18 Replies Latest reply on May 24, 2009 6:16 PM by kerr vaughn

    Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible

    checop

      Hello,

       

      I just got the Canon HF200, a AVCHD Camcorder and new to Premiere Pro CS4.

      Does anyone have the time and is willing to explain what would be the best way to export AVCHD source material after editing ?

      I'm interested in the best quality you can get out of AVCHD.

      It would be nice to have a list of the settings in Premiere to be customized (i.e. setting up new project, exporting format settings and so on) to have the best quality of the footage exported.

       

      Thanks in advance

       

      best regards

       

      checop

        • 1. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
          Eddie Lotter Level 4

          Welcome to the forums.

          You may be interested in these articles.

          Cheers
          Eddie

          • 2. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
            checop Level 1

            Thanks for the warm welcome!

             

            I found a really rare described workflow in the suggested articles:

             

            A typical workflow for AVCHD media is as follows:

            1. Shoot the AVCHD video to DVD, flash media, or hard drive. The media will vary depending on the type of AVCHD camera you're using.
            2. Copy the AVCHD video clips to your workstation by placing the capture disc in your DVD drive, moving the flash card, or copying from your camera's internal hard drive to your workstation via USB.
            3. Edit the files natively in Adobe Premiere Pro.
            4. Export the project to Blu-ray disc, to DVD, or to the Web.

             

            Could anybody be more specific when it comes to the settings of Premiere Pro?

             

            Thanks in advance

             

            checop

            • 3. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Maybe it would be a good idea to get a basic education in video and editing and read the manual, so you understand at least the basic concepts, then return with more specific questions.

              • 4. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
                checop Level 1

                I know how to edit video. I just want to know what settings produce the best output.

                How many settings could there possibly be?

                 

                Comments like RTFM aren't very useful!

                • 6. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
                  mickkeay Level 1

                  Checop - There ARE many settings believe me. For starters what AVCHD settings are you using on your camera? This will affect the Project and sequence settings you use in PP CS4.

                  What is your output intended for? DVD, BluRay disc, Web (to name just 3)  This will determine your Media Encoder Settings (AME) from PP.

                  Best output for (say) Bluraywith filesizes in Gigs, is not going to download to well

                  What have you been editing video with up to now?

                  • 7. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
                    checop Level 1

                    I'm using the following settings on my camera:

                     

                    AVCHD 1920 x 1080 / 50i

                    24 Mbit/s

                    AC-3 Dolby Digital 2 Kanal 48 KHz

                     

                    My output would be intended for blue ray, which should be the medium with the highest quality I can think of.

                    Is there still any information missing that would keep one from naming the settings for an output format that would fit these needs?

                    • 8. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                      Length of the timeline for instance, BR capacity and the like. Have you ever considered using a bitrate calculator, like this one:

                       

                      http://dvd-hq.info/bitrate_calculator.php?PHPSESSID=6501b6b2b31f4c4a295bc8c2ba1e6f57

                      • 9. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
                        Kroycom Level 1

                        Geezus the guy just wants a simple answer.

                         

                         

                        MASTER FILE / FOR YOUR BLU RAY PLAYER / ARCHIVAL

                         

                        1) use the Bluray H.264 preset to get a Bluray master. Best quality, takes a while to encode though.

                        Unless it's a five hour movie I'm pretty sure it'll fit on a BD disc.

                         

                        GENERAL RULE OF THUMB FOR ARCHIVAL AND MASTER FILES: try to match the final product with your source file.

                        If your source is H.264/AVCHD export in that format too (In this case, Bluray H264 preset)

                        If it's 1080i then export as such

                        If it's 24Mbps then use that bitrate to export as too. Etc. etc. etc.

                         

                        Now that's for archiving - getting the best looking Master file. Uploading  your movie to the web is different...

                         

                         

                        IF YOU'RE GOING TO SHOW YOUR MOVIE ON THE WEB

                         

                        1) use that Bluray master (or encode directly from your CS 4 timeline if you have the time) to WMV.

                        Choose the NTSC setting and then customize it.

                        640 x 360 or 575 x 324 sizes are good; Make sure to use the SQUARE pixels option since the sizes here are figured for that. Keyframes every 2 seconds, or every 5 seconds if there's not a lot of movement and background business going on. In the 1000 - 1600 kbps range is good (larger dimensions = higher bitrate).

                        Audio 96/44 is fine.

                        Choose 2 Pass Variable Bitrate for best quality/size ratio.

                         

                        If you're using CS4 it'll automatically deinterlace when you encode to WMV. In other programs you need to check "Deinterlace".

                         

                         

                         

                        2) Flash (FLV) is popular too. Same sizes, you can get away with lower bitrates than WMV. Requires special players either on the web or on the users' desktop so only do this if you feature the movie on your site and you know how to make a SWF file with your FLV embedded.

                        Lost me here? Then just forget Flash for now.

                         

                         

                        Other Primer Notes (VERY GENERALIZED SPEAKING):

                        Forget MPEG 1. Bad quality/size ratio compared to WMV.

