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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old March 13th, 2010, 05:18 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Hartford, VT
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AVCHD, .MTS, ProRes 422, Color 1.5, DVD output for feature film, workflow

Hi there,

(I am not sure which sub forum to post this questions, so I am placing this post on two of them)

Few questions about what is the best workflow you can recommend me on my situation:

I have a Panasonic HMC-150 that makes .MTS files and it is set to 1080p30p. I have two scenarios on which I will be working on:

A - I will be shooting my own short movie and I plan on sending it to film festivals.

B - I am collaborating on a feature film and I taped a rehearsal with my camera already.


I have Final Cut Studio and when I went to play, edit and compress my files; neither application (Final Cut Pro, Color or Compressor) recognized my files. I couldn't even play them from my Finder. So, I did some research and found out VLC could play those files. I downloaded and the play problem was solved. But still, I couldn't edit my files! So, did more research and found out neoscene can convert my files. I didn't want to spend any more money, so LUCKILY, I had Adobe Media Encoder on my Mac since it came with the Production suite. So, I was able to convert my .MTS files on to MP4 files.

Here it is how I am converting them:

I add to the queue my .MTS file, next column is called 'Format' and is set to H.264 and the next column called 'Preset' is set to HDTV 1080p 29.97 High Quality.

As an example, I converted a 15 seconds file called 00002.MTS (54.1MB) onto an .MP4 that came out at 83.1MB

I am going to be using the Final Cut Studio suite to edit these clips. Planing on Color correcting them with Color 1.5.

Compressor can open those .MP4 files and can convert them to any format supported format they have.


My questions are:

Should I convert them to something else? I just work them the way they are (MP4)?

If work them as MP4, problem solved.

If convert them to a different format:

1) To which one? Why?

I did more research and read somewhere that Apple ProRes 422 is a very good format.

So, I tried it and converted my example file (15 seconds long) to 'Apple ProRes 422 for Progressive material (High Quality)' and got a file of 551.1MB and to 'Apple ProRes 422 for Progressive material' and got another file of 354.8MB.

The files I am working with at this moment are the ones I taped as the camera guy (I am actually going to be helping the DP in the film) and they are 5 files of almost 20 minutes each. The thing is, the director of the movie asked me to give her the files with only color correction (which I can do with Color 1.5), but she wants them that long without any 'cuts' on a DVD.

One of the things I do not understand well is this: When I covert the .MP4 (or .MTS) files to ProRes 422 (correct me if I am wrong, but I understand ProRes is a format midway between uncompressed and compressed video), I am blowing up the information lost in the compressed file, in other words is like the software makes up all the information that is not there based on averages. Like the information lost on a .JPG files when it's compressed from a RAW file.

2) So, blowing up the file (converting it to ProRes) does really makes a difference when you are editing it in either Color or Final Cut Pro? Or not, since these files where originally created as .MTS files? Should I just work with the .MP4 files instead?

3) In this case and for future references, which format should I use from Compressor (Ver. 3.5.1)?:

Apple > Formats > QuickTime > Apple ProRes 422 [Apple ProRess 422 with audio pass-through. Settings based off the source resolution and frame-rate.]
or
Apple > Formats > QuickTime > Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) [Apple ProRess 422 with audio pass-through. Settings based off the source resolution and frame-rate.]

or
Apple > Other Workflows > Apple Codecs > Apple ProRes 422 for Interlaced material [Apple ProRess 422 10-bit video with audio pass-through. Settings based off the source resolution and frame-rate.]
or
Apple > Other Workflows > Apple Codecs > Apple ProRes 422 for Interlaced material (High Quality) [Apple ProRess 422 10-bit video with audio pass-through. Settings based off the source resolution and frame-rate.]
or
Apple > Other Workflows > Apple Codecs > Apple ProRes 422 for Progressive material [Apple ProRess 422 10-bit video with audio pass-through. Settings based off the source resolution and frame-rate.]
or
Apple > Other Workflows > Apple Codecs > Apple ProRes 422 for Progressive material (High Quality) [Apple ProRess 422 10-bit video with audio pass-through. Settings based off the source resolution and frame-rate.]

Hey, I just want to thank you very much before hand for you time and look forward to get some advice from you.

THANK YOU!!

Ben Tolosa
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