9 Replies Latest reply on May 17, 2011 12:37 PM by mindotus

    Need ffmpeg Codec, What Should I Do?

    literally_figurative Level 1

      Hey all,

       

      I'm using CS5 with the latest updates and I have an .AVI that will not play in premiere. Well, to be fair, it just gives me audio. So, I know AVI is a wrapper ad needed to figure out the CODEC. Mediainfo and Gspot shots are below.

       

       

      In so from what I gather, I need ffmpeg? Now, harm has made me a reformed codec pack installer, so I know better than to go installing things without thinking

       

      My work is just editing DSLR which is h264 and so all I have installed is Quicktime, so I am at a loss with this AVI, and I do not know any info about its origins.

       

      Clicking the button to be taken to the site for the codec in Mediainfo gives me this site but it seems this falls into the realm of "install if you like reinstalling your OS" so I am wary.

       

      Some more searching on the forums found the suggestion for someone else to install this Hawkeye ffmpeg codec but I am wary.

       

      So, rather than find out the hard way, I have this .AVI with, I think Mpeg2 inside, that I need to edit in premiere and it would seem I need to install something extra to edit it. What would you good folks install in my situation? I keep seeing to use mediainfo and gspot to identify what is needed, but at the same time to stay away from ffdshow.

       

      Thanks for any help!

      http://i.min.us/ikY6cu.png

       

      http://i.min.us/ilcUOQ.png

        • 1. Re: Need ffmpeg Codec, What Should I Do?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          I think Colin mentioned FFMpeg a couple of times recently and from what I remember, it is a safe and trusted codec. Look here: http://forums.adobe.com/message/3645412#3645412

           

          What camera did you use?

          • 2. Re: Need ffmpeg Codec, What Should I Do?
            literally_figurative Level 1

            I didn't shoot the footage nor can be told anything until later concerning the footage. This tends to be the case a lot, dealing with people not knowing fully what they shot at.

             

            As an aside, I tend to just make a project, import footage then delete the sequence and drag the footage onto the new sequence item. Is this a frowned upon practice?

             

            I'll search for FFNMpeg on the forums. What do you use, yourself?

            • 3. Re: Need ffmpeg Codec, What Should I Do?
              Harm Millaard Level 7
              As an aside, I tend to just make a project, import footage then delete the sequence and drag the footage onto the new sequence item. Is this a frowned upon practice?

               

              Not at all. It is a very wise approach, especially if you do not always know the mode that was used during shooting.

               

              I'm in the luucky situation that I only use DV, HDV, AVCHD and XDCAM-EX or XDCAM material and I always know the shooting mode. That also means that I have to trust experts like Colin if they endorse or even suggest codecs like FFMpeg.

              • 4. Re: Need ffmpeg Codec, What Should I Do?
                Colin Brougham Level 6

                Strictly speaking, FFmpeg isn't a codec, but a command-line application that lets you record and convert video and audio using many decoders, encoders, muxers and other utilities. It's a great tool to have in the toolbox when you get a bizarro file like this. It's not a plug-and-play solution, though--it requires a fair bit of monkeying around with the command-line to get it to do what you want, and even then, it's not a magic bullet.

                 

                That all said, I think FFmpeg can help here. Judging by the MediaInfo report, FFmpeg was used to encode the video and do the muxing--but why anyone would put MPEG-2 video and MP3 audio into an AVI container is beyond me. That's pretty non-standard stuff, right there.

                 

                I'm going to suggest a branch of the FFmpeg project called FFmbc, which is more geared toward professional formats. Despite the bizarre implementation here, the 1920x1080 @ 35Mbps MPEG-2 video suggests that this is actually XDCAM EX footage. Try this:

                 

                1. Get ffmbc - FFMedia Broadcast .   This is a customized build of FFmpeg that is more geared toward  broadcast formats and applications. The latest "official" release (0.5)   will work.
                2. Open the archive and find the "ffmbc.exe" file in  the "bin" folder. Drop it into the folder with the AVIs--or if you know  how to set up a custom path, you could do that too.
                3. Create a new  text file called something like "avi2mxf.bat" making sure that you can  see file extensions; you need to have the .BAT extension. Make this file  in the same folder as the AVIs and FFmbc.
                4. Paste the following into the batch file:
                  @ECHO OFF
                  for %%a in (*.avi) do ffmbc -i "%%a" -vcodec copy -acodec pcm_s16le -f mxf -y "%%~na".mxf
                  
                5. Save it--again making sure it has a .BAT  extension--and then double-click it to run it. It will copy the MPEG-2 video stream and convert the audio to uncompressed PCM, then rewrap it as MXF files that will import into Premiere.

                 

                I don't have a way to test this, at least for this particular flavor of file you have, so give it a go and report back.

                • 5. Re: Need ffmpeg Codec, What Should I Do?
                  literally_figurative Level 1

                  I appreciate this a lot, but I managed to find out that what I was given was something converted. So I managed to get an .MOV that was more or less from the camera directly. I say more or less since it had clearly been in a NLE as there was some text in the video but it worked.

                   

                  So I guess this may serve as a lesson to anyone that might encounter the same issue as myself, insist on getting the file directly and not some converted thing.

                   

                  Colin, would you suggest I still install ffmpeg as part of my toolkit or should I go without?  Also what fiddling needs doing? Would I not be able to install and then files will work in premiere? Your effort is appreciated.

                  Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel

                  • 6. Re: Need ffmpeg Codec, What Should I Do?
                    Colin Brougham Level 6

                    So I guess this may serve as a lesson to anyone that might encounter the same issue as myself, insist on getting the file directly and not some converted thing.

                     

                    Always the best bet; often a pipe dream

                     

                     

                    I still install ffmpeg as part of my toolkit or should I go without?  Also what fiddling needs doing? Would I not be able to install and then files will work in premiere?

                     

                    Again, FFmpeg isn't a installed codec--it's a combination of several tools for dealing with video and audio files in a number of different, really powerful ways. You might be thinking of FFDshow, which is based on the FFmpeg project and functions as a DirectShow encoding and decoding module. That has been known to cause many, many problems with Premiere--I'm speaking from personal experience on that. FFmpeg and FFDshow are related, but they're very, very different. You can safely have FFmpeg on your system--it's a simple EXE file that doesn't need to be installed at all--and once you find out some of the things you can do with it, you'll really appreciate having it around. As a real world example, YouTube uses a customized build of FFmpeg to convert everything that is uploaded; obviously, don't take that as a measure of what it's capable of, but rather, how ubiquitous it is.

                     

                    There's a lot of really geeky stuff out there about using FFmpeg for useful purposes, but it's hard to dissect. I'm hoping to put together a site where I'll collect some good applications of it and the multitude of other great freeware or open source tools available for video production.

                    • 7. Re: Need ffmpeg Codec, What Should I Do?
                      mindotus Level 1

                      Glad to see http://min.us in action ! John here, cofounder. If you have any suggestions or feedback do let us know!

                      • 8. Re: Need ffmpeg Codec, What Should I Do?
                        literally_figurative Level 1

                        Ha, I'm just a fan of the product. I do have some feedback, actually. Where should I go?