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How to transcode Canon 5D mark II H.264 video into something editable?

Dec 22, 2008 12:53 PM

  Latest reply: korU, Oct 19, 2010 4:24 PM
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2009 11:42 AM   in reply to fabriziorizzo
    PAR: 1.0
    Audio: 48 KHz
    Timebase depends on what you shot. Well, everything depends on what you shot, but if you start with 1920x1080 (PAR 1.0) I assume that is what you shot and the rest follows from there. 4:2:0 or 4:2:2 depends on the ingest method and what you shot and when and how you transfer it. HD-SDI or firewire. I suggest you do some reading on these topics.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2009 1:23 PM   in reply to fabriziorizzo
    Look in the camera manual.
     
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    Jan 31, 2009 1:27 PM   in reply to fabriziorizzo
    The V210 codec is for use with the AJA add-in card. I don't know for sure it that'll cause any issues without the card, but it's something to be aware of.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2009 4:12 PM   in reply to fabriziorizzo
    Rizzo,

    I got the 38.6 from the specs in the original Digital Photography Review. This reads: "1920 x 1080 (16:9) up to 12 mins (Quicktime 1080p H.264; 38.6 Mbits/sec)". This is not Canon official, have never seen the Canon spec, but DPR is normally an accurate source. Don't know whether the "up to" implies VBR or not; I've assumed it is CBR.

    I've been using 38.6 mbps CBR mpeg transcoding for several weeks now and getting good color and detail all the way to Blu Ray. But I would switch to VBR if it's technically correct. I agree, I had seen varying rates during MOV playback but I decided I didn't have the tools to accurately measure this.

    I guess a question, if I transcode at 38.6 CBR and the source video is VBR, varying up to 41.5 mbps, what effect might I see in the transcoded video?
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2009 5:09 PM   in reply to fabriziorizzo
    Transcoding MPEG-4 to MPEG-2 for editing purpose is a bad idea.

    It means you lower the picture quality of an anyhow not great MPEG-4 to the even lower quality of MPEG-2.

    The solution if you have no NLE to edit MPEG-4, is to transcode the camera footage to a higher quality codec; or if the hard drives are fast enough (e.g SATA-300) to uncompressed, but not Quicktime uncompressed, because Premiere can't handle any Quicktime video. Quicktime video are all video with the extension *.mov

    H.264, H.263, On2 VP6, FLV, ASP, AVC, HDX4, AVC1, DAVC, X264, VSSH, AVCHD, MainConcept H.264 etc., are all the same MPEG-4 video standard. The differ by what is AVC or ASP, but an On2-VP6 flash is 100% the same video as an H.264
    .
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2009 6:44 PM   in reply to fabriziorizzo
    First, I don't know your camera model. Second, we edit all H.264 in Final Cut, but author the Blu--Ray in EncoreDVD; H.264 is the standard asset for Blu-Ray.

    - I have no clue why PremierePro can't handle any Quicktime, could be that you have to install some additional plug-ins from MainConcept.

    I receive all sorts of Quicktime video made in AVID, Final Cut, with Blackmagic quicktime codecs, transcodes made by ProCoder etc., none is working in Premiere, Premiere can not even re-import Quicktime video made by Premiere itself. The problem is that the import of Quicktime takes forever; once it is importet it works sosolala, but often the Premiere simply crashes.

    - For a temporary solution, so you can edit, you can use HuffYuv v2.1.1, an older codec which compresses to 50% of fully uncompressed. That way you can at least preserve most of the MPEG-4 picture quality for editing, and then render a master in whatever delivery codec. But you still have the problem how to transcode the H.264 to any other codec, in this case HuffYuv.

    - Another possibility would be AVI, simply create an AVI preset with 1920x1080 and the required fps (framse per second). Always control square pixel versa quadratic pixel. Normally a H.264 video is square pixel. I don't know what pixel ratio your camera is recording. Also here, you still have the problem how to transcode the H.264 to AVI.

