6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 23, 2011 6:40 PM by mdubuque

    a better workflow with h.264 files?

    masha bigova


      Sorry for asking a total newbie question.

      I am just starting to deal with video editing.

      Ma camera is Sanyo Xacti.

      My video is H.264, 1920X1080,


      My first question is:


      When working with Final Cut Pro where i had first to convert my footage to Apple Prores 422 codec to edit. It was fine but all this rendering business in FCP every time you want to try a new effect on a videofile or transition or something else really pisses me out. I come from the world of Professional Audio where the process is real-time and rather fast. Is the workflow in Premiere similar and after every operation you have to suffer from rendering? Can i preview the effects without rendering? These things are crucial to me, because with all this time-consuming rendering the creative fun goes away.


      My second queston is:

      From what i read about Premiere Pro CS5, i undestand that now i dont need to convert H.264 files and can work in this program without any additional conversion of these files. But i also read that this codec can be demanding on the computer. I use Mac Pro 8-core with 4 GB RAM. Will it be enough to edit my files in Premiere Pro CS5 as they are or it would be better to convert them first to some friendlier format (without quality loss, if possible)?


      Thank you!

        • 1. Re: a better workflow with h.264 files?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          There is no need to convert AVCHD material to another format. CS5 handles that natively. However, your MAC is severely limited, not so much by the limited multi-threading of the OS, but by a severe lack of memory. 12 GB of RAM or more is advised.


          All conversions cost quality, but one of the least intrusive ones is Cineform.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: a better workflow with h.264 files?

            While I agree with Harm that things would go even more smoothly with more RAM, I'll add that you should be just fine with the H.264 footage from your XACTI.  Premiere Pro handles AVCHD and H.264 quite well.  If you set up your sequence right (the easiest way is just to drag the file icon and drop it onto the new sequence button), you will be able to playback without render.  Once you start adding complicated effects, that may slow down playback a bit but you won't need to stop and re-render every few minutes.  I moved to Premiere Pro from Final Cut Express for exactly the reason you describe and I've been very happy with it.  I'm on a Macbook Pro with 8GB of Ram, but I just upgraded to 8 and when I had only 4GB I could still go through my footage and apply basic effects just fine without the need to render. 

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: a better workflow with h.264 files?
              Andy Urtu Level 1

              I am on a iMac.  Get as much Ram as you can.  8GB would be my minimum recomendation.  I have 6GB and it is not enough

              • 4. Re: a better workflow with h.264 files?
                mdubuque Level 1

                Your basic decision is correct, switching to Premiere Pro and I congratulate you on that!  Like you, I edit this exact same type of footage.


                Try to get some more RAM if you can, especially as your project gets larger.  If your film is an hour or so, it's very nice to retain that great speed you had when it was smaller.


                But now you will have more fun.  Guaranteed. 


                Matt Dubuque

                100 Trees

                • 5. Re: a better workflow with h.264 files?
                  masha bigova Level 1

                  Thank you everybody for your input on the topic!

                  I'll be saving money to be able to buy more RAM. Learning Premiere seems to me even more challenging now.

                  • 6. Re: a better workflow with h.264 files?
                    mdubuque Level 1

                    Challenging but rewarding.   Try to learn a new keyboard shortcut every day.  That surely helps.


                    Matt Dubuque