9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 12, 2013 8:55 AM by Blacknest

    Can Pr Elements read H.264/MPEG-4 AVC ?


      Premiere Elements 7 has been fine for my limited purposes until now, but I've recently started using wildlife cameras, which record video in the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec in an AVI wrapper. The resulting videos play perfectly well on Windows Media Player, and can be edited by Windows Movie Maker, but Premiere Elements 7 won't read them. 


      Is there a way I can persuade PrE7 to read this sort of video? If that's not an option, does anyone know if PrE12 can read them?

        • 1. Re: Can Pr Elements read H.264/MPEG-4 AVC ?
          A.T. Romano Level 7



          I do not have an AVCHD.avi available for testing at this moment, but have you tried to rename the file extension of .avi


          to .m2t, .m2ts, .mpg. .mov,  or .mp4?


          Let us start here. I will see if I can find a sample with which to experiement without going the conversion route.


          More later.



          • 2. Re: Can Pr Elements read H.264/MPEG-4 AVC ?
            John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            H.264 will not work inside an AVI wrapper http://forums.adobe.com/thread/854115

            -Insignia camera uses H.264 to either AVI or MOV... so use the MOV wrapper

            -Says VLC will convert in reply #6 http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1172956

            • 3. Re: Can Pr Elements read H.264/MPEG-4 AVC ?
              Blacknest Level 1

              Yes, I tried re-naming, but still get the error message. Interestingly, I also have PrE7 on my old XP machine (current machine is Win7) and the behaviour is slightly different on XP - it reads the file, gets the length correct, but only displays 1 or 2 frames.


              FYI, the files come from 2 types of wildlife camera - Bushnell TrailCam HD and Ltl Acorn 6210.


              Thanks for the reply!

              • 4. Re: Can Pr Elements read H.264/MPEG-4 AVC ?
                Blacknest Level 1

                That looks really promising - very interesting to know that you can switch wrappers without converting.  I'll report back when I've download the .exe and run the script later tonight.

                Many thanks!

                • 5. Re: Can Pr Elements read H.264/MPEG-4 AVC ?
                  A.T. Romano Level 7



                  Thanks for the follow up.


                  Any chance you posting a sample (maybe a Dropbox type download)?


                  Conversion may be the answer, but, if possible, I would like to give it a try getting it into Premiere Elements without conversion.



                  • 6. Re: Can Pr Elements read H.264/MPEG-4 AVC ?
                    Blacknest Level 1

                    @ John T Smith:


                    Excellent!  I downloaded ffmpeg from the Zeranoe site and ran the batch script which successfully copied the videos and changed the containers to mp4. They now load into PrE7 with no problem.  It appears that the audio is lost with the change from AVI to MP4 (even though MediaInfo shows audio tracks on both) but this isn't a problem for me, as I'm not using the audio.


                    Many thanks for your help!

                    • 7. Re: Can Pr Elements read H.264/MPEG-4 AVC ?
                      Blacknest Level 1

                      @ ATR:


                      I've put a couple of the original video clips from the Bushnell camera onto Dropbox:



                      Be warned - I'm not very familiar with Dropbox, so I'm not sure if you'll be able to see them! 


                      The ffmpeg code suggested by John T Smith successfully changed the containers from AVI to MP4 without having to convert the actual video, which is good news.

                      • 8. Re: Can Pr Elements read H.264/MPEG-4 AVC ?
                        A.T. Romano Level 7



                        Thank you for the opportunity to take a look at your .avi files which both appear to have H.264 video compression and MPEG Audio (probably MP2) 2 channel. That video presented an atypical one for Premiere Elements in its 1280 x 720 @ 18.000 progressive frames per second. MediaInfo read the video compression as H.264 rather than the avc1 which it typically uses to represent AVCHD (MPEG2 AVC/H.264). We could dig deeper into any subtle differences here in the naming and other for H.264 versus AVCHD.  But the best course of action comes from the great contribution of John T. Smith and your follow up on that to get your video into Premiere Elements.


                        I looked at changing the file extension from .avi to the types that I mentioned previously, including .mp4. All would not import into Premiere Elements. Premiere Elements did accept the .avi file, but only the audio was represented. I was able to convert your H.264.avi into H.264.mp4 using VLC Player converter component. That H.264.mp4 did import into Premiere Elements, but, although there was a video component represented, its thumbnail was distorted.


                        You did a great job with the Dropbox download setup.


                        Please update us on your progress with the Premiere Elements editing and export of your H.264.mp4 video now that you have gotten into a format that Premiere Elements will accept. From what you wrote, the video compression is supposed to be the same as the original. It is just the file extension that has been changed. Is that correct?


                        Continued success and congratulations to you and John T. Smith on a job well done.



                        • 9. Re: Can Pr Elements read H.264/MPEG-4 AVC ?
                          Blacknest Level 1

                          @ ATR:


                          Yes, I gather from a number of sources that the combination of H.264 in an AVI container is unusual. I'm not sure why Bushnell chose it, but as my other wildlife camera (Ltl Acorn, designed and built in China) also uses the same combination, I guess there must be a reason!  The 18fps frame rate is only for the nighttime videos (daytime videos are at the normal 30fps) because the shutter speed for IR footage is between 1/15th to 1/20th of a second, depending on the available light.


                          As I understand it, the ffmpeg code chops the AVI metadata out of the original file, and substitutes MP4 metadata instead - meanwhile leaving the encoded video blocks unchanged.  The output file is given an MP4 file extension to reflect the changes that have been made to the file's metadata within the body of the file.


                          Unfortunately, the code only works for the Bushnell camera footage - the files from the Acorn end up as zero-byte files. I'll be looking into that during the next few days!