    - Another possibility is installing the MainConcept H.264/AVC, or the MainConcept H.264/AVC-PRO plug-in:

    http://www.mainconcept.com

    because I think Premiere still doesn't support natively MPEG-4 , also I don't know if this plug-in makes Premier work with H.264, see manual:

    http://help.adobe.com/en_US/PremierePro/4.0/WS01FCC81E-8CF6-437a-AAD7- A2D8F9175BF0a.html

    .
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2009 7:15 PM   in reply to fabriziorizzo
    Transcoding to EX1-style MPEG2 is the best solution out of the box. Final Cut users are doing the same thing with clips from the 5d MkII.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2009 4:53 AM   in reply to fabriziorizzo
    Getting very frustrated with this - after a host of different tests with various codecs I can't get the result to play smoothly - its ok on static shots (camera locked but with movement within the frame) but any pan or tilt introduces slight (or not so slight) jerks (and this has nothing to do with the camera operator as the files play back smoothly when played from the camera through an HDMI cable to a monitor.

    The other issue is the colour. This seems to be a bit of an elephant in the room around here, but as I understand it there is a problem with the H264 codec as quicktime and software that uses the quicktime codec (like CS4 and Vegas, but not FCP) reverts to sRGB which does not use the complete 8-bit colour range (0-255). The QT decoder only uses 16-235. You can see this easily if you take a MOV file shot on the 5D and change the file extension to (say) MPG - play it along side the original file playing in the quick time player - the colour difference is startling - as are the blacks/shadows. Unfortunately while players such as Media Player are completely taken in by this (the change in file extension) - Premiere isn't and won't allow the import of the "corrupted" file (damn!)

    So as I understand things, to get around that issue we cannot (at the moment) use any Adobe product to compress/change the format of the original file without unacceptable loss of picture quality. We would need a third party solution to do this (one that did not revert to using the faulty QT codec)... then import the result into CS4 ... then try to edit and export a smoothly playing, high quality result (that the Mac equipped, are showing the camera is capable of producing!)

    Either that or we wait for Apple, Adobe or Canon to provide a workable solution ...

    Anyone got a cheap Mac they aren't using? (he says through gritted teeth! - I gave them up about 10 years ago)
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2009 9:06 AM   in reply to fabriziorizzo
    Malcom,

    I just received 5 .MOV's from a Canon 5D MKII. As I only have PP2 to work with, I Imported these into an HD 16:9 Project. UnRendered, they were a tad choppy, but after Render, they played very smoothly. There did not appear to be any Audio sync issues (mentioned in some other 5D threads), but then I didn't have a slate, or any closeups of speech, so maybe I missed something there.

    Judging from some other threads, I expected there to be problems, but found none. The Render time (Core2 Quad 2.6GHz w/ 3x 200GB SATA II's) was longer than for equal SD footage, but not that bad. I'd estimate that it was about 1:2 taking 5mins. to Render a 2:04:00 Clip).

    I only had hummingbirds with natural background, and the lighting was early AM, so fairly harsh, but colors looked "decent" on the laptop's 17" monitor - no NTSC calibrated monitor here.

    I know that this does not address many of the issues, that you are finding, and is not a complete test, by any means. Just wanted to throw out a few limited observations.

    Hunt
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2009 9:37 AM   in reply to fabriziorizzo
    Malcom,

    The issue of proper color has been solved by Apple with the release of QuickTime 7.6.

    Note that FCP had the same issue.

    Bill, I agree that rendering the MOV clips works. I still tend to transcode to mpeg-2 and like this better. Right or wrong I feel I can do more precise color work with transcoding than with rendering.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2009 10:31 AM   in reply to fabriziorizzo
    Charles,

    One major correction that I need to make to my above comments, re: Render times is that I had tested in an SD Project (just happened to have it handy). I created a full HD Project and then the Render times went up fairly dramatically, but still within reason. I had not even considered that difference, when I first posted - DUH!

    As for QT, I still have 7.5.5 installed. Had been about ready to go with 7.6, then saw that some Premiere users were having problems with it. I'll wait to see how that one sorts out. I still recall the 7.4.x problems from not that long ago.

    I have not gotten to them point of Exporting anything from the Canon. Do not have Blu-ray, so I would be Exporting to an SD delivery format.

    I was just happy to get some of these files to experiment with, as others seem to be having problems and I had no test footage to explore. Now, I just need to get some of the MJPEG files from the Nikon D-90.

    Thanks for the comments. I also just recommended FCP to the photographer shooting the Canon, especially as he's on Mac for everything.

