8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 14, 2011 4:35 PM by dsnow123

    From FCP to Premiere Pro: question regarding ingestion of AVCHD videos

    dsnow123

      Hi everyone,

       

      I am thinking of sometime switching from FCP to Premiere Pro.

       

      One question that I have is how do people ingest their videos into a format that Premiere Pro can read easily.  I have AVCHD footage and while I know that it can be read natively by Premiere Pro, on the trial version it is really not smooth when I play the footage back.  This is most certainly due to the fact that my computer is not powerful enough for native AVCHD editing.  That is fine, as in FCP I would transcode the AVCHD material into ProRes codec, so I am used to transcoding my footage.

       

      What format should I transcode my AVCHD videos into for a smoother editing experience in Premiere Pro? And, more to the point, are there any third-party apps out there that allow you to select an in and out point for the material to be transcoded?  In FCP, one could easily only transcode what one needed.  So if I needed to transcode just 10 seconds from a 5 minute clip, I could do that.  Transcoding an entire video clip seems like a waste of HD space when all you need is a few seconds of a clip.

       

      Many thanks to all,

      Andy

        • 1. Re: From FCP to Premiere Pro: question regarding ingestion of AVCHD videos
          Colin Brougham Level 6

          Andy,

           

          While editing the AVCHD footage directly is possible and certainly preferred in Premiere Pro, as you've discovered, it requires a few more hamsters under the hood to do so.

           

          Assuming you're on a Mac and you'll keep FCP installed, you could use Adobe Media Encoder (aka AME, included with Premiere Pro) to transcode all of your files to ProRes or another similar codec. Just add the MTS files to the queue, change the Format to QuickTime, and then you can even mark in and out points to transcode. If you need multiple selects from a single shot, you can easily duplicate the instance of the clip in the AME queue and change the marks. Note that you need to have FCP installed in order to use ProRes to encode, so technically, you could Log and Transfer your clips with FCP and use the resulting QT MOVs to edit in Premiere Pro.

           

          If and when you can upgrade your hardware, you'll find that a faster and more powerful computer will edit AVCHD with relative ease, and then you can do away with the trancoding process entirely. Check out this article for some more thoughts on native format editing in Premiere Pro.

           

          Welcome, and if you have any questions as you make the switch, please feel free to ask questions. Glad you're considering Premiere Pro!

          • 2. Re: From FCP to Premiere Pro: question regarding ingestion of AVCHD videos
            jasonvp Level 3

            Andy -

            dsnow123 wrote:

             

            One question that I have is how do people ingest their videos into a format that Premiere Pro can read easily.  I have AVCHD footage and while I know that it can be read natively by Premiere Pro, on the trial version it is really not smooth when I play the footage back.  This is most certainly due to the fact that my computer is not powerful enough for native AVCHD editing.

             

            At the risk of making this a Hardware Forum thread, what are the specs of the Mac you're doing your editing on?  I assume it's a Mac Pro?  What generation?  For what it's worth, I'm using a 3.5 year old Mac Pro; editing and playing back AVCHD natively w/PPro is smooth as silk.

             

            jas

            • 3. Re: From FCP to Premiere Pro: question regarding ingestion of AVCHD videos
              dsnow123 Level 1

              Thank you guys for such quick answers.  I am indeed on a Mac, and it's a 17" MacBook Pro from 2009 with Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.66Ghz with 4GB of RAM.

               

              Should I choose to delete FCP altogether from my hard drive, what other codec may you recommend for conversion of the MTS files when using AME?

               

              Also, because I use the Canon 24p format which is in fact inside a 60i wrapper, with Compressor I used a setting to remove the pulldown (i.e. do an inverse telecine) in order to obtain 24p footage.  Is there such an option in AME, for instance at the same time of conversion from MTS to another codec?

               

              Many thanks again for your help.

               

              Andy

              • 4. Re: From FCP to Premiere Pro: question regarding ingestion of AVCHD videos
                jasonvp Level 3

                dsnow123 wrote:

                 

                Thank you guys for such quick answers.  I am indeed on a Mac, and it's a 17" MacBook Pro from 2009 with Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.66Ghz with 4GB of RAM.

                 

                 

                I can't help with your codec questions (one of the other worthies here will have to do that).  But the machine you're using is probably not up to snuff.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say: when you load one of your AVCHD films into PPro, I'll bet if you check your system resources you'll see your memory is used up completely.  Also, you only have 2 real cores doing work, so PPro will be able to thrash them silly and not allow either one of them to address OS-specific stuff.

