10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 28, 2011 1:34 PM by Jac Godsman

    AVCHD & Archiving - please help! :(

    Jac Godsman


      I have a canon Legria HFS21 camcorder that shoots/captures in AVCHD.  I'm a MAC user & the software that came with the camera is not mac-compatible so I'm not able to save & store the footage in its native format using the camera software (slightly annoying - you'd think canon would be on top of this :/) .  Anyway, I've recently moved from FCP to Adobe Premiere Pro and I would like to know how I can store my raw, native files using premier pro.  I've heard that you can import it into a project then save it/compress it somehow so it achieves the same result (like a native archiving system) but I'm not sure how to go about it/what settings to use. I hope someone might be able to help me - thanks.

        • 1. Re: AVCHD & Archiving - please help! :(
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          You don't need other software with AVCHD files... use the Mac equivalent of File Manager (now called Windows Explorer) and a USB cable connected to your camera... copy the ENTIRE FOLDER that contains the video files from your camera to your video data drive, then import the files from that folder into PPro


          You copy the entire folder since "metadata" needed to link the files together is contained in the folder structure


          At least, that is what I do in Windows http://forums.adobe.com/thread/652694?tstart=0


          For archiving... AVCHD is already compressed, so if you want the "raw" files you would just save the folder/files to a USB hard drive (USB is generally too slow for editing, but works fine for storage) to then copy the files back to your video data drive as needed

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          • 2. Re: AVCHD & Archiving - please help! :(
            Jac Godsman Level 1

            Hi John, I'll try this today - I'm really appreciative (& excited!) by the advice and will let you know how it goes or if I encounter any problems - fingers crossed

            • 3. Re: AVCHD & Archiving - please help! :(
              JSpragens Level 1

              What John said ...


              On the Mac, that's Finder (the equivalent of Windows Explorer).


              I use a card reader, rather than connect my camera to the computer, but the two methods should work about the same.


              On my Panasonic camcorder, the containing folder is named AVCHD, and it contains three subfolders that hold the video files and the metadata. I copy the AVCHD folder to the computer.

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              • 4. Re: AVCHD & Archiving - please help! :(
                Jac Godsman Level 1

                Thanks so far for your  help John & J (it seems so simple and obvious but I couldn't find the info anywhere - an Adobe Manager told me I had to import it directly from the camera into PPro and Canon told me that I have to use the software that comes with my camera (which of course is non-mac compatible) so I found myself stuck!   I'm currently copying my AVCHD folder to an external hard drive b/c there's so many files on my camera (b/c that's where I've been storing everything).  The AVCHD folder is 37.11GB and going to take about 40 minutes.  I know John you said that the USB hard drive will be fine for storage but too slow for editing.... so can I save it all to the external device, like I'm doing now, and then just drag selected files onto my computer's hard drive?  If I can drag & store selected, relevant files onto my computer's hard drive will the files still work properly in PPro?  Or will they lose data?  Do I have to have the whole folder on my computer hard drive?  (Does it all have to be located together to work properly?)  Thanking you both

                • 5. Re: AVCHD & Archiving - please help! :(
                  Jac Godsman Level 1

                  I was wondering if you know what the other 'no name' disk is that appears when I plug in my camera?  I get a 'canon' disk and a 'no name' disk (the no-name one, contains a 'private' folder that leads to an AVCHD folder etc. (looks similar to the contents of the 'canon' disk but doesn't contain everything....)

                  • 6. Re: AVCHD & Archiving - please help! :(
                    JSpragens Level 1

                    That's a sizeable chunk of files!


                    The AVCHD folders I work with are substantially smaller, so I haven't faced the dilemma you do.


                    But what occurs to me is that you might use that external hard drive as your archive of original files and just import the files you need for a project into Premiere, as described here:

                    http://help.adobe.com/en_US/premierepro/cs/using/WSd79b3ca3b623cac9-6a7330b81235841ab3b-80 00.html


                    Since I haven't worked that way, I can't guarantee it's the right approach for your situation. But it looks like something that would be worth a try.

                    • 7. Re: AVCHD & Archiving - please help! :(
                      JSpragens Level 1

                      Looking at the specs for your camera, I see: "64GB Dual Flash Memory combines large built-in capacity – enough for over 24 hours of HD movies – with dual SDHC slots for recording to memory cards. Relay Recording automatically detects when one storage medium is full, and switches to the other."


                      So I'd guess the "no name" disk is either the second chunk of flash memory built into the camera or a memory card.


                      I'd suggest making a separate folder on your external hard drive and copying the AVCHD folder from that "no name" disk into the separate folder. Then you can use Premiere to check whether there's any actual video there.


                      By the way, I see the Wikipedia article on AVCHD has a diagram of the folder structure for AVCHD storage.

                      • 8. Re: AVCHD & Archiving - please help! :(
                        Jac Godsman Level 1

                        Hi JS thanks heaps - it's all working!  JS you've been so helpful. I'll try your 'no name' disk suggestion as soon as I get the chance.  Just got one last question for this thread:  in the AVCHD file folder, are the MTS video footage files, and then a file that seems to correspond with the MTS files (with a little 'i' in a box picture called an XMP file... ) What are these?  If I delete them, will my MTS files not work properly?  Are they what store the native data perhaps?


                        Thanks again JS & Johh.

                        I may have some more AVCHD questions in the very near future so I look forward to the possibility of your wise words again!


                        So helpful - I love Adobe Forums

                        • 9. Re: AVCHD & Archiving - please help! :(
                          JSpragens Level 1

                          Those XMP files contain metadata in XML format. (You can open one in TextEdit if you want to see what's inside.)


                          I notice that I have those in directories that contain video I've worked in Premiere but not in directories with video I worked only in Final Cut. So I'm guessing they're added by Premiere.


                          The ones I see are quite small, so they're not chewing up a lot of your disk space.


                          If you wanted to experiment risk-free, you could move them out of the STREAM folder to a safe temporary location and see if that affected things. If it had a negative effect, you could just move them back into place.

                          • 10. Re: AVCHD & Archiving - please help! :(
                            Jac Godsman Level 1

                            Will do, thanks again J - you've been really helpful