17 Replies Latest reply on Nov 3, 2013 11:41 AM by A.T. Romano

    What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?

    Odoole3

      I have captured hours of VHS footage via an Elgato Video Capture device for Mac.   Captured video is in H.264 format.

       

      Trying to edit the video in Adobe Premiere Elements 10, but it is being very fussy.   Takes a long time to import media.  Once in and a few cuts are made, timeline drags and freezes repeatedly.   This was with a setting for HDV 720p 30.  

       

      Is my problem with the project setting?  I hope so.  But I also hope I can figure out what the proper setting should be.   Any thoughts?

       

      Footage is decades old.  Not the best quality, of course.  I do want the final project to look as good as possible and be in Widescreen for uploading to Youtube.

        • 1. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
          Barbara B. Level 7

          Moving this to the Premiere Elements forum, since that's where you'll get the best help with PRE questions.

          • 2. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
            A.T. Romano Level 7

            Odoole3

             

            Premiere Elements 10 Mac...

             

            What are the properties of this captured video in H.264 format. What is the frame size, frame rate, pixel aspect ratio, file extension?

            If you do not know, you can get a video properties readout from MediaInfo (tree view) and post the information. I think there is a Mac version of that free program. This may be it

            http://mediainspector.massanti.com/

             

            We need to talk about project preset setting, project preset setting matching the properties of your source media, and more.

             

            To be continued....

             

            ATR

            • 3. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
              Odoole3 Level 1

              Here are the propertites of the captured video:

               

              Format                           : MPEG-4

              Codec ID                         : M4V

              File size                        : 1.37 GiB

              Duration                         : 2h 1mn

              Overall bit rate                 : 1 613 Kbps

              Movie name                       :

              Recorded date                    : 2013-08-22

              Encoded date                     : UTC 2013-08-22 13:15:21

              Tagged date                      : UTC 2013-09-01 07:00:53

              Writing library                  : Apple QuickTime

              Cover                            : Yes

              stik                             : 0

              tvnn                             : S-Video Input

              iTunMOVI                         : <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> / <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd"> / <plist version="1.0"> / <dict> /     <key>asset-info</key> /     <dict> /         <key>file-size</key> /         <integer>1467486295</integer> /         <key>flavor</key> /         <string>4:640x480</string> /         <key>high-definition</key> /         <false/> /         <key>screen-format</key> /         <string>standard</string> /         <key>soundtrack</key> /         <string>LC</string> /     </dict> /     <key>cast</key> /     <array/> /     <key>codirectors</key> /     <array/> /     <key>copy-warning</key> /     <string></string> /     <key>directors</key> /     <array/> /     <key>producers</key> /     <array/> /     <key>screenwriters</key> /     <array/> /     <key>studio</key> /     <string></string> / </dict> / </plist>

               

              Video

              ID                               : 1

              Format                           : AVC

              Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec

              Format profile                   : Baseline@L3.0

              Format settings, CABAC           : No

              Format settings, ReFrames        : 3 frames

              Codec ID                         : avc1

              Codec ID/Info                    : Advanced Video Coding

              Duration                         : 2h 1mn

              Bit rate mode                    : Variable

              Bit rate                         : 1 499 Kbps

              Width                            : 640 pixels

              Height                           : 480 pixels

              Display aspect ratio             : 4:3

              Frame rate mode                  : Constant

              Frame rate                       : 29.970 fps

              Color space                      : YUV

              Chroma subsampling               : 4:2:0

              Bit depth                        : 8 bits

              Scan type                        : Progressive

              Bits/(Pixel*Frame)               : 0.163

              Stream size                      : 1.27 GiB (93%)

              Language                         : English

              Encoded date                     : UTC 2013-08-22 13:15:21

              Tagged date                      : UTC 2013-08-22 13:15:21

               

              Audio

              ID                               : 2

              Format                           : AAC

              Format/Info                      : Advanced Audio Codec

              Format profile                   : LC

              Codec ID                         : 40

              Duration                         : 2h 1mn

              Bit rate mode                    : Constant

              Bit rate                         : 110 Kbps

              Nominal bit rate                 : 128 Kbps

              Channel(s)                       : 2 channels

              Channel positions                : Front: L R

              Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz

              Compression mode                 : Lossy

              Stream size                      : 95.6 MiB (7%)

              Language                         : English

              Encoded date                     : UTC 2013-08-22 13:15:21

              Tagged date                      : UTC 2013-08-22 13:15:21

              • 4. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Thank you for that information.

