1 2 Previous Next 40 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2008 11:10 AM by the_wine_snob

    Convert various video formats into single format?

      Hi forum,

      Newbie to Premiere here. I don't know if Premiere can accomplish this or not, but hopefully it can. I want to convert various formats of individual videos into a single video & format. For example, if I take a video with a digital camera, another video with a different brand digital camera, and a video with a camcorder, are they all the same video format? If not, can they be converted to the same format using premiere? How would I do this?

      Secondly, or optionally, would it be possible to string the various videos together, even though they are of different formats?

      Thanks,

      Habfan
        • 1. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
          Oblivion Dust Level 1
          You would think so, given that its Premiere PRO, and real pros tend to face every codec and format under the sun at one time or another, but sadly this is not the case. I hear Premiere Elements is friendlier with the formats. Personally, I have three versions of Premiere installed on my workstation (6.5, Pro 2.0, Pro 3.1.1) to do all the things I need it to do. Kinda sucks, really, so don't make the mistake of assuming Premiere "PRO" can handle more "consumer" formats just because it used to. Search the forum, you'll see what I mean.
          • 2. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
            Oblivion Dust Level 1
            Don't get me wrong, though, I love Premiere to death.
            • 3. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
              shooternz Level 6
              Actually real pros usually work mainly with one codec / format because they are organised around media obtained from professionals.
              • 4. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                Level 1
                That's fine for the real pros, but for my particular purpose I will need to be able to convert several types of video formats into one type only. Do I have to convert each one seperately? And what is the most common video format used currently?
                • 5. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                  Harm Millaard Level 7
                  Yes. DV AVI type 2 for DV, MPEG2 for HDV.
                  • 6. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                    With any program, you will probably have to convert each file separately. I don't know of any converters that can take a Divx file, an MPEG file, a Digital Still camera file, etc. and convert them all simultaneously to DV AVI files (which, by the way, is the most common and best format for editing in Premiere.)
                    • 7. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                      Oblivion Dust Level 1
                      It seems to me that there are a lot of "pros" out there all uppity with their noses in the air looking down on any format that isn't on their "pro" list of approved formats. I seem to remember a time when DV wasn't considered "pro" because it came out in consumer cameras. I do have to deal with flakey codecs from my customers becuase that is what they have. You want to tell me I'm not a professional? I get paid to do what I do, with benefits and everything.

                      To HabFan, the video from all those sources will all be different, and no, Premere Pro CS3 doesn't like working with most formats (despite what it may say on the box). Premiere Elements, the consumer version of Premiere, will probably work better for you. If you bring all of the different videos into Elements and put them on the timeline they should work. What should you save them as? What do you want to do with them?
                      • 8. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                        shooternz Level 6
                        What sort of flakey codecs do your customers bring to you and why do they do it ?

                        Just curious about what you have to put up with.
                        • 9. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                          Harm Millaard Level 7
                          > You want to tell me I'm not a professional? I get paid to do what I do, with benefits and everything.

                          But also the downside of it and everything. It goes with the territory and if you accept that from customers, instead of educating them to supply you with proper editable formats, well, you are the professional and every professional has the right to his own problems.
                          • 10. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                            Oblivion Dust Level 1
                            I like to think of "pro" as a mindset rather than a format. You think CNN or FoxNews or your local news channel will turn down newsworthy footage from the public just becuause of it's codec? (not that I work for any of those). In the work that I do, for the most part, I can choose to work in DVCAM, or HDV as I see fit, but it is the rest of the organization that I have no control over, and other divisions are free to buy and use whatever they want to, and if my boss wants to use their footage, or something off the internet, well I just gotta do it. I just miss the time when I could drop anything on the timeline and it would work. Sorry to go off topic like that.
                            • 11. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                              creig bryan-mUOxt4 Level 1
                              > "...You think CNN or FoxNews or your local news channel will turn down newsworthy footage from the public..."

                              Fact is, they used to, for various reasons, with quality being high on the list.

                              But the paradigm changed...

                              Keep Smiling
                              • 12. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                Level 1
                                >But the paradigm changed...

                                Seriously changed.

                                I can still remember the furore around the newsroom when a stringer sent in a cut story of floodwaters that had been shot and edited on Hi-8. The editors kicked up a stink and the studio crew refused to put it to air.

                                Now we're uprezzing YouTube videos.

                                Professional has absolutely nothing to do with formats. It has entirely to do with skill and attitude.
                                • 13. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                  ytlevine Level 1
                                  Once you mention that, when you export a AVI video from Premiere, which codec do you use?
                                  • 14. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                    Level 1
                                    >when you export a AVI video from Premiere, which codec do you use?

                                    Depends what it's to be used for. As with all things, the right tool for the right job, with a big back of tricks to deal with any eventuality.
                                    • 15. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                      ytlevine Level 1
                                      I mean for what is considered the common format for DV, DV AVI type 2, which is the recommended/best codec?
                                      • 16. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                        creig bryan-mUOxt4 Level 1
                                        > "...the furor around the newsroom..."

