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Final Cut Pro Setup - TreetWiki

Final Cut Pro Setup

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(File formats)
(added MPEG Streamclip info)
If you're dealing with an "H.264" file of some sort, it will either be produced by an official encoder (eg an Apple one, or the gorgeous little ElGato hardware dongle), or an unofficial one. Curiously the one in the Windows version of Adobe Premiere's Media Encoder appears to be an unofficial one! The Sony Vegas H.264 encoder appears broken too. A possible clue is to look at the Inspector when playing the file in QT7 (''not'' QTX, it will lie to you). If it says "H.264" then it's probably real. If it says "AVC" you may expect some issues. Typically the problem you'll experience is, when you try exporting, you'll get audio but a blank white screen. The fact that Quicktime can ''play'' a file doesn't mean that it can ''convert/export'' it successfully.
If you're dealing with an "H.264" file of some sort, it will either be produced by an official encoder (eg an Apple one, or the gorgeous little ElGato hardware dongle), or an unofficial one. Curiously the one in the Windows version of Adobe Premiere's Media Encoder appears to be an unofficial one! The Sony Vegas H.264 encoder appears broken too. A possible clue is to look at the Inspector when playing the file in QT7 (''not'' QTX, it will lie to you). If it says "H.264" then it's probably real. If it says "AVC" you may expect some issues. Typically the problem you'll experience is, when you try exporting, you'll get audio but a blank white screen. The fact that Quicktime can ''play'' a file doesn't mean that it can ''convert/export'' it successfully.
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'''If Quicktime itself won't do the conversion to Apple ProRes, try MPEG Streamclip'''
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The most recent Beta version of MPEG Streamclip ([http://www.squared5.com/svideo/mpeg-streamclip-mac.html 1.9.3b5 on the Macintosh] at the time of writing) will read almost any mp4 you can throw at it, including AVC files. It will also output ''directly'' to ProRes.
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The app is also useful for a lot for other purposes (eg converting MPEG2 stream files). It's great, because it eliminates some intermediate steps, and it's a good idea to avoid re-encoding when unnecessary.
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It has other advantages:
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  You can batch up multiple files for conversion.
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  It will "multithread" allowing you to tell it to do 3 or 4 or 5 encodes simultaneously. Worked great for us.
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  It is a program designed by professionals, so it has very good control of deinterlacing, cropping, and frame rate.
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  It is free!!!!
'''If you can't export direct to ProRes 422''' from QT7, try all the options you can. Typically, this means converting the file into something that QT7 is happy to convert into ProRes. This is most likely to be another form of H.264 file. Handbrake is free and generally good but can sometimes produce artefacts. Wiz calls VisualDub "the best, but discontinued!".  My personal favourite (writes Elrik Merlin) is the ElGato Turbo H.264 HD system (either with or without the [http://www.elgato.com/elgato/int/mainmenu/products/Turbo264HD/product1.en.html hardware encoder]). Try to produce an MP4 file in any way possible.  Sometimes this can take a lot of experimentation.  Once you do it, go back to the beginning… export it from QT7 as a ProRes 422.
'''If you can't export direct to ProRes 422''' from QT7, try all the options you can. Typically, this means converting the file into something that QT7 is happy to convert into ProRes. This is most likely to be another form of H.264 file. Handbrake is free and generally good but can sometimes produce artefacts. Wiz calls VisualDub "the best, but discontinued!".  My personal favourite (writes Elrik Merlin) is the ElGato Turbo H.264 HD system (either with or without the [http://www.elgato.com/elgato/int/mainmenu/products/Turbo264HD/product1.en.html hardware encoder]). Try to produce an MP4 file in any way possible.  Sometimes this can take a lot of experimentation.  Once you do it, go back to the beginning… export it from QT7 as a ProRes 422.
'''Re-code all the output from your video capture application''', because all capture applications drop frames.  ProRes is a special format in that it keeps track not just of frames, but of frame duration.  Some capture applications such as Wirecast (3.0.4 but not version 4 or later) actually know this and saves frame durations for frames which are skipped. If you do a "basic re-encode" of Wirecast capture files, it will change these files from having long duration frames into having independent single frames.
'''Re-code all the output from your video capture application''', because all capture applications drop frames.  ProRes is a special format in that it keeps track not just of frames, but of frame duration.  Some capture applications such as Wirecast (3.0.4 but not version 4 or later) actually know this and saves frame durations for frames which are skipped. If you do a "basic re-encode" of Wirecast capture files, it will change these files from having long duration frames into having independent single frames.
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You cannot edit with files which have long frames.  It will cause the timings of your edits to be out, sometimes by several seconds, by the end of the video.  This is true especially of videos which consume more than 30 minutes to an hour.  You can find out if source materials have long frames by going into FCP and running the "Video Analsysis" (in the tools menu?).  If you have long frames, then your file should NOT be used as an editing source.
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You cannot edit with files which have long frames.  It will cause the timings of your edits to be out, sometimes by several seconds, by the end of the video.  This is true especially of videos which consume more than 30 minutes to an hour.  You can find out if source materials have long frames by going into FCP and running the "Video Analysis" (in the tools menu?).  If you have long frames, then your file should NOT be used as an editing source.
== Avoiding rendering on the FCP timeline ==
== Avoiding rendering on the FCP timeline ==

Revision as of 08:31, 15 July 2011

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