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Old May 30th, 2011, 09:12 AM   #1
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Desperately Seeking 7D Mac Editing Advice

Hello all,

I have about 80 hours of 7D footage (about 4TB) to edit for a feature length documentary. I'm working on a brand new top-of-the-line MacBook Pro (8GB RAM, 2.3GHz i7, 2xSSDs inside). It is intimidating me because it's my first project with 7D footage, my first on a Mac, my first documentary, and to top it all off, I'm going to be overseas, out of my element and away from my main editing machine, my equipment, my girlfriend and my dog.

So I'm nervous and want to get it right. Fortunately, I've been able to get a head start before I go over there and have made some progress but want to confirm that I'm doing it right.

I'm very sorry that this is the same question that is being asked everywhere, but I've looked everywhere and just can't get a straight answer.

Here it is:

I edit super fast in Premiere; I'm fairly new to Final Cut, so I'm gonna attempt to do the project in Premiere. This seems sensible to me for the above reason, as well as the fact that I've heard Premiere does better with the native H264 files. Which brings me to the workflow:

I'm using Final Cut Pro 7 and PluralEyes to sync the audio to the video. The footage has been quite poorly organised and I've received it in quite a mess. I find PluralEyes works better with Final Cut than it does with Premiere. So I'm doing this:

1. Sync in Final Cut Pro + Plural Eyes
2. Export XML file.
3. Import XML file to Premiere CS5.
4. Edit.

In here, I can edit super quick. But... at what point should I transcode to ProRes LT? (In fact, do I need to at all?)

On my main machine (Win7+PProCS5) I edited hours of the H264 footage without a single hiccup. If my MacBook Pro can keep up (which so far it has) then why is ProRes necessary for me?

I can accept that once the assembly and fine edit is complete, I may need to transcode the final product to ProRes so that the colorist and sound guys can do their thing, but am I right to leave transcoding until then?

And is it as simple as just exporting the project from Premiere as a ProRes LT file?

My great fear is that you'll all write back saying that I should have transcoded to ProRes before I synced the audio. If that's the case, I have wasted a week of my life. But if it's a good idea to transcode to ProRes before I undertake the edit, now's the time.

So those are my questions and I cannot express how grateful I am for all the answers you give.

My mind is racing with angst at the moment and I'm desperate for some good advice.

Regards,

-- John
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Old May 31st, 2011, 02:00 PM   #2
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Re: Desperately Seeking 7D Mac Editing Advice

Premiere Pro CS5 does not need to be transcoded from the native H.264 files you get right off the camera. It will do all the transcoding in real time and your macbook pro will handle that load with ease. To send it to a colorist I'd just export as a ProRes file and send it off to them.

If you have Premiere Pro CS4 or lower you will need to transcode to a different file format before you edit (ProRes LT is fine).

I use Final Cut, myself, but have edited a project on Premeire CS5 and using the native H.264 files was really nice.

your workflow looks good to me.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 01:26 AM   #3
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Re: Desperately Seeking 7D Mac Editing Advice

Find out the format that the post people need. It may not be ProRes at all, and then you're golden.

If you practice at syncing, you might find that you don't need PluralEyes/FCP in the future, and that would save you some time with the whole XML step. With good slate practices, I've found that I can sync audio and video in a PPro CS5 timeline in about 10 seconds, max.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 10:25 AM   #4
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Re: Desperately Seeking 7D Mac Editing Advice

Brian,

If they'd used a slate consistently then I could sync the footage much quicker but unfortunately I don't have that luxury.

Ryan,

Two questions:

1. I was told today that I MUST convert H264 footage to ProRes because the editing is not frame accurate in H264. Is that not correct?

2. How do I export as ProRes from Premiere? My only Quicktime options are DV ones unless I start customising it to find the ProRes options and even then, it suggests 1280x720 and when I scale it up to 1920, it suggests a vertical resolution of 1280 rather than 1080...
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Old June 10th, 2011, 02:53 PM   #5
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Re: Desperately Seeking 7D Mac Editing Advice

Sorry.. just got back online.

1. No that is not correct. Frame accuracy has nothing to do with the codec (sort of). Frame Accuracy has to do with one frame a a certain version of the footage matching a separate version. converting h.264 to ProRes does not change frame order under any circumstances except extreme cases where you are also changing timing ect...

