21 Replies Latest reply on Jan 13, 2010 7:09 PM by medeamajic

    an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.

    cfalcon

      Hello everyone!  i have yet to upgraded to CS4 and wish to use it with the AVCHD format which I know CS4 now is now capable of.  But seeing how I can't use the trial to make sure I am comfortable going tapeless, I wish to hear your thoughts on this.  Here are a few questions I have (all with PC):

       

      1) I hear that importing AVCHD can end up chopped up physically due to a FAT 32 issue, is this a universal trait for premier or is it because of how a camera itself manages the format?  (I am not refering to start and stop recording on a scene, I am refering to one continuous shot of footage being chopped up because of file management)

       

      2) I have also heard that AVCHD is hard to edit with.  Those of you whom have worked with it, have you noticed this and if so how has it rendered your productivity?  For example, have any of you been able to successfully and effiecently use a multicamera mode with three or more AVCHD files without crashes, or choppy playback or A/V sync issues?  (assuming your computer has the minimal Adobe recommendations)

       

      3) Can I export an AVCHD project into other formats and ratio sizes without loss of picture quality? (i.e. down conversion to a 4:3 dv avi file.)

       

      4) Can I work with AVCHD footage within a 4:3 DV project?   (I know how all this sounds, but I am asking about compatibility, capability, and ease of use.  I never know when I may need this option.

       

      5) Can I use AVCHD with After Effects?  Can I have a alpha channel in this format?

       

      6) Is there effects limitations with this format (i.e. can I still do scale/move/opacity in real time or color corrections)

       

      7) Are you enjoying the AVCHD editing experience?

       

       

       

      Thanks for reading and please join the discussion!

       

      Bilateral Bow

        • 1. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
          medeamajic Level 2

          AVCHD is a very hard codec to edit but if you have a Quad Core you should be just fine for cuts only editing. If you don't have a Quad Core with Vista 64 and at least 4 GB of RAM you might experience a bit of grief. I cheap dedicated graphics card like the 9400 GT would help as opposed to using the integrated onboard video should your system have onboard integrated video.

           

          The trial version should let you drop AVCHD into a P2 timeline. You should also be able to drop it into a DV-25/mini DV timeline.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
            Terrachild Level 1

            I'm about to buy a Cannon HFS100, and I have CS4 now.

            I'd like these questions answered also.

             

            I keep reading some generic statements about it being hard to edit with.

            What does this really mean?

             

            I have a fast computer (i7) with 12 gigs of memory.

            Isn't that enough?

            • 3. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
              cfalcon Level 1

              Terrachild basically summed up my question wholesale, provided that your computer can handle AVCHD editing with power, is working with AVCHD as easy to edit with as it is with DV.  I want to make sure that I can do more with that format then simply cut with it.  What does "hard to edit with" mean?

               

              Majic, are you saying that if my computer has the power to handle AVCHD, then in essence I should be able to work with the same efficiency as working in DV?

              • 4. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                (I am still CS3 and do not do hd, including AVCHD.)

                 

                There have been many problems posted regarding AVCHD.  Editing it requires serious computer power.  AVCHD allows multiple datarates, and I formed the opinion that the mixed results users reported were in part due to not specifying what datarate they were using.  So I recommend that you be clear in your decisions whether you need the highest datarate recording, and that you ensure the comments you are evaluating are clear regarding the datarate issue.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                  Terrachild Level 1

                  Well, if it's such a problem, can't we just convert them to another format.

                  Maybe even a lossless one like huffyuv, or maybe one with compression but more easily edited like DVCProHd?

                  • 6. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                    Terrachild Level 1

                    Okay,

                     

                    I can't take it any longer.  I have this nagging feeling that most of the comments about it being hard to edit, or that if you only make straight cuts you'll be okay, are all made by people who haven't done it, an who keep repeating what others have written.  Those others may also be just repeating what someone else said.  And so on and so on and so on......Maybe this is whole conspiracy against AVCHD was started by one guy in marketing at a company that has a huge investement in HDV.