                 

                As you are coming from VHS, which is SD (Standard Def), you will want to set up your Project as NTSC DV Standard 4:3 w/ 48KHz 16-bit Audio. That will match your H.264 footage pretty well. It appears that you probably have Square Pixels (PAR = 1.0), per the Frame Size, and other info from Media Inspector.

                 

                As ATR suspected, the info on your digitized footage tells the tale.

                 

                HDV is a specific HD (High Def) format from miniDV tapes.

                 

                The issues are likely caused by Importing SD footage into an HD Project Preset. The program is spending a lot of resourses trying to Scale your footage up to HD. And, as H.264 requires a lot of CPU horsepower to begin with, if one is Scaling up footage, then more power is required.

                 

                Good luck,

                 

                Hunt

                • 5. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
                  A.T. Romano Level 7

                  Odoole3

                   

                  Thanks for the additional information that is very helpful.

                   

                  Based on the properties of your source media and assuming that you were not going to be doing frame by frame by frame editing, I would go with the project preset of

                  NTSC

                  DSLR

                  480p

                  DSLR 480p60

                  I feel that it is a better match for you. It will meet the primary goal of the project preset setting up a 640 x 480 square pixel space in the Edit Mode monitor for editing purposes for your 640 x 480 square pixel footage. The progressive nature of the project preset and your 640 x 480 square pixel is another factor. The frame rate "60" has been discounted since you will not be doing frame by frame editing. I am trying here to avoid some of the less obvious roles of the project preset.

                   

                  When it comes to getting your edited Timeline to YouTube, I would stay with the 4:3 choices and not target widescreen since you do not have a widescreen source. For the export of the Timeline to YouTube:

                   

                  a. If, Share/Online/YouTube, then select Presets = Flash Video for YouTube (640 x 480  @ 30 progressive frames per second)

                   

                  b. If, Share/Computer/AVCHD, then select Presets = MP4 - H.264 1920 x 1080 p30 and under the Advanced Button/Video Tab customized the settings in the Export Settings dialog...the essentals will be

                  Frame size = 640 x 480

                  Pixel Aspect Ratio = Square Pixels

                  Field Order = None (Progressive)

                  Frame Rate = 29.97 frames per second

                  Then you would export this file to a hard drive save location and from there upload the file to YouTube at the YouTube web site.

                   

                  The Export Settings dialog for this AVCHD.mp4 file for upload to YouTube at the YouTube web site would look like:

                   

                  640 480.JPG

                  I tried to get most of the dialog into this screenshot. Any questions about it, please ask.

                   

                  You can explore and experiment with other thoughts, but I would try for the above first since I believe it should give you the best results for your source.

                   

                  We will be watching for your results.

                   

                  Thanks.

                   

                  ATR

                   

                  Add On...I am strictly an Elements Windows user, and I note you are working from Adobe Premiere Elements 10 Mac. What I have described should translate OK from Windows to Mac, but, if any differences, please let me know.

                  • 6. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
                    Odoole3 Level 1

                    Thanks so much for these suggestions.  Really appreciate it. 

                     

                    First, I've tried using A.T. Romano's suggestions by starting a new project with the DSLR 480p setting.   Via Get Media, I brought in about 6 different files from which to pull some random edits.  All of these files were 2 hour VHS captured videos,  It took up to 45 seconds each time to import these files from my external Lacie drive, connected via Firewire to my Mac.

