22 Replies Latest reply on Dec 9, 2009 1:11 PM by beagleman58

    VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)

    beagleman58

      We have a situation where we have to support a client's workflow no matter how much we've recommended different cameras.

       

      We consult for a major research corporation.  They have outfitted their field researchers - videographers with inexpensive direct to DVD camcorders to go into the field and record their data.

       

      They send these DVDs to the home office, who wants to upload the footage so that timecode can be overlayed, then sent back out to senior people who will use the timecode to dictate edit decisions.

       

      My client purchased CS4 at my suggestion because of the timecode filter, its integration with other Adobe products, and Flash export capabilites.

       

      This morning we tried to import a 3 minute vob file from a Video TS folder on a mini DVD into Premiere.  Only the first 6 seconds of this 3 minute file came in.

       

      This was on the Mac platform - my liason at the client had the same experience with the Windows version.

       

      Using the same file, I downloaded and installed Premiere Elements 8 - trial version and it properly read the clip as a 3 minute file.  I couldn't export though, and I assume this is because its the trial and not full edition.  Of course Elements will not overlay timecode so its not a full solution.

       

      Although CS4 claims to support VOB, I'm thinking maybe it doesn't, at least not fully.  Am I missing something?

       

      I've also transcoded the VOB file, successfully with Mpeg Streamclip, then imported into CS4, successfully - but, my client is very adamant that they don't want a workflow with another application in between.

       

      They're using the wrong equipment with the wrong format, and we're trying to find the least complicated way to support them.  They will not reverse their posiiton on the camera's because they're inexpensive.

       

      Any suggestions are appreciated on working directly with vob files, even if you're reinforcing what I've already done.

        • 1. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
          Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

          my client is very adamant that they don't want a workflow with another application in between.

          How is that they have a say-so on what tools you use to get the job done?  Just curious.

           

          This morning we tried to import a 3 minute vob file from a Video TS folder on a mini DVD into Premiere.  Only the first 6 seconds of this 3 minute file came in.

          Does it matter if the DVD is finalized first?

           

          Have you tried renaming the .vob file to .mpg?

           

          -Jeff

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
            beagleman58 Level 1

            Thanks for the feedback, Jeff.

             

            This is a new venture for this client - I had advised them to go with AVCHD cameras, or basic mini dv as a last resort.

            However, as they are outfitting 400 staffers with cameras, they felt that the dvd cams were the only ones they can afford, and the executive heading this up pretty much said "here is what we're doing , now you support it..."

             

            They feel that this is a nice simple process where they shouldnt need all these steps to record, timecode and edit their work.

             

            I just converted the file from vob to mpg - and brought it onto the CS4 timeline - I have video, but no audio.  The original file has audio.

             

            Assuming I can somehow get audio out of this file, in your opinion, would it be a better workflow to work with mpg files on the timeline, or to go through Mpeg Streamclip to convert?

             

            I believe these discs are finalized.

             

            Thanks.

            • 3. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
              Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

              Does the .mpg file have audio when you import it?  In the Source Monitor?

               

              If converting with MPEG Streamclip gets you usable files in Pr with a minimum of fuss, then it's probably a better solution than trying to figure out why Pr doesn't like the .vob files from the camera, or trying to find another conversion tool that will deal with the audio.

               

              -Jeff

              • 4. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                beagleman58 Level 1

                it has audio for about 3 seconds, then silence for the balance of the clip.

                • 5. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                  Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                  Since it imports with audio, what type of audio is it?  Is it AC3?  Stereo?  Multichannel?  Does Pr see the audio as it should be, or is Pr interpreting it differently?

                   

                  When you select an imported clip in the Project panel and then go to Clip | Audio Options | Source Channel Mappings, how do things look?

                   

                  -Jeff

                  • 6. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                    beagleman58 Level 1

                    Track format - Stereo

                    Enable Boxes checked for both channels

                     

                    Thanks.

                    • 7. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                      beagleman58 Level 1

                      I should add that when the clip is selected in the Project panel, within the panel it reads as follows:

                       

                      48000 hz Compressed Stereo

                      • 8. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                        Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                        48000 hz Compressed Stereo

                        It's the "Compressed" thing that worries me.  What does Pr think the codec is?  Right-click on the file in the Project panel and choose Properties to find out.

                         

                        -Jeff

                        • 9. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                          beagleman58 Level 1

                          I copied the contents of the properties box....