2. you're on the right track. I don't use Premiere a lot, but you are in the right place if you found the ProRes codecs. Try switching to square pixels. sounds like you are using anamorphic or something with those settings.
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Old June 13th, 2011, 09:44 PM   #6
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Re: Desperately Seeking 7D Mac Editing Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hewat View Post
Brian,
1. I was told today that I MUST convert H264 footage to ProRes because the editing is not frame accurate in H264. Is that not correct?

2. How do I export as ProRes from Premiere? My only Quicktime options are DV ones unless I start customising it to find the ProRes options and even then, it suggests 1280x720 and when I scale it up to 1920, it suggests a vertical resolution of 1280 rather than 1080...
#1. completely wrong whoever said that.

in reagards to ProRes LT, use regular ProRes. LT looks like crap because its got this odd edgy compression artifacts going on, kind of like M100 on a bad day at 135-150kb.

#2, you have to have the ProRes codecs installed which I assume you do. its just a matter of picking QT export, ProRes codec, make sure PAR and FPS are correct.

from you comment, if the default is 1280X720, you might of set your TL to that by accident. fix - create a new TL of the same size, copy and paste from one TL to the other.
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Old June 14th, 2011, 01:06 AM   #7
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Re: Desperately Seeking 7D Mac Editing Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
in reagards to ProRes LT, use regular ProRes. LT looks like crap because its got this odd edgy compression artifacts going on, kind of like M100 on a bad day at 135-150kb.
This is news to all of us who are using ProRes LT. I think that you are in a minority if you think Canon DSLR H.264 converted to ProRes LT looks like crap. It looks fine to me & most others.
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Old June 14th, 2011, 01:19 AM   #8
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Re: Desperately Seeking 7D Mac Editing Advice

anything fed into ProRes LT looks bad, SD, HD, doesn't matter. last year I had to capture 50-60 hrs of beta SP and tried ProRes LT. after looking at the original tape, looking at both DV50 and ProRes Std, LT had a crunchy look to it that was just nasty. it clearly had a look of compression. I've also done HD capture / renders to LT with the same results. I've done enough testing because I was hoping that ProRes LT would do for HD what DV50 did for SD, a really clean low space high quality codec, but that wasn't the case. OTH ProRes Std vs HQ is normally idtentical or just a few pixels different and isn't worth the extra disk space.

. Also of note : apple says its a proxy / offline format.. must be a reason. if it was online quality, they'd be all over it promoting as such for the space savings and its not up to the quality.
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Old June 14th, 2011, 04:29 AM   #9
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Re: Desperately Seeking 7D Mac Editing Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
Also of note : apple says its a proxy / offline format.. must be a reason. if it was online quality, they'd be all over it promoting as such for the space savings and its not up to the quality.
Apple don't claim it's a proxy/offline format at all in fact they do promote the space saving & quality aspects of ProRes LT. To quote for the Apple White Paper on ProRes:-
Quote:
Apple ProRes 422 (LT): Like Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) and Apple ProRes 422, the new Apple ProRes 422 (LT) codec supports full-width 10-bit video sequences, but at a target data rate even lower than these siblings. Apple ProRes 422 (LT) weighs in at 100 Mbps or less, depending on the particular video format. It balances incredible image quality with small file sizes, and is perfect for digital broadcast environments where storage capacity and bandwidth are often at a premium.
Apple ProRes 422 (LT) is ideal for live multi-camera and on-location productions where large amounts of footage are acquired to disk. The low data rate of Apple ProRes 422 (LT) also makes it an excellent choice for transcoding complex camera codecs like AVCHD.
http://images.apple.com/finalcutstud..._July_2009.pdf

There is a ProRes 422 (Proxy) CODEC perhaps you are confusing this with ProRes LT?
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Old June 14th, 2011, 07:43 AM   #10
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Re: Desperately Seeking 7D Mac Editing Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
. Also of note : apple says its a proxy / offline format.. must be a reason. if it was online quality, they'd be all over it promoting as such for the space savings and its not up to the quality.
Whats your workflow Steve ? I personally use ProRes LT but I am always up for considering alternatives.
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