20 Replies Latest reply on Nov 18, 2010 3:54 PM by Christopher Duncan Branched from an earlier discussion.

    AVCHD problems

    MarvinHerbold Level 1

      Well, an update to this discussion... I went ahead and bought CS5 Production Premium and started playing with it.  While it does load my AVCHD files there are a couple of problems...

       

      1) They look like crap.

      http://forums.adobe.com/message/3257584#3257584

       

      2) They aren't properly interpreted as 1080p 29.97 fps files and when using Roto Brush there is no way to get it right in AE.

      http://forums.adobe.com/message/3256776#3256776

       

      I guess I knew I'd be be bitten by shoddy AVCHD support again.   *Sigh*.  Hopefully these issues will be fixed soon.  I do remember Sony Vegas Pro initially having some problems with AVCHD support way back when I first got it (version 8) but they quickly resolved it and my clips look great in Vegas Pro.  That was 2 years ago.

       

      Marvin

        • 1. Re: AVCHD problems
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          No matter what system you use, processing AVCHD footage is a can of worms. It was never intended as a production codec. As I said in one of your other threads, Transcode first to a production codec. Get rid of all those funky MPEG temporal compression problems and you'll be much better off.

          • 2. Re: AVCHD problems
            MarvinHerbold Level 1

            "Get rid of all those funky MPEG temporal compression problems and you'll be much better off."

             

            Umm... ok I see 2 possible interpretations of that...

             

            1) MPEG temporal artifacts (blocking) caused by recording to the AVCHD format in the first place... this is something you can never get rid of.  You can minimize this by taking precautions when recording (never shake the camera, etc).

             

            2) Temporal artifacts caused by cutting clips (cutting somewhere in the middle of a GOP) and recompressing back to AVCHD... you can avoid that by cutting at least 300 frames before and 300 frames after the segment you want to keep.  I wouldn't recompress back into AVCHD in the first place anyway.  I keep all my original AVCHD clips intact and untouched.  But if you _had_ to (trying to recover disk space?) that is how you do it.  Or use an AVCHD cutting software that cuts clips only at exactly where the keyframes are.

            • 3. Re: AVCHD problems
              Navarro Parker Level 3

              I don't want to speak for Rick, but converting to an intermediate file eliminates all the transcoding and conforming issues that MPEG video requires. Temporal compression requires a much greater processing overhead.

               

              It's always a good idea to make intermediate movies that have no keyframes (or are all keyframes depending on how you look at it). Consider your source AVC HD folder locked. You extract the clips you want to use and then burn that to a DVD or make a .ISO out of it. That is your "tape" you store on the shelf.

              • 4. Re: AVCHD problems
                bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3

                We see similar posts almost daily in the Final Cut Pro forums. Unfortunately for the users, our only advice is to convert to a fundamentally better editing format, one that doesn't have to decompressed on the fly. The objections to this advice are usually vehement and instant but folks eventually come around to understanding the reasons and the benefits. Many end up replacing their AVCHD cameras.

                 

                bogiesan

                • 5. Re: AVCHD problems
                  MarvinHerbold Level 1

                  May dad with his iMac has the problem also (he has a similar Canon camera to mine).  I think he has the regular cheap Final Cut... but Final Cut converts AVCHD to some intermediate apple format, doesn't it?  I don't know, but I do know it is very difficult for him to edit AVCHD video - it takes forever on Final Cut.  When I show him how quickly I can import clips from the camera and edit them at real time speeds on Sony Vegas Pro on my PC he gets jealous.

                   

                  BTW all formats have to be decompressed on the fly, whether AVCHD or not (except straight raw uncompressed frames).  Even lossless PNG's have to be decompressed.  It's only a matter of degree of decompression work - AVCHD uses inter-frame and intra-frame compression which makes it very hard and demanding on the computer.  But it doesn't really bother my workhorse PC.  Yes, other formats are better suited for editing, but if I can get away with not having to spend time and disk space transcoding, then yay for me.

                   

                  At work I have a friend who uses a really fancy professional camera that records to 10 bit color.  We both showed up and filmed the same event - him with his fancy camera, and mine with my Canon AVCHD camcorder.  He kept having to swap out his storage media (something like 2GB bricks?) and when I asked him how much they cost - something like a couple hundred each... I nearly fainted.  My 16 GB card was about $35.  I just pointed and captured about 1.5 hours of footage of the event.  After the event when it was time for post, for giggles I sent him some of my AVCHD footage and he brought them up side by side into Final Cut Pro (he has a really fancy workstation with towers of rack mount hot swappable Raid drives and 3 monitors etc etc...).  Not only was my prosumer AVCHD picture quality comparable to his $8,000 professional camera, I was done editing together about 15 minutes of the event on my "lowly" (compared to his) PC on Vegas Pro (without transcoding) before he even had a chance with Final Cut Pro.

                   

                  Granted, his professional camera was about 2 years older than my prosumer camera, but still... pretty embarrassing once you consider the cost of equipment.  Cost of my equipment... $1,000 dell + $1,000 camera + $500 Vegas Pro.  Cost of his equipment... $50,000+...

