9 Replies Latest reply on Jan 16, 2009 2:23 PM by Jim_Simon

    Handling a big project - advice needed


      I am using Premiere Pro CS4 to edit 1920*1080 AVCHD footage (3 hours in total) shot with a Canon HF10 camera. In that matter I have a three questions:

      1) Since I don't have a Blu-Ray burner in my PC yet, I am chopping my movie up into several parts each with a length of approximately 30 minutes, so I can burn some DVD's with the movie. My question is then: How do I do this the easiest way? Do I make 6 different projects and edit the movie as if it was 6 independent movies, or is there any better way of doing this?

      2) And how do I merge these 6 parts in one, which I will need when I get a Blu-Ray burner?

      3) Would you think it is a bad idea to make such a huge project? I have tried several other programs to edit AVCHD with no luck - the programs always crashed at some point, so I am a bit nervous if a 3 hour project would be too huge to be handled properly even though Premiere Pro CS4 looks to be working good. So far I have been able to transcode 30 minutes footage to a DVD with success using Encore (haven't tried more yet). Then I burnt the ISO to a DVD with some freeware program and it looked amazing when I played it with my BD player.

      In case you want info on my hardware I give it to you here:
      Intel Core2Quad Q9450 2.6Ghz, 4 GB Memory, 1000GB Samsung F1 HD, GF8800GTS 512MB, Windows Vista Ultimate 32Bit

      Please tell me if I am unclear about something or need to give you more information.

      Thanks in advance :)
        • 1. Re: Handling a big project - advice needed
          Harm Millaard Level 7
          I do hope you have a couple of hard disks, not just 1. You need at least 3, 1 for OS, 1 for media and 1 for project/export and scratch. With a 3 hour final result, I expect your source material to be way over 50 hours long to start with. Then it makes sense to use different drives for your media or use a raid configuration.

          DVD Video specs only allow SD resolution. So 720x480 or 720x576. No way you can burn video DVD's with full HD resolution, so splitting the movie into smaller parts makes no sense. If you burn data DVD's, maybe you can play them as you claim. I don't know.

          For splitting the movie in smaller parts, use sequences. Six with 30 minutes each and combine the sequences in a master sequence when you are ready to export all.
          • 2. Re: Handling a big project - advice needed
            Level 1
            You misunderstood me, I have only 3 hours raw material which is to be edited (haven't done much editing yet, only testing if everything seems to be working so far). I only have one disk, but there's plenty of space on it. Would editing and working with premiere be faster if I had more disks though?

            I do make a Blu-Ray iso in 1920*1080 resolution and then I use ImgBurn to write the iso to a DVD. This works perfectly fine when I use my Blu-Ray player to watch it :)

            Thanks for your advice regarding the sequences, I will try that out - my only concern is if it takes too many ressources to have everything imported in one big project? Or doesn't that matter?
            • 3. Re: Handling a big project - advice needed
              Harm Millaard Level 7
              3 hours of source material is peanuts. That is very small and you may well end up with a final movie not much longer than 20 minutes. But that does not mean you can get meaningful work done with only 1 disk. Editing and especially AVCHD material puts a large strain on your system. One single disk is not enough. Get at least a smallish one for OS and programs and another for projects/export/scratch to get anything resembling a pleasurable editing experience.
              • 4. Re: Handling a big project - advice needed
                Level 1
                I don't expect that I will cut that much away since I am very careful not to do too many recordings.

                I thought it was the CPU and memory that was the main deciding factor on how smooth editing goes - why would it be that important with more drives? :)
                • 5. Re: Handling a big project - advice needed
                  Harm Millaard Level 7
                  Consider a number of cars on a 4 lane highway, they get ahead fine. Traffic flows easily. Now reduce the number of lanes to one with the same number of cars and you end up with a serious traffic jam. The same applies to disks. It is physically impossible to have Windows do it's own housekeeping, the program to operate with it's DLL's, access to the page file, access to media, operating and storing rendered files, conforming audio, storing auto save project files etc. etc. at the same time on a single disk. If you spread the load over different disks it is much faster.
                  • 6. Re: Handling a big project - advice needed
                    Level 1
                    In addition to Harm's very excellent advice, you should know that Premiere gets extremely fussy, slow and unstable with large projects. So your idea about splitting this into six projects and then merging them later is a good one. You can easily import all six finished parts into a single master project when you're done.

                    I would personally use Cineform's Prospect HD as an intermediate codec to keep things all clean and shiny, render each finished 30 minute project to a single CFHD-AVI, and then create a new project and import the six finished clips into it. Then master BD from there. Prospect will do a much better job of uncompressing your AVCHD files into something that CS4 and your PC can more easily handle, but the file sizes will be huge. That's another reason you need multiple fast huge HDDs.

                    I do think with three hours of raw footage you will end up with much, much less than a three-hour project -- if you want to keep it interesting and use only good footage -- but that's another issue.
                    • 7. Re: Handling a big project - advice needed
                      joshtownsend Level 2
                      That AVCHD footage must be ***** to edit.

                      My P2 dvcprohd files are a gig a minute yet I get realtime playback with video's on 2 channels fullscreen uncompressed using a computer with just slightly higher - but almost the same - specs as yours. Using just a single SATA 640gb WD and my files are 4 times the size of your AVCHD files.

                      Hell now I can even playback the footage in After Effects realtime fullframe with now FX (something that comes in handy because I can use AE as my NLE if there isn't to much sound involved)

                      With big projects you need to split it down to 10-17 minutes parts. Once they get longer than that Premiere becomes sluggish. It's no problem putting all the 'projects' in to a feature length timeline just don't expect to do much editing when it's put together because it'll be real sluggish.

                      Render to an uncompressed still sequence because you can always restart where the render stopped if it crashes (and it's more likely to the bigger the project).

                      I'm finishing a feature that way and it's worked great all on CS4 (not that I'm happy with Adobe about Premiere CS4 at all). But I had around 20 hours of rough footage and with duplicates it's 4 terabytes or so.
                      • 8. Re: Handling a big project - advice needed
                        Level 1
                        The way to import the 6 smaller projects into a big one is to go file>import>pick a project and import it?

                        I tried this with a project with 30 minutes footage, but premiere was rather unresponsive for a quite long time - didn't look like anything was happening. The "importing files" bar stood still and premiere went "not responding" for some time. Suddenly it completed the proces though.

                        It took much more time than importing 30 minutes of footage directly to a project - this went quite fast and smooth.

                        Is it supposed to do like this or do I import the project in a wrong way?

                        And thanks to both of you for some great help, it's very appreciated :)
                        • 9. Re: Handling a big project - advice needed
                          Jim_Simon Level 8
                          >dvcprohd files are a gig a minute yet I get realtime playback with video's on 2 channels

                          One of the benefits of I-frame only codecs.