9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 19, 2009 8:44 PM by A.T. Romano

    How to get HD footage


      I just purchased a Canon Vixia HF200.  I have done some initial filming to test out making a quick movie.  I noticed that when I watch the footage on my HD TV (from the camera), it looks great.  But when I import it into Premiere Elements 8 and render it, the footage is not so good.  I am rather new to this so I have a few quesitons.


      I assume since I filmed it in HD, in order to get that HD quality I have to burn it to a blue ray? (I dont have one) or can I get HD quality on a DVD in another fashion?  Do I need a special HD driver to burn HD footage?


      I was reading the forums and saw that you can export the footage to various formats using presests.  But how do I determine what the footage was filmed in.  I check the property's of the clip I filmed and I dont see what it indicates the type of footage?


      Anoter post I read talked about taking HD content and downgrading it to SD content but again it talks about various presets based on the type of footage I shot but I dont know how to determine that after the fact.


      Any help would be appreciated.

        • 1. Re: How to get HD footage
          A.T. Romano Level 7



          Please check out my overview on the topic. Please see post #15 in the following recent thread here



          If any questions, please let me know.



          • 2. Re: How to get HD footage
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            That camcorder, by the way, shoots in AVCHD video, so that is the project preset you should be using.

            • 3. Re: How to get HD footage
              A.T. Romano Level 7



              Did you ever say what version of Premiere Elements that you are using, version 7 or 8?


              "HD footage" could imply HDV and AVCHD. As SG points out, your Canon Vixia HF200 is shooting AVCHD which is MPEG4-AVC/H.264. He said:

              That camcorder, by the way, shoots in AVCHD video, so that is the project preset you should be using.


              Since SG brings up the subject of a Premiere Elements project preset and there are more than one AVCHD project preset, I thought that I would include the following information in your thread.


              From what I have read, your camcorder is shooting AVCHD video 1920 x 1080 with Dolby Digital 2 channel audio. You may also see 1920 x 1080i 60 or 1920 x 1080i (60i). That means that the frame size is 1920 x 1080 and the frame rate is 60 fields per second (30 frames per second). I know your camcorder also shoots 30p and 24p. We will save that discussion for another time.


              Bottom line: if you have a NTSC version of the Canon, you should be setting the Premiere Elements 7 project preset (new project dialog) = NTSC/AVCHD Full HD 1080i30. As you probably have read in other places, consider the project preset (new project dialog) as a template for editing. That setting does not prohibit you from selecting another export type.



              • 4. Re: How to get HD footage
                lcox400w Level 1

                Thanks to both of you for your guidance.


                I am using Premiere Elements 8.  I forgot my camera is AVCHD.  For some reason when I load the various mts files into the organizer, they dont show a preview image so I dont know what footage is what?   Is there a way to fix this?


                I did not know that I had to select a different project type, never saw that setting before, but I have now done that.


                How do I tell what type of video I shot, such as 1920 x 1080i 60 or 1920 x 1080i (60i) as you gave in your example.  I assume its important to know what you shot so you can export it properly???


                I selected the Full HD 1030i for my new project, but I am still unclear of how to export it to either standard DVD format so its crisp and clear, and can I export it to a DVD in HD format or only on a blue ray?  When I select DVD as the export option, its limited on my choices and no ability to make changes to advanced settings.  But if I select to export to PC, and then select MPEG, I do have options, I am assuming that most people do this to have more control of the final product?  But here with all the options is where I am confused of how to get the best quality and what I can do with my hardware.  I have a standard DVD burner so I am guessing I cant burn HD content???  So for now, if that is true (i am not sure), how do I get the best quality from my nice HD camera.


                I Hope this makes sense....

                • 5. Re: How to get HD footage
                  A.T. Romano Level 7



                  About your Organizer question

                  If you are in the Elements Organizer

                  a. right click the thumbnail, and click on Update Thumbnail (Make sure the "Details" is checked in that area.

                  b. right click the thumbnail and select Properties.

                  If you are in the Premiere Elements Organizer Window

                  a. right click the thumbnail, and click on Update (Make sure the "Details" is checked in that area.

                  After you bring you media to the Timeline

                  a. go to Project View, right click the video file there, and select Properties from the list that opens

                  It might be to your advantage to bring your video into a project prel Organizer first so that it gets in the Elements Organizer that way. Try that first and we can modify the plan afterwards.


                  Your "How do I tell what type of video I shot...." question suggests that you are jumping into these programs/equipment without doing your homework. I will grant you that the Canon User Manual Start Up section does leave much to be desired, but you need to take time to dig into that manual or question Canon about it's product.

                  http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&tabact=SupportDetailTabAct&f categoryid=269&modelid=17994#DownloadDetailAct

                  I went online to the Canon web site and went on a hunt through that manual. Apparently, your camcorder has five modes:

                  MXP and FXP mode for 1920 x 1080 (which would be considered Full AVCHD and be characterized by square pixels)


                  XP, SP, and LP mode for 1440 x 1080 (which would be consider non Full AVCHD and be characterized by HD anamorphic which stretches the video 16:9 for display after encoding).

                  The above is must know information, so please read that user manual to take full advantage of your very powerful camcorder.


