14 Replies Latest reply on Apr 27, 2011 1:20 PM by Colin Brougham

    Exporting HD footage

    MissClareskister

      As some of you may know from a previous post, I am currently working on my Senior Capstone film project. My classes have all been FCP based, and I was really getting into risky waters by using Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 for my edit - due to potential compatability issues.

       

      My last post discussed issues with some rippling in my footage, which a friend recommended deinterlacing the footage.

       

      Now, I am trying to export my footage and have strict guidelines for my file format, some of which are not a codec available for the PC (Apple ProRes 422). I have exported an MPEG-2 Blu-ray of my project (so far the only setting that produced a quality product for some reason) and have been trying (and failing) to convert the footage.

       

      Here is my workflow (my required export settings will follow):

      My footage was recorded on 3 different Canon HV20's. All of my footage is stored on an external harddrive connected via FireWire 400 (with FireWire 800 adapter).

      The project file is HDV 1080i/60i (30fps).

      I exported the footage directly onto my external harddrive (not a large enough internal HD) as MPEG-2 Blu-ray leaving the default settings (Maximum Render Quality and Frame Blending I believe were both checked).

      The final result looks fine.

       

      I downloaded software called MPEG Streamclip, as recommended for my fellow FCP classmates to use when converting their Apple ProRes files into H.264 .mp4 files. I chose the exact same settings as they were required. The result?: The first 10 seconds or so plays normally. Then, once the first visually chaotic scene (actors running all over the place on screen), the video cannot keep up and it appears to be playing in slow motion until it speeds up and slows back down.

       

      I decided to try the H.264 Codec in PP. My Source Settings reads: 1440x1080 (1.3333), 29.97 fps, Upper, 00;14;41;22, 48000 Hz, Stereo

      The Output settings chosen: NTSC, 1920x1080, 29.97 fps, De-interlaced AAC, 160 kbps, 48 kHz, Stereo VBR, 1 Pass, Target 30.00, Max 30.00 Mbps

       

      Now, I understand the 1440x1080 doesn't match up with the 1920x1080 and I wondered if I should have approached this differently. I am required to either use 1280x720 or 1920x1080 for my output. 1440x1080 is NOT an option, even though this was the only setting I could use for my source footage which was captured from HDV tapes. Supposedly the Canon HV20 is 1920x1080 data compressed into 1440x1080, but I know nothing more than this as I wasn't familiar with the cameras before this project.

       

       

      But for the official screening of our films, I'm required to provide the H.264 .mp4 file which will be placed onto a FCP timeline alongside my classmates' projects.

       

       

      Any advice or recommendations to test out, please let me know. Here are the requirements for the output file which I've been adhering to but without successful results:

       

      Drag the QuickTime file (.mov) youʼve just created into the center square (it has 5
      blue dots) on MPEG Steamclip.
      • Go to File > Export to MPEG-4
      • Under Compression, H.264 should be automatically selected. Be sure that it is.
      • Make sure the Quality bar is at 100%.
      • Check Limit Data Rate and type in 30; then make sure you have mbps selected
      next to it in the drop down menu, NOT kbps.
      • Sound should set automatically.
      • Frame Size should remain (unscaled), as you selected this during the creation of
      your master file.
      • Make sure that Interlaced Scaling is unchecked if your film is ProRes 422 (most of
      your films will be). If your file is DV NTSC, leave Interlaced Scaling checked, and
      check De-interlace Video as well.
      • Click Make MP4 to export.
      • Name the file and select where to save it on
      your hard drive.
      • Click Save.

       

       

      I have played around with the Interlaced Scaling, trying both checked and unchecked as my original file is not ProRes 422. But the same video lag problem happens each time.

        • 1. Re: Exporting HD footage
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          But for the official screening of our films, I'm required to provide the H.264 .mp4 file

           

          That can be created directly from Adobe's software.  So why the unnecessary work around involving ProRes?

          • 2. Re: Exporting HD footage
            MissClareskister Level 1

            The instructor wishes to have the ProRes file for filing purposes... I can probably make an exception but it was the file that became the source file for the mp4. They are having us provide 3 different file times : a ProRes for filing, an m2v for DVDs, and an h.264mp4 for the screening.

            • 3. Re: Exporting HD footage
              MissClareskister Level 1

              I discovered how to export the H.264 file directly from PPro, the problem that arises is playback slows down and speeds up as though it cannot keep up. I am curious if this is do to my attempt to change the output settings from the source file settings. If so, is there a way to convert the 1440x1080 footage into 1920x1080 or 1280x720?

              • 4. Re: Exporting HD footage
                Jim_Simon Level 8

                OK.