    Sorry about the bogus Render times,

    Hunt
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2009 10:54 AM   in reply to fabriziorizzo
    Any of you try this guy's method?

    http://www.vimeo.com/2641870

    I have and it seems to work just fine for me.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2009 2:01 PM   in reply to fabriziorizzo
    BrantG,

    Yes, I've tried the method - it works fine. But I've found just rendering the clips is much easier. Usually CS4 doesn't want to render these MOV clips but if you add one transition this is enough to make it want to render everything, and then you are all set.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 13, 2009 10:33 PM   in reply to fabriziorizzo

    Has anyone talked about GPU assisted transcoding on this thread? I've been looking into Cuda supported apps and see that TMPGEnc 4.0 Xpress will use most of the current graphic cards to really push things along in the transcoding side of things. Also why does CS4 only support cuda acceleration on the quadro CX card? A cheaper games card has everything that is needed for help us all with these h.264 files, why won't Adobe make this tech more easily available so that people don't have to migrate over to Final Cut pro? I know I'm considering it..

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 14, 2009 2:42 PM   in reply to Scotty thomas

    Cineform has an fairly new product called NeoScene.  It is only $125.  It does a GREAT job with Canon 5D footage.

     

     

    There is also a blog about the 5D and Cineform by the head tech guy at Cineform.

    http://cineform.blogspot.com/

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2009 12:00 AM   in reply to fabriziorizzo

    Hi Guys.

     

    I found somewhat of a solution to getting smooth video working with un re-transcoded 5d2 videos, so you don't have to transcode them at all and original file size and quality will be maintained.

     

    What you do have to do is convert them from a .mov container into an .mp4 container, but you dont re-encode them or change codecs. You do have to process the video independently from the audio to get the converter program to successfully complete the task.

     

    Download "Super" file converter (freeware) http://www.erightsoft.com/S6Kg1.html

     

    - Drag and drop original 5d video onto Super

     

    - Select MP4 as container type

     

    - Select Direct Stream Copy for the video option (no re-encoding)

     

    - Select Disable Audio for the audio option

     

    - Pick your output folder by right clicking anywhere on super's interface

     

    then hit Encode. (process is quite fast of course)

     

    Now you'll need to do the audio on it's own.

     

    - Select WAV as your ouput container (if you want wav?)

     

    then manually sync up the wav file with the mp4 file in premiere

     

    Has been working great for me. It is a mystery as to why premiere is ok with Canon's H264 codec in a .mp4 container, but not in a .mov or .avi container.

     

    Note - During the container change you will lose the  pixel aspect flag that tells premiere how to display the vid, so you'll have to manually interpret the vid as square pixels (right click in bin on the vid clip and select interpret)

     

    Premiere reports the resolution as 1920 x 1088, but upon further investigation it is infact still 1080

     

     

    Good luck

     

    Cheers

     

    HC

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 19, 2009 4:48 PM   in reply to Andy Urtu

    As it turns out, Cineform Neo Scene doesn't actually work.  It makes things worse.

     

    If you already have choppy video when you import 5D Mk II .mov files, expect them to be two to three times worse when using Cineform Neo Scene.

     

    -Joe Chott

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 19, 2009 5:12 PM   in reply to Catmandog

    I tried SUPER out as well, using the exact steps as provided.  No dice there either.

     

    I am EXTREMELY frustrated with Premiere.  I've never really used it before, but was assured by Adobe Sales prior to purchasing it that it fully supported the 5D Mk II's output format.  I can't do ANYTHING with it in Premiere.  Considering what Premiere cost, I would have expected some functionality of some kind, but no dice.

     

    Loading my video into a freeware app called VLC runs absolute circles around Premiere, which cannot even play the files without dropping five to ten frames for every frame played.

     

    -Joe Chott

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 21, 2009 2:38 PM   in reply to Joe Chott

    Yeah, Premiere is very disappointing in the way it handles (or doesn't handle) some files. Have you noticed that when attempting to play the original 5d2 files, premiere is hardly even using 30% of the total cpu usage but it's still choppy, and scrubbing through the timeline is almost buttery smooth? So it doesn't appear to be a cpu horsepower related issue, but rather the way premiere/quicktime interract with eachother.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2009 3:35 AM   in reply to Joe Chott

    Joe Chott wrote:

     

    As it turns out, Cineform Neo Scene doesn't actually work.  It makes things worse.