                     

                    Sometimes I forget how useful the internet is.  I've just downloaded some sample files in raw AVCHD format.  I'll throw some edits, reverses, time-stretches, effects, and anything else I can think of at them in PP CS4 and see what happens.  I'll get back to you with the results.

                     

                    My system is an i7 920, a high end EVGA motherboard, currently not overclocked for the purposes of this test.  I have 12 Gigs of Ram, a GeForce 9800 GTX graphics card, and several hard drives.  I'll put the AVCHD files on the drive without the OS, or the scratch disk.

                     

                    If anyone else wants to do this with me the following links have .mts files on them:

                    http://file.meyersproduction.com/hg10/

                     

                    http://av.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/20070808/zooma318.htm  This ones in Japanese, but there is a nice shot of flowing water here.

                     

                    These appear to be at 1440 x 1080.

                     

                    I'll add some more links for 1920 x 1080 when I find them.

                     

                     

                     

                    I'll let you know what I find out.

                    • 7. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                      Curt Wrigley Level 4

                      Notice post 4.  AVCHD can be written at different data rates; some harder to edit than others.  So it would be helpful to add this variable to your experiment as well.

                       

                      Compare it to P2 HD footage if you can.  P2 has a much kinder compression which edits like butter.

                      • 8. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                        cfalcon Level 1

                        Terrachild, you are my new best friend in the Adobe community!!  Thank you for

                        your dedication to finding some answers and ending speculation, cause I think you may be on to something.  I cant wait to read your results!!

                        • 9. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                          Terrachild Level 1

                          Thanks Curt,

                          I forgot to mention that in my post.

                           

                          The two links I mentioned above have clips, according to PP, with data rates of 840 kb/sec, and 2MB/sec.

                          I'll post all the details for all the clips in my summary.

                           

                          Off topic, thanks for the tutorials Curt.  I've been learning alot from them.

                          • 10. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                            D&R Films Level 1

                            Terrachild wrote:

                            ..Maybe this is whole conspiracy against AVCHD was started by one guy in marketing at a company that has a huge investement in HDV.

                             


                             

                             

                            Agreed. I think that company has just announced a new pro cam with AVCHD support (cough... NXCam) so maybe the negative tilt will shift.

                             

                            As for AVCHD the main reason I switched from Edius back to Premiere was the fact that my HMC150 footage could be edited in RT in CS4.1. It was MUCH better than trying to edit in Edius. I edit my native clips on a daily basis with no problem.

                            System:

                             

                            i7 920 @ 3.4ghz

                            12mb DDR3 tripple channel ram

                            700GB sys drive

                            Two 1.5 TB drives for video.

                            Nvidia Geforce 9600

                            Windows 7 64bit.

                            • 11. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                              MacBookPro09 Level 1

                              Hey everyone,

                              I have the Full HD camcorder Sony CX6 and I can really tell that editing is a mess.

                              I have not found the right tool for editing the m2ts format. Last months I bought a MacBookPro with a good performance. Well, when I connect my camcorder to my Macbook I can edit the files with IMovie. But, of course, I have also files from last year which I already put on a hard-disk with the help of Picture Motion Browser. Therefore, I have plenty of files and every file consists of a m2ts, moff and modd file. And the problem is that I cannot find any program to import and edit those 3 files. Today I tried the trialversion of Adobo Premiere Pro CS4 and I still get the message that the already mentioned files cannot be read, although, Adobe says that it is possible in its import-list for CS4. Therefore, not AVCHD is a problem but m2ts the format which you get when you work with Picture Motion Browser. But maybe someone knows what program I have to use for editing m2ts, moff and modd files.

                              • 12. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                                Harm Millaard Level 7

                                If you get the full version, instead of the trial,....

                                 

                                The trial does not supoprt anything MPEG, like AVCHD, as is clearly stated on the site....

                                • 13. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                                  Curt Wrigley Level 4

                                  Harm Millaard wrote:

                                   

                                  If you get the full version, instead of the trial,....

