25 Replies Latest reply: Aug 4, 2010 2:36 PM by ingvarai RSS

    MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?

    ingvarai Community Member

      I have a Panasonic HMC 151 camera, clips saved as MTS.

      I can add them to an After Effects comp, and I can see the individual frames, so far so good. When playing back however, the movie hops back and forth and the motion and progress is funny.

      So - what is this?

       

      ingvarai

        • 1. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
          Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

          Yes, AVCHD is supported natively in AE CS 4.

          However, as you noted, there are some decoding issues with footage from certain, newer models. The specific camera you mention keeps being mentioned all the time. Bummer, I know.

          The workaround for now is converting the footage to another format. If you google for "AVCHD converter", you'll find a ton of applications that do just that.

          Many users will tell you that converting temporally compressed footage (AVCHD, HDV, etc) to a spatially compressed format (or uncompressed, if possible) is always recommended for performance reasons. Agreed, but at the same time, a supported format is a supported format. Unfortunately, file-based formats are a bit of a moving target, as they are more likely to bend the specs as new models are released. Adobe is working with all parts involved. I can't mention a time frame, though.

          • 2. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
            Mylenium MVP
            MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?

             

            Generally yes, but obviously not all of its flavors. Some cameras do not flag their streams correctly or add additional, non-standardized data that confuses AE. For those formats unfortunately only converting them before bringing into AE guarantees correct results. If you can provide a short clip (~30 MB, 5-10 secs.) we can investigate in the hopes that at latest for CS5 those formats are supported correctly.

             

            Mylenium

            • 3. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
              ingvarai Community Member

              I have a 30 seconds long clip. I make a new comp in AE and add this clip to the timeline.

              I set a working area of about 8 seconds. The first 5 seconds playback is perfect, then it starts to hop back and forth. When sliding the work area on the timeline, I observe the same phenomenon. First 5 seconds fine, the rest just a mess.

               

              This is a real real disappointment. AVCHD is here to stay. In Sony Vegas, my favorite NLE, I edit AVCHD right off the camera. In Cs4 Production Premium, which costs 7 times more, I cannot edit AVCHD. I really do not want to wait for CS 5 to be able to use MTS files directly. I hope Adobe will issue an update to fix this. Or at least come up with some sort of a workaround or utility that will fix the problem.

              The images look just great as they are. Fix this issue please, I do not want to transcode and introduce more artifacts than I already have in the compressed AVCHD files, I want to use my MTS files as is. In case you wish, I can supply a file. How do I do this?

               

              Anyhows - I had thought Adobe already have access to such files, this camera is all over now, very popular.

              http://www.panasonic-broadcast.com/en/products/high-definition/avccam/AG-HMC151E-Video.php

               

              ingvarai

              • 4. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                There's no need to provide more examples.

                Adobe is aware of this issue and has test files from that camera already. And is working with the provider of the AVHCD decoding technology, since that module was developed before this camera was introduced. For most other cameras, AVCHD decoding is working well.

                As I said, I am afraid I can't give a time frame now.

                If you convert the AVCHD files to a lossless codec (such as Quicktime PNG), you won't introduce further compression artifacts. For AVI, there are a number of free lossless codecs out there that you can download.

                I know that having to convert source files is inconvenient, even if a lot of users choose to do that anyway, This is just a workaround, not a solution. Sorry for the inconvenience.

                • 5. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                  Mylenium MVP

                  Anyhows - I had thought Adobe already have access to such files, this camera is all over now, very popular.

                   

                  I do not know. He's the employee and gets paid the big bucks. If he says so, we'll have to take his word for it. That aside, one should not expect a software vendor to automatically have access to any camera model, latest computer or whatever. Even a big one like Adobe has a limited budget for that and, lest we forget, even if they could buy it all, they'd not hire a hundred extra people just to test it....

                   

                  Mylenium

                  • 6. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                    ingvarai Community Member
                    That aside, one should not expect a software vendor to automatically have access to any camera model, latest computer or whatever. Even a big one like Adobe has a limited budget for that and, lest we forget, even if they could buy it all, they'd not hire a hundred extra people just to test it....


