I have a small, unruly herd of .mts files (like 200 or so), and I'd like to essentialy submix these, to use an audio term, into half a dozen high def files to be able to work with the footage more easily in the future.
For example, take the 30 or so files from one stock footage shoot, drop them end to end on a sequence, and render. I would then archive the resulting single file and use that as my stock footage for that particular topic and delete the small tribe of 30 .mts files.
The footage is AVCHD 1080i / 60 from a Panasonic camera, and I'd like to retain that quality in the resulting single file. There are a number of options, but I'm not sure which format is the best to render it to so that, say, if I want to use it later in a 1920 x 1080 sequence I'll still have the HD quality.
I'm currently going with H.264, which seems like a logical choice. That said, I know some of the After Effects guys like to render out into QuckTime / Animation, hence my wondering if there's a better / worse way to do things or if there are just several ways to get the same quality of results.
I'd be grateful for any suggestions you might have.
I've been sorta doing some tests lately on exporting from cs3 to keep a HD source as close to original as possible, for import later...
Jeff Bellune sent me an image of export settings from cs5 that had a 4.2.2 color space and other settings that looked good, but cs3 didnt have that option really...although there might have been a "setting" in the abobe animation codec for 4.2.2... I tried it and it didnt work well for me.
Since you have avchd ( which mine isnt ) I would really consider a conversion first..before going into premiere...
That would probably eliminate a lot of the high compression you have right off the bat, and make it all the more easy to export nicely for re-import.
The lagarith codec is lossless... it does compress but when it decompresses it is lossless...
With normal AVI NTSC stuff exporting a timeline using avi mainconcept dv (uncompressed helps a tiny bit quality wise ) works well for re-import, as it keeps the stuff avi type 2 and the quality loss is minimal on re-import and then the next export...
If you want to try the lagarith avi export HD on a sample ( again, I think a conversion first would be best before you put into timeiline ) and see how it is you might try these settings --------
Dont forget..h264 is highly compressed...and it looks nice as a delivery format, but on re-import and then export again...you would lose quite a bit of quality...same with any compressed stuff.... most exports are for ' delivery'....
I think cs5 is now getting closer to having intermediate format for editing and real HD final product for film transfer and broadcast...as you see in this diagram....but I dont have cs5 or any professional machine / equipment, monitors etc...
Thanks for the help. Based on the links you're recommending, I may not have done a good job describing what I'm up to. I'm not so much looking for a tool to convert AVCHD to something else before bringing it in to Premiere for initial editing. Rather, I'm bringing in AVCHD, editing it, and then looking to export (i.e. ctrl-M) the edited footage. This footage will be tossed into my library collection for future use.
Consequently, what I'm trying to determine is the best format to render the edited footage to so that I can reuse it as source material in future HD projects. Unless I'm missing something (which could very well be the case), it looks like the stuff you're pointing to would be used in a different workflow, i.e. shoot AVCHD, convert to different format, bring into Premiere for editing.
So, with that in mind, is there a common high quality output format that people render their edited works to that is good enough to use in future HD projects?
Try the CS3 File | Export | Adobe Media Encoder option. Then try setting up the 4:2:2 MPEG2 I-frame export from there. If you've tried that and been unsuccessful, make sure you're using the MPEG2 option, not MPEG2 DVD.
I'm seeing those options in the CS4 export dialog, thanks. I might add that there are quite a few settings in the Video tab below your screenshot and I'm reminded of how shallow my knowledge is in this area. Any recommended reading (books on Amazon, articles, scrolls transported by carrier pigeons, etc.) that you would suggest that starts at the beginning and gives a good foundation in the geekness (such as this) of video?
I've been involved in pro audio since the 70s and spent a couple of decades doing heavy Windows software development, so I'm comfortable with learning techie stuff. I just don't have a background in video, and feel the need to get a firm grasp of the basics so that I can make better use of the massive horsepower these tools offer me.
I put 2 dv primer pdf files up there for you...they are great...
ps... dont forget that your source footage at this point , being avchd, ( which is an "advanced" mpeg 4 codec ) is HIGHLY compressed to begin with. Exporting to some of these other codecs will enlarge the byte count of the files enormously...as the files become less compressed.
The bad thing about this whole process IMO is that because you start with such highly compressed source material you are already looking at some slight loss of quality in converting to a less compressed format...( and then going back into edit, and back out on export ---there is even more slight loss ). Therefore, everything you try out as a "workflow"....( choice of export initially, choice of export finally after 2nd edit )...you should "test" with a small portion of your timeline ( shrink workbar to small part of clip so you dont have to wait forever to see your samples )...and FINALLY make sure the ultimate delivery product is OK...eg. burn a dvd or blue ray to see THAT product for real... ( if thats your final product ).. or eg. Load up on web and look at it ( if thats your final product ) ...etc..
Also note that looking at some stuff on the computer monitor ( in media players) is often NOT what your final product will look like !!!!!!
This is weird but true...for example, I once edited for a dvd and on the computer it looked HORRIBLE ( sawtoothing etc)...but on the DVD ( once burned and put into my dvd player) looked GREAT !...
Fortunately all this stuff becomes something you remember and accept after you've been through it ( and make your own notes for future reference ).
ps... As a further note re: the source footage...this is why newer prosumer cameras are constantly trying to record better ( less compressed) codecs, while at the same time offering the user the ability to record more than 5 minutes of video on the camera "media".. its a trade off between recording "time" ( length ) and "quality" ( re: compression )