                                        And not just in the newsroom. Remember what most of the critics were saying when "The Blair Witch Project" premiered?

                                        Keep Smiling
                                        • 17. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                          Level 1
                                          ytlevine, I tend to stick with whatever the source file's original settings are. In Premiere (for me) that tends to be the MS DV AVI preset. Similarly, when I used to use a DC30+ capture card I used their preset. I've still got some of those old MJPEG files sitting on my computer, long after the hardware went into a cardboard box.

                                          Creig, I'm not sure if JohnBMX4Christ pops in here from the old 6.5 forums, but don't ask him his thoughts on Blair Witch (unless you'd like the insides of your computer to melt from the solid wall of vitriol and disgust). My own thoughts on the subject are better suited to the Lounge.
                                          • 18. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                            Jim_Simon Level 8
                                            >Professional has absolutely nothing to do with formats.

                                            I disagree. "Professional" also has the connotation of a certain level of quality. As the format used affects quality, I see a very definite link.
                                            • 19. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                              Level 1
                                              "I don't know of any converters that can take a Divx file, an MPEG file, a Digital Still camera file, etc. and convert them all simultaneously to DV AVI files"

                                              Does anyone else? This is exactly what I need. Are we still at a point in time where this isn't possible??
                                              • 20. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                Level 1
                                                "To HabFan, the video from all those sources will all be different, and no, Premere Pro CS3 doesn't like working with most formats (despite what it may say on the box). Premiere Elements, the consumer version of Premiere, will probably work better for you. If you bring all of the different videos into Elements and put them on the timeline they should work. What should you save them as? What do you want to do with them?"

                                                Well, I have PP CS3, so I won't be able to go out and purchase Elements also (which is unfortunate). Sounds like it is a lot more capable than ppcs3 for what i need it to do, though. Aren't there any other products on the market that will convert any video format to one common format?
                                                • 21. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                  Eddie Lotter Level 4

                                                  Try this.

                                                  Cheers
                                                  Eddie


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                                                  • 22. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                    >Sounds like [Elements] is a lot more capable than ppcs3 for what i need it to do

                                                    Although I've never used it, I suspect it may not be quite what you're looking for. While it does play nice with consumer media better than Premiere Pro, to the best of my knowledge, you would still have to export out each media file separately. If you put them all in a single timeline and exported, you'd end up with one big media file, not each file converted to individual files of the right type.
                                                    • 24. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                      Holy crap! $500 for a freakin' conversion tool! Someone needs to take off one of those zeros.
                                                      • 25. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                        Oblivion Dust Level 1
                                                        I like TMPGEnc XPress myself.

                                                        http://tmpgenc.pegasys-inc.com/en/product/te4xp.html
                                                        • 26. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                          mickkeay Level 1
                                                          Procoder 3 takes a lot of beating - IMHO. (and it supports AVCHD)
                                                          • 27. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                            Level 1
                                                            >I disagree. "Professional" also has the connotation of a certain level of quality.

                                                            I agree with you to a point, however quality isn't only measured by the format. I could give my mother a 35mm camera and I can pretty much assure you that the pictures would be out of focus, over exposed, terribly composed, and when I asked about sound I'd get "you mean it doesn't do sound itself?"

                                                            A professional should be able to use the tools necessary to tell the story with a minimum of noise in the communication and do it to a budget (whether it's a pro bono for a charity or working on a Hollywood feature). Most of the time that means whatever format provides the best image quality for the price, however sometimes it means bringing in other media and knowing how to treat it to get your message across.

                                                            >$500 for a freakin' conversion tool!

                                                            If you think that's expensive I better not point you to the one we use at work.
                                                            • 28. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                              Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                              >I could give my mother a 35mm camera and...

                                                              I see what you're saying. But the corollary is that even a pro using consumer media can produce less than professional results, as the quality of his work will be limited by the format itself.

                                                              Format may not be the only measure of quality, or professionalism, but it definitely is one of them, and should always be considered in that light.

                                                              I mean, I don't care how good a DP you are, you shoot the next Indy film on an AVCHD camera, that just ain't very professional. But shooting it in AVC-I would be. Same DP, same cast, same story. Only the media format changes. One is professional, one is not.

                                                              And quite frankly, news outlets putting up repackaged YouTube video definitely falls under the heading of "not" in my book.
                                                              • 29. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                                creig bryan-mUOxt4 Level 1
                                                                > "...even a pro using consumer media can produce less than professional results, as the quality of his work will be limited by the format itself..."

                                                                Funny, then, Jim. This MUST MEAN that, over time, there simply are no professionals. Because, 40 years ago, there did not exist, the standards in place today, so back then, they were all unprofessional, even the makers of, oh, that Rosebud movie. And, judged by the professional standards of a year or two from now, today's pro equipment will also be dated.