                     

                    I tried opening a few of these files and grabbing a clip from deep into the length -- maybe half way or more.  I noticed that at first I coudln't play back footage that far in to the tape/file.  But when I closed that file and opened again minutes later, I was able to see the entire file and grab a short clip.  

                     

                    I put about 10 random edits into the timeline with no bells and whistles.   Tried to play the clips straight through on the timeline, but still got some freezes and hesitations.   Tried to going to each edit point and adding a transition.  At some point, I couldn't access the edit points.  The button on timeline screen that takes you directly to the next, or previous, edit was not workin

                     

                    Eventually got those transitions in and then exported via the b. Share/Computer settings above.  That file plays fine.  All transitions intact.  But - something is off on the aspect ratio.  It's stretched a bit Vertically.   And speaking of that, I am more inclined to have a final product that is 16:9 despite the 4:3 source video.  I would rather adjust each shot into a 16:9 frame to create a final that is more pleasing to today's 16:9 eyes, especially considering these projects will be on Youtube.

                     

                    I will also try Bill Hunt's suggested settings in a test project, but it again may take me a few days as I'm doing this during my minimal spare time. 


                    Thanks again, and if you have any other suggestions let me know.  I guess I've learned I can edit this footage with this software, but it is very tedious.  If I can make it less so, would love to.

                    • 7. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
                      Odoole3 Level 1

                      I have now also tried editing with the NTSC DV setting.  Takes a while to import the media, but then I seemed to be doing ok when I complete a few edits.  But then, when i tried a simple motion move on a still frame, I couldn't play it back in the timeline.  Also, having a problem viewing media in the preview window when looking for edit points.  The play button goes away.  Just get the pause button.  Have to wait a while, go back, and then play.

                       

                      I'm starting to think I'm just not going to be able to edit h.264 with this software.  Right now, I'm converting a lot of that footage via Wondershare to an Apple Proress 422 format so I can edit in Final Cut.  I see that for a 2 hour VHS h.264 converted tape, I am turning a 1.6 gb file into a 20 gb file.  This can't be a good thing, can it?   If I'd wanted to edit a 20 gb file, I would have digitized in DV in the first place.

                       

                      Hope this is making sense.  If anyone has another suggestion (or two?) would appreciate it.

                      • 8. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
                        A.T. Romano Level 7

                        Odoole3

                         

                        Putting project presets aside for the moment, the play button disappearance and other miscellaneous workflow disturbances are causes for concern. When the play button disappears, is your monitor resolution changes so that the play button is hidden, or does the play button just disappear from the line up of controls for the Preview Window?

                         

                        You said that you have Premiere Elements 10 on Mac. That makes Premiere Elemens 10 a 32 bit application running in the 32 bit compatibility mode of a 64 bit computer (if you have a 64 bit computer). That could have resource implications. Premiere Elements Mac did not become a 64 bit application in a 64 bit Mac system until Premiere Elements 11. Time for looking at computer resources, especially when you are talking about 2 to 20 GB files - even SD 640 x 480?

                         

                        How many files are you bringing into the project at one time? Have you noticed that the workflow goes better when you work with less in a project?

                         

                        Just some thoughts for now. Thanks for the update.

                         

                        More later.

                         

                        ATR

                        • 9. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
                          Odoole3 Level 1

                          Play button is not hidden.  It is there.   But when I click on it, nothing happens. 

                           

                          I brought about 6 files in to that project, which, by the way I had to abandon to meet my deadline.  Ended up converting those 6 h.264 files in to Apple ProRes via Wondershare and edited in FCP with no issues.  But what a time-wasting workaround that was!

                          And now those files are about 40gb each, eating up lots of hard drive space.  But what else can I do?

                           

                          Are you suggesting upgrading to Adobe Premiere Elements 11?  Don't want to waste the money if it's not going to help, but if it means I can actually edit the 50+ hours of footage I've recently captured, then I'll do it. 

