
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 12, 2016 at 8:08:45 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "Well, how much does iMovie cost?"

Just your soul. Okay maybe that's an exaggeration. But it definitely would cost ones dignity.

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Ole Kristiansen
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 12, 2016 at 9:47:16 pm

Open file into quicktime, goto save as, save as refrence video. Done


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 13, 2016 at 1:39:57 am

It seems iMovie would be the right tool for the job.

I hate cameras that shoot at variable frame rates. That term once meant 23.976, 59.94, 25, 24 29.97 or 60fps. Now it means "30, sort of".

But I don't buy your "it's popular so we need to adapt" argument. Using the same logic, National Geographic photographers would have been shooting on Kodak Instamatics in the '70's.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Chris Jacek
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Dec 15, 2016 at 4:39:20 pm

It's not just because it is popular. It is also because the iPhone cameras are of a high enough quality to be viable. If Kodak Instamatic cameras were capable of taking photos of a comparable quality to their Nikon rigs (mind you, I say "comparable", not equal), then National Geographic would definitely have used them in certain situations. Again, let me stress "in certain situations". The cameras on iPhones serve a similar purpose. If you're outdoors on a sunny day, you can get footage that is better than passable. It will never compete with a Red Camera, but it is certainly good enough to be used in most situations. Someone hiking the Appalachian Trail might find an iPhone camera to be very useful, just as they would have appreciated the theoretical 35mm Kodak Instamatic that could shoot photos comparable to SLR.

Most importantly, what is acceptable to use is often NOT OUR CHOICE. If snobby production people like us got to choose what people use, people would be compelled to use a light kit and external microphone on everything. If there's 100 million iPhones out there (I'm guessing there are even more), and just one percent of them are shooting video that needs to be edited, then that's a million cameras worth of footage that Adobe doesn't mind alienating. Not very flexible at all.

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Jacob Moore
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Apr 4, 2017 at 8:11:48 pm

Chris did you ever figure this out?

(Time-saving disclosure - there's nothing useful in this post; I'm just offering moral support lol)

Although I'm in a different situation than you are (I do directly capture my video, so shame on me I guess), I'm with you on the frustration that software as thorough as Premiere isn't able to handle video files created on some of the most common/popular devices in the world without major hiccups.

I create content for a company I work for using Illustrator, Photoshop, Audition, and Premiere. It's neither convenient nor ideal to have to use other software. One thing I'm running into is that I'm creating video from several angles, using multiple cameras including a GoPro Hero 3 Black, a Nikon Coolpix S6900, a Nikon D3200, and an iPhone 5SE. Audio is being recorded separately via an Akai EIE Pro USB interface feeding 2 condenser mics, a lav mic, and a direct line from a guitar into individual tracks in Audition. (I use a clack for syncing the audio and video in post). Then I pull the audio tracks and video files into Premiere for editing. I sync everything at the beginning, but as the timeline progresses, the audio and video drift apart.

Chris I feel for you not having any control over the recording process. I've resorted to the pragmatic-but-annoying process of re-clacking every few minutes so I can cut the files and re-sync them manually. Admittedly, this does "work", but the fact remains that I believe I should be able to record for longer than 5 minutes on all these devices and sync them once and be done with the syncing.

I've looked for answers several times, and I always run into your posts on the forums talking about this and getting nowhere with anyone chiming in.

"Use different hardware" is only relevant if you have that option. If you're dealing with a bunch of stuff already recorded, you can't be concerned with where it came from - only what to do with what you have. I understand the point that low level gear will produce low level results, but since no one's asking for recommendations on how to get better source material, I don't understand the infatuation with chiming in just to make the OP feel stupid for not starting with perfect captures to begin with.

"Use Handbrake" they say. I'm not sure how Handbrake deals with these files, but if the camera has added or subtracted frames for one reason or another, handbrake can only convert the files as they are from VFR to CFR; handbrake can't magically make a file "correct", or whatever the terminology may be, to match audio recorded with a constant sample rate, or to match video recorded with a CFR. I've tried Handbrake a number of times on several projects, and after eating up valuable time converting files, it still never solves my problems. Nothing against Handbrake - I'm sure in many cases it's very useful. But for what I'm doing, it doesn't accomplish my goal.