     

    If you already have choppy video when you import 5D Mk II .mov files, expect them to be two to three times worse when using Cineform Neo Scene.

     

    -Joe Chott

     

    Try this: import the cineform files into Premiere, save the project, quite Premiere, reopen the project.  Worked for me.  Although when I uninstalled Neo Scene after my trial ended, it messed up my computer in some way I've yet to figure out, possibly a gamma flag or codec thing.  Do NOT uninstall the trial using their uninstaller!!!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 23, 2009 11:18 AM   in reply to AliasAngel

    Right now, when I run video through Cineform Neo Scene, it just crashes Premiere the moment I import it.  Every time.

     

    After the crash, oddly, I can still save the project, but if I then load Premiere again and try to load that project, instant crash.

     

    So ANYTHING I do with files exported from CineForm Neo Scene causes Premiere to crash.

     

    I honestly don't see how the heck CineForm thought Neo Scene was remotely ready to alpha test, let alone beta test or charge money for...

     

    -Joe Chott

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2009 1:37 PM   in reply to fabriziorizzo

    Hey everyone, here is a link to my blog going over the FREE workflow that I use[:

     

    http://www.frosted.ca/2009/03/26/canon-5d-mark-ii-premier-pro-cs4-1080 p-workflow/

     

    Cheers,

    Justin

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 5, 2009 7:26 PM   in reply to Catmandog

    Catmandog,

     

      Good find, thanks

     

    -capt3450

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 6, 2009 5:09 PM   in reply to (chris_tangey)

    Well, you can take it onto the timeline and render the lot and go to sleep for 5 hours. in Premiere Pro 1.5.1 , you can alter the speed of the clips on the timeline if it appears too unsmooth ?

     

     

    Some if not all of the clips on a 35 min project was simply stunning. But, you need sometimes to watch the speed of say a car or tram and alter it to 85% as the Mark II canon 5D travels at 30fps and taking off the timeline unaltered can be unsmooth for a Canon HV 20 running at 25fps..

     

     

    I believe  some smart tech at Adobe can fix this simply , but, most techs on the phone verge on the incompetent.

     

     

    I am getting there with the help of a top Aussie tech working on Edius they do work with CS3 sometimes , there is an answer out there. We work in Full high definition which does not come with the trial version of CS4 , how useless is that. The techs in melboune tell me there is an issue with mov. files in CS4 and they are working to fix that ??????????????????????

     

     

    Let me know when it happens, because CS4 does not match the stunning video coming out of the Canon D Mark II  ################

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 7, 2009 7:00 PM   in reply to fabriziorizzo

    Mate,

     

     

     

     

     

     

    You sure have a problem. Adobe Aussie tech says there is a problem with CS4 handling mov files from the 5d and a patch will be issued.

     

    But, when?

     

    I use a Pentium 4 3.2 GHZ running Premiere Pro 1.5.1 and the out put exported file to tape is stunning. But, I place all mov. clips on the timeline and render, it then runs smoothly, but, it takes 5 hours for 35 minutes of clips overnight.

     

    I do need a quad core computer.

     

    Ps. For any 1.5.1 uses still out there, if you have a c drive crash make sure the 1.5.1 upgrade is installed correctly otherwise it will not export to tape ???????

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 7, 2009 7:49 PM   in reply to frostedGSXR

    I agreee the video clips are stunning but, we use only PC. To render the clips for smooth running and editing is a pain but, it does work and makes the 5D look magic.

     

     

     

    Any other ideas ?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 7, 2009 8:00 PM   in reply to charleshull

    Yes, well you are right, Premiere Pro 1.5.1  will run smoothly after rendering but, it is slow and needs a quad computer. Pity about CS4 it has the same problem and Adobe Melbourne tech says patch on the way ????????????????????????????????

     

     

    This 1.5.1 even after five years old will produce very good high definition video on a Sony Bravia 46" but, the rendering is slow.

     

     

    There is a minor issue with this camera running at 30fps for smooth running on the timeline but, can be reduced by reducing clip speed by 84% 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 15, 2009 10:22 AM   in reply to Bob Dix

    I hope they release a patch soon.