                          • 10. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
                            A.T. Romano Level 7

                            Odoole3

                             

                            Please check me out on this. You have Premiere Elements 10 on Mac 64 bit. Right? In my first looks at version 12 (just released), versions 11 and 12 appear to alike except for a few new features. As it relates to import/export...there are opportunities for importing exporting video with resolution higher than 1920 x 1080. But none of that relates to your 640 x 480 @ 29.97 progressive frames per second.

                             

                            Now, if you go to Premiere Elements 11 or 12 on your Mac 64 bit, each of those versions will be a 64 bit application which gives your version a significant computer resource perk as it relates to getting a larger Premiere Elements project taken to a successful completion more often than not. To prove or disprove this point for your situation, you could download and install the free 30 day tryout of Premiere Elements 12 (11 tryout no longer available) and see if that works for you.

                             

                            I have been thinking about you and your issues since you posted last. Reflecting back, in that discussion I should have asked you first to try the project preset with what would have been the best match instead of the DSLR 480p60 choice that I asked you to try. You still might want to consider the following whether you stay with version 10 Mac or go onto version 11 or 12 Mac for the computer resources advantage.

                             

                            NTSC

                            FLIP

                            Flip Mino and Ultra 29_97p

                             

                            FLIP.JPG

                             

                            Please give that a try on a mini test run basis and see if that helps.

                             

                            We will be watching for futher developments.

                             

                            Thanks.

                             

                            ATR

                            • 11. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
                              Markpic Level 1

                              Quality is what the throughput will be.

                              VHS is really a junk-medium.

                              I doubt there is a way--to improve a VHS-tape file.

                              • 12. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
                                Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                                There is still a best-possible throughput, Mark. Even if what you start with is of limited resolution.

                                • 13. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
                                  A.T. Romano Level 7

                                  Markpic

                                   

                                  I would disagree with

                                  VHS is really a junk-medium.

                                  as a generalization.

                                   

                                  Please refer to SG's comments. Many have found the answer to their question about how to get the best possible with what they have in an attempt to salvage priceless family memories.

                                   

                                  ATR

                                  • 14. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
                                    Odoole3 Level 1

                                    I am now working with the trial version of Premiere Elements 12.  Had to update to Mountain Lion IOS before I could even use it.  Seems to be a little faster, but still testing.  Thanks for the suggestion.  Will report progress when I have better info.

                                    • 15. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
                                      John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      >VHS footage via an Elgato Video Capture device for Mac

                                       

                                      I don't have a Mac, and I use a Pinnacle DV500 card in my PC, but you might look at http://www.grassvalley.com/products/converters

                                       

                                      Connect your VHS player to one of the ADVC products, and the ADVC to your Firewire port, and the files created are easy to edit... DV AVI for PC, the same in MOV for a Mac

                                      • 16. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
                                        Odoole3 Level 1

                                        Thanks to everyone on this thread for your input on this issue.  My Elements 12 trial has expired.  I worked with it a handful of times, but unfortunately I still kept getting the annoying spinning wheel.  Tired of waiting for video to play.   And today it all ended with a crash, and then I was told I must license if I want to continue.

                                         

                                        So - I am officially giving up on Adobe Elements as a tool to edit h.264.   For now, will upconvert to Adobe Pro Res via Wondershare and go back to FCP.    Will eat up a lot of hard drive space, but at least it won't eat up a lot of my time.  Thanks again.

                                        • 17. Re: What is the best proejct setting for editing h.264 video?
                                          A.T. Romano Level 7

                                          Odoole3

                                           

                                          Thanks for the update. Sorry that things did not go well for you with Premiere Elements. Wishing you success with alternative choices.

                                           

                                          If you ever do decide to revisit Premiere Elements 12 Mac, please let us know the outcome. I am doing OK with Premiere Elements 12 on Windows 7 64 bit, but there are still some rough spots with Premiere Elements 12 on Windows 8 and 8.1 64 bit. No crashes, but slow program closing times in spite of extensive troubleshooting.

                                           

                                          ATR