                 

                Do you watch the Activity Monitor while you're working on your footage?  Do you see the CPUs going to "11" and the RAM being completely depleted?

                 

                jas

                • 5. Re: From FCP to Premiere Pro: question regarding ingestion of AVCHD videos
                  Colin Brougham Level 6

                  Hi Andy,

                   

                  My Lenovo laptop (Win 7 x64) is similar--Core2Duo 2.26GHz with 4GB of RAM. It's fine for stuff all the way up to DVCPROHD (my primary format at this time), but AVCHD is a chore, even when knocking down the playback resolution. You're really looking at least a quad core processor and as much RAM as you can stuff into the box to have a decent AVCHD/H.264 editing experience. My primary workstation is an i7-930 overclocked to 4GHz with 24GB of RAM, and I can pretty comfortably edit several layers of AVCHD MTS files or Canon DSLR clips--plus I'm using GPU acceleration, so most effects playback in realtime.

                   

                  If you want to get rid of FCP--essentially removing the possibility to encode to ProRes--you might consider the free Avid QuickTime Codecs. The DNxHD codec is, more or less, on par with ProRes, and there is no need to have FCP installed to use it.

                   

                  Regarding the pulldown removal: Premiere Pro does real-time pulldown removal on some 24p footage types. This would apply to AME, as well. However--at least in my experience--the Canon stuff is exempt from this, because it's a slightly weird 24p format called 24PF. Unlike more "standard" 24p implementations, it's not flagged for real-time inverse telecine--it's actually designed to be edited in a 60i sequence. I've used After Effects to convert this kind of material to a true 24p stream, however. Which Canon camera are you using? I think most of the newer AVCHD cams shoot to both 24PF and true 24p; the latter would be the better choice for Premiere Pro.

                   

                  If you have a short sample clip you can upload, I'd be happy to take a look.

                  • 6. Re: From FCP to Premiere Pro: question regarding ingestion of AVCHD videos
                    dsnow123 Level 1

                    Thank you Colin.  Today I tried to use Adobe Media Encoder on some of my Canon Vixia HF11 footage. This is 24FP footage, which, as you noted, is in fact interlaced.

                     

                    In AME, I changed the export settings to the ProRes codec, and chose 23.976 frames per second as the frame rate as well as progressive for the field type.  Does that not effectively convert my footage to "real", desinterlaced, 24p?

                     

                    Thanks again,

                     

                    Andy

                    • 7. Re: From FCP to Premiere Pro: question regarding ingestion of AVCHD videos
                      Colin Brougham Level 6
                      Does that not effectively convert my footage to "real", desinterlaced, 24p?

                       

                      Unfortunately, it probably does not. It'll create a 24p file, but I don't think the cadence will be right. The Canon 24PF stuff uses a different telecine pattern than, say, Panasonic does, which allows for easy pulldown removal. After Effects is able to do it, but for whatever reason--at least, the last time I checked--Premiere Pro and AME could not. Step through your clip one frame at a time and look for interlacing...

                       

                      The simple test would be to import one of your clips into Premiere Pro, and check what the reported frame rate is; it should say 29.97. If you right-click the clip and go to Modify > Interpret Footage, you might be able to use the Remove 24p DV Pulldown checkbox, but I doubt it. If you can, and PPro does things properly, you'll have a 24p stream. Load the clip into the Source Monitor and step through it frame-by-frame; if you see nothing but whole, progressive frames, you're good--but I suspect you'll see some interlacing, just as above.

                       

                      Do you have After Effects? As mentioned, that can be used to remove the pulldown. There are also a lot of various methods and tutorials to removing the 24PF pulldown with other freeware/third-party tools.

                      • 8. Re: From FCP to Premiere Pro: question regarding ingestion of AVCHD videos
                        dsnow123 Level 1

                        Hi Colin,

                         

                        I will try to do what your suggest, thank you.

                         

                        But FYI, I have compared the way the new "24p" clip plays in QuickTime vs. the original MTS file.  When I scroll the 24p clip transcoded with the settings I described in my previous message, there are no signs of interlacing that I can see and no jaggies. However, scrolling the playhead when looking at the original MTS clearly shows the interlacing in parts of the image.  That is why I was kind tricked into believing that the my 24p file (which is also recognized by QuickTime as playing at 23.97 frames per second) *really* is a true 24p file now.  Do you have any thoughts on that.

                         

                        Thanks again,

                        Andy