                           

                          Type: MPEG Movie
                          File Size: 128.6 MB
                          Image Size: 720 x 480
                          Pixel Depth: 32
                          Frame Rate: 29.97
                          Source Audio Format: 48000 Hz - compressed - Stereo
                          Project Audio Format: 48000 Hz - 32 bit floating point - Stereo
                          Total Duration: 00;03;08;21
                          Average Data Rate: 697 KB / second
                          Pixel Aspect Ratio: 0.9091

                           

                          Thanks.

                          • 10. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                            Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                            Thanks for that.  Pr isn't being much help.

                             

                            Here's what I'm trying to find out.  I expect AC3 audio to play back OK

                            in Pr.  MPEG1 Layer II audio maybe not so much.  If you open one of the

                            .vob files in GSpot (Google it), it'll tell you what the audio codec is.

                             

                            However, you may already be at the point where converting using Mpeg

                            Streamclip may be the most straightforward way to do this.

                             

                            -Jeff

                            • 11. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                              beagleman58 Level 1

                              Gspot seems to be Windows only and I'm on a Mac -

                              I'll transfer this to my Dell and try it there - might as well follow this through if it educates the client as well as myself.

                               

                              Thanks.

                              • 12. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                                beagleman58 Level 1

                                It's AC3 according to Gspot...

                                • 13. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                                  Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                                  Let me make sure I understand where you're at so far:

                                   

                                  1. VOB files off of the disc import truncated, even before you load them in the Source Monitor or add them to a sequence.
                                  2. Renaming/converting (How do you change the extension of a file on a Mac?)  the .vob files to .mpg allows the clips to import OK.  When you drag the clips to a sequence, the full-length video gets added to the sequence, but no audio at all is added to any of the audio tracks.
                                  3. The renamed/converted .vob files that imported OK have truncated audio when loaded into the Source Monitor.
                                  4. The video is standard MPEG2 and the audio is standard AC3.

                                   

                                  If all of that is accurate, then I don't have any magic bullet to make the VOB files work straightaway in Pr.  They should work, and the VOB files from DVDs that I've authored work perfectly in Pr here on Windows Vista 64.  Your only avenues moving forward with this media and Pr seem to be:

                                  • Rip the video from the disc into elementary MPEG2 video and AIFF audio files using a DVD Ripping program.
                                  • Convert the VOB files to usable multiplexed MPEG2 files using Mpeg Streamclip.
                                  • Some other as-yet-undiscovered workflow.

                                   

                                  Please let us know which option you choose, and how it works out for you and the client.

                                   

                                  -Jeff

                                  • 14. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                                    Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    Following along from the peanut gallery....

                                     

                                    It made sense to me to try to get the specs on the file from PR, but the value of Gspot was demonstrated once again.  I believe there must be some data regarding which vob files play nice in PR and which don't.  And that Gspot and similar should be able to point the user to the problem.  But this doesn't seem to be the case yet.  Has anyone found a comparable utility to Gspot for MACs?

                                     

                                    General comment: I applaud your style of asking for information that will lead to a specific problem/solution.  Many times a more general call for a lot of information is needed, but often not.  Few of us can follow your lead: this is only possible for someone with your broad knowledge.

                                     

                                    The video is standard MPEG2 and the audio is standard AC3.

                                     

                                    I don't think we know what kind of AC3 this is.  There have been problems with ac3 files that have non-audio info, right?  Gspot may have more info about the ac3 file.

                                    • 15. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                                      Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                                      Has anyone found a comparable utility to Gspot for MACs?

                                      MediaInfo runs on both Mac and Win, so I should have suggested that program first.  Suggesting GSpot was a mistake on my part.  I forgot his primary system was a Mac.

                                       

                                      I applaud...only possible...

                                      I think you're giving me too much credit.  But thanks anyway.

                                       

                                      There have been problems with ac3 files that have non-audio info, right?

                                      The issue is with VOB files that have non-video and non-audio information contained in them.  Since these VOB files come from a camera-authored disc, there may well be too much info in there for Pr to deal successfully with the files.

                                       

                                      -Jeff

                                      • 16. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                                        beagleman58 Level 1

                                        The vob file I actually used was uploaded for me to download thru a site called "sendspace.com".

                                         

                                        At first I suspected this might be the cause of the issue, but the client had the same problem with the orignal DVD.

                                         

                                        When the vob file was imported into CS4, despite being a 3 minute file, when brought onto the timeline, it was 6 seconds long.

                                         

                                        I changed the file type by selecting the file in "Finder" and selecting "get info"

                                         

                                        In the pop up window that then opened, I was able to both rename the file and change the file type to mpg, and m2v etc.

                                         

                                        The renamed mpeg file would import as a full 3 minute file, but on playback the sound disappeared after a few seconds.