                                                                I'm sorry, but as in tennis, today's pro will always run circles around yesterday's technology. That doesn't mean they are more professional, more sophisticated, or even more adept, than their counterparts of yesteryear (or their counterparts' cameras or mechanical splicing equipment). (Listen to Mojuju's rants about the EX1 making all prior cams obselete.)

                                                                I'll take Oliver Stone, or Scorsese with a Hi-8 over Brett Ratner with an EX5 any day.

                                                                Your staunch position is as intractable as it is erroneous.

                                                                Keep Smiling
                                                                • 31. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                                  >40 years ago, there did not exist, the standards in place today

                                                                  Not sure what you mean here. Film's been around a lot longer than 40 years.

                                                                  >I'll take Oliver Stone, or Scorsese with a Hi-8 over Brett Ratner with an EX5 any day.

                                                                  That's not the correct comparison. Scorsese with a Hi-8 would be unprofessional (from a theatrical distribution standpoint). Scorsese with a Panavision would be professional. That is the correct comparison.
                                                                  • 32. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                                    Oblivion Dust Level 1
                                                                    I think there is some confusion between "pro" tools and "pro" people. A camera or a codec or an editing suite can be intended for "pros" but there is nothing inherently professional about them until picked up and used by someone who knows what they are doing. The "pro" in Premiere Pro isn't the software, its the user. Its all just sequential pictures and waveforms but the "pro" is the one who can make it into something compelling or at least watchable. Sure, you want to use the best tools you can get your hands on, but in the real world, that isn't always what you're gonna get. The "pro" just knows how to get the job done with the tools he/she can get or is given.
                                                                    • 33. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                                      creig bryan-mUOxt4 Level 1
                                                                      You miss my point, and thus the meaning of the comparison. How about Scorsese with a Brownie?

                                                                      None-the-less. 2 plus 2 will always by 4 to you. When someone comes along to explain base-3, the concept simply won't be professional.

                                                                      Keep Smiling
                                                                      • 34. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                                        Level 1
                                                                        Thanks for the chats everyone. Maybe we can put the "pro/not pro" discussion to rest or take it to a new topic or something. That's not really what I'm interested in here, but thanks anyways.

                                                                        In regards to sorenson squeeze, TMPGEnc 4.0 XPress, or Procoder3, which one is more capable for what I want it to do? Notice I didn't say "better". I of course want it to be able to convert as many file types as possible to one common type of video file. Or, if possible, it would be cool if this software could string a bunch of different types of video together and play that video as though it is one continuous video. Alternatively, is there something else on the market if one of these two choices is insufficient?

                                                                        Thanks for all the help!
                                                                        • 35. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                                          Oblivion Dust Level 1
                                                                          "In regards to sorenson squeeze, TMPGEnc 4.0 XPress, or Procoder3, which one is more capable for what I want it to do?"

                                                                          What file formats do you have and what do you want them to be when you are done? What are you trying to accomplish?

                                                                          BTW, sorry to go all OT. Not intentional.
                                                                          • 36. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                                            Level 1
                                                                            No worries on the OT conv. I know how easy it is to do that!

                                                                            Technically, I don't have *any* formats at the moment, but I want to be able to convert as many formats as possible that are in use today into one format that is viewable on the web. I can't really get into too many details, but this is what I want first. One step at a time I'm thinking. HTH. Thanks
                                                                            • 37. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                                              Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                                              >A camera or a codec or an editing suite can be intended for "pros" but there is nothing inherently professional about them until picked up and used by someone who knows what they are doing.

                                                                              I have to disagree here as well. Cameras and codecs can be inherently professional or non-professional, regardless of who is using it at the moment. The results will vary according to who uses them, but the Panavision is an inherently professional piece of equipment, even when used by an amateur. And the Hi-8 is inherently a consumer piece of equipment, even when used by a pro.

                                                                              I think the relation to HabFan's question is that when editing, it's best to use only professional media. That way conversion will be largely unnecessary. This becomes even more relevant after the admission that there is as of yet no media that needs conversion.

                                                                              The short answer - don't use digital still cameras for video, use a video camera.
                                                                              • 38. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                                                Level 1
                                                                                Jim,

                                                                                Thanks for the message. I don't blame you at all for assuming that I won't need conversion because I don't have any videos yet. However I would like to stress that I WILL require a conversion tool that is capable of converting several types of video (including digital cameras and video cameras both). I know this, and I want to plan for it. This is why the pro/amateur conversation to me seems somewhat irrelevant (at this point).

                                                                                Thanks again.
                                                                                • 39. Re: Convert various video formats into single format?
                                                                                  Oblivion Dust Level 1
                                                                                  We've given you some suggestions, Sorenson, TMPGEnc, ProCoder. Visit their respective websites, check out the specs, download the free trials and try them on for size. Without more specifics, can't be more specific. Just keep in mind that if you are going to edit in Premiere CS3 convert to Type 2 DV AVI files (or HDV for HD). Good luck!
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