I'm not sure what G-spot is telling me exactly -- but it says the Codec is M4S2, Compliant MPEG-4 v2 Simple Profile. It says "Codec(s) are Installed".
It also says:
Container is "AVI v1.0. Note MPEG info in AVI stream header." The resolution is listed at 704x480 and it's 25 fps (I knew both of these things already from Premiere).
Does this information help anybody?
This file is driving me batty -- please let me know how I can make it act normally.
Will it open in QT Pro?
No sir, won't open. At least not really. I just get a black screen in QT... but the playbar indicates that there is 26 minute file there -- which is the proper length of the file.
This source material is definitely the cause of your problems. 704 x 480 resolution with 25 FPS is extremely weird. Your best bet may be to convert this material to something editable like MS DV AVI with 720 x 576 @ 25 FPS and 48 KHz WAV.
I definitely agree with you -- that it's weird. The question is, what is
the best way to do this conversion.
I seem to get strange output no matter what I do.
Normally, I'd recommend QT Pro to do the conversion, but if it's having an issue with the file, I doubt that it would get you anything better.
Not sure what program would work better. BTW - refresh my memory - are you on Mac, or PC?
Also, and you probably stated this up-thread, but does any player play this file?
The source file is an AVI and VLC says it uses the MPEG-4 codec.
As there are no professional cameras that create AVI files with the AVC codec, I agree with the others in that your source material is simply not suitable for editing. For Premiere Pro, stick to using video you shot yourself using a supported camera format. Things should go more smoothly that way.
I would assume you tried opening it in AME. If not, worth a shot.
What Sequence settings are you dropping this file into in PPRO?
Where did the file come from?
To answer your question -- I'm using 25fps Desktop video at 704x480 for my sequence settings.
I can't replace the footage with better material because it's from a surveillance camera.... which are notorious for producing crappy and highly compressed video.
What happens when I step through frames in Premiere or After Effects is that it will step through a few frames, then as I step forward again, it will jump back in time and then as I continue stepping I'll see the same sets of frames again and again. It's like it's repeating entire sets of frames -- instead of just duplicating frames (like it might if the original material was at a lower frame rate).
Since the video plays through somewhat choppily (but correctly) in WMP, maybe the footage should really be running at 8 or 10 fps instead of the 25 fps output file that I received. And rather than seeing duplicated frames in Premiere when I move frame by frame -- I'm seeing repeated 'sets' of frames -- maybe due to very infrequent temporal keyframes or just plain bad encoding? (Has anyone else ever seen this?)
When I try to re-encode it I get lots of freeze frames -- and I'm starting to think that's what the video is supposed to look like. When I'm stepping frame by frame in Premiere (with the original material), I'm starting to think it's not an accurate representation of the file.. but as I said, instead of duplicating one frame 2 or 3 times, it's duplicating groups of frames.
It's just such a strange file and I've never seen Premiere act so unpredictably before -- but I'm definitely starting to feel that the re-encoded files I've attempted are actually correct and it's only the frame-by-frame viewing that is wrong, instead of the other way around.
Thanks for everyone's input -- if anyone has other ideas, I'm open to hear them, but I think the problem might be solved.