                                   

                                  The trial does not supoprt anything MPEG, like AVCHD, as is clearly stated on the site....

                                  They put a clear message how the trial is crippled?  Where?

                                  • 14. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                                    DareCinema Level 1

                                    Hi Guys,

                                     

                                    I don't know if this helps answer your questions or not but here goes.

                                     

                                    I have a Dell Preciscion M6400 laptop with 8 gigs of Ram and 1 Gb Video Card with Quad Core Extreme 2.53 CPU. I edited on DV for 10 years and just in the last 12 months have switched over to AVCHD with my purchase of a Sony HDR S12 (I think I got that right...)

                                     

                                    At first, editing with AVCHD was a frustrating and painful experience, so much so that I would just render all the clips to AVIs before editing. When I did the update to CS4.1 I noticed that the pain considerably eased if not vanished entirely. I only shoot the "Full HD" on the camera at what it calls Full Quality 1980 x 1080 60i but which is really just anamorphic 1440 x 1080 60i as far as Adobe Premiere Settings go.

                                     

                                    As to your questions, here goes:

                                     

                                    1) I hear that importing AVCHD can end up chopped up physically due to a FAT 32 issue?

                                     

                                    I use Sony PMB to import my files and then drag and drop them into Premiere Pro. I've never experienced this issue. Everything imports just fine.


                                    2) I have also heard that AVCHD is hard to edit with:

                                     

                                    It is a bit draggy in terms of realtime playback most noticeably when playing back over a transition. However, I ascribe that to having a laptop computer which sort of squeaks over the finish line in terms of having the firepower to handle HD.

                                     

                                    I have not noticed any changes in terms of my work speed since switching from DV to AVCHD, but seeing as I bought a new computer at the same time, that may be the reason. I don't use Multicamera mode right now, so can't answer you on that. Never had any sync issues.

                                     

                                    3) Can I export an AVCHD project into other formats and ratio sizes without loss of picture quality?

                                     

                                    I do this all the time as I don't render out to Blu-Ray and have zero problems, I usually compress to MPEG 2 DVD as well as a variety of webformats in Windows Media, Quicktime H264 as well as uncompressed AVI files for mixing up with old projects.

                                     

                                    4) Can I work with AVCHD footage within a 4:3 DV project?

                                     

                                    I don't know if this goes for everybody, but in CS4.1 you don't set the project anymore to be a specific type, you set the sequences to be 4:3 DV, AVCHD,etc... and you mix and match however the hell you want. It is really liberating. Yes you have to render the final results when you mix media, but really,,,who gives a hoot.

                                     

                                    5) Can I use AVCHD with After Effects?  Can I have a alpha channel in this format?

                                     

                                    I do,usually when I am editing with AVC HD and I need an effect over the clip I simply drag the clip from Premiere over into after effects automatically creating a project of the right settings and have at it. I almost always export out using a Quicktime file so can't answer on exporting out as AVCHD.

                                     

                                    6) Is there effects limitations with this format (i.e. can I still do scale/move/opacity in real time or color corrections):

                                     

                                    I do all this and sometimes it plays through depending on how much I am scaling, dissolving, etc... all on one piece. Again, I think if I had a computer with more cajones, it would be just fine. But in the meantime, even with a little render, it works great.

                                     

                                    7) Are you enjoying the AVCHD editing experience?

                                     

                                    Honestly, I am still getting used to it. Like I said, I edited DV for a decade, so there are some growing pains as I had everything set-up perfectly. But I didn't feel like becoming a dinosaur where my neighbors 9 year old is shooting higher quality picture on his dad's 800 buck camcorder. So it was change or be antiquated.

                                     

                                    If it makes you feel any better, I switched over from Avid to PP because I found that the Adobe CS pipeline was way better than any singular advantages any other isolated programs have and have had zero problems with AVCHD on any program or combination thereof within this pipeline.

