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Old December 30th, 2011, 08:30 PM   #1
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AVCHD "equivalent" Export from CS5.5?

I'm shooting Canon XA10/G10/HFS200's for multicam shoots. I edit on Premiere Pro CS5.5, and since I have built my editing computer with a i7 hex core, Quadro 4000, 24Gb of Ram, and GSpeed Raid I have been enjoying pretty good results editing native AVCHD.

I had used Cineform on my older computer, and I still use it if I have to do alot of effects. I will get all my footage synced and trimmed (long format concert videos), get the audio mixed/cleaned up, and try to match white balance, denoise (really really slow!) if necessary, etc... and then I export each camera with the corrections. Then I will reimport into a new project and do my editing from there.

The problem with Cineform or other lightly compressed formats is that for an 8 camera concert I can end up with >500Gb of data for one concert, whereas the original AVCHD files are a small fraction of that.

Ideally, I'd make the corrections, syncing, etc... and export back to AVCHD, then do my cutting/mixing from there, but I don't know if there is a good equivalent to do that with?
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Old December 31st, 2011, 03:21 AM   #2
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Re: AVCHD "equivalent" Export from CS5.5?

Why the intermediate step of exporting each camera and then importing again? It will only result in quality loss. Why not using nested sequences and skip the export step.?
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Old December 31st, 2011, 01:33 PM   #3
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Re: AVCHD "equivalent" Export from CS5.5?

Maybe I don't understand nested sequences well enough, I don't know how that would fix the issue I have.

The reason I'm doing what I do right now is that I need to have the individual camera angles cleaned up with good audio and any other corrections I need to do for some of my other team members doing things in other editing programs (not Adobe PPCS5.5). They don't have the hardware/software capability that I do, and something like Neat Video on AVCHD would kill their computer...figuratively...

Also, if I have to run Neat Video noise reduction for example, which is excruciatingly slow,it has to run overnight, I like to get that processing out of the way so I can work real time with good clean video. I guess it is a "pay me now or pay me later" exercise. If I don't do the cleanup work at the beginning, every time I need to output a file I have to re-render with the very time consuming noise reduction, so if I want to output to 3 different formats it has to do the very slow render all three times, vs. getting it done once up front.

Hopefully that explanation makes sense on what I'm doing. Maybe there is a better way?
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Old January 1st, 2012, 03:32 AM   #4
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Re: AVCHD "equivalent" Export from CS5.5?

In this case you really have to go through an intermediate. However, encoding back do AVCHD (it's H.264 codec BTW), while giving you smaller files, introduces another layer of compression, that will most likely influence the quality of your final edit. Personally I would stick to Cineform files, even though they take up more space.
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 10:56 AM   #5
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Re: AVCHD "equivalent" Export from CS5.5?

Hi Ken,

To promote "storage economy", cameras compress the heck out of our videos! Long-GOP formats are used, meaning rather than each frame being compressed individually, a number of frames are combined, with just the "difference" or changes being saved between frames, and then (hopefully) being reconstructed later from this minimal amount of data. HDV for instance uses a GOP of 15 frames, therefore any little glitch that would have messed up ONE frame of miniDV video destroys 15 frames of HDV (half a second!).

Also, most camcorders use 4:2:0 color, while decent intermediate codecs use 4:2:2 color.

So, you do NOT want to go back to AVCHD because it just kills the quality that much more as others have already suggested. Keep doing what you're doing. Massive hard drives are inexpensive, though pricing is creeping up right now due to flooding issues in Thailand where many drives are manufactured.

I know what you mean about the long render for de-noising. Recently edited a two-camera HDV wedding
shot in a dark church and had the whole thing cut, but was very unhappy with the video noise. Tried and purchased the Red Giant Denoiser plug in and was only able to get about 1-2 frames per second out of it.

As the program was already edited, I ran the original HDV clips through Denoiser process in AE and rendered out to the Matrox codec, and then in Premiere I unlinked the media, then relinked to new clips, and voila! the noisy clips were replaced with the clean without re-editing.


