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Final Cut Pro Setup - TreetWiki

Final Cut Pro Setup

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(File formats)
m (File formats)
So, here's your workflow, starting from an original file supplied by your camera operator:
So, here's your workflow, starting from an original file supplied by your camera operator:
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First, take the file into QuickTime 7. If you are lucky, you can simply export the file as a ProRes 422 file.  This works probably 70% of the time. Pay attention not only to the video, but also make sure that your audio is transcoded to 48Kbits/16-bit format to match your workflow.
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'''First, take the file into QuickTime 7'''. If you are lucky, you can simply export the file as a ProRes 422 file.  This works probably 70% of the time. Pay attention not only to the video, but also make sure that your audio is transcoded to 48Kbits/16-bit format to match your workflow.
For about 20-30% of the files, Perian won't read them.   
For about 20-30% of the files, Perian won't read them.   
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. If it says "H.264" then it's probably real. If it says "AVC" you may expect some issues. Typically when you try exporting, you'll get audio but a blank white screen.  
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. If it says "H.264" then it's probably real. If it says "AVC" you may expect some issues. Typically when you try exporting, you'll get audio but a blank white screen.  
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If you can't export direct to ProRes 422 from QT7, try all the options you can. Handbrake is free and generally good but can sometimes produce artefacts. Try VisualDub (Wiz calls it "the best, but discontinued!").  My personal favourite (writes Elrik Merlin) is the ElGato Turbo H.264 HD system (either with or without the hardware encoder http://www.elgato.com/elgato/int/mainmenu/products/Turbo264HD/product1.en.html ). 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 step 1… export it from QT7 as a ProRes 422.
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'''If you can't export direct to ProRes 422''' from QT7, try all the options you can. Handbrake is free and generally good but can sometimes produce artefacts. Try VisualDub (Wiz calls it "the best, but discontinued!").  My personal favourite (writes Elrik Merlin) is the ElGato Turbo H.264 HD system (either with or without the hardware encoder http://www.elgato.com/elgato/int/mainmenu/products/Turbo264HD/product1.en.html ). 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 step 1… export it from QT7 as a ProRes 422.
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Standardise the frame rate. If the frame rate does not match, take the ProRes file and re-encode it using Compressor to another ProRes file using advanced frame settings, which does motion compensated reframing. It takes about 1 hour per 10 minutes of video, but it results in a very good rate-change and that's important for original source materials.
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'''Standardise the frame rate.''' If the frame rate does not match, take the ProRes file and re-encode it using Compressor to another ProRes file using advanced frame settings, which does motion compensated reframing. It takes about 1 hour per 10 minutes of video, but it results in a very good rate-change and that's important for original source materials.
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Then, use the ProRes file for all work. Some shops use Neoscene or DNxHD, but these are wildly expensive and though there was some debate for a while, the industry believes Apple has done an amazing job at developing an intermediate codec in ProRes.   Intermediate codecs are an art form.   They are not "ordinary codecs".  They are designed so that they can do interframe-cuts, slow motion, and designed for low CPU usage during extremely high frame edit sessions with nearly lossless compression.   
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Then, '''use the ProRes file for all work'''. Some shops use Neoscene or DNxHD, but these are wildly expensive and though there was some debate for a while, the industry believes Apple has done an amazing job at developing an intermediate codec in ProRes. Intermediate codecs are an art form. They are not "ordinary codecs".  They are designed so that they can do interframe-cuts, slow motion, and designed for low CPU usage during extremely high frame edit sessions with nearly lossless compression.   
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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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'''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.
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.
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.

Revision as of 10:49, 14 July 2011

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