                    This is not about "any camera model" but the upcoming and soon to become ubiquitous AVCHD compression format. This compression format has several parameters. To make Adobe support the particular AVCHD settings that Panasonic uses hardly requires "a hundred people", since Sony Creative, Edius etc. has no problems with these AVCHD files. I guess Panasonic itself would be the first to assist here.

                    Sony Creative's Vegas 9.0 came in May, and since then has become 2 updates, which among other things improve AVCHD performance. I hope that in the very near future when I click the update button in After Effects that a fix will be downloaded which will make AE support also the Panasonic AVCHD files.

                     

                    ingvarai

                    • 7. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                      Mylenium MVP

                      Mmh, I'm not sure if AVCHD, even its "Pro" flavor, is really the format of the future. I think that because of growing availability of almost infinite amounts of storage at low prices, even for hobbyists and semi-pros at some point RAW recording becomes a viable option, or at least only relying on binary compression, not destructive reduction of the actual image content. Beyond that I'd be careful with predictions. Formats these days come and go quicker than you can make up your mind about them. And of course for compositing in the strictest sense one could still argue that support for such formats is non-essential as comparing compositing tools to mere editing programs is not exaxctly fair. If AE wasn't so integrated with Premiere, would you even care for trying this? Other competing programs certainly don't - combustion*, Fusion, Nuke and even Motion do not accept anything other than image sequences or Quicktime files instead of offering native support. If you get my meaning - as much as AE is ahead in this game, it ultimately also turns into a disadvantage. the constant hunt for supporting the latest video formats IMO costs a lot of resources and effort that potentially could be spent otherwise...

                       

                      Mylenium

                      • 8. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                        ingvarai Community Member

                        I buy your opinion, I mostly agree.  I dislike destructive compression as much as anyone else does, and hopefully we can film in RAW. Soon..

                        If AE wasn't so integrated with Premiere, would you even care for trying this?

                        Hm? I haven't tried Premiere, yet, it is After Effects that I am interested in. And Mocha, which I have upgraded to version 2 on my own. When it comes to MTS from Panasonic (AVCHD), I suspect there is a triviality that makes it not work. I any case, this is not the biggest issue in the world.

                         

                        ingvarai

                        • 9. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                          Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                          I suspect there is a triviality that makes it not work. I any case, this is not the biggest issue in the world.

                           

                          Believe me, Ingvarai, this couldn't be farther from being a triviality.

                          • 10. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                            Todd_Kopriva Adobe Employee

                            Adolfo and Mylenium have this issue covered, but here's my confirmation of what they're saying:

                             

                            There are a lot of variations in how camera companies et cetera encode to various formats, and then providers of decoders (such as the folks that Adobe license their codecs from) have to keep up with these variations. It's an unfortunate reality that the folks doing the importing of various formats are always running behind, catching up to all of the manifestations of all of the new formats---some proprietary, some odd variants, some just plain broken. That's one reason why we do dot releaseses (updates) to add or fix various formats. We know that there are some hiccups with some variations of AVCHD, and we're working on them. If your camera puts out files that are subject to these hiccups, then transcoding before bringing the files into After Effects is a good idea.

                            • 11. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                              ingvarai Community Member

                              I stand corrected, it is not atriviality, thanks for the info and your time on this issue.

                              If your camera puts out files that are subject to these hiccups, then transcoding before bringing the files into After Effects is a good idea.

                              If you visit the Sony Vegas forums you will se people nag Sony about minor issues regarding AVCHD (slow start, jerky playback, slow rendering), still Vegas (on my PC) runs my Panasonic MTS files just fine. I do indeed use image sequences, and I do it more and more, so my initial complaining about this subject was perhaps a bit unfair to Adobe. But.. what if I did not have Sony Creative's Vegas to do this transcoding? Well - I happen to have. It is just my general discomfort about sooo many transcodings and formats etc. in my workflow that resulted in this post.

                              My MTS files look just GREAT in After Effects - and they run fluent in realtime the first 5 seconds, if they only would keep on running like that..

                              • 12. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                                jhave2

                                Hello,

                                 

                                fyi,

                                I also have an AVCHD camera (Canon HF100) which uses .MTS format.