                   

                  Here is a video frame from my camera (yes, that is me in the car):

                   

                  (click HERE for the full resolution lossless PNG version)

                   

                  BurnOutStillFrame.jpg

                  Edit: Hmm this site pops up the full version using some web image viewer that shrinks it down to fit - you can right click and do Save As... instead and use a PNG viewer on your PC to view it at 1080p

                  • 6. Re: AVCHD problems
                    Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                    Marvin,

                     

                    We've got a couple of software developers and testers looking into the issues that you're reporting now. Thanks for sending the sample clip; that helped a lot. Someone will get back to you on this thread with some suggestions and further questions soon. Thanks for your patience and your detailed feedback.

                     

                    For others following these AVCHD issues, here are links to the other threads that Marvin started; please read all of them to get a full picture of the conversation:

                     

                    http://forums.adobe.com/message/3258704#3258704

                     

                    http://forums.adobe.com/message/3259239#3259239

                     

                    http://forums.adobe.com/message/3257516#3257516

                    • 7. Re: AVCHD problems
                      MarvinHerbold Level 1

                      No problem - let me know if there are other sample clips that you would like me to make and upload.  Perhaps AVCHD files at different data rates or different test footage or whatever.  Just let me know!

                      • 8. Re: AVCHD problems
                        MarvinHerbold Level 1

                        Hey Todd, is there any update on this?  Have the engineers been able to id the problems?

                        • 9. Re: AVCHD problems
                          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                          I'll check.


                          • 10. Re: AVCHD problems
                            Dan Ramirez Adobe Employee

                            I've contacted Marvin about these issues and hopefully he can provide a few more files to help get the issues sorted. There are indeed multiple issues at play here. It appears we're interpreting Canon's PF30(progressive 29.97) files as interlaced 29.97(aka 59.94i) and the image quality doesn't appear to be as good as it could be. Some of the image quality issue can be traced to the incorrect field interpretation, but probably not all of it. I've filed bugs internally for these issues and hopefully we'll come to a good resolution.

                             

                            Thanks,

                            Dan Ramirez

                            After Effects

                            QA Engineer

                            • 11. Re: AVCHD problems
                              MarvinHerbold Level 1

                              I absolutely will provide whatever files are necessary to get this resolved. 

                              • 12. Re: AVCHD problems
                                Dan Ramirez Adobe Employee

                                The "improper" interlacing issue has been solved. After Effects and Premiere are doing the right thing. The camera stores 30p and 24p as interlaced 29.97 files. We're still looking into the other issue.

                                Dan Ramirez

                                After Effects

                                QA Engineer

                                • 13. Re: AVCHD problems
                                  Christopher Duncan Level 2

                                  Hey, guys.

                                   

                                  I'm a little late to the party on this but wanted to ask about recommendations for intermediate formats given that this is clearly a non trivial issue.

                                   

                                  I'm running CS4 and use AVCHD .mts files from a Panasonic AG-HMC70P. While I've not had problems thus far, I can see from the comments here that impoting the native .mts footage is a less than optimal approach.

                                   

                                  If I want to retain the ability to work at HD / 1920x1080, what would be the best intermediate format to use in my AE and Premiere projects?

                                  • 14. Re: AVCHD problems
                                    Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    A good intermediate format that a lot of folks are using lately is Quicktime with the PNG codec. (NOT a PNG sequence). At full quality it's lossless, but (in most cases) is about half the file size of a Quicktime with the Animation codec (a former much-used option).

                                    • 15. Re: AVCHD problems
                                      Christopher Duncan Level 2

                                      That's certainly worth knowing, thanks. In fact, I tend to use QuickTime Animation coming out of After Effects and the files are quite hefty.

                                       

                                      Is there any difference in quality between the Animation and PNG codecs with both at full quality?

                                      • 16. Re: AVCHD problems
                                        Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                                        > Is there any difference in quality between the Animation and PNG codecs with both at full quality?

                                         

                                         

                                        They're both lossless, so there's no difference in quality.

                                         

                                        Because PNG takes a little longer to decode, some people with slower systems have reported dissatisfaction with it for work in an NLE, where real-time decoding is important. It's what I use, but my computer is pretty fast.

                                        • 17. Re: AVCHD problems
                                          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          Animation tends to be more efficient on videos with large portions the same color such as...wait for it...animation! It's not so hot for shot footage though. And, as Todd mentioned, they're both lossless.

                                          • 18. Re: AVCHD problems
                                            Christopher Duncan Level 2

                                            > Because PNG takes a little longer to decode, some people with slower systems have reported dissatisfaction with it for work in an NLE, where real-time decoding is important.

                                             

                                            Would I be correct in guessing that even so, PNG performs better in an NLE that processing AVCHD .mts files?

                                            • 19. Re: AVCHD problems
                                              Christopher Duncan Level 2

                                              Sounds like I should choose the appropriate tool for the job then based on whether I'm diong animation oriented stuff in AE or working on more of a shot footage scenario.

                                              • 20. Re: AVCHD problems
                                                MarvinHerbold Level 1
                                                Would I be correct in guessing that even so, PNG performs better in an NLE that processing AVCHD .mts files?

                                                 

                                                Depends on your system.  If you have a fast CPU but slow hard drives, then AVCHD will perform better.  If you have a slow CPU but fast hard drives, the PNG would probably win.  This is in terms of just speed.  PNG is far easier to decode than AVCHD but takes up several orders of magnitude more hard drive space... so hard drive speed would be your bottleneck.  On the other hand, AVCHD places a much smaller demand on your hard drive but requires gobs of CPU power to decode.  So if you have a wimpy CPU then it'll be slow.