                  You ask again about getting the "best quality from my nice HD camera". And again I refer you to my post #15 in the link that I cited previously. That gives detailed details on how to take advantage of your Full AVCHD either putting your AVCHD on a DVD disc in Blu-Ray format or burning the AVCHD Timeline to Blu-Ray disc in Blu-Ray format. There is a lot to read and learn and then decide what you want to do and how you want to view it.


                  Consider the following plan to get you into this type of creative project:

                  1. Do your homework with regard to your Canon camcorder, Premiere Elements 8

                  2. With your camcorder, record a 1 to 2 minute AVCHD clip, using the Full AVCHD setting of MXP or FXP.

                  3. Open Premiere Elements 8 and set the project preset (new project dialog) to NTSC AVCHD Full HD1080i30.

                  4. Bring your AVCHD clip from its save location on your computer hard drive into Premiere Elements 8 via its Get Media/Files & Folders.

                  5. Drag the AVCHD clip from the Media Area to the Timeline Video Track 1/Audio Track 1.

                  6. This time we are going to bypass Create Menus and go directly to Share/Disc/Disc and create a DVD-VIDEO which you can play with your DVD player. Put your DVD-R disc in your DVD burner drive tray. Setup the burn area

                  a. put a check mark next to Fit Contents to Available Space

                  b. select the preset NTSC Widescreen Dolby DVD.

                  c. hit burn


                  DVD-VIDEO has a standardized format, so your video will end up as 720 x 480 with a 16:9 flag to stretch the video on display after encoding.

                  Let us see what that looks like.


                  When you get beyond this very mini test run, you will soon discover that editing AVCHD in Premiere Elements is very resource consuming and needy. Then computer resources and optimization will probably become an issue. Take a look at the recent thread of cyber and how he dealt with that issue.


                  There are a lot of people here who will help, but you need explore, experiment, and read. You will do fine. We can talk further if you want later.



                  • 6. Re: How to get HD footage
                    lcox400w Level 1



                    thanks for taking the time to respond.  I have been using elements for a couple of years now with my older tape camcorder but the new HD camcorder was a gift so I have been trying to get a grasp on it and interacting with elements 8 which I upgraded to a week ago.


                    I agree, I have a lot more reading to do which I have trying to do today reading a lot of articles on the web and in these forums. But your responses have helped.


                    I still cant get the thumbnails to show a photo on the video files I have, I tried it in both organizer and elements with details selected and selecting update in both.  I just see a film strip.  May be time to talk with Adobe.


                    I have read your post #15 you sent me, but I need to go over it again and learn more as some of the terms are new.


                    I guess I was under the impression and I know this is jumping the gun a bit, but I assumed I would probally be recording in different formats potentially in the future and if the format recorded in is important to encoding, then I was trying to learn how to determine that information from a clip.  I looked at properties as you suggested which I had done before, but all it says is mpeg, NTSC and 29.97 FPS, I was looking for it to tell me more specifics such as 1080i30 or 1080i60, etc.


                    I am learning that apperantly my format AVCHD is rather difficult to work with which is too bad.  I have been going over the manual that came with the camera but its a bit confusing, but i"ll keep working on testing it and determining how to best approach things.


                    Again, thank you!

                    • 7. Re: How to get HD footage
                      A.T. Romano Level 7





                      The above link is to the free utility called gspot. It can be a great help digging out the properties of your video clips including its video and audio codecs (compression types), frame size, etc.


                      I found that Canon User Manual a little difficult to navigate. I wanted straight answers to where things were and how tos and had a hard time finding a clear cut description of the recording modes, if at all. So, I understand your situation.


                      With a little bit more time and help from your friends here you will be doing great.


                      I will look at that thumbnail issue that you mentioned. To recap, the thumbnails represent videos that you have brought into the Premiere Elements 8 Organizer and then later looked for them in the Elements Organizer?? Please describe the sequence of events from introduction of the video clip into Premiere Elements 8 to its appearance in the Premiere Elements Organizer, not the Elements Organizer.


                      I will be back later to see what we can sort out on that issue. Are you OK with your computer resources for an AVCHD (high computer resource demanding format)?


                      I hope that you will try the DVD-VIDEO route and tell me what it looks like. Cyber has described how he reconciled his difficults with AVCHD, Premiere Elements and his resources. We can discuss his post later if you have not seen it already.


                      To be continued....



                      • 8. Re: How to get HD footage
                        lcox400w Level 1

                        I will try the free utility and see how that works.  As for the thumbnail issue, I have figured that out. The instructions say to remove the memory card from the camera and copy the files to your PC.  I did that and then imported them into elements and I got no thumbnails as previously described.


                        However as I learned thorugh trial and error over several hours, if I connect the USB to the camera directly, the camera will generate a thumbnail file for the clip and when I then import that through elements I get thumbnails just fine.  So this is the trick I was missing.


                        I will work this week to make some videos with the suggestions you have sent me and see how it turns out.  I have my first real need for the camera at my sons school this week and will see how it all turns out.

                        • 9. Re: How to get HD footage
                          A.T. Romano Level 7



                          I am so very impressed with your progress. That was great troubleshooting, resolving the issue of the Premiere Elements Organizer thumbnails. And, thank you for posting the outcome which will benefit others who find themselves in a similar situation.


                          Exploration and experimentation of the program are major keys to success.


                          Maybe do a mini test run with your camcorder before any big events to make sure that you are OK with the camcorder settings. But, you will do just fine.


                          I will be watching for your progress and am very proud of your accomplishments. Keep up the good work.