                 

                If you need three different versions, create all three from Adobe Media Encoder directly.  I'm fortunate enough not to have to deal with Macs in my work, so I can't help with specifics for the ProRes version.  If it's possible at all, it will probably require you to install Mac-something or other on your PC to do it, so you may want to ask your teacher if a lossless AVI file will suffice instead.

                 

                For the others, you should be able to adjust your output appropriately without affecting playback speed.  Try the file on another computer for verification.  Use something like VLC or the KMPlayer for this.  Avoid QuickTime or Windows Media Player.

                • 5. Re: Exporting HD footage
                  MobyTrix Level 1

                  MissClareskister wrote:

                   

                  I discovered how to export the H.264 file directly from PPro, the problem that arises is playback slows down and speeds up as though it cannot keep up.

                   

                  You have answered your own question.  The hardware you are trying to play the file on cannot keep up.  Try playing it on a more powerful computer to verify, preferably with Media Player Classic Homecinema which will attempt to use shaders on your video card to accelerate the playback.

                   

                  You did not list the specs of your hardware; doing so can confirm/disprove this assumption.

                  • 6. Re: Exporting HD footage
                    MissClareskister Level 1

                    Aha! I knew I still managed to forget some valuable information in my posting:

                     

                    I have a A Mid/Late 2010 MacBook Pro with Intel Core 2 Duo Processor @ 3.06GHz, NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT.

                     

                    I work directly off from an external drive connected through FireWire, which may be part of the problem as it has to load the footage off from the external to edit in the program on the internal HD and then export it back onto the external?

                     

                    The MPEG-2 is Blu-Ray quality, so I am not sure why this export was fine, but every other format lags. But if another computer is what I need to borrow, then let's hope that's what will solve this problem!

                    • 7. Re: Exporting HD footage
                      MobyTrix Level 1

                      MPEG-2 has drastically lower playback requirements than H.264, so MPEG-2 exports will definitely play on your machine easily.

                      • 8. Re: Exporting HD footage
                        MissClareskister Level 1

                        Gotcha. Oh, and 4GB RAM.

                        • 9. Re: Exporting HD footage
                          MissClareskister Level 1

                          So perhaps then my Computer cannot handle the HD footage? What would be the recommended requirements to edit HD so that when I invest in another

                          machine can handle this so I don't have to rely on someone else's computer to export my projects in the future?

                          • 10. Re: Exporting HD footage
                            MobyTrix Level 1

                            MissClareskister wrote:

                             

                            So perhaps then my Computer cannot handle the HD footage? What would be the recommended requirements to edit HD so that when I invest in another machine can handle this so I don't have to rely on someone else's computer to export my projects in the future?

                             

                            You can edit and produce HD footage just fine on your machine -- I thought you were only having trouble playing back the final result.  There will be jerky playback when you're previewing the timeline, and some exports might take longer, but there is nothing preventing you from editing the full result on the hardware you have now.  You just have to have realistic expectations on how smoothly the editing and previewing will go.  Your hardware is perfectly capable of producing a broadcast-quality H.264 output file.  You just can't play it smoothly on that machine, is all.

                             

                            As for your next machine, Adobe lists minimum and recommended hardware requirements on their website for all their products.

                            • 11. Re: Exporting HD footage
                              MissClareskister Level 1

                              Previewing the footage in the timeline has been no problem, it was just the final exported product. I am going to try out my exported file on

                              another computer and see if the exported mpeg-4 file is okay, or if I need to export from a different computer. Thank you very much for your suggestions. Hopefully by tomorrow night I'll have a definite answer on whether this is the solution to my issue or not!!

                              • 12. Re: Exporting HD footage
                                Colin Brougham Level 6

                                see if the exported mpeg-4 file is okay, or if I need to export from a different computer.

                                 

                                Hmm... I wonder...

                                 

                                Have you tried checking to see if the metadata is turned off in Export Settings? Click the Metadata button in the Export Settings window, and set Export Options (at the top) to "None." Try exporting your MP4 again, and check playback; you might just want to do a segment of your sequence.

                                • 13. Re: Exporting HD footage
                                  MissClareskister Level 1

                                  Well, I tested my mp4 file on one of the campus Macs and it played perfectly! I am going to export a more recent cut and test it again just to be sure, but it is looking promising! So I guess the problem was indeed that my computer was capable of editing and producing content, it was just unable to actually play the footage once in a compressed format.

                                   

                                  Thanks again for talking me through different scenarios... Colin, I changed my Metadata to None as well as you suggested.

                                   

                                  Success!

                                  • 14. Re: Exporting HD footage
                                    Colin Brougham Level 6

                                    Cool, I'd say you're good. I've talked with a few other people who were working Macs, exporting to H.264, and discovering really awful playback--in those instances, it was a matter of turning off the metadata injection. I don't know why or how this happens; it doesn't happen all the time so it's hard to create a meaningful bug report for it.

                                     

                                    Carry on...