"Use iMovie/Windows Movie Maker/Quicktime/etc" seems like a step backward. Like telling someone with Photoshop "well what you need to do is open that puppy in Paint". While in some instances using these applications might accomplish a workaround, they're far from efficient, which is the goal most of us aspire to. Efficiency is the whole reason we use solutions like Premiere in the first place. (Please note that I do appreciate recommendations for a workaround, but for me, these solutions are problematic and haven't worked for me yet.)

In my situation, I don't have the luxury of telling my company which hardware to buy. The cameras we have are what we have. Nevermind the fact that for action shots, the GoPro is an industry staple, for everything from reality television to documentaries to extreme sports broadcasts. I find it hard to believe the folks at big time studios are relegated to using iMovie to meet their network deadlines. But maybe they are.

I'm hoping to find a solution that makes life easier for those of us who stoop to the depths of attempting to incorporate footage from consumer hardware into our projects. I'm sure Chris and I aren't the only ones, and as he mentioned before, there exists no shortage of video taken with phones and other consumer devices, and now more than ever, it's possible for individuals to create content without the need for the financial backing of major studios. And when someone brings me video and audio of a two hour talk their WWII veteran/POW grandfather gave at their school, I'm not going to tell them to buzz off because they didn't use the most ideal capture device. In that situation, I need a solution, not an excuse.

Good luck Chris.


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Chris Wright
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Apr 5, 2017 at 11:07:08 am

try compressor to prores should export with no re-syncing. some people are reporting handbrake isn't perfect.


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Jacob Moore
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Apr 6, 2017 at 1:35:27 am

Ahh I didn't mention I'm a Windows user. However, after reading into Apple Compressor, I'm not sure I understand how that would help. Does that degrade the quality slightly?

Thank you for replying.

Jacob


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Chris Wright
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Apr 9, 2017 at 3:13:02 pm

i haven't fiddled with vfr much myself, but apparently the newer handbrake doesn't work as well as the older builds. if you can find the older builds, they may work better. if not, for pc, you may need to stretch tool the audio or use plural eyes correct audio drift feature.
I'm not going to suggest a random 3rd party tool I haven't used before though but I've seen a few. good luck.


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Joshua Stenseth
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Jul 15, 2017 at 3:30:50 am

This worked for me. Thanks.
I was unsuccessful in getting multiple builds of handbrake to work.


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Brent Marginet
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Jul 15, 2017 at 2:21:35 pm

I haven't tried this but I do believe that Handbrake will only work with the Audio that's embedded into the VFR Footage.
If one is recording double system I doubt that the recorders audio will stay in sync with the converted footage.
While it does convert to a constant frame rate it's averaging it so how can it possibly stay in sync that way.

One more point on the iPhone issue.
Think of how many great moments would be lost if one had to bring a truck or trunk of gear everywhere they go. First lets remove cost from the equation. Now then, oh hey everyone stop so I can spend the next half hour setting up this gear to capture your random once in a lifetime moment. It would also be quite amusing at any event if everyone plopped down all this gear. There would be more gear room taken up than the people would.

If one can just pull something out of there pocket and grab it in moments then that's whats going to happen.

One more for the pile of I DESPISE VFR FOOTAGE, but I do agree that it's time for everyone to embrace it because it's not going to go away.

"MY MEDIA/PROJECT MOTO: If you think three copies of your media or project are enough.
Take a moment to place a value on them and then maybe add two more.
Hard Drives are now stupidly cheap. A RE-SHOOT AND YOUR TIME AREN'T."


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Peter Garaway
Re: Variable Frame Rate (VFR) Fix in CC2017?
on Jul 17, 2017 at 11:32:42 pm

[Brent Marginet] "One more for the pile of I DESPISE VFR FOOTAGE, but I do agree that it's time for everyone to embrace it because it's not going to go away."

Thanks for your input Brent. We're hoping to have users avoid going through handbrake in the future. I'll try to update this thread as we get closer.

Best,

Peter Garaway
Adobe
Premiere Pro


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