                                Video works fine in Vegas. But will not even import correctly to After Effects CS4.

                                 

                                If the import issues were to be solved I would switch to AE in an instant.

                                But the prospect of having to pre-convert all footage is so time-consuming

                                that it is not a feasible option.

                                 

                                If there are updates to AE that fix these import issues, can you annouce them in this thread?

                                 

                                thanks

                                David

                                • 13. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                                  ingvarai Community Member

                                  Video works fine in Vegas. But will not even import correctly to After Effects CS4.

                                  If the import issues were to be solved I would switch to AE in an instant.

                                  But the prospect of having to pre-convert all footage is so time-consuming

                                  that it is not a feasible option.

                                  First, Vegas is the same as Adobe Premiere, an NLE for video / movie making. After Effects is for - "effects". I have Sony Vegas and do not intend to switch to Premiere (I have the whole CS4 Production Premium). Vegas is so fast and logic to use, it takes advantage of all the Windows special features (I am used to Windows, not Mac), so I can hardly see that I will switch. I am sure Premier is fine, but as long as Vegas does the job..

                                  I use After Effects to do "surgery" on my videos, special operations. When I am done, it is back to Vegas again. I think it is important to distinguish between an NLE and a special effects program. I use several of these, SynthEyes for stabilizing and match-moving worth to mention. When I am done - back to Sony Vegas.

                                  "But will not even import correctly to After Effects CS4."

                                  Adobe says this is not a triviality.. We have to believe them. But Adobe has to be almost the only one having these problems now, because many other applications run AVCHD just fine. For example, the free VCL Player has no problems, as far as I can see.

                                  • 14. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                                    Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                                    I also have an AVCHD camera (Canon HF100) which uses .MTS format.

                                    Video works fine in Vegas. But will not even import correctly to After Effects CS4.

                                    This doesn't seem related at all to the issue described by Ingvarai.

                                    The most liklely reason why you can't import AVCHD could be simply that you are using a trial version of After Effects CS4. Because of licensing issues, native support for formats like AVCHD, HDV and most other MPEG flavors is not included in the trial version. It is enabled automatically when you purchase the product and enter a valid serial number.

                                    If you are not using a trial version, then there was an issue that affected a few users, in which the "Third Party Content" module (ie, all effects and format handlers licensed from third parties) does not get installed when updating to 9.02 a version that was originally installed as a trial. In that case, uninstalling the After Effects Third Party Content module from Add/Remove programs and then launching the application again should fix it.

                                    • 15. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                                      Screennameavailable?

                                      I just downloaded the trial of AE CS5 and I have the same issue as you guys here, can´t import .mts files.

                                       

                                      This is quite the inconvinience for me, now that I see that I can´t import .mts because I have the trial version. I wonder how I am going fully test this program now, as I have tried some converting programs and they have not been lossless.. I would more than anything like for someone here to recommend me a good conversion program, so that I may test AE CS5 completely.

                                       

                                      Thank you.

                                      • 16. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                                        ingvarai Community Member

                                        Hi,

                                        as far as I have understood (since my initial post here almost one year ago) After Effects does not work well with video where the compression algorithm is based on differences from previous frames. MTS is such a beast as far as I know. What I do, I render out my MTS files as image sequences, PNGs for example, and work with them in After Effects. MTS is a "transport stream" and I doubt it is suited for applications like After Effects.

                                        ingvar

                                        • 17. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                                          Jo_si_ah Community Member

                                          Was this fixed in CS5?  If not can you direct me to a list of supported cameras?

                                           

                                          On a side note:  in order to use my panasonic MTS files in Adobe After Effects, I import them into Adobe Media Encoder and convert them first.

                                          • 18. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                                            ingvarai Community Member

                                            There is a long time ago since I started this thread. In the mean time, I have stopped using AVCHD (MTS) files at all when I edit video. AVCHD is a format useful for one thing: Storing a lot of video in a small place.

                                            Now I always convert it to a lossless format. PNG sequences, AVI, or the almost lossless MXF format (I use Sony Vegas as my video NLE, not Premiere). AVCHD (MTS) is what it says - a "transport stream format", so just get it out of your camera, convert it and start working.