     

    George

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 15, 2009 2:22 PM   in reply to geohsia

    Yes, otherwise you need a bigger computer or plenty of time.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 15, 2009 2:39 PM   in reply to Bob Dix

    Unfortunately I do most my work on the road on a laptop so don't have a lot of time nor can I get a bigger computer.  My laptop already runs 8 GB of RAM with Vista 64 and has two internal HDD's and one is solid state.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 28, 2009 12:40 PM   in reply to fabriziorizzo

    I'm not sure if this would work but i read a thread a while back where the using Mpeg streamclip (free) to convert the files into the Apple intermediate codec worked.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 28, 2009 6:56 PM   in reply to (Angelo_Clematide)
    - I have no clue why PremierePro can't handle any Quicktime, could be that you have to install some additional plug-ins from MainConcept.

     

    Angleo,

     

    This is not quite the case. I'm working on a Project with over 100 .MOV files w/ the Animation CODEC, right from FCP. Not one problem on my PrPro PC. I have QT Pro 7.5.5.

     

    Now, I have not tried to handle any H.264's, but have not had a reason to do so.

     

    Just wanted to clear things up a bit.

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 29, 2009 7:02 PM   in reply to Bill Hunt

    I don't know what others are experiencing, but I just imported an mov file from my new 5D Mark II, dragged it to the timeline (where I got a yellow bar above it, clicked on Sequence\Render entire work area, and once the bar was green, the timeline played perfectly.

     

    I used an AVCHD preset of 1080p, 30fps for the sequence.

     

    The metadata for the clip shows Movie, 1920 x 1080(1.0), Alpha, 30.000 fps and 44100 Hz - 16-bit - Stereo.

     

    The sequence shows 29.97 fps, 1920 x 1080(1.0) 48000 Hz - Stereo.

     

    I didn't transcode, convert or in any way modify the original file. it is just as it came from the camera.

     

    8-GB DDR3 RAM, Core duo Quad Q9550, DX48BT2 MoBo, 1 TB eSATA RAID 10, 100GB scratch disk, nVidia GTX260XXX, WIN XP Pro 64-bit, dual 21-in Viewsonics on DVI.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 30, 2009 8:06 AM   in reply to fuaho

    1 TB eSATA RAID 10, 100GB scratch disk

     

    Good setup, that has a big part in it.

     

    I don't have RAID yet (just an eSata LaCie external for a media drive), but I convert my 5D2 files to AVIs with NeoScene, and that helps tremendously. If I pile on some effects it gets a bit choppy, so I'm hoping the future RAID setup will help there. I may use my eSata drive just for scratch at that point (experimenting...).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 30, 2009 8:33 AM   in reply to PaulieDC

    I apologize if I missed it earlier in this thread, but does anyone have any links to sample 5D MK II footage?

     

    -Jeff

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 30, 2009 10:49 AM   in reply to Jeff Bellune

    Jeff, on this page, scroll down to the comments, and the third comment has three links for original .MOV files that Vincent Laforet shot when he did his original Reverie short (that shot the 5D2 to stardom):

     

    http://www.slashgear.com/canon-5d-mark-iis-raw-video-footages-from-rev erie-one-word-stunning-2717551/

     

     

    You can also right-click on the images on this page to download some original footage (just scroll down):

     

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos5dmarkii/page19.asp

     

    It's easy to find 5D2 video on the web already processed... getting raw .mov files is a bit harder. I can fill up a DVD and send it to you if you like. I can send some outdoor footage and some interior low-light clips as well... you can see how it gives the Red a run for its money in low-light. Shooting at f1.4 is wild too... one-inch depth of field for video! BTW, all 5D2 footage prior to June 1st (roughly) is shot on autmatic exposure, so pumping occurs in luminance changes. Then Canon released the manual exposure firmware so we could actually CONTROL the exposure and aperture (how 'bout that), but raw footage on the web after manual exposure was released is pretty rare I think.

     

    OK, just yappin, back to work I go. Let me know if you'd like a DVD, I'd be happy (just takes burning a disc and mailing it, easy stuff). If not, you can at least get some idea of the file format with the download links above. I'd like to hear your take on it.

     

    Paul

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 30, 2009 11:03 AM   in reply to PaulieDC

    Hi Paul,

     

    Thanks for the links.  That should be enough to get me started.  If I run into any issues and none of the 6 clips can break the tie, then I may ask again.  I appreciate the offer of a DVD full of clips, but I'm set for now.  Thanks.

     

    -Jeff

     
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