                        Use MPEG 2 for archival purposes, but use high bitrates (like 1920 x 1080 @ 24 Mbps or similar. )

                        Quicktime is good for archiving too but takes a long time to encode on PCs. Not worth it for web delivery anymore... although there will be Mac fanatics disagreeing with me right now.

                         

                        Hope this helps

                        For more info hit me up http://www.kroycom.com

                        • 10. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
                          Jim_Simon Level 8

                          Geezus the guy just wants a simple answer.

                           

                          That's funny, considering you then went on to write part two of War & Peace as your answer.

                           

                          But this is precisely the point Harm was getting at. If someone needs that much handholding, they're just not ready to use this software.  A good education, which then allows one to figure out, or at least deduce these kind of answers, is the preferred method.  Hence Harm's suggestion.

                          • 11. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
                            Eddie Lotter Level 4

                            Could anybody be more specific when it comes to the settings of Premiere Pro?

                             

                            See: FAQ:What export settings should I use?

                            Cheers
                            Eddie

                            • 12. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
                              Kroycom Level 1

                              My answer is still quicker than a constant back and forth such as "we need more information, you idiot!"-type responses which seem quite common here.

                               

                              And maybe let the consumer judge if he's ready for PPro or not.

                               

                              BTW, been using PPro professionally since 6.5. CS4 is a buggy beast so you do have to expect questions even from people who have experience with past versions. Stuff's different now, and AVCHD is a newer format many people don't understand quite yet. No need to get all arrogant about it.

                              • 13. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
                                checop Level 1

                                Thank you very much Kroycon for your answer ! (and for your very first sentence )

                                Finally someone who is really willing to help and posts clear and precise answers.

                                 

                                Is blue ray the best for creating master files or is there in premiere another way to archive only the project information (cut and effect information) and the original material excluding the cut out parts?

                                • 14. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
                                  Kroycom Level 1

                                  The settings that come with the BluRay presets are what really matter, not so much that the presets might be called "BluRay". (BluRay is a spec...don't worry about that yet) They're very high quality/bitrate and that's what you want as your Master file.

                                   

                                  So we're on the same page, by Master file I mean your completely edited, finished movie. That file should be at the highest possible quality and size so you can easily make other versions from it (WMV, MOV and so on).

                                   

                                  Basically rule of thumb: if you're exporting to make a Master you'll want to match settings to whatever the source file(s) is.

                                   

                                  So....

                                   

                                  AVCHD-based Masters are ideally encoded with a high quality H.264 preset (Such a preset is available under the BluRay presets), but that might take a long time. If you want this encoded faster you could export it as MPEG2 but keep settings as high as possible (ie bitrate and dimensions at whatever your AVCHD source materials, usually 17Mbps or 24Mbps, and either 1440x1080 at 1.333 Pixel Aspect Ratio, or 1920x1080 at Square (1.0) Pixel Aspect Ratio). Lots of variables so my advice here is pretty generic.

                                   

                                  You might need to experiment a bit but if you do this right your Master file will look great. I do this every day - just play around with this. Export just a small part of your timeline when you test things out, this way it's faster.

                                   

                                  Not sure what you mean with this sentence

                                  "(...)archive only the project information (cut and effect information) and the original material excluding the cut out parts?"

                                  • 15. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
                                    checop Level 1

                                    I thought, that if you export with those blue ray settings the material is encoded or converted in some way.

                                    So I was wondering if there is a way to keep the original material (without the parts that are not wanted in the archive and the effects or cut marks applied but not rendered).

                                    • 16. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
                                      Kroycom Level 1

                                      It's late here so forgive me if I'm misunderstanding your question or if my answers aren't entirely clear...

                                       

                                      If I understand you correctly you are asking if it's possible to trim parts of the AVCHD source file (the file that came straight out of your camcorder) and still keep that source file exactly the way it is, in its original codec/format, right?

                                       

                                      It's currently not possible, no. (*see disclaimer on the bottom)

                                       

                                      There is no way to take parts out of your source file and keep it in the exact same format, it'll always be "changed" whenever you edit anything. You cannot just make a few cuts and then click "save" and your source file is changed. You never actually change the source file itself - Premiere Pro ( and all other editing programs) "points" to the source file as a reference...but doesn't change that file itself .

                                      When you export/encode you're creating a completely new file.

                                      Hence it's so important to encode into something that's as close to the source file as possible (AVCHD > H264)

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                      *before I get any comments about this - yes, I know there are ways to trim certain files without re-encoding. It depends on the file format and the program you're using and white type of "edits" you do. For his purposes though it's not possible.

                                      • 17. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
                                        Kroycom Level 1

                                        By the way, if you're editing footage from the Canon HG200 you'll select one of two PPro CS4 Settings:

                                         

                                        If your movie files are shot in MXP or FXP you'll select

                                        AVCHD > 1080i > the setting that says 1920 x 1080

                                         

                                        If your files are anything else you'll select

                                        AVCHD > 1080i > the setting that says 1440 x 1080

                                        That one has " (anamorphic) " in the preset's title.

                                        • 18. Re: Best way to export from AVCHD to highest quality possible
                                          kerr vaughn

                                          Kroycom

                                           

                                          In reading this thread, hats off to you for putting a little effort into answering the poster's question.  I was a little surprised with the pushback from the others in their effort not to answer....