                                            Ingvar

                                            • 19. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                                              Todd_Kopriva Adobe Employee

                                              > Was this fixed in CS5?

                                               

                                               

                                              The trial version still doesn't work with AVCHD. The full version does.

                                               

                                              Here's the relevant excerpt from "Supported import formats":

                                              "Important: The trial version of After Effects CS5 doesn't include some features that depend on third-party software components that are only included in the full version of After Effects. The import and export of some formats are not supported in the trial version: AVC-Intra, AVCHD, HDV, MPEG-2, MPEG-2 DVD, MPEG-2 Blu-ray, and XDCAM."

                                              • 20. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                                                Jo_si_ah Community Member

                                                Todd - sorry for being unclear.  I have the full retail software of CS4 Prod. Premium.  What i meant to say was, has the issue with supporting the AVCHD files from panasonic cameras been fixed in AE CS5 or will this problem persist indefinitely?  Have you continued testing this?

                                                 

                                                I have a consumer model panasonic AVCHD camcorder and I have the same problem as the original poster (the MTS files from the panasonic camera skip and stutter in AE, even though they work perfectly in Premiere and Media Encoder).  I was strongly considering the HMC150 for professional work but I would avoid panasonic MTS files if AE doesn't support them properly.  I currently use CS4 hence why i asked about CS5.


                                                You said you'd heard a lot of complaints about the HMC150 files, so you  obviously know there is a problem with panasonic's MTS encoding.  You  claim that there are other companies that have produced MTS files that  work perfectly well in AE.  I would like to know exactly which cameras you have used to import MTS files into AE that do not skip and stutter so i can pursue those cameras.

                                                 

                                                Or, conversely, if ALL MTS files skip and stutter in AE, then say that.  And stop claiming to support MTS files.

                                                 

                                                To sum up:

                                                1.  What cameras/companies (ie sony, etc) have produced MTS files that AE can utilize without skipping and stuttering?

                                                2.  OR do MTS files from the HMC150 work in CS5?

                                                3.  If the answer to #1 is none, and the answer to #2 is no....then I guess stop allowing MTS import in the next version?

                                                 

                                                RE:Ingvar - though i appreciate your follow up comments, I'm not converting my MTS files if I don't have to - that isn't a good solution for me.

                                                • 21. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                                                  ingvarai Community Member

                                                  Jo,

                                                  dropping the excellent HMC 150 because of this, is drastic in my eyes. I hope AE will support it, and am curious to what extent CS 5 supports Panasonic HMC 150/151 AVCHD files (MTS files). My workflow, however,involves several othe applications, and they do not read AVCHD (yet) so I have to transcode in any case. The lossless Lagarith compressor for AVI is worth a consideration, IMHO.

                                                  Ingvar

                                                  • 22. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                                                    Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                                                    Jo, Ingvarai: AFAIK, all known issues with AVCHD decoding have been fixed by the supplier of the decoder component for CS5.

                                                    • 23. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                                                      Jo_si_ah Community Member

                                                      Ok - I'll make the upgrade and check it out - thanks very much.

                                                      • 24. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                                                        kate5958 Community Member

                                                        I am very impressed with Pavtube MTS Converter. I've had good results converting the .mts files to .mov, with the settings h.264, 1200, 1280*720, 25fps, aac. The files look good on my Mac running Adobe Premiere, edit easily, and convert well to DVD format. Pavtube will also turn out super 'lossless raw video' files, but these are so huge my mac can't cope.

                                                        http://www.pavtube.com/guide/compress-mts-for-adobe-after-effects.html

                                                        • 25. Re: MTS files (AVCHD) in After Effects - supported?
                                                          ingvarai Community Member

                                                          FWIW, I have upgraded After Effects to CS 5, and CS 5 has no problem with my Panasonic MTS (AVCHD) files. This is a big leap forward, although it wold have been good if Adobe supplied updates for CS4 fixing this. Anyhow, the new rotobrush justifies the upgrade, so all in all I recommend AE CS5.

                                                          Ingvar