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AVCHD Format Discussion
Inexpensive High Definition H.264 encoding to DVD, Hard Disc or SD Card.


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Old August 1st, 2009, 12:37 PM   #31
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Yes, after transcoding, it's fine.

This may be completely obvious, but if you just need to view the clips in a hurry to see what you've got, you can playback the clips in iMovie's capture window, or FCP's Log and Transfer window. Since I have my macbook pro plugged into 32 inch screen, I get a decent sized viewing, and it occasionally satisfies someone looking over my shoulder who has to immediately see what we shot...
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Old August 1st, 2009, 02:01 PM   #32
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Hello Stu H and Stuart H (quite a coincidence!)

Yes, transcoding to another format will provide a solution, but I hesitate to suggest it since it adds a lot of time to make the conversion, compromises the quality of the original image since decompression followed by recompression takes place, and results in very large files as well.

The AVCHD format with 1920 by 1080 resolution is intrinsically handled well by the faster Intel processors, and therefore some Intel-based Macs can now handle the workload. It is merely a matter of Mac software catching up to the PC world in terms of handling native AVCHD.

Since I personally like to author my HD disks in AVC (h.264) format, either as BluRay or AVCHD, I personally dislike the approach of converting AVCHD to another format, then editing it, and then converting back into h.264. It wastes enormous time, degrades the image, and is entirely an accomodation to a very immature software and BluRay authoring environment further confounded by Apple's insistence that QuickTime wrappers be used in their programs.

Larry
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Old August 19th, 2009, 07:40 AM   #33
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Some Mac clarity . . ?

So, I know this is painful but I just want to get this straight for Mac users . . .

1) If you have a MacPro, FCP 7 and Clipwrap you should be AOK to work with AVCHD?

2) You could maybe (?) import these same 1920x1080 "Clip Wrapped" movies into Avid as DNxHD files?

I use both platforms for different purposes and am looking at getting a Canon AVCHD camera for personal use and just want to be sure that this path will work.

Many thanks :-)
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Old August 19th, 2009, 03:34 PM   #34
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Clipwrap and AVCHD

Here's clarification for AVCHD on Mac.

Clipwrap can only do HDV files (MPEG-2), not AVCHD's MTS (or M2TS) ones. So, right now, Clipwrap won't help you much with editing AVCHD files directly. However, last week, I heard from some beta testers of Version 2, which is supposed to rewrap AVCHD into QuickTime, for transparent native editing on Mac. Right now, it's not out yet; when it does come, it will be an intriguing option.

On Mac, currently, there is only one software platform that can edit AVCHD natively: Adobe CS4 Production Premium (i.e. Premiere and AfterEffects). If you definitely want to edit native files, without ANY generational loss due to transcoding, that is your solution.

Other Mac solutions (such as iMovie, Final Cut Express, or Final Cut Pro) can recognise AVCHD camcorder and transcode AVCHD files into AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) or ProRes (FCP only).

I have tested both workflows (Premiere CS4, as well as FCP). The resulting image quality is perceptively identical, despite the generational loss due to transcoding with FCP. One major advantage of transcoding into ProRes is the 4:2:2 chroma sampling that it provides. If you need to do some colour correction, exposure correction or visual effects, ProRes will give you much more latitude and colour detail than original AVCHD. Unless you are only splicing uncorrected AVCHD files, transcoding into ProRes is a better solution.

Another major benefit of transcoding is the significantly less demand ProRes (or any other transcoded format) puts on your Mac. You will be able to have live rendering on significantly more effects with ProRes than with AVCHD. The only drawback will be the file sizes of those temporary ProRes files, which are 10-20 times larger than AVCHD (i.e. one hour of full HD video in ProRes takes up to 250GB of disk space).

One more thing to consider with the Mac workflow is Cineform's NeoScene. This utility transcodes AVCHD into Cineform codec (similar to ProRes), but its advantage is that it will remove 2:3 pulldown from 24p content that's wrapped into 60i. Since most consumer camcorders of today encode 24p in telecined 60i, removing the pulldown before transcoding into Cineform (or ProRes, or AIC) makes for easy 24p editing, on a proper 24p timeline.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 06:24 AM   #35
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Excellent advice Predrag, makes everything perfectly clear. Thankyou!

I guess I thought clip wrap was the magic bullet . . . and it may still be a big help in the future. I guess there's also the possibility that Snow Leopard could offer something in the future - maybe . . ? Wouldn't count on it though.

Do you know if AVCHD can be trans-coded into Avid DNxHD? That would be wonderful for me as I am more predisposed to Media Composer than FCP.

As a newby here I do want to offer my thanks to all the regular posters here. I've been an editor 30 years in the business and it's great to find so much knowledge and so many answers in one place. Thanks to you all.

Cheers
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Old October 12th, 2009, 02:54 PM   #36
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Log and Transfer not seeing AVCHD

I'm using FCP 6.0.6 on an early 2008 OctoPro with 32GB RAM and I'm not seeing the AVCHD files in FCP Log and Transfer at all... To add to this frustration, I had to give the camera back so I created a disk image of the files and copied them from the Canon Camcorder internal memory to an internal hard disk on my Mac.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
Pete D.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 10:22 AM   #37
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???????????
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Old October 15th, 2009, 11:37 AM   #38
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Have you tried setting a custom path to your AVCHD directory? Open the Log and Transfer window and click the 'gear' icon at the top
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Old October 15th, 2009, 02:49 PM   #39
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Hi,
I have tried that method a few times.... I keep getting:

"AVCHD" contains unsupported media or has an invalid directory structure. Please choose a folder whose directory structure matches supported media.


..... and I don't know how to get around that!

B-(
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Old October 15th, 2009, 06:28 PM   #40
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Hmm.

AVCHD needs the video files and the directory structure to work. I can only assume that the structure has somehow been corrupted.

Try using MPEG Streamclip to convert the individual .mts files to ProRes422 for editing in FCP. It should work OK
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Old October 21st, 2009, 07:53 PM   #41
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Thanks... I'll give that a shot.. I've been out of town for days... will get back to work in a day or so

Thanks!
Pete D.
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