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Old January 2nd, 2012, 02:46 PM   #6
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Re: AVCHD "equivalent" Export from CS5.5?

Thanks for the feedback guys, this forum is great! Yes, the current price of hard drives is a bit of an issue, but the bigger issue I am running into right now is time.

What this really highlights is the benefit of getting a good shot to begin with! If I get a good clean shot the first time, and don't require much in the way of color/noise/etc... then I edit everything natively and it works really well. As soon as I have to start adjusting everything it gets really really s...l...o...w... Unfortunately, I don't have control of lighting at the venues, they really screw me up when they change mid-performance and I can't get to my unmanned cameras!

For now it sounds like I should stay the course and accept the huge files when I have to.

I didn't mention that one of my issues is that I also "archive" these performances for our orchestra, so I keep all the projects/files instead of deleting them once I finish editing a project, so I have started archiving them off to external hard drives, but they stack up quickly for an 8 camera 2 hour concert!

Now if I can just figure out how to stop PPCS5.5 from conforming every stinking file every stinking time I open a project, it takes forever, and in searching the forums have not found a way that makes is stop doing that!!!

Last edited by Ken Kaiser; January 2nd, 2012 at 02:52 PM. Reason: Add'l comment
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 06:04 AM   #7
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Re: AVCHD "equivalent" Export from CS5.5?

Perhaps you might consider moving all the CPU-heavy tasks to the end of your production process, when only part of your material will be processed?
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Old January 4th, 2012, 08:28 AM   #8
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Re: AVCHD "equivalent" Export from CS5.5?

This is interesting . . . I also shoot AVCHD (weddings), and when the church/reception is dark and I have to bump up the gain a lot, I remove the noise with Magic Bullet Denoiser in AE, render the clips, then bring them back into Premiere. Up until now, I've been rendering back to a decent bitrate H.264 file, but since I've read this I'm rethinking the process. I know the extra compression was taking a toll on the footage, but I was frankly too rushed upon startup to experiment much with different codecs.

Forgive me if this has been discussed before elsewhere, but what would you say would be an "ideal" codec and related settings to use to render out of AE back into Premiere? I surely don't want to go with drive-eating uncompressed footage or anything close to that, but some kind of happy medium that would look good on final output, which is web/DVD/Blu-ray.

Thanks!
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Old January 4th, 2012, 08:49 AM   #9
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Re: AVCHD "equivalent" Export from CS5.5?

Hi Corey,

A couple of tips for dark wedding ceremonies. One trick is to change shutter from 60 to 30, this immediately provides a brighter image. Motion can be a bit choppy this way, but then ceremonies are mostly static images anyway. My Sony FX7 gets SO grainy that I refuse to go over 6dB regardless of how dark the image looks - I would rather have a fairly clean image, and I can actually then brighten that quite a bit in post, but once it gets too grainy, then it's a mess to deal with.

I use the Matrox MXO2 Mini with Premiere, so when I render out anything, I just use the Matrox MPEG-2 I-Frame codec with 4:2:2 color. For other editors, maybe use a high-bitrate MPEG-2, or try the Lagarith lossless .avi codec (makes big files though).

Jeff Pulera

Last edited by Jeff Pulera; January 4th, 2012 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Add more comments
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Old January 4th, 2012, 09:43 AM   #10
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Re: AVCHD "equivalent" Export from CS5.5?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Pulera View Post
One trick is to change shutter from 60 to 30, this immediately provides a brighter image.
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the info! Unfortunately, I can't change the shutter to 30, because I'm shooting 60fps. I use HMC40's, a TM900, and GH1's. The only cameras I have severe noise issues with are the 40's.
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Old January 6th, 2012, 05:23 PM   #11
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Re: AVCHD "equivalent" Export from CS5.5?

Corey, on PC the codec would be Cineform (not free) or Avid's DNxHD (available under quicktime wrappaer), and on Apple - ProRes.
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