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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old May 11th, 2009, 02:43 PM   #1
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Final Cut Express & AVCHD

I have successfully got as far as bringing up the log & transfer screen, and can see my clips in the window.

However, if I add one to the playlist it changes to idle after a few seconds, and then eventually to an orange exclamation mark.

What is going wrong?

You'll need to give me very clear instructions as I am no computer whiz!!

Thanks.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #2
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Still having a lot of trouble with this...if anyone can help
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Old May 11th, 2009, 04:56 PM   #3
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The first thing we need to know are the specs of your computer. But, in the mean time try importing the files via iMovie. Break down any long files 7+ minutes into smaller files (e.g. Clip#1a, Clip#1b, etc). Export the clips one at a time...be patient. This should be a work around to your problem.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 05:19 PM   #4
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How do I get them into Imovie? And then how into FCE?
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Old May 11th, 2009, 07:22 PM   #5
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James - one of my cameras is the Canon HF 100 - I simply insert the memory card into the little usb reader that came with the camera - plug it into the usb port - open iMovie - the memory card is recognized and I import the clips - so so so simple.

What version of iMovie do you have?
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Old May 15th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Collins View Post
I have successfully got as far as bringing up the log & transfer screen, and can see my clips in the window.

However, if I add one to the playlist it changes to idle after a few seconds, and then eventually to an orange exclamation mark.

What is going wrong?

You'll need to give me very clear instructions as I am no computer whiz!!

Thanks.
Make sure that you "Easy Setup" is 100% correct and matching the camcorder setting for the clip you are importing, e.g. "AVCHD to AIC 1920x1080x50i". Then try to set audio setting in L&T to "Plain Stereo". Finally, start fresh project and trash preferrences in L&T before you start ingesting. Don't mix HD and SD on your camcorder.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 08:29 AM   #7
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I haven't encountered this exact problem, though I did have a problem where it would start the transfer, and then part way through just stop with no error message. It turned out that I was trying to export to an external hard drive that was partitioned as FAT32 (and supported a maximum file size of 4GB - oops)

Anyway, the Log & Transfer function doesn't seem to report back even basic error messages, it just gives up.

I would check to make sure that it's set up to export to a drive that exists (i.e. you didn't set the program up to export to an external drive that isn't connected?)

EDIT - I see this was originally posted on May 11....so I assume you solved the problem, or destroyed the computer.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 07:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Bolton View Post
James - one of my cameras is the Canon HF 100 - I simply insert the memory card into the little usb reader that came with the camera - plug it into the usb port - open iMovie - the memory card is recognized and I import the clips - so so so simple.

What version of iMovie do you have?
In FCE, are you able to maintain that smooth framerate from Easy Mode on your HF-100? It's something I can do in Sony Vegas, and I'm looking for a Mac solution. When I import into iMovie, I get an acceptable frame rate, but it's not as smooth as the camera is capturing. I don't want to buy FCE if it can't maintain that smoothness.

Thanks for any info you can provide.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:21 AM   #9
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Re: Final Cut Express & AVCHD

Maybe you should clarify what you mean by 'frame rate'? Transfering your movies is not like playing a video game -- there is no frame rate variable dependent on your hardware. The frame rate you shot is the frame rate you get ... unless you've screwed up a setting somewhere. Transfering does not change the frame rate.

There are potentials for mismatches, if you shoot 24p and edit 29.97i, for example -- but you're description of your problem doesn't leave room for suggestions, so walk us through what you shoot, what the file data says you've shot, what you transfer, what the file data says you've transfered, and what precisely the problem is you have with your files.

Cheers,
GB
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 02:25 PM   #10
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Re: Final Cut Express & AVCHD

Sure, and thanks for the feedback.

I record in Easy Mode on my HF100. I think that's 1920x1080 60i. I get very smooth video on both my camera monitor, and when I watch the footage on my PS3. In Sony Vegas, when I author as HDV 1080i 60 (MPEG2), I get the same smooth video.

When I import my footage into iMovie, I lose that smoothness. The film isn't choppy, but it is certainly not as smooth.

I think this may be because iMovie is using some broad AVCHD import setting. I think I would have more success with FCE because it has a 1920x1080 60i import setting. I have tried importing with the trial version of Voltaic, and I think that improves matters.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 01:31 PM   #11
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Re: Final Cut Express & AVCHD

The only explanation I can see here for the video playback appearing choppy could be that you may have performance issues with that Mac. Either the Mac is a bit on the weak side (Low RAM, slow processor or both), the hard disk onto which the video is being transcoded is full, or the disk performance is poor (slow disk, multiple devices on the same USB bus as the disk, etc).

When iMovie transcodes video from AVCHD to AIC, it takes as much time as needed in order to transcode every frame/field into the new, less compressed format. On a faster mac, this will be faster than real-time; older Macs will take longer. Also, AIC takes up much more space on disk than AVCHD. The bit rate is consequently significantly higher, which may create problems for hard drives that are near full, too slow or too fragmented. One thing is certain, though; that AIC file will contain every single frame (or field) from the original video. You don't need FCE for that.

Your Sony Vegas (on Windows) usually edits AVCHD directly, without transcoding. Apple's own software does NOT do that. However, Adobe's Premiere (and Premiere Elements) for Mac can work with AVCHD directly.

If you are willing to play around, I would suggest downloading that Premiere Elements trial (30 days, fully-functional). Try using it exactly the way you use Vegas and see if you're getting the same issues.

As I said, my guess would be that the source of the problem is hardware performance, and not the transcoded video material.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 02:59 PM   #12
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Re: Final Cut Express & AVCHD

Thanks for your reply.

I'm using an iMac with the i3 3.2 ghz processor, 4 gigs of RAM and nothing else running. There's 700 gigs free.

I think iMovie is making interlaced source into a progressive AIC file and I'm loosing the smooth interlaced look.

I should take some video into an Apple Store and see if I can play with FCE.
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