6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 16, 2009 5:53 PM by SFL46

    Importing & timestamps


      I shot an event over the weekend with three rented cameras, and each camera had synchronized time codes.  The cameras each consumed several tapes.


      Because I did not yet have a copy of Premiere Pro and needed to return the cameras on Monday morning to the rental facility, I used Pinnacle Studio 12 Ultimate to capture the tapes to disk.  Pinnacle stored the captured streams as several files:  M2V (Mpeg2) for video, WAV for audio (one Wav file per side, as far as I can tell), and some other files that Premiere does not recognize.


      How do I import this material into Premiere so that the timecode information is retained (if Pinnacle did, in fact, store it) and the audio is re-sync'd with the video?

        • 1. Re: Importing & timestamps
          Colin Brougham Level 6

          Wow. What a mess.


          First of all, if you can, abandon the files you've already captured. That's MPEG-2, and a pretty awful choice for editing. Even if it's I-frame only (which I doubt, given the program you used), you're going to not have a pleasant experience editing them in Premiere. It can be done, yes, but you'll want to pick a different career afterward.


          I'm assuming you shot miniDV, though you didn't specify. You don't need any of the cameras you rented to capture this material into Premiere. You must know someone that has a miniDV camera (even a cheap-o consumer model) that you can borrow; if not, you can buy one for about $150.


          I'm pretty sure that your timecode information was not preserved in the elementary MPEG-2 stream (M2V file). I don't believe that that container will carry anything beyond the video stream. However, you can probably change the extension to MPG, and Premiere will import them. If the timecode information is there, Premiere will read it, but if it's not, all your files will start 00:00:00:00.


          If the MPG files come in, you can bring the WAV files in as well, and manually sync them up in your timeline. Select the video and audio component from a particular shot (when they're in the sequence) and hit Ctrl+L to link them, so they act as one clip. Finally, you'll have to manually sync the various angles using either visual cues (for example, a camera flash if you're so lucky), or a sharp transient in the waveform display of the audio. Then you can probably begin editing, but as I said, it's not going to be much fun.


          You could also convert the M2V files (and simultaneously mux the WAV audio) into DV AVI files, but that'll take some time, space, and know-how.

          • 2. Re: Importing & timestamps
            SFL46 Level 3

            M2V is the file extension for the video file from a HDV camera.  Studio can process HDV footage.


            When I import HDV files, although you can't see the timecode, Premiere can.  There is a function in Premiere named something like "resync," which apparently can read the timecode because it will display how much the video file is offset from the audio and vice versa.


            Please excuse some of the posters' ingrained hate of HDV.  They are correct, it isn't the best editing format.  They are only satisfied with uncompressed sources.  But, unless you are doing critical broadcast work, you probably won't see the difference in image, so why sweat it?

            • 3. Re: Importing & timestamps
              rsarathy Level 1

              Colin, yes it is a mess.


              To re-capture, I'd probably need to rent the cameras again at $200 a shot.  It is a Canon XA-H1.  It shoots on miniDV tape.  Would a consumer handycam use the same encoding format?  I'll give that a shot.


              Premiere imports the M2V format just fine.



              • 4. Re: Importing & timestamps
                rsarathy Level 1

                SFL, thanks.  No broadcast intent here.

                • 5. Re: Importing & timestamps
                  Colin Brougham Level 6

                  To re-capture, I'd probably need to rent the cameras again at $200 a shot.  It is a Canon XA-H1.  It shoots on miniDV tape.  Would a consumer handycam use the same encoding format?  I'll give that a shot.


                  Premiere imports the M2V format just fine.

                  OK, I made the assumption you were working with DV (not HDV), and that the Pinnacle software had captured the DV stream to an MPEG-2 stream. This is not unheard of--I think Matrox, for example, has this as an option so that you can capture directly to DVD-compliant files if you need to do no editing. I don't have the Pinnacle software, and have never used it, so I wasn't aware of how it worked. Apologies for the incorrect assumption, but the next time you have a question, it's a good idea to offer up that kind of information from the get-go. Anywho...


                  Yes, if you can get your hands on one of the consumer-ish Canon cameras, like the HV20/30/40, I believe they will give you the ability to playback footage from the H1. Depending on the format you shot in with the H1, you might be able to use a Sony HDV camera, which might be more readily available. HDV is a difficult beast because different manufacturers use different specs in their equipment; pretty frustrating.


                  So, you're able to bring the M2V files into Premiere, correct? I guess I didn't get that from your original post; I read that they didn't import, but I think you were talking about the "extra" files. I'm willing to bet those "extras" are Pinnacle Studio-specific files that contain information like the timecode. You might try opening up one of those files in a text editor (like Notepad) and poking around a bit; if they're what I'm thinking they are, they're simply XML files of some sort. You might be able to find the starting timecode of each M2V file in there. If you do, take note of it, and...


                  Select your M2V file in your Premiere Pro project while it's in the Project Panel. Go to File > Timecode, and in the Timecode field, enter the starting timecode that you just took note of in the previous step. This will reassign the starting timecode, at least in how it's interpreted in Premiere. Repeat this for your other files, and you should be able to sync up the cameras by timecode.


                  If those "extra" files don't open or don't contain the information we're looking for, you might take a look at DVMP Pro which might be able to read timecode information in the M2V files, if it actually exists. You could then use that information in the same way. No guarantees; I've not tried this, but might be worth a shot.

                  • 6. Re: Importing & timestamps
                    SFL46 Level 3

                    lthough Pinnacle studio does generate some XML files, the five files that are being discussed here are:








                    The four *.WAV clips are the four audio tracks (with _1 and _2 mirroring _3 and _4 unless you actually had four tracks)


                    You import the M2V and _1, _2 into your project.  Unless you do something like trimming the clips beforehand, the three clips will be in sync if you place them on on individual tracks* on the timeline so that the start of all three clips are at the same timeline (sequence) frame.  I do this routinely in Premiere.  To avoid problems, once the three clips are on the timeline--LINK the clips (highlight all clips, right click, click on LINK.  When you do this, Premiere will indicate whether the clips are out of sync and by how much.  You can then move one manually or let Premiere do it automatically.  An offset number will appear at the starting frame in the timeline panel--if you right click on this number, you will be presented with the options MOVE INTO SYNC and SLIP INTO SYNC.  (I missspoke earlier when I said to use the re-sync command--I was confused with the SYNC cmmand that is apparently used with multicamera work.)  That this works indicates that Premiere is reading the timecode in the files.



                    *since these are mono wav files, you will need to create two mono audio tracks to be able to place the _1 and _2 files