11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 1, 2011 5:42 PM by joe bloe premiere

    Webcam dilemma.....codec?

    IIJohnkeatingII

      Hi guys,

       

      I have a problem that has me pulling my hair out. I have been using webcams, specifically, the Logitech C910 High definition camera. I have been using them in our documentary wherein our subjects record the footage on their end and then send us the files.

       

      Now that I have the footage, I am attempting to import it into Premiere cs 5.5. In doing so, it slows my high end rig significantly and then ultimately, crashes.

       

      The codec that the camera uses is:

       

      Video: wmv2. (Windows media video v8)

       

      The audio: Windows Media Audio 9.2 20 kbps, 32 kHz, mono (A/V) 1-pass CBR

       

      I can get the video to play and even export on a timeline, however, once I begin adding more of the assets to the project file it seizes.

       

      Do I need to convert each of these files to something else? We have even considered filming the computer screen as the files play in an effort to have premiere friendly files. (last resort)

       

      The majority of the film has been shot with a Sony Ex 1. 30fps 1080p format.

       

      Please forum gurus......your my only hope.

       

      Sincerely,

       

      John Keating

        • 1. Re: Webcam dilemma.....codec?
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          John,

           

          WMV (about all flavors) is heavily compressed, and requires some real horsepower to decode and edit, especially if you have a lot of it. PrPro can Import and edit WMV, but does not do so in a very efficient manner.

           

          I would look at converting all of the WMV's to a format, that PrPro can ingest and edit much more easily. For SD material (you have HD), I use DigitalMedia Converter 2.7, a shareware program from Deskshare. It offers me batch processing. There is a trial for their newer DigitalMedia Converter Pro, that might be useful to you.

           

          There are other programs, and probably AME (Adobe Media Encoder) can do that for you, outside of PrPro.

           

          For the conversion, I would look into the Lagarith Lossless, or UT CODEC's.

           

          Good luck,

           

          Hunt

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Webcam dilemma.....codec?
            IIJohnkeatingII Level 1

            Bill,

             

            Thankyou for responding, I was hoping you would chime in.

             

            So your suggestion is to batch convert all my wmv files to these other codecs. If I download the Lagarith codec will this appear in my media encoder as an option and under which format would it appear?

             

            I feel like you have me on the right track. We just used media encoder to reproduce the material as an f4v file. Already the system is much happier with that.

             

            Thankyou

             

            John

            • 3. Re: Webcam dilemma.....codec?
              joe bloe premiere Level 5
              If I download the Lagarith codec will this appear in my media encoder as an option

              Yes.

               

              under which format would it appear?


              .AVI

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Webcam dilemma.....codec?
                IIJohnkeatingII Level 1

                Great,

                 

                So then all that is left in question is what do I do about the fact that most of my footage is 29.97 and the webcam footage is 15fps. Do I need to worry about that.?

                 

                Thanks again,

                 

                John

                • 5. Re: Webcam dilemma.....codec?
                  joe bloe premiere Level 5


                  I would flip everything to Lagarith maintaining
                  each original clip's frame rate and aspect ratio.

                   

                  Then if you need to do frame rate conversions later,
                  you will be working with the uncompressed media.

                  • 6. Re: Webcam dilemma.....codec?
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    John,

                     

                    I think that Joe has answered all the questions, and I agree.

                     

                    As a bit of background on WMV's, I had a Project about a year ago. Though I felt strongly that the original material existed, the client insisted that the WMV's were all that were available. They had been done for some streaming delivery, and were long. All three files were about 1.5 hours. The requirement was for some minor cutting, a bunch of new Titles, and not much more. In a fit of anger at not getting the original material, I just threw the WMV's into a Project, did the required changes, and turned the workstation loose to Render for output. It was slow working with those large WMV's, but was even slower in my Export. The machine chugged along, and I got bored, as I knew there was a bit of a deadline. I grabbed the laptop, converted the WMV's (as I should have to begin with), Imported those (DV-AVI's for the SD material), did the same Cuts, and Titles, cleaned things up a bit. I did an Export from the laptop. My guess was that I was already into the Export on the workstation (much faster, and more powerful than the laptop) about 45 mins. I did the conversion, the re-cut and Title production, and finished my laptop Export with another 45 mins. to spare! I should have known better, but broke many of my own rules. At least it gave me a fair idea of how much I benefitted from conversion, outside of PrPro. Your mileage may vary.

                     

                    Good luck, and hope that the Project goes smoothly. Sounds interesting. I've never used any Webcam footage, so would be curious how things come together.

                     

                    Hunt

                    • 7. Re: Webcam dilemma.....codec?
                      IIJohnkeatingII Level 1

                      One more question about this codec. We used AME to convert the files to an MP2 at 29.97. Is this an adequate solution as well? Everything seems to be happy

                       

                      Thanks

                      John

                      • 8. Re: Webcam dilemma.....codec?
                        joe bloe premiere Level 5


                        Converting to MP2 will introduce additional compression, while

                        Lagarith and UT are lossless and will not negatively affect your footage.

                        • 9. Re: Webcam dilemma.....codec?
                          IIJohnkeatingII Level 1

                          I really appreciate the help. I have the Lagarith codec fired up and it is such a big improvement already that I cant thank you guys enough.

                           

                          I have a few lingering questions as I work through this so please bear with me.

                           

                          What should i do about the framerate. My HD footage, which makes up 80% of the film, is at 29.97 and this Webcam footage is 15 fps. Should I convert this now to 29.97 and what is the method that you recommend?

                           

                          I intend to start metalogging these files and I believe I will lose this data down the road if I alter the file in some other program so I guess I had better get this cleared up now.

                           

                          Thanks soooo muich Joe and Bill, you guys are truly appreciated.

                           

                          Your friend

                           

                          John

                          • 10. Re: Webcam dilemma.....codec?
                            IIJohnkeatingII Level 1

                            Update

                             

                             

                            After hours with Adobe tech support and countless webpages in addition to the information we got here, we have come to this conclusion.

                             

                            Lagarith will indeed take the already compressed footage in the WMV2 codec from the webcam recordings and reproduce that losslessly. Ultimately, you are left with exactly what you got from the webcam, which is of course, not optimum. Additionally, you have a huge file as well. However, Adobe premiere loves the file now and operates perfectly.

                             

                            After a series of tests with mpeg and mp4 codecs, we realized that in a side by side comparison with the Lagarith file, they were all too close to discern in quality. We exported a timeline with these formats to see what the final output compression would do and again it was not noticable. Therefore, in this situation, we are left with the choice of the unweildy file sizes of lagarith or the further compressed file from the MP4 compression. Seems like mp4 is the way to go to us.

                             

                            Does this make sense? Is there anything that we did not consider.

                            • 11. Re: Webcam dilemma.....codec?
                              joe bloe premiere Level 5

                              If you're working and happy, you're done.