                                     

                                    What I am enjoying is the outstanding increase in image quality that AVCHD has brought over DV. I mean it is just freaking GORGEOUS by comparison. I have only used HDV once and didn't like it enough to make the switch from DV especially since it was all still outputting to regular DVD. To me it is all about familiarity. If I had stayed with that HDV format I probably would've learned to like it and use it as well. Heck, I wanted to go P2 but simply couldn't afford the camera at the time. So I settled with AVCHD. I think to truly ENJOY the experience I need a better computer because right now my computer is slower than I am and that does not make for an enjoyable editing experience.

                                     

                                    But on the whole, yes the pros of going AVCHD outweigh the cons in my opinion and I don't see any problems on the Adobe side with handling it, just on the firepower side.

                                     

                                    I do corporate video and mini-documentaries, weddings, etc... The longest project I edited with the format (mixed in with DV, some HDV and a wack of other odds and ends) was about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Didn't have any problems.

                                     

                                    Hope that helps.

                                     

                                    What I have been searching the site for is a way to export an AVCHD disc from premiere.

                                     

                                    Regards,

                                     

                                    DSW

                                    • 15. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                                      cfalcon Level 1

                                      Thank you bolitho for your detailed write up of your experience!!!!!

                                      • 16. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                                        jrinks Level 1

                                        I just got the Sony HDR-XR-500V AVCHD handycam, and the CS4 upgrade.  I don't get the AVCHD preset choice when I start a new project.  I only get AVC-I.

                                         

                                        Any tips?

                                        • 17. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                                          Curt Wrigley Level 4

                                          Are you running the Pr trial?  It is missing a bunch of presets.

                                          • 18. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                                            D&R Films Level 1

                                            Update to the latest Pr. 4.0 didn't have AVCHD presets... 4.1 and now 4.2 have the presets.

                                            • 19. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                                              Terrachild Level 1

                                              Sorry for the delay, but family took over today.

                                              I'll get the results for everyone tomorrow......ooooh the anticipation!!!

                                              • 21. Re: an honest, AVCHD compatibility / ease of use - open discussion.
                                                medeamajic Level 2
                                                function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

                                                Terrachild wrote:

                                                 

                                                Okay,

                                                 

                                                I can't take it any longer.  I have this nagging feeling that most of the comments about it being hard to edit, or that if you only make straight cuts you'll be okay, are all made by people who haven't done it, an who keep repeating what others have written.  Those others may also be just repeating what someone else said.  And so on and so on and so on......Maybe this is whole conspiracy against AVCHD was started by one guy in marketing at a company that has a huge investement in HDV.

                                                 

                                                Sometimes I forget how useful the internet is.  I've just downloaded some sample files in raw AVCHD format.  I'll throw some edits, reverses, time-stretches, effects, and anything else I can think of at them in PP CS4 and see what happens.  I'll get back to you with the results.

                                                 

                                                My system is an i7 920, a high end EVGA motherboard, currently not overclocked for the purposes of this test.  I have 12 Gigs of Ram, a GeForce 9800 GTX graphics card, and several hard drives.  I'll put the AVCHD files on the drive without the OS, or the scratch disk.

                                                 

                                                If anyone else wants to do this with me the following links have .mts files on them:

                                                http://file.meyersproduction.com/hg10/

                                                 

                                                http://av.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/20070808/zooma318.htm  This ones in Japanese, but there is a nice shot of flowing water here.

                                                 

                                                These appear to be at 1440 x 1080.

                                                 

                                                I'll add some more links for 1920 x 1080 when I find them.

                                                 

                                                 

                                                 

                                                I'll let you know what I find out.


                                                I have used AVCHD several times. I have a mediocre 2.66 GHZ Yorfield Quad Core. I can edit AVCHD with cuts only editing on my whimpy system. So yes any Quad Core will let you edit natvie AVCHD like I stated ealier. If you have an i7 then you may be able to add a few simple effects but AVCHD in general is much harder to edit than the P2 format or even Motion JPEG (MJPEG).