4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 28, 2011 6:52 PM by EricCJunk

    Advice on video format and editing in HD then moving to Premier

    EricCJunk

      Hi All!

       

      I was hoping to get some advice on how best to edit/out put a video I’m working on. I know this is a lengthy post, but I wanted to give all the info and would be very appreciative for any help.  I am trying to make a video that looks its best on an HDTV and thus was hoping to have a final render in an HD format. I’m trying to avoid the artifacts that show up when dealing with SD, and still getting the best quality I can.  I’ve been editing in SD for a years, but am now trying to understand the difference in HD editing, codecs, frame rates, and aspect ratio.  It’s all very confusing to me, but I know that’s what controls how your final video will look. The programs I am working with are After Effects, and Premiere Pro CS5, but I also have Pinnacle Studio 14.  I have a computer which can handle these programs/files so that’s not an issue.

       

      Currently my project is set up as follows:

      I am working is Premiere Pro CS5 for the main editing and final output.  My project settings are AVCHD 1080p square pixel 29.97fps (widescreen).  I have several 1920X1080, H264, 29.97fps files that I am working with in the project aside from what I am making in After Effects that also needs to be incorporated to this project.

       

      In After Effects Im working with a template that can be “HDV/HDTV 720. 29.97” or “HDTV 1080 29.97” (both widescreen).  The template will hold other SD videos which are not widescreen.  I don’t need to worry about the audio, as the final video will only have a music track playing.  The SD videos are in the following formats:

       

      720X480, DV, 29.97fps

      1280X720, H264, 30fps

      629X480, MJPEG, 30.03fps

       

      So my questions are how should I handle this process? 

       

      1.       I need the SD videos to be stretched to widescreen.  I am thinking about using an UPREZ plugin for them instead of just stretching them to fill the frame.  I’m just not sure if I should do it prior to importing them to AE, or have AE do it.  Then once its done, if I should render it out as a file for Premier or just do the dynamic link into Premier.

      2.       Or should I just take all the SD videos above and save them to one HD size format before working with them in AE and premiere.  I assume if I did I should make it the same format/codec as the other files in the project (1920X1080, H264, 29.97fps)?

      3.       What are the project settings (for the workspace) I should use in Premier Pro when working with mainly 1920X1080, H264, 29.97fps files?  Is that the same project settings I should use for the After Effects part?  And final what is my best output format option for just watching on HDTV?

       

      I know I have asked a lot of questions, and none will have a simple answer.  Yet, if you could point me in the right direction or give me any advice at all id truly appreciate it.  It seems like this is a workflow issue, I feel like I need to just stick one recording format and editing format in the future so I don’t have these problems.  It’s just that so many of my old video files are in several different formats.  I have read so much on here and other sites but it’s all so confusing.  I wish there was a dummies book on how to work with different video files… b/c I am a dummy when it comes to trying to understand this.  On that same point, if you do have any advice for me please be as descriptive as possible.  Thanks again, and when it’s all finished I’d be happy to share the final result with you all if you’re interested.

       

      Best-

      moxy

       

      NOTE:  I also posted this in the Premier Pro forum incase the solution is different for each program.  I will update this post if a solution is found there instead.  LINK:  http://forums.adobe.com/thread/784460

        • 1. Re: Advice on video format and editing in HD then moving to Premier
          Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          EricCJunk wrote:

           

          1.       I need the SD videos to be stretched to widescreen.  I am thinking about using an UPREZ plugin for them instead of just stretching them to fill the frame.  I’m just not sure if I should do it prior to importing them to AE, or have AE do it.  Then once its done, if I should render it out as a file for Premier or just do the dynamic link into Premier.

           

          Yes, I would use an up-rez plugin, such as Magic Bullet's Instant HD, to do the conversion.  It's up to you if you do the processing before your AE work or during, but personally I'd get all the up-rez processing done beforehand, so all my source footage was the same size and frame rate before I start manipulating it.  Use the software of your choice for the up-rez, but AE is quite good at that kind of thing.

           

          Not sure what you mean by "render it out as a file for Premiere" - you mean your final output from AE?  That depends on what your ultimate output destination is - Quicktime files?  BluRay disc?  Windows Media?

           

          Use Dynamic Link if you choose.  Personally, my workflow is typically 1 - edit in Premiere, then export edit; 2 - import to AE, do compositing/mo-gfx, then export; 3 - import back to Premiere for output to tape, or import to compression utility (like Adobe Media Encoder, Apple Compressor etc) to create delivery files.  I personally don't use dynamic link often, as I'm a bit of a control freak and like to manage every step myself, but there's no reason not to use it if you choose.

          2.       Or should I just take all the SD videos above and save them to one HD size format before working with them in AE and premiere.  I assume if I did I should make it the same format/codec as the other files in the project (1920X1080, H264, 29.97fps)?

           

          As I've said above, I would personally convert everything first.  But don't use H.264 - it's a delivery codec, not a working codec.  Use uncompressed, or a lossless codec like Quicktime Animation or Quicktime PNG, or a near-lossless codec like Apple ProRes, depending on your storage capacity.

           

          3.       What are the project settings (for the workspace) I should use in Premier Pro when working with mainly 1920X1080, H264, 29.97fps files?  Is that the same project settings I should use for the After Effects part?  And final what is my best output format option for just watching on HDTV?

           

          Work in 1920x1080 square pixels across the board, it's that simple.  H.264 is an option for your final output file, but don't use H.264 until the very last step.  The Premiere project settings should be the same as the settings you prep your source footage in - ProRes, QT animation etc, and also 1920x1080 sq pix, of course.