                                         

                                        The same original file, converted into DV via Streamclip had sound throughout - subject was a man speaking.

                                         

                                        Yes, everything you restated is correct.

                                         

                                        Like you, I have imported vob files from other DVDs I've made, and all seems to work as it should.

                                         

                                        Most likely the camera does something to screw this up, but, as I said yesterday, Premiere Elements - trial version handled the file, yet CS4 didn't.

                                         

                                        To me that's the hard part to explain to a client - the $800 program isn't doing what the $80 program is, and I'm the one who suggested they buy the $800 program.

                                        • 17. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                                          jdmack01 Level 1

                                          I had this same problem with one client's DVDs, but not with other DVDs.  Apparantly, sometimes there is more in a .vob file than mpeg-2 video, and this can cause problems.  I don't know what the solution is to directly import problematic .vob files.  The only solution I can offer is to use Cinematize 2 to extract the video from the DVDs as Quicktime files.  The program costs $59.95, and has worked on any problem DVD I've had.  There is a pro version for $129.95 which does have some useful features if you do this sort of thing a lot.  You can download a trial version first.

                                           

                                          J. D.

                                          • 18. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                                            beagleman58 Level 1

                                            Hi JD

                                             

                                            would that be a better solution then using MPEG Streamclip or simply doing the same thing with a different program?

                                             

                                            Thanks.

                                            • 19. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                                              Colin Brougham Level 6

                                              Here's something to try with MPEG Streamclip:

                                               

                                              1. Rip your VOBs off the DVDs, and open one up in MPEG Streamclip (actually, you might not even need to rip them; just use the "Open DVD" command
                                              2. When the VOB is loaded, go to Edit > Fix Timecode Breaks, or hit Cmd+F (I think it's Cmd--I'm on a PC, and it's Ctrl here)
                                              3. Click the "Do not skip any frame" checkbox and hit proceed. Wait until the process is complete.
                                              4. You have a few options of how to process the file from here, but for now, select File > Convert to MPEG. Give your file a name, and hit Save. Despite the name of the command, there should not be any "conversion" happening--it should simply rewrap the VOB as an MPG.
                                              5. When that's all done, try importing the MPG into Premiere, and let us know what happened. Another thing you can try in MPEG Streamclip, should that not work, is to go to Window > Preferences, and check the "Fix streams with data breaks" box, and then try going through the steps above again.
                                              • 20. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                                                beagleman58 Level 1

                                                Hi Colin

                                                 

                                                It worked - thank you.

                                                 

                                                This client is simply going to have to understand that DVDs produced with these cameras will require processing by Streamclip, that direct import of VOB files into Premiere will not work properly.

                                                 

                                                Best to all of you who helped me with this.

                                                 

                                                Bill

                                                • 21. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                                                  Colin Brougham Level 6

                                                  Hey Bill,

                                                   

                                                  That's excellent! Glad to hear...

                                                   

                                                  I'm assuming you had to rip the DVDs to hard drive anyway so that you can work on the footage, so you should be able to just use MPEG Streamclip to simultaneously rip the disc, fix the stream errors, and package the video and audio into a usable container for Premiere. It really shouldn't add too many steps to your workflow.

                                                   

                                                  By the way, I've found that you *always* have to take measures like this when dealing with DVD camcorders and a great many DVD recorders, as well. The nearest reason I can surmise is that many of these pieces of equipment play fast and loose with the DVD specifications--probably in an effort to save money by not being "certfied" or something like that. Typically, I use a program called ReStream (which is PC only) to fix these kind of bugs, because it's free and I'm too cheap to cough up the dough for the QT MPEG2 playback component to use with Streamclip! I'm glad to hear that this works, though... I might spend that $30 after all

                                                   

                                                  EDIT: By the by, I just found the MPEG Streamclip Wikipedia entry, which says:

                                                  It prompts/allows you to fix timecode breaks, if you recorded multiple times in the same file. This also improves compatibility. The preference "fix streams with data breaks" should be enabled.

                                                  There you have it. Since a DVD camcorder, like any other camcorder, is likely to sustain multiple record/pause cycles, it makes sense that there are going to be some glitches around those record points, largely due to the way that MPEG2 and, particularly, DVDs work.

                                                  1 person found this helpful
                                                  • 22. Re: VOB files - CS4 v 4.2 (both Windows & Mac)
                                                    beagleman58 Level 1

                                                    Thank you again - I learned something today, and my client will as well.

                                                     

                                                    No matter how many years one works in this business, there's always the unexpected day when nothing seems to work.

                                                     

                                                    Hopefully I won't have another for a long time.

                                                     

                                                    Best,

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    Bill