           

          As to the final output file, that is entirely determined by what device you will be using to play the material out to the TV.  If by computer, what is the native resolution of the computer display (probably 1920x1080?)  If BluRay, what authoring tool will you use?

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Advice on video format and editing in HD then moving to Premier
            EricCJunk Level 1

            Andrew,

             

            First thank you for taking the time to reply to me.  I have Magic Bullet Instant HD, so thats great.  I also want to use a Magic Bullet Look as well.  Do you recomend applying both effects and then rendering, or first doing the uprez and rendering, then adding the MB Look and rendering again?

             

            My final destination for the video will be an HDTV (1920 X 1080 fullHD) via my server/hd tivo, or a dvd played on blueray player.  I may also in the future want to upload them to my personal website, but Im assuming that wont be an issue going from HD to smaller version in an embedded web player.

             

            Im a bit confused about your coments about the H.264 files.  Since my videos are currently coming off my camera in the 1920X1080, H.264 format what steps should I take before editing the files?  I have access to the CS5 Master Collection, so if theres a program to use which would be best to convert the file to a better file for editing please let me know.  Also you mentioned Quictime being lossless.  I was unaware of that.  Im on a PC, so I cant do an apple format.  So if im understanding you correctly... I should take my h.264 videos and convert them to Quicktime (which im assuming has an HD format), work with the files in the quicktime format, and then when i ready for the final output (which im assuming would be in an mpeg2 or 4 HD format for dvd, or pc playback) it will look the best?

             

            Also, looking at your workflow, I always though it was bad to render the videos more times than you absolutly have to as it will keep degrading the quality.  Thats why I was going to do the dynamic link.

             

            I just went and looked in AE and Premier and when I go to start a new project (in both) I dont see any option for a quictime format.  So now Im a bit confused again, as to what to format the workspace should be if Ive converted my files to the quicktime format?

             

            Thanks again.

            • 3. Re: Advice on video format and editing in HD then moving to Premier
              Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              EricCJunk wrote:

               

              Do you recomend applying both effects and then rendering, or first doing the uprez and rendering, then adding the MB Look and rendering again?

               

              Your choice.  Just remember, if you apply grading in the first render, you can't take it back in the second render if you change your mind, without re-rendering the first pass.  If you're certain you'll get it just right in the first pass, why not?

               

              My final destination for the video will be an HDTV (1920 X 1080 fullHD) via my server/hd tivo, or a dvd played on blueray player.

               

              Video-DVDs don't support HD. You need to find out what formats & codecs your Tivo supports to create a compatible file.

               

              Im a bit confused about your coments about the H.264 files.  Since my videos are currently coming off my camera in the 1920X1080, H.264 format what steps should I take before editing the files?  I have access to the CS5 Master Collection, so if theres a program to use which would be best to convert the file to a better file for editing please let me know.

               

              It's up to you whether you convert them to a lossless format, or leave them as-is.  If they're coming from a camera like a Canon D5, they will not work well for editing - you'll get clunky performance in your NLE.  Magic Bullet have a great little utility called Grinder that converts such files to lossless QT codecs quickly and easily.  You can also convert within AE or Premiere, but it's quite slow.

               

              Within AE there's no major reason not to use the camera files, but personally I prefer all my source footage prepped for efficient, reliable, lossless performance.

               

              Also you mentioned Quictime being lossless.  I was unaware of that.  Im on a PC, so I cant do an apple format.  So if im understanding you correctly... I should take my h.264 videos and convert them to Quicktime (which im assuming has an HD format), work with the files in the quicktime format, and then when i ready for the final output (which im assuming would be in an mpeg2 or 4 HD format for dvd, or pc playback) it will look the best?

               

              Also, looking at your workflow, I always though it was bad to render the videos more times than you absolutly have to as it will keep degrading the quality.  Thats why I was going to do the dynamic link.

               

              I just went and looked in AE and Premier and when I go to start a new project (in both) I dont see any option for a quictime format.  So now Im a bit confused again, as to what to format the workspace should be if Ive converted my files to the quicktime format?

               

              Quicktime is just a container that can contain a multitude of different formats, from lossless to very lossy.  QT Uncompressed uses no compression and is lossless.  QT Animation codec at 100% quality is lossless.  QT PNG codec is lossless.  QT PhotoJPEG codec at 80-100% is near-lossless.  You don't have access to ProRes codecs in Windows, unfortunately.  In Windows, you can also use uncompressed AVI files.  Note that uncompressed and lossless files require fast hard drives to play smoothly.

               

              The advantage of using lossless formats is that you can render many times without losing quality, as the name suggests.  H.264 is heavily compressed, so you lose a lot of detail with each render pass.  But as I said earlier, there's no reason not to use Dynamic Link if you're comfortable doing so, and you'll save some hard drive space.

               

              Sorry, not in front of a Windows machine at the moment to guide you through project setup.

              • 4. Re: Advice on video format and editing in HD then moving to Premier
                EricCJunk Level 1

                My camera is the Panasonic HDC-TM700.  I just looked into Grinder, and it says its for DSLR camera video files.  Is that still what you recommed for converting my H.264 files?   And just so im clear, the QT formats are able to be used in windows correct?  Its just the ProRes that is Mac Only?

                 

                Finally, I think I am good with how to convert, and output now.  I really appreciate the info.

                 

                If at some point you (or anybody) has advice on the settings i should use to setup the project (in AE or Premier) when working with QT lossless files that would be great.

                 

                Thanks again!